Best of Santa Fe

Best of Santa Fe 2023 - Food & Drink

Restaurants, bars, desserts, cocktails and regional dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Best Artisan Chocolate

1. Kakawa Chocolate House

Even in a category mostly associated with boxed chocolates (and this establishment’s truffles, caramels, dipped chiles and other assorted solid treats are as delicious as they are visually satisfying), we have to take a moment for the magic of Kakawa’s hot chocolate. With proprietor Bonnie Bennett’s attention to the sacred history of cacao ceremonies and a texture so thick you’ll think an entire chocolate bar was melted into your cup, these elixirs are unmissable.

1050 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 982-0388, 851 W. San Mateo Road, (505) 930-5968, 1300 Rufina Circle, Ste. A4, (505) 930-5460

2. Señor Murphy

Those walls of sparkling and sugar-dusted candy offerings are enough to overwhelm the kid inside all of us. So, take this advice: It’s all about the piñon, be it in brittle, fudge, rolls, toffees, chocolate-dipped tortugas or simply plain chile-dusted.

177 Paseo de Peralta, Ste. A, (505) 780-5179, 100 E. San Francisco St., (505) 982-0461, 4250 Cerrillos Road, (505) 467-8590, 30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, (505) 819-2151

3. Jornada Chocolates

The new chocolatiers on the Eldorado block have already won your hearts in a few short months with their white chocolate yuzu, 72% Peruvian truffles and gilded red chile treats—all served up alongside co-owner Betsy Barker’s cheerful ceramics.

7 Caliente Road, (505) 466-6915

Best Asian Restaurant

1. Izanami

Not only is Izanami the undisputed Izakaya champion for its extensive sake offerings, shrimp tempura and prime wagyu beef ishiyaki, cooked right at the table, we firmly believe that everyone driving up the mountain to visit Ten Thousand Waves secretly pretends they’re stepping into the world of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as soon as those paper lanterns float into view. You know you’ve got some Chihiro fantasies to live out at the bathhouse.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, (505) 982-9304

2. Paper Dosa

Paper Dosa continues to blow us away with its paper-thin quesadilla-like wraps, ranging from the traditional South Indian (roasted lentils and chutney) to the thoroughly local (jack, cheddar and New Mexico chile).

551 W. Cordova Road, (505) 930-5521

3. Jinja Bar & Bistro

In addition to offering some of the most mouthwatering Singapore noodles we’ve ever encountered (rice noodles topped with char sui barbecue pork, bell peppers, sprouts, egg and crunchy peanuts), Jinja’s just one of those places that always feels welcoming.

510 N. Guadalupe St., (505) 982-4321

Best BBQ

1. The Ranch House

What would we do without Josh Baum’s chile and honey-glazed ribs to remind us that we needn’t travel to a red state to experience the joys of properly smoked red meat? And don’t let the upscale feel fool you: Those thick, drippy sauces will have you animalistically diving into your plate in true two-handed BBQ fashion in no time. Use some of the cornbread to wipe yourself clean, and stride out with pride.

2571 Cristo’s Road, (505) 424-8900

2. Cowgirl BBQ

The C-girl isn’t just a bar, or a barbecue joint. It’s an institution—and one that’s currently celebrating its 30th year of bringing deservedly beloved branding iron barbecue chicken and butternut squash casserole to the good people of Santa Fe.

319 S. Guadalupe St., (505) 982-2565

3. Whole Hog Cafe

For many of us who grew up under Whole Hog’s barbecue tutelage, that volcano sauce kept exclusively at the counter for the bravest of heart (and tongue) became a rite of passage into the painful delights of adult BBQ fandom.

320 S. Guadalupe St., (505) 474-3375

Best Bread

1. Sage Bakehouse

If you haven’t yet joined the extensive ranks of the Sage Bakehouse fan club, you need only step inside and inhale that uniquely comforting smell of heating ovens and curing dough to become a convert. Sage’s loaves are the chewy, moist, airy delights that so many high-altitude Southwest bakers aspire to in vain, and whatever magic their bakers use to make their bread rise so beautifully, we’re all lucky to benefit from it.

535 Cerrillos Road, (505) 820-7243

2. Chocolate Maven

In addition to offering what we maintain is hands-down the best challah commercially available in Santa Fe, Chocolate Maven’s country oat and wheat loaf is a textural delight for all those who crave a little chewiness in their morning toast.

821 W. San Mateo Road, (505) 984-1980

3. The Bread Shop

We loaf an underdog story, and the Bread Shop’s speedy rise through the bakery ranks warms our hearts like one of their freshly baked sesame seed mini baguettes. And for grain geeks, the spelt flour used here offers an extra bonus.

1703 Lena St., (505) 230-8421

Best Breakfast

1. Clafoutis

If the abundant offerings of omelets, croques, crepes and (of course) French toast aren’t enough to tempt you to start your day here, just think of the combined delight and horror you’ll glean trying to pronounce “clafouti” before your first caffeine of the day. To be honest, we still don’t even know which syllable gets the emphasis. We just kinda mutter our way through, switch it up each time and hope nobody’s listening too carefully.

333 W. Cordova Road, (505) 988-1809

2. The Pantry OG

Oh man, speaking of French toast—if you haven’t yet allowed yourself to wallow in the sugary joy of The Pantry’s famous cream cheese-stuffed and berry compote-drizzled version, consider this your sign from the universe to try this or a classic New Mexican breakfast.

1820 Cerrillos Road, (505) 986-0022

3. Tia Sophia’s

Wherever you stand on the story of the breakfast burrito’s origins, anywhere with such a direct claim to the iconic local fast breaker’s lineage is pretty synonymous with this category. It’s all about the potato-to-egg ratio, people.

210 W. San Francisco St., (505) 983-9880

Best Burger

1. Santa Fe Bite

A true Santa Fe resurrection story, new owners Armando Rivas and Angela Mason carry on the storied lineage of the original Bobcat Bite, where Chef Ahmed Obo’s unrelated Jambo Bobcat Bite reimagines and twists that much-missed haunt’s offerings. Santa Fe Bite is, thus, the only spot in town to get the green chile-drenched burger so widely beloved that GQ once named it #12 on a list of “The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die.”

1616 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 428-0328

2. Shake Foundation

We know we’re here to talk about regular ol’ burgers, but Shake Foundation’s New Mexico shepherd’s lamb burger is good enough to make the most Shake Shack-obsessed city slickers sing the praises of our local response to that overrated chain.

631 Cerrillos Road, (505) 988-8992

3. Second Street Brewery

For the uninitiated, the crowning glory of Second Street’s Original Alien Burger isn’t the melty relleno, or even the gorgeous dusting of blue corn, but the queso made with the house’s own stout.

1607 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 989-3278 2920 Rufina St., (505) 954-1068

Best Cakes

1. The Chocolate Maven

Fellow carrot cake lovers, rejoice: This is a cake shop that truly caters to our veggie-fueled birthday desires. If the appeal of that moist, spice-heavy flavor somehow isn’t your jam (and if so, who hurt you?), the chocolate raspberry torte or tiramisu or tres leches should do the trick. But seriously, we’re obsessed with that thick layer of perfectly piped cream cheese frosting dusted with crushed walnuts topping their beautiful carrot-based confection.

821 W. San Mateo Road, (505) 984-1980

2. Angel’s Bakery

You all know by now that we go hard for this spot’s cinnamon rolls. So it’s no surprise that the rest of the town is wild for the cake-making talents of Martha Dominguez and the whole family-run team, too.

4350 Airport Road, (505) 557-6156

3. Mille

Some occasions are simply too important for any American cake to suffice. Enter Mille—a café and bakery so supremely French, its namesake is a pâtisserie co-owner Marcel Remillieux’s grandparents owned in Corsica., Bon sang!

451 W. Alameda St., (505) 930-5492

Best Catering Company

1. Walter Burke Catering

If you’ve ever been to a local wedding, conference or fundraiser with waiters so attentive they seemed to miraculously appear the moment you started jealously eyeing your neighbor’s peanut chicken skewer, those black-clad angels were almost certainly from Walter Burke Catering. Don’t get us wrong—the extensive and customizable menu offerings ranging from boxed lunches to full buffets are reliably delicious. But it’s the kind and tireless people serving the food who really shine.

1209 Calle de Commercio, (505) 473-9600

2. Youthworks

Speaking of the folks serving the food, YouthWorks consulting chef David Sundberg brings social justice to the kitchen, training local youth with paid positions for culinary careers and offering certification programs while whipping up some widely touted Frito pies.

1505 Llano St., (505) 989-1855

3. What the Truck

Known particularly for their work feeding the stereotypically picky palates of on-set film industry personnel, the folks at What the Truck offer a full spectrum of casual to highfalutin’ fare, ranging from soft taco bars to European breakfast quiches.

7855 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 795-6651

Best Chef

1. Ahmed Obo, Jambo Cafe

The presence of the aforementioned and James Beard-nominated chef Obo is possibly the top culinary reason to be proud of being a Santa Fean. Obo has been making exquisitely cooked and truly nourishing dishes accessible to those of us without fancy restaurant money for 14 years now, and he’s won Best Chef among SFR readers for a sizable portion of that time. Taste his oxtail stew or cinnamon-dusted plantains to understand why.

2010 Cerrillos Road, (505) 473-1269

2. Martín Rios, Restaurant Martin

That’s right, jabronis—Santa Fe has multiple James Beard nominees currently killin’ it in the kitchen. Dive into some sous vide wagyu beef cheek followed by a “soft chocolate cylinder” that must be seen to be believed, and you’ll know why.

526 Galisteo St., (505) 820-0919

3. Fernando Olea, Sazon

We have a winner! 2022′s James Beard winner for Best Chef of the Southwest is the master of a mole recipe so complex and rich, there’s a mural on one wall of Sazon illustrating all of its dozens of ingredients.

221 Shelby St., (505) 983-8604

Best Cocktails

1. Coyote Cantina

Let’s all raise our glasses to toast the City Different—which, in this case, means a refreshing blend of cranberries slowly macerated in vodka and orange liqueur before being shaken with a dash of citrus to create an elixir as fresh and tangy as the equally colorful sunset so easily watchable from that widely coveted rooftop. That is, if you can sneak, charm or elbow your way to an available al fresco table.

132 W. Water St., (505) 983-1615

2. Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery

In a shakeup from previous years, Tumbleroot bursts into a new Best of Santa Fe category with a slew of classic cocktails, powered by their own locally distilled liquors. An old-fashioned just hits differently when made with blue corn bourbon.

2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 303-3808

3. Santa Fe Spirits

For anyone out there who shares our twin obsessions with Southwest kitsch and gory flicks, we have to take this opportunity to shout out the Blood and Sand—Colkegan, apple brandy, orange, cherry cordial and sweet vermouth.

308 Read St., (505) 780-5906, 7505 Mallard Way, Unit I, (505) 467-8892

Best Coffee

1. Iconik

Particularly now that the new Red location has opened up on Cerrillos with its wall of live plants, natural light and abundant parking, Iconik offers some of the most reliable hangout spots around town—fuelled by delightfully potent espresso and excellent chai.

1600 Lena St., (505) 428-0996, 314 S. Guadalupe St., (505) 428-0996, 1366 Cerrillos Road, (505) 428-0669

2. Ohori’s

Ohori’s coffee is so foundational around the SFR offices that when we try to think of coffee as, like, an abstract Platonic ideal, the taste of Ohori’s classic dark roast comes to mind. Even writing about it makes our energy levels start to perk up a little bit. What we’re getting at is that this place brews something special. And, to many of us around town, it signifies more than just coffee.

505 Cerrillos Road, Ste. 103, (505) 982-9692, 1098 ½ S. Saint Francis Drive, (505) 982-9692

3. Java Joe’s

We love a local option for drive-through coffee, and Java Joe’s Rodeo Road location is a savior during quick cross-town trips when caffeine supplies are running dangerously low. Plus a Southside location on Siler? Java Joe’s, you have our hearts.

2801 Rodeo Road, (505) 474-5282, 1248 Siler Road, (505) 930-5763

Best Croissants

1. Clafoutis

The croissant represents the very best of oven-fresh goodness. It’s a multi-layered miracle of paper-thin dough carefully separated by pats of butter, which melt away into the folds as the croissant bakes. Plus, they’re kind of a rite of passage for pastry chefs learning their craft, and the flaky, satin-soft triangles of bliss on offer at Clafoutis are downright divine. We recommend an accompanying latte into which bites of croissant can be spooned.

333 W. Cordova Road, (505) 988-1809

2. The Chocolate Maven

Are you picking up on the Maven love yet? If the multiple listings above weren’t enough to entice you straight to their door already, let us assure you that their croissant dough is delicate beyond your wildest dreams.

821 W. San Mateo Road, (505) 984-1980

3. Mille

Mais bien sur, of course the French café would make the list of the town’s best French pastries! It is as quintessential as a good Edith Piaf soundtrack and a night of vigorous lovemaking with, how you say, your tri-tined lover.

451 W. Alameda St., (505) 930-5492

Best Dessert

1. The Chocolate Maven

My goodness, Chocolate Maven! With such an extensive selection of desserts—from colonial cherry pies to Piccadilly lemon snap cookies and peanut butter fudge brownies purchasable by the bag—there really is a sweet offering for everyone. But from the number of times we’ve typed “Maven” now, we’re beginning to feel a bit like that scene in Being John Malkovich where Malkovich walks into a restaurant and all the diners are also him. Maven maven. Maven?...Maven.

821 W. San Mateo Road, (505) 984-1980

2. Clafoutis

We often find ourselves slipping into a sugary torpor while wandering along the Clafoutis counters and trying to order. There are so many innovations on wheat and sugar with mysterious names waiting to be sampled, from tropéziennes to kougloff.

333 W. Cordova Road, (505) 988-1809

3. Dolina Bakery & Cafe

The classic cakes and pies on Dolina’s menu are uniformly delicious, but the most exciting treats here are the Eastern European specialties you just won’t find anywhere else—such as Dobos torte (a Hungarian sponge cake) and makos dios poppyseed cake.

402 N. Guadalupe St., (505) 982-9394

Best Fermented Food or Drink

1. Rowley Farmhouse Ales

So, here’s the great thing about the fermented category as a whole: You can enjoy the buzz of humankind’s oldest high while feeling secure in the knowledge that your gut biome is benefitting from your desire to party. What a win-win, right? This holds especially true at Rowley, whose ales offer the hoppy flavors your college self still craves through a microflora-friendly mixed-culture fermentation process your tummy will appreciate.

1405 Maclovia St., (505) 428-0719

2. HoneyMoon Brewery

Oh, HoneyMoon. Writing this entry makes us a little teary-eyed because your taproom has closed, but we rejoice in the knowledge that your kombucha brews are still bouncing around various shelves in the Santa Fe area., (505) 303-3139

3. Barrio Brinery

Calling all lovers of the pickle juice jar swig and late night dill munching—Barrio Brinery offers the typical pickles you adore alongside locally flavored specialties such as the hot and spicy pickle with garlic and red chile.

1413 B W. Alameda St., (505) 699-9812

Best Fine Dining

1. Geronimo

Geronimo achieves a near-impossible combination of mind- (and palate-) boggling gourmet food and genuinely welcoming atmosphere. We’re not sure if it’s the warm lighting, the supremely squishy chairs or just the charming staff, but there’s nowhere else in town where you can munch on wagyu beef carpaccio and tellicherry rubbed elk tenderloin while feeling as comfortable as you might in an old friend’s living room. Never change, Geronimo. We like you just as you are.

724 Canyon Road, (505) 982-1500

2. The Compound

Home to Santa Fe’s definitive schnitzel and the de facto favorite restaurant of much of Santa Fe’s most well-heeled Canyon Road strolling crowd, The Compound is a staple for anyone looking to recreate a “reservations at Dorsia” vibe.

653 Canyon Road, (505) 982-4353

3. Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina

We’ve already sung the praises of Coyote Cafe’s cocktails. Now cast your eyes toward the food portion of the menu and marvel over the likes of diver scallops (in this desert?) served over mascarpone arborio rice with passionfruit butter sauce.

132 W. Water St., (505) 983-1615

Best Food Truck

1. Fusion Tacos

It’s no wonder Fusion has basically become the unofficial food truck of Santa Fe. The expanding franchise has carved out a niche that attracts two of our town’s most diametrically opposed audiences—health food aficionados and fans of fast Mexican food. And if you’re overwhelmed by the options, just make sure you pick at least one item with birria (be it in the form of a quesadilla, pizza or birria-topped ramen cup).

5984 Airport Road, (505) 501-3677, 502 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 316-2583, 35 Fire Place, (505) 603-0665, 4250 Cerrillos Road, (505) 303-3875

2. El Chile Toreado

Whether you’re a barbacoa boi or a buche (spicy pork stomach) bitch, you know you’re in good hands under the aegis of that iconic mustache/jalapeño logo at this James Beard-nominated food truck. And with fresh-grilled veggie filling available too, your meatless mates are equally welcome.

807 Early St., (505) 500-0033

3. Craft Donuts

Take this as a reminder that sweet tooths are just as deserving of love and wheeled nosh purveyors as their more savory cousins in snacking. If Craft Donuts’ cinnamon roll donut doesn’t tempt you, why not build your own beignet?

502 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 490-9171

Best Frozen Treat

1. La Lecheria

We never thought a dairy product would be such a strong source of our New Mexico pride until La Lecheria came along and opened our eyes to the possibilities—which include Java Joe’s coffee ice cream (delightfully intense and available year-round) and such seasonal flavor specialties as prickly pear margarita, avocado sorbet, butterscotch miso and sweet corn cones. Do you really need us to tell you to imagine the milkshake opportunities these offerings entail?

500 Market St., #110, (505) 428-0077

2. Paleta Bar

This regional franchise offers a whole suite of droolworthy Mexican-style fruit- or cream-based popsicles dipped in and topped with bonus goodies of your choice—think along the lines of crushed Fruity Pebbles or drizzles of powdered chile and chamoy.

2442 Cerrillos Road, (505) 467-8137

3. Frogurt

Let’s get real for a moment here. There’s a specific puppy love that knows no better backdrop than a self-serve frozen yogurt parlor, and Frogurt’s constantly rotating flavor offerings hit just the right note.

2801 Rodeo Road, Ste. B-11, (505) 474-6336

Best Gluten Free

1. Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen is an obvious choice as the first restaurant to win in this brand-new category. After all, it boasts not only a full “greens and grains” menu section, powered almost entirely by brown rice—it also specializes in lunchtime paleo wraps (check out that Japchae Korean glass noodle stir fry) and yucca root flatbread pizzas in the evening, so delectable you won’t even notice the gluten is gone.

1512 Pacheco St., Building B, (505) 795-7383

2. Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café

Annapurna’s offers the kind of gluten-free fare we like best—hearty, grain-filled recipes that were never meant to contain wheat in the first place. Nourish those doshas with basmati bowls and quinoa medleys perfected with an eye to the ayurvedic.

1620 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 988-9688

3. Revolution Bakery

If, on the other hand, you’re a former gluten eater now craving the bakery treats you used to devour, Revolution has you covered with mock rye loaves, cookies, coffee cake and croissants, all baked without a trace of wheat flour.

418 Cerrillos Road, (505) 346-2669

Best International Cuisine

1. Paper Dosa

This does seem like a pretty perfect category for capturing the unique magic of Paper Dosa, doesn’t it? It’s not just a matter of mixing delicious South Asian street food classics like Chennai fried chicken and kale and onion pakora (essentially a form of onion rings) with local chile-fuelled fare—you’ll also find hints of Italian and more generally European influences hidden among the likes of the white truffle masala or caprese dosas.

551 W. Cordova Road, (505) 930-5521

2. Izanami

If you’ve been a traditionalist in your trips up the mountain and stuck to more strictly Japanese offerings, you’re missing out on a full spectrum of continentally infused delicacies such as strawberry pavlova, shiso croquettes and asparagus wrapped with jamon.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, (505) 982-9304

3. India House

Oh, India House. We’re here to sing the praises of your more innovative menu choices, in this case less a matter of combining different countries’ specialties than of creating culinary bridges between India’s vastly different Northern and Southern traditions.

2501 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-2651

Best Italian Restaurant

1. Piccolino

Piccolino offers a down-to-earth, palpably friendly variety of pasta worship (more Italian American than Old World) that just can’t be found anywhere else in town, with classic checkered tablecloths perfect for concealing the sauce you’ll undoubtedly end up spilling on yourself before the meal is over. And those portions! We dream of the personal ceramic boats in which each bubbling, cheese-drenched helping of lasagna is so generously served up.

2890 Agua Fría St., (505) 471-1480

2. Andiamo!

In addition to having one of the most enjoyable names to write(!), Andiamo! boasts deliciously faithful renditions of traditional Italian classics, such as spaghetti aglio e olio with shrimp, penne with house-made lamb sausage and linguine puttanesca!

322 Garfield St., (505) 995-9595

3. Sassella

Chef Cristian Pontiggia isn’t just a born and raised Lombardy native—he’s so intensely Italian, he was even recognized by the country’s government as a Master Chef. One bite of his gorgeously shadowy squid ink pasta is enough to show you why.

225 Johnson St., (505) 982-6734

Best Local Distillery

1. Santa Fe Spirits

Here’s the thing about that famous Colkegan whiskey: The folks at Santa Fe Spirits use mesquite instead of the more traditional peat to smoke the barley, leading to a distinctly Southwest vibe. No wonder it’s utilized in locally themed cocktails across town; that particular blend of flavors could only be the result of a true Englishman (Colin Keegan) moving to the high desert and seeking to combine the flavor profiles of two drastically different homelands.

308 Read St., (505) 780-5906, 7505 Mallard Way, Unit I, (505) 467-8892

2. Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery

Known particularly for its clear liquors, Tumbleroot boasts products so pure, they kept many of us stocked in locally produced hand sanitizer during those first terrifying months of pandemic scarcity. Thanks for keeping us both tipsy and germ-free, Tumbleroot!

2791 Agua Fría St., (505) 303-3808

3. As Above, So Below Distillery (Altar Spirits)

The Railyard distillery might have gone through a recent name change, but the Crowley-infused ritualistic aesthetic powering its potent vodka, gin and aperitivo liqueurs keeps going just as strong as ever, thanks to Caley Shoemaker, co-founder and master distiller.

545 Camino de la Familia, (505) 916-8596

Best Locally Brewed Beer

1. Santa Fe Brewing Co.

Is there any can more iconically Santa Fe than the SFBC’s classic yellow and red zia offering? While we’re especially partial to the All Ripe line of summery hard ciders (the strawberry is the perfect reward after an Aspen Vista hike), there’s really no way to go wrong here, whether you prefer the Chicken Killer barley wine, the Cholla Fizz seltzer or the classic NMX standard. Pop that local tab with pride.

35 Fire Place, (505) 424-3333, 510 Galisteo St., (505) 780-8648, 7 Caliente Road, Eldorado, (505) 466-6938

2. Second Street Brewery

While we’re still mourning the loss of the OG Second Street location, we all ought to celebrate the Rufina Taproom for its quick rise to become one of the primary local music venues in the area—alongside its award-winning brown ale.

1607 Paseo de Peralta, Ste. 10, (505) 989-3278, 2920 Rufina St., (505) 954-1068

3. Rowley Farmhouse Ales

Don’t you want to brag that your brew was prepared by a literal chemist? Enter John Rowley and his scientifically perfected line of wild culture fermented stouts, IPAs, pale ales and ciders. All hail American-grown Chinook hops.

1405 Maclovia St., (505) 428-0719

Best New Mexican Restaurant

1. La Choza

If you really need us to tell you about the top-notch local cuisine at La Choza, you’re either not from around here or haven’t braved the parking lot recently. In either case, let us remind you that all the hype is real. It’s not about fancy twists or innovative ingredients—it’s about taking time to perfect the simplest elements, from posole tender enough to melt on the spoon to perfectly seasoned pinto beans.

905 Alarid St., (505) 982-0909

2. Tomasita’s

With the Vladem Contemporary art museum almost finished across the street, Tomasita’s stands to become even busier than ever. So take this summer as an opportunity to gorge yourself on sopaipillas dipped in locally sourced honey before the September museum opening.

500 S. Guadalupe St., (505) 983-5721

3. The Shed

The chile is called Shed Red for a reason, and we say that as firm green chile supporters almost anywhere else. Get thee to a smothered blue corn enchilada plate with red already, and taste the magic for yourself.

113½ E. Palace Ave., (505) 982-9030

Best New Mexico Winery

1. Gruet

Those rose gold labels are ubiquitous across town for good reason. Gruet guru Cyril Tanazacq draws on the winemaking experience of hundreds of years of monastery monks, combined with 25 vintages of Gruet’s own practice, for his Méthode Champenoise bottles, ranging from vintage sparkling options (the 2016 Grand Rosé Cuvée Danielle is a personal fave) to barrel select chardonnays. Honestly, there’s no reason to order from out of state when you could go with Gruet.

210 Don Gaspar Ave., (505) 989-9463

2. Black Mesa Winery

Velarde is known as an apple-growing region, but its grapes are just as juicy. And with its canned wines (Rio Grande Red, Whitewater White, Roaming Rosé and Chile Sangria), Black Mesa is a favorite among local outdoorsy drinkers.

1502 Hwy. 68, Velarde, (505) 852-2820

3. Vivác Winery

Run by brothers Jesse and Chris Padberg and their wives Michele and Liliana, Vivác takes inspiration from both Old World wineries and early exposure to Chilean bottles for remarkably high-altitude concoctions ranging from summery rosés to full-bodied diavolos.

2075 Hwy. 68, Dixon, (505) 579-4441

Best New Restaurant

1. Dumpling Cafe

Santa Fe has spoken, and our collective favorite new spot to chow down comes with an abundance of noodle and wonton soups, bibimbap bowls and steamed and fried dumplings aromatic enough to bring relief to even the worst juniper allergy sufferers. But anyone who has read our Restaurant and Bar Directory will know that our obsession will remain with the soup buns, until we master a more graceful way to eat them or scald ourselves trying.

500 Sandoval St., (505) 780-5890

2. Restoration Pizza

What’s better than a post-movie pizza, right? A post-movie pizza topped with either a selection of locally themed toppings (we love the meatball-centric bosque pie) or a monthly specialty blend (past innovations have included a mouthwatering Korean BBQ pie).

1607 Alcaldesa St., Ste. B, (505) 557-6672

3. Catch Santa Fe Poke

Chef Dakota Weiss created Catch Poke to shift the way folks think about fast food. It’s the entirely gluten-free, surreally fresh raw fish delivery system you didn’t know you were craving—with a splash of local green chile keeping things New Mexico true.

101 W. Marcy St., (505) 303-3653

Best Patio

1. Harry’s Roadhouse

One of the primary attractions of a roadhouse is the opportunity for weary travelers to enjoy some fresh air (even if said journeyers only came from 15 minutes away), and the sun-dappled patio at Harry’s doesn’t disappoint. Far enough from the highway to avoid the worst of its noise and high enough to watch the sunset spread over Eldorado, it’s the ideal place for exclaiming about the beauty of our hometown to your fellow diners.

96 B Old Las Vegas Hwy., (505) 989-4629

2. La Casa Sena

As if the surprising oasis of La Casa Sena’s greenery-filled garden tucked in the crowded heart of downtown weren’t enough to entice on its own, the live jazz music drifting through the courtyard is more than enough to do the trick.

125 E. Palace Ave., (505) 988-9232

3. Santacafé

Given that giant and particularly stately apricot tree presiding over the patio, al fresco dining at Santacafé feels less like a meal at a fancy restaurant than a picnic in an old friend’s garden—with all the nostalgic relaxation that entails.

231 Washington Ave., (505) 984-1788

Best Pizza

1. Back Road Pizza

We’ll tell you the secret behind Piper Kapin’s pies. That uniquely flavorful thin crust so key to Back Road’s offerings isn’t just rolled to within an eighth of an inch of its life, it’s also dusted with coarse cornmeal, giving each bite just the slightest hint of crunch beneath generous layers of tangy sauce and cheese. We could eat our weight in garlic knots. Plus, the upstairs pool table remains a beloved hangout spot.

1807 Second St., Ste. 1(505) 955-9055

2. Il Vicino

It might be part of a small regional chain, but while sitting on Il Vicino’s patio and testing the tensile strength of its mozzarella cheese, it’s easy to feel like the only people in the world enjoying this upscale comfort food.

321 W. San Francisco St., (505) 986-8700

3. Pizza Centro

We love a restaurant that shows the Southside some love, and with Pizza Centro’s Hell’s Kitchen pie (sausage, eggplant, green chile, jalapeño, red pepper, feta and mozzarella) available on both sides of town, there’s no excuse not to chow down.

418 Cerrillos Road, (505) 988-8825, 3470 Zafarano Drive, Ste. D, (505) 471-6200, 5 Colina Drive, Eldorado (505) 471-1111

Best Steak

1. The Bull Ring

A longtime favorite of local politicians and their ilk, dinner at The Bull Ring lets you live it up like a true Fiesta Melodrama villain (top hat, curly mustache and damsel tied to railroad tracks optional) as you sip an elderflower martini and savor that gorgeously marbled rib-eye. Even without any legislative gossip to share, you’re sure to leave feeling like an authentic bigwig from all the attention the waitstaff lavishes on you.

150 Washington Ave., (505) 983-3328

2. Rio Chama Prime Steakhouse

Find pianist Doug Montgomery on-site Sundays and Mondays 6-9 pm at this locale next door to the Roundhouse. He’s played for multiple presidents and will no doubt make a fine addition to the fat steaks about to land on your plate.

414 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 955-0765

3. Market Steer Steakhouse

In addition to those exquisitely selected beef cuts (we’re particular fans of the prime flat iron), Market Steer offers up sinfully gooey green chile risotto and a crab Oscar buttery enough to make Lucille Bluth leave her husband.

210 Don Gaspar Ave., (505) 992-6354

Best Tea

1. The Teahouse

Richard Freeman’s Canyon Road treasure found loyal patrons who experienced his joy for hospitality. Freeman died suddenly just before press time, but newly appointed restaurant manager Monica Walsh says “he was really excited to receive this recognition,” and asked that we dedicate this award to him. Long live the longest list of beverage choices in the city, where there’s a leaf for everyone. And don’t forget a freshly baked muffin or scone for dipping purposes—especially in the summer, when the associated berries are ripe.

821 Canyon Road, (505) 992-0972

2. Opuntia

Opuntia isn’t just home to drag bingo, sweeping Railyard views and beautiful plants—it’s also your top purveyor of imagisticaly named blends such as the Iron Goddess of Mercy, Rooibos Ocean of Wisdom and Maiden’s Ecstasy Pu-erh. Hot!

1607 Alcaldesa St., (505) 780-5796

3. Artful Tea

Beyond the truly jaw-dropping display of teapots and kettles, Artful Tea stands out as one of the very few storefronts in town to sell Cota Navajo tea—an Indigenous beverage used medicinally for centuries and harvested from local plants.

101 W. Marcy St., Ste. 4, (505) 795-7724

Best Vegetarian

1. Jambo Cafe

It’s so easy to get caught up in talking about chef Ahmed Obo’s phenomenal meat offerings that we often forget to pay proper homage to his mastery of veggie-based dishes. And his isn’t the kind of vegetarian food that depends on replacing animal products with soy-based imitations of the same; we’re talking aromatic East African lentil stew, curry encrusted pistachio goat cheese salads and hummus sandwiches with habanero papaya dressing to die for.

2010 Cerrillos Road, (505) 473-1269

2. Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Don’t think for a second that vegetarian health food can’t still be rich and comforting. Take one look at that vegan chile relleno with quinoa, mushrooms, zucchini and cashew-based “cheese,” and you’ll be filled with gustatory glee.

1512 Pacheco St., Building B, (505) 795-7383

3. Paper Dosa

Even as meat eaters, we’d take the chewy, savory delight of paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) over chicken any day of the week. And with Paper Dosa’s eminently transportable dosa options, there’s no better way to eat veggies on the run.

551 W. Cordova Road, (505) 930-5521

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