Each year, SFR makes a list (and checks it twice) just for those restaurants that define the City Different. They’re the ones we know and love—and have for years—for their consistent quality, reliable service and special spark. They’re the comfy jeans of Santa Fe’s restaurant world—ripped in the knees and soft as silk. Obviously, that only makes them sexier. (Alexa Schirtzinger)

322 Garfield St., 995-9595
Every neighborhood deserves a perfect trattoria.  $$
Why is it classic? Because you simply cannot eat a bad meal here.

Backroad Pizza

1807 Second St., 955-9055
Local ingredients are the foundation of these legendary pies.  $
Why is it classic? The cornmeal crust.

Bobcat Bite
420 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 983-5319
Authentic roadside fare without fakery.  $$
Why is it classic? The grill boasts decades of seasoning.

The Bull Ring
150 Washington Ave., 983-3328
Steak and cocktails in comfort.  $$$
Why is it classic? If you have to ask, you ain’t a regular.

Café Pasqual’s
121 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-9340
Organic, expensive and incredible.  $$$
Why is it classic? You can’t beat it with a stick.

La Casa Sena
125 E Palace Ave., 988-9232
New Mexico hospitality and European sensibility.  $$$
Why is it classic? The courtyard has no competition.

La Choza
905 Alarid St., 982-0909
New Mexican everybody’s abuela can be proud of.  $
Why is it classic? Have an egg on top of the enchilada.

The Compound
653 Canyon Road, 982-4353
The pinnacle of fine dining.  $$$$
Why is it classic? Aplomb is a dying art.

Counter Culture

930 Baca St., 995-1105
A little something for everyone.  $$
Why is it classic? You got a better idea?

319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565
Part breakfast joint, part barroom and everything in between.  $$
Why is it classic? Beer and brisket are a winning combination.

Coyote Café
132 W Water St., 983-1615
Upscale and artful Southwest fusion.  $$$
Why is it classic? Even locals love it.

El Farol
808 Canyon Road, 983-9912
Tapas and live entertainment.  $$$
Why is it classic? The patina has been earned the hard way.

Guadalupe Café
422 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-9762
A no-holds-barred answer to New Mexico chile.  $$
Why is it classic? It’s the “Guad.”

Harry’s Roadhouse
96-B Old Las Vegas Hwy., 989-4629
American classics and reinvented favorites.  $$
Why is it classic? We don’t know, but we wait for a seat with everyone else.

Horseman’s Haven
4354 Cerrillos Road, 471-5420
New Mexico comfort food.  $
Why is it classic? Hotter chile does not exist.

India Palace

227 Don Gaspar Ave., 986-5859
Pan-Indian specialties.  $$
Why is it classic? Something about that tikka masala…

2801 Rodeo Road, 471-3800
Local ingredients translated into family favorites.  $$
Why is it classic? It’s a finer diner.

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen
555 W Cordova Road, 983-7929
More margaritas than you thought possible.  $$
Why is it classic? It was born classic in 1952.

Mariscos “La Playa”
537 W Cordova Road, 982-2790
Mexican-style seafood.  $$
Why is it classic? You’ll want to take the salsas to other restaurants.

The Pantry Restaurant
1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022
A real Route 66 restaurant…in Santa Fe.  $
Why is it classic? Weekend breakfast rocks.

Plaza Café
54 Lincoln Ave., 982-1664
The remodeled downtown diner is expected to open in January 2012.  $$
Why is it classic? Not even fire can stop it.

Il Piatto
95 W Marcy St., 984-1091
Italian standards and small “enoteca” plates.  $$
Why is it classic? For its diligent love of local.

The Pink Adobe
406 Old Santa Fe Trail, 983-7712
Community institution with epicurean elan.  $$$
Why is it classic? Rosalea’s recipes are still going strong.

548 Agua Fria St., 982-8608
Upscale fare in a comfortable chair.  $$$
Why is it classic? French and Southwestern shouldn’t mix, but do.

San Marcos Café
3877 Hwy. 14, 471-9298
Good, old-fashioned food cooked right.  $
Why is it classic? It’s attached to a feed store.

231 Washington Ave., 984-1788
Elegant Southwestern bistro.  $$$
Why is it classic? It’s where minimalism meets magnificence.

The Shed
113½ E Palace Ave., 982-9030
Downtown’s discreet doorway secret.  $$
Why is it classic? It’s just hidden enough.

The Teahouse
821 Canyon Road, 992-0972
A clever menu complements the incomprehensible tea selection.  $
Why is it classic? Cornbread salad.

Tecolote Café

1203 Cerrillos Road, 988-1362
Breakfast of champions, especially champions with guts.  $
Why is it classic? Breakfast baskets.

Tia Sophia’s
210 W San Francisco St., 983-9880
The best breakfast burritos ever.  $
Why is it classic? Artful smothering.

500 S Guadalupe St., 983-5721
New Mexican in the heart of the Railyard.  $
Why is it classic? Margarita pitchers and combo burritos.

427 W Water St., 982-9966
Romantic, continental cuisine.  $$$
Why is it classic? It’s a piano bar, ferchrissakes.

Zia Diner
326 S Guadalupe St., 988-7008
A family atmosphere and full menu with community conscientiousness.  $$
Why is it classic? Shepherd’s pie and Guinness.

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