Readers Choice: Living

Best Business Downtown

1. Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Santa Fe's oldest locally owned independent bookstore is located near the heart of downtown on Galisteo Street—and also voted Best Bookstore by our readers. With thousands of titles in stock, finding your next favorite book can be as much of an adventure as reading it. There's Iconik Coffee inside, too, so grab a drink or a pastry and curl up by the fireplace with a new read. Catch community gatherings with notable locals and visiting writers alike.

202 Galisteo St., 988-4226

2. Doodlet's

This funky downtown favorite continues to enchant natives and tourists alike. Find eclectic items made locally and around the world at the place also voted Best Gift Store. Your next can't-possibly-live-without purchase is probably waiting inside, you just don't know it yet.

120 Don Gaspar Ave., 983-3771

3. La Fonda on the Plaza

With its proximity to all downtown has to offer, La Fonda is great for tourists, but has plenty for locals, too: Check out the art, grab a bite at La Plazuela, a drink at one of two other bars, or—if you're feeling splurgey—book a room for a staycation.

100 E San Francisco St., 982-5511

Best Business in the Railyard/Guadalupe District

1. Santa Fe Farmers Market

Voted one of the top 10 farmers markets in the country, the Santa Fe Farmers Market only features products sold by vendors who are veritably from Northern New Mexico. Find organic produce, baked goodies and handmade gifts at an indoor market as well as an outdoor market in warmer months, plus multiple days to shop throughout the week and year-round. Santa Feans love to support local businesses, and this is a great opportunity to do just that.

1607 Paseo de Peralta, 983-4098

2. Violet Crown Santa Fe

Reserved seating, comfy chairs, a restaurant and a bar all upgrade your everyday trip to the movies. Order some food to take into the theater with you as you catch a flick, or just stop in for a bite to eat. It's also our readers' Best Date Spot.

1606 Alcaldesa St., 216-5678

3. Boxcar

Boasting one of the largest liquor selections in town and host to many a live music act, Boxcar is a great hangout. Stop in for brunch, lunch or dinner. Shoot some pool or catch a game on one of the 14 TVs.

530 S Guadalupe St., 988-7222

Best Business in the Siler Road Corridor

1. Meow Wolf

Ask any out-of-towner to name their must-check-out spots while visiting Santa Fe, and you're bound to hear Meow Wolf pop up on the list. The nationally known interactive art exhibit and tourist spot has been drawing crowds since its opening in 2016, but it's also not short on love from locals. Walk, crawl, climb, see, touch and feel your way through because at Meow Wolf, you don't just see the art, you experience it.

1352 Rufina Circle, 395-6369

2. Big Jo True Value Hardware

Santa Feans love this family-owned hardware store because of its small-business feel and its easy-to-navigate layout. Friendly, knowledgeable staff offer help as soon as you step in the door. Come in with a problem and they'll find you a solution.

1311 Siler Road, 473-2255

3. The Food Depot

A well-run, dedicated organization made up of caring individuals, the Food Depot works to help food-insecure individuals and families in the Santa Fe community as well as the rest of Northern New Mexico. Volunteer your time or get help without judgement.

1222 A Siler Road, 471-1633

Best Business on Cerrillos Road

1. Jambo Café

Feel as though you've been transported right out of Santa Fe and to the Caribbean as soon as you step foot in the door and the smells of Jambo entice your senses. A frequent Best of Santa Fe winner, owner-chef Ahmed Obo takes Santa Feans on a journey with his delicious food, and we love being along for the ride.

2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269

2. The Pantry

With deep roots in Santa Fe, The Pantry has become a go-to dining spot for many a Santa Fean. Try one of the kitchen's takes on classic comfort foods, like the chicken fried steak smothered in cheese and green chile.

1820 Cerrillos Road, 986-0022

3. Artisan Santa Fe

The "Art Supply Source for the Southwest," you'd be hard-pressed to step inside Artisan and not find something to meet your needs among its inventory of more than 50,000 different art supplies.

2601 Cerrillos Road, 954-4179

Best Business on St. Michael’s Drive/Triangle District

1. Loyal Hound

Known for adding personal twists to classic comfort food dishes like mac and cheese or chicken and waffles, Loyal Hound has won over a loyal following since opening five years ago. Sandwiches are served on homemade bread and chef-owner Renee Fox makes an effort to use as many locally grown, organic ingredients in her dishes as possible. Check out the monthly "supper club," an event that pairs a featured speaker or presenter with a special menu.

730 St. Michael's Drive, 471-0440

2. The Candyman Strings & Things

Whether you're looking for a new instrument, a how-to manual, recording equipment or a repair, Candyman is your one-stop shop for all things music in Santa Fe.

851 St. Michael's Drive, 983-5906

3. Botwin Eye Group | Oculus Optical Midtown

One of two offices in Santa Fe owned by the Botwin Eye Group, Oculus Midtown strives to provide patients with a comprehensive, hassle-free experience. The office prides itself in its use of leading-edge technology and offers luxury glasses in a modern, relaxing environment, and you'll probably look good afterwards with those new frames.

444 St. Michael's Drive, 438-2020

Best Business on the Southside

1. Plaza Café Southside

For three years running, SFR readers have voted Plaza Café Southside ruler of the Southside. With a totally made-from-scratch menu right down to the bread on the sandwiches, the Razatos family aims to make anyone who steps foot inside their restaurant feel right at home. Fan favorites include blue corn pancakes, Christmas enchiladas, crispy avocado tacos and baked-daily deserts. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, stop by and let them treat you like part of the family.

3466 Zafarano Drive, 424-0755

2. The Ranch House

Find a menu containing something for everyone-from barbecue to New Mexican to bar bites and healthy options. Grab the family for a headache-free dinner, or grab some friends and catch happy hour every day from 4-6 pm.

2571 Cristo's Road, 424-8900

3. Best Daze

SFR readers love this Southside dispensary. Fans rave about the budtenders at Best Daze for being helpful and knowledgeable and for its selection of cannabis strains and edibles. Discounts for seniors, military and new patients.

4641 Airport Road, 585-4937

Best Farmers Market Vendor

1. Romero Farms

Chef-turned-farmer Matt Romero provides the Santa Fe community with quality organic produce, including chile, herbs, tomatoes, squash and greens. Want to see just what goes into your produce? The Romero family invites anyone curious to their farm to check out the process it takes to get the plants from farm to table.

2. Green Tractor Farm

An award-winning farm, Green Tractor Farm has been providing certified organic veggies since 2000. The family-operated business in La Cienega grows veggies, flowers and grapes—for homemade wine—on a 3-acre farm.

3. Monte Vista Organic Farm

A Santa Fe Farmers Market fixture for 30 years, Monte Vista is best known for its tomatoes, and co-owner David Fresquez, a tomato connoisseur, spends his time creating new varieties.

Aspen Vista
Aspen Vista ( Paul Horpedahl/)

Best Hiking/Biking/Walking Trail

1. Aspen Vista Trail

Considered one of the most beautiful places in all of Santa Fe during the autumn because of golden aspen trees, the nearly 6-mile-long trail off Hyde Park Road is continually a go-to hiking spot for SFR readers. A great spot year-round, you can also snowshoe in the winter, bike in the spring through autumn, or hike during any season. Regardless of what mode of transportation you choose, take the easy-to-follow former forest road up the mountain and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views.

Managed by Santa Fe National Forest, 438-5300

2. Dale Ball Trails

Close to downtown, this 22-mile network of trails at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, near Cerro Gordo Road and Upper Canyon Road, offers great opportunities for hikers of all abilities.

Managed by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, 989-7019

3. Atalaya Trail

This 3-mile trail begins at Wilderness Gate and ends at the knobby top of Atalaya Mountain, and there are two different routes: one easier, one steeper. Enjoy the expansive views over the entire city as you rest at the summit.

Managed by Santa Fe National Forest, 438-5300

Best Nonprofit

1. Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families

For more than 40 years, Esperanza Shelter has provided invaluable resources and served as a safe haven for victims of domestic violence, thanks largely to support from the Santa Fe community. The shelter offers a safe place to stay for those who have escaped abusive situations, as well as individual and group counseling, court advocacy and help finding housing. Programs for women seeking US citizenship or their GEDs and therapy for children are also provided.

3130 Rufina St., 474-5536

2. Big Brothers Big Sisters

Santa Fe's chapter of the national organization pairs adult volunteers with children in need of mentorship. The organization nurtures children facing adversity while also strengthening the community.

1229 St. Francis Drive, Ste. C, 983-8360

3. El Rancho de las Golondrinas

Located just south of Santa Fe, Golondrinas is a living history museum that features original colonial buildings from the early 1700s as well as re-creations of other historical buildings from around New Mexico. Check out the festival schedule too!

334 Los Pinos Road, 471-2261

Best Nonprofit for Animals

1. Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society

Santa Fe Animal Shelter's mission is simple: "Support animals, save lives, spread compassion." Since 1939, the shelter has worked tirelessly for the Santa Fe animal community and today is Northern New Mexico's only open-admission,
no-kill shelter. Located on a 100-acre campus just outside town, the shelter enriches the lives of its residents with walking trails, play yards and public dog parks. Stop by and find your new best friend.

100 Caja del Rio Road, 983-4309

2. Española Humane

Located about 25 miles north of of Santa Fe, the Española shelter works to create a healthier community for pets, their families and their neighbors.

108 Hamm Parkway, Española, 753-8662

3. Assistance Dogs of the West

Assistance Dogs of the West provides a vital resource to children and adults with disabilities. The organization's dogs empower their humans to be more independent and teaches volunteers how to become assistance-dog trainers.

1590 San Mateo Lane, 986-9748

Best Nonprofit for the Environment

1. Santa Fe Watershed Association

The Santa Fe River is a vital resource to our community, and the Santa Fe Watershed Association is at the heart of its protection. The nonprofit works hard to improve the river's health for the benefit of the environment and the community through advocacy, education, stewardship and restoration. Through school and public programs, the association educates the public on the various ecosystems of the river as well as the impact humans and water have on each other.

1413 Second St., Ste. 3, 820-1696

2. The Nature Conservancy

The worldwide nonprofit impacts conservation on six different continents but, locally, has been working for 40 years to conserve New Mexico's land and water.

212 E Marcy St., Ste. 200, 988-3867

3. Santa Fe Conservation Trust

Responsible for numerous trails around the city, including SFR reader favorite Dale Ball Trails, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust says it "envisions a future where everyone in New Mexico cherishes nature."

400 Kiva Court, 989-7019

Santa Fe Railyard Park
Santa Fe Railyard Park (Leah Cantor/)

Best Park

1. Santa Fe Railyard Park

Conveniently located on the Rail Runner line, the Railyard Park is home to many popular Santa Fe gatherings. Catch free movies and concerts on the park lawn throughout the summer. There's 11 acres of native plants and flowers, along with walking and bike paths and a play area where kids can run, climb and slide. Bring a lunch and have a picnic in one of the shady areas provided by the 300 trees, or simply take a stroll through the rose garden.

Railyard Park Conservancy, 805 Early St., 316-3596

2. Fort Marcy Recreation Complex

Home of the annual Burning of Zozobra and the Santa Fe Fuego baseball team, Fort Marcy is a classic gathering place. Find a 25-yard pool, numerous walking paths, a putting green and outdoor fitness equipment.

490 Bishops Lodge Road, 955-2105

3. Frank S Ortiz Dog Park

The dog park isn't just for the dogs. Home to spectacular views of the city and numerous trails, it's a great place for a hike, walk or run, or a little bit of dog petting.

1160 Camino de las Crucitas, 955-2100

Frank S Ortiz Dog Park
Frank S Ortiz Dog Park (Kelli Johansen/)

Best Place to Go with a Dog

1. Frank S Ortiz Dog Park

The Dog Park Project partners with the City of Santa Fe Parks Division to maintain and enhance this dog park. At 138 acres, it's one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The open spaces and trails make the park a great place to let your fur babies off-leash to roam, play and mingle to their hearts' content. A parking lot paved with recycled road millings stays at a paw-friendly temperature.

1160 Camino de las Crucitas, 955-2100

2. Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society

The shelter's 100-acre campus features walking trails and public dog parks; small dogs can play freely in the small-breed park or mingle in the mixed-size park. Or take one of the single-use parks all for yourself.

100 Caja del Rio Road, 983-4309

3. Galisteo Basin Preserve

Located 14 miles south of Santa Fe, the Galisteo Basin is a dog-friendly preserve set amid vast grasslands, arroyos and sandstone formations. Dogs are allowed off-leash on the 28 miles of trails.

Managed by the Commonweal Conservancy, 982-0071

Best Place to Work

1. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center

With 2,400 workers on staff, Christus says it takes a family approach to the treatment of its employees. They receive competitive pay, benefits and a 403b retirement plan, and are also treated to various activities throughout the year. Supervisors are required to have monthly check-ins with their employees to ensure they feel fully supported in their work, and the organization takes opportunities to recognize employees for jobs well done.

455 St. Michaels Drive, 913-3361

2. The Candyman Strings & Things

Mostly musicians, staff at the city's premiere music supply store say owners Rand and Cindy Cook encourage them to pursue their music careers by allowing time off for gigs and touring.

851 St. Michael's Drive, 983-5906

3. Del Norte Credit Union

The credit union fosters a positive work environment and encourages a healthy work-life balance. Staff members are given opportunities to "nurture their personal development" and further their careers through on-the-job training.

510 N Guadalupe St., Ste. A, 988-3628;
604 W San Mateo Road, 988-3628;
3286 Cerrillos Road, 455-5228

Best Public Servant

1. Michelle Lujan Grisham

New Mexico's 32nd governor is the first Democratic woman to hold the governor's seat in the state and the first Democratic Latina governor in the country. As a lawyer, Lujan Grisham has fought for the vulnerable and provided free services to the elderly. As a member of Congress, she advocated for women and local tribes. A 12th-generation New Mexican, Lujan Grisham graduated from St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe.

490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Room 400, 476-2200

2. Alan Webber

Santa Fe's mayor since 2018, Webber is the first elected under new "strong major" powers. He aims to make Santa Fe "the most user-friendly, eco-friendly, and family-friendly city in the country."

City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave., 955-6590

3. Peter Wirth

The third-term state senator and Senate majority leader is a multi-generational New Mexican and has been actively involved in the Santa Fe community since before his time in the Legislature.

708 Paseo de Peralta, 986-4727

Best Tour Business

1. Historic Walks of Santa Fe

This service plans customized walking tours through Santa Fe for commercial and private groups, and has been featured on national TV numerous times, including the Travel Channel's Mysteries of Route 66. Through a wide variety of tours focused on history and art, Historic Walks of Santa Fe captures and shares the spirit of Santa Fe with locals and visitors. Check out its Ghostwalker and Spiritwalker tours, which focus on Santa Fe's haunted past.


2. Santa Fe Mountain Adventures

With a mission to promote the outdoors, Santa Fe Mountain Adventures offers a variety of guided experiences that range from mountain biking to 4X4 rides to walkabouts.

711 Don Diego Ave., 988-4000

3. La Fonda Art & History Tours

Downtown institution La Fonda on the Plaza offers complimentary docent tours to the hotel's guests. A docent leads groups of 12 in tours that focus on the hotel's vast art collection and architecture and highlight the 95-year-old history of the property.

100 E San Francisco St., 982-5511

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