Dec 30, 2023

Best of Santa Fe 2023

1. Broken Spoke

“We’ve got what I think is a pretty no-brainer philosophy,” Broken Spoke owner Mike Chapman says of his shop’s win, “which is to be nice to people.” Bicycling comes with so much information, and Chapman says many bike shops have trained customers to feel judged by the brands they ride or the questions they ask. “The goal from the get-go was to create an inclusive environment,” Chapman adds. “Nobody’s going to be judged.”

1426 Cerrillos Road, (505) 992-3102

2. rob and charlie’s

We’re comfortable calling rob and charlie’s iconic, and for many Santa Feans, it’s been a go-to shop for sales and service since as far back as they can remember. You can score a skateboard over there, too.

1632 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 471-9119

3. Mellow Velo

From new and used products to a helpful staff full of folks who love biking as much as you do, the shop that David Bell built has remained a consistently popular Plaza-adjacent stop for locals looking to up their bicycle game.

132 E. Marcy St., (505) 982-8986

1. Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse

“It isn’t just us,” Collected Works owner Dorothy Massey explains. “Collected Works, which happens to be the oldest and biggest and, we think, best, is part of a literary community. There are 18 bookstores in Santa Fe currently functioning, and I think it’s a positive sign of extraordinary support.” Indeed, Collected Works has been an inextricably Santa Fean institution for 43 years through readings, stocked shelves, special orders and a nice cup of mud. It’s a cool hang, too.

202 Galisteo St., (505) 988-4226

2. Garcia Street Books

What it lacks in shop size, Garcia Street Books more than makes up with personal customer service, odds and ends you won’t find elsewhere, an excellent returning customer program and extremely friendly staff. The , store even stocks comics such as Tintin and Asterix!

376 Garcia St., Ste. B, (505) 986-0151

3. op.cit. books

This one’s for the browsers who long to experience the tactile sensation of books—the smells and sights that come from searching the racks and piles for that perfect lesser-known tome or newly released bestseller. Make a day of it. Go wild.

DeVargas Center, 157 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 428-0321

1. Honda Subaru of Santa Fe

OK, so Hondas are universally agreed to be a long-lasting and reliable brand, while Subarus somehow became the official car of Santa Fe—this place has what you need, then. Perhaps it’s about driving up the mountain for your next ski excursion or simply surviving the endless waves of potholes and construction that all drivers encounter. Whatever your reasons, SFR’s readers say this place is tops.

7511 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-7007

2. Toyota of Santa Fe

This Midtown beacon of automotive glory spans a healthy chunk of St. Michael’s Drive as a one-stop shop for new and used cars, mechanic work and more. It’s also conveniently located no matter where in town you hang your hat. The moral? If you like Toyotas, you will like Toyota of Santa Fe.

1601 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 395-2996

3. Great Little Cars

This locally owned lot has been slingin’ used cars since 1995 and places regularly in the Best of Santa Fe polls. Maybe it’s the online shopping or the confidence that you’ll get a fair trade or deal? The locals love ‘em!

500 W Cordova Road, (505) 992-8122

1. Double Take

For those keeping track, this marks another first-place win for the long-lived downtown thrift, consignment and lovingly used clothing shop that takes up a whole block on Guadalupe and Aztec streets. From everyday fits to vintage and new, cowboy clothes and even the kind of items you could wear to a formal event, the curation at Double Take is top-notch.

320 Aztec St., (505) 989-8886

2. The Raven

Do you collect shiny things, too? The Raven’s treasure trove is all about beautifying your world, from home decor, furniture, lighting and beyond. Put together a statement room, gussy up your apartment or happily funkify your surroundings.

1225 Cerrillos Road, (505) 988-4775

3. Stephen’s A Consignment Gallery

Perhaps one of the more storied shops in our fair burg, Stephen’s keeps on trucking along with items that land across the affordability spectrum and a dedication to cool stuff. Furniture, timepieces, homewares, ephemera, estate sales and more—if you want it, they probably have it.

2701 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-0802

1. Las Cosas Kitchen Shoppe

We’ve all been in a position wherein a melon baller would have saved our lives, and here’s where to find one. Thank the Walker family, who own the place and provide upscale brands and fancy coffee gear, but also affordable items and kitchen gadgets, plus classes with chef Johnny Vee and, at last count, nearly a solid decade of first-place wins.

DeVargas Center, 181 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 988-3394

2. Kitchenality

The shop run by nonprofit Kitchen Angels levels the playing field in almost all ways—price among them—while also boasting kitchen items, books and more you might not find at shops that just sell new products. Plus, there’s the benefit of helping out an org that feeds our homebound neighbors.

1222 Siler Road, (505) 471-7780

3. Santa Fe School of Cooking

Oh, the school has classes, for sure, but also the tools, books and online presence to turn your budding interest in the culinary arts into a full-blown passion. Or maybe you just want to eat? SFSC offers tours, special events and even live jazz.

125 N. Guadalupe St., (505) 983-4511

1. Artisan

If you’re into making art for business or pleasure, chances are you’ll find yourself in Artisan sooner or later. Whatever your preferred media, they’ve got you covered, as they have since 1975. You’ll also find classes and special events, plus a frequent shopper rewards program, special deals and a staff that understands that for Santa Fe to remain an art town, everybody has to start someplace. Oh, and say hi to their snake, Delphino. Dude’s famous!

2601 Cerrillos Road, (505) 954-4179

2. Santa Fe Quilting

Shelves here feature bolts and bolts of the best fabrics for the serious quilters in the city and those just dipping in their toes. Looking for batiks in a range of colors? A print with chile peppers? Santa Fe Quilting has both, and lots more.

3018-A Cielo Court, (505) 473-3747

3. Looking Glass Yarn and Gifts

Fiber artists have exploded in popularity in recent years—not that they weren’t always around—and that means a rush on yarn like you wouldn’t believe. For Santa Fe yarn faithful, Looking Glass has the goods in more styles and colors than you can begin to imagine.

1807 Second St., #2, (505) 995-9649

1. Barton’s Flowers

Owners Kristin Sargent and Justin Svetnicka take the top prize again this year, and we think we know why: They’re nice people, yeah, but they embody the idea that local is better through custom design that the big guys just can’t match. 1-800-FLOWERS? More like 1-800 reasons to ditch the faceless flower corporatocracy for people you can develop a relationship with. All that’s left is to impress the giftee with gorgeous arrangements.

1722 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 982-9731

2. Amanda’s Flowers

We’ve heard the term “floral sculpture” thrown around by people discussing Amanda’s, and that just goes to show their experienced florists are on a whole other level.

1610 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 473-9212

3. Artichokes & Pomegranates

While the name actually makes us kind of hungry, this shop’s farmer-direct mission makes for beautiful (and technically edible, in some cases) designs that can do anything from setting the vibe at a wedding to brightening someone’s day. We love how long these arrangements can stay alive, too.

418 Cerrillos Road, (505) 820-0044

1. Agua Fría Nursery

Things don’t last in Santa Fe if they don’t get the vibe, which makes this stalwart nursery from the Pennington family a real winner. Since 1975, Agua Fría has been committed to zshushing up yards and homes of any size, and its employees help locals do that with a special emphasis on perennials, shrubs and succulents that can thrive in the weird Santa Fe soil.

1409 Agua Fría St., (505) 983-4831

2. Payne’s Nurseries

Make the most of your yard or garden with a trip to one (or both) of the Payne’s locations. Step into the greenhouse or cruise the famed soil yard to ask the nice staff about what to do.

304 Camino Alire, (505) 988-8011, 715 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 988-9626

3. Newman’s Nursery

The green thumbs can go wild at Newman’s, whether they need some accent plants or a tree that will live long and prosper. Enjoy that nursery smell and plot out your next project with these longtime locals. We’re pretty sure they can help the black thumbs, too.

7501 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-8642

The Ark Bookstore (Kelli Johansen)

1. Doodlet’s

Longtime fan Lisa Young took over this downtown shop full of kitsch, brick-a-brack and toys and such in 2010, but she’s kept the best parts—the tongue-in-cheek, the oddly fun, the intriguingly educational items that simply scream, “Buy this for someone you love!” We like the folk art offerings at Doodlet’s but would be lying if we said we hadn’t bought the odd action figure, experiment, ornament, knick-knack or, in one case, a pen that revealed a naked lady when you flipped it over.

120 Don Gaspar Ave., (505) 983-3771

2. The Ark Bookstore

Namaste, seekers and shoppers. The Ark Bookstore has candles, crystals, incense, blank journals and other gift ideas. Find books for self-help or spirituality and, on Wednesdays and Fridays, tarot readers with intuitive answers.

133 Romero St., (505) 988-3709

3. Hecho a Mano

Though galleriest Frank Rose expanded his empire to Palace Avenue with his Hecho Gallery space, he’s still killing it over on Canyon Road with prints, ceramics, jewelry and special shows featuring printmakers, illustrators, painters and so on. We even bought a dope Frida Kahlo tee at Hecho a Mano once.

830 Canyon Road, (505) 916-1341

1. La Montañita Co-op

True story, we’ve taken to picking up pre-made breakfast burritos from La Montañita any morning we can get it together, and they’re amazing. Think of them like a microcosm of the store itself, too: local food made well and worth the itty-bitty premium that comes from the unmatched level of quality. Visit the co-op for killer veggies and fruit, too, or even just a nice frosty drink on a hot day. Don’t forget the vitamins!

913 W. Alameda St., (505) 984-2852

2. Kaune’s Neighborhood Market

An old-fashioned neighborhood grocer with new-school aesthetics and a top-notch butchery means Kaune’s is the perfect spot to swing by for a nice bit of fruit or specialty item. It still smells the same in there, too, which for old-school Santa Feans really means something.

511 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 982-2629

3. El Paisano

Paisano has a shiny and new ultra-mart on the Southside now, but its original location down Cerrillos Road remains a puro Santa Fe staple for Mexican foods, Latin fare, quality meats, cooking gear and, in case you didn’t know, piñatas. The taquería inside is amazing, too.

3140 Cerrillos Road, #D, (505) 424-9105

1. Big Jo True Value Hardware

Owner Rick C de Baca has presided over this locals’ favorite hardware shop for 40 years and attributes his longevity to his hardworking staff. Check out the years of Best of Santa Fe banners on the wall. Of course, picking up that hardware item you need without further lining the pockets of the chains feels nice, too, and summertime heralds hot dog guy Armando Pacheco in the parking lot and the occasional community bake sale.

1311 Siler Road, (505) 473-2255

2. Ace Hardware of Santa Fe

Everything you need for that home/electrical/automotive project under one roof, plus a knowledgeable staff with whom you may schedule an appointment to gain some extra perspective. It’s right there in Midtown, too, which means easy access.

2006 Cerrillos Road, Ste. 1, (505) 424-9343

3. Eldorado True Value

Our Eldorado neighbors don’t even have to drive to town for hardware items, but this iteration of the True Value brand also boasts stuff for chickens (a real hot button issue out there) and a staff that just wants to help you finish whatever project you’ve taken on.

7 Caliente Road, Eldorado, (505) 466-6522

1. The Raven

We’ve seen workers outside shuffling about the furniture, antiques and other beautiful pieces at The Raven, and they’ve induced daydreams about how we can create fancy and fun spaces. Owner Kateryna VanHeisch says she has fit something like 20,000 square feet of goods into an 11,000-square-foot space on Cerrillos Road, and it doesn’t matter where your budget lands, if you just really need some piece to decorate your life.

1225 Cerrillos Road, (505) 988-4775

2. Metamorphosis

Home staging and interior design? Dang, the minds at Metamorphosis must have a real eye for beautifying the world. Seek inspiration on themes that range from Southwestern flair and classic sophistication to funky spaces, desert oases and whatever else they can dream up.

3005 S. St. Francis Drive, Unit 2A, (505) 471-3900

3. La Casa Fina

Head downtown to start your journey to a glorious new life of antique and consignment furnishings and homewares. La Casa Fina’s name says it all, really, and owner Seva Khalsa is prepared to show you the good stuff, from foreign wares and that excellent accent piece to the kind of door that will make your friends green with envy.

312 Sandoval St., (505) 780-5298

1. Santa Fe Goldworks

David Griego continues to top this list with his specialty custom designs and homage to Northern New Mexico—and he’s been wowing jewelry aficionados since 1972. If you’re looking for a showstopper featuring diamonds, turquoise, coral, opal…well, it’s a long list, and each piece seems more beautiful than the last. Even better? Griego’s Plaza shop is one of those places that keeps Santa Fe feeling local. Don’t you just love a hometown-hero-does-good story?

60 E. San Francisco St., Ste. 218, (505) 983-4562

2. James Kallas Jewelers

From diamonds to gold, silver, turquoise and so much more, James Kallas has more than two decades of experience when it comes to working with the finer things. Find repair or customization; find the kind of items to seal that proposal or get you out of the doghouse. At the very least, consider treating yourself.

2801 Rodeo Road, Ste. B10, (505) 986-1955

3. Reflective Jewelry

With the words “radically ethical” lighting up this local shop’s mission, you can be certain you’re not only getting a stunning piece for any occasion, but you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t hurt people. Where your jewelry comes from is something worth knowing, and the folks at Reflective take that seriously.

912 Baca St., (505) 988-7393

1. Red River Mercantile

Dudes of the world can’t always find fashionable items with ease, but downtown Santa Fe’s Red River Mercantile takes the trials and tribulations out of the equation. A destination experience for many styles and budgets, men who care can find clothing for everyday wear, special occasions, work, parties—you name it. If ever you’ve wondered how to up your sartorial game, this is a great place to start.

235 Don Gaspar Ave., (505) 992-1233

2. Corsini

The sort of elegant menswear you’ll find at Corsini more than answers how the shop has managed to stay afloat just off the Plaza all these year. This one’s a mainstay, folks, which obviously means it has built a trusting clientele through its quality inventory and practices. Don’t look for a website, just get here to look good.

107 W. San Francisco St., (505) 820-2300

3. Parts Unknown

The Parts Unknown slogan about the shop being a fashion adventure rings pretty true as far as we can tell. This one’s for the fellas who want to keep it casual but still totally fly. Whether that means boots or hats or even just an upscale shirt is up to you—you’ll have to begin your adventure to hash it out.

123 W. San Francisco St., (505) 983-9298

1. Botwin Eye Group | Oculus

We dare you to take to your social media accounts in search of a local optical shop without all your friends and acquaintances mentioning Botwin. Not only can you get your eyeball health checked out through this local biz, you can find rare, fashionable and sometimes artsy frames to go with that new prescription. If you spend much of your time in glasses, shouldn’t you think about how you’re going to look? Don’t worry, though. They’ve got you.

125 W. Water St., (505) 982-2020, 444 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 438-2020

2. Eye Associates of New Mexico

If it’s custom eyewear you need from a business you know is local, Eye Associates has the goods. Finding the perfect frames is no easy feat, but with a staggering selection of products and a helpful staff who just wants you to look your best, you’re bound to find something.

2947 Rodeo Park Drive, (505) 983-6613

3. Ojo Optique

This one’s for the artsy, the bold, the adventurous. Ojo’s the shop you visit when you’re ready to take things up a notch, or even if you just want a fancy new pair of glasses for special occasions. Don’t think about it too hard, though; go ahead and splurge. Live a little.

125 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 114, (505) 988-4444

Atalaya Outfitters (Kelli Johansen)

1. Santa Fe Trail Outfitters

Have you arrived at the Plaza with a plan to gear up for a nature experience in Santa Fe? Need to prepare for your next global excursion? Nick and Audrey Salazar launched the business after the pandemic and have loyal patrons for their top outdoor brands including SmartWool, Cotopaxi, Prana, Hydroflask and Oakley. Regular donors to The Food Depot, the Salazars believe in giving back.

110 W. San Francisco St., (505) 470-3573

2. Alpine Sports

Whether you’re looking for a new pair of ski boots so you can make better turns or need a tuneup for your old skis, Alpine is the place to start. It’s been specializing in camping, climbing and winter sports apparel for 50 years.

541 W. Cordova, (505) 983-5155

3. Atalaya Outfitters

Consigned outdoor gear can save the pocketbook and maybe a little bit of the planet too. Atalaya Outfitters started as an online-only affair but branched out to an in-person shop rapidly. It’s open not just for shopping, but for unloading your gently used stuff as well.

142 Daniel St., (505) 819-3615

1. On Your Feet

You know when you hit that point where you’re suddenly thinking Danskos would be a good idea? Looking for cute rubber rain boots? Enter On Your Feet, as legendary as a local shoe store can be. They stock more than comfy shoes, too, though, such as cool socks (we bought a shark pair!), laces, hats and bags, plus regular sales with good deals.

DeVargas Center, 189 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 780-8997, 328 S. Guadalupe St., (505) 983-3900

2. The Running Hub

Joggers, sprinters and distance runners are just as welcome here as those who seek everyday sneaker comfort. Step in style with this shop specifically designed for those who like putting one foot in front of the other at a decent pace.

1100 Don Diego Ave., (505) 820-2523

3. Goler Fine Imported Shoes

For the stylish, the fashionable, the people who like to make a statement with every piece of their attire. Goler’s inventory is second to none when it comes to something artful, fun or bold.

125 E. Palace Ave., (505) 982-0924

1. Double Take

While it can be fun to scour a thrift shop for special items, Double Take’s curated take on gently used clothing, jewelry, hats, footwear and so much more takes care of the heavy lifting for you. Western shirts with snaps? Leather belts with fancy buckles? Check and check.

320 Aztec St., (505) 989-8886

2. Parts Unknown

Think well-fitting Scully leather jackets and skirts that have a Western vibe but don’t scream cowgirl drag. Or, if you’re down with cosplay (even just on your feet), here’s where you can score glitzy pointy boots by Old Gringo.

123 W. San Francisco St., (505) 983-9298

3. Kowboyz

Though the days of hipsters in Western wear seems to have abated some, there’s still a market out there for snap-button Wranglers with cool patterns and cooler accouterments (gold thread, anyone?). Bonus? Kowboyz is crazy affordable and also fun for gifts.

345 W. Manhattan Ave., (505) 984-1256

1. Double Take

Who doesn’t love a good vintage piece or carefully selected coat/pair of shoes/shirt/etc.? Double Take’s employees have an eye for the best stuff, so you can be sure you’re in good hands when throwing together that ensemble. Did we mention the Western wear, boots, belts and accessories? And everything’s updated pretty much always, so go wild.

320 Aztec St., (505) 989-8886

2. Sign of the Pampered Maiden

One deserves to be pampered from time to time, and this downright iconic local shop knows what to do to make that happen. She’s still downtown, and still here for you—you’re gonna look good, we know that.

209 Galisteo St., (505) 982-5948

3. WearAbouts

A contemporary boutique for the discerning Santa Fe lady, WearAbouts has helped you wear it about since 1986. Shops don’t generally stay open for so many years without good products and good service, right? Right. Go browse.

101 W. Marcy St., Ste. 3, (505) 982-1399