Gallery hopping can make you hungry—but there are only a handful of places to eat on Canyon Road, and not many of them are all that satisfying.
For a caffeine hit, stop in the café at Cruz Studio Jewelry (618 Canyon Rd., 505/986-0644, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily).
Jog off the strip to Downtown Subscription (376 Garcia St., 505/983-3085, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. daily), an airy coffee shop that stocks perhaps a million magazines and attracts potential readers for even the most obscure titles. Wednesday nights occasionally see poetry readings after normal hours.
You can also reenergize with a mug of “elixir”—historically accurate hot chocolate, based on ancient and medieval recipes—at the geekily obsessive (and delicious) Kakawa Chocolate House (1050 E. Paseo de Peralta, 505/982-0388, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.– 8p.m. Fri. and Sat., noon–6 p.m. Sun.). It’s just off Canyon Road, opposite the Gerald Peters gallery.
At the north end of Canyon Road, stalwart El Farol (808 Canyon Rd., 505/983-9912, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–midnight Sun., $8) is a popular bar, but its selection of Spanish tapas is also worth noting—grilled octopus with olive pesto, for instance. You can also take in a bigger meal in a small side room that’s quieter than the main bar; the zarzuela (fish soup) is recommended.
Santa Fe’s two splurgiest restaurants are also on Canyon Road:
- The Compound (653 Canyon Rd., 505/982-4353, noon–2 p.m. Mon.–Sat. and 6–9 p.m. daily, $29) and
- Geronimo (724 Canyon Rd., 505/982-1500, 5:45–9 p.m. daily, $38) puts on a good show, with succulent elk tenderloin and a glitzy clientele. Honestly, there’s far better dining value elsewhere in town, but Geronimo also serves lunch in the summer, and the snug bar with a fireplace is a good place to rest your feet after a Canyon Road cruise.
At the very end of the galleries, The Teahouse (821 Canyon Rd., 505/992-0972, 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, $8) has an only-in-Santa-Fe feel, from its old-adobe setting and its specialized menu (some 13 pages devoted to teas, plus more for organic vittles) to its regular clientele of artists and even the occasional celebrity (Valerie Plame-Wilson, say). Even the service could be euphemistically described as “original Santa Fe” (i.e., “spacey”), but the food is good, and it’s a great place to put your feet up after a long Canyon Road stroll. It’s also open till 10 p.m. on Fridays to serve dessert during and after the gallery openings.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition