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Best of Santa Fe


July 22, 2009, 12:00 am

If you’re wondering who the rockin’ folks are on the cover of this year’s Best Of Santa Fe, you clearly need to get out more. Stephanie Hatfield & Hot Mess (Jason Aspeslet, Mathiew McClinton and Bill Palmer) won over the city this year—and triumphed with readers in the Best New Band category.

Of course, the “new” categories in Best Of are, in some ways, the most exciting—be sure to check out which eatery emerged as Best New Restaurant, as well as numerous new categories—and winners—in Santa Fe’s thriving music community.

Of course, we like the oldies, as well—but even there you’ll find some upsets (Best Breakfast Burrito, anyone?). And speaking of upsets, it seems our Best Of competition isn’t the only political race in which every vote counts—the correlation between Gov. Bill Richardson’s slide to second place for Best Politician and readers’ pick for Best Political Scandal seems telling.

The massive participation in this year’s contest made for some interesting results. And the huge turnout for last year’s Best Of party convinced us to, once again, invite the whole city, not just the winners, to come and celebrate. Please join us from 6 to 9 pm tonight, Wednesday, July 22, at Fusion, 135 W. Palace Ave. (the party will include music by this year’s Best DJ, Automatic).

As always, the winners were picked entirely by you, the readers, who voted online in force earlier this spring. Of course, we did throw in a few of our own picks for Best Stuff—you’ll find those at the end.
—Julia Goldberg

Check out the full digital edition of the Santa Fe Reporter's BEST OF SANTA FE 2009 edition using the link below, or scroll down to search for individual categories.

Having trouble with the link for the digital edition? Click HERE.

Want to check out photos of you and your friends from the Best Of 2009 Party? Click HERE.

Local Living

Best New Mexico Politician—In Other Words, One Who Is Not Yet Indicted

Best City Councilor, Even If You Don’t Live in His or Her District

Best Local Political Scandal…It’s Hard to Just Pick One, Isn’t It?

Best Local Nonprofit Struggling Though These Hard Times

Best Youth Program for the Future Adults Among Us

Best Local Nonprofit for Animals (of the Non-Human Variety)

Best Local Environmental Group Because We Want to Make What’s Left Last

Best Public Space (For Those Times You’re Off MySpace)

Best Community Event/Festival When We Want to Come Together

Best Local Online News Site/Blog Site Seeing As How Resistance to the Internet Is Futile

Best Local Radio Show Worth Unplugging the iPod For

Best Place to Read the Reporter—Not That There’s a Bad Place

Best Place for Free Wi-Fi, Assuming You’re Not Afraid of It

Arts & Entertainment

Best Art Events—From Gallery Openings to Live Installations

Best Art Space—No Matter What Color the Walls Are

Best Locally Authored Book of the Year Because You Can’t Read a Book on Facebook…Yet

Best Place to See a Movie—And You Can’t Vote for Your Computer.

Best Local Theater Group Because You Like Live Drama

Best Museum For Locals and Visitors Alike

Best Bar for Live Music—Let’s Hope Music and Cocktails Are Recession-Proof.

Best Alternative Music Venue (As In, Not a Bar)

Best Place to Dance—You Know You’ve Got Moves.

Best Club/Live DJ When You’re Ready to Shake It

Best New Band (Yes, Write-Ins Can Win!)

Best Experimental Band (Even if You Hate the Word “Experimental”)

Best Drummer, ’Cuz You’ve Got the Beat

Best Songwriter—Can’t Have Songs Without ’Em

Best Female Vocalist—Hey Ladies!

Best Male Vocalist: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Best Rock Band—For Those About to Rock

Best Country or Alt.Country Band, Because Sometimes You’re a Little Bit Country

Best Place for Karaoke—C’mon, Everybody’s Doing It.

Best Live Music Series That Keeps You Coming Back for More

Best Local CD of the Last Year—Because Music Makes the World Go Round


Best Independent Bookstore for New and/or Used Books…Because We Still Love Books

Best Local Place to Rent Movies—We Called Them Video Stores in the 20th Century.

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store for Outfitting Your Inner/Outer Fashionista

Best Local Men’s Clothing Store for Boys to Men

Best Local Liquor Store (Don’t Drink and Drive, Please.)

Best Consignment / Vintage / Thrift Shop—What Comes Around, Goes Around

Best Store for Children—No Kidding

Best Shoe Store for All Your Little Piggies

Best Plant Nursery Because Plants Help Create Oxygen, Really, They Do

Best Local Pet Supply Store/Service—to Keep Fido Clean, Fed and Spoiled

Best Shop for Snowboarders Where You Never Get Blindsided

Best Shop for Skiers to Keep Them on Their Stride

Best Shop for Bicyclists When You’re Ready to Ride

Best Local Hardware Store for Adventures in DIY


Best Bartender—(Write ’Em in Folks!)

Best Spot for Happy Hour—Nothing’s Happier Than a Good Deal.

Best Waitstaff—They Deserve Your 20 Percent

Best Hair Salon for Your Tresses and Braids

Best Manicure and Pedicure for Taking Care of Your Digits

Best Tattoo Parlor If You’ve Still Got Some Bare Skin

Best Yoga Studio for Your Morning Sun Salutation

Best Pilates to Bring Out Your Lean Mean Machine

Best Place for a Massage…Did Someone Just Say Massage?

Best Workout Facility for the Pain/Gain Continuum

Best Auto Repair—Because Buying a Car Isn’t Feasible Right Now

Best Local Computer Service and Repair (Can You Just Put the Chips in Our Brains Already?)

Best Bank, Credit Union or Savings and Loan (As In, Not Out of Business)

Best Roofing Company…Stupid Flat Roofs

Best Art Framing for Your Priceless Treasures


Best New Restaurant: Welcome!

Best Food Cart/Truck, No Matter the Season

Best New Mexican Restaurant, Whether You Want Rellenos or Tamales

Best Red Chile Because Red Is the Best

Best Green Chile Because Green Is the Best

Best Breakfast Burrito…Is It Time To Go Back To Bed Yet?

Best Spot for Sunday Breakfast or Brunch—The Best Part of Sundays

Best Mexican Restaurant for Comer Delicioso

Best Fish Tacos, Corn or Flour

Best French Restaurant, Merci Beaucoup

Best Italian Restaurant: Delizioso!

Best Sushi ’Cuz That’s How We Roll

Best Ethnic Restaurant for All Types of Cuisines

Best Restaurant for Vegetarians, Who Don’t Just Eat Vegetables, You Know

Best Place to Order a Steak (As In, Not the Best Place for Vegetarians)

Best Seafood (Yes, We Know It’s the Desert)

Best Sandwiches…There Can Never Be Enough Sandwiches.

Best Local Pizza (Extra Green Chile on That, Please)

Best Local Affordable Dining—Every Penny Counts.

Best Dessert—Forget the Entrées!

Best Food Store, Be It Specialty or General

Best Wine List for Those Amateur (or Professional) Sommeliers

Best Margarita—Our State Cocktail!

Best Cocktails in General (Cause When You Say “Dirty,” It’s Dirty!)

Best Locally Brewed Beer—Give It Up for the Hometown Cerveza!

Best Local Independent Coffee/Tea House Because Caffeine Is the One Drug We’ll Never Give Up

Best Food Event in Santa Fe (Although There’s Always Room for More)

Staff Picks

Best Celebrity Explosion (Dave Maass)

Best Problem to Fix Now Because Children Are Our Future and Because It’s Only Fun to Be Near Mississippi on Some Lists (Rani Molla)

Best Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens that Can Change New Mexico (Zane Fischer)

Best Way to Beat the Bus (Corey Pein)

Best Now-Defunct College from Which I Have a Diploma
(Charlotte Jusinski)




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