315 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505/986-9190, 315santafe.com
A perennially popular French bistro that serves superb Provençal-inspired fare from white wine-soaked mussels with club fries to duck breast with dried cherries. Book a table or join the serious oenophiles rubbing elbows and bragging about bouquets at the cozy wine bar.
322 Garfield St., 505/995-9595, andiamoonline.com
A little Italian spot that rarely misses. Aptly named for the Italian word that translates as "Let's go," its elegant small dining rooms are awash in color and soft light. Savor the crispy polenta with rosemary and gorgonzola, then try the penne with spicy lamb sausage. Dinner only.
EAT Bobcat Bite Restaurant
420 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 505/983-5319, bobcatbite.com
Although the 1950s-style roadhouse sits on the outskirts of town, its green chile cheeseburgers are world-famous, old-fashioned, and just plain great. The crispy french fries ain't bad, either. While you're waiting for a coveted table or countertop seat at lunch or dinner, look for the bobcats-They're everywhere. Open Wed.-Sat.
EAT Cafe Pasqual's
121 Don Gaspar Ave., 800/722-7672, 505/983-9340 pasquals.com
This festive restaurant with bright Oaxacan paper cutouts and colorful murals looks as good as it tastes. Try the fried yellow-and-blue cornmeal mush at breakfast and the organic chicken mole enchiladas at dinner.
EAT Counter Culture Cafe
930 Baca St., 505/995-1105
Locals love this hip, unpretentious café housed in a former warehouse. Kick off the morning with coffee and sour cream coffee cake, then return at lunch for silky salmon-coconut Thai soup or Vietnamese spring rolls and cold sesame noodles. Heck, even the burgers with haystack fries are a hit. Breakfast and lunch only.
EAT Mu Du Noodles
1494 Cerrillos Rd., 505/983-1411, mudunoodles.com
A sweet, authentic noodle house where regulars know there's truth to the ancient motto "long noodles, long life." At the end of a busy day, there's nothing like Mu's Malaysian laksa, pad thai, or spicy beef jantaboon enjoyed in the colorful dining rooms or on the outdoor garden patio. Dinner only. Closed Sun.
EAT The Plaza Restaurant
54 Lincoln Ave., 505/982-1664
Regulars alternate between New Mexico fare like cashew mole enchiladas and Greek specialties such as gyros. The venerated diner opened in 1918 in the heart of the Plaza. Affordable and affable, it's hopping at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
EAT La Choza
905 Alarid St., 505/982-0909
Reliably good New Mexican chili ladled over authentic enchiladas, tamales, carne adovada, and other staples of the local cuisine. Get the combo plate and try all three. The two dining rooms, brightly painted with flowers, and the charming outdoor patio provide ideal settings for conversation over lunch or dinner. Closed Sun.
SPLURGE Geronimo 724 Canyon Rd., 505/982-1500, geronimorestaurant.com
A Santa Fe culinary star that draws diners seeking sophisticated food. Geronimo Lopez, whose spirit reportedly still hangs around, built the handsome Territorial house in 1756. Perhaps he pines for divine dishes that fuse flavors from around the world, like the mesquite-grilled filet mignon with country ham or the charred salmon with shrimp and smoked jalapeño risotto. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sun. brunch. Closed Mon. lunch.
DRINK Cowgirl Hall of Fame
319 S. Guadalupe St., 505/982-2565
In good weather, the patio at this Western-themed watering hole and restaurant resembles a busy beach in high summer, save for the Stetsons. Live music mingles with the voices of locals and tourists swapping stories and sipping Santa Fe-brewed beers and frozen margaritas. Happy hours and specials include $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon Night on Tues.
DRINK El Farol
808 Canyon Rd., 505/983-9912
A long-standing warm-weather Santa Fe tradition involves a salty margarita and tapas under the portal at El Farol, the oldest bar in Santa Fe. Tired of fresh air? Step into historic adobe rooms, where flamenco dancers shake the floor, guitarists strum Latin music, and old-timers tap their feet.
DRINK The Pink Adobe's Dragon Room Bar
406 Old Santa Fe Trail, 505/983-7712, thepinkadobe.com
A world-famous bar that has showcased true Santa Fe style for decades. Artists, movie stars, government workers, well-heeled tourists, jaded locals, and other regulars toss back Silver Coin and Rosalita margaritas, while listening to live music. A Chinese elm that grows through the roof of the bar has been a quiet witness to the rowdy scene that's been going strong since artist Rosalea Murphy founded the Pink Adobe in 1944.