Because life is sweeter when you eat dessert first. In addition to these recommendations, I also encourage you to visit Clafloutis and Chez Mamou for authentic French pastries, Dolina for global baked goodies and Santacafé has one of the city’s best pastry chefs, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to eat dessert when in Santa Fe. For more details on these additional sweet ideas, see Best Eats.
A friend of mine who comes here annually would always return with a box of chocolates from Kakawa, the city’s top chocolatier. Located on Paseo de Peralta at the curve near Canyon Road, this prime location is easy to find and as hard to forget as their famous chocolates, particularly the chile infused treats.
This popular stop for whatever form of chocolate you crave–chocolate truffles, chocolate candy, chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate elixirs and more–is always humming with chocolate lovers. The interior is puro Mexico with equipale tables and chairs so you can relax and sip hot chocolate and eat chocolate until you are ready to face the world again.
My friend had it right–always take a box of chocolates with you. You can share it, gift it or, depending on the day, eat it all by yourself. Because chocolate makes everything better. And this chocolate is sensational.
I have never met an ice cream I didn’t like. While I prefer to indulge with non-dairy options, it’s hard to pass up a scoop of real ice cream made with organic milk and local ingredients. That’s what makes La Lecheria‘s ice cream so divine. Creamy and not too sweet with perfectly balanced flavors, La Lecheria delivers on their promise of craft ice cream. They have standard, year-round flavors, like classic vanilla, mint chip, chocolate sea salt and Iconik coffee, along with seasonal additions such as citrus basil and ceylon cinnamon brown sugar.
Luckily, they opened the doors to a downtown location on Marcy Street, which means I see more scoops of Iconik coffee ice cream in my future. Bonus is that the new store is located close to the library. More scoops and books for everyone!
Warning: The French Pastry Shop, just off of the Plaza and next to La Fonda Hotel, is definitely a tourist spot, but let’s not judge until we know more about it. Step into this dark and small space filled with tables of customers and you’ll sense perhaps you have stepped back in time and into a place that seems closer to the French Alps than the nation’s oldest capitol.
Right after moving here, we were strolling the Plaza one Sunday afternoon, acting like tourists, when we decided a crepe would give us the extra energy we needed to go back home and continue unpacking.
We asked the waitress which one she recommended and when she said, “Our raspberry crepe is by far the best,” we smiled nodded in agreement. Sometimes you have to ask the staff to lead you to the best dish on the menu and she was right. The raspberry crepe was phenomenal. But, next time, I’ll skip the scoop of ice cream because it is a very cheap variety and seriously detracted from the remarkable raspberry crepe that is worthy of standing alone, no problem.