BOB: Eats and Drinks
ABC Cake Shop
From ornate, multi-tiered wedding cakes that defy gravity to understated sugar cookies with pure white icing, our readers say satisfying their sweet-teeth is easy as ABC.
Best Restaurant Service, Casual
The operative word here is "efficiency." Frontier Restaurant's service model is so squeaky-clean, they teach it at UNM's Anderson School of Management. Approach the blinking light and be fed, Burque.
Best Restaurant Service, Fine Dining
From start to finish, the crisp and accommodating staff at Artichoke Café (and its lustrous wine bar) makes every meal feel like a special occasion.
Best Produce Selection
Sunflower Farmers Market
Since Sunflower sprouted another location at Lomas and San Mateo, even city dwellers can fill their carts with a rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies.
Best Butcher/Meat Counter
Keller's Farm Stores
Grass-fed, free-range, line-caught, local or organic—choose your adjective and Keller's starts cutting it from a menagerie of Noah's creatures.
Best Specialty Grocery Store
At long last, our very own TJ's! Though not a local business, these quirky grocers sell quality products with challenging flavors on the cheap—with a money-back "We tried it! We liked it!" guarantee.
Best Outdoor Growers' Market
Albuquerque Downtown Market
Why shop at a corporate chain with strawberries flown in from Mexico when you can buy your food straight from the farmer who grew it? The Albuquerque area has plenty of topnotch growers' markets these days, with the Albuquerque Downtown Market voted the finest of them all.
Best Local Winery
As is intuited by the abundance of wine festivals across our state, New Mexico touts a host of great wineries--it makes the whole "drinking local" thing a breeze. Of those, Gruet nabbed top honors, perhaps because its wines possess that magic combination: exceptional quality at very reasonable prices.
Blue Plate Special
"We’ve rolled sushi in a meadow," Blue Plate Special LLC’s owners, Gwen and Scott Clapp, say on their business website. They've also "roasted pig at a winery, fried crab cakes in an Albuquerque alley ... and prepared dinner (for hundreds) in a garage." That can-do attitude won Blue Plate gold for Best Catering.
Valles Caldera Forest Restoration Monitoring at Valles Caldera National Preserve
Head to this national preserve where lead educator Brittney Van Der Werff teaches about forest health, restoration and management.
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