A few coffee snobs I know in Santa Fe will only buy their beans at O’Hori’s Coffee Roasters. There’s a good reason for their snobbery. O’Hori’s, which recently expanded from one to two locations, gathers only the finest Arabica coffee from around the world, much of which is organic, then micro-roasts the beans daily in small batches of 30 pounds or less, so you can order an organic Peruvian for instant gratification, but order a Moka Java Blend bag to go. Tea drinkers have a similar passion for the Tea House on Canyon Road, where canisters of “exceptional teas” from China to India to Sri Lanka line the shelves. The beauty of these cafes and the others listed below is that all you have to do every morning is arrive blurry-eyed and order, because whatever they recommend is going to taste delicious and will jolt you awake in the best possible way. The hardest part is having enough days in your vacation to visit every one of them.
This is number one on the list because the people-watching at this neighborhood café just off Canyon Road is unparalleled. Plus it has a beautiful outdoor patio and the best magazine selection in the city. The coffee and tea menu is extensive, but nothing exceptional.
O’Horis Coffee Roasters
The original location off busy St. Francis has a drive-through window, the perfect place to fuel up for early morning ski runs, long road trips, a big day of shopping, or the trip back to the airport. Its new location on Cerrillos Road a few blocks from the Railyard bustles with casual meetings on weekday mornings, but the laidback waitstaff can get you your jet fuel of choice in a hurry.
The Tea House
Serving everything from matcha to chai to white to green tea, this drafty old building with a beautiful garden patio on the end of Canyon Road’s commercial strip, is the perfect start to the day, especially if you order a Norwegian eggs benedict. Or stop off to recharge with a cowboy chai after a day of gallery hopping.
Dulce Bakery and Dessert Shop
Avoid Dulce if you’re on a diet. The muffins, scones, cupcakes, cookies, danishes, cheesecakes, bread puddings, brownies, cinnamon roles, croissants, and monkey bread—a buttery cinnamon, sugar, raisin, and walnut concoction—are all promptly displayed and impossible to ignore as you place your order. Don’t resist. I recommend the peanut butter, chocolate chunk cookie.
The Parisian flair here is authentic. Co-owner Andrée Falls lived in there for three years. In addition to the French “pain tradition” breads, which are naturally leavened, hand-formed, slowly fermented, and baked directly on the hearth of a French oven, the croissants are so flaky, buttery, and light you can’t waste any time carrying them away. Order a cup of coffee, a chocolate croissant, and eat immediately.