Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a box of truffles and a dozen roses. But it’s worth thinking outside the chocolate box every once in a while. Santa Fe is blessed with so many local shops where you can discover something sweet, something pink or something effervescent to put a special twist on your Valentine’s gift-giving. Here are a few suggestions:

Henry and the Fish, which opened in June next to the Lensic Performing Arts Center downtown, already is building a reputation for its signature freshbaked goods, including quiches, cookies, scones and coffee cake. For Valentine’s, owners Kelly and Joe Garcia will be offering two kinds of cupcakes — vanilla raspberry with rose buttercream and chocolate with white chocolate buttercream — decorated with chocolate X’s and O’s (four for $16 or $46 for a dozen), and a mixed box of chocolate-covered strawberries (six for $18).

Want a more personal touch? They’ll personalize a miniature chocolate or vanilla cake for two with your special message on top (proposal plans, anyone?). That’s $18 for a six-inch single-layer cake.

Henry and the Fish is also selling do-it-yourself cookie-decorating kits, with four heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink and red royal icing in icing bags ready for piping and Valentine’s-themed sprinkles.

“It’s just something different and fun,” Joe Garcia said. “It’s a great gift for a child, but adults would have fun, too.”

All the goodies, by the way, come in kraft paper boxes with holiday ribbon. They require about two hours’ notice, but order by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, to pick up by 4 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

While you’re stopping by to pick up or order, try some coffee, a smoothie or specialty drink like the lavender oat milk matcha made with ArtfulTea matcha and Los Poblanos lavender. Or grab a salad, grain bowl, soup, all-day breakfast or Albuquerque’s Van Rixel Bros. gelato from the dipping case.

And soon, the eatery will offer downtown delivery.

(Henry and the Fish: 217 W. San Francisco St.; winter hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 505-995-1191.)

Speaking of ArtfulTea, a tin or two of looseleaf from this Marcy Street shop would make a thoughtful gift for a significant other, co-worker, teacher or other special someone. Owner Karen Gardiner offered several Valentine’s-appropriate choices from among the store’s more than 90 kinds of loose-leaf tea:

  • Summer Romance black and green tea blend ($14 for 4 ounces) features sweet papaya and strawberries intertwined with black and green teas (and a lovely name, to boot).
  • Midnight Rose organic black tea ($14 for 3 ounces) has red rose petals that help create an aromatic, flavorful cup with a sweet, floral character.
  • Rose Petal Raspberry herbal tea ($16 for 3 ounces) is an aromatic blend of fruit and rose petals.
  • Chocolate Strawberry organic herbal tea ($14 for 4 ounces) offers a classic flavor combination with a blend of fruits, flowers and cocoa peels.

(ArtfulTea: 101 W. Marcy St.; open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 505-795-7724;

On the other side of the Plaza down Burro Alley is a jewel-box sized bakery proving big things come in small packages. Pick your sweetheart up a pack of pretty macarons from B&B Bakery. The delicate cookies are $12 for six and $24 for 12 and come in 12 flavors, from green tea and lemon to caramel and hazelnut. A box of red-and-pink raspberry and red velvet macarons would be an especially fetching holiday assortment.

(B&B Bakery: 38 Burro Alley; open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 213-369-1604.)

For a different kind of sweet, stop in at the Santa Fe Honey Salón & Farm Shop, where you can choose from a wide range of local and exotic raw, extra-virgin and unfiltered honeys in flavors including desert wildflower, orange blossom and wild blackberry. Honeys are $15 for 4 ounces, $24 for a half-pint and $45 for a quart.

(Santa Fe Honey Salón & Farm Shop: 554 Juanita St.; open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and by appointment; 505-780-8797;

Honeymoon Brewery has romance built right into the name, so a few bottles of the Santa Fe shop’s hard kombucha would make for a charming gift. They offer four styles in 12-ounce ($5.50) and 17-ounce ($7.99) bottles: Blanco (ginger and lemon), Piedra (stonefruit medley), Cereza Negra (tart cherry) and La Moneda (Himalayan salt, lime and grapefruit).

Honeymoon’s gluten-free kombucha is made from high-quality organic teas and sugars and clocks in at 5 percent alcohol by volume. The bottles are made from 80 percent recycled European glass; bring them back for a 5-cents return so they can be repurposed into votives and drinking glasses with the help of a local glass blower — and then stick around for a date in the elegant taproom.

(HoneyMoon Brewery: 907 W. Alameda St., Unit B, in the Solana Center; taproom open from 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, and to-go-only sales are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 505-303-3139; Bottles also sold at Whole Foods Market and Susan’s Fine Wines & Spirits.)

If you’re looking for a more traditional bubbly, think pink. Justin Pichardo, the manager at Gruet Winery‘s Santa Fe tasting room, recommends Gruet’s Sauvage Rose ($20). It’s a bone-dry pinot noir sparkling rosé made in the méthode Champenoise.

“It is one of our most popular styles and something that pairs great with a variety of foods,” Pichardo said. Expect flavors of wild strawberry and a hint of cherry, complemented by bright acidity.

(Gruet Winery Santa Fe Tasting Room: 210 Don Gaspar Ave., in Hotel St. Francis; open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday; 505-989-9463;

Another pretty-in-pink selection: At Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Co., pick up a bottle of Rosé Condimento Balsamic ($24 for a 375 mL bottle), which is made from the pinot nero (pinot noir) grape variety and offers a bright acidity and soft, subtle aromas of crab apple, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries and wet stone, according to its tasting notes. Then use it to whip up a romantic meal together — make a salad dressing by combining it with the shop’s Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($24) or create a meat marinade by fusing it with Black Truffle Dark Balsamic ($30).

Another rich and romantic option: the Raspberry Dark Balsamic ($24), which blends Italian raspberry purée and a traditional 18-year-style dark balsamic base. Pour it over vanilla ice cream or gelato for a decidedly grown-up indulgence.

The store also carries smaller 60 mL bottles for $10 perfect for mixing and matching into gift sets of two, four or six. Visit the downtown store or the website to order.

(Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Co.: 116 Don Gaspar Ave.; open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; 505-922-1601;

Show what you're thinking about this story

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.