Jonathan Sims is a media producer and former appointed official at the Pueblo of Acoma. He covers news and writes a column on Indigenous People's issues for The Paper.

In the land of beans and enchiladas, classic American food may not be king, but these places beg to differ. The staples of Sunday football, quick lunches and fancy nights out, this food genre can be found everywhere. In ABQ, these are the people making American Cuisine great again.

BEST WINGS

Frank’s Famous Chicken and Waffles has been serving up homestyle soul food for years in town. This place is a “must visit” for all walks of life; you might even see a few well-known folks there if the pictures on the wall are any confirmation. But next to their legendary Chicken and Waffles stand the wings. An overwhelming vote-getter this year, Frank’s takes home the honor of best wings in the city! Well deserved.

  1. Frank’s Famous Chicken and Waffles
  2. Nexus and Mario’s (tie)
  3. Steel Bender

BEST SANDWICHES

This is not the old bologna and mustard grandma used to make every week. Bocadillos is in a different universe in the sandwich arts. By the looks of her foodie television resume which includes The Great Food Truck Race, Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games and more, Chef is not afraid to mix it up a little. The Duke City Reuben and the Filthy 505 are as the kids say: fire. Nationally recognized, now it is time for you to recognize.

  1. Bocadillos
  2. Guava Tree
  3. Coda Bakery

BEST BBQ

Rudy’s. What more can I say? We have great BBQ in this town, but Rudy’s line on a Sunday says it all. Perennial favorites, they got it down to a science and when they yell your order back to the pit master, it’s like BBQ cherubims singing sweet tangy songs in my ear. Brisket is king, but you have quite a few choices including sausages, turkey and prime rib.

  1. Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q
  2. Powdrell’s
  3. Whole Hog

BEST STEAKHOUSE

Where to take that special someone for a night out in ABQ? Vernon’s Steak House should be at the top of that list. This year they beat out Monte Carlo by a slim margin. But no one beats the vibe at Vernon’s. The speakeasy, old-time style and swanky lounge make it a must-visit! Attempt the Los Ranchos Star, a 20-ounce, regionally raised, center-cut, bone-in beef ribeye if you are up for a challenge. Call for reservations and the password.

  1. Vernon’s Speakeasy & Steak House
  2. Monte Carlo
  3. Seared

BEST APPETIZERS

The food before the food. Bosque Brewing knows how to snack! Alongside some great beer are options like Blistered Shishito Peppers, Chicken Elote Nachos, Beer-battered Cheese Curds, and the NM staple Chile Cheese Fries. You can find this hometown watering hole in nearly every part of town. Visit the website to find one near you!

  1. Bosque Brewing Company 
  2. Artichoke
  3. Seasons Rotisserie and Grill

BEST VEGAN

Not a carnivore? No problem! Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Cafe takes this year’s top Vegan spot for the 2nd year in a row with a wide array of home-roasted spices that serve as the foundation for Traditional Pakistani/Indian dishes with a New Mexican twist. The samosas here are magical.

  1. Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Cafe
  2. Tikka Spice
  3. The Acre