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Good Eats in Albuquerque?

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The company I work for is opening a regional office there and will be moving 100+ jobs, mostly appealing to those in the 20-30 something age range.

I was wondering if there are certain areas or clusters of nosh-friendly places (not chains) that would appeal to this demographic? I'm not looking for a list of the best places to eat in ABQ, but simply the best places for a decent meal, bev, social situation, etc. for people who'd live there every day. Know what I mean? Not the 3 places to try with an expense account. More like the 3 places you'd go any night of the week, regardless, to eat/drink/mingle.

Some of them will be coming from LA, San Fran, etc., so they are used to Thai, Indian, Japanese, etc. They'll also love N.M. and other Mexican influeced foods.

Any suggestions? Any parts of town where they might want to set up camp based on this? Thanks.

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  1. Not being contrarian but it will be important before really responding to have a sense for where this office might be located as that will be a factor.

    And, sadly, it will be impossible to totally eliminate some locations for some national chains. Thinking of Pappadeaux alongside I-25 just north of I-40. Decent to very good food/excellent ambience/vibe.

    1. Obviously logistics is an issue. But if you've got the transpo together you might want to consider Sadie's. Generous portions of solid and sometimes excellent New Mex Mex, in a space big enough for you to do it in.

      1. The Nob Hill area on Central Avenue between Girard and Washington has a concentration of diverse restaurants and bars. I'll mention a few that I've enjoyed.

        - Bumblebee Baja Grill has tasty burritos and a great fresh salsa bar. You order at the counter and can choose from lamb, steak, chicken or mahi mahi in your burrito and then you choose the burrito fillings. My favorite is bumblebee style with grilled onions and green peppers, roasted tomato salsa and guacamole. Burritos run you about $8-9. Their food might be described as "Fresh-Mex". It's definitely not New Mexican.

        -Shogun is a Japanese restaurant with a fun sushi bar vibe. My husband likes their sushi and finds it to be fresh and usually the pieces are generously sized. I like the bento box meals Dinner for two with drinks usually runs us about $50

        -Crazy Fish is a newer sushi bar nearby. Our meals there have been good. They have some creative rolls. Dinner for two runs about $50 too.

        -Gecko's is a bar located in the little shopping area next to the La Montanita grocery co-op. They have good reasonably priced bar food. Their hamburgers, while not the best in town, are usually pretty good. They have a tapas menu that changes a few times a year. The restaurant has a pleasant outdoor patio to sit at during the warmer times of the year. The bar is a nice place to go for a casual drink and meal.
        -Vivace is a casual Italian restaurant with about 20 different kinds of pasta dishes on the menu. Dinner entrees (including soup or salad) range in price from about $10- $18 dollars. We've always enjoyed our meals here.
        -Gulp is the bar which is part of the restaurant Graze. The bar is a bit more upscale than some in the area but I've really enjoyed their creative drinks. They make a drink similar to a mojito but it has basil instead of mint. It might sound funky but it's really good. They have a bar menu with a "Burger of the Day". I had a lamb burger once which was amazing.

        Other places in Nob Hill that are popular.
        -Scalo is an upscale Italian restaurant with a popular bar in the back of the restaurant.
        -Zinc is another popular upscale restaurant with an eclectic menu. They have a bar in the basement that serves interesting bar food.
        -Graze is an upscale restaurant that serves eclectic food. Part of the dining concept is small plates of food meant to be shared. Gulp, their bar, I mentioned above.
        -Flying Star Cafe is a restaurant and coffee shop locally owned with branches thoughout the city. They have a great variety of fresh pastries. This place is always packed from breakfast in the morning to the coffee/pastry crowd late at night.
        -Thai Orchid is a Thai restaurant on the east end of Nob Hill with good fresh food.
        -Kelly's is a bar and restaurant that brews its own beer. They have a huge outdoor patio right on Central Avenue that is always packed.

        For New Mexican food, there doesn't seem to be much worth mentioning in Nob Hill. A place called El Patio near the University on Harvard has been my place of choice. Good, hot red chile. Among the best carne adovada in town.

        This is just a sampling of what Nob Hill has to offer. Once you're parked in Nob Hill, all of these places (with the exception of Thai Orchid and El Patio near the University) are within walking distance of each other.

        There are other areas of town with a concentration of restaurants but Nob Hill is my favorite for the variety of casual choices.

        I hope this was helpful.

        1. Thanks. We don't yet know where the building will be, but the Nob Hill suggestions are just the type of cluster I would vote for being near.