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Oct 19, 2008 11:14 AM

Updated - My Albuquerque Pics

Here is an updated list of my pics in Albuquerque.

These are all places I have eaten at and consider my favorites. I have tried not to include any chains, but a couple of better ones are listed. I hope you can use this info. I probably missed some; I'll come back and add more if I think of them.
$$ means expensive; type of food is indicated if title of restaurant isn't clear; general location given. All are in ABQ proper unless otherwise noted.

Please feel free to add on your favorites!

Local chains with mulitple locations:
Garcia's Kitchen - New Mexican
Little Anita's - New Mexican
Flying Star - coffee, desserts, good food; eclectic
Dions - pizza [best chain]
Papa Johns - pizza
Garduno's - mexican [pretty run of the mill]
Weck's -breakfast
BumbleBee's - on Central in Nob Hill [great roast chicken]

Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen [about 25 minutes north of ABQ] on the way to Santa Fe

Al's NYPD Pizza - downtown
(505) 766-6973
215 Central Ave Nw

Artichoke Cafe $$- eclectic, contemporary American
(505) 243-0200
424 Central Ave SE

Banana Leaf - thai, chinese, vietnamese
355 State Highway 528 SE [in front of Target]
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
(505) 892-6119

Barelas Coffee House - New Mexican Food
(505) 843-7577
1502 4th St SW

Casa de benavidez New Mexican - north valley [ 20 minutes ]
8032 4th St. NW,

Cervantes - New Mexican Food
(505) 262-2253
5801 Gibson Blvd Se [near airport]

Duran's Central Pharmacy New Mexican/SW
[old Town; don't let name fool you]
1815 Central Ave. NW

El Patio New Mexican/SW [Univ area]
142 Harvard St. NE

El Modelo Mexican Foods
(505) 242-1843
1715 2nd St Sw

El Pinto New Mexican [20 minutes north of ABQ; on way to santa Fe]
(505) 898-1771
10500 4th St NW

Frontier - new mexican, across from Univ. of NM
(505) 266-0550
2400 Central Ave SE

Jennifer James 101 [eclectic without pretense]
4615 Menaul Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 884-3860

Il Vicino Wood Oven pizza - Nob hill/University area
[also various locations]
(505) 266-7855
3403 Central Ave NE

La Crepe Michelle - french, in Old Town
(505) 242-1251
400 San Felipe St Nw

La Provence Brasserie {Nob Hill}
3001 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 254-7644

Los Cuates New Mexican
(505) 255-5079
4901 Lomas Blvd NE

Madd Maxx's BBQ
1600 Sara Road [just off 528, near Intel]
Rio Rancho, NM (505) 891-8910

Mykonos {Mountain Run Shopping Center]
5900 Eubank Blvd NE # E18
Albuquerque, NM 87111
(505) 291-1116

Nobb Hill Bar & Grill
3128 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 266-6872

Orchid Thai
4300 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
(505) 265-4047

Pars - mediterranean
(505) 345-5156
4320 25 Way NE [near movie complex at Jefferson & I 25]

Quarters - BBQ [near Airport]
801 Yale Blvd. SE

Ranchers Club $$
ABQ Hilton
1901 University Blvd. NE

Range Cafe - new mexican and american [good]
multiple locations
(505) 293-2633
4200 Wyoming Blvd Ne B2

Rudy's BBQ
(505) 884-4000
2321 Carlisle Blvd Ne

Sadies -New Mexican
(505) 345-5339
6230 4th St NW

Scalo - northern Italian $$ [Nob Hill]
3500 Central Ave. SE

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill $$ [Old Town]
2031 Mountain Rd. NW,

Yanni's - mediterranean/greek [Nob Hill/Univ area]
(505) 268-9250
3109 Central Ave Ne

Rt. 66 Diner [not my favorite, but has it's fans] [west of Univ. area]
1405 Central Ave. NE

Please, add on!

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  1. Deb, there are probably 8 or 10 Vietnamese restaurants scattered about town in Albuquerque. There is a lack of consensus about which is the "BEST", but it is a category that should be favorably mentioned on any Chowhound list for ABQ, at least IMO.

    My 2 current favorites are Cafe Da Lat and Viet Taste.

    Cafe Da Lat
    5615 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

    Viet Taste
    5721 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

    2 Replies
    1. re: rpl

      We have been to Cafe Da Lat; thought it was very good. For some reason, we prefer Thai to Vietnamese. Thanks for the additions!

      1. re: DebitNM

        DebitNM has introduced me to many of these restaurants when visiting ABQ for the Balloon Fiesta. A few of my ABQ favorites are The Range Cafe, Crepe Michel, Il Vicino, Cafe Da Lat (a waiter introduced us to this choice), and Church Street Cafe for the atmosphere.

    2. Since you have such a great knowledge of ABQ cuisine, maybe you can help me.

      I go to a conference every year in downtown which is at the Hyatt. I stay at the Hotel Blue. On the walk from the Hotel Blue to the Hyatt, I've run into a bakery, which I believe is on a walking plaza between streets (it would be a street but it's a nice promenade instead, sort of like Church St. in Burlington, Pearl St. in Boulder, 3rd st. in Santa Monica, etc., but without as much stuff). Anyway, this bakery is French, and has some of the best croissants I've ever had, anywhere. No butter, jam, or anything needed, these are truly the real deal croissants. Do you have any idea?

      Looking at Google Maps, it seems like this place might be on 4th st. north of Central. Or, it could be in between buildings somewhere around the Hyatt. Thanks for any help!

      14 Replies
      1. re: jakecola

        Here you go, Jake - it's between buildings, right next to the Hyatt.

        1. re: Erich

          Yes! That's it. If you haven't been, their almond croissant is one of the single best pastries I've eaten in this country. Pure buttery, almondy bliss.

          1. re: jakecola

            Don't know how I misssed this place; will have to check it out - - I love almond croissants. Thanks.

            1. re: DebitNM

              Ever try Mariscos Altimar on Coors Rd. just south of I-40? I love the place. Also I think Lotaburger is the best tasting chain hamburger in the U.S., I really wouldn't want them to go outside NM, would probably lose something.

              1. re: DebitNM

                Yeah Deb - we went there almost every morning just by chance since it was on our walk to the conference hotel. I remember one day a cowboy was in there buying croissants, and he asked for butter on the side. The very matron-ly owner chided him saying "no, you don't need butter, these are REAL French croissants, they need nothing!" It was a very funny interaction. But yes, these are, to my palate, either the single best or second best French-style pastries I've had in the U.S. (nothing can beat Cafe Besalu in Seattle, the end-of-discussion when it comes to French pastries).

                1. re: jakecola

                  Agree totally and enthusiastically on Cafe Besalu. I'm headed for ABQ today, and look forward to trying La Quiche Parisienne.

                  1. re: Tom Armitage

                    I tried the croissant at La Quiche Parisienne. It was a mini-croissant, since they had sold out of the regular size croissants, but the baker assured me it was the same as the regular croissant, just smaller. All I can say is that it wasn't anywhere close to the croissants at Cafe Besalu. The Cafe Besalu croissants are much lighter, and more delicate, silken, and buttery. I had a chance to chat with the baker at LQP, and he was a very nice guy who seemed very serious about trying to make high-quality pastries and baked goods. But, alas, the LQP croissant just isn't anywhere close to being in the same league as Cafe Besalu.

                    1. re: Tom Armitage

                      Yes, well, although I said Besalu is better, I never said just how much better ;)! It's been a couple of years since I went there (coming to Albuquerque in just a few days, very excited!), but I do remember the almond croissants especially being very good (and a tad on the eggy side).

                      Biting into a Besalu croissant is like realizing that every other croissant you've ever had in life was wrong.

                        1. re: jakecola

                          Got back from ABQ last week - another great weekend of New Mexican food!

                          Went to La Quiche Parisienne again, got their almond croissant one day, and the chocolate almond croissant another day. Both were fantastic, a bit on the eggy side, with a delicious almond cream. The almond chocolate was almost over the top, but was fantastic.

                          Excellent meal had at Garcia's - their posole was outstanding, as was the green chile pork burrito. Their green chile stew, however, was one of the best things I ate while in NM.

                          But the winner of best thing I ate is definitely the Carne Adovada with Eggs from Barelas Coffee House. Thanks to all the CHers who recommended this place - none of the people from our contingent had ever been there, and it blew us all out of the water. The meat, the tasty eggs, the red chile (I usually opt for green, but our waitress assured us that for the adovada, the red was the way to go), and especially the fresh, homemade tortillas. We tried a few of their superb corn tortillas as well.

                          On our last night in NM, we went to a friend's gig in Cedar Crest, and visited his friend's restaurant there called North. Quite tasty, very big portions. The duck was especially outstanding.

                          Our conference that usually brings us to Albuquerque will be in San Antonio next year, so unfortunately there will be no New Mexican food for us next year. Oh well - looking forward to returning in 2012.

                          1. re: jakecola

                            Glad you got a good NM fix while you were in town! You can come back to ABQ, even if you don't have a conference, you know!

                    2. re: jakecola

                      ok, I tried the almond croissant at La Quiche Parisienne. Meh, no go for me. I got a regular sized one. The pastry was more like a danish than a croissant, not flaky and light like I expect a croissant to be, plain or filled.

                      The filling was more like a pastry cream and had little tast of almond. I much prefer something resembling almond paste in both texture and taste.

                      It was worth a try.

                      1. re: DebitNM

                        Yeah, it is really more of an eggy pastry than the light, crunchy, fluffy butteryness that you get from a traditional croissant. I don't know why, but I love their almond croissants. It has an almost French Toast quality (from the egginess) that I just love. Not for everyone, maybe. But at least you tried it!

                2. re: Erich

                  This place has the best tomato soup I've ever had. The Paris Sandwich is extremely good as well. They have just amazing amazing bread and criossant. I used to work next door to them but haven't been back in a long while. Thanks for the reminder--now I know what I'm doing this weekend! Haha!

              2. Just arrived in Albuquerque and, based on this and several other recommendations of Duran's Central Pharmacy, made this my first stop. What did I miss? My wife and I shared a bowl of green (bland, no flavor, no heat, cornstarch-like texture) and stuffed sopapillas (also bland with tasteless yellow cheese -- cheddar? who could tell? -- limp lettuce and tasteless tomatoes. We ordered tacos adovada, but they were out of the adovada. By the time we were informed of this, we had taken some spoonfuls of the green, and decided against substituing some other dish. I love the idea of a small restaurant tucked into a drug store, and had hopes for some exceptionally flavorsome home-style food, but the food truly sucked. My wife had an even more negative reaction and blamed me for wasting a valuable opportunity to enjoy some really good food.. Given the number of times it has been recommended by Chowhounds, I left Duran's totally mystified. Hopefully, Albuquerque has something better to offer that this.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Tom Armitage

                  I am sorry that Duran's was not to your liking. We ate there just a couple of weeks ago, on a cold afternoon. We had a very satisfying bowl of green chile stew [which was spot on for most re: heat for most non-natives palate] and a carne adovada burrito, with tender meat and a nice red, again at a good level for non-nativews.

                  We could have had the chile hotter, we tend to prefer it that way, but this was a good meal that warmed us up, and we left happy.

                  As far as tasteless tomatoes, alas, in dead of winter, that is about all that can be found in NM. Summer brings fresh, local produce which is wonderful.

                  Sorry for wasting your valuable chow time in ABQ....

                  1. re: DebitNM

                    Thanks for your response, Deb. I have a question for you. I've noticed that a lot of places in Albuquerque add crumbled ground beef to their bowls of green. The ground beef added at Duran's, for example, was tasteless and didn't add anything positive to the dish. Pork (e.g., carnitas) would seem to be a much tastier addition for those wanting some meat in their bowl of green. What's up with the ground beef? It reminds me of some of the lesser fast-food joints.

                    1. re: Tom Armitage

                      Not sure, I haven't really ever seen/had ground beef in green chile stew. It is usally just pork, shredded. Perhaps the ground meat was pork?

                2. Nice list. Very long. How about two best places for breakfast, two for dinner (New Mexican), and nice hole in wall for lunch?

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Paris92

                    Most New Mexican places are better for breakfast or lunch; there aren't really any chow worthy NM dinner places. There are chow worthy dinner places, just not NM. That said:

                    Breakfast -
                    Frontier, --it is an ABQ institution.
                    across from Univ. of NM
                    (505) 266-0550
                    2400 Central Ave SE

                    The Grove - really lovely, excellent food.
                    600 Central Avenue se, Suite A
                    Albuquerque New Mexico 87102
                    Closed Monday
                    PHONE 505.248.9800

                    Hole in the Wall Lunch:
                    Madd Maxx's BBQ
                    1600 Sara Road [just off 528, near Intel
                    ]Rio Rancho, NM (505) 891-8910

                    Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen [about 25 minutes north of ABQ] on the way to Santa Fe
                    621 S CAMINO DEL PUEBLO
                    BERNALILLO, NM

                    not quite hole in wall, but Garcia's is good NM food, lots of locations

                    Dinner: NM
                    Sadies -New Mexican
                    (505) 345-5339
                    6230 4th St NW

                    Casa de benavidez New Mexican - north valley [ 20 minutes ]
                    8032 4th St. NW,

                    1. re: DebitNM

                      Great info. Many thanks. I just found out I am stuck out by the airport tonight for dinner. Prob slim pickins around here I assume... Hey, are any of the lunch places listed near the ABQ Uptown shopping mall? I have a meeting there in the morning and will be looking for "authentic" lunch around there.

                      1. re: Paris92

                        Sorry this is too late for last night, Quarter's BBQ is near Airport and has decent food. On Yale.

                        There is a Garcia's not far from Uptown:
                        8515 Indian School NE

                        We had lunch there a few weeks back, nothing fancy but solid food.

                        [There is also a Garduno's in the Winrock Center - not in mall, but in same parking lot, near movie. It is more mexican than new mexican and nothing special -- I would pass it up].

                        Let me think if there is anywhere else.... I'll be back

                        1. re: DebitNM

                          I passed Quarters last night on way to El Patio. Quarters looked interesting... El Patio was OK. I was last served at 9:00 PM. Had rellenos and a green chile enchilada per staff rec. Good, not great. I like the place though. Comfortable hole in the wall. Missed out on Frontier this morning - no time. May try on Sat morning but assume that will mean crowds waiting... Thanks for help so far.

                          1. re: Paris92

                            FYI, in addition to being open early, Frontier is also one of the latest-open restaurants in the city.

                            1. re: Paris92

                              Had a late lunch at El Pinto. Very nice place. Great food and drink also...

                              1. re: Paris92

                                re: Frontier =Actually, since its Sat. it should be less crowded, since there are way less students. It moves fast, not long waits for food and there's lots of table.

                          2. re: DebitNM

                            Just used my GPS and it looks like Frontier is just a few miles from my hotel! I will be there for breakfast! Thanks for the tip...

                            1. re: DebitNM

                              "Most New Mexican places are better for breakfast or lunch; there aren't really any chow worthy NM dinner places. There are chow worthy dinner places, just not NM."

                              Thank you for this list. Very helpful for out-of-towners. Making a 4-day golf trip with buddies there soon & I'm usually the designated food scout.

                              Will definitely try one of your recommended New Mexican dinner places. But what 2 Chow-worthy non-New Mexican dinner places do you recommend for an 8-pack of hungry golfers from Southern California? Mid to high price ok. No Asian joints, as we have plenty in L.A. area. Any steak or other "manly" Chow-worthy places you recommend? Any golf clubhouses known for the food? Help appreciated.

                              Here's where we're playing:

                              UNM Championship GC
                              Santa Ana Golf Club
                              Twin Warriors Golf Club
                              Black Mesa Golf Club
                              Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club

                              Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club
                              1 Club House Dr, Sandia Park, NM 87047

                              1. re: pharmnerd

                                Okay, steak/manly food.

                                Twin Warriors is at Santa Ana - the Corn Maiden restaurant at the Hyatt TamayĆ” there is totally worth a visit. They'll have good steaks and game. I'm not thrilled with the nearby Prairie Star, but lots of folks like it.

                                The Ranchers' Club in the Albuquerque Hilton is good for steaks in a manly setting near UNM. Nothing's really out near Paa-Ko, so this might work for you after that as well. Restaurant Antiquity in Albuquerque's Old Town does good grilled stuff in a neat old adobe as well.

                                The Compound and Geronimo in Santa Fe are probably your best bets for manly steak near Black Mesa.

                                Corn Maiden
                                1300 Tuyuna Trl, Bernalillo, NM

                                1. re: Erich

                                  Awesome. Thanks for the recs. Can't wait to visit ABQ.

                                  1. re: pharmnerd

                                    You picked some good golfing - hope you enjoy your trip and the food. :-)

                                    1. re: Erich

                                      Ok, starting to narrow down our eating list. Probably gonna try Frontier and/or Garcias for sure. Still deciding on a nice place, but probably between Corn Maiden or Rancher's Club, as recommended. May even throw-in an Isotopes game.

                                      I see hit or miss reviews of the following. Anything stand out or missing from the list?

                                      Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen
                                      Barelas Coffee House - New Mexican Food
                                      Cervantes - New Mexican Food
                                      El Patio New Mexican/SW [Univ area]
                                      El Modelo Mexican Foods
                                      El Pinto

                                      Barelas Coffee House
                                      1502 4th St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

                                      Corn Maiden
                                      1300 Tuyuna Trl, Bernalillo, NM

                                      El Pinto
                                      10500 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

                                      1. re: pharmnerd

                                        Mary & Tito's definitely should be on your list. Other favorites of mine are Cecilia's Cafe(hit and miss on some menu items but the only red chile in Albuquerque that can compete with Mary & Tito's), Perea's Tijuana Bar & Restaurant(in Corrales), Padilla's(if they had better red chile, this place might be at the top of my list), Perea's(On Central Ave pretty far east- 9900-ish. Not connected with the other Perea's. Worth going to for the refrieds alone although the rest of their food is pretty decent as well).

                                        Not sure of the hours of those places. Probably should call to make sure for any of them. Most places tend not to be open very late if they're even open for dinner at all.

                                        1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                          Thanks for the recs Chimayo Joe. Can't wait to try the chow down in ABQ.

                                2. re: pharmnerd

                                  Ok, just got back from ABQ. Tried The Frontier, El Pinto and Rio Chama in Santa Fe. Wasn't able to try everything I wanted as we mostly ate at the clubhouses.

                                  The Frontier was a great stop. Felt like a local. Had the Frontier burrito which was ok, not great. Was that ground beef in there? The Carne Adovado burrito was very good/tasty, especially for $2. Best though, was the sweet roll.

                                  El Pinto was cool too. Place was huge & packed, great place for the group. The combo plate was filling and tasty, esp the chili con carne. Didn't blow me away, but no regrets.

                                  Rio Chama in Santa Fe was a good choice, on the pricier side. Tried the NY Strip & Buffalo Ribeye, which didn't disappoint (they better be for almost $50!). Nice laid-back club-y feel to the place.

                                  Overall, was great to try NM's version of Mexican food. Wasn't able to try many of the suggestions, but thanks for the recs.

                                  BTW, the golf courses in ABQ/Santa Fe are AWESOME!

                                  El Pinto
                                  10500 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

                                  Rio Chama
                                  414 Old Santa Fe Trl, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                                3. re: DebitNM

                                  For a "hole in the wall" lunch, try Tickles and Snooks Wings n Things on the corner of Montgomery and San Pedro behind the Ethridge Tire store. Locally owned, 35 flavors of wings, great Philly Cheese steaks too.
                                  Also if in Rio Rancho, O'Hares makes a great Rueben.

                              2. Did I miss Padilla's Mexican Kitchen on N. Girard? Yea okay, the owner might be crabby at times but the grub is good.
                                Debit, I'm moving back to the Alb. area in 6 weeks after a 30+ year absence (When I left there were no homes on 9 mile hill.) This thread shall be my guide.
                                Go Lobos!

                                Padilla's Mexican Kitchen
                                1510 Girard Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  We are flying in Aug 5th and stying for the night in Old Town at a B&B. I want to take my yankee wife for good New Mex food. I'm torn between El Pinto and ...? Are there any good New Mex restos. near the old town square or mainly tourist spots w/ bland food?

                                  El Pinto
                                  10500 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114