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Any rec's for Albuquerque and Santa Fe New Mexico??

Hope it's ok to ask, but if anyone can suggest restaurants in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, I would appreciate it. Thanks

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  1. There are lots of suggestions on here, here are some of mine and some favorites threads by others:




    As suggested, type in the city names in the search and you will find lots of ideas.

    Happy eating and enjoy our fine state.


    1. If you will be there for a few days try lottaburger, they are all over NM, but only in NM. I think they are the best small chain burger in the US. Get the green chili cheeseburger.


      1 Reply
      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

        Yeah, LotaBurger is great for fast food. Get a cherry shake...you will ever drink another shake ever again!
        And definately a green chili cheeseburger...........yummy!

      2. Near Old Town in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque I like Barelas Coffee House for carne adovada and eggs. My dad eats the menudo almost exclusively. If you get up to Corrales (along the river near Rio Rancho) try Perea's, which is housed in an historic adobe building and has been well reviewed for authentic New Mexican cusine such as carne adovada, green chili stew, posole and sopapilla's.

        3 Replies
        1. re: klsalas

          Menudo is not for the faint hearted! Barelas Coffee House is indeed very good and has a very "local" feel to it.

          1. re: klsalas

            When my husband and I were staying in a B&B in Corrales several years ago, we ate twice at the Indigo Crow Cafe and enjoyed both visits. It's somewhat upscale and a little expensive by New Mexico standards but worth a try. Actually, we had planned to go to Pereas for our second meal but in a refreshingly non-commercial spirit the owners had "Gone Fishing." I'm sorry we missed the chance to sample their food but more power to them for choosing to spend a beautiful spring weekend on the river instead of making money.

            1. re: mandycat

              Indigo Crow is our favorite restaurant in the North Valley area of ABQ. It is consistently good and the service is great. Thursday nights they have a $45 wine dinner for two that we enjoy. We love to be surprised by the chef's two impromptu dinner choices.

              We were big fans of the newly-owned Casa Vieja next door to the Crow, but several people we know have had bad experiences there in the last few weeks, so we're laying off and sticking with the Crow.

          2. Make sure to eat at least one meal at Duran's Pharmacy in the Old Town area of Albuquerque. Also, the carne adovada at Sadie's is unbelievably wonderful.

            Sadie's Dining Room
            6230 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107

            1. We also need ABQ rec's. Not a long list, Deb-- but maybe three not-to-miss, thoroughly, regionally unique, NMexican places. My husband is a San Diego chef. We eat in all price ranges, but we'd prefer something we can't get back at home. Someone mentioned Gruet Steakhouse to us. . .but no mention of it on CH.

              10 Replies
              1. re: pickypicky

                I don't think Gruet is anything special, I am sure you have many similar places in San Diego.

                Are you looking for dinner places [or other meals]? All in Albuquerque?

                Let me think a bit.

                1. re: DebitNM

                  None of these is fancy, but has some of the best local New Mexican/Mexican food in town; these would be great for breakfast or lunch--
                  Barelas Coffee House - New Mexican Food
                  (505) 843-7577
                  1502 4th St SW
                  Duran's Central Pharmacy New Mexican/SW
                  [old Town; don't let name fool you]
                  1815 Central Ave. NW
                  Richards Mexican
                  3301 Menaul Blvd NE,
                  (505) 881-1039
                  1510 Girard Blvd NE,
                  (505) 262-0115
                  The Grove [not NMexican, but really good, but something you have in SD]

                  I'll give you some dinner options tomorrow.

                  1. re: DebitNM

                    Great, Deb, thanks. We are guests of friends, but will have some time on our own. Is there anything near Espanola Valley? (we may make a side trip there) Also, it needn't be just NM food. Any well-run, delicious farm-to-market American/continental cuisine bistro places are a treasure, no matter where they are. Looks like the Grove can do a decent latte!

                    1. re: pickypicky

                      Ok, I will cull through my favorites for some of my top picks. Be back later. Espanola isn't the culinary capital of the world, I am afraid.

                      There are some great places in Santa Fe....


                      1. re: DebitNM

                        I'll look forward to your Espanola selections. We gave Embudo Station a try last evening - very disappointing (but great ambiance).

                        1. re: momadamsa

                          I have not eaten anywhere in Espanola. Rancho de Chimayo has just reopened after a fire. Not sure how that's going so far.

                          I found this from a local, maybe it will help. Again, I have no first hand knowledge on any of these. A friend does like Gabriels.



                      2. re: pickypicky

                        Ok, now you have opened up a bigger basket!

                        Artichoke Cafe $$- - eclectic, contemporary American
                        424 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
                        Phone: (505) 243-0200 {I have just looked as some reviews on tripadvisor that were less than glowing. It has been some time since I was there, but they were always consistently top notch. I hope that the bad reviews were isolated incidents!}

                        La Provence Brasserie {Nob Hill} --bistro that comes as close to Paris as you are going to find here in SW
                        3001 Central Ave NE
                        Albuquerque, NM 87106
                        (505) 254-7644
                        {I insist we eat here every trip we make to ABQ! Their truffle frites are to die for!}

                        Mykonos {Mountain Run Shopping Center] -consistently authentic Greek food, hoopah!
                        5900 Eubank Blvd NE # E18
                        Albuquerque, NM 87111
                        (505) 291-1116

                        Scalo - northern Italian $$ [Nob Hill] fine food and service
                        3500 Central Ave. SE



                        1. re: DebitNM

                          Deb-- Great material. Thanks so much. Now I feel armed for the trip. Especially that "soul" site for Espanola. wow. weird.

                          1. re: pickypicky

                            As I've posted here before, Matilda's in Española is one of the few places where chicos (whole smoked dried sweet corn kernels rehydrated in a red-chile/beef soup) are still on the menu. Well worth the trip, and a northern NM specialty that most gabachos never get to taste. :-)

                2. Mary & Tito's. Fantastic red chile.
                  Cecilia's Cafe. Again, fantastic red (& carne adovada)
                  Golden Crown Panaderia (green chile cheese bread, pizzas)
                  Frontier Restaurant (ain't gonna get more "only in Albuquerque" than this.)

                  1. We had dinner at Mariscos La Playa ABQ last night. What a delight! It felt like we were in Mexico from the moment we walked in. There were only 2 other people there and we hope that this wonderful restaurant will continue to operate.

                    Restaurant.com had a special sale on certificates. I was able to pick up a $25 certificate to Mariscos for $1!! What a deal. YOu have to spend at least $35 and an 18% gratuity is automatically added on, but still a deal.

                    We started with: Mexican Shrimp Cocktail and 1/2 doz oysters on half shell, a fresh lemonade and a Dos Equios. I had the shrimp cocktail and it was very good, brimming with avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and a nice tomato sauce. A good number of shrimp were included. Hubby had oysters and they were huge! He got 7 and said they tasted nice and fresh – always a challenge in NM.

                    For the main course I had Shrimp Kabob with squash, onions, bacon, and an assortment of bell peppers. I got 2 big skewers along with french fries [tasted homemade], rice, lettuce tomatoes. Again, the shrimp were tasty and plentiful. Way too much to eat, but oh so tasty.

                    Hubby had stuffed talapia. It was stuffed with shrimp and octopus. An entire fish! It came with fries, rice and veggies [corn and carrots] and a side of wonderfully homemade corn tortillas.

                    We didn’t manage dessert, way too much food! Tab came to $58. With the $25 off, the tip of 8.50 and the $1 for the certificate, it was a most memorable meal. We will be back!

                    3 locations:
                    ABQ :
                    4420 Central Ave SW
                    Albuquerque, NM 87105-1650
                    (505) 839-8081

                    Santa Fe:
                    537 W Cordova Rd
                    Santa Fe, NM 87505-1843
                    (505) 982-2790

                    2413 N Riverside Dr
                    Espanola, NM 87532-8131
                    (505) 747-2413


                    1. Here's a report back from our trip to Albuquerque and Espanola Valley. First off, we were at the mercy of our friends, who wanted to show us "their" new homestate (6 years, came from Dallas.) The only memorably brilliant and delicious meal we had was lunch in Santa Fe at San Pasqual's. Service excellent, menu inventive, execution of food superb. When I asked our waiter Bill whether to order the BLT with green chile or the trout hash, he answered that the BLT had more flavor notes. I was sold. Now that's a server! We ate at the Brasserie and it was ok. The food was fine, the outdoor patio was little better than ghetto. The flower beds were dirty, the traffic noisy. No Frenchman or woman would serve in such surroundings (and it's clear the owner is not French.) Our server was excellent. My French-trained chef husband was impressed by our food but the surroundings made it seem less special. (bare, rusted metal tables that looked like something from granma's backyard in Iowa.) We loved Flying Star-- thought it perfect for what it is and wish we had something like it in SDiego. We ate there on the fly to the airport. LUcky Albuquerquans to have something so fast, tasty, clean and attractive for diner-style food. The big disappointment was Sadie's. If that's NM food and the best example of NM chile sauces (and dear lord I hope it's not) then give me CA mex. I don't say this to be mean, it was just big plates of slop. Yellow cheese, lettuce. Too much food. My chef husband liked the green chile sauce on his stacked enchilada but could barely taste it for the yellow cheese dumped all over and the canned beans. The only good thing about Sadie's is that the ambience is unlike any place I've ever been-- and had I been dropped there by a flying saucer I could have only been in Albuquerque. We got great service at Sadie's (our friends know the owners and many of the waitstaff) but we had to pretend we loved the food. My red chile sauce tasted like chili power and water. The nacho plate was bigger than my head and fairly obscene.

                      Now. Please, if I sound harsh, let me say that I LOVED NM and Albuquerque and I can't wait to go back and taste more. San Pasqual's (although in Santa Fe) has gone down on my life list as an all-time favorite experience.

                      Oh, and Espanola Valley? We visited the Seeds of Change research farm there. And the French director, Richard, recommended El Paraqua in the town of Espanola. We stopped by and it looked kinda cool. (My hostess wanted to stay for one margarita.) They had a framed reco from the NYT on the wall. But our host was adamant that we must eat at San Pasqual's and we did that day. However, Espanola has great farmer stands where we bought beautiful local, fresh plums, apples, and ristras.

                      Thanks, DebitNM and everybody else for your help. I hope to return and eat more. It was fun to be driven around and spot places you'd recommended (The Frontier!). I felt like I was not a total stranger.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: pickypicky

                        Glad you had a nice time. Sadie's is where natives take visitors, why is beyond me because there are way better places, both simple and fancy, to better experience NM food. There are Flying Stars all over town, they are great.

                        I did post a restaurant for Espanola, but it may have been too late for you to see. Mariscos La Playa is Mexican, but has great fish and seafood. See my post above on Oct 14.

                        It is hard when you are guest and your hosts have their ideas of where to take you. Obviously, you have a bit more discriminating palate. Let me know if you are this way again, we can update the recommendations!

                        1. re: DebitNM

                          I did get your reco for the Mariscos place-- but that is something wonderful we do have here since we are on the ocean. In fact, I spotted it when we drove by and thought of you. Yes, I think there's a great topic for CH: what do do when hosts take you somewhere they say has "GREAT FOOD" which is what our host said about Sadie's, and it wasn't. We just smiled and lied and were evasive. We try to be understanding, but sometimes. . .

                        2. re: pickypicky

                          Heh, it's funny to hear the comment about Sadie's. I went there for the first time 6 months ago, I was driving from the Abq airport to Santa Fe and it seemed to be on the way, and my quick search seemed to indicate that it was a quintessential NM restaurant. I went with enchiladas -- supposedly their specialty -- and they were mediocre at best, and certainly not deserving of any recognition.

                          I was taken there again recently (no choice in the matter), and this time had the carne adovada. I enjoyed the heck out of that, big pieces of flavorful meat in a tasty sauce that was hot but not too hot. I would never recommend the place based on those 2 experiences, but certainly would be happy eating that adovada again.

                          1. re: LurkerDan

                            darn, LD. Sure wish I'd known about the adovada. We love it-- and that would have made the Sadie's experience much better. But our host said we had to order the enchiladas so we did. IF we're ever taken back there, I know what to do!

                            1. re: pickypicky

                              I have absolutely no idea why the restaurant and others think the enchiladas are anything special. I mean, what's so special about unseasoned chicken between some corn tortillas topped with shredded iceberg lettuce and tomato? The green and red chilis were good (not great), but certainly not special enough to make such a basic thing a "specialty".

                              I don't know that the adovada was worth going way out of my way for, but it certainly was tasty.

                          2. re: pickypicky

                            You missed out on eating at El Paragua. Sadies is WAY over rated.

                            1. re: pickypicky

                              Tragic so many people are told Sadies is the place to eat. That being said, back in the day when it when it was a standing room only bowing alley lunch counter IT WAS! Oh , if only that had translated to the expansion. Seems like traditional NM food has been "dumbed down" Great dives in Abq that hold true to tradition- Charlie's Back Door, Monte Carlo, Barelas Coffee House, El Modelo and Red Ball cafe to name a few.

                              Greasy gotta haves- TheDog House( you just gota go) & the Frontier.

                              Santa Fe- Tomasita's, Burts Burger Bowl, Harry's Road House, & El Tesaro (El Salvador meets NM)

                              1. re: greenchilegirl

                                I'd go back to ABQ just to eat at Barela's.

                            2. oooops. it's Cafe Pasqual's = http://www.pasquals.com/

                              Flying Star Cafe
                              4501 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

                              Cafe Pasqual's
                              121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pickypicky

                                Sadie's is gross as are many of the New Mexican places in Albuquerque. Some of the recommendations you were given are not good restaurants--there are many very good restaurants in Alb/Santa Fe. Pasquals in SF is good but so passe and touristy that I haven't been there for a long time. One of the best New Mexican restaurants is the recently re-opened (after a fire) Rancho de Chimayo which is not too far north of Espanola in the village of Chimayo. Now that's real northern NM food.

                                The Seeds of Change farm is amazing, isn't it? I had a meeting there several years ago and was very impressed with their staff and operations. Just up the road a bit from there on the mountain side there are thousands of petroglyphs. You can just get out of your car, climb up 2-3 feet and there they begin.

                                There is a local food publication called "Local Flavor" that has all of the new restaurants and food "buzz" in the region. Next time you come to our area, check out their website:


                                Rancho De Chimayo
                                PO Box 11, Chimayo, NM 87522