HOME > Chowhound > Southwest >


Chinese restaurants in Albuquerque?

  • l

We've recently moved to Albuquerque from San Francisco and I'm starting to crave Chinese food. Where should we start our Albuquerque explorations?

Thanks -- Lind

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow. Tough one. SFranciso has good Chinese, and ABQ . . . not so much.

    Chow's Chinese Bistro on Juan Tabo NE is great, but doesn't feel like the Chinese that I had growing up. Chen's on Juan Tabo has been a good sort of greasy spoon Chinese place for us.

    I've eaten in a LOT of ABQ Chinese places over the years, and pretty much just given up on everyplace other than Chow's. (Vietnamese, on the other hand, is well-represented here.)

    1. h
      high desert chow

      try Ming's Dynasty up on Eubank, used to be Beijing Palace. Great dim sum on the weekends and always a large percentage of asain clientele. Also, the asian markets, Ta Lin and 99 Markets have deli sections with food on the weekends, i.e. roast pork, raost duck and assorted dishes. Another good resource, I like Gil's web site, does alot of reviews and has good insight into the local food scene. http://www.nmia.com/~thriller/

      1. ditto, that it will be very hard to find a satisfying Chinese experience in ABQ....Chow's is the only place i go for chinese, and Ming's for dim sum....

        With that said, ABQ has some real standouts in other asian cuisine. Dozens and dozens of excellent vietnamese ((May Cafe, Cafe da Lot, and the new Cafe Trang)) --stop into Ta Lin while you there ((our massive asian market))...We also have stellar Thai: Siam, Bankok, Thai Tip.....and Believe or not we have pretty decent sushi. By far one of the best restaurants in the state is Noda's Japanese Cuisine ((it is a haul to get there but way worth it))


        1. I agree with previous posters. The Thai & Vietnamese food here is far better than any of the Chinese. That said... we like ABC on Menaul and East Ocean on Carlisle for decent Hong Kong style food.

          I have to disagree about Chow's though. I find it to be totally Americanized--- and too enpensive.

          Welcome to ABQ!


          1 Reply
          1. re: abqdeb

            Ah.... Is ABC the place I've heard has a blue "American Chinese" menu and a red "real Chinese" menu. Is that true? Which do you use? What kinds of things are on the authentic menu?

          2. I just moved here and I'm unhappily surprised by the lack of good Chinese. But I heard about Ho Ho on Montgomery -- supposed to be good. But then, I've heard raves about China Star and that was not so good.

            Anyone try Ho Ho?

            1. If you like to prepare your own chinese dishes (or any other Asian cuisine, in fact) don't miss the Talin Market World Foods. I went there with a friend who lives in ALB, so I don't know where it is

              And, ABQDEB, Colorado also has much better Vietnames, Thai and Japanese restaurants than Chinese. It must be a Mountain Time Zone thing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ClaireWalter

                Talin is on the southeast corner of Central and Louisiana.

              2. There's Amerasia, near UNM, a couple of blocks south of Central, on Lead Ave/ Cornell Dr. Good dim sum: http://www.nmgastronome.com/abq/chine...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Grey

                  Ugh. I did not enjoy their dim sum. Bland, overcooked, not much variety. I've heard that Ming's is better, but haven't tried it yet. Tho, I have heard good things about Amerasia's, so maybe I'll try again sometime. I grew up on S. Fran dim sum, so maybe I'm just looking for something from a different league :(

                2. Ta Lin is at Central and Louisiana, across from the Fairgrounds. 99 Market is on Gibson across from Lovelace Hospital, over by Kirtland AFB.

                  1. I've tried many places to eat chinese food, and they were all mediocre. I recently did share a meal with some friends at a lillte place called Golden Bird on Carlisle, just before Candelaria. It was very decent for the price, good portions and very freindly staff. My two cents anyways.....

                    1. Agree that ABQ Chinese is weak. Chow's can be fun and a little out-of-the-box, and I've found Chen's on Juan Tabo to be better than average for ABQ - reminds me of the average take-out place back East.

                      1. I can't believe ANYONE is recommending Chow's Chinese Bistro. I ate there two weeks ago and it was the most bland, disgusting experience I've ever had. Nothing tasted like
                        Chinese food. Who puts cilantro in dumplings or wonton soup?! The Dan Dan noodles tasted like they simply poured low sodium soy sauce on top - and this is supposed to be a spicy szechwan dish. Avoid it at all costs.

                        Also Ming's was a total disappointment except for the Don Tat. Went on weekend with my Chinese wife and we ordered both off the menu and the dim sum. Nothing except the sticky rice was right. Also, why don't any chinese restaurants in ABQ have proper dumpling wrappers? All the dumplings I've had out here are done in gyoza skins.

                        The only place that has proven to be semi decent isn't real chinese food. It's americanized trendy versions of dishes. It is called Jinja and it is on Holly. Beautiful restaurant, great staff, Trader Vic's style drinks, and decent dishes.

                        1. Stay away from Lin's the service is the worst I have ever experienced and the food wasnt that great.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: crazyman2

                            Is that Lin's on the Westside? That place opened at the end of February, and I'm curious to hear if anyone has been...

                            On the other hand, Chopstix at San Pedro & Candelaria is EXCELLENT (for Albuquerque), and actually serves non-touristy dishes, like bitter melon, cold chicken in red wine, various nether chicken parts, etc... Here's a glimpse at them: http://www.nmgastronome.com/abq/chine...
                            and, here: http://chopstixabq.com/

                            Mmm, parts....

                            1. re: tenacity

                              Chop-stix is actually located at San Pedro and Lomas (not Candelaria). It is in the Fair Plaza shopping center.

                          2. Have you tried "China Buffet" at 475 Coors Blvd. NW (1.2 mile south of the I-40)? They have very fresh food, and make it in small batches so it never sits for hours. Here's their website: http://www.ChinaBuffetNM.com The same family owns a restaurant in Cedar Crest called "China Best" http://www.ChinaBestRestaurant.com My fav at both places is the "Singapore Mai Fun"...yum

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TinasArk

                              China Best in Cedar Crest (har) is substandard by all counts. There's another in the same ownership/family in Edgewood that I hear is the same.

                              The only decent Chinese buffet I've had is . . . "anyplace, within 20 minutes of opening".

                            2. I spent 11 years in San Francisco, so I know decent Chinese food. I had the absolute worst Chinese food I ever had here in Albuquerque (the moo-shu pancakes were so dry they broke!), but I have also found a couple of decent-to-good spots.

                              Top on my list is Chopstix, in the shopping center at Lomas and San Pedro. I gorge on their sweet potato leaves, and always order their sesame chicken variety plate at lunch (a great bargain!). Most importantly about Chopstix is that THEY DO RICE RIGHT! The chef is a woman and, I think, is also the owner of the place. She takes great pride in her cooking, and deservedly so. Generally speaking, this is a friendly place.

                              I don't often find pork/beef and sour cabbage anywhere, but the ABC Chinese on Menaul near Moon, I think it is, has a good version of this winter dish. And, yes, they have two menus -- just a glance at them and you'll know which one you want.....

                              1. I realize this is an old posting, but I just had to mention one resteraunt. That restaraunt is Liu's Chinese, it is fast food, and not the best place to eat in for dinner, but it is great. Recently they have remodeled and the taste is not the same, but it is not far off. The food is amazing, it is not drenched in liquid, which I can't stand a ton of liquid in my chinese food. It is fresh, and has so much flavor, but not too over the top. For whoever is looking for a resteraunt try Liu's, it really is great.

                                Chow's is good too. I know a lot of people say it is bland, but it is so far from bland that I wonder if those comments are generated from people with a lack of taste. Try the coffee chicken and the sesame dragon chicken, also be sure to try the wont ton's with the lime sauce, they are truly amazing and it is definitely not americanized, but rather for people who love to learn about food and truly enjoy it's variety and creativity it is a stroke of genius and a culinary work of art. Truly, it is great if you have an open mind and do not live in a box.

                                Liu Chinese Fast Food
                                2056 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dmontano6

                                  ABQ is still not Chinese food haven, not by a long shot. Tai Lin is still best bet and Banana Leaf in Rio Rancho is good; their special house duck is excellent!

                                  Banana Leaf Asian Cuisine
                                  355 State Highway 528 SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124

                                2. PF Chang's is amazing, though not cheap. The best thing about them is they are willing to customize your dishes if you call ahead (we have food allergies). I also love the Thai at Siam on San Mateo, and the best Vietnamese is a tie between Que Huong (7010 Central Ave SE # C,, across from the Talin Market @ Louisiana) or Viet Taste (5721 Menaul Blvd NE). The problem is that chefs are pandering to the lowest common donominator of tastes here. Whoever opens a real New York Chinatown Noodle House type of joint here is going to clean up!!!!

                                  Viet Taste
                                  5721 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110

                                  Que Huong
                                  7010 Central Ave SE Ste C, Albuquerque, NM 87108

                                  1. I stumbled on this old post and read it to see if it mentioned any place I haven't tried. I'm sure Lind already knows this but Budai Gourmet Chinese, in the NE Heights is really good. Hands down the best in Abq.

                                    6300 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: ninrn

                                      Be sure to ask for the separate Chinese menu.

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        You know, I've been meaning to do that, but always get too shy to ask. Could you please tell me what you've tried on the in-Chinese menu that's good? Thanks.

                                        1. re: ninrn

                                          Hope others will chime in too, but the dishes I keep going back to are the three cup chicken and the lion's head beef.

                                          And from the regular menu, you absolutely must get the xao long bao, or soup dumplings (they're listed as something like "steamed mini pork buns", but just ask for the xao long bao if you're unsure). They're steamed pork dumplings filled with broth, so as you bite into them, they literally explode in your mouth. They're not that easy to find in NYC or LA; the fact that they exist in the NE heights is a chowishly big deal!

                                          1. re: ninrn

                                            The pig's feet and the stewed intestines.

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              "Lion's Head" and the pork belly thing. And something else, but I don't remember what.

                                              1. re: Erich

                                                The lamb stew.
                                                Every time we go to Albuquerque, I get excited to go to Budai.

                                            2. re: ninrn

                                              Head, feet, explosions, intestines and lamb?! Yeesh, I've been missing out. Can't wait to get back there and try some of this new stuff. Thank you.