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I’ve always said that if I moved away from New Mexico, the number one thing that I would miss would be the Albuquerque restaurants. I have visited countless big cities and multiple countries and I still swear that the food here is some of the best I’ve ever had.
Whether you’re visiting for the International Balloon Fiesta in the Fall, mountain biking and hiking in the Sandia Mountains in the Summer or going snowboarding or skiing in the winter, these Albuquerque restaurants are guaranteed to satisfy any and every craving you will have for delicious food.
There are honestly so many good restaurants in Albuquerque that it’s hard to limit it to a list of 30, but below are a few that the locals obsess over and the tourists will love.
1. The Shop Breakfast & Lunch
This place is insanely good. I’ve never left The Shop without feeling like I just had the perfect meal. Every unique recipe is somehow better than the last and the friendly staff make every stop into The Shop an entirely wonderful and warm experience.
Make sure to try this restaurant for both breakfast and lunch and also for their “Nightshift” – a locally sourced, regionally inspired, casual dinner with a rotating weekly menu using local farms and ranches for the freshest ingredients.
My Pick: Duck Hash, Eggs Benny with Green Chile Hollandaise, Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with lemon curd or the Carne Adovada Sandwich.
2. Golden Pride + Frontier
For most people who grew up in New Mexico, when they think of Albuquerque restaurants, they immediately think of Golden Pride and Frontier. Founded by the same owner, both spots are staples for breakfast (and Frontier for super late night eats) in Albuquerque and are favored by locals.
The Carne Adovada Breakfast Burrito and Bacon + Green Chile Breakfast Burrito, also known all-too-well by locals as the “#2” and “#9”, are by far some of the best breakfast burritos in the state.
My Pick: Carne Adovada Breakfast Burrito, Bacon + Green Chile Breakfast Burrito and the Frontier Cinnamon Roll.
3. La Salita
This is by far my favorite New Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque and one of the top-rated by locals. It is family-owned and family-run and you can sense that as soon as you walk through their door. I’ve been dining at La Salita for over ten years and have only been treated like family since the very beginning. Not to mention, the food is absolutely incredible every single time. You won’t regret this stop!
My Pick: Build Your Own Meal with a Swiss-American Cheese Chile Relleno (Award-Winning/Best of the City) topped with Green Chile + a Beef Stuffed Sopaipilla topped with Red Chile. And make room for LOTS of their delicious salsa!
4. Gyros Mediterranean
This little spot has my heart! Greek food will always be a favorite of mine and this little gem, located across from the university campus, is family-owned and family-run by one of the sweetest families around. Gyros restaurant far exceeds any Greek food I have had in this city (or any other city, for that matter!) From a gyro to souvlaki to fresh hummus and baklava – Gyros Mediterranean offers something for everyone. You’ll lick your plate and your fingers clean, I promise!
My Pick: A Lamb Gyro with their fresh, homemade chips and extra tzatziki sauce + Baklava for dessert.
Ohh, Vinaigrette! I love this little salad bistro so much! A lively, vibrant and trendy atmosphere boasts of fresh food that locals can’t stop raving about. Each meal comes farm to table from none other than the owner’s 10 acre farm. Sustainability is a top priority for them and you will taste how healthy and fresh it is, every single time.
My Pick: The Cuban Sandwich (with a side of house vinaigrette for dipping) with either a Greek or Cobb Side Salad.
Creative, thin-crust pizzas are cooked in a custom brick oven and the flavor speaks for itself. Want to try something new and unique? Try their Green Chile Cheeseburger, Caesar Chicken or Chicken Enchilada Pizza.
Also, the Torte di Mele will literally change your life. This warm puff pastry apple tart baked in the wood burning brick oven is topped with your choice of either Vietnamese Cinnamon Ice Cream or Cappuccino Commotion Ice Cream, cinnamon, caramel sauce and whipped cream. It’s my favorite dessert in Albuquerque.
My Pick: Go with a friend, split the Insalata di Pollo and the Buffalo Chicken Pizza and save room for the heavenly Torta di Mele!
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Nestled in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque, this diamond-in-the-rough has a menu that makes deciding on only one option nearly impossible. Brixens has somehow managed to create a fun, yet cozy, atmosphere which is perfect for both an intimate date night or an evening out with friends.
High-quality comfort food with a unique spin makes this a must-try restaurant that definitely won’t slip your mind the next time you’re visiting the Land of Enchantment.
My Pick: The NM Panini or the Hot Chicken & Waffles.
8. Barela’s Coffee House
If there is any breakfast spot in this city that makes me wish my stomach were an endless pit, it’s Barela’s. Every time we visit, it’s a legitimate challenge to have to choose just one of their drool-worthy dishes. Their red chile and chicharrones are definitely #1 in Albuquerque for me – and that’s saying something!
My Pick: Deluxe Huevos Rancheros with a side of carne adovada, the Pancake Special and Chicharrone Burrito Plate.
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9. Blake’s Lotaburger
I would be remiss not to mention this fast-food burger spot, especially if you’re new to our city! If you’re visiting and in a hurry, or need something for the car as you head out of town, Blake’s is the place to go. With consistent flavor and quick service, Lotaburger has offered heavenly french fries, delicious milkshakes and perfectly juicy burgers since 1952.
My Pick: The LOTAburger with Green Chile and (extra) Seasoned Fries.
10. Thai Tip
If you can handle real heat, this is the place to try. In New Mexico, pain is basically a flavor, so most people don’t expect anything that they can’t handle – but Thai Tip might surprise you and your taste buds. However, this restaurant doesn’t depend on the heat to keep you, the explosion of flavors in every dish will please your palette and leave you wanting more.
My Pick: Beef Pad Thai or Khang Ka Ree (Yellow Curry in coconut milk with potatoes, onions and bell peppers) and Thai Iced Coffee.
It might be similar to sin to come to Albuquerque without eating at Dion’s. It’s our local obsession – a family friendly, casual and delicious dining experience. If you don’t stop here, it would be like visiting Arizona or California without eating In-n-Out! Their sub sandwich dipped in Greek dressing or Green Chile Ranch is one of my all-time favorite meals and their pizza is to-die-for.
My Pick: Roast Beef + Provolone Sub with Green Chile, Chips & Greek Dressing or the Duke City Specialty Pizza with Green Chile Ranch.
12. Bristol Doughnut Co.
Whether coated in glaze, piped with cream, or topped with crumbly bacon, every good donut holds a special place in my heart. These fried-dough treats are made with love by a local visionary family and sold in Spurline Supply Co., one of the coolest lifestyle shops in ABQ.
Located in the up and coming Sawmill District, Bristol is known for serving up the freshest and tastiest donuts in the city. Go early, because these culinary delights do sell out quickly, grab a coffee and enjoy your breakfast while you shop.
My Pick: Salted Butter, Prickly Pear and Maple Bacon.
13. The Grove Cafe & Market
When someone says, “Let’s brunch!” you can very likely assume that you get to meet them at The Grove. It’s one of the most popular restaurants for tasty breakfast and a lively atmosphere making it a great spot for meet-ups with friends. The owners are all about supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture, creating a satisfying farm-to-table experience. (The Grove was also featured on Breaking Bad, so you have to at least stop by for a cappuccino!)
My Pick: Grove Pancakes (french style) with creme fraiche and local honey, the Smoked Salmon English Muffin or the Croque Madame.
14. Guava Tree Cafe
This little hole-in-the-wall will make you feel like you’re enjoying an authentic, home-cooked meal in the Caribbean. Their meal repertoire also includes recipes from Central and South America and is my #1 go-to spot for a fantastic sandwich.
My Pick: The Hot-Pressed Pernil Sandwich with Caribbean-rubbed pork, the Arepa del Perro cornmeal patty and the Sweet Plantains.
15. The Range Cafe
I worked here throughout high school and, despite eating the food nearly every day, I’m still obsessed! Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, the home-cooked, hearty, comfort food will always be phenomenal.
I seriously crave the breakfast combination of oatmeal topped with cinnamon ice cream and a side of crispy bacon, tortilla and red chile almost daily. The Range Cafe is also a picturesque spot for tourists as it offers an eclectic and quirky atmosphere with painted, flying cows and old-school ovens floating across the ceiling. Be sure to save room for one of their heavenly desserts!
My Pick: Green Chile Strips with jalapeño dipping sauce, Home on the Range with Cinnamon ice cream + walnuts, Huevos con Queso, or the Rio Grande Gorge.
Tacos, nachos + sopaipillas, galore! Be prepared to share your food with a friend (or three!) because these plates are huge. Although I’m not the biggest fan of their chile items, this is my go-to spot for cheesy tacos and the best salsa in the state.
My pick: Chips + Salsa (do it!), Guaco Beef Taco, Sadie’s Nachos.
17. Golden Crown Panaderia
This restaurant has been all over Food Network and has earned countless awards which are all very-well deserved! Known for their decadent pastries and green chile pizza crust, Golden Crown is a hidden and unassuming gem in the city of Albuquerque.
My Pick: Pepperoni + Jalapeño pizza on Green Chile Crust + Yo-Yo’s, Chocolate Pastels, Empanadas and the New Mexico Green Chile Loaf.
18. M’Tucci’s Italian
If you’re searching for some real Italian food, M’Tucci’s is the place to go. Known as one of the most noteworthy restaurants in Albuquerque, M’Tucci’s serves up rich and flavorful pasta dishes, decadent seafood appetizers and hearty soups and salads.
My Pick: Calamari Fritti, Bolognese di Cinque Maiale and the Pasta All’Arrabiata.
19. Hannah and Nate’s
Hannah and Nate’s Corrales location is my favorite and a great spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Friendly staff, consistent food and a wide variety makes this a favorite among locals.
My Pick: Salmon Eggs Benedict, Carne Adovada Breakfast Enchiladas or the Nate’s Melt Sandwich.
20. Basil Leaf
You may not think “authentic Vietnamese food” when you think of Albuquerque, but Basil Leaf has great potential (and promise) to transport you to Southeast Asia and satisfy your cravings for real, flavorful Asian food.
My Pick: Rare Steak Pho, Claypot Rice with Chicken and Green Curry.
21. The Boiler Monkey Bistro
Also known as “the food truck that grew up”, Boiler Monkey Bistro is a food truck turned restaurant. Placing some roots in downtown Albuquerque was one of the best things they could do; their passion for food is displayed more now than ever before. Unique flavors, creative dishes and friendly staff allows for a sweet breakfast + lunch experience.
My Pick: Apple Compote + Cinnamon Crepe, the Monte Cristo sandwich and Fried Chicken & Waffles with Green Chile Maple Syrup.
22. Taqueria Mexico
This little spot is (very) unassuming, and you may even hesitate a little bit when you spot it, but don’t miss it! This is a go-to lunch stop for those who work downtown or near the university, and for good reason. Authentic Taqueria’s aren’t always easy to find in a city surrounded by New Mexican restaurants, but this one hits the nail on the head.
My Pick: Smothered Chile Relleno Burrito, Carnitas Tacos and the Barbacoa Tacos.
23. Antiquity Restaurant
Antiquity is an ideal spot for a special occasion with your loved one, be it Valentine’s Day or an anniversary. Placed perfectly in beautiful Old Town, this cozy, quaint atmosphere complements one of the best menus in the city. Fresh seafood, charcoal-grilled steaks, fowl, lamb, veal and nightly specials are offered to create a diverse, and incredible, menu.
My Pick: French Onion Soup, Escargot, and the Henry IV (Bacon wrapped filet mignon on a bed of artichoke leaves and topped with béarnaise sauce.)
24. Turtle Mountain Brewery
Ask any local about some of the best food in the state and many will point you directly to one of our highly-esteemed breweries. Turtle Mountain is about 15 minutes outside of Albuquerque in the city of Rio Rancho, but it’s worth the trip. My husband and I make it a point to visit this brewery at least once a month to indulge ourselves in something from their tasty repertoire.
My Pick: Spinach Artichoke Dip and the Mimbres Calzone (Spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, ricotta, mozzarella and marinara + add extra pepperoni.)
25. Bistronomy B2B
Bistronomy B2B focuses on burgers and burgers alone – which has given them the opportunity to become experts in their category. If people know anything about me, it’s that I like to pair every meal with a huge variety of sauces. Bistronomy B2B satisfies that need and then some. Juicy burgers, flavorful and unique sauces and a fun atmosphere in Nob Hill makes for the perfect dinner spot.
My Pick: The Sunrise Burger with bacon ranch and spicy mayo + cajun fries with southwest ketchup.
26. Farm & Table
Farm & Table sits on a nine acre alfalfa and grass open space and a two acre produce farm in the North Valley of Albuquerque. The farm provides the restaurant with gorgeous views and the kitchen with the freshest ingredients that result in delicious meals. Farm & Table creates a seasonal menu which changes several times a year.
My Pick: Farm & Table Tortilla Burger and the Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout with poblano crema.
27. Vic’s Daily Cafe
Make the most important meal of the day the best one at one of our city’s early morning hot spots. Family-run and family-loved, Vic’s Daily Cafe has been open for 19 years and continues to make the same decadent french toast and filling Huevos Rancheros that Albuquerque families have grown to love. This spot will warm your heart and satisfy your palette whether it be in your Sunday Best or Saturday morning cozies.
My Pick: Pecan French Toast, Huevos Rancheros and the Reuben sandwich.
28. Campo at Los Poblanos
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is set among 25 acres of lavender fields and lush gardens which makes the dining experience one you won’t forget. A favorite among locals and a spot that visitors can’t miss, Campo at Los Poblanos never fails to offer a fresh and delicious field-to-fork meal. Be sure to make a reservation before you go and stop by the Lavender shop after you dine!
My Pick: Breakfast Chilaquiles (Corn tortillas, house-made red chile, cheddar cheese, onion, cracked potatoes w/herbs de Poblanos, two eggs any style + your choice of meat.)
29. Tia B’s La Waffleria
Good things come to those who wait at Tia B’s. There is typically a line at this waffle house, so make sure to go when you have some time, but do be sure to make the time! Fried Banana and Browned Butter Bourbon Sauce Waffles, Blue Lavender Waffles, Biscuit and Gravy Waffles and Ranchero Waffles are only a few of the menu options, proving that creativity is not a foreign concept to this restaurant.
My Pick: The “Build Your Own” Multigrain Waffle with bacon + pecans inside and topped with coconut whipped cream, fruit and honey.
Saggio’s, located across from the University, is a family-owned and operated pizzeria which offers giant slices of New York style pizza, huge calzones, tasty sandwiches, creamy pastas and the most delicious cheesecake and cannoli for dessert. The owners of Saggio’s created an eclectic and upbeat atmosphere with wall murals, fountains and even the side-panel of a Mercedes Benz which sits in the restaurant and serves as a sidebar and soda fountain.
My Pick: Pepperoni, green chile + red onion pizza with pesto pasta salad, the Chicken Caesar Calzone and Chicken + Garlic pizza with red chile smothered on top.
Other Notable Restaurants:
Cheese & Coffee
Fork & Fig
Which are your favorite restaurants on this list? Which other restaurants do you think should have been added to this list?! Let me know in the comments below!
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Lindsey Maestas is a Christian based out of Albuquerque, NM. She is a wife to a loving husband and a stay-at-home-mom to two sweet little boys. She received her degree in Journalism and is a writer for the faith-based lifestyle blog, sparrowsandlily.com. She loves Jesus, event planning, baking and binge-watching Netflix with her husband. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.