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Combo plate at Duran Pharmacy
Bill Addison

The 21 Essential Albuquerque Restaurants

Where to find New Mexico’s ultimate smothered combo plates, spicy kimchi tots, a revitalizing plate of carne adovada, and heavy-hitting breakfast burritos.

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Combo plate at Duran Pharmacy
| Bill Addison

Like its famed enchiladas drowned in blankets of red and green chile sauce, Albuquerque is swimming in traditional New Mexican restaurants. While the city has a strong culinary identity rooted in classic Southwestern flavors, its food scene is truly as diverse as its people. The restaurants that define it include low-key staples as well as buzzy trendsetters, all of which make Albuquerque one of the best places to eat in the region.

Update, June 2021:

As dining restrictions slowly fade in Albuquerque’s rearview mirror, it’s time to catch up over a bite at some of the Duke City’s essential spots. Most restaurants and bars are now up and going at 75 percent capacity for indoor and outdoor seating, and a few old favorites have returned to the list, alongside some newcomers that recently opened their doors.

From the Westside to the Northeast Heights, these are the essential eats of ABQ.

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health website.

Note: Map points are listed in geographic order.

Justin De La Rosa is an Albuquerque-based Renaissance-guy-of-sorts in the restaurant industry. He’s spent the better part of a decade writing about food and beverage trends in Albuquerque and Denver while tending bar, serving tables, washing dishes, managing social media pages for restaurants and breweries, and mingling with like-minded foodists around the country.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sobremesa Restaurant & Brewery

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3421 Coors Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120
(505) 317-5557
Visit Website

Sobremesa Restaurant & Brewery opened its doors on Albuquerque’s Westside in September, 2020. Despite the timing, the seasoned ownership team of bar and brewery pros made starting a business during a global crisis look easy. Fast-forward to today: Sobremesa has earned a name for itself not only for its top-notch craft beer, but also for a Spanish- and New Mexican-inspired menu of tacos, burgers, and bocadillos. Catch live music Mondays on the wraparound patio, and bring your growler so you can take home some pints of the brewery’s signature Siesta Stout.

A bowl of soup with fixings and tortillas on a stone ledge by an outdoor fire pit and a glass of beer
Sobremesa’s cozy patio
Sobremesa [Facebook]

2. Monte Carlo Liquors & Steak House

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3916 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
(505) 836-9886
Visit Website

As you enter the front door of Monte Carlo, you’ll find a package liquor store, but that’s only a front for the superb steakhouse and speakeasy that lives in the back. The dimly lit dining room, with curved vinyl booths and walls adorned with Budweiser memorabilia, is an ideal place to enjoy a menu centered on grilled rib-eyes and green chile cheeseburgers. You’ll also find a number of Greek specialties, like pork kebabs, dolmas, and baklava.

A wide flat cheeseburger leaking some green chile sauce on a plate with a heaping portion of thin french fries
Green chile cheeseburger
Bill Addison

3. Sawmill Market

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1909 Bellamah Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(505) 563-4473
Visit Website

Albuquerque’s highly anticipated first food hall had a rough year after it opened in March 2020, but the Sawmill Market has proven resilient with help from some of Albuquerque’s best chefs. Among the diverse assortment of nearly 20 restaurants, you’ll find items like handmade pastas from Tulipani, sweet and savory waffles from XO Waffle, tacos to go from Flora, and plenty of local libations. Enjoy it all in the market hall or on a sprawling patio. 

Disclaimer: The author of this article works at one of the Sawmill Market bars.

An industrial exterior with patio umbrellas and a few customers visible from afar, and large cutout letters spelling out Sawmill Market
Outside Sawmill Market
Sawmill Market [Official]

4. Duran Central Pharmacy

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1815 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(505) 247-4141
Visit Website

Part of the charm of this speakeasy-type restaurant, tucked in the back of an Old Town pharmacy, is the experience of sopping up red chile with a buttery tortilla among the magazine racks and drugstore toys. During the pandemic, the Duran family did introduce an online ordering system through their website to serve diners who can’t dine in, offering the same New Mexican classics for takeout. Now you can comfortably get back to eating at the Pharmacy and enjoying such daily specials as the craveable green chile chicken enchiladas — though we wouldn’t blame you if you ordered some tamales to stash at home for when your chile craving inevitably strikes.

5. Campo at Los Poblanos

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4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 338-1615
Visit Website

Chef Jonathan Perno heads the wood-fired kitchen at Campo at the Los Poblanos Inn, which sits deep off the meandering Rio Grande Boulevard in Albuquerque’s North Valley. The well-executed menu is wide-ranging to say the least; you can get everything from a ceviche with pickled green chile to tagliatelle Bolognese. Reservations are required for dinner, so call ahead.

A tuna salad with slices of crusted rare tuna, boiled egg, slices potatoes, broccoli, herbs and edible flowers
Tuna Niçoise Salad
Campo at Los Poblanos [Facebook]

6. Dog House Drive In

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1216 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 243-1019
Visit Website

For more than 50 years, the Dog House Drive-In has been a West Downtown go-to for anyone craving a red chili cheese dog while on the go. Depending on your time constraints, you can phone in your order, use the online ordering option, or just pull up in the parking lot and wait for a carhop to come take care of you. Whether you’re chowing down in your car or unwrapping your chili dogs at home, just make sure you have some extra napkins on hand.

7. Golden Crown Panaderia

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1103 Mountain Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 243-2424
Visit Website

This cozy, family-owned neighborhood bakery in Old Town is known for its house-baked breads, sandwiches, and pizzas best enjoyed on the sunny patio. The pepperoni and green chile pizza on the family’s signature blue corn crust is a specialty worth ordering ahead online. Just don’t forget to include a dozen of New Mexico’s favorite biscochitos on your order too.

8. 505 Central Food Hall

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505 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 503-8777
Visit Website

505 Food Hall is the latest addition to the food hall trend that has sprung up around Albuquerque over the past year. Aptly named for the city’s beloved area code, the food hall is a bustling destination at the heart of downtown. With about 10 restaurants to choose from, diners can get their fix of ramen from Naruto, pan pizzas from Thicc, and oysters and ceviche at Pier None, along with coffee, dessert, and local libations all under one roof.

9. El Modelo Mexican Foods

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1715 2nd St SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 242-1843
Visit Website

El Modelo has a full (and very good) menu, but this place could run on tamales alone if it needed to. They’re handmade daily, filled with your choice of pork with red chile or chicken with green chile. Step up to the counter and order your lunch, and then grab a seat at the community lunch tables alongside locals to dig into your plate of tamales or enchiladas smothered with red chile and cheese. Pro tip: Show up to a potluck or family gathering with a dozen tamales from El Modelo, and you’ll instantly be everyone’s favorite.

10. Sister Bar

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407 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 242-4900
Visit Website

While craft cocktails have been slow to catch on in Albuquerque, this unassuming downtown haunt is leading the charge. The bar staff here is adept with both classic and original concoctions and offers a wide selection of beers on tap (with even more in cans). The kitchen dishes out an eclectic menu of tacos accompanied by fries and tots with unique toppings like kimchi, Sriracha crema, and more.

From above, a paper basket of fries covered in sauce and kimchi slices, on a paper placemat depicting comics panels
Kimchi fries 
Sister Bar [Facebook]

11. Mary & Tito's Cafe

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2711 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 344-6266
Visit Website

Since 1963, Mary & Tito’s has been Albuquerque’s gold standard for carne adovada — a New Mexican-style pork dish stewed in red chile. Descendants of founders Mary and Tito Gonzales still run the place, and they have preserved the original recipes that earned the restaurant leagues of devoted regulars. The red chile-stewed carne adovada should be your go-to, but no one will judge if you opt for a combination plate that comes smothered in a savory and spicy green chile.

Two plates of rice, beans, tacos, stewed red pork, and lettuce on a wooden table
Combo plates
Bill Addison

12. The Burque Bakehouse

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640 Broadway Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 234-6294
Visit Website

Burque Bakehouse began as a stand at Albuquerque’s weekend Rail Yards Market in 2015 but settled into its brick-and-mortar home at the tail end of 2020. All of the sweet, savory, and seasonal pastries and breads are carefully handcrafted and rolled. Consider yourself lucky if you find yourself there on a weekend and there isn’t a line wrapped around the building, especially since this charming bakery is open only Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until sold out.

A variety of pastries on a wooden butcherblock counter
All of the pastries
Burque Bakehouse [Official]

13. Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar Downtown

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510 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 243-0130
Visit Website

Pizza might as well be crowned the king of takeout options, but it’s always a bit more satisfying to get that first piping-hot bite (cheese pull included) sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends and family at one of Farina’s two locations. Known for their perfectly charred pizzas made with local ingredients, Farina makes a case for its pies as Albuquerque’s best, though you’d be mistaken to overlook the crunchy, fresh chopped salad or house-made pastas. For the full experience, finish off on a sweet note with silky, salty butterscotch budino.

14. Grove Cafe & Market

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600 Central Ave SE A
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 248-9800
Visit Website

Take a seat on the expanded patio of the Grove Cafe & Market to enjoy a first-rate breakfast favorite from owners Jason and Lauren Greene, like the savory croque madame or a breakfast burrito with Tully’s Italian sausage, goat cheese, and green chile. Then grab some cookies or pillowy English muffins from the market to tide yourself over until your next visit.

An extremely colorful array of sliced meats, cheese, pickled vegetables, fruits, and crackers
Charcuterie board
Grove Cafe & Market [Official]

15. Holy Burgers

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700 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 242-2991
Visit Website

Holy Burger serves half-pound wonders of the burger world. They come topped with fresh ingredients like chopped green chiles and cheese, or goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and basil. If burgers aren’t your thing, you’ll also find sumptuous salads and tasty sandwich options. With nearly 10 years under its belt in East Downtown, this burger joint can crank out green chile cheeseburgers that consistently hit the spot.

A thick cheeseburger on tomato, lettuce, onions, and a bun, topped with a fried egg and pierced with a toothpick, with the top bun and pickle slices nearby
A burger piled high
Holy Burgers [Official]

16. Frontier

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2400 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 266-0550
Visit Website

As an institution of college grub with a knack for New Mexican breakfast, Frontier is known for its sprawling dining rooms bustling with hungry students trying to quell the pain of a long night and professors fueling up for the day at the nearby University of New Mexico. Sure, it’s not chef-driven or especially nuanced, but locals and tourists line up every day to dig into heavy-hitting breakfast burritos and the famous Frontier rolls generously dusted with cinnamon and sugar and glistening in butter.

A restaurant with a bright roof and vintage sign, with outdoor seating beneath a few awnings along its side
Outside Frontier
Frontier [Facebook]

17. Happy Accidents

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3225 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Just about any bar or restaurant owner will tell you that nothing goes according to plan when you set out to open a new concept. Bar and spirits consultants Kate Gerwin and Blaze Montana took that message to heart, drawing inspiration for their bar from the kind-hearted PBS painter Bob Ross, who encouraged viewers to see unforeseen mistakes as “happy accidents.” The duo brought on Adrienne Miller, a fellow bar pro, to run the kitchen, which cranks out fusions of New Orleans, New Mexican, and Asian cuisines. Dishes are paired with a cocktail menu of highballs, martinis, and more playful selections all in an eclectic, wildly decorated space. If it’s an accident this trio landed a spot on a hot corner in Nob Hill, we’re all happier for it.

18. Frenchish

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3509 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 433-5911
Visit Website

At this upscale brasserie in Nob Hill, chefs Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer offer a concise but strong monthly menu of updated French classics. Chicken “kinda” cordon bleu gets french-fried for an extra level of flavor you never knew the dish needed, and the spring lobster nicoise keeps things cool on warm high desert nights. Check out the playful Wednesday burger specials, which recently featured a Reuben burger with house-made kraut, melty Gruyere, and dijonnaise.

A takeout container with duck, beans, and salad
Duck confit with cassoulet salad
Frenchish [Facebook]

19. Soo Bak Seoul Bowl

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111 Hermosa Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
(505) 268-0017
Visit Website

This Korean food-truck-turned-restaurant, tucked away just east of Nob Hill in Albuquerque, doles out bowls of bibimbap and bulgogi tacos from its small brick-and-mortar home. To expand on available dining space and make the most of his real estate, chef and owner John Katrinak set up a comfortable patio in the parking lot. As an added bonus, nab a pint or quart of kimchi to keep at home for when you need that fix of spicy fermentation.

A white picket fenced section of a parking lot with patio tables and umbrellas outside a restaurant set in an industrial garage
The Soo Bak patio
Soo Bak Seoul Bowl [Facebook]

20. Coda Bakery

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230 Louisiana Blvd SE C
Albuquerque, NM 87108
(505) 232-0085
Visit Website

Vietnamese restaurants abound in Albuquerque’s International District, but the banh mi at Coda Bakery is a requisite for fans of Vietnam’s stuffed sandwich. At lunchtime you’re sure to find people lined up in the narrow space waiting for their turn to order jambon, head cheese, and pork belly on a fresh-baked Vietnamese baguette.

A spread of sliced vegetables, jambon, head cheese, pork belly, and other fixins
Banh mi in the making
Coda Bakery [Official]

21. The Acre

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4410 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
(505) 299-6973
Visit Website

Chef Shawn Weed and his team at the Acre work on the innovative side of the Albuquerque dining scene, turning out seasonal vegetarian and vegan cuisine that are bound to satisfy even avid meat eaters. During the pandemic they set up an online ordering system for takeout and family meals, but more recently they debuted a new dine-in spring menu, where they’re vibing on backyard cookouts with items like barbecue jackfruit, both in a combo plate and as a sandwich with house slaw, house-made pickles, and potato salad. A chilled spring pesto pasta with asparagus, spring peas, and bell peppers carries the light and fresh side of the menu.

From above, a bright plate with a sandwich, steak fries, and ketchup
Vegetarian club sandwich
The Acre [Facebook]

1. Sobremesa Restaurant & Brewery

3421 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120
A bowl of soup with fixings and tortillas on a stone ledge by an outdoor fire pit and a glass of beer
Sobremesa’s cozy patio
Sobremesa [Facebook]

Sobremesa Restaurant & Brewery opened its doors on Albuquerque’s Westside in September, 2020. Despite the timing, the seasoned ownership team of bar and brewery pros made starting a business during a global crisis look easy. Fast-forward to today: Sobremesa has earned a name for itself not only for its top-notch craft beer, but also for a Spanish- and New Mexican-inspired menu of tacos, burgers, and bocadillos. Catch live music Mondays on the wraparound patio, and bring your growler so you can take home some pints of the brewery’s signature Siesta Stout.

3421 Coors Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120

2. Monte Carlo Liquors & Steak House

3916 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105
A wide flat cheeseburger leaking some green chile sauce on a plate with a heaping portion of thin french fries
Green chile cheeseburger
Bill Addison

As you enter the front door of Monte Carlo, you’ll find a package liquor store, but that’s only a front for the superb steakhouse and speakeasy that lives in the back. The dimly lit dining room, with curved vinyl booths and walls adorned with Budweiser memorabilia, is an ideal place to enjoy a menu centered on grilled rib-eyes and green chile cheeseburgers. You’ll also find a number of Greek specialties, like pork kebabs, dolmas, and baklava.

3916 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105

3. Sawmill Market

1909 Bellamah Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
An industrial exterior with patio umbrellas and a few customers visible from afar, and large cutout letters spelling out Sawmill Market
Outside Sawmill Market
Sawmill Market [Official]

Albuquerque’s highly anticipated first food hall had a rough year after it opened in March 2020, but the Sawmill Market has proven resilient with help from some of Albuquerque’s best chefs. Among the diverse assortment of nearly 20 restaurants, you’ll find items like handmade pastas from Tulipani, sweet and savory waffles from XO Waffle, tacos to go from Flora, and plenty of local libations. Enjoy it all in the market hall or on a sprawling patio. 

Disclaimer: The author of this article works at one of the Sawmill Market bars.

1909 Bellamah Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

4. Duran Central Pharmacy

1815 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Part of the charm of this speakeasy-type restaurant, tucked in the back of an Old Town pharmacy, is the experience of sopping up red chile with a buttery tortilla among the magazine racks and drugstore toys. During the pandemic, the Duran family did introduce an online ordering system through their website to serve diners who can’t dine in, offering the same New Mexican classics for takeout. Now you can comfortably get back to eating at the Pharmacy and enjoying such daily specials as the craveable green chile chicken enchiladas — though we wouldn’t blame you if you ordered some tamales to stash at home for when your chile craving inevitably strikes.

1815 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104

5. Campo at Los Poblanos

4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107
A tuna salad with slices of crusted rare tuna, boiled egg, slices potatoes, broccoli, herbs and edible flowers
Tuna Niçoise Salad
Campo at Los Poblanos [Facebook]

Chef Jonathan Perno heads the wood-fired kitchen at Campo at the Los Poblanos Inn, which sits deep off the meandering Rio Grande Boulevard in Albuquerque’s North Valley. The well-executed menu is wide-ranging to say the least; you can get everything from a ceviche with pickled green chile to tagliatelle Bolognese. Reservations are required for dinner, so call ahead.

4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM 87107

6. Dog House Drive In

1216 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

For more than 50 years, the Dog House Drive-In has been a West Downtown go-to for anyone craving a red chili cheese dog while on the go. Depending on your time constraints, you can phone in your order, use the online ordering option, or just pull up in the parking lot and wait for a carhop to come take care of you. Whether you’re chowing down in your car or unwrapping your chili dogs at home, just make sure you have some extra napkins on hand.

1216 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

7. Golden Crown Panaderia

1103 Mountain Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

This cozy, family-owned neighborhood bakery in Old Town is known for its house-baked breads, sandwiches, and pizzas best enjoyed on the sunny patio. The pepperoni and green chile pizza on the family’s signature blue corn crust is a specialty worth ordering ahead online. Just don’t forget to include a dozen of New Mexico’s favorite biscochitos on your order too.

1103 Mountain Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

8. 505 Central Food Hall

505 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

505 Food Hall is the latest addition to the food hall trend that has sprung up around Albuquerque over the past year. Aptly named for the city’s beloved area code, the food hall is a bustling destination at the heart of downtown. With about 10 restaurants to choose from, diners can get their fix of ramen from Naruto, pan pizzas from Thicc, and oysters and ceviche at Pier None, along with coffee, dessert, and local libations all under one roof.

505 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

9. El Modelo Mexican Foods

1715 2nd St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

El Modelo has a full (and very good) menu, but this place could run on tamales alone if it needed to. They’re handmade daily, filled with your choice of pork with red chile or chicken with green chile. Step up to the counter and order your lunch, and then grab a seat at the community lunch tables alongside locals to dig into your plate of tamales or enchiladas smothered with red chile and cheese. Pro tip: Show up to a potluck or family gathering with a dozen tamales from El Modelo, and you’ll instantly be everyone’s favorite.

1715 2nd St SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

10. Sister Bar

407 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
From above, a paper basket of fries covered in sauce and kimchi slices, on a paper placemat depicting comics panels
Kimchi fries 
Sister Bar [Facebook]

While craft cocktails have been slow to catch on in Albuquerque, this unassuming downtown haunt is leading the charge. The bar staff here is adept with both classic and original concoctions and offers a wide selection of beers on tap (with even more in cans). The kitchen dishes out an eclectic menu of tacos accompanied by fries and tots with unique toppings like kimchi, Sriracha crema, and more.

407 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

11. Mary & Tito's Cafe

2711 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107
Two plates of rice, beans, tacos, stewed red pork, and lettuce on a wooden table
Combo plates
Bill Addison

Since 1963, Mary & Tito’s has been Albuquerque’s gold standard for carne adovada — a New Mexican-style pork dish stewed in red chile. Descendants of founders Mary and Tito Gonzales still run the place, and they have preserved the original recipes that earned the restaurant leagues of devoted regulars. The red chile-stewed carne adovada should be your go-to, but no one will judge if you opt for a combination plate that comes smothered in a savory and spicy green chile.

2711 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107

12. The Burque Bakehouse

640 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
A variety of pastries on a wooden butcherblock counter
All of the pastries
Burque Bakehouse [Official]

Burque Bakehouse began as a stand at Albuquerque’s weekend Rail Yards Market in 2015 but settled into its brick-and-mortar home at the tail end of 2020. All of the sweet, savory, and seasonal pastries and breads are carefully handcrafted and rolled. Consider yourself lucky if you find yourself there on a weekend and there isn’t a line wrapped around the building, especially since this charming bakery is open only Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until sold out.

640 Broadway Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

13. Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar Downtown

510 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Pizza might as well be crowned the king of takeout options, but it’s always a bit more satisfying to get that first piping-hot bite (cheese pull included) sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends and family at one of Farina’s two locations. Known for their perfectly charred pizzas made with local ingredients, Farina makes a case for its pies as Albuquerque’s best, though you’d be mistaken to overlook the crunchy, fresh chopped salad or house-made pastas. For the full experience, finish off on a sweet note with silky, salty butterscotch budino.

510 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

14. Grove Cafe & Market

600 Central Ave SE A, Albuquerque, NM 87102
An extremely colorful array of sliced meats, cheese, pickled vegetables, fruits, and crackers
Charcuterie board
Grove Cafe & Market [Official]

Take a seat on the expanded patio of the Grove Cafe & Market to enjoy a first-rate breakfast favorite from owners Jason and Lauren Greene, like the savory croque madame or a breakfast burrito with Tully’s Italian sausage, goat cheese, and green chile. Then grab some cookies or pillowy English muffins from the market to tide yourself over until your next visit.

600 Central Ave SE A
Albuquerque, NM 87102

15. Holy Burgers

700 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
A thick cheeseburger on tomato, lettuce, onions, and a bun, topped with a fried egg and pierced with a toothpick, with the top bun and pickle slices nearby
A burger piled high
Holy Burgers [Official]

Holy Burger serves half-pound wonders of the burger world. They come topped with fresh ingredients like chopped green chiles and cheese, or goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and basil. If burgers aren’t your thing, you’ll also find sumptuous salads and tasty sandwich options. With nearly 10 years under its belt in East Downtown, this burger joint can crank out green chile cheeseburgers that consistently hit the spot.

700 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Related Maps

16. Frontier

2400 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
A restaurant with a bright roof and vintage sign, with outdoor seating beneath a few awnings along its side
Outside Frontier
Frontier [Facebook]

As an institution of college grub with a knack for New Mexican breakfast, Frontier is known for its sprawling dining rooms bustling with hungry students trying to quell the pain of a long night and professors fueling up for the day at the nearby University of New Mexico. Sure, it’s not chef-driven or especially nuanced, but locals and tourists line up every day to dig into heavy-hitting breakfast burritos and the famous Frontier rolls generously dusted with cinnamon and sugar and glistening in butter.

2400 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

17. Happy Accidents

3225 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Just about any bar or restaurant owner will tell you that nothing goes according to plan when you set out to open a new concept. Bar and spirits consultants Kate Gerwin and Blaze Montana took that message to heart, drawing inspiration for their bar from the kind-hearted PBS painter Bob Ross, who encouraged viewers to see unforeseen mistakes as “happy accidents.” The duo brought on Adrienne Miller, a fellow bar pro, to run the kitchen, which cranks out fusions of New Orleans, New Mexican, and Asian cuisines. Dishes are paired with a cocktail menu of highballs, martinis, and more playful selections all in an eclectic, wildly decorated space. If it’s an accident this trio landed a spot on a hot corner in Nob Hill, we’re all happier for it.

3225 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

18. Frenchish

3509 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
A takeout container with duck, beans, and salad
Duck confit with cassoulet salad
Frenchish [Facebook]

At this upscale brasserie in Nob Hill, chefs Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer offer a concise but strong monthly menu of updated French classics. Chicken “kinda” cordon bleu gets french-fried for an extra level of flavor you never knew the dish needed, and the spring lobster nicoise keeps things cool on warm high desert nights. Check out the playful Wednesday burger specials, which recently featured a Reuben burger with house-made kraut, melty Gruyere, and dijonnaise.

3509 Central Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

19. Soo Bak Seoul Bowl

111 Hermosa Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
A white picket fenced section of a parking lot with patio tables and umbrellas outside a restaurant set in an industrial garage
The Soo Bak patio
Soo Bak Seoul Bowl [Facebook]

This Korean food-truck-turned-restaurant, tucked away just east of Nob Hill in Albuquerque, doles out bowls of bibimbap and bulgogi tacos from its small brick-and-mortar home. To expand on available dining space and make the most of his real estate, chef and owner John Katrinak set up a comfortable patio in the parking lot. As an added bonus, nab a pint or quart of kimchi to keep at home for when you need that fix of spicy fermentation.

111 Hermosa Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

20. Coda Bakery

230 Louisiana Blvd SE C, Albuquerque, NM 87108
A spread of sliced vegetables, jambon, head cheese, pork belly, and other fixins
Banh mi in the making
Coda Bakery [Official]

Vietnamese restaurants abound in Albuquerque’s International District, but the banh mi at Coda Bakery is a requisite for fans of Vietnam’s stuffed sandwich. At lunchtime you’re sure to find people lined up in the narrow space waiting for their turn to order jambon, head cheese, and pork belly on a fresh-baked Vietnamese baguette.

230 Louisiana Blvd SE C
Albuquerque, NM 87108

21. The Acre

4410 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111
From above, a bright plate with a sandwich, steak fries, and ketchup
Vegetarian club sandwich
The Acre [Facebook]

Chef Shawn Weed and his team at the Acre work on the innovative side of the Albuquerque dining scene, turning out seasonal vegetarian and vegan cuisine that are bound to satisfy even avid meat eaters. During the pandemic they set up an online ordering system for takeout and family meals, but more recently they debuted a new dine-in spring menu, where they’re vibing on backyard cookouts with items like barbecue jackfruit, both in a combo plate and as a sandwich with house slaw, house-made pickles, and potato salad. A chilled spring pesto pasta with asparagus, spring peas, and bell peppers carries the light and fresh side of the menu.

4410 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111

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