Now you’ll know how to eat like a local in Albuquerque visiting these restaurants.
Albuquerque (ABQ) is the largest city in New Mexico and the food hall capital of the state. The city is made up of several districts with local restaurants in each. With Albuquerque’s diverse, authentic New Mexican cuisine, Native American fusion, fine French fare, and Asian delights, there’s no doubt your palette will be satisfied no matter where you dine in the city. It’s a bonus if you like chile peppers because it’s the basis of traditional New Mexican cuisine. Let’s eat like a local in Albuquerque.
If your waiter asks you “green or red,” you can answer “either,” but if you want to be like a local, you would answer, “Christmas.” Green is green Chile, red is red Chile, and Christmas is both! Evidently, the taste is different.
Visit Albuquerque hosted my stay. All opinions are my own.
Top Places To Eat Like A Local In Albuquerque
Sampling delicious local cuisine is the way to go, in my opinion.
NEXT READ: 24Hrs In Old Town Albuquerque
North Valley Alburquerque
Farm And Table
Farm & Table is a picturesque 12-acre property serving fresh, delicious food from area farmers, ranchers and their own garden on the premises. Guests can enjoy great views of the flower garden on their award-winning patio. The sunflowers were showing off when I was there, and I enjoyed the view as I dined on a seasonal entree of delicious rockfish, shrimp, and clams in a tomato-based vegetable soup.
Its seasonal menu depends on what’s growing in the garden and is available from local gardeners. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only.
Farmer’s Salad with Sunflower Green Goddess, a seasonal menu item because you may never get another chance, and indulge in the ’17 C.V.N.E. Cune Rioja Reserva – Rioja, Spain
Tip: Reservations are not required but highly suggested.
Campo At Los Poblanos
Visit Campo at Los Poblanos for brunch serving organic food from their garden. They serve brunch and dinner only. It’s casual, and the flower garden views are so pretty. Save some time to check out the Farm Shop and walk around the property grounds to see the lavender (if in season).
Everything looked so good here. But I ordered:
Farm Breakfast and Stone Fruit Salad with Farm Greens
El Pinto Restaurant
There is one restaurant I couldn’t get to that was on my list. It’s El Pinto Restaurant, and they serve local favorite authentic New Mexico cuisine with recipes derived from the owners’ grandmother, including her recipe for green chile sauce.
It’s said that the red chile ribs are a must-try.
Old Town Albuquerque
Level 5 At Hotel Chaco
You’ll experience a seasonal menu and incredible mountain views of the Sandias at Level 5 Rooftop at Hotel Chaco. Everything was impressive, from the hotel lobby to the walk-up to the rooftop and the delectable crispy seared salmon I ordered. And eating on the rooftop while marveling at the Sandia Mountains made it all the better. You may want to dress nicely if going here.
The avocado hummus was so good, and I enjoyed the Butterfly Pea Rice (the blue stuff) with red wine.
Pro Tip: Reservations are for In-house guests only, except for Holidays when special menus are served. They will accommodate other dining guests based on availability. Please call 505-318-3998.
Sawmill Market is the first food hall in the state, and it’s not finished. When I was there, it house 27 individual local eateries, a pub, a wine bar, and a coffee bar. You can grab your meal and enjoy it outside, inside, or on the go.
It was hard to choose, but I went with a Mediterranean lunch with a Turkish orange soda. They have it all there, from hamburgers to pasta to sushi and a taco bar. Most merchants open at 11:00, and that’s the best time to go before the lunch rush.
Golden Crown Panaderia
A father-son neighborhood bakery serving the area since 1972. Known for its green chili bread Golden Crown Panaderia is a must-stop in Old Town.
If you’re a fan of Guy Fieri, you’ll want to try what he called the best pizza in ABQ – the Blue Corn Pizza. I was told I had to try the green chile bread, so I bought a whole loaf. You may want to order a couple of biscochitos (New Mexico cookies) to go so that you can say you tried it.
D.H. Lescombes Winery And Bistro
D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro was probably my favorite place. I felt welcomed the second I walked in the door. From the first greeting to opening up the back patio just for me and from the waitress explaining the menu to me as she sat down at my table. I felt I had found a friend—she was that kind.
I do enjoy wine with my meal. She suggested the Custom Flight since I’d never been there, but those were sweet wines, so I stuck to my reds. Wines by the glass are also available.
There is plenty of outdoor seating with two patios, one on each side of the restaurant and both with shade.
Soup and salad with any of their homemade vinaigrette and a wine flight.
Albuquerque Bike And Taco Tour
We biked for five miles on Central Avenue and parts of Route 66 near the Rio Grande. It was a beautiful route. We stopped at three taco shops. The first place we stopped was my favorite and is always on the bike tour. The taco joints may change, but Old Town Farm doesn’t, and I can see why – the service was great, outdoor seating was the best, and the food was top-notch.
Must-Try at Old Town Farm:
The chicken tacos, watermelon salad, and if you order anything, get the watermelon spritz. O.M.G. is so refreshing.
MAS – Tapas y Vino At Hotel Andaluz
Tapas are appetizers that are meant to be shared. I did not know what tapas were and what to order, so I asked the waitress if the chef could choose for me. I told her what I liked, and the chef did the rest. The menu was quite overwhelming to me, with so many choices.
To enjoy MAS – Tapas y Vino, make your reservation for the Ibiza Rooftop Lounge, where you’ll have views of downtown Albuquerque.
These are the tapas I was served:
- Toasted Bread with Moroccan butter
- Gambas al Ajillo con Chorizo
- Cast Iron Mushrooms
- Moroccan Beef Noodle
- Eggnog Tres Leches Cake
That was a lot of food for one person, but tapas are meant to be shared! This was my first time to experience this type of restaurant service – it was great!
The Grove Cafe And Market
For breakfast on the patio, go here, but go early (I did), but while I was there enjoying my meal, I looked up and the line was wrapped around the building – that was about 10 am.
The avocado toast and hot peppermint tea. I highly recommend ordering this if you like avo toast – it’s an excellent traveler’s choice.
If you like beautiful flowers on your table, listening to the birds sing, and overlooking the city with mountains as the backdrop, may I suggest reserving a table outdoors? You can’t beat eating like a local on a beautiful day.
Travel Tip: If you plan on visiting the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October, dinner reservations are a must.