The 10 Best Restaurants In Rio Rancho, New Mexico

The Sandia Mountains from Rio Rancho
The Sandia Mountains from Rio Rancho | © G Thomas/WikiCommons
Monica Nastase

Mexican cuisine has had a prominent role in shaping the culinary habits of the town of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The northern suburb of Albuquerque displays a varied selection of restaurants, from authentic Italians and Vietnamese bars to the classic Mexican tavern. There’s also the option of trying out Indian and Nepalese cuisine, or living it up while tasting delicious Irish-influenced food at a typical Irish pub. As for Mexican treats, there’s no shortage of restaurants from upscale to take-away to suit any budget.

1. Turtle Mountain Brewing Company

Pub, Central American, Beer, Italian

Serving American fare paired with a large selection of house-brewed ales, Turtle Mountain is one of the most popular restaurants in Rio Rancho. Their menu features American staple dishes like grinders and burgers, sirloin steaks and pizza. Don’t miss out on their large beer menu made up of a variety of house brews, from cream ales to amber ales and dark stout beer. They also serve beers on tap with English or German influences for a full international experience. Go for their pub-style food and happy hour on weekdays, or reserve their banquet room for a special occasion.

2. Joe’s Pasta House

Joe’s Pasta House

Located in the center of Rio Rancho, close to the town’s golf club, Joe’s Pasta House serves authentic Italian food mixed with American flavors. The menu draws from traditional Italian ingredients and flavors, and offers appetizers like mozzarella, ravioli and antipasti, and main dishes from pasta to gnocchi and manicotti. They also offer other American-Italian specialties like steaks and chops, seafood and salads. For lunch they serve a buffet if you’re in the mood for sampling a bunch of Italian flavors at once. Don’t miss their Italian-imported wines to pair with your meal.

Joe’s Pasta House, 3201 Southern Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM, USA. +1 505 892 3333

Ceviche platter | © Star5112/Flickr

3. Hot Tamales

Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian

A traditional Mexican restaurant in New Mexico is not exactly a rarity, but the atmosphere at Hot Tamales and its delicious menu draws the crowds. With colorful, woven carpets decorating the ceiling and Mexican art on the walls, the place is an invitation to immerse yourself in Mexican culture. The menu features dishes like stuffed sopapillas, beef enchiladas, chicken tacos, and other flavorful plates. Typical add-ons like black beans, green chile or guacamole complete the tasting experience. The place is located downtown Rio Rancho, on the main boulevard.

5. Saigon Restaurant

Restaurant, Vietnamese, Asian

An authentic Vietnamese cuisine place, Saigon in Rio Rancho is the owner’s second restaurant. Serving a massive menu of more than 100 dishes, at Saigon you can be sure to sample a bit of everything. The dishes range from various combinations of noodle soups, dry noodles with fish sauce or the staple rice plate with any combination of meats from pork and meat pie to pork, shrimp and egg pie. Pair your food with their special iced teas for the complete Vietnamese experience.

6. Blue Grasshopper Brew Pub

Pub, American, Italian

A food-and-entertainment American style place, Blue Grasshopper Brew Pub serves an uncomplicated menu of handmade pizza and hand-crafted beers. The pizzas range from the staple margherita to a royal Hawaiian recipe, and the beers come in a wide selection of both in-house brews and other local breweries in the state of New Mexico. They offer over 30 brews on tap, from the cream, amber or brown ales, to lager varieties, stout and pilsner. Blue Grasshopper also offers daily entertainment putting their stage up for local musicians. Any day you go, you can listen to house regulars as well as newcomers.

7. O’Hare’s Grille & Pub

Bar, Pub, American, Beer, Irish

A laid-back pub with Irish influences, O’Hare’s serves up a mix of all-American favorite pub food, and a selection of soups and salads. Located in the southern part of Rio Rancho, the pub has a relaxed atmosphere and a vibrant clientele every weeknight. Don’t miss out on their battered chicken wings, sesame cajun shrimp, or their slow-roasted pork. Other options include the house staple double decker Reuben sandwich or the ‘original gardenburger’. Their daily happy hours are another attraction of this Irish-influenced pub.

8. Pho Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Vietnamese, Asian

A classic Vietnamese cuisine restaurant set in a modern, red and black place, the menu at Pho Bar draws from classic Vietnamese ingredients and recipes, and offers dishes like lemongrass soup, pork egg rolls or thin bahn hoirice noodles with ground beef. This is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Rio Rancho, both for their authentic cuisine and flavorful dishes, and for their friendly atmosphere. As traditional in Vietnamese cuisine, they also serves shakes, don’t miss the lychee flavor.

9. Cazuela’s Mexican Grill & Brewery

Bar, Restaurant, American, Beer, Mexican

Cazuela’s is a modern restaurant serving fine Mexican cuisine and own crafted beers. The restaurant has several areas to enjoy its delicious food. There’s the main eating area with a tap bar displaying the brewing stands behind, and then there’s the outdoor area around a traditional Mexican fountain. On their menu expect to find fish or shrimp ceviche, octopus guacamole, chile soups, burritos and enchiladas, among many other staple Mexican dishes. The beer they serve is brewed in-house and includes cream or red ales, Mexican lager or the award-winning oatmeal stout.

10. Tao Chinese Bistro

Bistro, Chinese, Asian

A simple, modern setting and an extensive, creative menu is what makes the Tao Chinese Bistro famous among the locals of Rio Rancho. The traditional Chinese dishes are mixed up with the chef’s new creations for an inventive offering. The menu features staples such as sweet-and-sour pork or Mongolian beef, but also more innovative options like the ‘coffee chicken’ in which the meat is rubbed with ground French coffee. Also, make sure not to miss on another inventive blend, the walnut shrimp in a creamy sauce.
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