As the largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque has a diverse, multi-cultural background steeped in history. Albuquerque is also home to many high-quality restaurants – here are the 10 best restaurants in the city.
The Grove Café & Market
Opened in 2006 by husband and wife duo, Jason and Lauren Greene, The Grove Café and Market serves American breakfasts and lunch dishes to hungry diners from Tuesday through to Saturday plus offering a sterling Sunday brunch. Focusing on the highest quality ingredients, which include organic and sustainable meats from local purveyors, this lively eatery creates a host of delightful dishes ranging from salads to sandwiches to sweet treats. Highlights include the perfectly poached eggs with a choice of meat, asparagus or Parmesan; pancakes with fresh fruit and crème fraiche or the turkey toastie with havarti, tomato, and whole grain mustard on whole wheat bread. With several vegetarian options, the Grove Café and Market will appeal to everyone.
A staple on Albuquerque’s culinary scene since 1929, El Modelo is a casual eatery — primarily a takeaway spot — specialising in Mexican cuisine. Beginning as a tortilla business operating from one room of a modest house, El Modelo now serves a host of flavourful items from tacos and tamales to enchiladas, all of which are homemade. Particularly popular dishes include the Mexican plate – which provides diners with a chance to sample tamales, tacos, enchiladas, rice, refried beans, spare ribs, and chips – and the stuffed sopapilla with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and chile chorizo. Open every day, El Modelo also offer guests hearty breakfast fare, including a burrito with eggs, hash browns, chorizo, refried beans, cheese, and green chile.
A well-loved Albuquerque institution since 1971, Frontier Restaurant serves up American and New Mexican fare to hungry diners seven days a week, from 5 a.m., through to the following 1 a.m. Conveniently situated near the University of New Mexico, Frontier Restaurant’s location makes it a perfect venue for students looking to fuel their late night study sessions. Within an culturally-infused space complete with artworks — many representing John Wayne — by local and national artists, guests can feast upon a host of tasty dishes with special highlights including the breakfast burrito with egg, hash browns, cheddar cheese, and green chile and the Duke City burger with bacon, double green chile, and double cheddar. The restaurant is also known for its sweet rolls, which are a must-have for anyone craving a sweet treat.
Golden Crown Panaderia
Touted as an ‘old-fashioned neighbourhood bakery’, the family-owned and operated Golden Crown Panaderia specialises in both sweet and savoury offerings with an emphasis on New Mexican flavours. Located in the Old Town area, this venue is sure to appeal to a wide range of tastes with its delicious selection of baked goods, pizzas, and sandwiches. Some of the sweet treats available for guests to enjoy range from the locally famed New Mexico favourite, biscochito cookies — including blue corn, sugar-free, chocolate, and cappuccino varieties – and empanadas in several fruity offerings. For those looking to stop by for dinner, try the vegetarian pizza with a blue corn or green chile crust or opt for the turkey and Swiss sandwich on a choice of freshly made bread. Be sure to pick up a loaf of the ‘Original New Mexico Green Chile Bread’, which is adorned with a depiction of a howling coyote.
Guava Tree Café
Opened in 2010 by Maricarmen Pijem and Diego Barbosa, Guava Tree Café is a cosy and intimate eatery featuring cuisine inspired by the flavours of Latin America and the Caribbean. Located in Nob Hill, this café has a lively ambiance and delicious menu with both savoury and sweet items available, including vegetarian specialities. Savoury highlights include the Cubano sandwich with house-roasted pork, sweet ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread and the more unusual arepas – cornmeal patties stuffed with ingredients then baked. For a particular flavour of Latin America, try the arepa machilla stuffed with black beans, sweet plantains, roasted vegetables, and fresco cheese. For those guests seeking to satisfy their sweet craving, try the decadent tres leches, a sponge cake created from a recipe that includes three types of milk and cream.
Providing locals with authentic New Mexican cuisine since 1965, La Salita is a friendly family-owned and operated establishment open Tuesday through to Saturday. Within a casual and comfortable atmosphere, diners can sample a variety of flavoursome dishes all made from scratch using the freshest ingredients available. Notable highlights from the extensive menu include chile rellenos – two chillies stuffed with cheddar, Swiss cheese, or avocado then dipped in batter and fried – flat blue corn enchiladas layered with ground beef and cheddar; and the specialty B.O.G. burrito stuffed with slow-roasted green chile pork and topped with Swiss cheese. Respecting the dietary needs of their customers, they also offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Established in 2008, Marble Brewery is not technically a restaurant – as it does not have a kitchen on site – but rather a friendly and laid-back brewery that provides flavourful craft brews. With seven house beers on tap – from ales to lagers – plus seasonal offerings, guests will surely find something of interest on the drinks menu. Even though there is no kitchen guests will not go hungry, the brewery offers guests several dining options: they can bring their own food, order from area restaurants, purchase pre-made edibles by Cocina Azul, or visit a food truck parked next to the outside patio. This establishment also hosts many events, such as live music entertainment, making it the perfect venue for a night out with friends.
The Supper Truck
Often found at the Marble Brewery, The Supper Truck specialises in delectable Southern cuisine with a twist. Established in 2012 by Amy Black, this eatery on wheels — check out their website for their current location — delights customers with comfort dishes made from the freshest locally sourced ingredients. In order to highlight seasonal produce, the menu changes frequently, but customers will reliably be able to find a variety of tacos, grits, bahn mi sandwiches, burritos and delicious side dishes. Recent menu items included Coca-Cola braised beef with Vietnamese spices, jalapeño, and cilantro over creamy grits; shrimp tacos with sriracha sour cream, Asian slaw, pickled red onion, and cilantro; and beer-battered fried pickle chips served with momo sauce.
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