Restaurant Guide–Albuquerque

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New Mexico

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  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

 

Albuquerque

ABC Chinese–8720 Menaul Blvd. NE (Chinese) Dinner Tue-Sun; lunch Fri-Sun (closed Mon).  Authentic Cantonese style Chinese. This place serves inexpensive, home style Chinese food (authentic food is on the blue menu). Skip the regular menu (this mainly has negative reviews). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Ajiaco–3216 Silver Ave. SE (Colombian) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Good quality and authentic Colombian food. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Amore–3600 Cutler Ave. NE (Pizza) Open Daily.  Authentic Neapolitan pizza, backed up by an APN certification (Amore got it by cooking pizza in a 900 degree wood burning oven, Italian flour, and house made mozzarella). The sauce is made of more plain ingredients than in American style pizzas, and this may be a reason diners can experience such a great appreciation of the crust, cheese, and toppings (when they are as good as these are). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Annie’s Soup Kitchen–3107 Eubank Blvd. NE (Sandwiches) Open 8 am to 2 pm (closed Mon & Tue).  I’m including this because I was a frequent customer a number of years ago, and it is still going strong with positive reviews.  Popular for breakfast, but I knew it for its soups and sandwiches. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Artichoke Cafe–424 Central Ave. SE (New American) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Highly regarded white tablecloth restaurant (one $ short of being excluded from this list because of being too high end). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Budai–6300 San Mateo NE (Chinese) Closed Mon & Tue.  Authentic Chinese–Has 3 cup chicken, dim sum. Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Cafe Da Lat–5615 Central Ave. NE (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Very large menu including items that are not served in most Vietnamese restaurants. According to Gil’s Thrilling Blog this is the best Vietnamese restaurant in New Mexico, and better than some well know restaurants in other states. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Cocina Azul–1134 Mountain Rd. NW (New Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 8 pm.  Known for its green chile stew. Many items are popular with reviewers, including several types of New Mexican style breakfast. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

El Modelo–1715 2nd St. SW (New Mexican) Open daily 7 am to 7 pm (take out only except for an outdoor patio).  Probably my favorite place for stuffed sopapillas. However, many people go there for the tamales. Map (Takeout only 11-1-21)

Frontier–2400 Central Ave. SE (New Mexican) Open daily 5 am to 11 pm.  Green chile stew, breakfast burrito, carne adovada, green chile cheeseburger. This is a diner where you can get Mexican food or American food with green chile on it (and most people choose one of these two options). Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Magokoro–5614 Menaul Blvd. NE (Japanese) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Has a full menu of Japanese food (not just sushi). Recommended items include Japanese curry (available at lunch only), ramen, and tuna soba. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Mary & Tito’s–2711 4th St. NW (New Mexican) Lunch only (closed Sun and closed the first Monday of each month).  This has long been Gil’s no. 1 recommendation for New Mexican food (he likes carne adovada and red chile). I found out that there are two types of red chile-plain chile and chile with meat (I found the one with meat to be the real standout at the restaurant). Map (Dining room is open 7-18-21)

Ming Dynasty–1551 Eubank NE (Chinese) Closed Tue & Wed.  Dim sum is popular-reviewers say the best time for this is Sun. lunch (people familiar with Cal. dim sum, though, say the one here should be rated about 3 out of 5). Some of the regular menu items look good. Has dishes with plum sauce (something I want to try). Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Monroe’s–6051 Osuna Rd. NE (New Mexican) Open daily (serves breakfast on Sun).  I was impressed by the blue corn enchiladas, but not so much by the stuffed sopaipillas. Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Pad Thai–110 Louisiana Blvd. SE (Thai) Closed Tue (and closes at 7 pm on Sun).  This is no ordinary Thai restaurant–it specializes in Isan cuisine from the northeast part of the country (probably my favorite from the little I have been able to sample). This is a casual and inexpensive restaurant. Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Perea’s–1140 Juan Tabo NE (New Mexican) Open 8 am to 2 pm (closed Mon).  The breakfasts I had at the old Central Ave. location were some of the best I have ever had. Map (Dining room is open 8-23-21)

Red Rock Deli–2414 San Mateo Pl. NE (Polish) Closes at 6 pm (closed Mon).  With multiple visits to this relatively new Polish market and restaurant, Gil gives it his endorsement, comparing it to similar places in Chicago. Italian beef sandwich, hot dogs, polish sandwich, and pierogi are among the recommendations. I thought the schnitzel was quite good. Note: it closed for a while before opening its new location on San Mateo Pl. Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

Saigon–6001 San Mateo Blvd. NE (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  In searching for the highest rated restaurants in Rio Rancho, I found out that one of them is actually Saigon 2, a branch of this one (which gets very good ratings from Gil as well as on Yelp). Has a large Vietnamese menu that is unusual for the Southwest, and I think will be very satisfying. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Sakura Sushi–4200 Wyoming NE (Lao) Closed Sun & Mon lunch (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  I understand the real standout here is the Lao food (but many like the sushi as well). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Sawmill Market–1909 Bellemah Ave. NW (Food Court) Open Daily.  Has an interesting choice of restaurants including Vietnamese street food, New Mexican food, Japanese ice cream cake, green chile grilled cheese sandwiches, Belgian waffles, Venezuelan snack food, and much more. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Talking Drums–1606 Central Ave. SE (West African) Lunch only–dinner on Fri & Sat (closed Sun & Mon). Reviews for the vegetarian dinners are very good (but they serve meat dishes also). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Thai House–2000 Carlisle Blvd. NE (Thai) Closed Sun.  I tried several good items here, but the coconut soup (thom khar gai) was the best I have had in any Thai restaurant in my recent memory. This is a one-woman operation and gives a very enjoyable atmosphere in addition to the good food. Map (Dining room is open 1-24-22)

Note: M’Tucci’s Market & Pizzeria Closed. Gil reports that they closed the restaurant but you can find their meats, cheeses and bread at local establishments such as Steel Bender Brewyard, Vara Wines, Farm & Table, and Toltec Brewing. (4-29-20)

Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Casa de Benavidez–8032 4th St. NW (New Mexican) Lunch only–dinner on Thu & Fri (closed Sun).  A favorite with locals. May be the least publicized top tier New Mexican rest. in ABQ. Stuffed sopapillas and breakfast burritos are recommended. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Sadie’s–6230 4th St. NW (New Mexican) Open Daily.  This is one of the city’s old standbys. Some say it is not as good as it used to be, but red enchiladas have traditionally been very good. Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Rio Rancho

Joe’s Pasta House–3201 Southern Blvd. SE (Italian) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Serves “real” Italian food. It seems that Gil hasn’t found a menu item yet that is not worthy of a “best bet” designation. $$ to $$$ (depending on the dish). Map (Dining room is open 11-8-21)

Namaste–1520 Deborah Rd. SE (Indian) Open daily (closed from 2 to 5 pm).  One of several Indian and Nepali restaurants in ABQ and the Mountain West area, but Gil particularly likes the flavor of the food here. I ate at the location near UNM (which is now closed) and really liked the Nepalese food. Map (Dining room is open 11-1-21)

 

  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions

Gil’s Highest Rated Restaurants

Albuquerque is home to Gil Garduño, author of Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog which I reference frequently on these pages.. In Albuquerque he cites many restaurants as being worthy of a visit, but the following are his top picks:

  • Budai Gourmet Chinese
  • Mary & Tito’s Cafe
  • Cafe Dalat

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For New Mexico it is New Mexican cuisine, a blend of the flavors brought over by the Spanish colonists in the 16th century and Native American cultures–with corn, chile peppers, and roasting techniques originating from the latter.

In Santa Fe they suggest La Choza for carne adovada, The Shed for stacked red or green enchiladas, and Pantry or Cafe Pasqual’s for breakfast burritos. In Albuquerque the recommendations are Mary & Tito’s for chile rellenos and stuffed sopapillas, Cocina Azul for green chile stew, and Sadie’s for red chile sauce.


Sources:

Chowhound (Albuquerque)

Condé Nast Traveler (50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State)

Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog

Google Maps

New Mexico Magazine “2016 Readers’ Poll Winners” (Mar. 2016)

New Mexico Magazine “Hidden NM” and “Tasting NM” (Jul. 2016)

New Mexico Magazine “Readers’ Choice Dining Awards 2017” (Mar. 2017)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Albuquerque)

Zomato (Albuquerque)

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