Restaurants in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, searchable by cuisine and location, with ratings and reviews. Get educated before you eat!
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Northeast Heights Grub
The Northeast Heights has been largely uncharted culinary territory for me—so this week I decided to go do some charting. All the dining and drinking establishments covered in this week’s section are in that quadrant of the city, they’re all locally owned, and they’re all worth a visit. If you live in that part of town, count yourself lucky—there’s a lot of good eatin’ around you, from Vietnamese to Italian to French pastries. If you don’t, well, remember that crossing to the other side of the freeway isn’t the end of the world.
1415 Wyoming Blvd NE (Northeast Heights)
Mon-Sat 10am-7pm Sun 11am-6pm (hours can change without notice)
Driving north on Wyoming from the freeway, you can’t help but notice this grocery/café’s vibrantly painted building. Inside, you can nibble on Middle Eastern fare ranging from kabobs to hummus to herbed tabouleh. Everything is made fresh to order. Vegetarians will appreciate the meat-free selections.
If the café’s mural of French street life doesn't quite make you forget that you're in an Albuquerque strip mall, closing your eyes and tasting a flaky blueberry cheese croissant might. If the croissant doesn't work, try some petits fours. But if sweets aren’t doing it for you, maybe you need something savory: Perhaps one of the daily lunch special sandwiches and a cup of espresso will do it?
6001 San Mateo Blvd SE (Northeast Heights)
Albuquerque NM 87109
Albuquerque NM 87109
Mon, Wed-Sun 10 am-9 pm Closed Tuesday (hours can change without notice)
A delightful Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon has plenty of comfy booths if you want to eat in, and speedy service if you plan to take out. In the mood for something different? Say … quail? Saigon has got you covered. Just make sure you don’t leave without tasting the perfectly seasoned, rich pho broth and a glass of Thai iced tea.
Sun-Thu: 11am-9pm Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm (hours can change without notice)
Brick-oven pizza may have come to us from California, but they do it pretty well here in New Mexico. The chicken Caesar pizza is genius with white cream sauce and a salad right on top of the pie. And if the pizzas don’t get you going, there’s homemade pasta, yummy minestrone and a lineup of excellent beer. Perhaps the best thing on the menu is the torta dessert—a mountain of puff pastry, baked apples and cinnamon ice cream. Dive in with a demitasse of fresh espresso.
Outside is a strip mall, but Taaj Palace’s interior is understated elegance. Hit the buffet for various curries that are tolerably piquant (go for the goat) and fresh naan that’s soft and chewy. Returning for dinner, the saag paneer is thick and creamy, infused with a lingering zest that warms the mouth but doesn’t overstay its welcome. The samosas (fried patties stuffed with tender potato) have a nice kick to them, and tandoori chicken, pulled from hot ovens, displays a delicate spice and moistness (as all Taaj’s meats do). Wash your marathon meal down with a mango lassi on ice.