North Valley Bars in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico
Albuquerque - North Valley
Mon-Sun 11am-10pm (hours can change without notice)
$$ • Vegetarian Available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Catering • Take Out / To-Go • Live Music • Outdoor Patio • Lounge
New Mexican food in the Garduño’s vein—plus burgers and booze—in a bucolic valley setting. In fact, El Bruno’s does indeed occupy the site (and, one might assume, the demographic) of the former North Valley Garduño’s.
Mon-Thurs: 11am-9pm Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm Sun: 10:30am-9 pm (Sun Brunch 10:30am-2pm) (hours can change without notice)
Cuisine: New Mexican
$$ • Vegetarian Available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Catering • Take Out / To-Go • Live Music • Outdoor Patio
Touted as New Mexico’s largest restaurant, the North Valley’s El Pinto is best known for its gorgeous, shady environment (perennially Best Patio in our restaurant polls) and award-winning jarred salsa. Try it for margaritas, brunch and a little flan.
For the last decade, one of the best green chile cheeseburgers to be had in New Mexico (which means one of the best to be had the world over) was either at Laguna, or more recently, the 66 Pit Stop. But that also meant a decent drive west on I-40 just for a bite to eat. But with their Albuquerque location opening, Laguna Burger has taken that road trip reluctance and instantly replaced it with nearby convenience—not to mention quality casual dining at prices that'll have mall chain franchises gulping and tugging at their collar. Alibi Recommends: Breakfast: The breakfast wimp; Lunch: The fuego with onion petals, and a funky monkey. Vibe: An airy space with TVs and an outdoor patio that's quite a bit different than the gas station location many know!
1119 Candelaria Rd NW (North Valley)
Albuquerque NM 87107
Albuquerque NM 87107
Sun-Thu 1pm-midnight, Fri-Sat 1pm-2am (hours can change without notice)
Meals Served: Open Late
What goes better with a cold Budweiser and fresh chicharrones from Bandido Mexican Food than some rousing music? This joint has a variety of genres to pull in anyone. Karaoke? Down some liquid courage, and grab the mike on Wednesdays. Want that Latin polka feel? Dance to the musico banda on Fridays.
Sun 11am-10pm, Mon-Thu 1-11pm, Fri 1pm-1:30am (hours can change without notice)
Cuisine: Bar and Grill/Pub
After you spank all your bowling buddies with a turkey for the win, head into Dewar’s Pub to celebrate your excellent ball-handling skills. Share a pitcher with your pals, munch on some homemade pub grub, and go hog wild with the karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights.
Mon-Thu: 11am-11pm Fri: 11am-midnight Sat: 7am-midnight Sun: noon-10pm (hours can change without notice)
Stop by at lunchtime for a creative craft beer like their Blackberry hefeweizen and to play some Super Mario Bros like the professional you are. Or hang out and dine on something tasty from a local food truck and listen to some live jams. Or if you just got off the night shift, head over at 7am on a Saturday for breakfast and beer.
Mon-Wed: 11am-10pm Thu-Sat: 11am-11pm Sun: Noon-10pm (hours can change without notice)
For pizza, there are more choices in terms of toppings and sizes than you can shake a stick at. They offer gluten-free crusts, as well as a CauliPower crust, so dietary restrictions are supported here. I opted for the simple traditional go-to, a large pepperoni. At $14.50 for a 16-inch single-topping pizza, the price fit. The crust is solid, with enough crunch to feel sturdy, but the dough above still has some softness to it. The sauce was rich and flavorful, while the cheese was gooey and stretchy. The pepperoni was great, covering the face of the pie sufficiently and allowing me to get a piece in every bite. From the first bite, you can tell that these are all high quality ingredients that come together to create something truly worth devouring.
Alibi recommends: Appetizers are amazing, and so is the pizza.
Vibe: Open, friendly, comfortable.
Mon-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm (hours can change without notice)
This new craft cocktail bar and restaurant sets itself apart by using locally distilled liquors in its drinks, and by making those drinks really well. Go for their sweet-and-tart Paloma if you’re after a summery drink, or try the Manzano “Margarita” with Tumbleroot agave reposado and Naranja orange liqueur. The food menu has quite a few healthy options like salads and grain bowls, as well as some heartier options like the Korean fried chicken bowl. It’s hard to go wring with whatever you choose here.
Alibi recommends: Paloma, 12th street main squeeze, the Korean spicy chicken bowl, chimichurri chicken sandwich, housemade cookies and milk
Vibe: Glass and polish, exposed wood rafters, and pendant lighting to make HGTV proud; warmer weather will put their scenic patio on the map.
Steel Bender serves up craft beer brewed by none other than Robert Haggerty. Pair their tasty pub food with local wines from the likes of Gruet and Milagro Corrales, or grab a cold pint of fun seasonals like The Goose is Loose or house solids like Blue Bullet stout, The Village Wit ale or Skull Bucket IPA.
315 Alameda Blvd. NE (North Valley)
Albuquerque NM 87113
Albuquerque NM 87113
Sunday Noon-3, Wednesday - Friday 5-8pm (hours can change without notice)
Cuisine: Latin American
The Spanish French Toast ($7) hit the table, and I couldn’t believe the size of it. There were five or six slices coated in cinnamon sugar, surrounded by strawberries and topped with a huge dollop of cava whipped cream. The toast itself was heavenly, with a light crunch on the outside and a soft interior, and the coating of the cinnamon sugar helped accentuate the taste of the bread. Add the huge, fresh strawberries into the mix with the cream all in one bite, and you could find yourself transported to a happy place, free of the cares of the world. It’s not like any other French toast I’ve had before, with the sweetness factor kicked up a notch to something delightful and sublime.
Mon-Sun: 4:30pm-9:30pm Fri-Sat Happy Hour: 9pm-11pm Sunday Brunch: 10:30am-3pm (hours can change without notice)
$$$$ • Vegetarian Available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Wine • Live Music • Outdoor Patio • Smoking Permitted • Lounge
Vernon’s is a swanky underground spot for good eats and high times, delivered speakeasy-style. The dining room is walled with lustrous, ebony adobe, and the tables are clothed in crisp, black and white linens. By the glass or bottle, there’s plenty of quality hooch. The menu is classic steakhouse stuff with beef tournedos in a silky demi-glace, fresh fish and a damn fine veal Oscar. Check out the Black Diamond Lounge to take in the fancy cocktails and live music.