Best of Burque 2012: The High Life
 Alibi V.21 No.14 • April 5-11, 2012 

Best of Burque 2012

The High Life

Best Bar Staff


409 Central NW
These good people dole out drinks with admirable efficiency on busy nights and maintain an ever-eclectic music playlist to further lubricate pool-table-side socializing. All this while being uniformly nice to look at.
2) Tractor Brewing Company Tap Room
3) O’Niell’s Pub

Best Dive Bar

Burt's Tiki Lounge

313 Gold SW
Cozy booths, kitschy lighting, floors awash with mystery liquid, $2 PBRs, stiff cocktails, a friendly-but-no-frills staff and free music blaring until the wee hours five nights a week: Dive right in.
2) Anodyne
3) Joe's Place (inside Carraro's Pizza)

Best Swanky Bar

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

3009 Central NE
It's not always easy to find a place that successfully combines class with comfort. Zinc pulls it off with ease thanks to a casual atmosphere, free live music, and a bevy of great cocktails and local brews.
2) Apothecary Lounge (inside Hotel Parq Central)
3) Jazzbah

Best Gay Bar

Effex Night Club

420 Central SW
This large, multistory dance club has filled a void in the once decidedly hetero Downtown entertainment district. It's also filled the shirtless-muscle-bound-man-mixing-cocktails void.
2) Albuquerque Social Club
3) Evolution Nightclub (formerly Exhale)

Best Rock Bar


618 Central SW
No Burque bar rocks harder (or with more space-themed decor and poster art) than the Launchpad. Afloat with budget-friendly libations, this venerable Downtown venue plays host to the musically famous, infamous and up-and-coming.
2) Burt's Tiki Lounge
3) Low Spirits

Best Cocktails


409 Central NW
The Anodyne is a second story Downtown hideaway decked in dark wood and pool tables. The feel is vintage-eclectic and masculine, making it a perfect place to order drinks like a Tom Collins or Manhattan. Anodyne mixes them with well-honed skill.
2) Jazzbah
3) Apothecary Lounge (inside Hotel Parq Central)

Best Brewpub

Marble Brewery

111 Marble NW
Locals across strata of class, culture and occupation have embraced these guys from Day One, and they continue to rake in national accolades. (Draft magazine named one of Marble’s many specialty beers a Top Brew of 2010.)
2) Tractor Brewing Company
3) Tie: La Cumbre Brewing Company, Kelly’s Brew Pub

Best Sports Bar

Coaches Sports Grill

1414 Central SE
Jersey-clad worshippers of the pigskin huddle around tables for action-packed broadcasts on dozens of screens. An attentive wait staff serves up surprisingly good hot wings and green chile roast beef dips. Just another Sunday at Coaches.
2) Uptown Sports Bar and Grill
3) Fox and Hound

Best Bar for Dancing

Effex Nightclub

420 Central SW
Booty-shakers often despair that Downtown is more famous for street brawls than dance music. LGBT-powered Effex may turn (and bump, and grind) that reputation around.
2) The Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall and Saloon
3) Blackbird Buvette

Best Happy Hour

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

3009 Central NE
Burqueños spend their happiest hours—and afternoon intermezzos—at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro. With sophisticated twists on bar food staples (e.g., red chile tuna sliders), and drink specials like the $2 “brown bag” wine pour, it's a truly fine place to observe the end of a work day.
2) Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
3) Tie: Nob Hill Bar & Grill, O'Niell's, Savoy Wine Bar and Grill

Best Karaoke

Ed's Pub (inside Leisure Bowl)

7400 Lomas NE
Time-travel decor (circa late ’70s), a supportive DJ (“Breathe, honey!”) and a bartender who takes the mic behind the bar to sing while he’s pouring your beer: Oh hell yes.
2) Retro’s Bar
3) Punky’s Place (inside Silva Lanes)

Best Bar Decor

Burt's Tiki Lounge

313 Gold SW
If Jimmy Buffett ran a bar within the hull of a pirate ship, it would look like the interior of Burt's. Walls decked in nautical miscellany will make you forget you're drying out in landlocked desertville in no time.
2) Anodyne
3) Two Fools Tavern

Best Hookah Lounge

Terrene Hookah Lounge

106 Vassar SE
The age-old ritual of water pipe puffing is alive and well in Albuquerque. This UNM-area chillspot keeps the hookahs perfectly clean and the shisha selection succulent.
2) Hookah Kings
3) Hookah Star