From the friendly dudes manning the door and checking IDs to the helpful bartenders who are always willing to suggest a tasty new beverage, Burqueños agree that this Downtown hub is the place to go for great service. Go for the tacos, arcade games and rockin’ music, but stay for a convivial chat with one of the many barkeeps stationed at the long bar.
3) Marble Brewery
Best Dive Bar
Carraro’s Pizza & Joe’s Place
Full bar? Check. Pizza? Check. Arcade games, pool and air hockey? Check, check and check! Whether you want to sit down on the Carraro’s side for some tasty grub with the bros or gather in the hidden and magical Joe’s Place for a sci-fi book club meeting, this excellent locale has room for you and all of your weird friends. Locals proclaim this place to be most groovy due to its “wicked pizza,” “gnarly shots” and “awesome people.”
2) Anodyne/Low Spirits
Best Sports Bar
Uptown Sports Bar
This favorite watering hole for athletics fans includes the holy trinity of such places: large TVs, burgers and an impressive line-up of 35 beers on tap. We recommend pairing a rowdy soccer match with a Guinness, a local rugby match with an Uptown IPA and Lobo pigskin game with an Uptown American lager. Celebrate every goal, touchdown and TKO surrounded by fellow hooligans who understand your enthusiasm.
Best Rooftop Bar
For the best view paired with delicious and unique adult beverages, look no further than Apothecary Lounge at the elegant Hotel Parq Central. Simply take the elevator all the way up to the top and experience a whole new perspective of Albuquerque. Under strings of warm twinkle lights, sip on a La Llorona margarita with green chile tequila and hibiscus syrup while taking in a fiery New Mexico sunset.
Best Bar to Shoot Pool
Merriam-Webster defines “anodyne” as “serving to alleviate pain.” And that’s just what a friendly round of pool at this casual rock bar will do. Just broke up with your girlfriend? Here’s some chalk, a pool cue and a freshly poured beer. Hate your job? Work on your life plan while practicing your combo shots. Feeling lonely? Make some new friends by joining in a game.
Best EDM Club
Not getting enough UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ in your life? Spending day after day always waiting for the beat to drop? Just listen to your knowledgeable fellow Burqueños when they tell you to get your ass over to the Best EDM Club in this dusty city. Get your hair did, don the flashiest clothes you own and enter a world of fog, lazers, go-go dancers, loud vibrations and friendly people.
Best Gay Bar
No matter how you choose to express your sexuality, Effex is a safe and fun place to let your freak flag fly. Wear whatever you want. Dance however you want. Kiss whoever you want (with consent of course). Be fabulous. Be you. Also, keep an eye out for the most beautiful drag queens in Burque and chat them up for expert makeup tips.
2) Albuquerque Social Club
Best Rock Bar
Everyone in Albuquerque agrees that this place will rock your socks off. Pass under the silver spaceship, flash your ID, grab a beverage from one of the friendly bartenders and head on in to hear some of the best music available in the Southwest. Get wild with the likes of Rock Jong Il, Russian Girlfriends, Prism Bitch and more! Whether you’re the type to gaze adoringly up at the lead singer from the front, mosh in the middle or quietly bang your head in the back, the only requirement is to have fun and rock out.
Best Country Bar
The Dirty Bourbon
It’s impossible not to love this place. From the bartenders dressed like old-timey saloon folks to the disco saddle glittering over the dance floor, this is a happenin’ place. Jam out to the music played by live country-Western bands, play a round of pool or find a pretty gal with a rhinestone belt and Justin boots to two-step with.
The flavorful libations at Sister are crafted with care and creativity by talented potion masters. There’s something for everyone. If you’re a caffeine addict, sip on a Ho Chi Minh coffee with bourbon. If you’re a champion of tradition, savor an old-fashioned. Perhaps you’re feeling like an outlaw. Try an El Chapo. Quench your thirst with a nonalcoholic Jamaican Me Hot while chowing down on brisket tacos. No matter what drink you choose, your taste buds will be delighted.
2) Apothecary Lounge
Best Wine Bar
Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
Fancy a trip around the world? Sure, it’d be great, but then you’d have to find someone to dog-sit your fuzzball and water your ficus tree. Plus, it’s unlikely your boss would give you the time off. Instead, opt for a transcontinental excursion via wineglass. Take in the bouquet of a Domaine Saint Aix rosé from Provence, France. Note the subtle flavors of a Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Eye the rich color of a Jermann pinot grigio from Italy. Passport not required.
2) St. Clair Winery & Bistro
Best New Mexico Winery
St. Clair Winery & Bistro
Ah, Saint Clair: Patron saint of grapes, fermentation and happiness. She has blessed this New Mexico winery with a bounty of tasty grape juices in the form of such vintages as the Blue Teal Rio Rojo, DH Lescombes Petit Verdot, Plum Loco and St. Clair Cab-Zin. And it gets even better—you can enjoy these excellent wines paired with tasty grub and live music.
2) Gruet Winery/Casa Rondeña
Burqueños disagree on a lot of topics, but one thing we can all agree on is the fact that Marble Brewery is the bee’s knees. The red ale, the live music, the double white, the carousel of food trucks, the oatmeal stout, the friendly puppers roaming about—all combine for a social, lively and delicious experience. Adjectives locals use to describe this place are “yum” and “inviting.”
2) La Cumbre Brewing Company
3) Bosque Brewing Company
Best Local Cider
Delicious Red Apple Cider (Tractor)
Tractor won hands-down for Best Cider in Burque. How ‘bout them apples? Known for its perfectly balanced flavor, carbonation and “stamina,” this juice is described as “tastier, smoother, more golden in color and more flavorful than anything else in its class.” This sure ain’t your kindergartener’s apple juice!
Best New Mexico-Brewed Beer
Double White (Marble)
Out of all the many beers created by the more than 35 breweries in New Mexico, Marble's delicate, dry, Belgian-inspired Double White rose to the top to claim this year's crown as Best New Mexico-Brewed Beer. This wheat ale (7.0% ABV, 8 IBUs) has notes of orange peel, coriander and grains of paradise. Reviewers call it “quite excellent” and “the absolute best.”
2) Elevated IPA (La Cumbre Brewing Company)
3) Happy Camper (Santa Fe Brewing Company)
Best Bar for Dancing
Dabbing, mowing the lawn, moonwalking, krumping, doing the funky chicken, bumping and grinding—whatever dance moves you favor, Effex is the ultimate place in town to get your groove on (provided you can werk it to techno, dubstep or pop). And if you’re not sure what to do with yourself, take a cue from a go-go dancer for inspiration.
Best Strip Club
Whether you patronize this place for the “erotic topless lap dancing,” the “sophisticated and glamorous venue,” or the steak and lobster, no one will judge you—after all, the rest of Albuquerque is knocking elbows with you at the bar. Hence why they all voted for this sexy entertainment establishment. Hell, this place is so fancy, you can even order limousine service to go with your lovely performers and exceptional beverages.