Alibi V.27 No.17 • April 26-May 2, 2018 

Best of Burque 2018

Night Life

Best Casino

Sandia Resort & Casino

beer mug

They say you only have to win once, but then you won't have a reason to hang out at the best casino in Albuquerque. Sandia Resort & Casino boasts some of the hottest games, tastiest eats and best entertainment. And while you aren't playing the slots, gorging on delectables or catching your favorite musical and comedy acts, you can enjoy your time by marinating in the spa or playing a round of golf. They also host wedding, party and conference venues that can't be beat. No matter what time it is, you can always count on some action at Sandia Resort.

2) Isleta Resort & Casino

3) Santa Ana Star Casino

Best Bar Staff

Tractor Brewing Company

According to Alibi readers, and therefore tipplers in the know, the best, most friendly, accessible and wonderously service-oriented staff happens to reside at the Tractor Brewing Company. Not only can you get your favorite local craft beer at one of their three hep tap room locations, you can also be treated like royalty; or if you prefer at least like a lady or a gentleman. The Four Hills and Nob Hill locations feature dog-friendly patios too; that means your pooch will be treated extra-special by the staff.

2) Anodyne

3) The Copper Lounge

Best Dive Bar

Sister Bar

Sister is one of the best bars in town, period. Our reader’s voted the joint the Best Dive Bar honors this year, but it’s a place that hosts some of the most rocking concerts in town really a dive? We think not. Dive bars in Burque we’re reminded of included the Mung Dung Club and A Mi Gusto. They’re both gone now, and in their place and name are cool, underground-feeling successors where you really don’t have to worry about anything that might come up in a real dive—except how to have a damn good time.

2) Anodyne

3) Carraro's & Joe's Place

Best Sports Bar

Saggios

Back in the ’80s when we were in high school up in the Heights we’d trip to the student ghetto on the number 1 bus (Juan Tabo/Central) so that we could eat a slice of pizza at a place called Nunzios. It was literally a hole-in-the-wall operation on Cornell between Central Avenue and Silver Street. Best damn pizza ever. The place went on to become Saggios, also famous for pizza, but also for its singular decor. That decor includes a heap of teevee screens devoted to sports, sports, sports. The selection of beer and wine adds to the happy collegiate vibe at this must-visit local treasure. Go Lobos!

2) Sandbar Brewery and Grill

3) TIE: Billy's Long Bar/Brixens

Best Rooftop Bar

Duel Brewing

Duel Brewing has a rooftop bar at its Downtown location. Alibi readers noted this and voted the place a number one reward in a category all about sitting out on the roof and having a great time. In addition, New Mexico’s largest brewery taproom features an awesome menu and a variety of live music that other breweries just don’t have.

2) Level 5 at Hotel Chaco

3) Apothecary Lounge

Best Bar to Shoot Pool

Anodyne

Back in the day and continuing up until this very present moment in time, Anodyne was, is and always will be one of the most ginchiest hang-out joints in all of Dirt City. With a jukebox to cry over, a for realz cigarette machine from the ’70s and of course, a dozen or so well-appointed pool tables, Anodyne continues to demonstrate the gold standard in hep hangouts east of Trader Vics and west of CBGB. If you go up there, you may never wanna leave and those red-felted pool tables can become the stuff of dreams, a place where one lays one’s head after a night of truly anodyne experiences.

2) Billiard Palace

3) Billy's Long Bar

Best Bar for Dancing

Effex Night Club

If you like to dance, and everyone likes to dance—just ask Yeats, who, for example wrote, “O body swayed to music, O brightening glance/ How can we know the dancer from the dance?”—then check out Effex because that’s the main thing they do there, whilst playing the latest in electronic music, don’t ya know. Effex is right in the middle of Downtown, and features both a main room and a rocking patio rooftop which practically makes the place party central on the weekends.

2) Sister Bar

3) The Dirty Bourbon

Best Gay Bar

Effex Night Club

If the rainbow flags in the entrance hallway don’t tip you off, then let us be the first to let you know that Effex has a sizeable queer contingent on its dancefloor(s). That contingent seems to be pretty happy with the environment that Effex fosters, including their stiff drinks and their multiple dancefloors spinning different kinds of music. If spandex shorts, endless glitter and full drag isn’t what you look for in a bar, then maybe look elsewhere, homie.

2) Albuquerque Social Club

3) Sidewinders

Best Rock Bar

Launchpad

We like the Launchpad best as a rock bar. Though sometimes bands from other genres troop on through—there’s plenty of hip-hop going on there now which is damn good—this place really rocks when it rocks. From the Melvins to GWAR and Black Maria and the Coma Recovery, the Launchpad is the place to witness the thing called rocanrol, touring and local. Joe Anderson’s vision of a totally rocked out local music community continues to grow and Alibi readers agree with that kind of loud progress forward.

2) Sister Bar

Best Cocktails

The Copper Lounge

In the ancient annals of mixology, a great cocktail forms the center of a truly epicurean universe. Cool and frosty, icy yet intoxicatingly intense, a fine cocktail is indeed a thing of emphemeral beauty to be admired and then consumed joyfully. That’s the kind of drinking experience those who visit The Copper Lounge will experience, according to Alibi readers. In other words, if you wanna float a sweet cherry on the menisus of paradise, then this is the place to go and imbibe.

2) TIE: Bar Uno/Sister Bar

Best Wine Bar

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

A good wine bar offers plenty of selection, servers who know what they’re talking about, and a quiet and cozy vibe in which to enjoy your vino. Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro offers all those things, plus a damn good dinner menu to boot. Sit at the bar if you just want to enjoy a couple drinks and appetizers, or go upstairs for white tablecloth dining—we know you like the excuse to dress up. Go ahead, order the whole bottle.

2) St. Clair Winery & Bistro

3) TIE: Artichoke Cafe/Brixens

Best Brewpub

Marble Brewery

Marble Brewery is simply the best brewpub in Burque—according to our esteemed readers who voted for the brewer’s tasty, foam-headed glasses of beer as proof of the joint’s mastery of the art. The second largest brewery in New Mexico, Marble saw a $4 million dollar expansion in 2016 that increased its output to a whopping annual production level of 30,000 barrels of the brown (and amber and gold) stuff. Lift your glass high and have another round as we all celebrate this local business and beer-making phenomenon.

2) Steel Bender Brewyard

3) La Cumbre Brewing Company

Best Hookah Lounge

Oasis Hookah Lounge

There's a real problem trying to rate the best spot to hookah up: Those places are all so chill that competition seems … pointless, man. But flavor and atmosphere go a long way for our readers, and they chose Oasis Hookah Lounge as their one-stop shop for relaxing over a bowl of tasty tobacco. Skillful lighting and hip decor give off distinctly cool vibes that make it feel like it's on a different planet from the rest of Albuquerque. And a friendly, down-to-earth and helpful staff make it easy to kick back and enjoy the classy space. Their flavors and prices aren't too shabby, either.

2) TIE: Hookah Kings/Pars Cuisine