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 Oct 11 - 17, 2018 
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Best of Burque Restaurants 2018

Global Cuisine

Best Greek/Mediterranean

Gyros Mediterranean

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Smack dab in the middle of the university neighborhood, tucked behind Frontier Restaurant, is where you'll find some of the best Greek food this side of the Atlantic. Gyros Mediterranean has been serving up all your favorites (like souvlaki, mousaka, baklava and of course, gyros) since 1978. Owned and operated by Bill and Michele Hantzopoulos, Gyros is the place to get authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in the Duke City. (TG)

2) Yanni's Mediterranean Restaurant and Lemoni Lounge

3) Olympia Cafe

Best Middle Eastern

Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery

Tease your imagination and your taste buds with an exotic outing to Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery. Better than an oasis in the desert, this family-owned and operated restaurant serves up traditional Middle Eastern cuisine that will ignite your sense of romance and feed your need for adventure. The welcoming space is colorful, comfortable and always exciting. (JL)

2) Pars Cuisine

3) Chello Grill

Best Italian

Trombino's Bistro Italiano

Trombino’s has been doing Italian right since 1979, that’s back when this superb Euro-style trattoria had to compete against the likes of super popular local eateries like Mama Mia’s or the Spaghetti Machine. After flaming those old-timey, long gone joints with Trombino’s classic take on mangia and abbondanza, the bistro, located in the far NE Heights, on the Corner of Seagull Street and Academy, still rules the roost, serving everything from traditional to modern Italian favorites. Check out Trombino’s extensive wine list to make your visit a perfect romantic encounter. (AM)

2) Scalo Northern Italian Grill

3) M'tucci's Italian

Best Pizza

Farina Pizzeria

Who are we trying to kid, here? Pizza is the best food in existence. Hands-down. It sloughs off all pretensions by its very nature and incorporates all the major food groups: cheese, bread, sauce and grease. And—most importantly—it will always love you back. Not all pizza is created equal, however, and if you want the real deal, you'll have to hit up Farina Pizzeria, home of the best handmade artisanal thin-crust pizza in Downtown. (JL)

2) Dion's

3) Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria at Green Jeans

Best Pasta

Trombino's Bistro Italiano

Of course Trombino’s offers the best in pasta in El Burque! After all, the entire restaurant won in this year’s Alibi Best of Burque Restaurants contest in the category of Best Italian. This classic Italian bistro offers patrons a choice of pastas, inluding spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, capellino, penne or farfalle (what no fideo; a la … ), while sauce choices include the restaurant’s spicy arrabbiata, rich and meaty bolognese or the milky white and luscious pastora. They also serve ravioli, lasagna and manicotti! (AM)

2) M'tucci's Italian

3) Piatanzi Bistro and Pizzeria

Best French

La Crêpe Michel

Located just off the plaza in Old Town, this small and quaint French café offers the best of the buttery, thoughtful goodness one expects from classic French cuisine. Come in and taste the delicate savory or decadent dessert crêpes, escargots or a choice of delectable sweets, including the crème brulee. Enjoy the lovely al fresco dining on their patio or a well-dressed table in the dining room while romancing your taste buds. (MF)

2) P'tit Louis Bistro

3) Frenchish

Best Vietnamese

Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant

Recently remodeled and sitting near I-40 on Eubank, Basil Leaf keeps the bar high for Albuquerque's plentiful amount of Vietnamese food. If you haven't visited recently, or ever, their marketing has hit a new “high” with their shirts that read “I'm high as pho.” So are we, Basil Leaf. So are we. High on that rich beef broth and those perfectly blended durian shakes at a truly affordable price. (MF)

2) Cafe Da Lat

3) 2000 Vietnam Restaurant

Best Thai

Thai Cuisine II

A humble appearance and simple name belie a powerful menu at Thai Cuisine II. While many places will claim to serve “authentic” Thai food but deliver something else altogether, this spot shows up with the real deal. Owned and operated by a native of Thailand, Thai Cuisine II offers traditional dishes from multiple regions of Thailand that can be made to order. And they're vegan friendly, too! (JL)

2) Orchid Thai Cuisine

3) Siam Café

Best Chinese

Budai Gourmet Chinese

Budai Gourmet Chinese takes home the top honors for Best Chinese for the fourth year in a row, and for good reason. Dim sum and then some, Budai's authentic and extensive menu is sure to appease and impress even the most skeptical of your group. Try the kung pao squid for something a little different; you won't be disappointed. (TG)

2) Fan Tang

3) Szechwan Chinese Restaurant

Best East Indian

Taj Mahal Cuisine of India

When it comes to rich and complex flavors, nobody beats East Indian food. Taj Mahal not only masters the gamut of sweet-to-spicy-to-savory, it does so in one of the city's most unique dining rooms. This classy eatery is the perfect place to spend a romantic evening being stuffed with delightful treats. And don't miss out on their one-of-a-kind daily lunch buffet. Just don't plan anything afterward, since the large portions and rich food will make it impossible to move. (JL)

2) Curry Leaf

3) Namaste Cuisine of India and Nepal Restaurant

Best Flaming Hot Curry

Jambo Cafe

Did you think this was a game? You were just going to wander in off the street for a quick bite and move on with your day? The curry at Jambo Cafe is really hot—like slap your mother to stop the visions hot. Their homestyle African and Caribbean fare will excite your brain and scorch your mouth, so you better make sure you have a good exit strategy and do not—do not—bring a date unless you want them to see you cry. (JL)

2) Thai Tip

3) Ragin' Shrimp

Best Japanese

Japanese Kitchen Steak House

Hidden for years in the back corner of the Park Square shopping center, Japanese Kitchen seems like the go-to place for well-dressed business people and lawyers to swig some sake, eat some sushi and have a fine steak. (And yes, there are actually two separate Japanese Kitchen restaurants in Park Square, the Steak House and the Sushi Bar). The Steak House features tappanyaki/hibachi-style grills, allowing the restaurant’s nimble chefs to cook the food (from filet mignon teriyaki to shrimp and scallops) fresh at your table. (D’OL)

2) O Ramen

3) Magokoro Japanese Restaurant

Best Mexican

Los Cuates

For the one-millionth year in a row, Alibi readers demonstrate difficulty when discerning between Mexican and New Mexican cuisine. That’s okay, it’s all buenos tacos for this Chicano reporter. That said, this year’s honors go to Los Cuates, a traditionally New Mexican joint that serves sopaipillas as big as your head, has a fresh-roasted Hatch green chile cheeseburger that will light you on fire and also serves enchiladas topped with the most luxuriously orange jack cheese known to mankind; all something to write home about, but not necessarily Mexican in execution, sabes? (AM)

2) El Paisa Taqueria

3) Lindo Mexico Grill and Seafood

Best Southern Food

Nexus Brewery

Not that Burqueños have much idea what real Southern food is, because spoiler alert—there's no chile, fritos or black beans in it—but if you want a taste of what New Mexico believes Southern food is, check out Nexus Brewery. They have a version of fried chicken that our readers love as well as fried biscuit pudding with Scottish ale sauce and a real Southern classic, sweet tea. The food is scrumptious regardless of the category it fits into and well worth the jaunt up to the Heights. (MF)

2) TFK Smokehouse

3) Frank's Famous Chicken & Waffles

Best Fusion

Jambo Cafe

Jambo Cafe may be relatively newer to the Albuquerque area, but those in the know have been tasting Chef Ahmed Obo's delicious African-Caribbean cuisine up in Santa Fe since 2009. Heavily influenced by Swahili, Indian, Arabic and European influences, Jambo Cafe (and the chef behind it) has been pleasing the palates of those in Burque for a couple years now. Try the Morroccan lamb stew or the grilled jerk BBQ chicken to see what you're missing. (TG)

2) Poki Poblano Fusion Lounge

3) Poki Poki Asian Cevicheria

Best Pho

Cafe Da Lat

Look no further than this little spot in the beating heart of Burque for the best pho in the city. In a dark, classy setting perfect for a date, the owners of Da Lat have curated a sharp and fascinating menu of traditional Vietnamese dishes from the expected to the decidedly unexpected. They serve bountiful garnishes with their pho to be tailored to each diner's fancy. Try a bowl of the comforting potion with a frog leg or crispy quail appetizer for the perfect foodie's night out. (MF)

2) Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant

3) 2000 Vietnam Restaurant

Best Sushi

Shogun

If you're a desert rat that still needs that delicious raw fish, Shogun is classy but cost effective enough to soothe your cravings. They have nigiri, sashimi, sushi and a variety of rolls that won't break the bank. They also have vegetable rolls and tempura for those of you who aren't about fish, raw or cooked. (VS)

2) Sushi King

3) Azuma Sushi and Teppan

Best Korean

Asian Pear

If you thought Asian Pear was closed forever after the Downtown location closed, keep hope alive because they are still open just north of Paseo on San Pedro. Orders come with complementary kimchi and Korean vegetable pancakes. With gluten-free and vegan options available, it's a great place to take friends with dietary restrictions! (VS)

2) Fu Yuang

3) A-Ri-Rang Oriental Market

Best African

Jambo Cafe

Jambo Cafe serves African homestyle cuisine. Owner/Chef Ahmed Obo writes that his curiously cool take on food comes from living at home on Lamu Island, an exotic locale off the coast of Kenya, where the cultural influences of Indian, Arabic, European and, most notably, Swahili cultures are felt and tasted through the region’s food. The gorgeously fragrant uniquely delicious offerings at Jambo have won heaps of national awards and Burqueños can enjoy tasty plates featuring Obo’s famous cooking, including Lamu coconut pili pili shrimp and Caribbean goat stew. Yum! (AM)

2) Talking Drums African and Caribbean Grill

Best Falafel

Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery

The falafel falls somewhere between a hushpuppy and hummus. For years it's been in a legal battle with tofu over its title as the official “staple of the American vegetarian.” No matter who ends up winning, we all know falafel is the real king. Like a puck of pure home lovin', its crispy crust and tender innards will always be there when you're in need of a little fried comfort. For the best damn falafel this side of the Rio Grande, make sure you visit Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery. (JL)

2) Alquds Mediterranean Grill and Grocery

3) Yasmine's Cafe

Best Gyros

Gyros Mediterranean

Rotating meat on a spit—the most mesmerizing of all foodstuffs. Just watch the meat turn, turn, turn in the rotisserie and feel your troubles melt away. It might come as a surprise, but scientists are right now studying the mood-altering effects of staring at rotating meat for hours on end. Really. They say the experience is enhanced by cutting off strips, stuffing them into pita and adding a healthy dollop of tzatziki, but there's only one way to find out for sure: pick up a gyro at Gyros Mediterranean and strap in. (JL)

2) Olympia Cafe

3) Alquds Mediterranean Grill and Grocery

Best Tapas

Gecko's Bar and Tapas

Gecko's Bar and Tapas has two locations for taking in these lovely small plates known as tapas. Traditionally a Spanish style of communal eating, this spot puts their own New Mexican spin on it. Enjoy a killer Bloody Mary with the overflowing nachos or some of the best taquitos in town. This place is always packed on weekends, but a great place to share some food with friends, guzzle some adult beverages and enjoy the awesome patio whether in Nob Hill or the Heights. (MF)

2) The Cellar Tapas, Beer and Wine

3) MAS Tapas y Vino


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