Best Of The Rest

5 min read
Best of the Rest
Blake's Lotaburger, Best Chain (Tina Larkin)
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Celebrating the delectable bits that stick to the pan.

Best Casual Dining

It doesn’t get much more casual than standing in the kitchen wearing only underwear and stuffing noodles into your noodle hole. However, because "my kitchen" had no chance at winning this thing, we’ll have to put on some pants and go out to eat at Flying Star Café. The beauty of this place is in its laid-back café atmosphere and a menu that caters to many hankerings. Whether you’d like a casual burger, casual salad or casual bowl of lo mein noodles, much like your pants, Flying Star has you covered. (JCC)

Slate Street Café

3) Tie:
Christy Mae’s, Sophia’s Place, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

Best Fine Dining

Although Albuquerque isn’t much of a cosmopolitan place, we do know how to engage in a sophisticated casualism that serves us fine when eating gourmet. Artichoke Café and Wine Bar is just that kind of unfussy, to-the-point and, most importantly, unbelievably delicious place that’s just our style. Armed with artichokes, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, a giant wine list and that sushi-grade tuna appetizer that must be made using magic, Artichoke Café is a deserving victor. (JCC)

2) Tie:
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

3) Tie:
Jennifer James 101, Ranchers Club, Savoy Bar and Grill

Best Undiscovered Gem

Readers report an undiscovered gem worth digging into is M Café, located in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. You don’t have to buy a ticket to the museum to enjoy the café’s paninis and espressos. But hey, as long as you’re there, you might as well work up your appetite with a little dino hunting. (TA)

Da Vinci’s Gourmet Pizza

Slate Street Café

Best Greasy Spoon

What, precisely, are you eating at a "greasy spoon" restaurant that gets your spoon all greasy in the first place? Sausage? Pork chops? Because, really, you’re better off using a knife and fork for that kind of stuff. In any case, if you wanna get your cutlery all lubed up, the place to do it is 66 Diner. Simple, slide-down-your-gullet-and-stick-to-your-ribs cuisine like chicken-fried steak and the indomitable "Route 66 Pile Up" should satisfy your non-heart-healthy cravings. (DO’L)


Mannie’s Family Restaurant

Honorable Mention:

Best Chef

Jennifer James, Best Chef Tina Larkin
Duh. Do we have to say more? This woman cooks with more than just a stove and impeccably sourced ingredients. She mixes her soul into her dishes. Jennifer James and her many restaurant incarnations have brought Albuquerque to a higher level of dining. Her food stops light dinner conversation and captures diners. From appetizers to dessert, James commands attention and deserves it. Flawless and astounding, no chef in Burque can touch this broad. But the real kudos goes to the voters for having the sense to recognize her brilliance. (MT)

Best New Restaurant

With Sam Etheridge piloting the man-chic Nob Hill Bar and Grill, this year its eponymous neighborhood got the double gift of a lauded chef and a complete overhaul of a prime but unoccupied piece of Central real estate. From cocktails in the back to more substantial lunches and dinners up front, the less-than-year-old restaurant scratches Nob Hill’s itch for attracting Albuquerque’s young, hot power brokers. (LM)

Jennifer James 101

Best Anything We Forgot

Best Service Staff

Artichoke Café and Wine Bar

Best Ghost

Church Street Café

Best Mexican Food on Wheels

El Bronco Lunch Wagon

Best Cajun

Cajun Kitchen

Best Customer Service

Christy Mae’s

Best Place to Watch a Game and Eat Bar Food

Coaches Sports Grill

Best Calzone

Da Vinci’s Gourmet Pizza

Most Wanted Food That Is Not in Albuquerque


Best Bar Food

Gecko’s Bar and Tapas

Best-Looking Brewer

Jeff Erway 🙂

Best Creative, Fresh, Seasonal Cuisine

Jennifer James 101

Best Popsicles

La Reina Michoacana

Best Taquitos

Mac’s Steak In The Rough

Best Seafood in a Land-Locked State

Mariscos La Playa

Best Sushi

Midori Sushi, Shogun Sushi

Best Red Chile Burger


Best Cookies

Patisserie C

Best Avocado Milkshake

Pho #1 Vietnamese

Best Pupusas

Pupuseria y Restaurante Salvadoreño

Best Mussels with Pasta (Red)


Best Bowls

Santa Fe Peppers

Best Brew Pub

Turtle Mountain Brewing Co.

Most Cozy Atmosphere

Two Fools Tavern

Best Meatloaf

Vic’s Daily Café

Best Wings

Wings & Things, Wing Basket

Jennifer James, Best Chef

Tina Larkin

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