State Treasures

6 min read
State Treasures
El Modelo means tamales (Sergio Salvador
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Best New Mexican Restaurant

Sadie’s has been an Albuquerque tradition since the days it was serving up green chile happiness at the Lucky 66 Bowl. Its main restaurant has since moved on to better digs just up Fourth Street, of course, and the company is now expanding to locations all across the city. In other words, it’s easier than ever to love Sadie’s huge, delicious plates of red and green.

2) El Patio

3) Los Cuates

Best Green Chile Cheeseburger

There are about a million green chile cheeseburgers in the Duke City, but the best is still the one served up at the Owl Café. It’s hard to beat a burger that has won as often as this one against stiff competition. They must be doing something right.

2) Blake’s Lotaburger

3) Bob’s Burgers

Best Green Chile

Is there any smell more quintessentially New Mexican than that of roasting chiles on a crisp fall day? And if you’re not loading up on bushels of the stuff right now, can you really say that you belong in this state? Sadie’s knows all this and makes sure that the chile on your enchilada is as fresh and spicy as an Albuquerque autumn.

2) Frontier Restaurant

3) Weck’s

Best Red Chile

When a chile turns from green to red, much of its spiciness changes to sugar, making for a wintry treat that’s rich in flavor and less firey than its technically under-ripe partner. Burqueños know that it a good red chile sauce is just as delicious as green, and they know that Duran on Central serves up some of the best.

2) Barelas Coffee House

3) Mary & Tito’s

Best Tortillas

The Frontier alone cranks out 12,000 tortillas a day. That’s enough to reach somewhere in outer space that involves too much math to figure out. The point is not that we are bad at math; the point is we are insatiable! Eat in house, fresh off the press, or grab a few thousand to go.

2) Garcia’s

3) Barelas Coffee House

Best Tamales

You’re almost guaranteed to drive right past this South Valley institution the first time you venture out to find it, but if you do, make sure to try again. El Modelo has been cooking up some of the finest tamales in Albuquerque since 1929, and for a mere $27, you can take home a dozen and eat your way to red chile and pork paradise.

2) Mujeres En Accion

Best Sopaipillas

Sure, Mexican restaurants in other states claim to have sopaipillas, but we know that they’re basically just lying—if not committing outright blasphemy. Sopaipillas are never crunchy, and powdered sugar shouldn’t come anywhere near them. Instead, seek out the steamy, pillowy pockets at El Patio and douse them with honey just like God intended. Righteousness is rarely so delicious.

2) Los Cuates

3) Padilla’s

Best Enchiladas

Right near the register, fresh tortillas are rolled out, then heated up, one by one, just in time to serve with your enchiladas—blue corn or regular, red, green or Christmas—filled with queso blanco, chicken, beans and onions, or other fillings of your choice. Traditional New Mexican cooking is what Duran does best.

2) Padilla’s/Papa Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant/Sadie’s

Best Chips And Salsa

Sadie’s salsa is now being sold all across the country and for good reason. It’s freaking delicious. Eating it from a store-bought jar isn’t quite the same as dipping homemade corn tortilla chips in a fresh batch at the restaurant itself, though, and there’s still only one state where you can do that. Viva Sadie’s!

2) Los Cuates

3) Garduño’s

Best Burrito

It’s hard to see under that pool of green and red your Twisters burrito is swimming in, but does it really matter? Whatever’s rolled into the buoyant tortilla is enough to keep us coming back for more. If only all tornado drills ended here.

2) Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs

3) Burrito Lady

Best Margarita

Woooo! Now we’re partying! Salt mustaches! Oops we knocked over a bowl of chips. Yeah! Where’s my chimichananga? Did I mincepronounce that? Though this scene could happen anywhere, we like it best when it happens with a splashy and sweet Garduño’s margarita. Bottoms up!

2) Sadie’s

3) Zacatecas
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