This issue is all about celebrating Albuquerque, and what better way to celebrate a city than to take a night out on the town? With that in mind, we looked through our latest Best of Burque Restaurants poll (from October 2014) and pulled a few of our favorite winners. Whether you’re feeling fancy or more inclined to a plate of bar food, one of these four Albuquerque classics should fit the bill. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Alibi’s 2015 restaurant poll, scheduled to drop sometime in October.
Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests
A garden patio, trickling water features, authentic New Mexican food and damn fine ... excuse me, damn fine margaritas. The massive adobe paradise of El Pinto has been a favorite place to show off our city to out-of-towners for decades as evidenced by the huge number of autographed celebrity photos adorning the walls. Although its reputation suffered a slump among locals for a few years, these days El Pinto has returned to the original recipes that made them famous in the first place.
Best Bar Food
There are appetizers, and then there are tapas. What’s the difference? Well, how adventurous do you feel when you’re working your way through a nacho plate? Now how about red mole grilled steak tacos? This year our readers decided to expand their palate and down cocktails with a side of the fancy vittles at Gecko’s Bar. With offerings like black tiger shrimp and scallop ceviche, sautéed escargot, carne adovada and grilled squash, we know exactly why.
Best Fine Dining
This EDo bistro predates EDo itself. When Artichoke Café first started racking up Best of Burque awards for Fine Dining, the part of town between UNM and Downtown was called Huning Highlands. A lot has changed in that neighborhood since then, but Artichoke is still just as fancily delicious as ever.
Best Late Night Feast
Sometimes we wonder if the Frontier even counts as a restaurant anymore, or whether it could be more accurately described as a feature of Albuquerque’s collective consciousness. The fact is that almost every Burqueño has a portion of their inner life devoted to the sprawling Central Avenue mainstay, an image they can call up when needed to help them power through their lives. But really, it doesn’t matter if it’s real, as long as its doors stay open till 1am to welcome the tired, the studious, the drunk and the lost with visions of sweet rolls and homemade tortillas.