$$$ Restaurants in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico
Albuquerque - North Valley
Mon–Fri: 7:30-10:30am; Sat–Sun: 7:30-11:30am; Wed-Sun: 5-9pm (hours can change without notice)
The newest incarnation of the restaurant at Los Poblanos is a farm-to-table, fine-dining restaurant under the helm of Executive Chef Jonathan Perno. Cooking up Rio Grande Valley cuisine like blue corn hushpuppies and green chile gnocchi, this gorgeous restaurant is great for date night or brunch with the family. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for breakfast. Or, stop in at Bar Campo for an excellent cocktail made from artisanal bitters and farm-fresh ingredients.
Mon-Thu 10:30am-8pm Fri: 9am-9pm Sat: 8am-9pm Sun: 8am-3pm (hours can change without notice)
Cuisine: New Mexican
Casa de Benavidez is located in the far North Valley, but if you’re looking for one of the most beautiful patios in town and a good breakfast burrito or just someplace to sit and have some chips, queso and a mind-erasing Bloody Mary, this place is well worth both the drive and your time.
Dinner hours: Wed-Thu 5pm-9pm Fri-Sat 5pm-9pm Brunch hours: Sat- Sun 9am-2 pm (hours can change without notice)
Farm & Table’s North Valley setting is gorgeous, inside and out. (The spacious courtyard overlooks 10 acres of farm field.) The local, organic ingredients are meticulously sourced, and the food is reasonably priced for the level of quality you get. Several salad options and vegetarian entrées make this a perfect place to graze. For brunch, try the carne adovada with eggs. Don’t forget a refreshing dessert of house-made ice cream or a sorbet trio.
Monday-Saturday: 7am-9pm Sunday: 7am-4pm (hours can change without notice)
$$$ • Vegetarian Available • Gluten-free available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Catering • Take Out / To-Go • Live Music • Outdoor Patio • Wireless Internet
Two words: fry bread. Use this heaping hunk of pillowy carbs to sop up green or red chile posole, mutton stew and huevos rancheros. When you’re stuffed tighter than a stocking on Christmas morning, go check out what events, classes or dances are going on at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Albuquerque - Northeast Heights
Mon-Thurs:11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm Fri: 11am-10:30pm Sat: noon-10:30pm Sun: noon-9:30pm (hours can change without notice)
With a serene Japanese theme, half of Azuma is devoted to teppan tables where patrons can sit and watch as a cook prepares their dinners with a few flashy tricks. On the other side of the restaurant, booths are separated by pretty panes of frosted glass and a line of stools hug the sushi bar. In addition to sushi, Azuma's menu offers many cooked items including noodles and a variety of grilled meats and vegetables that will ensure the place's appeal to families and folks who are new to Japanese food.
6209 Montgomery Blvd NE (Northeast Heights)
Albuquerque NM 87109
Albuquerque NM 87109
Lunch: Tue-Fri: 11am-2pm Dinner: Tue-Sat: 5pm-9pm Closed Sunday and Monday (hours can change without notice)
Oui, messieurs and mesdames, a good piece of quiche is the international language of love. Chez Axel serves Mediterranean-French cuisine, and the crêpes are très bons. Order them stuffed with salmon, tarragon sauce and cheese, or mushrooms, bacon and béchamel sauce. Have a leisurely lunch from 11am to 2pm or a relaxing dinner from 5 to 9pm. And don’t forget an orange marmalade and liqueur-covered plate of crêpes Suzette for dessert—you won’t be disappointed, so allez vous-en!
6321 San Mateo Blvd NE (Northeast Heights)
Mon-Thu 11am-2:30pm 4:30pm-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm (hours can change without notice)
It’s a Japanese restaurant that looks and smells like a Chinese restaurant. (You can smell the egg rolls from the parking lot.) The restaurant is part of a chain in a handful of locations around the Southwest, and the signs of heavy investment are plentiful—starting with the large glass fountain by the front door. Private dining rooms with cut-out floors beneath the table allow patrons to sit on the floor without actually bending their legs. A seafood soup in clear broth is as delicious as it looks. And here’s a penny-pinching math problem for you: Should you get the regular sashimi plate which contains 15 pieces for $20, or the deluxe which has 18 pieces for $30? We chose the regular, which actually had 17 pieces (what, you don’t count the pieces when you get sushi?) and spent the savings on rolls.
Lunch: Mon-Fri: 11am-2:30pm Dinner: Mon-Sun: 5-10pm (hours can change without notice)
This restaurant has been around for 35 years for a darn good reason—fresh pasta made and cooked to order. Owner Rick Camuglia carries on a fine Sicilian tradition of fresh ingredients, a cozy atmosphere like grandma’s kitchen, and pizzas and calzones made with fresh dough. Forget the cheesy chains with Chianti bottle drip candles and come in for the “presto” lunch, linger over the ossobuco and stay for the spumoni and a cup of espresso. A million lovely carbs can’t be wrong, and neither can the Alibi voters who’ve given Paisano’s honors for Best Pasta.
5210 San Mateo Blvd NE Ste B (Northeast Heights)
The service here is warm and the food is good, especially if you go the all-you-can-eat route. We’re pleased with the freshness of the fish (especially the silky-smooth mackerel) and the generous size of the rolls.
Albuquerque - Old Town
Tues-Thurs: 4pm-11pm Fri: 4pm-2:am Sat: 6pm-2am Closed Sunday and Monday (hours can change without notice)
In addition to an upscale selection of booze, the cozy and modern Q Bar serves a brief but pleasantly appetizing menu of nibbles and noshes. The dishes are small enough to make good snacks and expensive enough to keep them that way—you'd have to spend more than you'd like in order to really fill up.
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm Dinner: Daily 5-9pm The Rooftop: Daily 4-10pm Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 4-6:30pm, 9-10pm (hours can change without notice)
Cuisine: American, Fine Dining, Bar, Dessert, Fusion, Organic/Locally Grown, Seafood, Steakhouse, Take Out/To-Go, Vegetarian, Wine Bar
$$$ • Vegetarian Available • Gluten-free available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Craft Beer • Wine • Catering • Take Out / To-Go • Live Music • Outdoor Patio • Wireless Internet
Seasons’ rooftop patio is one of our favorite wine-drinking destinations, especially when it’s nice out. There are heaters up there for chilly nights, the courtyard fountain provides a calming gurgle, the view of the mountains is great, and the happy hour menu has outstanding dishes at more-than-reasonable prices.
Mon-Sun: 11 am-9pm (hours can change without notice)
A restaurant focused on salads may be a hard sell for meat-happy Burqueños, but make no mistake: Vinaigrette does salad right. From gourmet options that feature duck and arugula to more delicate fare with pomegranate seeds and shoestring yams, Vinaigrette presents world-class salads you may not have known existed. And much of their menu is locally grown at their fields in Nambé, too.
Albuquerque - Rio Rancho
Mon-Thu 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-9pm (hours can change without notice)
Sister to the original M’Tucci’s location, this location offers a different—and somehow even more delicious—menu of delectable foodstuff. While it is closer to Rio Rancho than the metro area, it’s well worth the drive for a taste of this heavenly cuisine.
Albuquerque - University
Mon-Thurs: 11am-8:30pm Friday: 11am-9pm Sat-Sun: 4pm-9pm (hours can change without notice)
Piattini is Italian for “small plate,” which just so happens to be the specialty of this North Campus bistro. Carpaccio (thin sheets of raw beef tenderloin), granchio (griddled crab cakes) and truffle fries join the likes of funghi pizza and watermelon salad in a dining experience that’s rigged for sharing. Make sure that you bring enough friends to make a dent in the menu, and also that at least one of those small plates has a slice of tiramisu on it.
Mon-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm (hours can change without notice)
The charcuterie restaurant and wine bar in the middle of the most college-y block in the city might seem a little out of place, but it’s a breath of fresh air for those of us who have been shopping for a good grown-up neighborhood spot. Salt and Board serves a rotating selection of wines and craft beers, as well as sandwiches, toasts and salads made with fine meats and cheeses. There’s also—of course—the charcuterie board, which includes three cured meats paired with three cheeses that will likely send you into a salty, fatty, blissed out food coma.
Albuquerque - Uptown
Mon-Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm Mon-Thu: 5:30pm-9:30pm Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-10:30pm Closed Sunday (hours can change without notice)
They share one name, but this is actually two separate dining rooms across a courtyard from each other. Take the kids to the one with the teppan grills; it's livelier. Take your date to the sushi bar and get a booth. Feed each other deep-fried shrimp heads.
Albuquerque - Westside
Mon-Thu 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-9pm (hours can change without notice)
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Placitas - Placitas
Lunch: Fri-Sat: 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues-Thurs: 5-9pm Fri-Sat: 5-9:30pm Brunch: Sun: 10:30am-2pm Happy Hour: Tues-Thurs: 4-7pm Closed Monday (hours can change without notice)
At Blades, the mood is jovial and boisterous, in keeping with the neighborhood bistro feeling to which its aspires. A stainless-steel counter at one end extends the feeling of openness by offering a view into the kitchen, while across the dining area is a beautifully crafted hardwood bar. On the short, dinner-only menu, there’s an eclectic mix of appetizers (roasted beets with toasted goat cheese and balsamic glaze), European-style entrées (paella), and several salad and soup options, all beautifully presented.
Rio Rancho - Rio Rancho
Closed Mondays Sun,Tue,Wed and Thu 9am-9pm Fri and Sat 7am-10pm (hours can change without notice)
$$$ • Vegetarian Available • Booze Served • Full Bar • Wine Bar • Craft Beer • Catering • Live Music • Outdoor Patio • Wireless Internet
Cazuela's Mexican Grill & Brewery offers a wide selection of cocktails, wine and award-winning house brews. The outdoor patio can seat up to 300 people for parties. Cazuela's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with options that include Mexican seafood, as well as steaks, soups and salads. They offer daily specials on both food and drinks, and live music is played on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy Hour is one dollar off all drinks from 2-6pm every day.