My 9 Favorite Restaurants in Albuquerque

I added Albuquerque, New Mexico to my trailer calendar based on my desire to eat breakfast burritos every day. Seriously, this is how I often plan my trips, based on places I hear a lot about or read about with a great food scene. My nine favorite restaurants to try in Albuquerque just whet my appetite for more Southwestern cuisine, so we (husband and I) are already talking about wintering there again this year. Here are the places we really like and are highly popular – plus the things we like about each – in alphabetical order.

1. Blake’s LOTaburger

My son-in-law’s name is Blake, so Blake’s LOTaburger caught my eye. After talking to people at our trailer camp and some local friends, we quickly discovered that this was one of the places to get a great breakfast burrito. Blake’s is a local chain with 75 locations in the Southwest, mostly in New Mexico, and also created the original green pepper cheeseburger in 1952.

What to order at Blake’s

I won’t lie… the breakfast burrito is very tasty. It was one of my two favorites of the entire trip. I preferred the classic bean burrito, while my husband chose the sausage burrito. There’s a breakfast sandwich on a grilled bun as an alternative to burritos. Blake’s also serves lunch, dinner and items like chicken, peppers, onion rings and shakes.

Queso and fries, Church Street Cafe, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Queso and chips at Church Street Cafe, located in historic Casa de Ruiz
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

2. Cafe on Rua da Igreja

Serving four generations of recipes, Church Street Cafe is in the heart of Old Town and is located in a historic building, Casa de Ruiz. This structure is the oldest in Albuquerque and one of the oldest in the state. My husband and I stopped in for a quick bite. There is indoor seating, plus front and rear patios to enjoy the outdoors.

What to order at Church Street Cafe

While we only went for chile con queso and fries, the best snack on earth in my book, the Church Street Cafe’s menu on Church Street also has tamales, burgers, soups, salads, fajitas, burritos and chile rellenos. I recommend you get a sweet treat, and there’s plenty to choose from – think gourmet cookies, cinnamon rolls, pudding, churros, and sopaipillas. We take home a selection of several.

Cocina Azul, green pepper breakfast burrito.
Cocina Azul’s breakfast burrito is “a perfect combination of eggs, fries and sausage,” and is served with either a green or red chili sauce.
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

3. Blue Kitchen

While I was out of town, my husband discovered Cocina Azul in the Old Town and knew I would love it. He wasn’t wrong. Cocina Azul is another place where you’ll find a fantastic breakfast burrito; only this one is much more sophisticated and picturesque. I’m willing to bet I could compete with anyone in New Mexico, which is quite a statement. And guess what? Breakfast is served throughout the day.

What to order at Cocina Azul

We went for breakfast burritos (I promise this list has other things… read on), but my husband changed his mind and ate the breakfast plate, which included pancakes. My burrito was a perfect combination of eggs, fries and sausage. There were two sauces to choose from – green chile and a red sauce – and I chose green. The flavors were smooth and very good. I would rate this breakfast burrito a 10/10. Another dish that piqued my interest was Spam and eggs.

If you love tea, you’ll find a variety of New Mexico Tea Company options such as blood orange, English breakfast, Moroccan mint and jasmine.

Monte Cristo Sandwich, Indian Pueblo Kitchen, Albuquerque.
The Monte Cristo Sandwich at the Indian Pueblo Kitchen, located at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

4. Pueblo Indian Cuisine

One of Albuquerque’s must-see attractions is the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It’s only fitting that the popular and educational facility has a stellar restaurant of Native American and New Mexico cuisine to go along with it, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Indian Pueblo Kitchen. It is highly desirable and busy, so plan accordingly and get your name on the list. They will let you know when your table is ready via text.

What to Order in Pueblo Indian Cuisine

In full or half orders, blue corn onion rings are perfect to munch on while you wait for your main courses. They are served with a green chile ranch and chile de arbol salsa, which also mix well. The Monte Cristo sandwich is quite impressive, with ham, turkey, cheddar and Swiss cheeses all piled on Pueblo oven bread. Then the delicious fruit and red pepper-infused raspberry preserves take the sandwich to the next level. You can choose for your side dish between French fries or sweets, side salad or Pueblo potato salad.

I had a hard time choosing because everything looked wonderful, but I went with the rib-fried bread sauce. The sandwich was delicious, with grilled onions and roasted green peppers, but the red chile au jus was the best part of the meal. I could have drunk straight from the glass. Breakfast is also served throughout the day if you wish.

5. Le Chantilly fine pastry

Tucked away in a shopping mall, we discovered Le Chantilly Fine Pastries as I Googled breakfast locations. Our jaws dropped when we walked in and took a look at the magnificent cakes and huge selection of delicious treats behind the counter. We sat at the bar and ordered lunch before taking home several things that seemed too good to pass up.

What to order at Le Chantilly

I went for the quiche, and it did not disappoint. There were a few recipe combinations to choose from, and it looked like it was served straight from the oven. There were also sandwiches and salads. I’m a fan of gourmet places like this that offer ready-to-eat and baked meals, and Le Chantilly offered bunches, including green chili noodles and spinach lasagna. Which sweets should you try? Chocolate eclairs, jelly cookies and pavé were amazing.

Counter, Café Coruja, Albuquerque.
At the Owl Cafe, “you’ll find a full menu at this retro restaurant with a soda shop feel, Instagram-worthy counter dining and tabletop jukeboxes.”
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

6. Owl Cafe

Located in one of the most extraordinary buildings I have ever seen on historic Route 66, The Owl Cafe is an Albuquerque landmark. My husband and I went there for breakfast and dinner. You’ll find a full menu at this retro restaurant with a soda shop feel, Instagram-worthy counter dining, and tabletop jukeboxes.

What to order at the Owl Cafe

For breakfast, try the breakfast burrito if you’re feeling hungry. If not so much, go for the half-size French toast combo. You can add an egg (or two) for a small addition. For dinner, the Aloha Pork Sandwich is delicious. Save space for an old-fashioned artisan shake or malt.

Pro tip: Indulge in the complimentary bean platter. They are exceptional!

Billy's Spicy Steak Sopaipilla Dinner, Sadie from New Mexico.
Billy’s Spicy Beef Sopaipilla Dinner
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

7. Sadie from New Mexico

One of Albuquerque’s most popular local restaurant chains is Sadie’s of New Mexico, which has been around for 65 years. There are three locations to choose from around town. Sadie’s is a 7-time winner for Best Mexican Food and Best Margarita in Albuquerque. We went to dinner and sat in the bar area, which was lively and offered excellent service.

What to order at Sadie’s

Chile with cheese is a must! It’s so good I almost ate the whole bowl. For your lunch or dinner, try a combo plate where you can select two, three or four items from a long list. I had the Sopaipilla dinner with Billy’s Spicy Beef. It’s a lot of food; you might want to share.

Pro tip: French fries and salsa are complimentary with the purchase of any food or alcoholic beverage.

Chicken tikka masala, Taaj Place, Albuquerque.
Chicken tikka masala at Taaj Place
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

8. Taaj Palace

I love Indian food – it’s probably my favorite – so I couldn’t miss having dinner at Taaj Palace, one of the many Indian restaurants in Albuquerque. They offer a buffet, which is great for those new to Indian food or those who just appreciate the abundance of options.

What to order at Taaj Palace

I had my favorite meal, chicken tikka masala, which was good and filling. The sauce was just right in terms of its tomato base and it was served with jasmine rice and a side of garlic naan, which I ordered à la carte. Taaj Palace is closed on Mondays. A lunch buffet is served from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 14:30, and a dinner buffet is served from Friday to Sunday from 17:00 to 20:00. Butter chicken is a specialty here.

Pro tip: Indian food is not spicy. You can order whatever seasoning you like. I usually order light to medium. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Lumberjack Biscuit, The Farmacy, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Farmacy Lumberjack Biscuit
(Photo credit: Melody Pittman)

9. The Pharmacy

My favorite breakfast was at The Farmacy along Avenida Central along historic Route 66. They make homemade cookies that are delicious and of course The Farmacy has the New Mexico staple – breakfast burritos. You can order them in red, green or Christmas, a combination of red and green Chilean sauces. They offer indoor and outdoor dining and are open from 8:30am to 2:30pm every day except Tuesdays.

What to order at the pharmacy

Try the Lumberjack, a cracker filled with green chile, cheddar cheese and eggs, baked and topped with homemade sauce, fried egg and bacon bits. Dear God, this is an amazing dish! Croque Maiden, Waffles Rancheros and French Underground, a waffle with Brie and berry compote, are other tempting culinary creations for breakfast.

For more ideas and inspiration about Albuquerque, explore these articles:

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