Last updated: December 9, 2018
I am often asked “What is the best restaurant in Albuquerque?” This question has no definitive answer. Best what? New Mexican? Fine dining? Greek? Seafood? Best according to whom? You get the idea. Moreover, I will never give a restaurant a numerical rating. Too subjective.
This, then, is a list of my top ten favorite restaurants in the Albuquerque area. I think that they are among the best that Albuquerque has to offer. These are the places that you are likely to find me eating my favorite dishes This list represents just my opinion, and therefore not subject to argument. It is difficult to choose just ten, and many great places do not make the list. For example, anything by Denis Apodaca is among my favorites, but they don’t make the list. The new Sophia’s Place comes really close.
Mary & Tito’s isnumber 1 because it is my favorite restaurant in New Mexico. If you look at the Zomato (ugh) Albuquerque page, you will notice that Frontier is ranked number 1, reflecting its huge following. I like it a lot, but it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of cracking my list. Does being Urbanspoon’s number 1 make it better than, say, Jennifer James Frenchish? In a pig’s eye. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Don’t trust the reader’s polls published annually by The Weekly Alibi , Local-iQ, and Albuquerque The Magazine (ATM). The source of the data does not seem to be trustworthy.
Are there other lists that you might take note of? Sure.
I maintain a small number of such specialty lists on Yelp.
All of the places on my list are great, and many gastronome and foodie friends agree with me to some extent. Don’t bother to tell me that El Pinto and Sadie’s are great. They are not; they are tourist places and for this trade, deservedly popular. I live here and I eat here and I know better. So should you.
- Mary & Tito’s Cafe
- Joe’s Pasta House
- Campos at Los Poblanos
- M’Tucci’s Italian Market and Pizzeria, M’Tucci’s Italian,
and M’Tucci’s Moderno (Yeah, all three!)
- Budai Gourmet Chinese
- High Point Grill
- Savoy Bar & Grill
- Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
- Pad Thai Cafe
Were I to write an ABQ Honorable Mention List, it would contain such favorites as (in alphabetical order):
- Acre, The (Vegetarian Comfort Food),
- Alquds Mediterranean Grill & Grocery (Middle Eastern),
- An Hy Quan (Vietnamese Vegetarian),
- Ariraga Oriental Market (Korean),
- Blade’s Bistro,
- Cafe Bella Coffee,
- El Bruno’s Restaurante y Cantina,
- El Patio de Albuquerque (2nd favorite New Mexican),
- Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar,
- Farm and Table,
- Fresh Bistro,
- Guava Tree Cafe,
- Indigo Crow Cafe,
- May Cafe
- Mogu Mogu,
- Monk’s Corner Taproom/Maya Cuisine,
- Monte Carlo Steak House,
- Nexus Brewery,
- Perea’s Tijuana Bar,
- Pho Bar,
- Pho Garden (not reviewed yet but a Dazzler fave)
- Sharky’s/California Oyster Bar Mexican Seafood),
- Siam Cafe
- St Clair Winery & Bistro,
- Thai Tip,
- Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. , and
- Two Fools Tavern,
all of which I have reviewed in various places. Most are also reviewed here on this blog.
New Mexico Top Ten
Were I to list my Top Ten from outside the Albuquerque area, it would contain (in order):
- Sparky’s Burgers & BBQ (Hatch),
- Plaza Cafe Downtown (Santa Fe),
- Lambert’s Restaurant and Bar (Taos),
- Cowgirl BBQ (Santa Fe Railyards),
- ACEQ (Arroyo Seco),
- Rancho de Chimayó Restauranté (Chimayó),
- Owl Bar & Cafe (San Antonio),
- Pink Adobe (Santa Fe),
- The Artesian Restaurant (Ojo Caliente), and
- Cafe Pasqual’s (Santa Fe).
The No Scum Allowed Saloon would surely make the list if they served food.
BTW, I refuse to contribute reviews and comments to Zomato. They are a bunch of pinheads. Most serious ABQ foodies have also abandoned them, too.