I added Albuquerque, New Mexico to my RV calendar based on my desire to eat breakfast burritos every day. Seriously, this is how I often plan my trips based on places I’ve talked or read a lot about that have a great food scene. My nine favorite restaurants in Albuquerque have only whetted my appetite for more Southwestern cuisine, so we (me and my husband) are already talking about wintering there again this year. Here are the places we really liked and that are hugely popular – plus the things we liked about each one – 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 folks at our RV campground and some local friends, we quickly learned that this was one of those places to have a great breakfast burrito. Blake’s is a local chain with 75 locations in the Southwest, primarily in New Mexico, and also created the original green chili cheeseburger in 1952.
What you can order from Blake
I won’t lie… the breakfast burrito is freaking delicious. It was one of my two favorites of the whole trip. I preferred the classic burrito with beans while my husband chose the sausage burrito. As an alternative to burritos, there is a breakfast roll on a grilled roll. Blake’s also serves lunch, dinner, and items like chicken, chili, onion rings, and shakes.
2. Church Street Cafe
Church Street Cafe serves four generations of recipes and is located in the heart of historic Old Town in a historic building, the 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 snack. There is indoor seating and front and back patios to enjoy the outdoors.
What to order at Church Street Cafe
While we just settled on chili con queso and chips, the best snack in the world in my book, the Church Street Cafe on Church Street also has tamales, burgers, soups, salads, fajitas, burritos, and chili rellenos. I recommend having a sweet treat, and there’s plenty to choose from – think gourmet cookies, cinnamon rolls, flan, churros and sopaipillas. We took home a selection of several.
3. Cocina Azul
While I was out of town my husband spotted Cocina Azul in Old Town and knew I would love it. He wasn’t wrong. Cocina Azul is another place where you can find an amazing breakfast burrito; only this one is much more upscale and quaint. I’m willing to bet it could rival anyone in New Mexico, which is quite a claim. And guess what? Breakfast is served all day.
What you can order at Cocina Azul
We went for burritos for breakfast (I promise this list has other things…read on), but my husband changed his mind and ate the breakfast platter, which included pancakes. My burrito was a perfect combination of eggs, hash browns and sausage. There were two sauces to choose from – green chili and a red sauce – and I chose green. The flavors were smooth and really good. I would give this breakfast burrito a 10/10. Another dish that piqued my interest was spam and eggs.
If you like tea, you’ll find a variety of New Mexico Tea Company options like blood orange, English breakfast, Moroccan mint, and jasmine.
4. Indian Pueblo cuisine
One of the must-see attractions in Albuquerque is the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. It’s only fitting that this popular and educational institution has an outstanding restaurant serving Native American and New Mexico cuisine, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Indian Pueblo Kitchen. It’s highly desirable and busy so plan accordingly and put your name on the list. They will text you when your table is ready.
What to order at Indian Pueblo Kitchen
Available in full or half orders, blue corn onion rings are perfect for nibbling on while you wait for your main courses. They are served with a green chili ranch and chili de arbol salsa, which mix well too. The Monte Cristo sandwich is quite impressive, with ham, turkey, cheddar and Swiss cheese all stacked on Pueblo oven bread. Then the juicy berries and canned raspberries infused with red chili take the sandwich to the next level. As a side, you have your choice of fries or sweet potato fries, side salad, or Pueblo potato salad.
I had a hard time deciding because everything sounded wonderful, but I settled on the Prime Rib Fry Bread Dip. The sandwich was delicious, with grilled onions and roasted green chillies, but the red chili au jus was the best part of the meal. I could have drunk it straight from the cup. On request, breakfast can also be served all day.
5. Le Chantilly Pastries
Nestled in a mall, we discovered Le Chantilly Fine Pastries while googling breakfast spots. Our jaws dropped as we walked in and took a look at the great pastries and huge selection of delicious treats behind the counter. We took a seat at the bar and ordered lunch before taking home some items that looked too good to pass up.
What to order at Le Chantilly
I went for the quiche and it didn’t disappoint. There were a few recipe combinations to choose from and it tasted like it was served straight from the oven. There were also sandwiches and salads. I’m a fan of fine dining places like this that offer take out and bake and Le Chantilly offered bundles including green chilli mac and spinach lasagna. Which baked goods should you try? Chocolate eclairs, jam biscuits and pavé were all amazing.
6. Owl Cafe
Occupying one of the most extraordinary buildings I’ve 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 well-rounded menu at this retro joint with a soda shop vibe, Instagram-worthy counter, and tabletop jukeboxes.
What to order at the Owl Cafe
For breakfast, try the breakfast burrito if you’re hungry. If not so much, opt for the half-size French toast combo. You can add an egg (or two) for a small extra charge. For dinner, the Aloha Pork Sandwich is delicious. Save room for a handcrafted, old-fashioned shake or malt.
Pro tip: Treat yourself to the complimentary bean dish. You are extraordinary!
7. Sadies of New Mexico
One of the most popular local chain restaurants in Albuquerque is Sadie’s of New Mexico, which has been around for 65 years. There are three locations to choose from in the city. Sadie’s is a 7-time winner for Best Mexican Food and Best Margarita in Albuquerque. We went for dinner and sat in the bar area which was lively with excellent service.
What to order at Sadie’s
Chile con queso is a must! It’s so damn good I almost ate the whole bowl myself. For your lunch or dinner, try a combination plate where you can choose 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 can share
Pro tip: Chips and salsa are complimentary with the purchase of food or alcoholic beverages.
8. Taaj Palace
I love Indian food – it’s probably my favorite – so I couldn’t pass up dinner at Taaj Palace, one of Albuquerque’s many Indian restaurants. They offer a buffet which is great for those unfamiliar with Indian food or just enjoy the wide variety.
What to order at Taaj Palace
I had my favorite meal, Chicken Tikka Masala, which was good and filling. The sauce was spot on in terms of the tomato base and was served with jasmine rice and a side of garlic naan, which I ordered a la carte. Taaj Palace is closed on Mondays. A lunch buffet is served Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and a dinner buffet is served Friday through Sunday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Butter chicken is a specialty here.
Pro tip: Indian food is not spicy. You can order the spice level you want. I usually order mild to medium. Don’t be afraid to try.
9. The Pharmacy
My favorite breakfast was from The Farmacy, along Central Ave along historic Route 66. They make homemade cookies to die for, and of course, The Farmacy has the New Mexico staple — breakfast burritos. You can order them in red, green, or Christmas, which is a combination of red and green chile sauces. They offer indoor and outdoor dining and are open every day except Tuesday from 8:30am to 2:30pm.
What to order at the pharmacy
Try the lumberjack, a billowy cookie filled with green chili, cheddar cheese and eggs, baked and then topped with homemade gravy, a fried egg and bacon crumbles. My goodness, this is a great dish! Croque Maiden, Waffles Rancheros and French Underground, a waffle with brie and berry compote, are other tempting culinary creations for breakfast.
For more Albuquerque ideas and inspiration, check out these articles: