I added Albuquerque, New Mexico, to my RV calendar based on my desire to eat breakfast burritos every day. Seriously, that’s how I often plan my trips, based on places I hear a lot about or read about that have a great food scene. My nine favorite restaurants to experience in Albuquerque only whet my appetite for more Southwestern food, so we (me and the husband) are already talking about wintering there this year. Here are the places we really liked and are very popular – plus the things we liked at each – in alphabetical order.
1. Blake’s LOTa Burger
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 the 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 to order at Blake’s
I’m not going to lie… the breakfast burrito is damn 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. There is a breakfast sandwich on a grilled bun as an alternative to burritos. Blake’s also serves lunch, dinner, and items such as chicken, chili, onion rings, and shakes.
2. Church Street Café
Serving four generations of recipes, Church Street Cafe is located in the heart of the historic Old Town and housed 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 snack. There is indoor seating, plus front and back patios for enjoying the outdoors.
What to order at Church Street Cafe
While we just went for chili con queso and chips, the best snack in the world in my book, Church Street Cafe’s menu in Church Street also has tamales, burgers, soups, salads, fajitas, burritos, and chili rellenos. I recommend grabbing 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 out of town my husband discovered Cocina Azul in the old town and knew I would love it. He was not wrong. Cocina Azul is another place where you can find a fantastic breakfast burrito; only this one is much more luxurious and picturesque. I bet it can compete with anyone in New Mexico, which is quite a claim. Guess what? Breakfast is served all day.
What to order at Cocina Azul
We went for breakfast burritos (I promise this list has other things…keep reading), but my husband changed his mind and took 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 chilli 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 the Spam and Eggs.
If you like tea, you’ll find a variety of New Mexico Tea Company options, such as 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 the popular and educational facility has a great Native American and New Mexico cuisine restaurant, which is exactly what you’ll find at Indian Pueblo Kitchen. It is highly desirable and busy so plan accordingly and put your name on the list. They will let you know via text when your table is ready.
What to order at Indian Pueblo Kitchen?
In full or half orders, blue corn onion rings are perfect to munch on while you wait for your mains. They are served with green chili ranch and salsa chili de arbol, which are also well mixed together. The Monte Cristo sandwich is quite impressive, with ham, turkey, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses all piled on Pueblo oven bread. Then the luscious berries and red chili-infused raspberry preserves take the sandwich to the next level. For your side dish you get a choice between French or sweet potato fries, side dish or Pueblo potato salad.
I had a hard time choosing as it all sounded great but I went for the prime rib fry bread dip. The sandwich was tasty, with grilled onions and roasted green peppers, but the red chilli au jus was the best part of the meal. I could have drank it straight from the cup. Breakfast is also served all day if desired.
5. Le Chantilly Fine Pastry
Nestled in a strip mall, we discovered Le Chantilly Fine Pastries while googling breakfast spots. Our jaws dropped as we walked in and took one look at the beautiful pastries and huge selection of delicious treats behind the counter. We took a seat at the bar and ordered lunch before taking home several things that looked 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 tasted like it came straight from the oven. There were also sandwiches and salads. I’m a fan of gourmet places like this that offer takeaway and baking, and Le Chantilly offered bunches, including green chile mac and spinach lasagna. Which pastries should you try? Chocolate eclairs, jam biscuits and pavé were all incredible.
6. Owl cafe
Located in one of the most quaint 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 eatery with a soda shop feel, Instagram-worthy counter diners, and table jukeboxes.
What to order at Owl Cafe
For breakfast, try the breakfast burrito if you are hungry. If it’s not that much, go for the half French toast combo. You can add an egg (or two) for a small additional cost. At dinner, the Aloha Pork Sandwich is delicious. Save room for a handmade old-fashioned shake or malt.
Pro tip: Enjoy the free dish with beans. They are exceptional!
7. Sadie’s from 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 which was lively and provided excellent service.
What to order at Sadie’s
Chili con queso is a must! It’s so damn good I almost ate the whole bowl myself. For your lunch or dinner, try a combo board 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 may want to share.
Pro tip: Chips and salsa are free with 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 the many Indian restaurants in Albuquerque. They offer a buffet, which is excellent for those unfamiliar with Indian food or for those who simply enjoy the plethora of choices.
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 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 buffet lunch is served from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 2:30 PM and from Friday to Sunday from 5 PM to 8 PM. Butter chicken is a specialty here.
Pro tip: Indian food is not spicy. You can order the desired spice level. I usually order mild to medium. Don’t be afraid to try it.
9. The Pharmacy
My favorite breakfast was at The Farmacy, off Central Ave along historic Route 66. They make homemade cookies to die for, and of course, The Farmacy has New Mexico’s staple: breakfast burritos. You can order them in red, green, or Christmas, which is a combination of both red and green chili sauces. They offer both indoor and outdoor dining and are open every day except Tuesday from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.
What to order at the pharmacy?
Try the Lumberjack, a wavy biscuit filled with green chile, cheddar cheese, and eggs, fried, then topped with house-made gravy, a fried egg, and bacon crumbs. Good heavens, this is an amazing dish! Croque Maiden, Waffles Rancheros and the French Underground, a waffle with brie and berry compote, are other tempting breakfast culinary creations.
For more ideas and inspiration about Albuquerque, check out these articles: