18 of Albuquerque's Most Unique Restaurants
Unique restaurants can be hard to find when visiting a new city. These local-approved venues in the Duke City are sure to satisfy!
Albuquerque would love to invite you to visit some of its most unique restaurants. Not all of these venues are Albuquerque-specific in food choice or ambiance, but each presents a distinct style and sense of identity.
Little Anita's is a favorite of locals that proudly serves authentic New Mexican food. Offering old favorites served on classic ceramic hotplates, the restaurant serves sopapillas with every meal from taquitos and burritos to Indian tacos. Delicious drinks flow from the bar, and combination plates offer a generous portion of tamales, beef tacos, and chile rellenos. With interiors that show local flavor, Little Anita's makes use of vibrant New Mexico colors among lovely décor and wall art. With nine locations in Albuquerque, one in Denver, and one in centennial, Colorado, Little Anita's is a restaurant that is sure to become a favorite.
Little Anita's is one of Albuquerque's favorite restaurants.
Old Town Pizza Parlor
Located in the heart of Albuquerque's historic Old Town near many shopping and sight-seeing venues, Old Town Pizza Parlor has been running through forty years of business. A family-owned restaurant, the parlor offers pizza, calzones, subs, and pastas to loyal clientele and visitors alike. Serving up beer, desserts, and live music, Old Town Pizza Parlor is located on Rio Grande Boulevard and is in a prime location to be included in any tour of Albuquerque's historic areas.
Old Town Pizza Parlor is a unique restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque.
Boasting over 35 years in Albuquerque, The Cooperage serves steak, seafood, and specialty prime rib. Its salad bar is overflowing with fresh greens and home-made soups, and its old-world ambiance is complemented by its round, barrel-like exterior. The Cooperage offers catering and is equipped with a full bar and wine list. Live salsa bands are hosted every Saturday night in this unique and up-scale venue. Located on Lomas Boulevard, The Cooperage is ideal for any gathering, business or social.
The Cooperage offers a tasteful meal in a unique venue.
Mary and Tito's
Sporting arched windows and a painted floral exterior, Mary and Tito's is a small, family-owned and operated restaurant located on 4th Street. Though this little gem is not fancy on the inside and is certainly not in a location one would expect to find a restaurant with delectable offerings, Mary and Tito's leaves patrons satisfied and looking for an opportunity to return. The restaurant sports laminated tables, an uneven linoleum floor, and low ceilings, but don't let the bare interior fool you. It may be small and simple, but it is full of delicious flavor and sincere, kind, and respectful service. Originally run by a couple who gave the venue its namesake, the restaurant has been in operation for over fifty years. For Mary and Tito and their family, making food has always been a way to spread love to people. Offering some of the best New Mexican food you can find that includes delicious Mexican turnovers and amazing sopapillas, this incredible little spot is loved and adored by locals. The restaurant's unadorned, home-style New Mexican fixings are not too flashy, just simple and unbelievably delicious. Mary and Tito's has been winning the hearts of Albuquerque's locals and visitors for years by providing flawless standards of service and impeccable taste.
Mary and Tito's has been delighting guests with delicious food for many years.
La Crêpe Michel
An adorable French cafe in the heart of old town, La Crêpe Michel can be found in a little nook between shops and art galleries. This quaint restaurant offers authentic French soups and dishes including escargot, salmon, and croque monsieur/madame. The menu is also equipped with plenty of crêpe options! Featured in Albuquerque the Magazine, The Alibi, and The Albuquerque Journal, this delightful cafe delivers an extensive drink list which includes cidre, biere, and vin—in keeping with its French offerings. La Crêpe Michel is a cozy little nook where you can lose yourself in a miniature Paris.
La Crêpe Michel is a popular French cafe in Old Town Albuquerque.
Open only in the evenings, Antiquity is a little Old Town restaurant known for its huge ovens and rustic atmosphere. Presenting a thoughtful menu stocked with seafood, steaks, fowl, and lamb, the restaurant offers nightly specials and reservation options that can accommodate couples or large groups. This uniquely local venue features an artistically done interior with elegantly folded linen napkins to decorate the tables. Located on Romero Street, Antiquity has a low-lit and intimate atmosphere that provides a lovely background to its fanciful cuisine.
Antiquity is a cozy restaurant near Albuquerque's Old Town Plaza.
High Finance Restaurant and Tavern
High Finance Restaurant and Tavern is located at Sandia Peak just steps from the tram. Offering dining at an elevation of 10,378 feet, the restaurant boasts views of the entire Albuquerque area. With its great bar and warm atmosphere, High Finance is a popular location for locals celebrating a special occasion and delivers a unique experience for the city's visitors.
High Finance Restaurant, at the top of Sandia Peak, delivers delicious food and beautiful views of the city.
Le Chantilly is a bakery known for its fine pastries and cakes. Located on Wyoming and Menaul in the Hoffmantown Shopping Center, the bakery also offers soups and sandwiches for a lunch-in, as well as fancy catering for social or business events. With a floor-to-ceiling mural on the wall and a sweet ambiance, Le Chantilly is a wonderful option for a casual meeting of coffee or tea.
Offering cakes, cookies, pastries, and more, Le Chantilly is a lovely little bakery in Albuquerque's Hoffmantown Center.
Restaurant at the Pueblo Cultural Center
The Pueblo Cultural Center invites guests to experience a rich culinary experience as part of the cultural education it offers on its grounds. The Pueblo Harvest Cafe and Bakery is open daily for all three meals and offers wine and drinks, as well. From an appetizer of Indian taco bites to burgers on frybread, the cafe brings pueblo culture to visitors in a tastefully delicious way. Their Blueberry Juniper Elk is char-grilled to perfection and their pueblo pies and cookies offer a sweet post-meal bite. For something to see after lunch, the center's museum outlines a history of the pueblo world and features artwork from each of the nineteen pueblos around Albuquerque.
The Pueblo Cultural Center serves authentic food at its restaurant.
A 50s-style diner that pays homage to Old Route 66, the Owl Cafe serves a variety of foods from green chili cheese burgers and pies to milkshakes and pancakes. With an exterior shaped like an owl and owl figurines all over the interior, it's no question the cafe has an owl fetish. Located on Eubank just off I-40, the Owl Cafe is a unique Albuquerque restaurant with an award-winning menu and family-friendly atmosphere.
The Owl Cafe is an owl-themed restaurant offering good, old-fashioned fixings including burgers, pancakes, and milkshakes.
If you're willing to travel a little further east on I-40 to Cedar Crest, Ribs BBQ is the place to get some delicious smoked ribs. The family-owned restaurant and bar offers local beers, pork sandwiches, and burgers charbroiled to perfection. A local favorite, the venue even offers turkey-smoking services during the holidays. The cooks and waitstaff are mostly long-time employees. With a commitment to service and quality eats, Ribs is located on North HWY 337 on the way to Sandia Crest.
Delivering barbecue ribs and filling sandwiches, Ribs BBQ is a mountain restaurant outside Albuquerque.
Delivering favorites such as the carne adovada burrito, Padilla's is known for inexpensive but delicious Mexican food. While it's not a fancy place, the restaurant is known around town for great food and stellar service. Because it's a small restaurant and it's only open for lunch, Padilla's can get pretty busy, but locals say the extraordinary food is totally worth the wait.
Padilla's is a little hole-in-the-wall that offers some of the most fantastic Mexican food in Albuquerque.
The Range Cafe
Providing several locations around Albuquerque, the Range Cafe is a favorite that offers unique art and colorful interiors along with food made from scratch in a comfortable and home-style environment. Serving everything from New Mexican favorites like burritos smothered in green chile to gourmet burgers and crowd-pleasing country fried steak, The Range is one of The Duke City's most cherished dining venues.
A local favorite, the Range Cafe serves comfort food with an Albuquerque twist.
Casa de Benavidez
Classically New Mexican, Casa de Benavidez has been run by the Benavidez family for many years. Known for its trademark sopapilla burger, the Casa also serves huevos rancheros, stuffed sopapillas, and fajitas. Welcoming guests to enjoy the patio garden and waterfall, the eatery was once a carry-out business before becoming a dream-come-true for the Benavidez family as a full-service restaurant. Casa de Benavidez has been making spectacular food for locals and visitors on 4th Street for many years.
Casa de Benavidez is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been delighting Albuquerque locals for decades.
Chef Larry Gonzales has invested 25 years in preparing the dishes at Papa Felipe's. The restaurant's homemade taquitos are filled with jack cheese and either roast beef or shredded chicken and then fried until crispy and served with guacamole and chile con queso. Offering home-cooked Mexican and New Mexican food and every meal prepared from scratch, it's no wonder the restaurant has been serving the Albuquerque area for over 35 years.
Papa Felipe's has been serving home-cooked Mexican food to the Albuquerque area for over 35 years.
Delivering a lovely interior with many different dining rooms separated by thick adobe walls and charming tin light fixtures, La Placita is a restaurant located on the plaza in Old Town. The historic building used to be a hotel, but now serves incredible stuffed sopapillas and tacos, as well as delightful enchiladas and flan that is always chilled and creamy. Providing a wonderful way to explore Old Town history, La Placita is a must-visit restaurant.
The historic La Placita restaurant in Albuquerque's Old Town used to be hotel, but now serves incredible stuffed sopapillas and enchiladas.
Restaurant at Duran Central Pharmacy
Boasting a very unique interior with a tiled bar and red bar stools, the restaurant at Duran Central Pharmacy is attached to a for-real pharmacy. The restaurant sells its own chile and salsa and serves hand-rolled tortillas made in its own kitchen. Having been featured in New Mexico Magazine, Sunset Magazine, and Conde Naste, Duran Central Pharmacy is famous for its New Mexican food offerings and lovely ambiance.
The drugstore lunch counter at Duran Central Pharmacy is unique and refreshing.
Operated by two brothers, this North Valley restaurant has been delighting the community with its gorgeous covered patio, lovely entrance hung with ristras, and romantic ambiance for many years. A family favorite; offers great margaritas and traditional New Mexican food including stuffed sopapillas, chile rellenos, and delicious burritos.
El Pinto is a beautiful spot loved by locals and visitors alike.
Whether you're planning a trip to the Duke City or you've lived there your whole life, these eighteen restaurants are among the most individualistic and distinctive to be found in the area.
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