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Restaurants in Albuquerque

“What are you in the mood for?” “I don’t know, what are you in the mood for?” Don’t get stuck in the never-ending circle of where should we go for dinner? There is enough variety in Albuquerque restaurants that you should never get caught in a restaurant rut. Check out our suggestions for the best restaurants in Albuquerque, which include a Wine Spectator Award winner, made-to-order Mexican, and the best modern diner in the state.

Best Restaurants in Albuquerque

 

Artichoke Cafe

With a 2018 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence on its shelf—among other accolades—Artichoke Cafe would be hard to overlook. And it’d be in your best interest not to, as it’s served diners since 1989 with an ever-evolving menu of seasonal, farm-to-table plates.

 

High Noon Restaurant & Saloon

You won’t miss its red-clay exterior, where the Villa family has worked to delight diners since 1974. A true institution, its kitchen proudly crafts New Mexican classics, such as shrimp enchiladas, and puts the perfect sear on amazing steaks and chops.

 

Farm & Table

Farm & Table was created to honor the local community, including its farmers and food purveyors. To that end, its menu changes with the whim of the seasons, depending on what comes into harvest. It’s also received accolades for its local sensibilities, including 2017 Readers’ Choice from NM Magazine and 2017 Best Patio Dining from Albuquerque the Magazine.

What Makes a Steakhouse Great

It takes more than a good chop—here are some clues as to whether that steakhouse you’re considering is mediocre or amazing.

 

The Ambience

Some experts say that the decor of a good steakhouse creates a balance of woody and rustic, and crisp and classy. The best tell—how are the patrons dressed? If too many guests are wearing flip flops, it’s best to steer clear. Also, the servers must be on point—both in appearance and manner.

 

The Service

Speaking of the servers, they should be super knowledgeable about the menu. Besides knowing to what temperature each steak is cooked, the server should know where the meat came from, and how the animals were raised and fed.

 

The Steaks

A steakhouse worthy of its name should have at least a rib eye, a filet mignon, and a new york strip on its menu. They also should be dry aged—but no more than 28 days; anything more is superfluous. Same with any seasonings beyond salt and pepper.

 

The Sides

The best steakhouses stick to the classics: caesar salad, oysters on the half shell, baked or lyonnaise potatoes, and simply prepared veggies.

 

The Drinks

That cocktail list should be low key—listing strong and skilled versions of classics, such as a dry martini—alongside a simple wine list.

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Best Mexican Restaurants in Albuquerque

Cocina Azul

All three locations serve up delicious Mexican and New Mexican fare. And our customers love to rave about it:

 

“Yummy. Pozole. Mmmmm!” – Sandra H.

 

“Excellent food and good service!” – Heidi F.

 

“Love this restaurant, I always go there when I want to eat out.” – Rachelle Y.

 

“Good traditional New Mexican food.” – Sylvia T.

 

Taqueria Mexico

For made-to-order Mexican food, hit up this spot. They’ve got classics such as chiles rellenos, enchiladas, and hearty menudo.

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What Is Chorizo?

You’ve likely encountered the sausage on a menu at a Spanish or Mexican restaurant—it’s become more common even in American cuisine. But if you’re still wondering what that red-hued sausage is all about, read on for the lowdown from Cleveland butcher Vincent Delagrange.

 

What’s in it?

Spanish chorizo is typically a dried sausage. It’s made with pork and seasoned with garlic, paprika, and oregano.

 

Mexican chorizo is the kind you see in the grocery store—refrigerated and uncooked. Also made from pork, this version is made with cumin, chili powder, and sometimes cinnamon.

 

Is it spicy?

According to Vincent, “Traditionally, chorizo is not spicy at all.” It should, however, be heavily seasoned: “You should be tasting sweet pork and roasted flavors from the seasonings.”

 

How is it served?

Spanish chorizo, being a dried sausage, is served similarly to its Italian ilk: as part of a charcuterie platter or appetizer. Mexican chorizo has many uses: enchiladas, tacos, even nachos. Also, according to Vincent, it pairs surprisingly well with seafood.


For more on this delicious sausage, click here.

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Best Diner in Albuquerque

 

Standard Diner

While you might have a certain idea of diners—old vinyl and chrome booths and entrees kept under heat lamp—Standard Diner turns that image on its ear. This casual eatery puts a modern twist on diner classics by making them from scratch with local ingredients.

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Best Italian Restaurants in Albuquerque

Scalo Northern Italian Grill

For classic Italian fare, make a beeline for this eatery. You’ll find wood-fired pizzas and generous pasta plates, such as short-rib ravioli and linguine with PEI mussels. Also every week, live music accompanies these delicious meals.

 

Farina Pizzeria

Scratch-made crusts from organic flour and meats cured in house are the foundation of this pizza house. The melanzane pizza has eggplant and basil, while the salsiccia pizza is crowned with sweet fennel Italian sausage. Meat lovers will love the carni, which is piled with cured meats.

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