I'm so glad I found this site! I'm going to be in Albuquerque for near the end of august/early september. We are extending our stay an extra week so I am trying to find some insider recommendations for what places to go and see. Like if Anthony Bourdain was coming to visit, where would you send him? All the one of a kind cafes, restaurants, entertainment and hangouts.



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If Bourdain was coming to town, I'd send him out into the desert to be waylaid by banditos or eaten by coyotes. At the very least I'd show him back to the airport and invite him to stay away, preferably far away. hehehe
or you could send him to my house... ;)
I'm with you on that one Krista! ;)
I second Lee's for banh mi and interesting Vietnamese puddings and sausage of all sorts. Stop in at Ta Lin while you're there...there are lots of unexpected treats to be had, and the take-out can be unusually tasty at times. I'm also a big fan of Cafe Trang for Vietnamese in general, although Cafe Da Lat has the best pho. For other Asian tastes, Chopstix at San Pedro & Lomas is a favorite with Albuquerque’s Chinese community…try the shredded pork with garlic sauce or the “Jackie Chan style” pork and mustard greens (he became a fan while filming a movie in town a few years ago). Great Thai can be had at Thai Cuisine #2 or Siam Café, although I prefer the drunken noodles at Sakura Thai & Sushi on Wyoming just south of Montgomery (Sakura also sports the only Laotian section I’m aware of on any local menu).

Other hidden gems: Ariana Halal Market on San Mateo between Central and Lomas offers a range of Afghan specialities, while the Babylon Café on Central between Wyoming and Eubank offers Bagdadi grilled fish and other specialties catering to our growing Iraqi community. Rasoi (Yale just south of Central) is my favorite for Indian food, but India Kitchen (Montgomery and Louisiana) has been at it for nearly 30 years and offers an inimitable homey charm. In a completely different direction, Peppers (San Pedro & Copper, across from the fairgrounds) does a mean BBQ brisket, tasty hot links, and what I consider the best fried catfish in town.

I'm not an enormous Loyola's fan, but Duran and Mary & Tito's are both quite tasty. I prefer the medium bowl of beans & green chile (with a side of posole) at Barelas Coffee House (say hi to the ex-mayors, congressmen, and senators when you run into them), and the red at Cecilia’s (6th & silver, I think?) is pretty awesome as well. They’ve also got great red at Richard’s Front Door (Wyoming and Menaul), which is one of the few spots in town where you can consistently find true, old-fashioned New Mexico specialities like quelites, torta de huevo, or fideo, as well as a whole host of strange, unique takes on NM cuisine. And don’t forget El Modelo…serving up forearm-sized tamales drenched in cheese and spicy chile since the 1920s.

Beyond the food scene, take your bike for a spin down the Rio Grande bike path – you might see beavers, coyotes, eagles, or sandhill cranes, depending on the time of year – or go for a stroll along one of the ancient acequias that criss-cross the North Valley. Check out the weekend farmer’s markets in Downtown, Los Ranchos, or Corrales, or the Thursday market in Nob Hill. The Sandia Peak tram is undeniably a tourist trap, but it’s worth the money to experience the alpine vegetation – and the 10-degree temperature change – along the crest of the Sandias. While at 10,000 feet, take the short hike north through Kiwanis Meadow or stop for a picnic at the cabin at Kiwanis Lookout. In winter, you can continue to the Sandia Crest gift shop to check out the rosy finches.

Alternately, take a drive to the Crest, making sure to stop to tour the ruins of Tijeras Pueblo and check out the hand-carved western town and circus at Tinkertown on the way. Continuing north on Highway 14, stop in at Mary’s Bar in Cerrillos, then hike through the Cerrillos Hills…turquoise from the ancient mines here once enriched several large Pueblo villages in the vicinity (you likely won’t notice, but this drive goes right by several of them) and once decorated the crown jewels of the Aztec emperors. Further afield, check out Tent Rocks and Ghost Ranch, or the Salinas Pueblo ruins of Quarai, Abo, and Gran Quivira. I strongly second the Chaco Canyon recommendation…but be sure to get out of the canyon to check out sites like Penasco Blanco, Wijiji, and Kin Kletso.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg…there’s lots more to discover once you start exploring.
@Phil_0 I think you meant Charlie's Front Door at Wyoming/Menaul. Good food. I love the carnitas with red chile and extra-crispy papas, and the sour cream enchiladas. I also groove on the bar in the back (Charlie's Back Door) - full menu available.
Lucky you! You should be arriving just as green chile roasting season is getting started. Just about every grocery store in Albuquerque will have a roasting crew outside and you should check out this scene. I recommend going to Pro's Ranch Market on Central just over the RIo Grande west of Old Town. Be sure to pick up some green chile (unroasted) to take home, and if you have access to a freezer while you are here, put a stash of the roasted in the freezer and bring it home.

And since it will likely still be hot, you'll have a great excuse to stop by one of Albuquerque's paleterias. Mango and chile paleta = YUM!

I can't remember if anyone has mentioned it, but the Rio Grande Nature Center is where I often bring out of town guests. The visitor center is designed by Antoine Predock, a nationally renowned Albuquerque architect, and the grounds give you a taste of the bosque (riverland forest) and how this landscape is part of living in Albuquerque.

Enjoy your stay!
If you are going to do the Chile Roasting as Barelas Babe suggests I would recommend going to Wagner's Farm in Corrales.
And if you are going to go to Wagner's, wait for the Corrales Harvest Festival. it's one of the best fall activities i have ever done.
Taos Mountain Music Festival (in the ski valley) with Gov't Mule and Yonder Mountain String Band, is Sept 5.
Good ideas. What about Coronado Ruins just west of Bernalillo? For dinner/jazz night club head to Vernon's on N. 4th Street in Los Ranchos. For some fun head over to the Caravan, one of Albuquerque's oldest country dance halls. Oh, there's just so much. Take a day drive up to Ojo Caliente for a soak in the baths, or better head to Las Vegas and jump in the hot springs in the river just east of Montezuma then have lunch or dinner at the Plaza Hotel.

Just a week? You'll never get it all done.
While in Las Vegas,don't forget to look up the firehouse on Bridge St. where some of the scenes from Easy Rider were filmed.


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