*We rarely remember to take photos when we go out, especially of our food. The featured photo is the view from outside Ten3
Here we have the updated version of this post. Since Covid started, we’ve gotten takeout from many more places than when this post was originally published in February. We’ve really liked several of the Albuquerque restaurants we’ve been to. As you probably know from other posts, such as “5 Things to Cut Out to Save Money“, we cook most of our meals and rarely eat out. We don’t try new things too often, but when we do, it usually pays off. I don’t think there are any places we’ve tried here and disliked. So, if you happen to be feeling hungry in Albuquerque, here are our favorite places (in no particular order) to grab some grub.
Highlight: The bang for your buck, and the spice is great
This was the first of the Albuquerque restaurants we tried. We came over from California in July to look for apartments and visit because we hadn’t been to New Mexico before. We stayed at an AirBnB on the west side. El Modelo was relatively close and had good reviews on Yelp. The food was flavorful and spicy. I’m not sensitive enough to gluten anymore to have to ask about all the ingredients, but I generally go under the assumption that Mexican food is safe for me unless it’s flour tortillas or sopapillas. I got the tamale plate and Evan got the Mexican plate, which had a variety of foods. Each of them were around $8 and we had enough leftovers for another two meals. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck. We haven’t been back since our trip just because we live on the other side of the Rio Grande, but that would be our top pick the next time we’re over there.
Highlight: Allllll the gluten-free options
If you’re gluten-free, this is the place to go. Paisano’s is an Italian restaurant with a gluten-free menu almost as large as their regular menu. It is by far the largest gluten-free menu of any restaurant I’ve been to. I don’t remember what pasta we ordered, but we both enjoyed what we ate and had one to two meals worth of leftovers. It’s a little on the pricier side, so it’s another of the Albuquerque restaurants we only go to for special occasions.
Highlight: The food quality and the view
If you’re looking for the highest restaurant in Albuquerque, then Ten 3 is where you want to be. It’s at the top of the Sandia Peak Tramway. The views are lovely, food was high quality, and it has a nice atmosphere. We went here for our anniversary. The website describes their menu as International, Mediterranean, New Mexican and American. If you’re gluten free, the menu on the website appears to be reversed from the actual menu. I had planned on getting the chicken because on the website it looked like it was the only gluten free option for dinner. The menus at the restaurant have a symbol next to the foods that contain gluten, so actually the chicken was the only thing I could not eat. This is the most expensive restaurant on our list, so if you’re on a budget, it’s not the place you’d want to go on a weekly basis. You also have to take the tram to get up, which adds to the cost, but for special occasions it’s worth it. It’s a fun trip up as well.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (chain)
Highlight: The price with Pocket Points
Dickey’s isn’t strictly an Albuquerque restaurant. Although this is a chain, there weren’t any near where we lived in California, so we hadn’t tried it till we moved here. We started eating here because Evan has this app called pocket points. It basically gives you points for coupons for not using your phone. Since we’re all about saving money, we typically use coupons if we’re going out to eat. Dickey’s Barbeque Pit was one of the places he could use the points. They have a list of foods that are gluten-free, which makes it easy. I always get the brisket with green beans and waffle fries, which are some of my favorite foods. With Pocket Points, we each get a one meat plate with two sides for $13 total (usually, but the cashiers don’t always know how to enter in the Pocket Points discount and the price varies then).
*note in the previous version of this post, I stated I got the spinach. It was incorrectly labeled gluten-free, so just double check what you’re getting if you have allergies or intolerances.
Sauce Pizza & Wine (chain)
Highlight: Good food and service
Like Dickey’s, this is another chain that happens to have a location in Albuquerque. It’s a much smaller chain though. The pizza is yummy. Can’t speak to whether the wine is good or not because alcohol is not my friend, and Evan is more of a beer dude. In addition to pizza, the pasta and salads are also exceptional. Gluten-free options are marked on the menu. Both of us love pizza, but sometimes it causes breakouts, which isn’t fun. So we’re pretty picky about where we go for pizza. We haven’t had any issues when eating here. In addition, the service is great. Once when we went, our order was incorrect and they gave us a free cookie and let us keep the wrong pizza too.
Random side note, Evan and I have the same taste in pizza. There have only been two times when we haven’t ordered the same thing and that was because Evan was deliberately getting something different than me. It’s weird. Like we can have a menu of 20 different pizzas and without talking about it, we’d still end up ordering the same toppings.
Highlight: Sushi, duh
We started going to Samurai because they had discounts on food early on when restaurants had to close seating. Then we kept going because the sushi was good (not like what we’re used to in California or Japan, but definitely good). Their non-sushi food is also tasty.
Highlight: Again, the sushi just because we generally just get sushi instead of regular food.
This was the first sushi restaurant we tried in Albuquerque. It had high reviews on Yelp and we’ve been pleased every time we go. The price is comparable to Samurai. Some rolls are cheaper, but others are more expensive, so if you’re debating between the two, just figure out which rolls you want and compare prices or just figure out which one is closer. Azuma is closer to my work, but Samurai is closer to our apartment, so we switch between these two depending on when we want it or which rolls. We love both Azuma and Samurai, so don’t really have a favorite
Highlight: Good quality burgers, quick service, crispy fries
This one of the newest Albuquerque restaurants. Apparently they opened during the Covid closures, so that’s a rough time to start out. We ended up going there separately. My work got coupons. I brought one home and figured if I didn’t use it, Evan would. Some of my work friends wanted to go there for lunch one day, so we went then. Evan went the next day and loved the burger. I ordered mine as a lettuce wrap. It was good, but had to be eaten with a knife and fork because it was more of a lettuce sandwich than a wrap, haha. The sweet potato fries are great as well. The menu is simple, so if all you’re looking for is a good burger and fries without having to decide between 20 options, this is the place to go. It’s not close to our apartment, but we’ll definitely go back if we’re in that area.
Highlight: Their gluten-free crust is one of the best I’ve had and the ingredients taste really fresh.
Amore is another restaurant my co-workers introduced me to. The two pizzas I’ve had are the Margherita and the Hawaii 505. I’ve brought home leftovers both times and Evan enjoyed both. Would highly recommend. They have traditional pizzas, New Mexican style, and other specialty ones. The chile on the Hawaii 505 took a hawaiian pizza to the next level.
Jersey Mike’s Subs (chain)
Highlight: Protein heavy sandwiches
If you’re trying to bulk, you can get in a lotttt of calories eating sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s. It’s our favorite sandwich place here. In California, Ike’s Love and Sandwiches was the best sandwich place. Either there weren’t Jersey Mike’s near me in California or I just wasn’t aware they existed. People seem to either love or hate Jersey Mike’s. We’re on the love side of it. Part of this is because of Pocket Points again. Once a month Evan can use the buy one sub, get one free coupon, so in that respect it’s pretty wallet friendly. I always get the Club Supreme. The gluten-free bread isn’t the best I’ve had, but everything else in the sandwich is good enough that I’ll just eat it separate. The sandwiches are filling and tasty (not that healthy), but good for a cheat meal.
Highlight: Boba drinks
This isn’t necessarily classified within Albuquerque restaurants since it is more of a cafe, but there’s food and drinks, so I’m not really differentiating. We haven’t tried any of the food at Sweet Cup yet, but we know for sure their drinks are good. I love boba. For awhile I would get boba at work from another boba place closer to the office, but after Covid I didn’t for awhile. Sweet Cup is closer to our apartment and the gym than the other place and less expensive, so we thought why not give it a try? We’re really happy we did. They have so many fruit drinks with jelly, popping boba, regular boba, etc. Evan has tried the iced latte and the latte slushie. He liked both. The boba drinks are also quite pretty and make for good Instagram photos.
Out of the maybe 20 or so places we’ve eaten here, these are the Albuquerque restaurants we’ve enjoyed the most. This list has a range of prices and cuisine, but they’re all great places we’d go to again.
What are your favorite restaurants where you live? What characteristics do you look for when choosing where to eat?