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1981 Albuquerque Mexican Restaurants

New Mexico Supplemental Article (Historical)

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A & B Rest 6004 Edith NE

Abeyta & Bernell's 2805 San Mateo NE

Acapulco Tacos 5101 Southern SE

Amador Mex Food 4703 Central NW

Amigo's Cafe 1736 Central SW

Anita's 3314 Isleta SW

Anita's 2105 Mountain NW

Anita's 3206 San Mateo NE Mod Good food

Antonito's 5024 4th NW

Aunt Billie's 9119 Central NE

Baca's 3311 Central NE Mod

Backstreet Gourmet Shop 213 3rd SW

Baja Tacos 3527 Gibson SE

Bird of Paradise 5211 Gibson SE

Bob's Fish & Chips 700 Central SE

Burrito Bar-B-Que 515 Wyoming NE

Camino Alegre 906 Park Ave SW

Camino Real 416 Yale SE

Carlos Taquitos 1634 Isleta SW

Casa Grande 2525 Central NW Mod Excellent enchiladas
Cocina de Carlos 4901 Lomas NE Mod

Comedor de Julia 2905 4th NW

Del Valle 1502 Wyoming NE

De Pinos 1435 San Mateo SE

Diner Cafe 4519 4th NW

El Amigo 208 Central SW

El Burrito 602 Broadway SE

El Camino 6800 4th NW

Eloy's 1826 Eubank NE

Eloy's 3617 Wyoming NE Mod

El Parador de Maria 400 San Felipe NW

El Patio 142 Harvard SE

El Patron 2266 Wyoming NE

El Pinto 10500 4th NW Exp

El Prado First Plaza NW Galleria

El Ranchito 602 Central SW Mod

El Restaurante del Valle 1411 Isleta SW

El Sinaloa 800 Iron SE

El Sombrero 801 Juan Tabo NE

Enchilada Queen 5409 4th NW

Franco's 1510 Girard NE

Garcia's Kitchen 1113 4th NW

Garcia's Kitchen 125 2nd NW

Green Burrito 804 Broadway NE

Green Burrito 1508 4th SW

Indian Pueblo Cultural Ctr. 2401 12th NW

Julio's 1408 Eubank NE

La Esquina 60 First Plaza Galleria

La Estrellita 11417 Menaul NE

La Fontana 1103 Mountian NW

La Hacienda Old Town Plaza

La Margarita 4100 San Mateo NE

La Mesa 7509 Copper NE

La Mexicana 6300 San Mateo NE

La Mexicana Tortilla Co 306 Coal SW

La Nana's 6417 Menaul NE

La Nana's 4801 Central NE

La Piñata 6820 Menaul NE

La Placita Old Town Plaza

La Quinta 319 5th SW

La Salita 1217 Eubank NE Exp

Las Cazuelas 4520 4th NW

M & M Cafe 1337 Bridge SW

Mac's La Sierra 6217 Central NW

Maria Teresa 618 Rio Grande NW

Maria's Tamale Hut 2900 Morris NE

Marty's 108 6th SW

Mary & Tito's Cafe 2711 4th NW

Merlinda's 1600 Isleta SW

Mexican Carryout Kitchen 4917 4th NW

Mexican Main Foods 922 Coal SW

Mi Casita 8302 Zuni SE

Miguel's Gibson & San Mateo SE

Monroe's 1520 Lomas NW Exp

Monterey Inn 1000 Juan Tabo NE

Ortega's Old Town Plaza

Pancho's 8601 Central NE Mod

Papa Felipe's 8806 4th NW

Papa Felipe's 520 Coronado Center Exp Good blue corn ench.

Phil's Coffee Shop 80 Winrock Center

Sadie's Valley Bowl 6132 4th NW

Silvano's 5016 Lomas NE Exp Excel. blue corn ench.

Silvano's 2509 San Mateo NE

Southwest Sakari 509 Central NW

Taco Phil's 931 Coors SW

Taco Sal 9621 Menaul NE

Taco Villa 2608 Central SE

Taco Village 4201 Central NW

Tamale Factory 121 Coors SW

Tia Maria's 3313 4th NW

Turquoise Coffee Shop 4301 Central NE

Western Drive-In 9129 4th SW


El Charro Cafe 121 Calle del Banco


Benny's 1675 Bosque Farms


Casa Vieja Corrales

El Comedor de Corrales Corrales

Territorial House Corrales


Mexican Carryout Kitchen Rio Rancho


I had the goal of visiting as many Mexican restaurants as I could while I was in Albuquerque in the fall of 1981, but regrettably this was only partially accomplished. What is not represented here, though, is the fact that I had many experiences with New Mexican food throughout New Mexico both before and after 1981, and this allowed me to develop my rating system for New Mexican cuisine (to which category almost all of the restaurants on this list belonged).

This list includes restaurants listed under the "Mexican Restaurants" category in the telephone directory. It did not include all of the Mexican restaurants which I had previously visited, such as El Modelo (and I suppose El Modelo was not technically a "restaurant" since it only served take-out, but it was the epitome of what I considered to be New Mexican style food).

The restaurants I visited and rated are in bold.

At the time my goal was to enjoy as much New Mexican food as I could rather than compile a complete list of restaurants, and the ratings were for my benefit to help me remember where I wanted to visit again. My two favorite places-- Baca's and Casa Grande-- needed no reminder that I wanted to return, and I had numerous meals at each place. Even today I think Baca's may have had the best New Mexican food I have ever tasted.

Rating System

Ratings are included for restaurants I visited:
Very Good.

Additional Comments

I know that a number of the restaurants listed here are still in operation, and for a very comprehensive list of today's restaurants as well as objective reviews, I highly recommend Gil's Thrilling (And Filling) Blog. Following Gil's guide would be my best hope of finding something today that would be as good as Baca's.

The restaurants with two stars were somewhat surprising to me, since my impression before moving to Albuquerque was that all the New Mexican food there would be a very good experience. After visiting a good sampling of Albuquerque's restaurants I came to the conclusion that the best New Mexican food was to be found in Santa Fe or Española, but that Albuquerque had a few places that lived up to my expectations.

El Pinto was owned by the same extended family who operated Griggs Restaurant in El Paso (my favorite restaurant in El Paso for Mexican food). Somehow, though, I thought the food at El Pinto never quite matched up to Griggs.

Monroe's was a disappointment to me, and taught me that some of the biggest tourist style restaurants (with the least authentic food) were located in Old Town. However, several years later I tried the "other" Monroe's on Osuna Road and found it to be much better than the one in Old Town.


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