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Shipman's favorite Albuquerque New Mexico style restaurants
New Mexican cuisine has diverged in many important ways from
the classic Mexican styles. Some of its elements come from the
very first waves of Spanish settlers in the northern parts of the
state. Typical New Mexico dishes: anything with green chiles in
it; sopaipillas (sort of a hollow fried bread to be eaten with
honey); and enchiladas that are stacked on flat tortillas instead
of being rolled up around the ingredients.
The Official State Question is “red or green?”
Red chile is usually made from dried ground peppers, while green
chile is usually frozen before the pepper turns red. Fresh green
chile is available for only a limited time in the fall. Either
may be the hotter variety; genetics are more important than
If you're not a confirmed chile masochist, I suggest you ask
for your chile on the side, and taste it before pouring it over
everything on your plate (as many locals like it).
- For authenticity and quality, try Mary & Tito's****,
on the west side of Fourth Street just north of Menaul.
This is my first choice for out-of-towners who want to
“eat like the locals.”
- Many people rank Padilla's**** first in local cuisine.
Very popular, quite crowded at mealtimes, not fancy,
tasty and authentic. East side of Girard just south
of Indian School.
- El Patio***, just south of UNM. Try the carne adovada if you
like lean pork and lots of heat.
- El Pinto***, 10500 Fourth NW, just south of Tramway. Very
popular, so book ahead, and slow, so I hope you don't have anything
else to do that evening. The atmosphere is four stars (don't
miss the amethyst geodes embedded in the fountain in the
bar), but the food only three.
- For the authentic cuisine of northern New Mexico, it's often
worth the long drive to leave Albuquerque. Head for
Chimayó's Rancho de Chimayó or
Española's El Paragua.
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See also: Shipman's favorite Albuquerque restaurants
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2011/04/25 22:47:19