Find Out About Albuquerque Food and Beverage
Perhaps best known as the “Hot-Air Balloon Capital of the World,” Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico.
Established in the early-1700’s by the Duke of Albuqurque (the spelling has been changed), Albuquerque has a unique blend of Native American culture, Hispanic influence, and accelerated growth through an influx of technology firms.
The city of Albuquerque has several distinct areas of gastronomical delight.
Nob Hill - The heart of 1950’s Albuquerque - Route 66 made this a booming area for restaurants and hotels. However, the arrival of Interstate 40 began a slow decay that hit rock bottom in the late nineties. Since then, a major redevelopment project has created a rebirth of the area. While local favorites Monte Vista Fire Station (now the Gruet Steakhouse) and Scalo have thrived during the renaissance, other local treats such as Yanni’s, CrazyFish Sushi, and Zinc have sprung up, fueled by the return of the Nob Hill area.
Downtown - While Santa Fe sets a high standard for downtown areas, Albuquerque is no slouch either. Home to the first Hilton Hotel outside of Texas, Albuquerque continues to offer a great blend of fine dining and clubs. No discussion of restaurants in the Albuquerque area would be complete without a tip of the cap to Artichoke Café. Slightly east (about halfway between downtown and Nob Hill), the Artichoke Café has won awards as high as Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. It is part of the growing area of EDO (the East DOwntown area). EDO serves to complement the growing list of fine dining in the downtown area. However, downtown Albuquerque is better known as the only true club district in Albuquerque.
Jefferson Corridor - Moving towards the North Side of Albuquerque, one will encounter one of the fastest growing commercial areas of Albuquerque - the Jefferson Corridor. Growing North and South along I-25 (with Jefferson Boulevard as the Center), a “restaurant row” of sorts has developed, with representatives from of the more unique chains, such as Boston’s Pizza, P.F. Chang’s, and Fox and Hound. However, there are local representatives in this area, perhaps the biggest being Chama River Brewing Company. A favorite of no less than Presidential candidate Bill Richardson, Chama River offers fine hand-crafted beers and a cigar lounge.
To say that these are the only areas for fine food would be selling Albuquerque short. However, these areas will give the visitor the best concentration of restaurants with ease. The fine dining of Albuquerque’s casinos continues to improve, and locations like the West Side are finally seeing great food with home-grown steakhouse Whisque arriving earlier this year.
Research, explore, and enjoy. Albuquerque is enjoying a boom of fine restaurants, with new ones springing up all the time.