Posted on Nov 1, 2017 in What to do in ABQ |

Our picks for must try restaurants!



I can’t get tired of this restaurant.  The food is fresh, crispy, and delicious!  Don’t leave without trying the cupcakes.  My favorite is the passion fruit.  Great  place to eat on the weekends.  They have a great porch and the restaurant has a nice young vibe. The owners are always around and they seem to have a very dedicated staff of young people. The coffee is one of the best in town. They make excellent lattes and mochas. You can’t go wrong with any dish here. They’ve  probably the best bacon in town. It is applewood smoked.  If you are ever set up on a date and don’t know where to go, try this place.  At least you know for sure one thing will work out great! !




The first three Wednesdays of every month Scalo prepares a four course dinner with four to five fabulous wines for $35 per person. You can join Scalo’s “Wine Club” for $60.00/month and you will receive three consecutive wine dinners. Scalo started doing these events last Fall, and it is now quite popular. This popular event is called  “Wine Down Wednesday,” you will enjoy tasting wines from around the world with the gourmet cuisine of Scalo Northern Italian Grill. Scalo’s limit is around 45 people.  You must make your reservation at Scalo at 255-8781. Sign up early as this event fills up quickly!




Don’t know what to do Sunday morning? Head to The Santa Ana Cafe at the Hyatt Regency for their Sunday Jazz brunch.  Start with the omelet station and a special salad. Try a chef specialties, such as the sausage and apple filled waffles, or the fricassee of spring chicken and wilted pea vines. The carving station features local honey glazed ham with pineapple chutney and thyme dusted beef strip loin with horseradish sauce. Beef fajitas are made to order. Desserts include white chocolate and orange trifle, fresh fruit tarts, and a chocolate fountain with assorted toppings. 10:30 am to 2:00 p.m.  It is a lot of food! Come hungry and enjoy the soothing jazz. $35 per person.




With large, open windows overlooking the Sandia Mountains, thick walled adobe rooms with viga ceilings and blazing fireplaces, this magical restaurant is perfect for special occasions. Time your dinner to coincide with the sunset. The contemporary, New American cuisine changes seasonally, and the wine list is excellent. Prairie Star is just a short ride north of Albuquerque in Bernalillo. Reservations are recommended.




It has been called the most romantic restaurant in Albuquerque, and it might be, for some say every time they go, they see someone getting engaged. For 50 years, Antiquity has served memorable meals, such as Chateaubriand for two, carved table side. Start with the escargot or pan seared crab cakes, and end with a cream brulee, all complemented by an extensive wine list. Enjoy a lingering evening in the charming adobe dining room. Reservations recommended.




The new American cuisine at Season’s in Albuquerque couples fresh, local food with elegant presentation, and everything is delicious. The atmosphere is casual but upscale as well, making it the perfect place to meet family or friends for a special celebration.  They have an extensive wine list. Reservations recommended.




Known for being the place where couples celebrate Valentine’s Day or anniversaries, its low-light, quiet atmosphere makes the Melting Pot the perfect spot for a special evening. Fondue dinners come in courses, so expect to stay a while. Or come just for chocolate dipped strawberries and brownie bites, but call early because reservations are a must. Special packages are available.




All my friends like this place.  The decor is contemporary and has a young vibe.  I am partial to their breakfast menu but I have enjoyed everything I have eaten there. They have a nice selection of wines and delicious cupcakes (even though I am partial to the cupcakes at The Grove).  They have wine tastings the last Thursday of the month. $15 per person, it includes three ‘tastes” of featured wines and a paired appetizer. Go any time between 5 and 7 p.m.




This is the first restaurant my husband took me when we started dating, so it has a special place in my heart.   You have to try their artichokes… of course!  The ambiance is great.  Great service and great food. Prices are on the high side…but worth the splurge.





They call themselves: “America’s only experimental-theatre-company-owned-and-operated coffeehouse.” They offer performances by storytellers, slam poets, spoken word artists, actors,monologists, and anyone who would like to tell a story or just listen. So, if you are in the mood to try some good coffee and a unique performance, stop by.




A great idea to spend some time with your friends or your kids.  Enjoy some tea with the Victorian Miss Manners.  Check St. James Tea Room for tea times.



PIZZA CRUST & NORTH: (Both restaurants on the East side)

These 2 places are owned by a dynamic young couple named Jamie and Alisa Young. You may recall a restaurant in Nob Hill (several years ago) called “Stella Blue”. That was their first foray into the Albuquerque restaurant business. They never actually went away, they simply relocated to the East side. The first one is  a pizza place called Sandia Crust “”Jamie operates this location on the east side of State Highway North 14. The pies will satisfy both the carnivore and herbivore in any group. The list of microbrews is impressive and if you are a fan of the Gratetful Dead, you will be in Dead Heaven. This is the perfect carbo load before skiing Sandia.  Alisa operates and is the Executive Chef of thenewest fine dining restaurant here. It is called North, Inspired Cuisine” It is located on the West side of State Highway North 14 (just before the turn off that heads up to the peak).  Fine dining, great food, ambiance, personable service and extensive wine selection.