Albuquerque boasts a wealth of interesting and romantic restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Easy access to fresh local produce and artisan cheeses, beers and wines mean that farm to fork dining is all the rage and you will taste the difference on your plate. Students and other budget-conscious folk can still enjoy a great meal at several eateries including MAS Tapas Y Vino, The Cellar, Season’s Rotisserie and Grill, Naruto and Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant.
Antiquity Restaurant is located in a historic adobe house in downtown Albuquerque. The interior has been carefully decorated to ensure an intimate and romantic atmosphere, featuring warm-colored walls, red tablecloths and subdued lighting, all of which contribute to its welcoming ambiance. You will find an extensive menu which caters to a variety of tastes, featuring classic American steakhouse favorites. For starters you could choose Crab Cakes, Shrimp Cocktail or tasty Stuffed Mushrooms before moving on to one of their delicious steaks or other entrees like Chicken Madagascar, Scallops Jalapeno or Australian Lobster. You can choose from a wide selection of international wines to savor alongside your meal.
Antiquity Restaurant, 112 Romero NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-247-3545
© Artichoke Café
Presenting a delightfully fresh and creative twist to all your favorite American classics, Artichoke Café is a breath of fresh air in Albuquerque’s historic downtown EDO neighborhood. The elegant and understated interior of the restaurant offers a relaxed bistro atmosphere, enhanced by walls adorned with artworks from local New Mexico artists. Chef Pat Keene believes in using only the freshest, locally sourced seasonal produce to ensure all diners experience the fresh flavors of farm-to-fork cuisine. Of course you will always find artichokes on the menu when in season, along with other delicious treats like Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Smoked Pork Belly, Crab Cakes and Pan-seared Scallops.
Artichoke Café, 424 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-243-0200
© Modern General
Modern General is a health-conscious cafe in Albuquerque, serving up a full menu of house-prepared baked goods produced with fresh stone-ground flour rich in prebiotic fiber. Sourdough, whole wheat and seed, focaccia, and pumpernickel breads are baked in house each day, complemented by a selection of muffins, cookies, kolaches, and hand pies. At brunch each day, diners can enjoy creative scrambles and omelettes, grains-and-greens bowls, clever toasts and biscuits, and the restaurant's signature Modcakes platters, available in a variety of sweet and savory flavors. A full menu of espresso-based beverages is available throughout the day, along with rotating local draft beer taps, fine wines, and unique house cocktails. Healthy superfood smoothies pack in health-boosting ingredients such as turmeric, bee pollen, fennel, flaxseed, and raw beets.
1720 Central Ave SW suite b, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-242-6928
4.Campo at Los Poblanos
© Campo at Los Poblanos
Those in search of a romantic setting for a special date will find Campo at Los Poblanos hard to beat. The restaurant forms one of the focal points of the Los Poblanos organic farm in the beautiful Rio Grande River Valley and many of the ingredients you find on your plate will have been freshly harvested right on the farm. The interior offers a warm and relaxing ambiance and there is a veranda dining area for fair-weather days. The fine-dining menu changes with the seasons to showcase everything that is fresh and delicious, and you will always find an interesting selection of appetizers, innovative and flavorsome entrees and sides. For a very special treat you can join one of their regular Chef’s Table food and wine pairing events.
Campo at Los Poblanos, 4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107, Phone: 505-344-9297
5.Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar
© Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar
Located in the heart of Albuquerque’s vibrant downtown, Farina Pizzeria is your go-to destination for authentic, artisanal pizzas and mouthwatering pastas. Exposed brick walls feature art by local artists and intimate tables and booths set the scene for a romantic meal accompanied by your choice from an extensive menu of beers and wines. Everyone knows that a pizza is only as good as its crust – at Farina the pizza bases are hand-made using organic flour and then topped with house-cured meats and other fine locally sourced ingredients. There are several tasty appetizers and antipasti and a limited selection of daily-special house-made pastas.
Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar, 510 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-243-0130
6.Farm & Table
© Farm & Table
Located in the heart of Albuquerque’s lush and fertile North Valley, Farm & Table celebrates the best of farm-to-fork cuisine. Heavy wooden beams, warm terracotta walls and a delightful out-door courtyard area set the scene for a delicious parade of fresh and vibrant dishes selected to showcase whatever is in season on the farm. Whatever they don’t produce themselves is sourced from neighboring farms and producers, including craft beers and artisanal cheeses. Seasonal dishes will always include a selection of salads and small plates followed by poultry, meat and fish entrees and sides. Farm & Table is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and serves a brilliant weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Farm & Table, 8917 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114, Phone: 505-503-7124
Offering a relaxed and casual atmosphere perfect for pre-or-post theater dinner and drinks, frenchish restaurant is a great choice for a romantic downtown evening out. The restaurant offers laid-back French-inspired cuisine which you can enjoy around the bar, at the Chef’s Counter or at an intimate table for two. You can take the edge off your appetite with a few of their signature appetizers like Steak Tartare or a fresh seasonal salad served with vinaigrette dressing, before selecting a French Onion Burger, Beouf Bourguignon or Sautéed Idaho Trout served with Beurre Noisette from their monthly-changing menu of seasonal mains. Frenchish also serves a selection of small plates to enjoy with Happy Hour tipples between 5pm and 6.30pm.
frenchish, 3509 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-433-5911
© Frontier Restaurant
The Frontier Restaurant is a lively and colorful tavern-style eatery which can seat up to three hundred hungry guests at a time. Although the size of the restaurant is not exactly conducive to romance, you can always find a cozy booth to share with your date while you enjoy a tasty budget-pleasing breakfast, lunch or dinner. You will find the Frontier located directly across the road from the University of New Mexico, where it has been serving great breakfasts, burritos, tortillas and burgers for over fifty years. The food is unpretentious, delicious and filling and is served all day, every day, from 5am to 1am.
Frontier Restaurant, 2400 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-266-0550
9.Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
© Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
So much more than just another pizza joint, Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza restaurant in Nob Hill has been a popular neighborhood eatery since 1992. The restaurant is headed up by Chef Tom White who is dedicated to taking the humble pizza pie to new heights. The restaurant features a traditional Italian Wood-fired oven which delivers your hand-made pizza with a thin and delicate crust and the delicious aromas that only a wood-fired oven can achieve. In addition to their range of traditional and contemporary pizzas you will also find a delicious selection of baked pasta dishes on the entrée menu, as well as salads, soups, flatbreads and sandwiches.
Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza, 3403 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-266-7855
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Few eateries can compare with the charm and ambiance of a classic Parisian Bistro when it comes to providing a romantic setting for exceptional food. When you step inside Le Troquet in downtown Albuquerque you will be instantly transported to the little side-street Bistros of Paris where delicious aromas and French sophistication set the scene for an authentic taste of France. Inspired by fresh locally sourced produce, Chef Jean Pierre Gozard brings the authentic flavors of Burgundy to your plate with mouth-watering classics like Boeuf Bourguignon, Steak Tartare, Poulet Cordon Bleu and Trout Almandine. The lunch menu also features lighter French fare like quiches, salads and Croque Monsieur.
Le Troquet, 228 Gold Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-508-1166
11.Magokoro Japanese Restaurant
© Magokoro Japanese Restaurant
Family owned and operated, Magokoro Japanese Restaurant goes a step further than farm-to-fork, offering guests a heart-to-plate philosophy where every dish is carefully prepared with a lot of love. This small and intimate restaurant offers a selection of delicious dumplings, soups, salads and gyoza appetizers for lunch, followed by fragrant rice bowls and curries. If you love all things ramen and noodles you need to visit for dinner when you can order mouth-watering Tonkotsu, Karamiso, Shoyu and Seafood Shio as well as cold soba dishes and appetizers like salads, gyozas, dumplings and deep-fried mackerel. Magokoro is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
Magokoro Japanese Restaurant, 5614 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112, Phone: 505-830-2061
12.MAS Tapas Y Vino
© MAS Tapas Y Vino
If lingering over a selection of delicious small plates is your idea of the perfect romantic night out you will find MAS Tapas and Vino, located in the historic Hotel Andaluz in downtown, hard to beat. The restaurant has clean elegant lines and Spanish accents are provided by the tiled courtyard fountain, tiled floors and dark walls. The flavors are fresh and robust, offering a true taste of Spain while using fresh locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. Expect to find Spanish classics such as paella, patatas bravas and mixed platters of delicious finger-food. You can stick with the tapas menu all evening or order delicious entrees to round off your experience.
MAS Tapas y Vino, 125 2nd St NW, Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-923-9080
13.Monte Carlo Steak House
© Monte Carlo Steak House
The Monte Carlo Steak House has the comfortable and relaxed atmosphere you tend to find in a popular neighborhood eatery. The restaurant is part bar and part steakhouse, so you could start your evening enjoying a drink at the bar while you have a look at the menu. Although the restaurant calls itself a steak house you may be surprised to find several delicious fish dishes to choose from, alongside their list of premium aged steaks which are flame-grilled to perfection. There are also several taco and salad options suitable for vegetarians and an excellent variety of cocktails, beers and wine from the bar.
Monte Carlo Steak House, 3916 Central St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, Phone: 505-836-9886
When only a delicious and fragrant bowl of noodles will do you can make your way to Naruto Ramen Bar where you can satisfy your craving with a bowl of authentic Hakata-style ramen. Hakata-style ramen are considered to be superior in Japan and contain egg-less home-make noodles smothered with a very special pork-based broth and topped with a variety of meats and vegetables. In addition to Naruto ramen, Naruto also makes delicious miso and Shoyu ramen as well as tasty and filling Donburi Rice Bowls. You can personalize your bowl by selecting from a wide range of extra toppings and vegetarian and vegan bowls are also available and you can accompany your meal with sake or Japanese beers.
Naruto, 2110 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-369-1039
15.Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen
Ignore the unassuming exterior of Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen and step right in for some of the tastiest Mexican cuisine this side of the border. The interior of the restaurant is simple and features colorful artworks on the walls which set the scene for a pleasant lunch or early supper (the restaurant closes at 7.30pm). The food is classic New Mexican and you will find many of your favorite dishes on the menu, including enchiladas, burritos, chili, sopas and much more. There are vegetarian and vegan options available and the prices are very reasonable for large, filling portions.
Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen, 1510 Girard Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-262-0115
Colorful walls, lots of wood and a pleasant nautical theme set the scene for a great night out at Pelican’s restaurant. Since 1977 Pelican’s has established a wonderful reputation for serving the freshest (flown-in daily) seafood and prime Angus Beef in Albuquerque. The menu includes up-market American and Seafood classics as well as modern and innovative daily specials which showcase whatever happens to be in season. You can get your evening off to a great start by ordering a signature cocktail while you ponder your dinner choices. The appetizer menu includes mussels, calamari, shrimp, oysters and combination vegetarian platters. There is a large menu of entrees including fabulous fresh fish and other seafood as well as a good selection of steaks, prime ribs and combination plates.
Pelican’s East, 9800 Montgomery Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87111, Phone: 505-298-7678
Pelican’s West, 10022 Coors Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114, Phone: 505-899-2000
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Located in the heart of Nob Hill, Saggio’s is famous for their enormous calzones and delicious pizzas and pastas. The interior is a riot of color and eclectic décor, setting the scene for a fun night out. Before tucking into one of their mains you can try a salad starter with home-made dressings. The calzones are rumored to be huge and come with decadent fillings like Four Meats (sausage, pepperoni, bacon and beef), Prosciutto and Mozzarella, Eggplant (vegetarian) and Portobello (mushrooms, ham, cheese and tomato). The gourmet pizzas come with your choice of crust and a selection of delicious toppings. Non-pizza fans can enjoy delicious pastas instead.
Saggio’s, 107 Cornell Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-255-5454
© Seared Bistro
Locals will warn you to ignore the unassuming exterior of Seared Bistro, which hides one of Albuquerque’s most popular bistro restaurants. The interior offers a relaxed but up-scale atmosphere and the tables are dressed in fine while linens. The menu offers a very good selection of American Bistro-style dishes, all of which are perfectly prepared from scratch. Expect to find delicious appetizers like Seared Asparagus, Pine-nut crusted Brie, Citrus-cured Salmon and a variety of soups and salads. However, the most popular dish on the menu is their legendary House-cut Loin Steak which everyone raves about. Other entrée options include Pan-seared Salmon, French-cut Pork Chop and delicious Fillet Medallions with crab and green chili. You can order a selection of beers and wines to enjoy with your meal.
Seared Bistro, 119 San Pasquale Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-999-8414
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19.Seasons Rotisserie and Grill
© Seasons Rotisserie and Grill
Located in the heart of Old Town Albuquerque, Seasons Rotisserie and Grill is just a few minutes’ drive from downtown. The elegant interior offers intimate booths and tables and there is a rooftop terrace for romantic alfresco dining. The restaurant bases its’ American-Bistro style menu on fresh locally sourced ingredients and flown-in seafood, respectfully prepared to bring out the very best flavors and aromas. The menu includes favorites like Crispy Shrimp, Buffalo Wings, delicious salads and sandwiches and a great selection of seasonal entrees including their signature Rotisserie Chicken, Seared Scallops and grilled salmon or steak. You can get your evening off to a great start by trying one of their specialty cocktails, beers on tap or wine by the glass or bottle.
Seasons’ Bistro, 2031 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-766-5100
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20.St. Clair Winery and Bistro
© St. Clair Winery and Bistro
Offering an unrivalled romantic setting for a special lunch or dinner, the St. Clair Winery and Bistro in Old Town Albuquerque is the perfect place to enjoy fine New Mexico wines paired with delicious bistro meals. The interior of the bistro offers a relaxed and cozy atmosphere and there are two outdoor patios where you can dine alfresco and enjoy live music on the weekends.
You are welcome to pop in for a wine-tasting flight any time of day and you can order sharing platters to enjoy while you sip. Lunch and dinner menus include a wide selection of appetizers, soups and salads, followed by your choice of chicken, pasta and meat entrees.
St. Clair Winery and Bistro, 901 Rio Grande Blvd NW B-100, Albuquerque, NM 87104, Phone: 505-243-9916
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© Standard Diner
Standard by name but by no means your average American diner, this downtown Albuquerque restaurant sets out to change the way you think about diners. The comfortable interior has a relaxed vibe and features exposed brick walls, industrial-style ceilings and comfortably plush booths. The food is meant to be a fun and modern take on traditional American diner classics, using fresh local ingredients which have been carefully prepared and presented. The menu includes tasty small plates and salads, followed by hearty mains, burgers and sides. You can enjoy a fun specialty cocktail, one of several craft beers on tap or a good selection of wines by the glass.
Standard Diner, 320 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-243-1440
22.The Cellar Tapas, Beer and Wine
© The Cellar Tapas, Beer and Wine
Celebrating the delightful Spanish custom of serving drinks accompanied by a small plate of tasty snacks, The Cellar in downtown Albuquerque is a great place to enjoy a romantic night out. The restaurant is situated in a century-old building which has been beautifully renovated without losing any its old-world charm. Although the emphasis is on enjoying a wide variety of small plates for sharing, you can also order a brilliant Spanish Paella or a soup or salad. The Tapas plates include a huge selection of hot or cold Spanish delicacies like Patatas Bravas, Chicken Croquettes, Stuffed Sweet Peppers and fabulous Spanish cheese and meat combinations.
The Cellar, 1025 Lomas Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Phone: 505-242-3117
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© Vernon’s Speakeasy
When you want to make a great date-night impression you need look no further than Vernon’s Speakeasy, which has appeared on several lists of the best secret restaurants and best romantic restaurants in the US. As you step into the elegant and sophisticated dining room or lounge you will realize why the Speakeasy is so popular. You can start your evening by selecting one of Vernon’s signature cocktails to enjoy while to make your choices from their seasonal menu of fresh and tasty American steakhouse favorites. There are a selection of appetizers, soups and salads on the menu, followed by seriously delicious mains including Coffee Braised Short Rib, Tequila Lime Chicken, various seafood dishes and Vernon’s classic Texas prime steaks cooked just the way you like them.
Vernon’s Speakeasy, 6855 4th Street NW, Suite A Los Ranchos, NM 87107, Phone: 505-341-0831
© Vintage 423
A beautiful central bar area surrounded by an elegant dining space welcome you to Vintage 423, where your hosts are dedicated to taking you on an exciting culinary journey through their menu and curated wine list. The chefs at Vintage are proud to support local farmers and producers whenever possible, to ensure that you taste the difference in their freshly sourced ingredients. You can start your journey with a simple soup or fresh salad, or choose from a fine selection of appetizers. Entrées include Sesame-crusted Tuna, home-made ravioli, melt-in-the-mouth Scottish Salmon served with Butternut Squash Risotto and a selection of delectable prime steaks.
Vintage 423, 8000 Paseo Del Norte, Suite A1, Albuquerque, NM 87122, Phone: 505-821-1918
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25.Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro
© Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro
Whether you are looking for a quick pre-show bite and drink or the chance to settle in for an evening of fine culinary delights, Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro ticks all the boxes. Fresh flowers, stained-glass windows and warm colors create a relaxed and welcoming ambiance and the Bistro takes its food really seriously, elevating simple American Bistro dishes to new heights of flavor and freshness. You can settle into a table for two or opt to sit at the exhibition counter, where you can watch the chefs in action. The seasonal menu has something for everyone and the entrees are accompanied by clever complimentary sides and sauces. There are several wines available by the glass.
Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro, 3009 Central Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-254-9462
25 Best Restaurants in Albuquerque
- Antiquity Restaurant, Photo: exclusive-design/stock.adobe.com
- Artichoke Cafe, Photo: Artichoke Café
- Modern General, Photo: Modern General
- Campo at Los Poblanos, Photo: Campo at Los Poblanos
- Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar, Photo: Farina Pizzeria and Wine Bar
- Farm & Table, Photo: Farm & Table
- frenchish, Photo: frenchish
- Frontier Restaurant, Photo: Frontier Restaurant
- Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza, Photo: Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
- Le Troquet, Photo: annapustynnikova/stock.adobe.com
- Magokoro Japanese Restaurant, Photo: Magokoro Japanese Restaurant
- MAS Tapas Y Vino, Photo: MAS Tapas Y Vino
- Monte Carlo Steak House, Photo: Monte Carlo Steak House
- Naruto, Photo: Naruto
- Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen, Photo: kab-vision/stock.adobe.com
- Pelican’s, Photo: Pelican’s
- Saggio’s, Photo: Saggio’s
- Seared Bistro, Photo: Seared Bistro
- Seasons Rotisserie and Grill, Photo: Seasons Rotisserie and Grill
- St. Clair Winery and Bistro, Photo: St. Clair Winery and Bistro
- Standard Diner, Photo: Standard Diner
- The Cellar Tapas, Beer and Wine, Photo: The Cellar Tapas, Beer and Wine
- Vernon’s Speakeasy, Photo: Vernon’s Speakeasy
- Vintage 423, Photo: Vintage 423
- Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro, Photo: Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro
- Cover Photo: digidreamgrafix/stock.adobe.com
Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant
The Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant is the ideal destination for a budget-friendly romantic night out. Do not be put off by the unassuming exterior of the restaurant; the interior is elegantly casual and offers a relaxing atmosphere. While you spend some time deciding which of the many delicious appetizers and started to order you can enjoy a refreshing fresh coconut juice or a Pickled Plum Soda. Appetizers include the must-try Shrimp and Pork Papaya Salad (all the definitive flavors of Vietnam packed into a mouth-watering salad) and the Grilled Beef in Wild Betel Leaf. For mains you can choose from a large selection of Vietnamese classics including their delicious and nourishing Pho.
Basil Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant, 1225 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112, Phone: 505-323-2594