Searching for the coolest places to hang out in Albuquerque? Look no further! This guide will fill you in on Albuquerque’s most unique, fun and popular neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for traditional New Mexican food or trending foodie spots; boutique shopping or shopping malls; outdoor recreation or walkable streets, we have the best neighborhood in Albuquerque for you to visit. 


Historic Old Town

The true heart of Albuquerque, Old Town has been around since the city was founded in 1706. As the cultural center of the city, Old Town offers traditional New Mexican dining, more than 100 shops, galleries and restaurants, and many of the city’s most renowned museums. In Old Town, you can check out both the new, and the tried-and-true. In addition to the historic streets, check out the new Sawmill district for some unique shopping.  

A view of Poco Apoco plaza in Old Town

Top Things To Do in Old Town

Walk around Old Town Plaza, including Plaza Don Luis, to browse unique shops and restaurants. Head to Church Street Cafe for delicious New Mexican cuisine, or take a short walk over to Sawmill Market to experience Albuquerque's first food hall.

Learn more about Albuquerque's Historic Old Town



Albuquerque’s vibrant Downtown scene is one of the best areas to stay in Albuquerque to satisfy any itch for live music, restaurants, bars, breweries, dancing, art, or markets. Day or night, head down Route 66 (Central Ave.) in downtown ABQ and you’ll find something fun to do. 

A sidewalk in a park lined with vendors at the Downtown Growers Market

Top Things To Do in Downtown

Grab a bite to eat at 505 Central Food Hall before heading over to the KiMo Theatre for a performance. Wrap up the day by grabbing a beer at Red Door Downtown or Marble Brewery.

Learn more about Downtown Albuquerque


Nob Hill

For trendy dining, fun cocktail bars, boutique shopping, classic Route 66 character, and walkable streets, head to the Historic Nob Hill neighborhood. Hip nightlife and neon signs make this one of the quirkiest, coolest neighborhoods in Albuquerque. 

Many people sit at tables playing board games at Empire Board Game Library in Nob Hill

Top Things To Do in Nob Hill

Indulge in delicious Italian food at M'tucci's Bar Roma or a cocktail at Hotel ZAZZ's Z Lounge. Shop at Kei & Molly Textiles, Cowboys & Indians Antiques or Sukhmani Jewelry.

Learn more about Albuquerque's Historic Nob Hill Neighborhood


University Area

Centered around the University of New Mexico (UNM) campus, the University area of Albuquerque is home to many fun restaurants and coffee shops. The UNM campus is a beautiful example of some of New Mexico’s famous adobe architecture, and boasts beautiful areas to picnic and relax!  

Buildings on UNM Campus

Image Source: Facebook

Top Things to do in the University Area

Experience Route 66 with a burger and shake from 66 Diner. Catch an Albuquerque Isotopes or New Mexico United game, or a performance at Popejoy Hall.

Learn more about the University area of Albuquerque



The Eastside neighborhood of Albuquerque is an outdoorsman’s dream, with the foothills of the Sandia Mountains offering 2,650 acres of Open Space and intertwining trails. This area of town is large, but is home to the Sandia Mountain Aerial Tramway, miles of biking and walking paths, and great breweries and restaurants to end your active day. 

A view looking to the West at Sandia Crest with three people sitting on rocks in the foreground

Top Things to do on the Eastside

Take the Sandia Mountain Aerial Tramway to the top of the Sandia Mountains, and don't forget to grab a drink or meal at Ten 3 while you're up there. Fun activities for the whole family include axe throwing at Fat Axe ABQ, bumper cars, arcade games and more at Hinkle Fun Center and attending a New Mexico Ice Wolves hockey game.

Learn more about the Eastside of Albuquerque


Corrales/North Valley 

This area encompasses the North Valley, Los Ranchos, and Corrales, all located in the lush green valley running along the Rio Grande. If walks along the river, farm to table dining, and wineries are your idea of a good time, then this is the neighborhood for you! 

Rows of plants growing at Los Poblanos Lavender Farm

Top Things To Do in the North Valley

There are plenty of tasty restaurants to choose from, ranging from Native American cuisine at the Indian Pueblo Kitchen to fine dining at Farm & Table. Spend a spa day at Betty's Bath & Day Spa or Hacienda Spa at Los Poblanos. Learn more about Native American culture at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Learn more about Albuquerque's North Valley neighborhood


South Valley/Barelas

The South Valley and Barelas neighborhood holds close to Albuquerque’s Hispanic roots. If you’re looking for some of ABQ’s best New Mexican and Mexican food, look no further than the South Valley and Barelas areas of town.

A bowl of food from Barelas Coffee House Food

Top Things to do in the South Valley

Cultural meccas of the city, the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the South Broadway Cultural Center are both located in this area. Stop by the ABQ BioPark Zoo to see a variety of native and exotic animals.

Learn more about Albuquerque's South Valley



For shopping galore and restaurants to boot, head to the Uptown neighborhood. While this area of town is known for its multiple shopping malls (indoor and outdoor), national department stores, many restaurants, Uptown also boasts many local restaurants and shops. Home to EXPO New Mexico, you’ll also find the New Mexico State Fair, sporting events, festivals and concerts in this part of town. 

People walk the midway at the New Mexico State Fair

Top Things to do in Uptown

Pay Coronado Center a visit to shop hundreds of stores. Stop by one of the dozens of restaurants in the area, including Mediterranean staple Chello Grill and La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe.

Learn more about Albuquerque's Uptown neighborhood


Balloon Fiesta Park and North I-25

When talking about cool neighborhoods in ABQ, how could we neglect the home of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum? With a multitude of hotels and restaurants, the Balloon Fiesta Park area of town is also home to many other events and festivals throughout the year. The balloon-filled skies of October, however, are not to be missed! 

A girl stands between two hot air balloons with her arms stretched outrl

Top Things to do in the Balloon Fiesta Park area

Treat yourself to some New Mexican cuisine at Tomasita's or Sadie's on Academy. Go wine tasting at Gruet Winery or VARA Winery & Distillery. Don't forget to pick up some chocolates at Eldora Chocolate.

Learn more about the Balloon Fiesta Park and North I-25 area of Albuquerque 



Head to Albuquerque’s Westside to explore Petroglyph National Monument and the dormant volcanoes on the outskirts of town. Many of Albuquerque’s favorite restaurants and breweries also have Westside locations, sure to satisfy the hunger you work up while exploring the city’s most ancient sites. 

A close-up of a petroglyph at Petroglyph National Monument with the Sandia Mountains and Albuquerque in the background

Top Things to do on the Westside

Explore interactive games at Electric Playhouse. Take a leisurely stroll along the Rio Grande at the Open Space Visitor Center. Watch a sporting event at The Salt Yard, and get some shopping done at Cottonwood Mall.

Learn more about Albuquerque's Westside