Historic Downtown Albuquerque is a sight to see. Similar to Nob Hill, Downtown has the nostalgic glow of neon lights along Route 66, with the addition of tall buildings and beautiful public art. Downtown has undergone significant revitalization in recent years, from the Albuquerque Convention Center to the Innovation Corridor. The neighborhood is full of hidden treasures and historic landmarks that correlate with a vibrant food culture. Here's an overview of Downtown's restaurants with a few of my personal recommendations thrown in.
This quaint neighborhood, affectionately known as EDO, lies just east of Downtown, between the I-25 frontage road and Broadway along Central Avenue. While it's not technically "downtown" this stretch of restaurants boasts some of the best eats in ABQ and simply can't be overlooked.
- 66 Diner is a must-visit if you're looking for an authentic Route 66 diner experience. Get a burger and milkshake among the neon lights and road signs.
- Artichoke Café
- Farina Pizzeria has a laid back setting and fun wine bar.
- The Grove offers what some would argue is the best brunch in Albuquerque
- Hartford Square
- Holy Cow Burgers
- Hotel Parq Central's Apothecary Lounge (pictured above) has a gorgeous patio with spectacular downtown views. Sip on a prohibition-style cocktail while watching one of our famous Albuquerque sunsets.
- The Standard Diner is another fun retro spot, with a modern and hearty menu.
Downtown Route 66 officially begins at Broadway and Central and ends at approximately 12th Street (where Old Town begins). Below are some of the most popular Downtown watering holes, organized by category.
- Adieux Cafe, offers discounts with a receipt from a KiMo Theater performance.
- Aldo's New York Style Pizzeria
- Café Bien
- Cafe Lush
- Flying Star Downtown
- Gold Rush Cupcakes (pictured above) offers yummy lunch sandwiches and a dangerously delicious selection of gourmet cupcakes.
- Gold Street Caffé
- Golden Crown Panaderia is located a few blocks off of Central, but their homemade biscochitos and green chile dough are worth the trip.
- JC's New York Pizza Department (NYPD) partners with the Back Alley Drafthouse (see below) to offer pizza and brews.
- Back Alley Drafthouse
- Chama River Microbar
- Marble Brewery (pictured above) has an awesome outdoor patio with local bands performing most evenings and weekends.
- Tractor Brewery
- The Brew
- Espresso Fino
- Java Joe's
- Cafe Caribe
- Cocina Azul's New Mexico green chile will definitely wake up your tastebuds!
- Fonda 66
- Pasión Latin Fusion (pictured to the right) combines flavors in their dishes that you would never expect and the outcome is delicious.
- Sushi King
- Más - Tapas y Vino in the historic Hotel Andaluz has a killer happy hour (margaritas anyone?) and a great outdoor patio including stunning mountain views.
- Tucanos Brazilian Grill
- Slate Street Café (pictured above) hosts regular wine tasting events in their uber-chic wine loft.
- Soul & Vine hosts an affordable and delicious happy hour most weekdays
- The Downtown Growers' Market at Robinson Park from April through November
- Outdoor movies, markets, and Shakespeare performances on Civic Plaza (pictured above)
- The Bici bike share program
- Themed movie marathons at The KiMo Theater
To continue your foodie journey, proceed west along Central Avenue into Old Town Albuquerque for an entirely different vibe and dining experience.
Don't forget to sign up for our ABQ365 e-newsletter for monthly events information in Albuquerque and use the hashtag #AskABQ on Twitter to get your food-related questions answered by local experts!