Visiting Albuquerque during Balloon Fiesta means an immersion in history, culture and adventure. The food is unbeatable too! Here are some options for dining, imbibing and sightseeing in Albuquerque during your Balloon Fiesta vacation.
Where to Eat
Balloon Fiesta is a joy through and through, but that doesn't mean you won't face one major challenge: namely, deciding where to eat. Albuquerque has limitless dining options, including world-class restaurants and quintessential spots for New Mexican cuisine. Here are just a few possibilities.
- New Mexican cuisine is unlike that of any other place in the world. When visiting Albuquerque, some menu items you'll encounter are green chile, sopaipillas, biscochitos (New Mexico's state cookie), carne adovada and posole. For a taste of New Mexico, try El Pinto Authentic New Mexican Restaurant, El Bruno's Restaurante y Cantina, the Frontier Restaurant, Sadie's of New Mexico or El Patio de Albuquerque.
- You can get pizza any way you like it in Albuquerque, from wood-fired-oven pizzas at Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza or Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria to deep-dish pies at Pizza 9 to local-style ("The Duke City," "The 505") at Dion's.
- Eat local, fresh food at the inimitable Farm & Table and Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, both with farms on site--including a lavender farm at Los Poblanos.
- For a taste of historic adventure, enjoy a flat-iron steak at High Noon Restaurant & Saloon in Old Town. The saloon's building dates to the late 18th century. Or move up through history into the Route 66 era at the retro 66 Diner, where you can get your kicks and delicious shakes and burgers.
- Whatever your cuisine craving, you'll find it in Albuquerque--from barbecue (The County Line) to Brazilian (Tucanos Brazilian Grill) to African-Caribbean (Jambo Cafe)
Where to Drink
Albuquerque is renowned for its craft brewing scene, earning the accolade of "one of America's best brew destinations" from Beer & Brewing Magazine. Popular watering holes include Marble Brewery, Steel Bender Brewyard and La Cumbre Brewing Company. New Mexico also has a long tradition of viticulture; the region's first wine grapes were planted in 1629 in the Rio Grande Valley. Today oenophiles can enjoy a glass of red, white or bubbly at local wineries such as D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro, Casa Rondeña Winery and Gruet Winery.
Albuquerque Activities and Destinations
If you have some free time during your Balloon Fiesta visit, we recommending checking out a few of Albuquerque's wonders. Some are listed below.
- Sandia Mountains: Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, hiking trails
- Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (hosts the Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival during Balloon Fiesta)
- Historic Old Town
- Museums near Old Town: Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Explora, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
- Petroglyph National Monument
- National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
- ABQ BioPark (zoo, botanic gardens, aquarium)
- Paseo del Bosque Trail for biking, running and walking