The 5 Absolute Best Restaurants in Downtown Albuquerque [2022]

January 25, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
Image courtesy of Yelp.

Yes!

So you're looking for Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico huh? Well, we certainly can’t blame you for that. After all, downtown is the heart and soul of ABQ. Known for its vibrant food scene, exciting nightlife, and infectious energy, it’s no wonder that locals and visitors alike find themselves spending lots of time shopping, dining, and hanging out downtown.

Whether you’re spending the whole day downtown or just planning an evening out, there are plenty of restaurants for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for fine, upscale eateries, locally-owned restaurants, casual dining that makes you feel right at home, or a restaurant that is truly artsy and unique, there is a restaurant in downtown Albuquerque that’s sure to fit the bill.

But how do you find them? How do you know which ones are actually worth checking out?

Since you’ve landed here, my guess is that you probably searched for something like “downtown Albuquerque Best Restaurants” or “Best Restaurants downtown Albuquerque” or maybe even “Best Restaurants in downtown ABQ.” 

Well don’t worry, you came to the right place. 

You didn’t really think Google would lead you askew or astray did you? Of course this is the place you are looking for! If you live in downtown Albuquerque, are just there for an afternoon, or have a friend or loved one who is there, this list will feature some of the Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque for a lunch or dinner you can find. 

This list features some fun restaurants and some fancy restaurants, but all of the restaurants on this list are among some of the best reviewed restaurants on the internet in downtown Albuquerque. There is sure to be something on the list that piques your interest, or at least piques your appetite. And whenever you find what it is we provide links to every restaurant's menu so you can decide what you want ahead of time. We’ll even let you know if one of the Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque accepts our quality and convenient digital GiftYa gift cards.

Let’s pause for just a moment to talk about GiftYa digital gift cards… then, on to the list!

Just like with all the posts here on GiftYa we are compelled to remind you that a GiftYa is a digital gift card that can be sent within seconds right from your phone. These gift cards can be used at a variety of locations but are particularly popular for restaurants. This is especially true if you are out traveling and don’t love to carry cash around with you. 

Instead you can just carry your gift cards right on your phone that you take with you everywhere already. You don’t even have to worry about keeping track of the gift cards and the balances because your phone does all of that for you. There really isn’t a more convenient option when it comes to buying gift cards and gifts for yourself or others.

Cocina Azul

Chow Down on Authentic Indegenous New Mexican Cuisine in the Heart of Downtown Albuquerque

1134 Mountain Rd | Downtown | cocinazaul.com

When you think about food in New Mexico, you probably think about something with a little bit of southwest flair. That authentic, New Mexican flavor is exactly what Albuquerque locals love about Cocina Azul. They serve up delicious indigenous cuisine. If you’re from the area, it should taste like home, and if you’re just passing through, it’s a great way to sample the local fare.

Guests love the New Mexico relleno plate, as well as their brisket and creamy chicken enchiladas. Enjoy a hot bowl of soup, some fish tacos, or stop in early and start your day off right by chowing down on some tasty huevo rancheros for breakfast. Cocina Azul is open 8am to 8pm every day of the week, which means you can enjoy authentic New Mexican cuisine in downtown Albuquerque whenever the mood strikes you.

“Five Stars!  The food here is amazing! Euphoric spices, tender meat (carne adobda), wonderful chili con queso (best ever) and the service was amazing. We live in Los Angeles and are fortunate to have so much wonderful food and Cocina Azul is as good as the best food anywhere!” - Yelp Review 

Cocina Azul is one of the thousands of restaurants that accepts digital GiftYa gift cards but it is also among one of the highest rated Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque!

Brixens

Fresh, From-Scratch Food and Cocktails Inspired by New Mexican Culture

400 Central Ave SW | Downtown | brixens.com

The best restaurants are usually the restaurants with the best ingredients, and in the case of Brixens, that’s definitely true. Brixens is a fixture in downtown Albuquerque’s restaurant scene that is “obsessed” with delighting their guests through high quality, made-from-scratch food and cocktails. 

How do they do it? Brixens starts with New Mexican classics, and then they get creative. Their owners strive to provide a unique take on all of your favorite dishes, whether it’s fried chicken, burgers, brisket, or even Caprese salad. Be sure to try their smoked trout Caesar salad and the chimi burger – people can’t stop raving about them!

Plus, Brixens offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, so there’s something that everyone can enjoy.

“One of my new favorite spots! Their whole menu can be served vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten free which is amazing! The food was incredible and mine was so big that I had leftovers! Overall I hope I can go back to this place soon and I'll be sure to tell all my vegan and non-vegan friends about it!” - Yelp Review

Brixens doesn’t offer GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check back soon because we are always adding Best Restaurants and attractions in downtown Albuquerque!

Salt and Board

Enjoy All of Your Favorites from Carefully Curated Charcuterie Boards to Scrumptious Sunday Brunch

115 Harvard Dr SE | University | saltandboard.com

Charcuterie boards have been a staple of fine dining for years, but lately they’ve really taken off. You can hardly scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok without encountering a charcuterie board – whether it’s a classic charcuterie board piled with meats and cheeses or a unique creation dedicated to breakfast foods, desserts, or another theme entirely. Don’t worry, Salt and Board is just as obsessed with awesome, creative charcuterie boards as you are.

Salt and Board also delivers on other specialities as well. Whether you’re looking for an authentic Cuban sandwich and croque monsieur or simply Sunday brunch, they’re sure to have options that satisfy.

With indoor and outdoor seating available, you can just as easily enjoy the warm weather as duck inside to keep cool – the choice is up to you!

“Wow!! What a wonderful experience. This place is amazing! I will say that in our nationwide travels it is THE best. The best place I have been in years.” - Yelp Review 

You can’t get a digital GiftYa gift card to Salt and Board at the moment but be sure to check back soon as new Best Restaurants and locations in downtown Albuquerque are added all the time!

Antiquity Restaurant

Savor Mouthwatering Steak or Yummy Vegan Options in Charming Old Town Albuquerque

112 Romero St NW | Old Town | antiquityrestaurant.com

Now it’s time to go back in time, all the way back to antiquity… Antiquity Restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque, that is. Antiquity serves up all of your old school seafood and steakhouse favorites. Whether you’re craving some perfectly cooked filet mignon, mouthwatering oysters Rockefeller, crab legs, escargot, stuffed mushrooms, or French onion soup, you can rest assured that the dish Antiquity Restaurant puts in front of you has been cooked to perfection. 

What could be better than steak? How about bacon-wrapped steak? Be sure to try out Antiquity Restaurant’s bacon-wrapped filet option – reviewers can’t stop raving about it.

Surf and turf not your style? Don’t worry – Antiquity Restaurant has vegan options too, which means there’s something here for everyone.

“Absolutely the best restaurant in Albuquerque. Eat local my friends. Such a charming ambiance.” - Yelp Review 

Get a GiftYa digital gift card for yourself or a loved one to Antiquity Restaurant and enjoy one of the best Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque by following the link!

The Kosmos Astropub

Comfort Food, But Make It Artsy – From Craft Beers to Mac and Cheese to Afghan Rice, You’ll Love the Eclectic Selection at The Kosmos

1715 5th St NW | Downtown | kosmosabq.com

What exactly, you may be wondering, is an astropub? It’s similar to a gastropub, but it’s out of this world! Kidding aside, The Kosmos is a truly uncommon restaurant, which is exactly what they set out to be. The good folks at The Kosmos know that creating good comfort food is an art, and they create a suitably artistic environment to give their visitors an experience unlike anything else in downtown Albuquerque.

No matter what you’re in the mood for – fish and chips, Afghan rice, fried chicken, veggie (or non veggie) burgers – The Kosmos can deliver. Plus with friendly staff and an unbeatable atmosphere, you’re in for a dining experience you won’t soon forget.

“How have I never heard of this place?  What a cool place to go eat!  Great atmosphere, service and food!  Definitely check out this place; it's yummy and fun!” - Yelp Review 

Unfortunately The Kosmos isn’t one of the Best Restaurants in downtown Albuquerque participating with GiftYa just yet, but check back soon cause they might be any day now.

There you have it! All the best rated Best Restaurants you can find in downtown Albuquerque. Downtown Albuquerque is a major hub of business and commerce so it isn’t easy to narrow down the list of great Best Restaurants to only what can fit in this post. 

But just from what we gathered for you here today you’ll be sure to find a location that's convenient for you with plenty of excellent options. And remember, if you or someone you love is out in downtown Albuquerque, we marked off which Best Restaurants accept convenient GiftYa digital gift cards. 

And you can use them at any of the locations we indicated on this list today. But even if you choose a restaurant that doesn’t accept GiftYa, you’ll be sure to find the best food ABQ has to offer. Downtown Albuquerque and GiftYa definitely have something to offer.

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