El Pinto
El Pinto

El Pinto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elpinto.com/
  • Phone: 5058981771x
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 5:00pm.
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm.
    Sunday Brunch: 10:30am - 2:00pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Patrick Hancock
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Alameda Blvd NW
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
A word from El Pinto
Nestled in the ancient cottonwoods in the North Valley of Abq, El Pinto was founded with eight tables in 1962. Twin brothers John and Jim Thomas carry on the family tradition and have expanded El Pinto into the quintessential "Spot" for healthy and fresh made New Mexican cuisine. Come experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.

Freshness is throughout El Pinto with the cuisine made from scratch each morning. El Pinto uses chile from Hatch, NM that is fire-roasted and hand-peeled, new beans from southern CO, healthy sunflower oil when making chips and frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, and numerous local organic ingredients when in season.

A vermiculture project on site processes food scraps creating a nutrient rich "tea." The bokashi composting project processes 600 lbs of food waste weekly. The “tea” and compost are combined with effective microorganisms for a herbicide and pesticide free fertilizer for El Pinto chile fields and organic growing.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
El Pinto reviews from OpenTable diners
161 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (124)good for groups (102)special occasion (85)romantic (48)neighborhood gem (46)great for lunch (44)kid-friendly (43)great for brunch (32)scenic view (31)fit for foodies (25)hot spot (19)vibrant bar scene (11)late-night find (8)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • We had a nice dinner at El Pinto.
    MissDeb
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Most people would enjoy El Pinto at any time. In the past, I've eaten outside on the patio in the warm weather and inside by the fire in the winter. This specific time we visited El Pinto we brought a guest from Dallas. He had the chili encrusted ribs and liked them. He said they were "different" but I noticed he ate them all. He told us that next time he visited Albuquerque he wanted to be sure to include this restaurant in his trip. We were able to talk and have a nice visit. As the evening cooled our waitress turned on the patio heaters. El Pinto has friendly competent staff and most importantly, really good cooks in the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was good, but service was poor
    Tressa
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I highly recommend eating on the patio- it was absolutely beautiful!! We were given chips and salsa right away so it was a good start, and gave our drink order. I had to ask 3 times to have my candle lit. We ordered guacamole- it was small and flavorless. We added the salsa to it. Our food came and it was a generous portion, I got beef adovado with red chili sauce. My husband got pork tamale with green chilies. Our waitress finally came and ask how our dinner was (she didn't deliver any of our food). We asked for the check- she gave it to us and said we HAD to pay her. She left and didn't return. We waited 25 mins for her-the bus boy finally found her. We mentioned how long we were waited and she said, "really? Huh." No apology-
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • worst food ever
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Hard to believe that such a beautiful restaurant can serve such horrible food. All 5 of our dishes were send back ready. So disappointed.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Atmosphere
    nativegringo
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Interesting place to dine, but the food was not near the best of New Mexican fare. Main dishes were dry with little red chili sauce, so had to order side dishes of chili to help. Good were the quacamole, sopapillas and salsa and chips (hard to ruin these). Nice atmosphere and patios. Did not try any drinks other than tea. Would not recommend El Pinto for New Mexican food, but would for the ambiance and environs.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One negative, the rest positives
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Three of us ate. I ordered chicken adobada. Wish I had sent it back. It was dry, tough, and little flavor. Consider taking it off of the menu.Every thing else concerning the meal was very good. We're lucky t have you in Albuquerque. The ambiance is terrific and should be a must see and eat in ABQ.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our family always goes to El Pinto.
    GibEast
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Whether for a special occasion, or going out for some great food, our first choice is always El Pinto. The green and red salsas are the best! This past visit, the special margaritas were unbelievable. My husband said his was the best burrito ever. We celebrated our daughter's birthday and were given a delicious flan dessert with a candle. It was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • El Pinto...
    perky1
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We had an enjoyable meal on one of the patios. The posole is unlike any other. Their local honey was packages of Kraft...server said it was because of problems with their bees. Server was scattered and rather haphazard. Food is representative of NM.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad day
    SadDay2eat
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    8 year family gathering place for out of town reunion folks. Always came here for the food. This time it was terrible. Food was cold when brought. I realize there were 19 people but the service was slow, no refills on drinks or water. One family member waited an hour for his meal to be brought after the rest was served. Most of the dinners were incorrect and need fixing that didn't work out well either. The servers were not clear on details and were not responsive to basic service needs. We left feeling very bad about the experience. These are special family members that travel a long way each year to visit and enjoy the New Mexico cuisine at El Pinto. I think I will be looking for a different place to hold our annual reunion supper.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but pricey
    Kevin
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Used to be far less expensive but now is about $18 for any entree. Mexican food shouldn't cost this much.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Julie
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    El Pinto is a beautiful restaurant in the north valley of Albuquerque. I have dined there for more than 40 yearsz mostly for special occasions. The food was not the quality that it once was and our party of 12 was disappointed with the food, but our sever was excellent and it was a great place for a large group.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good for dinner with friends
    diningout
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We had a nice dinner with our friends on the patio. We very much enjoyed the "back yard" feel to this neat restaurant in Northern Albuquerque. Generous portions of New Mexican favorites like enchiladas, and guacamole. Good service, good margaritas, and good green chile enchiladas.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous Mexican Food
    ExceptionalVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Without a doubt, this is some of the best Mexican food we have ever had. The Red Chile Ribs were tender, fall off the bone quality, with just the right spices.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • NEVER BETTER!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I've patronized Griggs family restaurants for over 50 years, and have never been disappointed. El Pinto is the icing on the cake. Warning: We'll be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Average to good
    Oulobo
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Food was ok. Server was nice. They lost my online reservation but seated us right away anyway. Somewhat pricey.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Give It A Try
    klgnewmexico
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    If you love outdoor dining, El Pinto has the loveliest patio in all of Albuquerque. Nice variety of food, not just New Mexican cuisine. Wonderful atmosphere, great service, tasty food. What more could you ask for in a restaurant?
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent service and ambience
    localsense
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is out third visit to El Pinto and we brought friends who share our interest in good New Mexican food. The server was very attentive and corrected a mistake with one of our order quickly. The flan de crema is wonderfully rich, wish the portion is bigger.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great family brunch place
    brunch
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Check-in was not very professional. Our guests were left out front for 20 minutes before we came to rescue them. We had left specific instructions for the front person on "who" we were expecting and "where" to send them. Food was good, nothing for foodies (sadly, not much in ABQ is.) However, our outside seating was lovely and the fountain was a great hit with our grandchildren. Good mimosa too!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ok not great
    reggiesdadVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We have been here many times and it has great ambience which is why we go. There is better Mexican food without a doubt, but the patios and the nice Albuquerque summer evenings make it worth going.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • beautiful setting /friendly staff!
    27yr
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Authentic environment friendly staff great food Families welcome versatile environment
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    dmstaff
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Our dining experience this time was excellent. The food was good as well as the service. This is a great place to bring out of town visitors. We will make El Pinto one of our favorite places to eat.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just as we had hoped for
    Ricksluv96
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    It was undeniably wonderful! Great everything: Margaritas (tasty and excellent), my wild salmon meshed with authentic New Mexican cuisine, and perfect sopapillas.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Our visit was a very special occasion and our first time to El Pinto. We made a reservation. We were seated outside in the rain and had to wait 1.5 hours for a table indoors while we got wet. The service was extremely slow and the food was only average when it did arrive. Bad experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Service was terrible. Five people ordered breakfast and she forgot to place one person's order. She didn't apologize but went and place my son's order and after his wife, myself and his children had eaten he finally got his food. Very uncomfortable to eat without him. When he did get his food it was cold. She brought the sopas and only brought 3 although all five of us had a meal. Never once did she apologize and when she dropped the check she just dropped it with no thank-you or anything else. It will be a long time before we go back there with so many choices in Albuquerque.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • happydiner
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This was our second visit to El Pinto and as usual The food and service were outstanding. The next time we're in Albuquerque we'll visit again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A sight to see
    SmoqScientist
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This is definitely a unique experience. In the middle of quiet corner of Albuquerque there is a massive and shady parking lot followed by an endless number of seating areas. The food is pretty good, but standard New Mexican fare. Service was surprisingly average. I'm a foodie. I will not go out of my way to come back. But I am glad I went because this place is such and institution. The building and grounds are beautiful. If I have a large group to entertain, this may be the first place I think of.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The best carne adovada
    Carnelover
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Having eaten carne adovada all over New Mexico, I have to say that El Pinto makes the best.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • red chili ribs
    GreenChiliMan
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The food was very good. My wife especially liked the green chilies she had on her enchiladas. They were brought out separate. My daughters steak was a bit tough and over cooked. She asked for rare and got medium plus. Red Chili Ribs were a hit. Service was slow. The couple next to us left because they got no attention for an hour. Lots of kids and noise. We ate outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Large5
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The appetizers and drinks were really good. The chili rubbed ribs were outstanding the entrees were just ok.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • El Pinto Restaurant - WOW!
    Buck84
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had a fantastic dinner at El Pinto! The food was excellent as was the service! The salsa and chips were fresh and delicious. We had the chile con queso as an appetizer and it was so flavorful and creamy - the best queso we have ever tasted! My wife had the mild green chile cheese enchiladas and asked to have her green chile served on the side because she thought it might be too hot for her. To my surprise, she ate all of the green chile with her dish and asked for more green chile! I had the chicken enchiladas with green chile and it was superb! The chicken was very tender and juicy. They serve sopapillas and locally grown honey with the main entree. So, honey fans beware, it is very addictive. We highly recommend El Pinto Restaurant!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • first diners
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Well, the food was good, too much of it of course. Workers could have been a little friendlier. Hard to get a smile out of anyone. Other than that it was good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always fun
    Kdmm
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Lovely spot, gorgeous patio, great margaritas. Not Albuquerque's best New Mexican cuisine but still good, especially the sopapillas that come with every meal. Portions are huge so share or be ready to take leftovers home. We mentioned in our open table reservation that it was a birthday dinner, but nothing special was done, not even a happy birthday greeting.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Pinto was GREAT
    DebnKirt
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Visited 3 times in 2 weeks in Albuquerque -- atmosphere and service were stellar. Food was excellent 2 visits and just good the 3rd. Ask for seating on the Terrace -- you won't regret it.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of the best in town
    Crimson342
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    This place truly is one of the best places in town. Anytime someone visits Albuquerque this is one of the go-to spots to dine. The food is great, the service is great, the everything is great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Favorite Albuquerque restaurant
    bentsh7
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Got the red Chile marinated ribs and they were excellent! The fresh chips and salsa and sopapillas were a plus too
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We love El Pinto
    DebnKirt
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Awesome is the best word for this gem -- drinks, food, service and ambience aRe all spectacular. Highly recommend
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New Mexico's best
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    When in Albuquerque, enjoy dinner at El Pinto, one of New Mexico's best restaurants. The setting is quintessential, the food excellent, and the service second to none! The patio is our first choice on summer evenings which can be filled with parties celebrating life's big and little milestones, or just enjoying a night out. Chicken Asada is our favorite with rice, a margarita, and sopapillas topped with NM honey. My congratulations and thanks to the twins, chef(s) and staff who continue to offer a dining experience that's synonymous with New Mexico.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch Was Great
    Outdoors
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    We went to lunch as an office on a moderately cool day and ate out in the patio area. The atmosphere was amazing, the service was great and the food was good. I don't think I would do the buffet again. And the price was a little higher than most of us expected for lunch. Next time I think we'll order from the menu.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gransbabyshower
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Such A Great Time, The Staff And Food Were Fsntastic!!! The Atmosphere Was Fabulous And Made The experience A Specieal Time With Friends. Thank You!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Pinto wins again
    Tom1
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Every visit is special...the people, the ambiance, the food. This place just does it right. A NM gem.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Best
    ContractorVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    I have eaten at Mexican Restaurants for the last 40 years all over the country and Mexico This is the BEST one
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.