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 WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
El Pinto reviews from OpenTable diners
170 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (129)good for groups (109)special occasion (85)romantic (52)great for lunch (46)neighborhood gem (44)kid-friendly (39)scenic view (34)fit for foodies (34)great for brunch (28)hot spot (21)vibrant bar scene (14)late-night find (9)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • Enjoyable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Absolutely loved the place. Will be returning. It is quite unique & beautiful!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • PatrickVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    El Pinto is a must visit while in Albuquerque. As we are from the east coast, we found the cuisine too chili pepper hot ( as in the RIBS ). The steak was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great red chile ribs and Margaritas
    JustMe
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The people were friendly and prompt. Our reservation was ready for us upon arrival and were able to sit down without the whole group. It's a little dim lit for my taste, but still nice!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fair Food
    Bubba
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We were seated 15 minutes late even though we arrived 10 minutes early for our reservation. Food is over priced and just fair. Noise level was unbearable. I don't believe we will return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Doesn't deliver on the hype
    dine11
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Fish was overcooked. Menu didn't state rice was part of the dish but came with it anyway; I would have chosen beans if given the option. Salad ordered didn't arrive. Sent order back to be redone. Salad came. Tomatoes were good, but still had core. Rice came again with meal. Second order came on more of a dish than a plate that made cutting fish difficult; first plate was flatter and easier to manage eating. Drinking glasses from previous diner on floor next to wall at our table. Our server was fine, but others stopped and talked to us and each other during our meal. Disturbing. Noise level of "Energenic" (above) is misleading and maybe meant for a club. "Loud" would be more appropriate. Will be returning to Los Cuates for future dining.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent from start to finish!
    mlk816
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    From the moment we arrived, our experience at El Pinto was fantastic. Upon arrival we asked a host if he could take our pic in front of the scenic sign out front and he happily did, even took 10 pics to make sure we got a good one. We were seated outside on the patio and were worried we might get cold but they lit a fire next to us and it provided plenty of heat, as well as great ambiance. Our waiter was very attentive and gave us his favorite meal choices. We ordered 2 of them, the red chile ribs and green chile enchiladas and they were both mouth wateringly delicious. Great house margarita that didn't skimp on alcohol and great local beer selection as well. Overall, fantastic food and service that will definitely bring us back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fave Mexican Food Place
    sherbear
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We love love this place and often take friends from out of town to eat here.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Pinto Visit 10-08-14
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I am so glad I was able to visit this restaurant with my Mom and Niece. The Green Chile enchiladas are the best I have ever tasted. Don't know why the red Enchilada did not measure up to the green ones. The tortilla of the red was dry and cold when I received it. I can't wait to visit El Pinto again. I am from Los angeles
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • APlusCHILE
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    THE GREATEST PLACE TO MEET WITH FRIENDS and have a FABULOUS NEW MEXICAN MEAL!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always an amazing experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We have been coming to El Pintos every year for 10 years and have always had a great experience. Great service and amazing food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • El Pinto Comments
    Feinshmecker
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Exceptional food. Good service. Polite staff. Margueritas were not worth $10 though.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Viva New Mexico
    Ranman
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    One of the best things about Albuquerque is going to El Pintos. Greatest New Mexican food there is!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It missed the mark.
    Roadrunner
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The food was just OK. I've never had a "naked" chile relleno before - there was no sauce on it. The waiter was nice but the service was terrible. We waited 15 minutes for our soft drinks and another 5 minutes for a straw. He brought the sopaipillas and forgot to bring the honey, a definite no-no in New Mexico. We ordered from the lunch menu and, when we got the bill, he charged us dinner prices! All in all, I would not go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Outstanding! We always bring out of town guests to El Pinto and know they will have a memorable meal and dining experience. The food was great as is the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    Disappointed
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    El Pinto used to be a summer staple for me but sadly i will say good bye to this tradition - the food was TERRIBLE and EXPENSIVE for what you got and they no longer give out sopapilas with your $20 enchilada - I took friends who were here for balloon fiesta and had to repeatedly apologize for the bad food and large bill. El Pinto has gotten too big and has forgotten why they started the restaurant. I was devastated!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Top Notch!
    lopesgw
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Three of us brought 4 friends (from MI and MN) for the lunch buffet! They were blown away! The beauty of the patio/flowers, burbling fountain all....all combined to create a magical setting. Our waiter, Ryan, handled all 7 of us with no notes--remembering exactly what we'd ordered for drinks, special requests (like holding the sopapillas until the end and bringing real honey, or the free chunky guacamole (thanks Itsatrip.com), and providing a plate of chile rellenos--not on the buffet that day!) The margaritas and craft beer were great; as for the buffet our friends fell in love with the green chile chicken enchiladas, the pozole, the green chile--and especially the soufflé-like tamales! A memorable and perfect New Mexico lunch!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Essential if you visit Albuquerque
    haaseh
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    El Pinto has wonderful ambience especially outside in warm weather. Food is quintessential New Mexican. Margaritas are a must,
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for out of town guests
    SCienfuegos
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Had company from out of town. Made reservations and everything went like clockwork. Got the table I requested, the service was great and the food was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great service and food
    4happydiners
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I have dined at El Pinto many times, for lunch, dinner and brunch. The quality of the food is always great, reception staff pleasant and welcoming, and the waiters/waitresses provide service above and beyond the usual. They care about the guests being served, making sure that everything ordered is prepared to their liking.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambiance; OK food
    LizThomps
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I stopped by El Pinto for lunch while on vacation in New Mexico based on a recommendation from friends. I was very impressed by the size and ambiance of this restaurant - it is huge and has a great outdoor patio area. I was less impressed by the food. The chips and salsa were great, but the entrees were subpar compared to other Mexican dining options we had previously tried in Old Town area. Nevertheless, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a peaceful outdoor patio, a kid-friendly location or a good venue for a large group of people.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    El Pinto is always a winner! We've been coming to El Pinto since 1984 when we moved to New Mexico, and we have seen the restaurant grow and grow to what it is today. Somehow, the food (and margaritas!) just keep getting better and better. You are a New Mexico icon! Thank you...and thank you for your support of our troops!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • food ok - way overpriced
    qrst
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    While I have brought out-of-town guests here in the past, it won't be on our dining list in the future. I was shocked to see that the majority of New Mexican entrees were $18!! That's a good $4 higher than the highest prices at other excellent New Mexican restaurants. While the outdoor atmosphere is nice, indoor dining is really loud and we found it difficult to hold a conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad service
    h82dinehere
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Our server Nick was horrible. After we were seated and excited we waited 15 min until he greeted us. By then we knew what to drink and what to ordee. After bringing is food he only saw 2 times. He was no where to be seem the whole time. We had to ask another girl who was very helpful for service. When leaving I saw him briefly but his expression was no concern for us. I don't want to dine here ever again.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Have heard this was best place in town since moving here and finally got there for dinner on a Friday night. Patio is very nice but the food was huge disappointment. Not even what I would call average. Will not go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Off Night
    DBJBVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    We are local and we usually really enjoy El Pinto, but hope this was just an off night. First, we ordered vodka tonics and got vodka soda. They corrected that. Overall the food was just not as good as usual. Otherwise we would normally give el Pinto a good rating.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You pay for the ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We took a friend to dinner, because she likes margaritas and we thought she'd love dining on the patio. The margaritas were a disappointment (too pricey and too strong), but the patio setting and service were amazing. Our server and the setting made the evening!! My biggest complaint about the dining experience was the price of food and drinks. I've never paid $18.99 for an enchilada plate dinner! Outrageous!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • my visit
    connijbence2008
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Food tasty but only warm. Service was only adequate. I had to hail the server for more wine, and wasn't asked if we wanted dessert or coffee, so we chose to end the evening without a delay in service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • NewMexican
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The outdoor ambiance is beautiful. The service started out great, but once we got our food, it was difficult to get any help with missing items or refills. We'd wave or call out to passing personnel, but were ignored. One of us even took an empty tea glass and approached an employee. He said he'd be right with us, but ignored us. Finally, we caught one lady who got us help. She wasn't dressed the same as the others. She may have been one in charge. We told her that although several young men were just standing around talking, we couldn't get their attention. Overall, the food was okay, but there was very little of it for the price. The salmon was dry.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Overall the service was good, our server was fantastic and really took care of us, and the food was the best that we've has since we moved to ABQ. The only feedback I have is for the front staff... A LOT of workers in the front talking about things that should not be talked about in front of guests... Like who they made out with at the party last night, etc... Everything after we sat down was great. Everything in the front of the house when you first arrive until you sit down needs some work.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Excellent food, service was slow; not enough servers dedicated to our large group. Never-the-less a very nice experience
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Accomodating
    ronabq
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Excellent food and exceptional service. We were initially seated next to a large group that was very noisy. We requested a quieter location and they immediately moved us to the bar area, which was not a regular serving site but was almost empty and very quiet. Even though we were the only table in the room being served food, the waiter was prompt and attentive. We felt they went out of their way to accommodate our requests. We were entertaining out of town guests, who were very impressed with the service and food. The El Pinto staff provided an outstanding evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mikey1
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    El Pinto dining was a great experience. Not only was the food very good, but the ambiance was wonderful. We sat outdoors and there was a band playing most of the evening. Such a wonderful time with friends and family.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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