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  • El Pinto

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El Pinto
El Pinto

El Pinto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elpinto.com/
  • Phone: (505) 898-1771
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Every visit is special...the people, the ambiance, the food. This place just does it right. A NM gem."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "I have eaten at Mexican Restaurants for the last 40 years all over the country and Mexico This is the BEST one"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Great place to enjoy the best green chili and the best salsa in the world."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "When in Albuquerque, don't miss dining in this beautiful setting. Classic old world New Mexico."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The best thing going for it is the atmosphere. I was disappointed in the food - mediocre at best. I have been going to El Pint off and on for probably close to 40 years. It used to be better when it was smaller. I decided to try this time because a friend wanted to go there. I hoped for better but was disappointed. My wife had low fat "chicken" enchiladas but found no chicken. Something has changed in the receipes. The flavors just aren't he same as I remember. There are any number of New Mexican restruants in Albuquerque I prefer, although the may not have the same ambiance. On the plus side, I found the staff very accommodating when making reservations. the wait staff were friendly and efficient."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Asked to be seated on their large patio but they refused even though at 5:15 it was empty. Would have made a difference in our dining experience."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The food and drinks were great and the atmosphere was outstanding."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "A must stop while in ABQ. We (family) eat here yearly while on vacation. Food is consistent and delicious! The building is gorgeous. This year our waiter was not there as he forgot several items but the food is outstanding!!!!!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "El Pinto is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Albuquerque. The atmosphere in the North Valley, surrounded by the old cottonwoods, and filled with ethnic charm is truly enjoyable. Then, of course, the food is always high quality. They make the guacamole fresh when ordered, too. I usually have the chicken enchiladas, but this time ordered the chicken tacos with blue corn tortillas. There were actually 5 of us in our party of 6 who ordered that and everyone loved it. Our other guest ordered the chille rellenos and really liked it, too. We shared a pitcher of margaritas and lots of laughter. El Pinto is certainly a great choice for your family or when you have out of town guests, as we did this time."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "This was my first visit to El Pinto. I took my friend, visiting from California, and we enjoyed most of the experience. The alcoholic drinks were great. However, the food was good, but not outstanding. The service was awful! People came in, were seated then served and left before we got our meals. There seemed to be no problem in the kitchen because others were being served their meals. No explanation was given for the delay and when our sever did appear, she said "sorry". I will give El Pinto another try in the future, hoping the service will be better."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Our waiter, Ryan, gave excellent service with dignity and patience to give all 12 of us a memorable dining experience."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Expensive. Stingy on the red chile. Carne adovada was quite greasy with orange grease. Sopapillas were pre-made and deflated."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "El Pinto has and will always be my Mexican Restaurant of choice. It's kinda pricy, but well worth it. The pre-entree chips and salsa are to die for. Their margaritas are one of the best in the city."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Interesting restaurant; great staff; very attentive; fast service; interesting history regarding the owners of the business. Will be back on our next trip to New Mexico."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Portion sizes are generous and food is consistently good. I always enjoy the calabacitas (squash) burrito. The complimentary sopas are fantastic as well. Great for groups too!!"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "This is a wonderful place to take out of town visitors, to introduce them to our natural environment and local cuisine. Especially good since most of the ingredients are local and/or house grown and made. We go there for lunch ourselves and dinner with guests. The prices are reasonable and the beer is COLD."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "El Pinto did not have rez after your confirmation."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Very accommodating for celebrating a group and a birthday celebration."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The flies were so bad while we were there that one flew into my daughter's sopapilla and drowned in the honey. They were swarming our heads. The food was ok but not worth the price. We were pretty disappointed."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Definitely get the red chile ribs, they are excellent. And it is a bonus that they have La Cumbre beer on tap."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "My husband and I recently had dinner at El Pinto to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. We had never been before but we will definitely be going back and we have been recommending it to everyone! We sat outside on the patio and loved the atmosphere! The food was delicious (much of it fresh and organic) and it was brought to us by the sweetest most charming and helpful waiter. (An older gentleman by the name Nobel, also goes by Nobe, we adored him!) El Pinto won over our stomachs and our hearts!!"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We were on a road trip from Florida to California and stopped one night in Albuquerque. Yelp and Open Table led us here. We had a lovely meal with the accompaniment of a mariachi band - an unexpected treat. The food was quite good and despite 100 degree heat we were very comfortable on the outdoor covered patio."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Grateful to Globetrekker for putting this on their program. Have been in NM for 7 years and this is the best find EVER!!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We came for my mother's 66th birthday and had a wonderful night. The food was good, the ambiance perfect and service attentive. Thanks for a great night!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "This is a great place to bring your out-of-town guests since it is not a typical, "normal" restaurant experience. We enjoy the music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings out on the north patio."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "After several friends told me that "I had to go here" I finally went while traveling thru town. Initial observation was "wow" really cool place, great layout and nice atmosphere. From there it went downhill. The service was mediocre at best, the food was nothing special and when I asked (for the 3rd time) for the tequila list and picked an expensive "premium" tequila for my father-in-law and myself it was delivered in a rock glass vs. the snifter that ever other high end tequila place serves them in. Willing to admit I hit it on a bad night and give it another try but left a lot to be desired."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Good food although not my favorite and pricey...but great ambiance for out-of-town visitors"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The prices are a little on the high side for the type of food, but the truly lovely outdoor seating area and friendly and attentive service make up for it. Everything we ordered was simple but very well seasoned. For a special evening out when the weather is good, it's a wonderful spot."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We had a reservation, arrived on time, yet we still had to wait. It wasn't until we asked about our table that we actually got seated. When we received our sopapillas we started to put honey and the lid fell off, covering a dish in honey. The server was very nice and completely replaced it for free. Everyone loved the food and the pitcher of margaritas were top notched."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "We had never been to El Pinto. I made reservations because I'm told sometimes the wait is long. We got there @ 2:30 on Saturday. They asked where we wanted to sit. I told them we had not been there before. The host said the patio is usually lovely, but it was windy that day. So he then said, we should sit in the Cantina. It was open seating, just find a seat and someone would be right over. Well, they were bar tables, not meal tables and no one came over for almost 10 minutes. It took twice that long to get menus. The waitress was less than attentive, we had to flag other people down to get refills on drinks while we waited for food. Food was average, not great. I'm not sure we'll give it another try."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We always stop at El Pinto when we are in town. Love the food and especially the ambiance. Outdoor dining is the best!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Took a friend from out of town here to give him the 'New Mexico' experience. We ordered a pitcher of house margaritas (worth it if you have a party of 3 or more). For dinner, we each ordered the blue corn chicken enchiladas. Everything was excellent. Not too salty, our chile had just the right amount of spice, and the guacamole was delicious! We only had two complaints: the Sopapillas aren't served with good, local honey. They provide Kraft honey packs, too sweet and artificial tasting, in my opinion. Also, the table next to us was obnoxiously loud. Would have been nice if their server or management had asked them to respectfully keep it down. Otherwise, we had a nice time. Outdoor seating was lovely."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Service was a little slow but it was a Friday evening and it was busy. Having a reservation, were we seated as soon as we got there on the patio where I requested a table. Was an enjoyable dinner"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "What would have Made it even better is... To not have to wait so long for the food. Waited nearly 45 minutes, and was given two different excuses as to what was going on. Honesty is always best. Everything else was great. Janelle was pleasant, attentive and super cheerful."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "We had relatives visit from back East and wanted to take them to a good New Mexican restaurant. El Pinto was not the place to go. We had a reservation for 13 people at 7:15 pm. All went well with seating and beverage ordering. At 7:45 we ordered our dinners. Our dinners didn't arrive for another hour! And to top it off, our server hid also. The food was so-so, not worth the $300. I'll not go back or recommend El Pinto to others."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "I have always enjoyed this restaurant and is one of my "must go to" when people visit. The indoor seating is nice and cozy and a separate bar area, but it is the Patio that always makes our visit! I would describe it but quite honestly you have to simply experience the gentle breezes, greenery, food, and drink combined with absolutely some of the best waiting staff that I have experienced only at restaurants that are easily twice as expensive but without any of the attitude. The food is very good and the staff is always willing to supplement and tweak your order to make it how you like it. I have yet to have a bad experience or a guest of mine say anything negative."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We dined inside and the room was too warm. Our server never offered to refill our water glasses. Our server brought our entrees before he brought the salads. One person's entree was given to another table, and that guest was served much later than the rest of the party. I had invited friends who had never dined at El Pinto before and I felt embarrassed because the service was so horrible. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Expansive and welcoming, El Pinto is an Albuquerque legend for good reason. Ample servings, very pleasant ambiance, and attentive service make for a memorable, casual dining experience."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Last Friday night some my friends and I went to El Pinto. It was extremely busy as usual. We were seated fairly quickly in the Patio which was our choice. The Ambience was so great and it was simply beautiful there. Unfortunately, the food was horrible. 2 of us ordered the Green Chile enchiladas and it was so dry that I could not eat it. We asked for the chicken to be shredded but it was huge chunks of chicken and I don't even remember it having any cheese on it. Another friend had the grilled chicken and that was so dry. We probably will not go back there which is really a shame. It is so easy for them to pay more attention and have some quality food."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "atmosphere is outstanding. food so so. service was great."
    Dined on 6/6/2014