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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 WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Food was ok. Server was nice. They lost my online reservation but seated us right away anyway. Somewhat pricey."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Authentic environment friendly staff great food Families welcome versatile environment"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "It was undeniably wonderful! Great everything: Margaritas (tasty and excellent), my wild salmon meshed with authentic New Mexican cuisine, and perfect sopapillas."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Having eaten carne adovada all over New Mexico, I have to say that El Pinto makes the best."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "The appetizers and drinks were really good. The chili rubbed ribs were outstanding the entrees were just ok."
    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!"
    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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Got the red Chile marinated ribs and they were excellent! The fresh chips and salsa and sopapillas were a plus too"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Awesome is the best word for this gem -- drinks, food, service and ambience aRe all spectacular. Highly recommend"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "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!!!!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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