El Pinto

4.4
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2719 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican / Southwestern
Nestled in the cottonwoods, El Pinto was founded with 10 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 New Mexican cuisine. Experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.

Reservations are recommended.

The Salsa Twins are pairing tradition with innovative healthy nutrition at El Pinto. El Pinto established the first and only Animal Welfare Approved laying hen program on property. 250 hens lay pasture raised eggs for daily use. An onsite green house produces over 5,000 lbs of organically grown greens.

Freshness is throughout El Pinto. El Pinto uses chile from Hatch, NM, dryland beans from CO, pasture raised pork from Kyzer Farms, healthy sunflower oil for all frying, Celtic sea salt, and local ingredients when in season.

El Pinto has served Cinco de Mayo in the White House, been featured on Food Network, Travel Channel, and the BBC among many other places.
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What 2719 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JT
New York Area
92 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Spontaneous stop! Overflowing deliciousness and hospitality!
Smokey chips, flavorful avocado,

JJ
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall1food1service5ambience3

The fresh lime Margaritas were very good - as usual. However, the rest of the night was a bust! Most of the food was warm at best. Parts of the order were not delivered correctly. The carne adovada was terrible - tough and tasteless. In general, most of were disappointed and will not return or bring out of town guests to El Pinto.

FV
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Everything was ok. Server was excellent. Parking lot a disaster. Very muddy and puddles of water and very poor lighting. Mix up in reservation resulted being seated in a cool patio at a small cast iron table with cast iron chairs very low to the ground.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience5

Our server, Nathaniel, acted very disinterested in providing follow-up after our meal was delivered. He did not offer sopapillas, which we assumed were customary....as confirmed by our neighbors at the table next to us because they received them. Our previous experiences were much better.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

This is our 2nd time. We really like it. Make a reservation! It’s always busy even during the week.

L
Denver
51 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Four of us went for Sunday brunch about 11:15--and were seated in a beautiful room with a fireplace. Granted, it was early, so the room wasn't full of diners--making it very quiet and peaceful. This was my first dining experience here--and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality. I tend to think that large restaurants put out "less than the best" food. I had their version of Eggs Benedict--and LOVED it! One friend had the Taco breakfast, the other had Eggs Benedict--and the 4th had basic scrambled eggs and toast. (She missed out on the yummy chili variations available.) Bottom line: it was absolutely perfect for a Sunday Brunch--and I can't wait to return for dinner one of these nights soon.

BE
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were seated right away. The drinks and appetizers arrived within minutes of ordering. The meal was very good. You could tell it was made with fresh ingredients.

OT
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food & service!

l
New Mexico
9 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic! I brought my friend for her birthday and we savored the buffet...everything was perfectly delicious! The tamales were soufflé-like, bursting with flavor. The green Chile chicken enchiladas were savory and moist while the red Chile cheese were rich and vibrant! The pintos were flavorful and creamy and the rice had texture and great seasoning unlike the mushy mixture many places serve... and the sopapillas served hot at the end were light and non- greasy! Service was good, and the extra attention given to us by Shannon, a manager, made my friend’s birthday extra special! There is no place I prefer to bring my friends and family to celebrate than El Pinto!

DH
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Drove in to the densely wooded parking area, landed a space not too far from the front door.
Once we made our way in the restaurant we were greeted by an eager hostess who quickly whisked us away and seated us near a cozy fireplace in the patio section of the restaurant
Our waitress was equally as eager and happy to offer us drinks and house baked corn chips along with their very own red salsa. We had plenty of time to mull over the Sunday brunch menu while digging in to the tasty offerings.
Soft top 40s music played overhead with early morning light filtered through towering greenery thoughtfully placed along long windows on either side of the patio, only added to the slow going mood we came in feeling.
With so many incredible options on the menu it proved difficult to narrow our choice, we finally decided to try a breakfast bowl that included the whole damn kitchen!!! The breakfast bowl is generous portion of layered bacon slices with Adovado smothered in house red Chile sauce paired with a taquito on top of eggs added to assorted peppers and potatoes. Every bite was flavorful, bursting with rich herbs and authentic flair.
When the sopapillas arrived, we were almost to full to partake, but we dug in anyhow. So glad we did!
Manager was cool enough to take us out to view the Hens, each one looked plump, happy and cared for in the best of ways.
Everything was good at this place, really appreciate our time well spent. Will definitely be back. With friends.

CJ
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We were advised to try El Pinto, being strangers to Albuquerque. Really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone!

T
New Mexico
29 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff at El Pinto are so professional and courteous. My father and I both enjoyed the 'Twins' Salsa Salad' with different meat selections on top. It's delicious with the hearty scope of guacamole. Plus, we were seated at the best spot in the restaurant =D. Thank you, El Pinto!

PD
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, ambiance and staff

RD
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We often bring out-of-town guests to El Pinto, because the food and service are generally impeccable. When it's warm, the patio areas are lovely. When it's cool, either indoors, or in the patio areas which are enclosed and warmed. There is enough variety on the menu to satisfy the pickiest of eaters, and one can choose how hot or mild their red or green chile will be. In 24 years of living nearby, we've never come away from El Pinto unhappy.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great evening

JC
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very easy to make an on-line reservation . The service was very efficient and the staff very friendly . The food was very good . Highly recommend El Pinto

OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Chandler was a lovely server. Food was good, although a bit slow with the entrees. Drinks were on point!
The biggest concern was with our check out. Apparently you have a new credit card service and people don’t know how to use it. Instead of being able to put a specific dollar amount on one card and the rest on another we had to separate by item. Please get some training Or your payment service as this was really in adequate for the business traveler.

El Pinto
Responded on November 14, 2019

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will definitely address this issue.

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WJ
New Mexico
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome service was amazing food was great as always.

El Pinto
Responded on November 14, 2019

Will Thank you for joining us. we love to create great experiences for our guests

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VM
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Apparently El Pinto in the winter is a different experience. The beauty of El Pinto is the patio — without that, you see the flaws. Mediocre service. Overpriced food. Food is good but not great. Why not pay less for better?

M
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

We love the atmosphere at El Pinto and the margaritas. I gave it it three stars due to salsa being bland and cold sopapillas.

LB
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food1service4ambience3

We have eaten at L Pinto many times and the food has been very good. Unfortunately, we brought some friends from out of town to enjoy a meal there and it was awful. The hot chili was mild the temperature was cool the food was mediocre. The service was very good. The manager was very very nice and actually comped our meal. No complaints about management or service, just got the food was not good.

WA
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very thoughtful! I had s a cast & cane, our table was in the very last room. I number of the staff asked if we wanted to wait for a table so I would not need to walk such a distance, the staff was extremely solicitous.

The entire staff, from reception to server were pleasant and helpful.

JH
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A very fun place to eat. It is like a sprawling house, with many rooms. Amazing choice of Mexican liquors. Fresh and local grown food. A great start to our New Mexico weekend!

GS
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Overall, I really, really like El Pinto. My top favorites there are the atmosphere, margaritas (even the house margaritas are fantastic), guacomole, sopiapillas, and the levante dessert!

KN
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had our before wedding day lunch on Friday at 1m. Nothing could have ever compared to the classic beauty that is El Pinto. Exceptional service and they obviously employee chefs that have a great deal of experience because the food is delicious. Made some great memories there this past week. Thank you for the wonderful service and overall experience. It is now so very clear why they are one of the Top 60 restaurants o visit in the country. Josh & Kamryn Northrup

RL
Amarillo
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

took 2 new people to your restaurant, they loved it

RM
Shreveport
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The El Pinto is an outstanding place to gather. It is much more than a restaurant. However, the food is also superb. I get to travel to Albuquerque about one time per year and I always make it a point to visit El Pinto. The red chili ribs are my favorite.

AH
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food!

CR
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Food quality has declined since my last visit. Sopapillas were hard and tough. Chile wasn't as tasty as before. Ambience is great as usual, but we were seated next to a rowdy group and it was hard to talk or hear ourselves. Prices have also gone up a lot.

LA
New Mexico
7 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Didn’t like that the bill was presented in the server’s hand, with no opportunity to look it over. AND the tip was computed on the after tax amount! That is a rip off! Why am I tipping on taxes!

I’ve gone to El Pinto for years. I won’t be back.

L
New Mexico
5 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Always enjoy dinner at El Pinto. All of their food is generally excellent. We love their chips and salsa and sopaipillas. The New Mexican specialties are all done well with one exception. Their posole is among the worst I've ever had. It has way too much chile. So thick you can barely see the hominy.. I will be glad to send them a good recipe.

TM
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

We were visiting from out of town and thought this would be a great place to try. The service was absolutely terrible, food came out cold 45 min later and was disgusting. The first manager that came out didn’t seem to care and then when the GM greeted us and heard our problem he was very friendly and wanted to make it right. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time or want to try anything else.

C
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter Nick was excellent! Explained specials/new items without getting too wordy. He was very curtious, friendly and checked on us regularly. Great experience. Kudos to Nick.

Thanks,
Carmen & Michael Wilson

DH
Naples
20 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall perfect!

OT
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, good service, great ambience!

I
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always The Best Red Chili. Great atmosphere. Great service. Great food!

MF
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We wrre so pleased to invite our out-of-town friends to El Pinto. They loved the food and the ambiance. Will definitely be back.

W
New Mexico
30 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

We got to the restaurant 8:30pm. Our waiter is attentive. We ordered Red Chili ribs which as always were very good, tender and flavorful. I ordered the 14oz rib eye and enchilada. The steak is kind of burnt on the outside, the ought the inside is cooked to my liking.

JS
Kansas City
27 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food great service. Will return.

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