El Pinto

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4.3
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2316 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican / Southwestern
Nestled in the cottonwoods, El Pinto was founded with eight tables in 1962. Twin brothers John and Jim Thomas, known as the Salsa Twins, 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.

The Salsa Twins are pairing tradition with innovative healthy nutrition at El Pinto. El Pinto is proud to have the first and only Animal Welfare Approved laying hen program on property. 200 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, healthy sunflower oil for frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, and local ingredients when in season.

It has been featured on Food Network, Travel Channel and the BBC among other places.

Dog friendly. Ask for the "Puppy Patio."
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What 2316 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

It is a dining experience worth doing. It's the latest restaurant I've ever been in.

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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Friends in from out of town.

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DD
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A visit to El Pint is always an enchanting experience!

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OT
New Mexico
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Reconnecting High School friends visiting for Senior Olympics

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P
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All was fine except the noise. I have hearing problems and could not carry on a conversation

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

It is unfortunate that:

1) It took 12 minutes to have our two bottles of beers delivered to our table,

2) my steak was well done when it was ordered medium rare,

3) my replacement steak took nearly 20 minutes to get to me (my two friends had finished their meal before it got to me - medium rare should not have taken that long)

4) our sides arrived nearly 10 minutes after the main course - my potato sat for 10 minutes before my new steak arrived.

5) I never received the napkin I requested and had to find one myself,

6) we were never asked if we wanted another drink and our water was refilled once.

The food is always delicious; however, I will reconsider El Pinto as an option in the future because of the things I mentioned.

We had a reservation, by the time we were seated (15 minutes before the res time 👍🏾), there seemed to have been a mass exodus from the restaurant, so there were very many tables open. I don’t claim to know how busy these folks were tonight, but this was a disappointing evening out.

Where was the manager?

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SS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful meal at El Pinto where I go every time I’m in Albuquerque. The food was great, and Ryan provided good service without being intrusive.

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JR
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I was in a group of 12. The interior and the garden seating was very inviting! Our waitress was pleasant and attentive. My margarita and the guacamole and chips were delicious. Unfortunately there were 4 of us who did not get our meals when they arrived for our group. The waitress tried to correct the problem but it seemed like there may have been an issue in the kitchen. Three of us decided to order again and one decided not to eat because it was getting late. When our meals were brought to our table, they were incorrect. Someone brought some puffed pastry to our table for free and they compensated about $6 off each of our bills. We are human and we make mistakes, I wish the manager would have verbalized an apology for the error in our service. I guess for an upscale restaurant I expected more.

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EB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

except for all the flies buzzing around, had a great time entertaining family from out of town.

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H
New Mexico
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We brought out of town guests to El Pinto so we wanted a special experience for them. We requested patio seating and we were not disappointed. The patio was beautiful and even though the restaurant was very busy, we could carry on our conversation with our group of six without the surroundings being loud. Our waitress, Kendyah, was outstanding! She explained our menu options and was entertaining. Kendyah enhanced our dining experience. Too many of the menu items are spicy, hot but the steak was excellent. The ribs were medium level hot (spicy) but we toned them down with the honey at the table and were very good.

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MZ
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Food was great as always! The live singer was very good but a little to loud for us to have a regular conversation over dinner 😔

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SD
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! Outdoor eating was so relaxing. Food was great as well as the service. Would recommend as a place to visit in Albuquerque!

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KM
New Mexico
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Met there for as business meeting, table was in the middle of the room with several others. Noise level was loud which made it difficult to hear everyone who spoke at the meeting. Food was skimpy in comparison to previous times at this restaurant and was not as traditional. I would recommend this restaurant as a casual dining atmosphere and not for a business meeting.

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BM
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Wow is all we can say. Walked in and went to the Open Table desk where 4-5 employees were just chatting. One staff member finally approached and I said I made an open table reservation. Her words to me. Do you have a reservation? Not a good start. After some fumbling around and confusion we were taken to our table. One of our group asked a question and it was just a blank stare back from same employee. As it was only our second time eating here we brought some out of town guests to show of an iconic ABQ restaurant. Last visit was great with plenty of food for the price! See below. Once the waitress Jahqwah (name on the receipt) came more questions were asked about the menu. Very indifferent answers. Our friend ordered her meal and was asked what two sides. She said Baked Potato and was informed that counted as two sides. OK. Then asked for all the fixing for the potato. The waitress said are you sure you can eat all that I don't like to throw food away. Very rude! So food came out is a timely manner for 4 out of our 6 guests. Runner said I will tell your waitress. She never came over and said anything as we sat there 5-10 minutes while everyone else ate. Finally she stops by when food was delivered and I asked what happened. Her response I was told 30 seconds ago they lost your order. No apology. Worst part is we both ordered one of the signature combinations and it was on the smallest plates of the table for $19.29. Not a good experience tonight. Bottom line there are much better restaurants that offer better food, superior service, and good value for dollar. Go to Garcias or Monroes among others that appreciate your business.

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PL
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were very happy to be able to get a table on Father's Day. I'm so glad that I could take advantage of your open table app. It was my son's 1st time to be there and he was very impressed.

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C
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The food is way overpriced for the quality and quantity of food. The rice was under cooked, more than 50% of the plate was covered with beans and the Reillos were small and tasteless. At 23.99 a plate...big disappointment. Also, my guest had enchiladas with mild green...someone must have switched the mild for hot and she couldn't eat her meal. The staff knew about it and didn't offer to get her a replacement. I'm from here and love to take guests out to El Pinto for years but not worth the trouble anymore.

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SW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Waitress was very disorganized. Drinks were very slow coming. Food was cold and orders were not complete. Lots of flies outside and it wasn’t the patio that I thought I was getting.

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JS
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

A little disappointed. My husband ordered huevas rancheros with beef. It came without the beef. I ordered the stuffed sopapia witout guacamole and they still sent me guacamole and charged me for it. The food is great. Just did not get exactly what we ordered. I feel that the sour cream should come with the order not charged 1.99 for a small spoon full.

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T
New Mexico
22 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

El Pinto's outside dinning captures the leisurely style of New Mexico in addition to it's beautiful scenery. The food is always outstanding.

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RM
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Each and every time I dine at the El Pint, I am impressed with the staff, service, and great taste of the chosen menu items.

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OT
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

I have eaten here for more than 45 years, and it has always been a favorite, special place. I would recommend others try it. Today's service and ambience was as good as it has ever been, but the food was very disappointing. I will not hold it against El Pinto ... 1 bad day in 45 years is still pretty good.

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H
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Tasty brunch, quality ingredients, good coffee. Especially appreciate locally sourced eggs and produce. Its an adventure; this place is so extensive, with lots of areas to explore. Nice vintage landscape. Sat outside: shady, cool and relaxing.

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ZY
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Issue: Father's day. The restaurant was very crowded and it seems most of the tables were sat in a short period of time which is hard on the staff. Here's my honest opinion:
Pros: Staff is friendly, food is good if a bit pricy, ambiance was great and temperature wad perfect.
Cons: It took us over an hour to get our food once we ordered. The server came to the table at least four times apologizing even mentioning the general manager once who promised our food would be up in five minutes. It took another 25 minutes after that. And, knowing there was a hold up, the GP should have offered to cover all or part of our bill for this snafu. There was no offer at all. Also, our order wasn't quite what we ordered, one dish all beans and no rice came with a lot of rice and a few beans. The bus folks failed to removed glasses that were no longer necessary so our table was way over crowded - a 4 top with 3 adults and 1 child.
Moral to this story...don't go on a holiday!

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E
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

It’s a beautiful restaurant, but the food is expensive for the quality. And if you go to El Pinto with a large group (for us, 11 people) for brunch, plan on having dried out pancakes and cooled down food when it arrives at the table. And most of the bacon was burnt black too. Also, our server was pretty cold to us up until it was time to give us the bill. It was like she saved all the “friendly” for tip time.
On the plus side, the chips, salsa, guacamole, and mimosas were all delicious. I wish we had left it at that. Half of the table brought home brunch leftovers, but not because they were full. It was because they didn’t really like their food.
So, why did I say “yes” to recommending this place to others? Because I would qualify my “yes” and suggest they enjoy the beauty of the grounds, the chips, salsa, and guacamole, and maybe a drink...and everything beyond that I would warn them may be hit or miss.

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KJ
Greensboro
10 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The ambiance was the highlight! We also had an excellent waiter who made sure everything was right and was very friendly.

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w
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really an amazing experience overall. Fun and lively. Big place however still has an intimate feel. Nice people too.

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D
New Mexico
45 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is great for get togethers. A group of 9 of us sat outside in their beautiful garden. Service was excellent, everyone’s food order was right, check split up. I do think it’s a bit pricey for what it is, but it’s still one of my favorites. Don’t miss the carne adovada ribs!

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TJ
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding architecture for old west setting. Outstanding southwest cuisine.

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D
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 1ambience 5

El Pinto is a very beautiful restaurant. The patio is remarkable. However, the food is never very good. I ordered enchiladas and they arrived cold. The sopapillas tasted like they were fried in old oil. Our service was very slow and we waited for a long time for drink refills.

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p
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

We took a visitor there to share food and NM experience. Lovely location under trees outside...Decided to get "spicy" rather than "mild"--I like spicy food, but a bit too spicy for me, next time I'll order mild (even if my friends think I'm "wimpy").

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OT
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

The ambiance and margaritas make the less than expected food well worth the visit.

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MM
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Our server was outstanding and took very good care of our party. The food was mediorcre and was only warm not hot.

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DC
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was s bit noisy...we couldn't hear eachother talk across the table a few times but overall good.

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SB
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was slow

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C
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were terrific. Glad we made the reservation because people were waiting but it didn't seem very crowded. We usually enjoy the outdoor area but the vegetation didn't seem very happy
and everything looked dry. Not sure what was going on with that. The noise level was fine as there were few people on the patio. Would definitely recommend the red chili ribs, our favorite!!

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OT
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Service was very slow and food had clearly been sitting under a warmer. Drinks didn’t get refilled, dishes never got cleared from the table.

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T
New Mexico
23 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server spent the extra time to take pictures during our birthday celebration. She was very accommodating and wanted to make sure everything was just right. The food was delicious, as always!

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CR
Dallas
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Absolutely beautiful, the patio was perfect...and the Red Chile Ribs were incredible! Only complaint was the service—super nice, just really slow. But we didn't mind too much because of the ambiance there on the patio.

Overall very enjoyable experience!

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BM
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything about our dining experience was fabulous as it always is.

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CC
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The absolute worst watery sangria ever. The waiter had no idea where to find the desserts on the menu and just said sorry. Got stuck in the dark back room full of kids even though I made a reservation. What a waste of 65$.

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