El Pinto

4.4
4951 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican / Southwestern
El Pinto is open for outdoor covered patio dining and distanced indoor seating.

Open daily. Monday through Thursday from 11am-9pm. Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm. Sunday 10:30am-9pm.

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.

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, pasture raised pork from Kyzer Farms, and local grass fed beef.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 4951 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
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Referral from our VRBO host…Excellent service and the food was terrific. The Sandia margarita with black salt is not to be missed. Our table was clean, the floors were not, and neither were the chairs, but the food was excellent and we would go back again.

JT
JimTritten
New Mexico
62 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another good experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great time and great food. Service is top notch.

LL
LisaL
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was really good, I thought it was a little pricy but the service and food were excellent

A
vipAlice
New Mexico
36 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Service was terrible. Order was wrong. Took 30 minutes to get the correct plate for one of my dining partners. Very disappointed since I eat here at least twice a month. This is the 3 rd time recently there have been service issues. Sad

C
Chelle
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The food and atmosphere were fantastic. They forgot to put caso on our order.

MS
MoeS
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience5

My husband and I have been almost weekly customers for the last 15 years. The service over the last two weeks was highly lacking. The food was not filled per our order the fried green chili strips were soggy with oil like they had been fried twice. The reception staff was in attentive. Even though I said good night and thank you on my way out, no one acknowledged in any way. I never saw the Manager who is usually visible and checking on guests. I don’t plan to go back for a while.

BD
BrentD
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Contrary to some of the other reviews we found it a pleasant dining experience BECAUSE our server was NOT wearing a mask. We are so sick of the mandate in this state that it was a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere and overall experience was amazing and the food was exactly what we were looking for!

DM
DerrickM
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My girlfriend and I sat next to a very cozy fireplace. I tried the red chili ribs for the first time and they were, by far, the best I've ever had. Also, our server was great. She always checked on us for refills and was very helpful with meal selections.

J
Julesallstar
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My family has been going to El Pinto for my entire life. I am 40. My cousin had their wedding rehearsal dinner there, we have had birthday parties and countless gatherings at your establishment. It is a tradition. I understand there is a staff shortage and trust me when I say our family/table was very mindful of that and we are kind. The main reason El Pinto will no longer be our first choice for family dinners or gatherings and I am giving 1 Star review is the food was COLD. All of it. Even the soapillas. The two of us that asked for our plates to be reheated (not even recooked) got sub-par replacement “re cooked” hot food (my second plate was so bad I didn’t even eat it). One of our guests at our table insisted that it was “fine” and she would “just eat” her cold chicken sopapilla plate. We had to ask for chili for all of our plates (we are New Mexicans. We ordered smothered plates and got bare , cold food.) The kicker — When the waiter dropped off our check he made sure to announce to the table that he “took off” the charge for the chicken sopapilla’s because one guest willingly ate it cold. He just couldn’t charge for that. But he charged the rest of us! It felt so much like a passive aggressive insult to the rest of us.
One guest’s salmon looked like a Ruber sole. Honestly, the meal should have been comped completely. I’m not one to ask for food to be comped but this was unacceptable. Our check was over $250. The manager was either too overwhelmed to really appreciate how bad the quality of our food was or he didn’t care. I hope you all can learn from this and meet the challenge of bringing quality back to your local business. Thank you

PN
PaulinaN
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Place is nice, food is OK but not as I expected. Meat was missing flavor.

NC
NickC
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The food was good. The service was slow. The furniture is old and in need of renovation. We had a nice table by the fire, but even on the mostly enclosed terrace it was cool and drafty. In our reservation through Open Table I put that it was my wife's birthday. No mention was made by hostess or server, which is okay. But why does Open Table ask?

SL
SallyL
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch - food was great & we had a super waitress!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I came here for our anniversary. The food is some of the best food I’ve ever tasted in my life. We got the red Chile ribs and chicharron for our appetizer. Then for the entree we got the green chile burger with a side of calabacitas and the sirloin with chicken enchilada and calabacitas. So much flavor and the perfect heat. It was all incredible. The service was very polite and food was brought out in a timely manner.

SS
SusanS
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I always take visitors to El Pinto..Always delicious and great service

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We stopped here on our one night in Albuquerque. We were not disappointed. Food was great, loved the atmosphere. Great service. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting the area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience1

Seating in the semi enclosed outdoor patio was chilly and disappointing

CB
CherylB
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Was seated on the enclosed patio would much prefer inside the restaurant.

D
Desertrat
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience5

I am deeply saddened to write this review as I have been going to El Pinto since the early 70's-and have experienced all the changes this historic North Valley restaurant has gone through-however-yesterday-my experience was dismal at best-I left the restaurant extremely disheartened.

We ate "outside" in the patio area-even though it was covered. None of the servers were masked as was none of the hostess' who greet you and seat you when you enter the restaurant. There was no explanation when I inquired. I was ignored-

Secondly-my brunch food came out cold, and the carne adovada was tough as shoe leather-as a white girl-I can make better carne!

Trying to get the attention of server was non existent and we were forgotten about several times. The only item that was delicious was the sopas and my NM Bloody Mary-

I am not sure when I will be back-given the price that El Pinto charges-I would have expected a whole lot better food served to me as well as better service AND more clarity about mask regulations-

JT
JerroldT
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Made reservation and waited 15 minutes while walk ins seated before us. Attendant then came and asked us about reservation. Otherwise great service.

H
Hondacbx
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We were seated on time with our reservation. Wait staff was friendly and efficient. Food was good and wait time for it was reasonable.

T
Terry
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience1

Checked in right on time, hostess said it would be a minute to prepare our table...never saw her again and about about 15 minutes I checked in with another hostess and we were seated immediately. NONE of the wait staff employees were wearing masks. This violates the State of NM COVID mandate and put many patrons at risk. As long-term patrons of El Pinto, we were shocked. A couple came in behind us, unmasked, and nothing was said to them by the hostess. I doubt we will return to El Pinto based on their management's lack of concern for the health and safety of their employees and customers.

CJ
ChiefJoe1
New Mexico
21 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Good quality New Mexican fare in a traditional Hacienda.

ET
EdTheMexicanFoodLover
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There is literally nothing on the menu that isn't great!! The ribs are a classic, but don't forget the guacamole. It's to die for.

SM
SteveM
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best enchiladas in town. Atmosphere is great also.

MB
vipMichelleB
Las Vegas
11 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal! Great service! Love the atmosphere.

JG
JamesG
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely love this place. Always great service and a true NM experience.

C
Cheyenne
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, fantastic experience!

JA
JoynABQ
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

11/15/21: FANTASTIC THAT ALL SERVERS AND HOSTESSES WERE “ALL” WEARING MASKS! (After seeing recent TripAdvisor comments we had reservations.)

OUR SERVER WAS AABISS AND HE WAS A JOY!! COURTEOUS, HELPFUL, PROMPT AND WENT OIT OF HIS WAY TO ACCOMMODATE OUR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.

I REQUESTED MY FAVORITE PATIO ROOM AND THEY OBLIGED! AS EXPECTED FOR A MONDAY NITE, IT WAS NOT TOO CROWDED! FOOD CAME QUICKLY AS WAS TO EVERYONE’s LIKING.

y
vipyuck
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The owners/managers are in violation of the NM Health Dept. mask mandate. It is intentional. Employees (3 I spoke-with) said their managers told them not to wear masks indoors.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful place to go for brunch. A little pricy but worth it.

JG
JGLVermont
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great place, relatively inexpensive - not super fancy food - but excellent New Mexican with a nice variety. Loved the ribs, burrito, queso, chips - and house salsa is excellent.

G
Gman
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Food was great. Not sure if our waitress was new or just ready to go home, could be more friendly and joyful.

k
vipkr0975
Phoenix
72 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous and beautiful as always!

MW
MarcyW
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Friendly server but she needed to be asked twice for everything. Food was average. Family friendly.

B
Bernie
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I can't rave about El Pinto any more! My husband is from Albuquerque and we visit frequently. We have our favorite restaurants he likes to hit every trip. We were looking for something we hadn't been to yet, and El Pinto came up. The menu and atmosphere looked great from reviews, so we gave it a shot.
I could not have been any happier. We absolutely loved the environment. Wood stove or fireplace in every dining space. Super cozy. The staff was very friendly, very attentive, even during this time when everyone is short staffed. Fabien was our young man server and HE WAS ON IT!!! Excellent, excellent server. Friendly, fast, caring, authentic. Someone raised him right, and trained him right!
The food was fantastic. I had a ribeye and chicken enchilada. All authentic ingredients, flavorful steak. Chips n salsa were great. Husband loved his taco plate. The shredded beef had a good, unique seasoning.

Now the dessert. OMG. Best thing ever! We ordered the Levante, which is essentially their version of a tiramisu with an Authentic New Mexican spin made with homemade biscochitos!!! Just wow.
My only regret is that we didn't discover them sooner! I've been coming to Albuquerque for 32 years and I feel ripped off! Haha, I blame my hubby. Can't wait to come again!

BA
BobberABQ
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was outstanding! I don't recall her name but she is new to Albuquerque. She was absolutely delightful!
I wasn't sure if a low or high rating was good on the noise level. I marked it low because it was not a problem at all, meaning the noise level itself was low. I don't want that to be a negative.
The food is ALWAYS good!

JC
JaymaC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The only issue (and a very minor issue) I had was that the wait staff and others employees in the restaurant were not wearing masks. This was earlier in the day and lots of seniors in the restaurant. The server indicated that it was management's decision whether they needed to wear masks. Again, minor issue. But I was surprised.

BE
BETTYR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful ambiance and outstanding customer SERVICE !! Our waiter went above and beyond in making sure everything was absolutely to our liking! Loved the complimentary Sopapilla’s & chips and salsa were delicious. I had the chicken avogado which was good a little on the dry side but the the chili ranch dressing was perfect to dip my chicken breast. This was our first time at El Pinto and we highly recommend it and we will be back when in Albuquerque!

B
Bert
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always enjoy our visit to El Pinto! They have the best ambience and staff! The chili ribs & the rib eyes are our favorite plates!

FAQs

El Pinto offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (505) 898-1771.

El Pinto is rated 4.4 stars by 4951 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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