El Pinto

4.3
4847 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 4847 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
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
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BF
BrianF
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall3food2service4ambience5

The ambiance was nice and the drinks, chips, and salsa were good, but the food was not hot and tasted mediocre.

DL
DLSK
New Mexico
22 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy dining at El Pinto.

B
vipBrownfamily
New Mexico
10 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I have eaten at El Pinto for many years. The restaurant itself is terrific and the food is quite good. However, I was very disappointed in the fact that not one server or employee was wearing a mask. The issue with that is that there is currently a mask mandate for indoors. The restaurant has put up heavy clear plastic around the whole seating area, effectively making it an indoor space. So, until the indoor mask mandate is lifted, every employee should be donning a mask. I won’t be back for a while, I guess.

R
Redchilegirl
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Delicious food in a beautiful location. Great for a special occasion meal.

A
Anon
Philadelphia
26 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very nice dinner for a meeting. Did good and a good atmosphere.

AF
vipAshleyF
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome place

LD
LaurieD
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Always a good time!

KD
KatherineD
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Delicious food & good atmosphere. Waiter was very nice but I never did get the napkins I requested.

W
Wini
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Over priced drinks, poor quality food. I know servers are hard to find, and ours worked hard, but....

j
jrycus
Columbus
50 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. Thank you!

C
Chris
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service3ambience5

New Mexico Department of Health requires that masks be worn indoors. We were seated inside along with all the other customers as it was storming outside. ALL wait staff were unmasked - not a mask in sight! This is a large popular restaurant with a huge wait staff. I can't imagine all the COVID that spread in the air and onto our food by the staff. We will not go to this restaurant again - even after COVID
1

G
Granny
Boise
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Wonderful food and excellent service by Melanie.

L
Lakeomama
Seattle
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

If you’re looking for an enjoyable evening and a taste of NM cuisine this is a good place to come, This is not the best NM food in Albuquerque though. But I have to say my tomahawk pork chop was spectacular. The sweet bread they brought to the table was cool (yuck) and we had to ask for honey. The margaritas with jalapeño was great. We waited over 5 minutes for the hostess to come , absolutely no one as there to greet you when you enter the restaurant, we had to search for someone to find the hostess.

T
Terry
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience using Open Table to eat at our favorite place.

KC
KyleC
Denver
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Just wish the weather allowed us to not have the plastic covers up. Would have enjoyed the outdoor scenery much more.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food

MB
MikeB
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We love dining at el pinto. We had the chili ribs. Theses are by far the best baby back ribs we have EVER had. Fall apart tender and very delicious.

KH
vipKeithH
Denver
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The service was terrible, the food was average and overpriced. Drinks arrived after our entrees and the apps arrived after the entrees. Also there was plastic draping covering the entire patio leftover from Covid protocol so they could expand their seating capacity but it made the ambience terrible if you were seated on the patio.
Overall this place was super overrated.

KM
KristiM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved El Pinto and especially our Waiter Elias!

CS
CheriS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took friends from Florida per their request. Every time they visit us El Pinto is a must stop for them. Best New Mexican food in Albuquerque bar none!!

JD
vipJDgogetum
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

A TOTAL DISASTER. We had a patio table reserved for 7:00 PM, and the hostess tried to seat us indoors, not in the patio, 45 minutes late; we chose to wait for an outside table. 1 hour at 15 minutes after our reservation time, the manager seated us -- not outside as requested again -- but in a room enclosed by plastic sheeting. The restaurant was jam packed, and very few people were wearing masks including the staff. THIS WAS A COVID HOT SPOT JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN. I imagine this used to be a fine restaurant, but it was well past its prime, and with current staffing shortages I would highly recommend you skip this spot all together.

GB
GeorgellenB
New Mexico
12 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

This visit to El Pinto was not my best. The young women at the reception desk were not wearing masks and they were a little snippy. I put this off to youth and lack of training. Might want to reinforce what customer service is to them.

MC
vipMichaelC
New Mexico
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always enjoy hosting out of town family at El Pinto. Great atmosphere to enable conversation and show off the cottonwoods.

R
Robert
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall3food1service4ambience4

After many visits the conclusion is always the same: mediocre food, pleasant service. As an Albuquerque local it is tempting to enjoy the ambience but then when the food is served the same old mediocre food, served barely warm.

r
roseemrys
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food is very good at El Pinto. The ambiance and service are also good, however the server was not wearing a mask. We are vaccinated, but we had no way of knowing if she was, and she had no way of knowing our status either.

We were on the patio, where they had some heaters. But they turned them off midway through our meal, which was a little too soon. It is a lovely area, just a bit cold in October. They can't control the weather, of course, just how long they run the heaters.

That said, I would definitely come back again.

A
Aykay
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food, service and ambiance.

M
Merrimentnchaos
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Hi! The restaurant was only 50-60% full but hard to make reservation. Many dining rooms! Good Margarita, I upgraded liquor & it became overpriced for what it was. Fried hatch green chile app was delicious. Tamale not good at all. Nice to have soapaillas at end of meal.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

We came because this place was raves about as the place to come during The Balloon Fiesta, especially to see the night activities.

The restaurant was crowded, loud, and outside dining is covered - so you are not able to have the view.

I ordered the ribs - which were supposed to be best in country. They were cold and so spicy. We also ordered the nachos which were on the soggy side.

The server was great and very attentive. But not worth the money we paid.

I would not go back again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our waiter was fantastic (Thanks Aabis) and as always the food was delicious! Thanks!

LF
LisaF
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The food was delicious, loved the queso. The service was quite good and the room we were in had lush plants with a water fall. My guests/friends from PA enjoyed it immensely.

v
valleygirl
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In spite of it being Balloon Fiesta, Ty, our server, was attentive. The food came out hot and the margaritas cold. Due to Covid and short on help, servers have been working double shifts. Although weary, Ty did a great job.

DP
DeborahP
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came to the balloon festival and was told I had to eat there.. I was not disappointed! The restaurant was amazing! I love the decor and all the areas to dine. Wish I was staying in the area longer so I could dine in other areas of El Pinto. One negative- the guacamole was boring with no flavor.

NG
NancyG
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pretty place. Busy for balloon festival but we made reservations. Were actually seated early. Staff was great and very friendly. Food was plentiful and good. Would recommend.

DK
DeniseK
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve lived in Albuquerque my entire life and El Pinto will forever be one of my favorite places to eat. The most amazing patio for outdoor dining. It oozes ambiance and charm. Great food! We love their posole, fresh guacamole, carne adovado, green chile chicken enchiladas, and chiles . If you’re new to Albuquerque, absolutely eat the sopapillas..

P
Peblopis
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We had to wait over 45 minutes for our 5:00 reservation. The music was way too loud also. Food was good and serivce was good. I realize that the staff was limited, but don't take a reservation for 5:00 pm if you can't seat the group until 5:45 pm!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

We waited an hour despite having a reservation. The patio was lovely but inside was filled with unmasked patrons and staff.

M
Melissa
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Vacation… we are here from Middletown, Delaware

The food was outstanding!
Anna was amazing… very cool place

AC
AnalisaC
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere. Great service. Highly recommend.

AK
AmandaK
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience5

It shouldn’t take 2 hours to get a bowl of green Chile stew!!!!

JB
JackieB
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food and great atmosphere. Love going here for lunch with friends!

FAQs

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

El Pinto is rated 4.3 stars by 4847 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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