Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About El Pinto
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.
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Mexican / Southwestern, Mexican
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.
Alameda Blvd NW
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Free live music each Tue and Thurs night from 6:30 to 8 pm.
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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El Pinto Ratings and Reviews
We went for the lunch buffet and service was great, our waitress was on top of drinks and clearing old plates out of the way. The food was good for a buffet. The red chile they used for a stew and the posole was good and spicy, we really liked it. The tamales and red enchiladas were a bit dry but all in all it was good.
We were visiting Albuquerque for a meeting and decided to try El Pinto because of their gluten free options. The food was wonderful and the service was too. Very understanding of gluten allergies and our food was marked with "gluten free" wooden picks when it arrived at the table. We were also fortunate to get a seat in the back room by the fireplace which was a nice surprise.
The hostess tried to seat us way in the corner of the little room off the bar area. We told her that we preferred another table and she said that’s all she had and would come find us but she never did. We finally seated ourselves in the bar area waiting for her return. Our waiter ask us if we wanted dinner and we said yes. The hostess was most unfriendly and definitely in the wrong position in the restaurant. A very unpleasant experience and sadly our first time.
I always make the trek to El Pinto, whenever I travel west to Albuquerque. I have real problems with choosing between the addictive "New Mexico Red" and the savory green chile sauces! Oh well, plenty of trips to El Pinto is the only cure.
Service can be a tad leisurely, so it's best to plan for this place to be the star of the evening, rather than a quick in and out.
We were in town for a business conference, and a friend who lives in the ABQ area recommended El Pinto to us for authentic New Mexican food. We were not disappointed! It was amazing food and service.
I do not drink, but a friend ordered a marguerita with mezcal, which she had not had before. Apparently it is quite a unique taste, and she didn't care for it. The waitress was fabulous, and immediately offered to replace it with any other marguerita. Outstanding customer care!
I particularly am a fan of green chili anytime I am in NM, and this did not disappoint. Excellent green chili strip appetizer, and the chili verde enchilada was to die for! This is on a permanent "must visit" list for me anytime I am in Albuquerque.
Lovely environment inside and out. Attentive and knowledgeable wait staff. Very good New Mexican food and excellent margaritas. The chili is hot, so ask about heat when you order.
The four in our party really enjoyed sitting out front around the fire pit after dinner. A nice end to a lovely evening.
What a terrible experience! We've always enjoyed El Pinto in the past, but this time, something changed - new ownership, management? We had a party of 8, got stuck in the back of the restaurant with 2 small round tables. 2 of our guests had to straddle table legs and had no place to put their dishes! Bug in one of our drinks - manager was pretty much like "oh well, probably came from outside" (you think?). Took our server 15 minutes each time we ordered drinks - where did she have to go to get them? Food was awful and not worth the price paid for it. I recommend skipping El Pinto and go to Garduno's or even Los Cuates with your company. At least they have friendly employees who care about their guests and great food at a much better value.
I was in ABQ for the Day of the Tread bike ride, I came to El Pinto because they are the main sponsor, thank you for that. Beautiful setting with big trees and real sense of arrival. The green chile stew, with chicken and potatoes was worth the trip by itself. Very good with a little kick. I'm partial to green chile dishes and ordered the burrito plate topped with green chiles. My bad for ordering it mild. It was VERY mild, probably crossing the border to bland. I saved my sopapilla till last, and a sweet finish it was.
Have always loved El Pinto. Food was not as good as last few times we have been there. We were a larger group (11), so I understand service can be a little slower with groups, but restaurant was not overly busy & service was horrible. There for almost 2 hours & not because we were lingering or visiting. Will no return.
We have been to El Pinto many times and have always had a great experience. This time, it was the opposite. We brought visiting friends from NJ and FL. Part of the reason we bring guests is because of the ambiance. This time we were ushered into the way back make shift outdoor room. The ambiance was not at all what we hoped. It literally looked like it was just thrown together with table cloths over patio furniture. It was either chilly or way too hot when the heaters were on. The way the tables (round) were put together the people on the end could not join in on the conversation. Putting round tables together in a chain is never coming conducive for large parties. This was not at all to our liking. I’m fact, we even apologized to our guests. Once we received our food, nobody checked on us. We never had any refills on any of our drinks. When I received my food it was cold and incorrect. I could not ask for another because no one came to ask at any point. Our waitress was very good,but became very busy so it wasn’t her fault. I must say this visit we were extremely disappointed in the all-around experience.
The ambiance in the restaurant that represents the state of New Mexico is great. The quality and quantity of the food was very good. The out-of-the-country guests (Aussies who live in Dubai) thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant. The opportunity for large group reservations and the splitting of the bill makes the overall experience even better.
We have been to El Pinto several times, but this was our first time for lunch. They had a buffet offered and we chose that. It was excellent, with a wide variety of New Mexican food and also included the salad bar and taco bar and sopapillas for a very reasonable price. Plus it was all you could eat so it was a great value.
As always, El Pinto's ambiance is wonderful. I had made reservations for four. I was disappointed as we were seated (more like wedged in between) two large parties and were unable to talk to each other because of the noise from the large parties. However, my sister who is from out of town, asked for a different table and we moved to a nice, out of the way corner and were able to talk with each other. Our original waitress was also serving one of the large parties and told us several times that she would be over in a few minutes. After about 15 minutes, another waiter came over and became our server. He was wonderful! He would check on us every so often to make sure we had everything we needed, was very pleasant and always had a smile. The food was very good and my daughter said that her vegetarian selection was great. Once we were moved, our dining experience was very enjoyable!
We went to El Pinto as I had eaten there years ago. Unfortunately, the return visit was truly God awful. From the clueless hostess who seated us in a room with nothing but us and two large groups with children to the worst waitress I’ve ever had, the service was horrendous. The pork ribs meat were completely overpowered by the “famous “ chili rub, bland salad with supermarket dressing, day old baked potatoes , and tough sopapillas. Overpriced overrated (Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. bogus reviews) not worth your time or money. Certainly was not worth wasting a meal on in ABQ.
We were thrilled to be able to come to El Pinto to celebrate a family member's special birthday in such a gorgeous setting. Arriving under the festive cottonwood trees adds excitement and ambiance. We all give the service a 10! The food was delicious. Our server was exceptional and
even helped serve the birthday cake. Thank you so much.
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