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.

10500 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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.

Cross Street:
Alameda Blvd NW

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(505) 898-1771

Website:
http://www.elpinto.com/

Entertainment:
Free live music each Tue and Thurs night from 6:30 to 8 pm.

Parking Details:
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.

Executive Chef:
Marc Quiñones

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.2

ambience

4.5

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (110)
Special Occasion (89)
Authentic (80)
See All
Casual (79)
Good for Groups (79)
Local Ingredients (79)
Worth the Drive (77)
Good for Birthdays (66)
Good for a Date (57)
Spicy (57)
Neighborhood Gem (55)
Good for Anniversaries (53)
Fun (52)
Sunday Lunch (47)
Comfort Food (46)
Romantic (45)
Great for Lunch (39)
Creative Cuisine (38)
Scenic View (38)
Kid-friendly (35)
Cozy (35)
Business Meals (29)
Fit for Foodies (29)
Handcrafted Cocktails (29)
Happy Hour (26)
Great for Brunch (25)
Bar Seating (23)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Good Vegetarian Options (23)
Seasonal (20)
Hot Spot (19)
Healthy (17)
People Watching (17)
Organic (15)
Disabled Access (14)
Live Music (14)
Pre/post Theatre (13)
Tasting Menu (11)
Late-night Find (10)
Tapas (9)
Gluten Free Options (8)
Great Beer (7)
Notable Wine List (7)
Afternoon Coffee (6)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Vegan (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Waterfront (3)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Live Sports (1)
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1333 reviews
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·Dined a day ago

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Denver)·Dined 2 days ago

El Pinto is an old restaurant but well maintained and does a great job. The food is good New Mexico style food with a few twists. You won't be sorry.

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food4
ambience5
service4

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Very noisy. Drinks were not good - but not the best. Have tasted better.

Tags: Scenic View
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food5
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined 3 days ago

Another excellent meal. Great food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Tags: Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Gluten Free Options, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 12, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

Food was ok, but not as much variety as I remember. Pitcher of margaritas was exhorbitant. Service was friendly. Room was loud

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

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.

Tags: Quick Bite, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Spicy, Fun, Tapas, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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.

Tags: Authentic, Spicy, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

Ambience was good but everyone at our table had ordered enchiladas with onion and none were so prepared. The offered solution was a bowl of chopped onions. For the price paid a better solution would have been to replace with what we originally ordered.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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.

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Casual, Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Great food, can request chile on the side if spicy intolerant. Margaritas are awesime! Even the house is great. If going with a group get a pitcher of margaritas, serves about six fills. Combo plates are agreat way to try everything.

Tags: Cozy, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

This was my first time visiting El Pinto, I will definitely be back!

Tags: Cozy, Scenic View, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Very large place that's been there for many years. Good food, quick service. Good for tourists who visit Albuquerque.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

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.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

It was easy to locate, the staff were friendly , knowledgeable and accommodating. We did not have to wait for our table for 7. We were seated as soon as we came in and our food was delicious!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu, People Watching, Fun, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Late-night Find, Kid-friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Disabled Access, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 3, 2017

Great service. Food was very average, especially for the prices. There are much better Mexican restaurants around town. Casa de Benavides, el Bruno,

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food2
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 2, 2017

It was amazing and authentic New Mexican food.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 31, 2017

A great taste of NewMexican food
Enjoyed the atmosphere especially the fire places. The pasole was good and spicy. Margaritas were excellent.

Tags: Spicy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Organic, Casual, Authentic
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value1

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

Love the great NM Ambience but the food last Sunday was not up to par! Kinda disappointing as we had friends from out of state!

Tags: Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch
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food2
ambience5
service3
value3

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

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.

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food2
ambience1
service3
value1

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Chips were warm and yummy, salsa was tasty, mArgarita refreshing, enteee delicious and sopapia wxcellent!!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

My 25th birthday

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

We were spending the night in Albuquerque on our way home and our daughter made the reservation for us. We love the look when we drove up and was never disappointed for going.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Food and atmosphere great...
Margaritas are the best in town!

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Good for a Date, Authentic, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 26, 2017

Great ambience but food was s disappointment. The tamale was dry; the chicken in the taco tasted like it was canned; chips were stale; & sopapilla tasted off.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food1
ambience5
service3
value1

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 26, 2017

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 25, 2017

Very nice for get together of any type, especially after a long day of work.

Tags: Business Meals, Late-night Find, Tasting Menu, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Authentic, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 25, 2017

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!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Iconic spot. Went for the history and the guacamole! Classic dining.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Our server, Salvatore was excellent. The food was great! Red Chile perfect amount of heat. We loved it!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Our Go-to restaurant when out of town guests visit.

Tags: Spicy, Business Meals, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining, Disabled Access, Authentic, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 22, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food3
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 22, 2017

We live in Houston, Texas and rerouted our trip back to Houston from Colorado through Albuquerque just so we could eat at El Pinto. Do you need a better review ?

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Our server was a little slow, we ended up being there for two hours. And a couple of drinks & menu items were incorrect.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Great dining at dinner at the bar as a solo business person. Bartender was great made me feel welcomed and food was outstanding and the skinny margarita.

Tags: Cozy, Romantic, Spicy, Fun, Comfort Food, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Spicy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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