Alright ladies, Albuquerque holds a special place in our hearts. Yes Marisela is from there, but it’s where we met and realized we were sister soul-mates. So obviously we found an excuse to spend a short weekend there for a girlstrip to go down memory lane.
We’ve put together is list of MUST-DO (& eat) when you visit Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Where we stayed:
Hotel Albuquerque Old Town. If you go to Albuquerque, you must stay in Old Town. This will give you the fullest "New Mexico" experience. The hotel is decorated in traditional southwest decor and the grounds are to die for. It also has a staple Albuquerque based restaurant, Garduños where you can get traditional New Mexican food. It is located in historic old town which and the hotel is located across the street from the Plaza which has food, shops and local vendors lined up on the streets where you can score artisanal, local native New Mexican jewelry.
Where we ate… because eating is life:
Satellite Coffee. I love when cities have local coffee shops and satellite coffee is it. It has been around since I can remember and now they have a few locations around tow. When we worked at Enterprise, we always started the day with Satellite coffee. This place is so warm and welcoming, the perfect conversation gathering spot with handcrafted drinks from coffee beans roasted in their own roastery. They have pastries and sandwiches too. Diesha enjoyed her usual order of a Mexican Latte, the perfect dash of cinnamon and Marisela had her go-to Chai Soy latte. The expert barista nailed it!
Frontier Restaurant. This is an oldie since 1971 but goodie especially because the interior decor hasn’t changed even once in all these years. So nostalgic. Marisela has early memories of frontier restaurant from childhood, and even better memories from her young adult days. The restaurant is open 24 hours and she has many memories after the bar.... It is located just across the street from the University of New Mexico, and on an given day you'll spot college students studying, large families meeting for a meal or girlfriends meeting up to catch up. This is a spot you cannot pass. They are know for their service and traditional New Mexican dishes and everything is made in house!!! They serve delicious breakfasts, burritos, burgers, roasted green chile, homemade flour tortillas, fresh squeezed orange juice, and the famous Frontier Sweet Roll. Their Green Chile stew is guaranteed to have you going for seconds. They do both red and green chile right!
Hotel Chaco. This rooftop bar and lounge is so swanky and a short 3 minute walk from Hotel Albuquerque. It is newer and located in the historic neighborhood of Old Town. The decor and furniture is modern in a setting filled with firepits and million dollar views. They tout their Gruet Winery 'bubble bar,' and Equinox cafe. And if you listened to episode 38 of The DM Show podcast, this is where the hostess checked Marisela, lol.
Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro. We were ecstatic to know this place is still here, it was a regular spot for us. Located in the art district of Nob Hill, the upstairs is the bistro and downstairs is the wine cellar lounge. We noshed on Crispy Duck Confit Eggrolls (that are unbelievably cravable), Herb Marinated Goat Cheese, Olives & Roasted Garlic and a classic caesar salad. And you know we shared a bottle of Pinot Noir from California. This place has atmosphere, really great food and live music - the perfect evening spot.
Garcia’s Kitchen. This is the real-deal authentic mexican eatery. It’s been in Albuquerque since 1975 and they now have 7 locations in the area. Everything is so good, you can never go wrong with a wet-christmas-burrito! Best of both red & green chile.
Things to do… Our top 3:
Sandia Peak Tram. Located to the eastern edge of the town in the Sandia Foothills, take a tram ride 10,000+ ft on top of the Sandia Peak Mountains. The views are spectacular especially at sunset. They are called the Sandia Mountains because when the sun sets they light up red or pinkish color of their granite peaks We learned during this trip the restaurant that used to be up there has been demolished but they are constructing a new one for Spring 2019. Which Marisela is very sad about because she worked there for most of her college years. It’s an experience worth spending a day on. Advice, always check the website for hours of operation as it changes by season.
Nob Hill Arts District. This is considered the hip, fashionable and artsy district in town. It’s along Route 66 just east of the university district. It’s peppered with eclectic shops, locally owned restaurants and microbreweries. It’s distinctive because they’ve kept so much of the original architecture and neon signs, plus most allies have mural art by local artists. It’s still where we love to shop and hang when we visit.
Historic Old Town. If you want to truly experience Southwest culture, Old Town is the place to visit. It’s an area filled with unique gift shops, quaint hidden patios inside winding bring pathways and gardens. The architecture is genuine adobe with touches of Pueblo-Spanish flare. The historic church from 1706 is the center-point of the 10 blocks of strong New Mexican culture. And the museum is a must do for your list. You are sure to find the perfect gift from your Albuquerque trip.