Eat + Drink

How to Eat Your Way Through Old Town Albuquerque in a Day

You have 24 hours to eat your way through Albuquerque’s Old Town scene: Game on.

Unfortunately, societal rule of thumb is that you should only typically eat three meals a day. No problem! We know just the three Old Town restaurants you need to eat at for breakfast, lunch and dinner to make your trip to ABQ a filling one (literally). Make sure you take a few laps around Old Town between each yummy stop so you don’t cramp up!

albuquerque old town breakfast at central grill
All-American Breakfast at Central Grill in Old Town Albuquerque. (Photo: Don James)

Breakfast: Central Grill and Coffee House

Mom always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” You should take that advice very seriously in ABQ. For the perfect cup of coffee with just the right amount perk, start your glorious day of grubbing at Central Grill and Coffee House in Old Town Albuquerque.

When you walk in, you’re greeted by the staff with open arms and smiles. Keep the positive vibe going by ordering the ABQ Western from the menu, which is sliced brisket, smoked sausage, cheddar and BBQ sauce on a toasted ciabatta bun. Before you leave, order one of their gorgeously crafted Macchiato’s to go. Mmm…

Foodie Tip: This spot offers gluten-free options, so don’t hesitate to ask.

albuqueurque old town backstreet grill mini chimis
Mini Chimis at Backstreet Grill. (Photo: courtesy Backstreet Grill)

Lunch: Backstreet Grill

You’ve finished your macchiato and you’re roaming the streets of Old Town Albuquerque looking for a Mexican restaurant that’ll make you go “Chipotle-who?” We feel you. Guacamole should be enjoyed on a regular basis, so we suggest you check out Backstreet Grill.

Not only is Backstreet Grill in a great location off-the-beaten track, but they also have a gorgeous outdoor patio and serve local brews.

Not into hops? No biggie – order their tequila shrimp avocado cocktail, it’s as unique and flavorful as it sounds. While you’re checking out their menu, your server is no doubt going to suggest you order a plate of their duck tacos — red chili-braised duck legs diced up and served into three corn tortillas, topped with corn and black bean relish, mango mole sauce, cotija cheese, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds. Don’t hesitate to take that suggestion.

Foodie Tip: Still pretty full from the ABQ Western you had at Central Grill and Coffee House? Been there. Instead of getting a full meal, order their nachos. They’re topped with everything and there’s something so delicious about the crunch of the tortilla and the thrill of finding just the right chip with every topping on it.

Dinner & Drinks: Chama River Brewing Company

No doubt you’re going to want to double back to Backstreet Grill for dinner, too; we certainly wouldn’t blame you. But if you’re still up to try something new, Old Town boasts some pretty great breweries that not only offer delicious brews, but good grub, too.

Locals love Chama River Brewing Company, one of the best Albuquerque breweries in Old Town. It’s a little bit more upscale than the last two spots, but these are your last few hours in Albuquerque, do it up! If you’re thirsting for a cold brew, we suggest you order a glass of their Sleeping Dog Stout and pair it with an order of their fish and chips for a truly decadent meal.

If you’re not a stout lover, they have a whole array of various brews that can wet your whistle instead.

Foodie Tip: Indecisive when it comes to ordering? No worries, go ahead and ask for small tasting glasses of their brews so you can find just the right one.