About El Pinto
In town for Balloon Fiesta? Visit iconic El Pinto which is the spot to be during Fiesta. Although reservation times maybe full, we limit them to allow for walk in guests. While you wait, enjoy green chile roasting fresh outside, free music nightly, local artists to visit with, a beautiful nightly fire, and amazing margaritas!
Nestled in the ancient cottonwoods, El Pinto was founded with eight 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 made New Mexican cuisine. Experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.
Freshness is throughout El Pinto with the cuisine made from scratch each morning. El Pinto uses chile from Hatch, NM that is fire-roasted and hand-peeled, new beans from southern CO, healthy sunflower oil when making chips and frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, and numerous local organic ingredients when in season.
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
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, 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
The food was absolutely amazing. We were ...
The food was absolutely amazing. We were looking for traditional southwestern style food in a historic setting and El Pinto fit the bill. The chips were the best I have ever tasted and the chile carne was fabulous. We will be back!
We were a large party of 13 and I made t ...
We were a large party of 13 and I made the reservation through OpenTable. I thought the location they put us in was good because it was somewhat isolated and allowed us to be able to chat with each other. What I was not happy about was that they stuck round tables together, making for a very awkward arrangement of chairs and it was somewhat crowded at the tables. One in our party asked for an additional table to spread us out, which resulted in people being too far from each other to socialize. They have plenty of rectangular tables and that would have made much more sense for such a large party. I had even written in my reservation special instructions that 2 tables near each other (i.e. splitting the group) would be acceptable. I wish I had insisted on them moving us to more appropriate tables.
Other than that, the food was good and abundant. I think it's a bit pricey for the type of food, but it was tasty and well done. Our wait person was outstanding and handled special requests well.
Very disappointed. Food normally ok-not ...
Very disappointed. Food normally ok-not great, but ok. This time rice was under cooked. Two Enchilada plates and taco plate not good. Bland and not tasty even though requested hot chile. Ala cart order had measly enchilada on it. Nothing to make it appealing like a sprig of lettuce or tomato. Same with side order of under cooked rice. Waitress Nina, wanted to chat too much and read off Sunday brunch menu even though we were having dinner and didn't ask about brunch menu. She said the cook was new. We say cook has a lot to learn. It will be a long time before going back especially since prices are high for Mexican food.
The waiter staff was very slow, and forg ...
The waiter staff was very slow, and forgetful. The menu was extremely overpriced for the portions and quality of food. The most disappointing part is we drove all the way from a Airport Hotel to El Pinto because we were told they had the best New Mexican food only to find out this was not the case.
Hostess gave our table away cause she th ...
Hostess gave our table away cause she thought they were the reservation for 5 when actually they were a walk in. Luckily another table was available. ordered a Caso burger with white bun, brought wheat, didn't send back afraid food would get spit on.
We have been here before on our last vis ...
We have been here before on our last visit to Albuquerque and definitely wanted to return. The setting is wonderful, the food superb, and the service friendly and very competent. For those of us who are not native to the area, you need to understand how spicy the dishes are: ask your server.
Where to start, reservation made a week ...
Where to start, reservation made a week in advance asked for more of a private table for 2, ended up next to a table of 15 with 6 kids running around and noisy, could have put us anywhere but there, no planning, next table was wobbly took waiter forever to do anything about it then still not quite right, meal rice was undercooked and hard, could have got a better meal as take out from Little Anitas and for less. Never Again!!!
Our family has been going to El Pinto fo ...
Our family has been going to El Pinto for over 20 years. We always enjoy ourselves love bringing out of town guests for authentic Mexican meals. We have had good meals and bad meals,but we still return. I will say it will be awhile before we return because the food was not up to par. I ordered a single beef enchilada with the mild red chile sauce and a fried egg on top. The red chile sauce was quite good, just a hint of a bite however, the meat in the enchilada did not taste like beef. It looked like cooked beef but had a grainy texture and hardly any flavor. Not very appetizing. My husband had the huevos rancheros and commented they was quite forgettable.
I chose wine insead of a margarita for my beverage. The point grigio was not very good either. Very disappointed, but we will go back eventually.
The food was good but not for the price ...
The food was good but not for the price point. We had eaten at other restaurants with food just as delicious but better value. It's a huge place and we felt we were seated in a back room with little atmosphere. Somewhat disappointing. Would not suggest this place to friends, too many other options on the area.
We have eaten there over many years. Wha ...
We have eaten there over many years. What happened to the good food? I ordered pork enchiladas. Pork was gristly, chili had zero heat! Very blah! Will not return!! Chopped green chili with tacos was dry as though sitting out for hours. Tacqitos were old, again, chili bland. Only good thing about our four meals was the guac and chips and salsa.
We are frequent diners to El Pinto. Thi ...
We are frequent diners to El Pinto. This was a special occasion as my son was home from Kuwait; however, his sister had no idea. I made our reservation and then called and spoke with John, who was gracious and worked with us to hide my son for the surprise. When we arrived at El Pinto, the staff was expecting us and knew right where to hide him. They were all great and the surprise went off great with a lot of staff watching. :)
We were there for my husbands birthday. ...
We were there for my husbands birthday. I reserved online for a party of nine. The tables were round and small. Some of the tables had three table setting to a table. Very Small. We were put in the bar area and several tables were joined together. It appeared to be a great situation however there was no lighting. The menu was outrageously priced for the quality of the food. I don't mind paying for my food if it is good. $17 for a bean burrito with rice. That is down right wrong. I loved the ambiance and thats it. Nine of us left disappointed in the food and the service. I wish I could have given you a better review. I have been there for a matanza and it was great.
Reservation system is really kludgy and ...
Reservation system is really kludgy and could not revise number of guests neither online nor on phone. The host agreed and said they also suffer with it. We were relegated to the chilly patio despite having had reservations and many open tables were still open indoors. Waiter messed up food order. Do not recommend the sangria.
We had to organize a quick family gather ...
We had to organize a quick family gathering 0f 30 following a funeral. El Pinto staff worked with us and was able to reserve a quiet back room with great ambience. The food was excellent as always and the staff very attentive. It remains the best place in Albuquerque for those special occasions.
The food was really outstanding. The ma ...
The food was really outstanding. The margaritas were the best I have had in quite a while. Our server, R. Guutierrez was terrific. He was attentive, helpful, and efficient. He really made the visit a great experience.
My brother was in town visiting from St. ...
My brother was in town visiting from St. Louis and wanted good, authentic Mexican food with sopapillas. He got all 3! We had a wonderful time and great food with excellent Margaritas! Also, Ryan was our waiter and he was outstanding! He took home over 20%! We can't describe his credentials, what a gentleman. He was just great. Thank you for such a memorable dinner with people that we love! My brother will never forget it, neither will we, thank you!
While visiting the area, my husband & we ...
While visiting the area, my husband & were very happy to have eaten at El Pinto. The place is large enough to be seated quickly & the various smaller rooms for seating provide a warm atmosphere. A perfect margaritas of start (a staple in NM restaurants), followed by great guacamole & enchiladas- we would definitely recommend it to others.
Having visited El Pinto during the last ...
Having visited El Pinto during the last twenty years I have normally been very pleased. My visit 10/30, though, was a disappointment with seating in a large, vancant room inside as no outside seats were available in spite El Pinto has seating of 1,000 plus. The restaurant was not busy! Also the food was not up to usual El Pinto standards.
El Pinto has been better over the years. ...
El Pinto has been better over the years. The last few times I've gone the service has degraded to just people doing there jobs to should find another career. The food tends to be consistently satisfying however the special red snapper the other night was nothing to write home about. The parking lot was packed but wasn't crowded inside. They had my reservation from OpenTable but it wasn't needed. We sat in the closed patio area which sucks at night. In fact, other than the bar area the seating I've had lately hasn't been comfortable. Bad table positions to wobbly tables. I'm not sure where there best tables are. You never get much out of the staff and they seldom feel like they trying to give you a good time.
The prices were on the high side for the ...
The prices were on the high side for the amount of food received. The service was wonderful and our server was very nice. We go out if our way to stop here whenever in New Mexico, but may rethink that with the prices.
Table location was poorly lit and fairly ...
Table location was poorly lit and fairly noisy also out of sight of server who was not very attentive. Location is scenic and ambience great for a mexican restaurant. Food was good.
Service was perfect. We had a party of 1 ...
Service was perfect. We had a party of 12 for a small wedding dinner and it went really well. Our wait staff was friendly and accommodating. We choose El Pinto because my father-in-law has vegetarian options and everything is always so good. Thank you for the great service
The food and service were less than medi ...
The food and service were less than mediocre- truly left something desired for the price point. We didn't feel very important as patrons. We were hardly acknowledged at the hostess desk and our server hardly came around to refresh our drinks or to clear our plates, even when he saw that were done with our meal. This was a miss.
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