About El Pinto
Nestled in the ancient cottonwoods in the North Valley of Abq, 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. Come 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.
A vermiculture project on site processes food scraps creating a nutrient rich "tea." The bokashi composting project processes 600 lbs of food waste weekly. The “tea” and compost are combined with effective microorganisms for a herbicide and pesticide free fertilizer for El Pinto chile fields and organic growing.
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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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El Pinto Ratings and Reviews
I was severely disappointed on this visi ...
I was severely disappointed on this visit to El Pinto. I will recommend that friends NOT go there until management changes. The reception staff was uncommunicative and rude. We were allowed to cool our heals despite a reservation for 4 (it turned out to be 5, so no dice). One of the worst greetings and seatings management I have ever experienced anywhere. The service was quite mediocre, and the food, once it arrived--was worse than mediocre. This iconic ABQ restaurant should come to life or die. I will not go back for a long, long time. They are coasting on past laurels and on their so-called reputation. The experience spoiled our evening, on a special occasion.
Love this place! Will definitely visit w ...
Love this place! Will definitely visit when in town!
The food and setting are great! Done th ...
The food and setting are great! Done the best New Mexican food to be found. Red chili is the best. Don't know what took me so long to get here!
My husband and I go there every Thursday ...
My husband and I go there every Thursday nite. My hubby just loves your red chili ribs. We also enjoy your green chili chips and hour combination platter. We wish there were more local wines but the wine list is ok. The ambiance in the place is just mesmerizing and quite comfortable, puts you in the mood. We also bring our friends to El Pinto. The service is awesome, keep up the good work Nathan in the west patio and Ron in the fiesta patio.
Wonderful experience and what a sleeper. ...
Wonderful experience and what a sleeper. Tucked into a corner of the North Valley and beautiful environment! The food was outstanding.
missed getting our waiter's attention a ...
missed getting our waiter's attention a couple of times but that doesn't usually happen.
Only issues were mosquitos were bad but ...
Only issues were mosquitos were bad but they had bug spray handy for us to use.
Generally workman like food in large qua ...
Generally workman like food in large quantities that you can enjoy in an enormous setting that is as far from a chain as you get. Red chile ribs are worth the hype, melt in your mouth spicy goodness. They specify they will only give you 6 glasses to go with a pitcher of margaritas...strangely encouraging over indulging. service is uneven through the meal. we had to hunt the waitress down after the food came because several meals were wrong. but you go for the atmosphere and outsode dining. Out of town guests will be enchanted.
Fabulous garden ambiance; famous salsa, ...
Fabulous garden ambiance; famous salsa, which we'll be looking for a source for in NC.
Saturday Evening was date nite for my hu ...
Saturday Evening was date nite for my husband & I. I picked El Pinto as we were there Oct 2015 with a large group of people & we loved it, but wanted to come back to experience a more intimate dinner. We had our lil Pompsky dog with us & needed an outside table. They heartily welcomed us and our pup. The waitress gave our pup several treats & us our delish margaritas! No sooner had we started sipping on our drinks and the mosquitos came at us with vengeance! The staff lit the tiki torches & turned on the zapper, but alas it did not help, those buggers were hungry! The waitress gave us mosquito replent to spray on us & it did help! Our meal was very good & we will go back again, minus our pup so we can eat indoors.
Staff uninterested in assisting patrons
Service: Hostesses were rather disinterested in greeting people or assisting in getting my group seated. This held true for the initial hostess at the front to the group of hostesses a little further back that the initial hostess pointed at & mumbled to us to go see when she learned we had a reservation. Our server was a bit more attentive than the hostesses. It also was 8 pm when we sat, so maybe they had a tiresome week night. However, the overall feeling we left with is that the staff know El Pinto is old, well known place so they don't have to put effort into ensuring patrons have an excellent experience. Food: the green chile strips were tasty, but limp & luke warm when they came out. My friend really liked her huevos rancheros & my friend said she would order the chicken enchilada if she came again. I ordered the chile rellenos. It was a bit odd because the small chiles came out with no chile or cheese on top. The chile was served on the side. Maybe it's because I ordered Christmas or maybe they were done before the others were up so they didn't want them to get soggy. It was a bit odd, but they were tasty. This was my third visit. I cannot recall having a similar experience in the past though so next time I'm in ABQ I'll weigh the time to travel out there & this visit vs. seeking my chile fix at a more convenient location.
I love that they have a puppy patio as I was meeting out if town friends that have 4 Yorkies. Everything was wonderful, except the mosquitos. They did light the torches out there, but not until after we arrived and then the torches went out and we were eaten alive by the mosquitos. It would be great if they could come up with something to keep the mosquitos away.
Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at El Pinto. The atmosphere is great, especially with the outside dining. Really enjoyed the red chili ribs.
El Pinto was FANTASTIC!
This was a business dinner for a group, with 3 associates from out of state. They all LOVED it! An outstanding first impression, especially for those who have never been to New Mexico. Great food, great service - and a GORGEOUS, outdoor setting.
Thirty + years later, bigger but just as memorable
We remembered El Pinto from more than 30 years ago when we dined there outdoors. New Mexican food served out doors in a beautiful setting. The service is still good and the food is satisfying. So glad to see they can compete with the big boring chain restaurants and have grown without losing their charm.
Everything was fine except it was hot and the blades were not on the fans and all in our group of 12 were bitten by Mosquitos
Really great. In every way.
Really great. In every way.
Food and drink delicious especially the ...
Food and drink delicious especially the Margaritas with double barrel Herradura tequila!!
Consistently a good place to go for Mexican food
Great margs and enough items on menu that all were happy campers! We had an energetic waiter, but I am sorry that I can't remember his name as I would like to give him some positive feedback. He did a great job! Next time, I want to try the ribs...heard they were really good.
Food is always great, service a bit slow. Ambience fantastic as always.
Best Ambiance & Food in the City
The tasty food, bosque setting, attentive wait staff, rambling dinning rooms both inside and out. El Pinto continues to be the idea restaurant to show case New Mexican cuisine in a relaxed New Mexican background. Wait staff is consistently better than most restaurants in the city.
This was the first time I have been to the restaurant. Simply outstanding. So impressive with the food, ambiance, service. Will make this a destination restaurant every time in the area. Must try it. Real gem and worth the drive!
Overall a great experience
My in-laws were in town, and one of them had never been to Albuquerque before. We took them to El Pinto so we could have lunch on the patio, but unfortunately I didn't see an area to choose. We weren't able to sit out on the patio, but the dining experience and the waiter were still very good. The food was delicious as well.
Great Mexican Restaurant!
This was our second time at El Pinto. Their outside patio seating is vast and amazing. The service is quick and the food is delicious. If you have a gluten problem like I do, they have an extensive gluten-free menu. The Turquoise Trail Margarita is a must have!
Outrageous prices for not very good food ...
Outrageous prices for not very good food. I am a native and have gone to El Pinto many times thru the years. Not again. The twins must think they are in NYC and are charging those prices. The hostess at the front desk was totally clueless. We were first of a large party to arrive and asked that folks be directed to the bar. When we went out to check, our party had been seated and were told that we weren't there yet. Only good thing was our waitress Melissa. Evening totaled $350.00 for 11 people. What a waste of time and money. If you want to go as the restaurant is lovely, go to the bar for Happy Hour prices.
place was busy, but accommodating. Serve ...
place was busy, but accommodating. Server was good but not great. Food was very good, first visit to this property, we would return when next in the area.
Bad first impressions
The greeting staff was more preoccupied with their hours, their pay, and punching out than with greeting our party. We had a reservation and we had to wait for their conversation to end before they acknowledged us. While we were waiting for our table to be cleaned, the employees were more interested in their conversation than with trying to seat customers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and that was bad first impression.
Waited a half hour past our reservation ...
Waited a half hour past our reservation time and then seated in a very dark area on the patio. High traffic noise coming from the highway made conversation difficult. Food was OK and the Margaritas small. Service was good. The place a bit over rated in my opinion.
We were looking for something special du ...
We were looking for something special during a recent trip to Albuquerque, NM and we found it at El Pinto! Great food, great surroundings and is definitely on our go back to list. My wife had a Mexican combination plates and I had a really excellent rib eye steak that was cooked to perfection.
A New Mexican gem
In a lovely North Valley setting in Albuquerque, El Pinto offers traditional New Mexican cuisine, friendly and efficient service, and a relaxing and congenial atmosphere. The restaurant is able to accommodate groups both indoors or on the patio. In addition, for a more intimate setting, quiet corners are available. The buffet, when available during the week, is a favorite, the various appetizers and entrees are served in generous portions, and the desserts are outstanding. There is always adequate parking under the beautiful, grand cottonwood trees.
Great New Mexican food. Green chili coul ...
Great New Mexican food. Green chili could have been hotter, but was still very good. Lived here for 30 years, gone for 14 years, back for a visit and the food is as good as I remember.
Great margaritas. Little disappoint on t ...
Great margaritas. Little disappoint on the food.
We have been going to El Pinto for over a decade, and it is nearly always good. Previously we have had less than stellar service, and the food was cold, but this time was back to better than average. We take out of town guests here, so we tested it before the arrive. It seems much better now.
overrated - food wasn't all that great
wouldn't recommend to anyone food was not all that great - 1st and last dining there
You are going to lose your wallet at thi ...
You are going to lose your wallet at this restaurant, as their simple carne adovada burrito is $17 and their nachos are $12 without meat. If you need value, get the nachos, they feed a table of 4, huge plate! The margaritas are $45 for a pitcher. So, you aren't going to get away from this place cheap. There are MANY other quality restaurants that serve same exact food for $8-$12 a plate. This high expense seems extravagant to me and I don't go there very often. And, after being charged $17 for my son's plate that I pay $8 for elsewhere, I won't go back again. If it is a special occasion or you are rich, this is a definitely a place for a nice experience. The sopas are hot. The service is great. The ambiance is very nice. Clean facility. Good food. And, their margaritas are good. They also allowed separate checks, a policy change for them, and they had online reservation booking which put my mind at ease. I don't go there unless I have $200 free and ready, for a table of 6, with tip. So, if you are like me and cost is a care, don't go. If you care more about being smoozed and the area being pretty, go! It is definitely a nice restaurant and you won't be let down.
Good Lunch Buffet
The buffet provided many choices for a variety for different tastes and eating requirements for the five people that that I took for lunch. Service was great,
Enjoyed eating on the Patio with wonderf ...
Enjoyed eating on the Patio with wonderful live music! Hunter, our server was awesome. There were 4 of us, ever3ordered something different and all were excellent. The Levante dessert is the perfect end to a perfect night!
Service: the young lady that served us w ...
Service: the young lady that served us was excellent, friendly, efficient, professional, attentive. However, the hostes (reception desk) needs training, not very friendly, never said "welcome" or even "hello", and let us standing for 5 min eventhough we had a reservation.
Mediocre food-Fun atmosphere
We have eaten at El Pinto numerous times over the years, and after this last family get together there, we all concurred that we would no longer go there for the food; atmosphere is fiesta-like & accommodating large groups is good, but the food is just.......blah. There are definitely better restaurants in ABQ for authentic Mexican food. BUT there bottled salsa is some of the best around!!
Great restaurant! Great Mexican food!
Awesome experience all around! A++ Very good and authentic mexican food.
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