About El Pinto

10500 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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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.

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/

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

Executive Chef:
Patrick Hancock

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, 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

4.2

service

4.3

ambience

4.5

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Great for Lunch
New Mexico
Outdoor Dining
New Mexico
Most Booked
New Mexico
3 More
Best Ambiance
Albuquerque
Outdoor Dining
Albuquerque
Most Booked
Albuquerque
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Great for Outdoor Dining (175)
Good for Groups (138)
Special Occasion (128)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (72)
Great for Lunch (72)
Kid-friendly (71)
Scenic View (60)
Romantic (59)
Fit for Foodies (58)
Great for Brunch (36)
Hot Spot (25)
Authentic (21)
Good for a Date (21)
Local Ingredients (20)
Worth the Drive (19)
Historic (17)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Casual (13)
Vibrant Bar Scene (13)
Family Style (13)
Fun (12)
Business Meals (11)
Comfort Food (10)
Spicy (10)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Sunday Lunch (9)
Late-night Find (8)
Creative Cuisine (8)
Notable Wine List (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Fireplace (6)
Cozy (6)
Great Beer (5)
Live Music (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Healthy (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
People Watching (4)
Private Room (4)
Tapas (3)
Seasonal (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Modern Decor (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Outstanding Value (2)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Dancing (1)
Live Sports (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Waterfront (1)
Vegan (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Organic (1)
Wood Oven (1)
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Lifelong favorite since 1968. In spite o ...

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined 3 days ago

Lifelong favorite since 1968. In spite of expansion over the years, they've managed to maintain quality. Glad they haven't lost the classics like red chile pork enchiladas and the best chile con quest in town.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Kid-friendly, Family Style, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Excellent experience, wonderful service ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined 6 days ago

Excellent experience, wonderful service and awesome atmosphere. If you love New Mexico cuisine that's authentic this is the place.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Comfort Food, Historic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Beautiful atmosphere and patio, but food ...

 
 (Greensboro)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

Beautiful atmosphere and patio, but food disappointing! Waiters super nice but not efficient.

Tags: Scenic View, Fireplace
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food3
ambience5
service3
value2

The food at El Pinto is always good. The ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

The food at El Pinto is always good. The red chile was a little hotter than usual. The margaritas

were delicious and the service was excellent. Thank you Tara X. for taking such good care of us! If you sit outside on the lovely patio, be sure to bring your bug spray...

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

Food was not good and served cold.

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

Food was not good and served cold.

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food1
ambience4
service2

Well known as a restaurant to take visit ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

Well known as a restaurant to take visitors in ABQ. Usually busy for dinner. Staff is awesome and outdoor seating plentiful. The food is excellent as are the margaritas.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

El Pinto has changed with a new menu. Th ...

vip
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

El Pinto has changed with a new menu. They have dropped some of the old favorites. The table that is on my standing request is for out of traffic and the first table they offered us was right in the doorway to a main dining room. We rejected it and they did put us in a better table. I guess they dont read any opentable requests. The food is still mediocre at best..even after a menu upgrade(?) I suggest if you want Mexican food to look for other local favorites with a much smaller crowd.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

Great place but , when you spend this ki ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 15, 2016

Great place but , when you spend this kind of money on dinner you should have table cloths and cloth napkins. I hope the new chef implements this. Our service was a little slow and when I said I had a reservation the greeter was a little confused as to what to do.

Great food. Needs some cloth. Give your servers less tables. And lose the cast iron patio furniture.

Tags: Historic, Comfort Food
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food5
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Sopapillas were dry and hard. Better o ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Sopapillas were dry and hard. Better ones can be had a the low-rent Garcias. Service from Elijah was so slow that when we asked for some more chips and a margarita, they didn't come out until the same time as main course, despite my friend reminding the server. I might have had a second beer, but decided to see if he would ever offer one. He didn't. He said it was because he had a large table to cover nearby, so not his fault. I brought a friend for her birthday, and the poor service bothered her. I was embarrassed.

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food4
ambience5
service2
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We very much enjoy the food and the sett ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

We very much enjoy the food and the setting is fantastic

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food5
ambience5
service5

My out of town guest and I enjoyed a won ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 6, 2016

My out of town guest and I enjoyed a wonderful evening on the patio at El Pinto, surrounded by the little lights, the beautiful tress, bushes, and hanging plants, beneath the rustic vigas of the patio cover. At one point, a huge gust of wind blew a cloudburst in, which simply added to the charm of this uniquely New Mexican restaurant that has long been a culinary landmark in Albuquerque's North Valley. Our waitress served us delightfully with a perky energy that definitely fit our mood and the evening, and she very clearly explained some of our entree choices.

Tags: Spicy, Family Style, Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
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I wanted a good margarita in an outdoor ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

I wanted a good margarita in an outdoor setting. Atmosphere and food did not disappoint and the margarita was excellent!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food4
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service4
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Historic hacienda near the river convert ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Historic hacienda near the river converted into a restaurant, with extensive shaded outside seating, nestled among old cottonwoods. Food is amazing as well.

Tags: Historic, Great Beer, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Casual, Sunday Lunch
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food5
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Great Experience! Our go to Special Occ ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

Great Experience! Our go to Special Occasion restaurant!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was tolerable, our waitress was ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

The food was tolerable, our waitress was friendly but the special that she told us about was not an entree but an appetizer. Then the salad that we ordered was served with our steak that wasn't cooked as ordered. The sopapillas were served with dinner, so cold by the time we ate them. I was trying to impress our Denver guests and it failed miserably.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience5
service2
value3

My most recent visit really let me down. ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

My most recent visit really let me down. The waiter was very slow, such that our meal lasted ~30 minutes than it needed to. Observing other waiters working their tables, we saw other groups sitting down after us and leaving before us. The beer came out barely cool. We were never served sopapillas. We were delayed in eating the guacamole as we didn't have any chips. I had heard that the dry aged steak was the best steak in town. Sadly the dry aged steak I was served had too much fat and gristle such that it was really chewy. However, the margaritas were good.

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food3
ambience4
service1
value3

Tomahawk steak outstanding and thanks to ...

vip
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

Tomahawk steak outstanding and thanks to Brian in the bar!! Made my birthday special!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, People Watching, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Live Music, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Would come back if we could; sadly only ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

Would come back if we could; sadly only staying the night. Looking forward to future trip!

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Live Music, Family Style, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Authentic
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food5
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service4
value5

The patio and the chili con queso is wha ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on September 1, 2016

The patio and the chili con queso is what I go for. We ran out of tostados and didn't get any until the queso had solidified. The first margarita was good, the second, completely different.

I ordered and enchilada with calabacitas in side (I've done it before and gotten it). This time-didn't get it, then everybody else was finished with their food when mine finally arrived...

The enchiladas are better and hot at other places. We go there out of tradition and because of the patio!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Historic, Spicy, Kid-friendly, Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Cozy, Good for Groups, Comfort Food
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food2
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Although the service was ham-stringed by ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 29, 2016

Although the service was ham-stringed by an over-assigned wait staff, it was nevertheless given at an excellent level.

The food is literally pure New Mexican comfort food. I grew up in NM, and had to move away for work, but upon a visit home, we were randomly recommended El Pinto, and I absolutely loved it. It was the ultimate culmination of a weekend of Blake's, Weck's, Dion's, and this.

Get the fried green chile strips. They're way better than any calamari or bloomin' onion.

Tags: Authentic, Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Spicy, Romantic, Historic, Comfort Food, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

El Pinto is, and has always been, a beau ...

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

El Pinto is, and has always been, a beautiful place to go! In the spring, summer and fall, the outside area is absolutely beautiful and a great place to sit for drinks and/or meals. The summer can be pretty warm outside for lunch, but dinner time is generally OK -- typical high-desert warm! Food is good, service is generally good, and drinks are good.

Tags: Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Good for Groups, Seasonal
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food4
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service5
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We had a group of 14 people which includ ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

We had a group of 14 people which included Children ages 10 yrs and the youngest was 18 months. There were 5 children. Our waiter Matt (.blonde hair) was excellent. He patiently took our drink order, food order, and picked up dirty dishes. He was courteous always coming to the table w/a smile. The food was delicious and will return looking for Matt to be our server.

Thank you

Tags: Scenic View, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
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food5
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service5
value5

Great selection of New Mexico foods and ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

Great selection of New Mexico foods and a huge selection of tequilla's. Opportunity to customize a margarita or to use the house variety. Nice outside patio seating. Plenty of take home selections of salsa, both red and green chili variety, hot to mild.

Tags: Business Meals, Fun, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We came across this resturant on a one n ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

We came across this resturant on a one nights stopover. We were on a cross country road and camping trip through 14 states. We enjoyed the food & service so much that on our return trip we went back for another great meal. It didn't disappoint.

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food4
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service4
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El Pinto is one of my favorite places to ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

El Pinto is one of my favorite places to take out of town guests and have larger business dinners. The food is excellent and provides a great introduction to New Mexican cuisine.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Casual
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food5
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I have never had such awful chili rellen ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 25, 2016

I have never had such awful chili rellenos...they were flat like a pancake...was roasted pepper not whole and a yellow piece of cheese not filled with white cheese

Tags: Casual
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food1
ambience3
service4
value1

The service and the food was good. Price ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 24, 2016

The service and the food was good. Prices are always higher there-that's ok because of the location and the ambiance. I do not like having to make reservations on the computer. I would much rather be able to call. I tried calling and they told me it had to be done via computer.

Tags: Romantic, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays
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food4
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A Cousin's gathering in a long-loved pla ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 24, 2016

A Cousin's gathering in a long-loved place could be the title of this review. we had such fun ordering, gabbing and eating. El Pinto has ben a family favorite for decades, so it was to introduce younger family members to the tastes and ambiance there. some offerings have changed over the years, but nobody was disappointed.

We sometimes had to wait for a drink, or a napkin, because it was so busy, but the stuff always came, the food was good, and no one hovered so we ate leisurely and had the best time!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Private Room, Historic, Fun
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food5
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service4
value4

What a great place to meet and have a gr ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

What a great place to meet and have a great meal! Service is great and food is incredible.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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value4

Food was acceptable. Too little red chi ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

Food was acceptable. Too little red chile on the enchiladas. Bloody Mary flavorless. Atmosphere, Atmosphere, Atmosphere.

Tags: Romantic, Historic
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food3
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value2

I was not really looking forward to frie ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

I was not really looking forward to friends' birthday celebration because a dinner here two months ago was disappointing. The food at that time lacked flavor and was also very dry. I was pleasantly surprised when our food came out this time because not only did it look good it tasted good!

The prices are higher than I prefer. At least $4 more per plate than I like to pay.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Fun, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays
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food5
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Our food wasn't as good as it has been i ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

Our food wasn't as good as it has been in the past. I ordered the same combo plate I have in the past and when it came out, it appeared it had been sitting for a while. Plus the waiter brought both green and red sauce for my enchilada, which means there was none on it. It had been prepared without any, which wasn't anything I requested. One of my sons had stuffed sopaipillas and the top of one of his was burnt. My daughter's rice on her green chicken enchilada plate was not edible. We had to wait too long for our food, approximately thirty minutes. Probably what made this visit most unsatisfactory were the four to five kids running throughout the entire outdoor patio area where we were eating. Their parents were at the other far end of the patio and it seemed as if they sent them to play elsewhere. I stopped them when they were running behind my side of the table on one of the many times, and asked them to go play somewhere else but it accomplished nothing. I then went and asked a woman in charge of seating inside the restaurant to do something about them. She pointed directly at the kids I was referring to and asked if it was them and I said yes. She said she'd go talk to them. I don't know how the wait staff was able to do their jobs due to these kids..they should've been made to stop running around when they started not when I finally went and asked someone to address the issue. Ours was a large party of nine people, celebrating my son's college graduation, so our bill was well over $200! I don't expect to have to deal with kids running around In a restaurant like this..would've been different if it was McDonald's but I've never even had that experience there. Food was not what we've experienced in the past but didn't want to have to wait another thirty minutes for them to remake it. Will think twice before returning to el pinto again.

Tags: Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food2
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I requested El Pinto for my birthday cau ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

I requested El Pinto for my birthday cause I had never been there. I was accompanied by all Mexicanos/Nuevo Mejicanos & had been told that the food was not very good.....but the ambiance was wonderful, so we went.

Our table outside was beautiful. (I didn't realize the place was so huge). Faye, our waitperson was wonderful & gave us a little history of El Pinto & how everything was made in house & how the eggs & many of the veggies were home grown there. And so we ordered....among my friends were a vegitarian & she was happy w/the choices. My husband & I did the lunch buffet since neither of us had been there & this would give us an overall taste.

I/we found the buffet very genericly flavored, not Mexican nor New Mexican, made for a bland palate. No one else at the table raved more than to say it was OK.

I chose El Pinto because I love their green chile salsa but was disappointed with the food.

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
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El Pinto has a reliable menu and the set ...

vip
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

El Pinto has a reliable menu and the setting is so gorgeous. We asked to be seated on an outdoor patio and we very pleased with our evening. Our margaritas and chicken enchiladas were very good.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene, Scenic View, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups
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food4
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I brought 15 colleagues who were in town ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

I brought 15 colleagues who were in town for a conference to El Pinto, for the food, ambiance, and because Chris Dracup was performing acoustic guitar. Everyone raved about the evening. The patio was a beautiful setting, food drinks were delicious, Chris' music was the perfect touch, and our server was did a fabulous job. It was a lovely introduction to Albuquerque for the out of towners. I recommended El Pinto to another group from our conference, and they came the next night with a large party. (The only slight snag was the rude hostess who said we were 1/2 an hour late, and gave our table away. I showed her our Open Table reservation (we were on time), and the staff quickly got another table ready. The rest of your staff more than made up for it. Thank you.)

Tags: Live Music, Worth the Drive
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food4
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This was the best meal we've ever had at ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

This was the best meal we've ever had at El Pinto-something seemed different, in a good way! Made me want to come back 2 days later!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Scenic View
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food4
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We were taking friends out for dinner an ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

We were taking friends out for dinner and we enjoyed El Pinto. The service was great, my friends wanted to sample the green chili and the server was sweet.The food was excellent and our server brougfht extra green chi.li for my burrito. My husband was the only one to finish his dinner, the rest of us needed carry home boxes! i want to return soon.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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Love El Pinto for its relaxed outdoor di ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Love El Pinto for its relaxed outdoor dining. Delicious chile ribs and margaritas!

Tags: Kid-friendly, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
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Waitress was absolutely awful but the fo ...

 
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Waitress was absolutely awful but the food and atmosphere were great. Took three times to get the check right and actually sampled the bottled water off of the table next to us to "see what the fuss was all about".

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
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Incredible experience. Attentive waitsta ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Incredible experience. Attentive waitstaff and great authentic cuisine. The ambiance is especially delightful.

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food5
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