About El Pinto

Nestled in the cottonwoods, El Pinto was founded with eight tables in 1962. Twin brothers John and Jim Thomas, known as the Salsa Twins, carry on the family tradition and have expanded El Pinto into the quintessential "Spot" for healthy and fresh New Mexican cuisine. Experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.

The Salsa Twins are pairing tradition with innovative healthy nutrition at El Pinto. El Pinto is proud to have the first and only Animal Welfare Approved laying hen program on property. 200 hens lay pasture raised eggs for daily use. An onsite green house produces over 5,000 lbs of organically grown greens.

Freshness is throughout El Pinto. El Pinto uses chile from Hatch, NM, dryland beans from CO, healthy sunflower oil for frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, and local ingredients when in season.

It has been featured on Food Network, Travel Channel and the BBC among other places.

10500 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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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/

Entertainment:
Free live music each Tue and Thurs night from 6:30 to 8 pm.

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

Executive Chef:
Marc Quiñones

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, 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

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.1

ambience

4.5

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (115)
Casual (76)
Special Occasion (75)
See All
Good for Birthdays (75)
Local Ingredients (74)
Authentic (74)
Good for Groups (73)
Worth the Drive (63)
Good for Anniversaries (57)
Spicy (55)
Neighborhood Gem (54)
Good for a Date (52)
Great for Lunch (48)
Fun (46)
Comfort Food (46)
Romantic (44)
Sunday Lunch (43)
Scenic View (39)
Cozy (30)
Creative Cuisine (30)
Happy Hour (28)
Business Meals (27)
Great for Brunch (26)
Fit for Foodies (24)
Good Vegetarian Options (24)
Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
Hot Spot (20)
Quiet Conversation (19)
Bar Seating (18)
People Watching (17)
Organic (16)
Seasonal (16)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Gluten Free Options (15)
Disabled Access (14)
Tasting Menu (14)
Live Music (12)
Vegan (10)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Quick Bite (8)
Tapas (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Afternoon Tea (7)
Great Beer (7)
Late-night Find (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Paleo Friendly (5)
Waterfront (3)
Live Sports (1)
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1214 reviews
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 (Sacramento)·Dined a day ago

We won't have the chance to go back again for a while so can only comment on last night. The meal choices we made turned out to be pretty bland. Not too bad if spiced up with a container of salsa. The Posole was wonderful - tasty and just right spicey.

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food3
ambience5
service5

 
 (Denver)·Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful, as usual.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined 5 days ago

The food was just ok, this trip. Last several times it was great! The new server was timely and conscientious. It would be nice if you could request patio seating on Open Table. The dining rooms are nothing compared to the patio.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service5
value2

 
·Dined on September 18, 2017

It was a great dining experience for all of us! Our waitress was fabulous. The food was cooked perfectly, presented nicely and was delicious.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Authentic, Spicy, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Casual
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Good food and service with one exception, though not our servers fault. Another server took two of our meals and we had to wait for them to be cooked again. Nothing that would stop us going back again, unless it becomes a trend.
We ate on one of the outside patios and were able to have normal conversations amongst the 12 of us. Will be going again next time we are in Albuquerque.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on September 15, 2017

This is a great place for feeling like you've gone somewhere special and unique. Large, plenty of seating options (patio, inside, cozy, open) and the menu had really great options. Flavors and freshness were as expected. Service was above expectations. I'll be back when in town again.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Fun
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 14, 2017

Excellent restaurant in Albuquerque with great service. The stuffed sopapias are recommended!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Romantic, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 14, 2017

El Pinto is a bit off the beaten track but worth every minute it takes to get there. It has great Mexican food, good service, and terrific ambiance/venue. Never had a bad meal or experience here.

Tags: Fun, Spicy, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Special Occasion, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 13, 2017

We had such a great time! The patio is beautiful and the smell of roasting green chilies was in the air!

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Happy Hour, Afternoon Coffee, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Kid-friendly, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 13, 2017

Our business company love it here and are always pleased, this particular evening was great, we all enjoyed the 3 man band. great music and great margaritas

Tags: Great for Lunch, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Live Music, Casual, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Romantic, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Great Beer, Special Occasion, Fun, Happy Hour, Scenic View, People Watching, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 12, 2017

The prices were too high for what was served on the plate.
It was disappointing. There was not enough chile on the Mexican dishes. The Chile Relleno served dose not rate among the best. Hope they were just having a bad. The atmosphere was great as well as the service.

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food2
ambience5
service3
value2

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

Went for a late Sunday brunch. We sat out in the patio. It was gorgeous scenery with their large trees, fountains, and ambient music. Our food was so delicious, with the exception of an overcooked egg. We enjoyed our visit deeply!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Organic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on September 10, 2017

Daughter & Son-in-Law visiting from Las Vegas, NV to attend NM State Fair. Of course, El Pinto was part of the plan.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

Food was good. There was an accident in the parking lot involving our motorcycle. The GM told us they were not responsible in any way because it was in the parking lot. Did not offer any kind of help or discount even though we were clearly very upset and did not finish all of our meals. I think it could have been handled differently.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on September 9, 2017

When in Albuquerque, El Pinto is a restaurant that we have enjoyed for 10 years. However, our experience on this occasion and the past yeas has not been the best.

Thanks to OpenTable, we did have a reservation when we walked in and the wait time was less then 5 minutes.

First, we ordered a pitcher of Margarita's and was disappointed with the quality. Mentioned this to the waiter and his reply was "this is the standard recipe". In times past, the margaritas have always been great, not so much this time, it was like drinking limeade.

Second, when the food arrived it was cold and three of the five made comments their plate was tasteless.

Third, the waiter took our orders, ignored our compliant on the margaritas, took a long time to deliver our meals that they were cold, ignored our comment on the food being cold, and came back only to give us our bill.

My husband and I are retiring soon and will be moving to Albuquerque and I am not sure El Pinto will be on our list of restaurants that we will frequent.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

 
·Dined on September 8, 2017

As always, the service at El Pinto is great. Their chicken enchiladas and chicken tacos were very tasty and very generous portions. We love their Original Margaritia's by the pitcher. We ordered an individual Margarita by the glass and the proportions were not as flavorful as the pitcher.
Sitting outside is pretty and relaxing.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Casual, Afternoon Tea, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 8, 2017

I have been to El Pinto many times. Always great food and service. I took 9 business associates to El Pinto all from out of town. They all loved the atmosphere on the patio and food was amazing.
thank you El Pinto

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Spicy, Seasonal, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on September 7, 2017

Lunch with longtime friends from high school in Texas. Best chicken enchiladas ever! Great ambiance and attentive service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Excellent food, great service, definitely worth the trip

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 5, 2017

We travel often and have stopped here several times. This time it just wasn't as friendy and delicious.
Margarita was not served in a margarita glass, it was watered down.
Our stuffed sopapilla was not stuffed as normal, very skimpy..
Will not stop again going back thru NM.
Disappointed.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on September 4, 2017

Always an excellent meal at El Pinto. This time it was the weekday buffet. Nice selection.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Healthy, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 4, 2017

Great stopover in Albuquerque. We learned El Pinto is quite an establishment lived by locals and travelers alike. The people were very friendly and the food was delicious, authentic New Mexican fare. It is very large and we arrived later in a Sunday evening. The staff were very accommodating with our 7:30 reservation but it was clear by 8:30 they were exhausted and ready to go home after a long day. They were cleaning the dining area as we are, so that was a bit distracting but understood as they said they had 2 weddings and served over 1200 people that day

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on September 4, 2017

Service was good. However, I was seated on the patio and the number of flies landing on my food and table ruined the atmosphere.

Tags: Casual, Spicy
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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Little Rock)·Dined on September 4, 2017

Great place but the food was just ok.

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on September 4, 2017

The food was well prepared and hot. The hostesses and waiters could improve their attitudes somewhat, about 50 percent 'couldn't be bothered', with a question or request which does adversely affect a special occasion dining or any experience.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on September 3, 2017

We love El Pinto and have been going since 1994 during our first visit to New Mexico. It was great then and even better now!

Tags: Healthy, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 3, 2017

Food was cold and looked like it has sat out for hours. The waitress was awful and did not handle the situation well when we asked about the cold food. The manager was rude and unreasonable. The food was over priced especially as it looked like they had sent us another tables leftovers. Would never go back.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 3, 2017

This is our go-to place when in Albuquerque. Beautiful LARGE hacienda, yet the service manages to be good and the food is consistently great. Real New Mexican food!

Tags: Comfort Food, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options, Sunday Lunch, Happy Hour, Fun, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Casual, Authentic, Great Beer, Spicy, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Service was friendly but very spotty. Only delivered one bowl of chips and salsa for table of 14. Did not check on us after meal served. Finished eating and still waited 30 plus minutes and had to hunt someone down for the check.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Awesome drinks, dinner with family and friends! A great place for kids as well...

Tags: Kid-friendly, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 2, 2017

I've been eating at El Pinto for 20 plus years. I had my wedding reception there. The food is always delicious, authentic New Mexican food.

Tags: Authentic, Scenic View, Spicy, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 2, 2017

The room we were in was dark and loud! My food was cold when served. Service not the best.
I would go for lunch and sit outside next time.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on August 31, 2017

We made lunch reservations for four,with Open Table, for El Pinto at 230 PM on a Thursday. Online the lunch menu states lunch is served from 11 AM to 4 PM, Mon-Fri.. The server gave us dinner menus,not lunch menus.The cost was 30% more. To dispute this when dining for a special occasion is unpleasant(we did not dispute the fact that we should have been brought lunch menus.The server should have done this automatically.). The food is good and the ambiance is very nice.

Tags: Spicy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service3
value2

 
·Dined on August 31, 2017

We made a mistake on Opentable by not entering the correct number of people...there were only 2 of us. Instead of puting us at a smaller table and in the nice outdoor seating area, we were seated way in the back in an outdoor area that didnt look clean nor used very often. They had set two table together for my mistake of the number of people...but the waitress wasnt very accomodating in seating us in a quieter more comfortable area. We moved the table around ourselves. The noise from the street was loud. The food was dry and not very flavorful. However, the margaritas were great! Happy hour would be a good time to go and request the nicer outdoor seating area with the lights, table clothes and more pleasant ambiance.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Exceptional experience! Thank you!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Always a favorite. Travel frequently to Albuquerque and always try to work an evening in at El Pinto.

Service is quick and very accommodating. Food is fresh, great presentation and flavor is excellent.

Good variety and very clean and comfortable with an atmosphere that is inviting and comforting.

Tags: Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Local Ingredients, Casual, Scenic View, Fun, Cozy, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Seasonal, Authentic, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 26, 2017

Very good food, waiter was good but did not keep water glasses filled. Loved this place and will eat there again

Tags: Healthy, Comfort Food, Gluten Free Options, Romantic, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 26, 2017

El Pinto is best known for it's red chile rubbed ribs. Their unique version is always tasty and spicy.

Tags: Hot Spot, Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Spicy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 24, 2017

I would not recommend. Server, male, was not aware of what he was doing at all. Food was fine but not exceptional in anyway. Overhyped.

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food4
ambience4
service1
value2

 
·Dined on August 24, 2017

Our primo Jesús must have been the chef because the food was extra tasty - and that's saying a lot since it's hard to beat everyday delicious!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Healthy, Comfort Food, Casual, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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