Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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
Free live music each Tue and Thurs night from 6:30 to 8 pm.
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
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
El pinto is always one of our favorites. The mosquitos however are horrible. The last time we were there we basically got eaten alive. This time we chose to sit inside which is less pretty, just to avoid them. The chips and salsa are awesome and they have great margaritas!
There's much to like about El Pinto; the site itself, including parking under old cottonwoods, the venue with all of its mysterious large and small areas/alcoves, Gracie the cat, usually very good service, the ability to make reservations on-line, El Pinto's aggressive of not only using, but also developing the use of, genuine, local products. For me, though, the menu is a bit limited. Fortunately (for me) it doesn't follow the New Mexico cuisine of making everything so hot it's inedible. However, on the other hand, it would be nice to have a few more, genuinely MEXICAN, dishes--say fajitas, say the opportunity to choose a combination of several types of enchiladas on an enchilada plate, etc. However, I and my family will definitely keep coming. It's really the best place to take guests from out of town who want to taste the local cuisine, but who, one knows, will get completely burned out on the typical New Mexican cuisine.
El Pinto has been, and still is, a favorite restaurant of our family. Great location and ambiance. Wonderful menu choices. And, the service is excellent. The food is not as great as it used to be - the green chili dishes are not as spicy as I like - they've toned it down for the non-NM customers. But, still a good lunch or dinner choice.
Overall we had a very good dining experience at El Pinto. We called the restaurant to let them know that our reservation had changed from 7 to 4 people & that we would be arriving a little earlier than our initial reservation. The person I spoke with told us this was not a problem. When we arrived our table was not ready but only had to wait briefly as they bused our table. When we were seated we were put at a table right along a main walkway through the patio area of the restaurant. The table would have been fine for 2 people but they crammed 4 of us into this table. Two people in our party had to basically sit in the walkway. The restaurant was very busy & this was a terrible place to seat a table of 4. Our waiter said we could move to a nearby table that had just become available. The hostess was very rude to us when we moved over to this table. The waiter & the food were excellent but the hostess was rude & seemed frazzled & disorganized.
We really didn't have a great experience this visit. The kitchen somehow lost half our order. Then when they finally brought the food out for the half that was missing, they ended up putting the wrong orders down in front of the wrong people. Manager said she'd take a few meals off the ticket. But she never did. We didn't notice until after the bill was already paid. If it wasn't for the great friends we were dining with, the entire night would have been a bust.
We were assigned an outside table, the weather changed in a matter of minutes, we asked the waitress for an inside table and she got so mad and non pleasant, she asked us to move our drinks, salsas and chips with us. I thank her and she ignored me. Few minutes after we moved started raining and the wind was cold and awful. Once the other waitress came to introduce herself the service turn out great, food was delicious and the place is beautiful.
Our granddaughter and her friend were visiting from Ohio and she wanted her friend to have "real" New Mexico food. El Pinto was her choice and we didn't regret it. We sat on the patio enjoying the ambience and a beautiful, relaxing evening. Although there was a large (20 or more) table next to us, our server was attentive and helpful. The food was very good and they even accommodated some changes we asked for. A truly memorable evening for all of us.
Excellent customer service and great food. We went to celebrate my wife's recent graduation. We had a rather large party that included two dogs. The staff was more than helpful in accommodating a very nice spot on the patio next to a patch of grass for the pooches. The margaritas and sangria were on point, as usual, and the menu was diverse enough to satisfy everyone's tastes, including milk bones for the dogs, and tolerance to chile. Definitely a 10 out of 10 experience.
We ended up having more than the 13 show up for dinner. It was a hug imposition for the Waitresses and waiters. We asked for outside and they said our group was too big to fit outside. That was a disappointment, as it was very dark and the room had NO ambiance. Disappointing. Very dark. During our presentation to our person we were honoring, the manager kept interrupting to add one more guest (he could have waiting until our President was finished talking).
The food was a bit on the bland side and barely warm when served. I had more beans and rice than I did entree--way out of proportion. Paying $11 for a margarita that had nothing special about it, I expected it to be at least 3 times larger than it was. The server was really good and friendly and the soapapillas at the end were a nice touch.
We come here every time we're in Albuquerque, great place to bring friends. Service a bit slow this time, but still enjoyable. The atmosphere is great. We like that the red chili sauce has choice of mild or spicy....we like spicy but others in the party didn't so nice to have the choice.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Sunday Brunch on the east patio, celebrating our daughter's birthday. The brunch menu was both creative and delicious, especially the blueberry scones and fried chicken and the red chili eggs Benedict. The ambience of the patio setting was lovely, and the service was friendly and efficient. The only distraction was a yoga class being conducted on the adjacent grounds, with instructions over a loudspeaker competing with the nice guitar music piped onto the patio.
Beautiful atmosphere, but poor service, very expensive. Waitstaff forgot a meal we ordered and finally brought it out when everyone else was almost done. Took forever to get alcoholic drink order brought to the table and even longer for refill wait. Won't go back anytime soon.
The food was not worth the wait. The waiter dropped food on us twice and too forever to take our order, refill drinks, and bring us the food. We waited over an hour after being sat to have our order taken. And the attitude of the waiter on top of his slow service was blood boiling. I wouldn't recommend anyone going there for neither the service or food was even somewhat decent.
My parents were visiting from out of town and we decided to celebrate Mothers' day early with them and my in-laws. I love the beauty of El Pinto. But each time I eat here, I'm fairly disappointed with the food especially for the price. I thought the chicken enchiladas and the taco plate were so so- didn't have much flavor. My waiter forgot to bring me my drink and for the cost of the meal, I would not come here again.
I had family in town and always take them to El Pinto. It is my all time favorite restaurant in Albuquerque. My family, from Oregon, said they were hoping that was where we were going. We were also celebrating my Granddaughters 8th birthday.
Our server, Cierra was THE BEST!! She really made us feel "special". She was the very professional and helpful.
Our server was very attentive, helpful, engaging and friendly. The food was excellent and there was a lot of variety. Margaritas were incredible!! Great patio seating with live music. We had out of town family visiting and it was a great representation of New Mexican food!! I highly recommend.
Unfortunately, El Pinto seems to be relying on its history instead of current quality to attract customers. Cool place, but poor quality mass-produced food on every menu item we tried. Years ago this place was great and we were disappointed to see the decline in quality. Perhaps they have expanded too much?
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