Sleep Inn Airport
2300 International Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Phone: (505) 244-3325
Fax: (505) 244-3312
This restaurant on Yale is a comfortable, rustic eating stop frequented by many UNM Lobo fans on their way to a football or basketball game. If you are with a group, share a platter of your choice of meat with their special, tangy sauce, served with big Texas toast, baked beans and slaw. The Alaskan King-Crab melts in your mouth. A full bar is available, complete with specialty liquors and cocktails.
Locals have made this restaurant a favored hangout since 1978. The popularity here is due to three things: large portions, reasonable prices and incredibly good food. A Combination Plate, enchiladas, chile relleno and tamales with beans and rice goes for an affordable price and the entire plate is covered with a heap of cheese and tasty chilies (red or green, of course). For breakfast, the burritos are big and come with your choice of meats, including chorizo.
Annapurna Ayurvedic Cuisine and Chai House serves healthy and delicious vegetarian Indian food and drinks, and specializes in vegan fare prepared in the Ayurvedic tradition. It was awarded "Best Vegetarian Menu" and "Best Vegan Baked Goods" by readers of the Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque's alternative weekly newspaper. Try the thali, which translates as "plate" in Hindi and effectively serves as a sampler. Served in a series of small bowls on a spinnable round tray, it is a fun way to experiment with a selection of different dishes. Keen chefs may want to inquire about the Ayurvedic cooking classes available from the restaurant's knowledgeable owner.
El Patio is so named because the majority of the seating is on an attractive tree-lined patio, ideal for people watching in Albuquerque's only pedestrian-friendly area of town. Reservations are not taken and the establishment is relatively small so to ensure an outdoor table, avoid the busiest times of day. They serve all the usual New Mexican fare, such as substantial portions of enchiladas, tacos and fajitas accompanied by sopaipillas. Should you forget that they do not accept credit cards, you can get in line for the money machine inside with the other diners who did the same.
Gyros Mediterranean features Greek and Middle Eastern food served in an eat-in cafe or as take-out. Join the scores of University of New Mexico students who have been crossing Central Avenue to grab a quick, filling gyro here since the early 1980s. Besides the beef and lamb-packed gyros, the menu is also full of soup and salad options. If you are eating in and fancy an appetizer, try the Saganaki: a bubbling hunk of cheese cooked in front of you. For dessert, Baklava is a must, or for a real indulgence, sample the Chocolava: delicious chocolate-covered Baklava. -Pip Lustgarten
It's a mystery how the Thai House Restaurant stays in business, given that it is always far from bursting with customers, but it does provide good food at reasonable prices in the pedestrian-friendly University area. So if you don't fancy making the trek up to the Southeast Heights where most of the competition is located, or if you want to take away rather than to linger over a romantic meal, this is a decent option. Thai House also sells cards, incense, soap, tea cups, jewelry, hair accessories, and handicrafts. - Pip Lustgarten
Saggios is a family-owned and operated pizzeria with an upbeat atmosphere. Massive pillars preside over booths and the front and side-panel of a Mercedes Benz serves as a sidebar and soda fountain. Choose from gourmet pizzas big and flavorful calzones, tasty sandwiches, salads, pasta and desserts. Beer and wine is served and if you have a craving for something sweet, try a piece of cheesecake.
Being the closest drinking spot to the University of New Mexico, this pizza and beer joint is predictably popular with the student crowd. Those wanting to avoid large groups of frat boys would do well to stay away on busy weekend evenings, but Brickyard Pizza is nevertheless a convenient place to stop in for a slice when you are in the university neighborhood. Build your own pizza (slice, individual or to share) or opt instead for subs, lasagna, salads or chicken wings. A basic wine and draft and bottled beer menu compliments your pizza, and beer and slice specials are usually offered. -Pip Lustgarten
This family owned and operated Greek Cafe has a refreshingly throwback look to it, harkening back to Route 66's glory days when Albuquerque was one of the main stops. Located across from the University of New Mexico, it enjoys great local popularity, making long lunch lines the norm rather than the exception. Its gyros enjoy star-of-the-menu status, partly due to the homemade pita bread. The tiropitas and the spanakopita also come highly rated.
For the last 20 years Frontier has slowly acquired the better part of the block facing Central Avenue across from the UNM campus. You will see study groups, people having coffee and lunch or the famous Frontier Cinnamon Roll, which is a huge, fresh sweet roll swimming in butter. The atmosphere is western and simple, with booths and tables. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at no particular time. New Mexican dishes, sandwiches, soups, stew and salads, chicken, ribs, fresh squeezed juice, sodas, tea and cappuccino are also offered.
So you're in the mood for sizzling meats but your dining partner is hungering after some delicious cold sushi? The Korean BBQ House can meet both your needs! Carnivores can put together their own combination of meats in spicy barbecue sauce, while fish fans can marvel at the attractively presented sushi, decorated with flowers and drizzled with sauces. Vegetarians needn't feel left out either, as the Korean BBQ House endeavors to cater to their needs on its sushi menu. Perhaps better suited to groups and casual dining rather than an intimate date, Korean BBQ House has long communal tables, both inside and on its large outdoor patio. - Pip Lustgarten
Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro comprises of three levels, which include the main dining area and bar, an upper balcony, and the Blues Cellar. The dining room is done up in earth tones, with stained glass and flowers creating a blithe ambiance, while the bar has an antique look—a combination of dark wood and mirrors. The upper balcony offers a view of diners below, while the Blues Cellar boasts of muted shades, small tables, and dim lighting—the perfect place for a private conversation. Zinc's menu comprises of contemporary American-French cuisine, you can munch on Steak Frites, Seared Ahi Tuna, and a host of other meat dishes (the bar features a lighter menu). The Cellar also features live jazz entertainment every Sunday, so music lovers can freak out!