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Best Food on a Budget in Albuquerque

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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.

Quite a bit of hype surrounds this this no-frills Mexican eatery, and regulars swear that the place is well worthy of it. Mary & Tito's have been around in the North Valley neighborhood since 1963, serving authentic New Mexican food to its residents. The food here is vibrant, varied and comes drizzled with a healthy dose of red or green chile, some of the most fabulous kind you will have this side of the world. The sopapillas, tamales, cheese tortillas and the carne adovada are inadvertent tongue-teasers and tummy-pleasers. To finish off, wolf down a slice of decadent Mexican Wedding Cake.

Monroe's is where native New Mexicans go to get their chile fix. The restaurant serves authentic New Mexican cuisine, which is a very particular style of food that draws from Mexican and Pueblo Indian culinary traditions. Almost everything on the menu, from enchiladas to chile rellenos (green chiles stuffed with cheese or meat and deep fried), comes with your choice of red or green chile, both made from the same plant. If you're feeling adventurous and want to sample both, ask for "Christmas". For those who can't take the heat of spicy chile, Monroe's also has a "gringo" menu that includes hamburgers, sandwiches, and fried chicken. Save room for dessert, as the restaurant serves green chile apple pie and chipotle cherry pie, as well as traditional Mexican flan.

If you are in the Nob Hill neighbourhood, drop in to this energetic spot for a latte or the house pasta. Soup, salads and daily specials like quiche, pot pies and various blue plate specials populate the menu. Order a simple cup of coffee, a fresh malt or shake. Enjoy a magazine or newspaper from the well stocked magazine rack and watch an interesting array of people, young and old, hanging out here. Tall ceilings and murals of big blue skies, fluffy clouds and hand gliders adorn the walls.

The Firehouse (an actual working fire station at one time) has been recognized as one of the finest restaurants located on Route 66. An historic landmark since 1935, this establishment has always drawn a variety of customers. Upstairs, you will find a more casual atmosphere and discover a great view of Central Avenue. Happy Hour on weekdays, safe on the pocket features drinks and food specials like Hot Chicken Wings. The menu includes various types of steak, seafood, pasta, fresh salads and soups.

As the name implies, Wing Stop specializes in wings, both traditional and boneless. Depending on how many wings you order, you can choose between one or more of the flavors, including traditional hot, mild, or atomic, Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic Parmesan, barbecue, Hawaiian, or teriyaki. All the wings come with either ranch, bleu cheese, or honey mustard dressing. With a very basic menu, the restaurant only offers a few side dishes. The freshly cut fries are made in house daily and come seasoned with a slightly sweet, slightly salty seasoning. Other side options include cole slaw, baked beans, or potato salad. Wing Stop is casual, but diners can order their wings online to skip the wait. Last, the restaurant usually offers special family packs for special events, like the Superbowl. - Lydia Schrandt

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