Step into the Launchpad and take off to the 'universal' world of music. In the background of a space-theme and dark-lit laid-back atmosphere, this hip country bar entertains with an eclectic mix of music played by local musicians and renowned talents. The dance floor invites the vivacious crowd to shake a leg or head-bang to the upbeat punk or the 1000 volt hard rock. While the state-of-art setting amplifies the performances, the full-stocked bar serves you with a premium selection to add to the experience. Hop in late to enjoy the peak of a power-packed night.
The warm and inviting atmosphere of Antiquity will immediately make you feel at home. With brightly polished antique wooden furniture sprawled around and ancient lamps and chandeliers illuminating the entire area, you almost feel as if you've gone two or three centuries back in time. However the contemporary steak and seafood delicacies which are on offer, immediately bring you back to the present. The seasonal menu is an added attraction, so you can relish the best of every season. Shrimps, lobsters and some mouthwatering desserts are the specialties and are available all seasons. Antiquity is truly, one of Albuquerque's hidden treasures.
The proprietor-chef Claudie Zamet-Wilcox has devoted her life to creating delicious food at this Old Town bistro. Tucked away in a shadowy alleyway, La Crepe Michel has seating for 80 in two rooms. One appetizer is a velvety Pate de Campagne Maison or you might like a bowl of the Soupe du Jour. Entrees include a crustless Quiche Lorraine and savory crepes. The chef tops sandwiches with fromage and broils them to bubbling perfection. For dessert there are more crepes and a Mousse Au Chocolat.
Named after a Mediterranean island where ancient myth said that it was home to the gods of music, Ibiza is now a cocktail bar and hot spot for music. This rooftop bar is located at Andaluz Hotel and has a stunning view of the surrounding area. Enjoy a cocktail and try a bite from the tapas menu. Ibiza has an enclosed bar and terrace for cold nights. The bar also hosts events, including DJs and private events.
Located along the Rio Grande Bosque, El Pinto's shaded patio draws diners from throughout New Mexico. Established in 1962, this dining gem has maintained its reputation for serving authentic New Mexican dishes. A number of tables are situated in private nooks for more private, romantic dining. Award-winning salsa precedes each meal. Generous portions of New Mexican dishes such as carne adovada, chile rellenos, enchiladas, and burritos are offered. As ultimate proof of its glowing reputation it has been visited by President Bush and Mick Jagger (separately, of course).
If you are looking for something different but not hard to find, check out this saucy little bistro. Sample steamed artichoke with three dipping sauces or the roasted garlic with Mon trachet goat cheese, bruschetta, roasted red peppers and virgin olive oil. Entrées include Pan-Seared Smoked Duck Breast with apricot-tomato chutney, Chinese five spice sauce and basmati rice with. An extensive wine list is available and prices are on per glass basis.
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
The 66 Diner has established itself as a favorite among the locals as well as out of town visitors. Bring your appetite for great home cooking, blue-plate specials and the best milkshakes in town. The diner is located just west of the University of New Mexico on Historic Route 66. This diner is fun and fresh, lively and nostalgic. The decor is friendly and upbeat, definitely maintaining a retro-1950s and 1960s spirit. The jukebox is stocked with music from that era, and takes you down memory lane.
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.
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.
This independent coffee house situated directly across from the main campus of University of New Mexico is a favorite haunt of students and hipsters. A wide selection of excellent coffee drinks, reasonably priced food, comfy couches, outdoor seating, free wireless internet access and lots of light and plants all add to its appeal. In an age dominated by chain establishments, RB Winning certainly stands out. It is owned and managed by theatre artists and a great deal of emphasis is placed on supporting the local arts. The venue regularly plays host to everything from dance displays to poetry slams, art shows to theatrical improv.
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