10 Inexpensive Restaurants in Albuquerque, New Mexico
by Travis L.
Finding good, cheap meals can be difficult when visiting a new city or even when exploring new areas of your hometown. You can search Yelp and TripAdvisor all day long for the “best” places to eat, but if you forget to check the menu before you arrive, you may be stuck with a check that’s way out of your budget.
If you’ll be in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area in the near future and need recommendations for restaurants that won’t break the bank, we’ve done the research for you. Here’s our list of 10 high-quality restaurants with low prices in Albuquerque.
Located across the street from the University of New Mexico, Frontier Restaurant has been an Albuquerque staple for more than forty years. No matter what you’re craving, Frontier Restaurant is sure to have it – from hamburgers and New Mexican food to chicken strips and their famous sweet rolls. Grab two tacos with a side of chips and salsa or a cheeseburger with fries and a soft drink for only $7.10. I highly recommend getting a 56-ounce tub of their green chili stew and a dozen of their homemade tortillas to feed your entire family for just $17.50.
Love a good burger? Blake’s Lotaburger has been serving up their signature LOTA Burgers since Blake himself flipped the first patty in 1952. While Blake’s main claim to fame is his hamburgers, this local favorite also serves up chicken sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, and breakfast burritos. Try the LOTA combo with fries and drink for $6.39.
Bánh Mì Coda
Bánh Mì Coda offers up a little piece of Vietnamese heaven at a price point you can’t refuse. All of their 12-inch sandwiches are just $5.95 and you can add a side of two spring rolls for $4.25. They can also whip up a tropical smoothie for $3.75 or a refreshing Thai tea for $2.95. I got the Bánh Mì Thịt Nguội, which has seasoned pork, Vietnamese ham, and house-made pâté, with a side of the shrimp and pork spring rolls, and let me tell you – they were delicious.
Central Grill and Coffee House
Whether you’re looking for hot cakes and a latte or a succulent bison burger, the Central Grill and Coffee House has it all. This establishment serves breakfast all day long and can substitute bread and buns with gluten-free options upon request. Their prime rib taco plate will get you three tacos, black beans, papitas, and pico de gallo all for $9.95. If you’re in the mood for breakfast, get a heaping serving of biscuits and gravy with sausage and a small Americano for just $9.49.
Dog House Drive-In
Besides having cheap eats, the Dog House Drive-In was featured in several episodes of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” It was also named the restaurant with the best hot dogs in New Mexico by People.com and Food & Wine in 2018. The Dog House is located on nostalgic Route 66 and has been dishing out foot-long hot dogs for more than 70 years. When I found out about this place, I hopped in my car and ordered myself a foot-long chili dog with cheese and it only cost $3.25. You can also get Frito pie that’ll take you back to your elementary school days for $1.95.
Weck’s started with one restaurant in Albuquerque in 1991 and has since grown to 12 locations in six cities. This down-to-earth restaurant is only open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving up the best breakfast and brunch in town. Their breakfast menu is robust, but if you’re looking to save cash, check out their Nana’s Triple Value Menu for a more limited selection at a lower price – including the French toast breakfast with bacon or sausage that’ll only set you back $7.95.
Golden Pride BBQ, Chicken & Ribs
Golden Pride is the sister restaurant to the Frontier Restaurant and has been supplying the Albuquerque area with BBQ, chicken, and ribs since 1972. Their menu features everything from chicken combos and rib platters to New Mexican burritos and fish sandwiches. Get a three-piece fried chicken meal with two sides for only $6.49 or feed the entire family with their 2-pound rib platter, two large sides, and six rolls for $27.79. In addition to their BBQ menu, Golden Pride also serves up the Frontier Restaurant’s famous sweet rolls, tortillas, and green chili stew.
Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen
You can’t visit New Mexico without trying some classic New Mexican food and Padilla’s Mexican Kitchen has some of the best. Their combination plate comes with a beef taco, tamale, cheese enchilada, beans, rice, and two sopapillas for only $8.85. All for under $10 – this place is too good to be true! On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, try one of their carne adovada burrito special for $7.95. On Thursdays, make sure to stop in for the carnitas, papas, and quelites special for $9.00.
Amore Neopolitan Pizzeria
Amore has been voted one of Albuquerque’s best pizza restaurants by locals, serving up authentic Italian appetizers, salads, gourmet pizzas, and desserts. They have two locations – Amore Neopolitan Pizzeria & Vino on Country Club Plaza and Amore Neopolitan Pizzaria & Deli at Green Jeans Farmery. The Country Club Plaza location offers up a wide variety of local beers and happy hour specials. If you’re stopping in for lunch, their lunch pizza special includes a 9-inch pizza with a salad for $9.00. For dinner, I got the Margherita S.T.G. and a basket of warm garlic bread for only $11.00.
Slow Roasted Bocadillos
Chef Marie Yniguez at Slow Roasted Bocadillos is so good she was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dive” and won the “Chopped” cooking competition in 2017. What sets this sandwich shop apart is their meats, which are all slow roasted for at least 12 hours. Luckily, Chef Marie’s big-time fame doesn’t equal big-time prices. Their 505 Philly sandwich with slow roasted beef, green chilis, roasted bell peppers, buttered mushrooms, and house-made queso will only cost you $8.50. If cold sammies are more your style, try the Pecan Chicken Salad sandwich for $7.50.
If you are a self-claimed “foodie” and love trying new restaurants, make sure to factor your meals into your monthly budget. Visit the Cash Store blog for tips on financial planning and budgeting.
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