Great Eating Just East of Downtown Albuquerque
Why go in spring: It’s the best time for a stroll through this food lover’s neighborhood, just east of downtown (EDo, get it?).
In bloom: Everything from sycamores to Monet-like iris gardens.
Say it like: Eat-oh (after all, some of the best little eateries in town are here).
How it all started: Artichoke Cafe ($$$; 424 Central Ave. S.E.; 505/243-0200) put EDo on the map, and it’s still a hot spot.
The setting: Leafy sidewalks lined with cozy adobes, post-Victorian cottages, and artists’ homes.
Main drag: Central Avenue, which also happens to be part of Historic Route 66.
Fueling stop: Get the green-chile mac ’n’ cheese at the Standard Diner ($; 320 Central S.E.; 505/243-1440), a converted Route 66 filling station.
Local star: The 1960s-era Milton’s Family Restaurant ($; 725 Central N.E.) had cameos in Sunshine Cleaning and In the Valley of Elah.
Reason to come back: A drink on the rooftop at Hotel Parq Central, a 74-room boutique hotel due to open in October.
See the neighborhood: The shaded blocks south of Central Avenue, along Edith Boulevard, Walter Street, and Arno Street, are lined with cottonwoods, gardens, and tidy houses—all ideal for a wander. Take a break on the bench at 621 Walter Street Southeast.
Start the day right: The Daily Grind’s fresh raspberry scones are the best in town. Savor yours with a cup of java in one of the window nooks or the sweet Spanish courtyard out back. If you’re really hungry, get the migas breakfast (eggs, jalapeños, tomatoes, and tortilla chips). $; 414 Central Ave. S.E.; 505/883-8310.
Cool consignment shopping: Look for brands like Trina Turk, Marc Jacobs, and Prada at 2Time Couture, a consignment shop that would fit right in on L.A.’s Melrose Avenue. Husband in tow? The store has a comfy couch. 600 Central Ave. S.E.
The hot pizza joint in town: Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar’s crisp pies are a knockout. We love the pepe caldo (hot pepper) pizza that’s topped with broccolini, ricotta, and caciocavallo, a Sicilian cheese. Save room for the butterscotch pudding with a hint of salt. $; 510 Central Ave. S.E.; 505/243-0130.
Take it home: Load up on hostess gifts or brunch fixings at the Grove Cafe & Market, which sells freshly baked English muffins, cupcakes (including an authentic red velvet), and locally made, organic Heidi’s Raspberry and Red Chile Jam. $; 600 Central Ave. S.E., Ste. A.
Get your culture fix in EDo
House on a hill: It’s a lovely walk up to the Albuquerque Press Club’s historic clubhouse, a 1903 log house (you can enter only with a member, but the stroll alone is worth the trip). Closed Sun; 201 Highland Park Circle S.E.
Neighborhood nostalgia: The Special Collections Library archives marvelous old newspapers and genealogy data of New Mexico. Soak up local history as you wander through the 1925 Spanish pueblo revival building; it’s a registered landmark. Closed Sun; 423 Central Ave. N.E.; 505/848-1376.
Up-and-coming art: Discover Albuquerque’s young and quirky artists at Cirq Art Gallery, which often hosts receptions with live music, from hip-hop to folk. Call for schedule; from $5; 712 Central Ave. S.E.; 505/242-3970.