Albuquerque's Nob Hill restaurants run from casual to upscale, and local to continental. Here are a few from which to choose.
Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria
2929 Monte Vista Blvd. NE
Amore dishes up pizza that's a traditional staple in Naples, Italy, where the owners met. The style is healthier and the wood firing doesn't hurt, not one bit.
3118 Central SE
B2B stands for beers to burgers, and they serve both in a fresh, direct manner that keeps patrons coming back for more. Burgers are house made and grilled over an open flame. Beer is on tap, with most local craft brews. Wine and cocktails are also available, along with meatless burgers.
3503 Central NE
Elaine's uses locally sourced ingredients to bring a fresh approach to food. The upscale restaurant has a different slant on duck confit, lamb chops, salmon, tenderloin and bass. White linen tablecloths set the stage for a beautiful evening.
3523 Central NE
Fan Tang features Sichuan Chinese food in a relaxed atmosphere. The owner also runs Chow's Asian Bistro on the westside.
3416 Central SE
Flying Star has grown to eight locations from this original spot. The family-run restaurant has the best soups in town, good sandwiches and enough baked goods to make deciding a conundrum. My son swears by their eclairs.
Gecko's Bar and Tacos
3500 Central SE
Gecko's is a neighborhood gastro pub and is a favorite with Lobo and Isotope fans before and after the game. The patio is a great place to hang out and relax. The pub grub includes sandwiches, soups and salads. Try the Gecko.
Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
3403 Central NE
Il Vicino pizzas have that crisp crust and even texture that can only be found in a wood oven pizza. The salads come large and fresh, and there are calzones, pastas, soups or sandwiches for those who aren't in the mood for pizza. But Il Vicino is also known for its delicious in house brews, which not surprisingly complement the fare. The service is always excellent and the pace is brisk even if there's a wait.
Monte Vista Fire Station
3201 Central NE
Long before Nob Hill became a dining destination, the Monte Vista Fire Station opened for Nob Hill visitors. Find sandwiches and entrees that include baby back ribs, fish and chips and fajitas. Its rooftop bar is a huge draw.
3636 Monte Vista NE
Model Pharmacy is a bit off Central, but well worth finding. They're open for breakfast and lunch and have a wonderful old time pharmacy counter where you can order a banana split or lime rickey.
Nob Hill Bar and Grill
3128 Central SE
The restaurant's owner spent years impressing locals with his other restaurant, Ambrosia. Sadly, Ambrosia is gone, but that's only because it morphed into Nob Hill Bar and Grill. Try their reinvented comfort food.
116 Amherst SE
The small restaurant on the corner of Silver and Amherst packs a big wallop. With traditional Jewish dishes the mainstay of their menu, expect to find chopped liver, bagels and lox, matzoh ball soup and the like. Open for breakfast and lunch. You won't find any green chile here.
4300 Central SE
Orchid Thai is open for lunch and dinner, featuring combination plates, curries, fish, and more.
3624 Central SE
Ragin' Shrimp is famous for its jumbo shrimp and spicy sauces. Dishes have Cajun flavor as well as Jamaican and Indian sauces.
Route 66 Malt Shop
3800 Central SE
Route 66 Malt Shop has decor that will take you back to the heyday of Central Avenue, which was once known as Route 66. Find gourmet burgers, fries, hot dogs, deli sandwiches and southwestern fare. The soda fountain has malts, shakes, sundaes, root beer floats, and more.
Scalo’s Northern Italian Grill
3500 Central SE
Over twenty years ago, Scalo's moved into the neighborhood and Albuquerque has been a little happier ever since. An award-winning restaurant with organic specialties and an extensive array of wines, its northern Italian dishes are a treat for the eye as well as the tongue.
Shade Tree Custom Cycles & Cafe
3407 Central NE
Shade Tree offers many local brews on tap, breakfast, lunch and dinner, all in a restaurant with motorcycle decor. There's also a motorcycle repair shop in the back.
3410 Central SE
Slice Parlor offers pizza by the pie or by the slice. There is beer on tap, some of which is locally brewed. Good for lunch or dinner.
Street Food Asia
3422 Central SE
Street Food Asia gathers together the many flavors of Asia in a variety of dishes. Small plates are a specialty, letting you taste the flavors of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and China in small bites.
3804 Central SE
Thai Vegan specializes in creating Thai dishes with vegan "meats." You'll find the usual Thai curries, stir fries and noodle soups, only healthier.
3109 Central NE
The bright white walls splashed with cobalt blue take you right to Greece, but the food makes you want to stay. My husband swears the seafood dishes at Yanni's are better than any other Albuquerque restaurant. There are the usual Greek dishes, from lentil soup to Spanokapita, but all of it is delicious. For lunch and dinner.
Zacateca's Tacos + Tequila
3423 Central NE
It might be easy to brush off a "taco bar" as just an ordinary place. Zacateca's is anything but. It was a semi-finalist for best new restaurant by the James Beard Foundation in 2013. Chef Mark Kiffin mixes a cultural blend of foods and recipes. Soft tacos have fresh, organic ingredients and a Margarita bar with tequilas and beer from Mexico.
Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro
3009 Central NE
Zinc has won raves for its food since opening, and has a loyal clientele. The bistro is upstairs and has comfortable, posh furnishings that invite you to linger. The wine cellar downstairs has an extensive list of wines. Try the cheese plate and the seared scallops. For lunch or dinner. Live music Sundays through Thursdays.
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