Best Breakfast in Albuquerque

Greet your Albuquerque Sunrise with these Great Breakfast Spots!

Whether a long-time local with a Southwestern palate or a tourist passing through the Duke City, Albuquerque will start your day off right with a variety of breakfast joints, large or small, hip or family style, with traditional or New Mexican style flavors.

The majority of Albuquerque residents, whether native or transplants, will most likely be looking for southwestern fare when they dine out for breakfast.  And transplanted New Mexicans usually adapt pretty quickly to New Mexican cuisine, ordering the breakfast burrito and loving it. 

The winner of most loved breakfasts has to be the granddaddy of them all, the famous Hueveos Rancheros, literally meaning "ranch eggs."  It is the centuries old fusion of cuisines of the Spanish conquistadores and the Native Americans.  Made with homemade flour tortillas, refried beans, red or green chile, eggs and shredded cheese, most restaurants offering breakfast in Albuquerque will definitely have this on their menu.

Long time residents will have their favorite spots from years ago, still in existence today, such as El Modelo, the Frontier or Mannies.  Newer residents might select the family style goodness of Weck's or El Bruno's, whose second location newly opened in Albuquerque after enjoying many years of success in Cuba, NM.

The younger or hip urban crowd might lean towards Slate Street Cafe or Gold Street Caffe, both downtown, while the Baby Boomers or health conscious you'll find at Flying Star or The Grove Cafe and Market.

Go ahead, start your day the New Mexico way!


Open 7 days a week, 6am to 9pm, Mannies is an Albuqerque staple, having been around since 1965. Located close to the University and having reasonable prices makes it tops for students, but Mannies has their other faithful regulars too. Breakfast is served all day, there's free wi-fi, so grab a booth or an outdoor table on the shaded patio and enjoy a fresh made muffin or biscuits, made daily. Mannies has both the traditional or "Signature" breakfasts, along with those that will delight the Southwest palate, their "Western Breakfasts," such as their Huevos Rancheros and Breakfast Quesadilla. They offer the regular Breakfast Burrito and a Veggie Burrito too. Steak and Eggs, Chicken Fried Steak and the Pile Up will have you leaving completely satisfied.

Local Expert tip: For something special, try the red chile-rubbed breakfast pork chops.

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In an older neighborhood of Albuquerque, one block north of the bustling big city buildings of downtown, Slate Street Cafe is a surprising find. Maya Ghattas, an Albuquerque native and Boston University graduate, brought home her passion for food and wine and started Slate Street Cafe in 2003 after many years with the Hyatt Hotels. Maya has brought big city flair to the interior (including sexy wine loft) and menu, while keeping customers relaxed and happy. Amongst tables in the front, a unique curved high bar for eating is playful, and smaller, more private rooms with wood floors make this a comfortable eatery. Shaded outdoor tables are available too. Saturday and Sunday brunches are great, as are the daily offerings for breakfast, served 7:30-11 am. Try the green eggs and ham omelet, the fritatta with chunks of salmon or the Mexican style oatmeal. Gourmet cupcakes are made in house daily.

Local Expert tip: There is usually a wait on the weekends to get in, so get there early. It's a great brunch spot.

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Hannah and Nate's
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Boren

Named for the children of the owners, the Salazars, Hannah and Nate's is a gem worth discovering tucked into the Riverside Plaza on Albuquerque's West Side with another location in the nearby village of Corrales. Beth Salazar runs the home decor shop next door, while Phil runs the food operations in the cafe. The interior is cozy and small, with pretty decor, as you might imagine, considering their second business. Keeping locals in mind and their hunger for a good Southwestern breakfast, most of the menu items are New Mexican, such as the Breakfast Tacos, Carne con Huevos and the New Mexico "Heavenly Hash." Many customers brag on the Eggs Benedict de Nuevo Mexico, where the poached eggs are smothered with Hannah and Nate's homemade carne adovada and melted cheese.

Local Expert tip: For Quiche of the Day, they usually offer 3 different choices - they are always very good, as are all the omelets!

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Relatively new on the scene (opening in 2006), Chef Jason Greene and business partner Lauren Greene have struck a home run with their philosophy in opening the Grove Cafe and Market. Graduating from the New England Culinary School in Montpelier, Vermont, it was Chef Jason's dream to practice artisan cooking using the freshest local products. If you're looking for a big greasy plate of enchiladas, you won't find it here. Ingredients are the finest local and organic products. To give you an idea, first item on the menu is the Poached Eggs with roasted turkey or black forest ham with La Quercia prosciutto, roasted asparagus and parmesan served with toast and fresh fruit. Croque Madame, Pancakes made french style with creme fraiche and local honey and the Breakfast Sandwich with avocado are all popular. Other healthy options are the Organic Yogurt with Granola and Hot Oatmeal with dried fruit.

Local Expert tip: Check out the Grove's Market for seasonal gifts and organic food items such as the ones they use in their their own kitchen, along with fresh artisan bread to take home.

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Downtown Java Joe's has an interesting location just west of downtown - right near Robinson Park at 8th and Central. This is where the Growers Market happens every Saturday morning, where you'll find local produce, art and music. But back to the cafe - it's funky, it's small, it's a couple blocks away from the main downtown cafes. It's been there 15 years and its clientele is an interesting mix of business and artsy types. Besides a wide array of pastries, you can order a classic breakfast, one more elaborate - think Belgian waffles and of course, Southwestern favorites such as huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos. Java Joes roasts its own coffee daily and offers over 30 varieties of loose leaf teas. Each month they host a new artist exhibiting their work.

Local Expert tip: Sounds kid-like, but the whipped cream in their mug drinks is out of this world.

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Now with 10 locations, including one in Santa Fe, Weck's has become increasingly popular since 1991 when they first opened their doors. Very family friendly, Weck's is only open for breakfast and lunch 6:30 am to 2 pm. The Weck's interior has a very down home small town feel to it. Wait staff is quite friendly, some having worked there since its beginnings. You won't leave hungry, as many of their breakfast items are what they refer to as "full belly" meals, from omelettes to burritos to their Favorites, like Green Chili chicken enchiladas, chicken fried steak and a breakfast quesadilla. A hearty choice might be their variety of "Papas," which are mounds of hash browns with red or green chile, cheese and your choice of meat and veggies. Treat someone you know with a gift certificate to Weck's! Maybe they'll take you to breakfast...

Local Expert tip: Try to beat the rush by going before or after peak hours, as you will probably have to wait to get a table. This restaurant is popular with families.

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The Flying Star Cafe (formerly known as Double Rainbow to long-time Albuquerqueans), is a casual, yet hip and trendy place to go to read your morning paper, indulge in a fabulous breakfast and people watch. You'll see the familiar pc-wielding clan on the breakfast bar, surfing away, and the neighborhood folks out on the patio enjoying the beautiful weather in the summer. Inside, a wall of magazines and playfully painted walls and ceilings (including clouds) greet customers in this friendly cafe, serving pastries and breakfast all day. Signature dishes include Eggs Florentine, Spanish Frittata, Breakfast Hash and the Rise and Shine Sandwich. New Mexican breakfasts are offered, as are the more traditional eggs, flapjacks and their incredible french toast that will make you lick the platter clean. Now with 8 locations in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe, Flying Star is pet friendly, offering what they call a "petio."

Local Expert tip: The Fabulous French Toast is just that, fabulous, with its hints of vanilla and carmelized brown sugar syrup.

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The Range Cafe originally opened up the road from Albuquerque in the small town of Bernalillo in 1992. It was so popular upon its grand opening that the kitchen ran out of food and couldn't serve dinner that day. At this location you'll see colorful signed plates hung on the walls, autographed by famous celebrities who have stopped in. Local artists have contributed their work on the walls and musicians contribute their talents on the weekends. The Range is particularly popular for breakfast. It outgrew its second location and had to move into a larger space. A third location was added after that. With its kitchy western interior (including cows hanging from the ceiling and one sitting at the counter), you'll find great American and Southwestern breakfast menu items offered til 3 PM every day. A full array of pastries and cookies will greet you at the entrance.

Local Expert tip: The coffee is so good here you'll want several cups, for sure! There are several locations in Albuquerque with the original in Bernalillo.

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The Frontier Restaurant, in the main hub of activity on the University of New Mexico's campus corner, is an Albuquerque landmark, in business over 40 years. Because of its wide range of hours (5 am to 1 am), it is possible to have breakfast any time of day or night. If you have a sweet tooth, the cinnamon rolls are famous here for being extra huge, extra gooey and extra cheap. The Frontier has kept their prices very low to accomodate the large student population that makes up most of its customers. But you will definitely see all walks of life here. Its clientele is as varied and funky as its interior, with its one room full of just John Wayne art. Most New Mexicans order the wide range of Southwestern breakfasts, such as huevos rancheros or breakfast burritos. Tortillas are homemade and customers like the food and casual atmosphere.

Local Expert tip: You've gotta veer from that diet and have a Frontier cinnamon roll, or what a lot of us locals call "sticky buns" just once - they're so good!

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Meet Jennifer Boren

A native of Oklahoma, by way of New Mexico and now Utah, Jennifer Boren makes her home in Salt Lake City.  A total lover of Park City, she spends many weekends there, especially in the...  More About Jennifer