Optimum’s Guide to Working in Albuquerque


We recently wrote about start-up growth in Albuquerque and how it’s transforming the city’s business world. It’s booming, and there’s a strong case for starting and growing a business in this New Mexico location. From culture to festivals and events, to forest hiking, and even history tours— Albuquerque has high energy and a lot to explore.

Should you decide to work here or perhaps you already do… we’ve put together a guide of all the spots you should check out. 

Where to Get Your Caffeine Hit

Zendo: Zendo values people and coffee. They welcome all, in their spacious, bright environment with a friendly community feel. Bonus— they serve local coffee blends.

Java Joe’s: If you’ve ever seen Breaking Bad, you will recognize this place as Tuco’s hideout. Java Joe’s roasts, blends, and flavors coffee in house every day. They also showcase local art and have live music. 

Juice It Up: We know coffee isn’t everyone’s thing, so if you’re looking for a juice, smoothie, or acai bowl to jumpstart your day, head to Juice It Up. 

Best Lunch Spots

Grove Cafe and Market: A yummy spot that supports local farmers and sustainable agriculture. The Grove sources their food from growers and producers from Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, as well as the Southwest Region. They have all-day brunch/lunch, including drinks ranging from coffee to mimosas.

Scarpa’s Brick Oven Pizza: A local favorite with fresh ingredients, this relaxed restaurant is a great place to grab a slice with a friend or colleague for lunch. 

Duran Central Pharmacy: Packed with locals on their lunch break, Duran’s offers handmade flour tortillas and to-die-for red or green chile to lather on top of your taco, burrito, or enchiladas. It’s all hidden in an old-fashioned drug store and worth the wait. 

Best Dinner Spots

Pueblo Harvest: Located inside of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Pueblo Harvest showcases indigenous cuisine. They also offer a happy hour from 4 to 6. Grab a bite here after spending a day at the IPCC.

Campo Restaurant: Reservations are needed at this casual fine-dining restaurant. They serve deliciously crafted food unique to New Mexico’s Rio Grande River Valley. Frequently recognized and awarded, Campo is not a place to miss.

Garcia’s Kitchen: In the mood for fresh, hand-prepared New Mexican cuisine? You’ll find it here. Time for a fiesta!

Sadie’s: Another New Mexican tradition gem, Sadie’s is as true and authentic as they come. Known for its salsa, it’s truly a mouth-watering experience.

El Pinto: The spot for chiles, El Pinto is a family-owned restaurant and salsa factory. Enjoy a margarita and free outdoor music all summer long.

Where to Grab a Cold One

Bar Uno: A neighborhood dive bar— Bar Uno has craft cocktails and local beers. We think you’ll end up staying for more than one.

Marble Brewery: A great atmosphere, 11 beers on tap, and a seasonal collection check out Marble Brewery for a brew or bring a six-pack home.

El Pinto’s Tequila Bar: For tequila connoisseurs, this bar has over 160 tequilas to choose from. Stop by for a tasting on the patio.

Top Things to Do

Stroll Through Old Town: Take a break in the plaza, visit the museums or pop in a store. The heart of Albuquerque, historic Old Town is full of outdoor patios, gardens, and brick paths.

ABQ BioPark: Home to the Zoo, Botanic Garden, Tingley Beach and Aquarium, the BioPark is an adventure waiting to be discovered.

Sandia Peak Tram: Rise from the hustle and bustle of ABQ, take a 15-minute ride on the tram and enjoy the urban peak. Go on a hike, dine with a view, or hit the ski slopes in the winter.

Alameda Trail: A 5.3-mile trail with scenic views for all skill levels. Take a walk or hop on your bike and enjoy the outdoors.

Hot Air Balloon Ride: Picturesque and dreamy, a hot air balloon ride over the Rio Grande River is a highlight in Albuquerque. These rides are year-round weather permitting! Albuquerque also hosts the International Balloon Fiesta every October.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: A world-class museum and cultural center, the IPCC is a special place that the Pueblo people can share their stories. Their mission is: To preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture, and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico.’ It is definitely worth a visit.

Albuquerque Trolley: A great way to get around and sight-see, the ABQ trolley will help you to see Albuquerque in its entirety while learning along the way. 

Film Tour: From Breaking Bad, to Avengers, to Hulk, (and the list goes on) to even the new addition of Netflix studios— a film tour is a fun way to experience this industry present in the city. 

History & Ghost Tours: Re-live the excitement of the Old West and take a history or ghost tour. It will help you to appreciate and understand the way this city has changed over the years.

Los Poblanos: A nearby historic inn and organic farm, Los Poblanos features 25 acres of lavender fields, cottonwood trees, and lush gardens.

Albuquerque is also home to many breweries, wineries, and casinos. Make a day of it on the weekend!

From our short-list guide, you can see that Albuquerque is growing with the times— yet still has history and lively culture to appreciate. Let us know if you’re in the area and want to check out any office space or chat about Optimum’s range of business services. We’ll help set you up so that you can begin to enjoy the city!