• Alissia McAfee

best breakfast in albuquerque, nm


YOU. GUYS. It is literally one of my favorite times of the year! Or, it should have been anyway. The International Balloon Fiesta was supposed to take place this week. Because of COVID, it’s not happening the way it normally does, but Albuquerque is still honoring our wonderful tradition. #yay


I don’t know about you, but I love going to the Balloon Fiesta early in the morning so I can grab breakfast from one of the vendors and then find a nice spot to watch the balloons go up. Since things are different this year, and there won’t be any going to the park, I figured grabbing breakfast and finding a place in the city to see some of the balloons go up for the “Balloon Fall Fest” was the next best thing. So, here are some of the best places in Albuquerque to grab breakfast!


Cinnamon, Sugar & Spice Café

From breakfast favorites like French Toast or biscuits and gravy, to more New Mexican breakfast staples like Huevos Rancheros or Carne Adovada Omelets, Cinnamon Café has it all! They even have vegetarian and vegan options (which is my fave part!). My go to dish is the Tofu Rancheros, which has frijoles (beans), papas (potatoes), green chile, avocado, tofu and corn tortillas, but I’ve never had a meal I didn’t love here. And for my meat lover friends, I’ve gone with self-proclaimed carnivores that have ZERO complaints about this tasty café.


Not only is their food delicious, but their drinks are too! They have one of my favorite chai lattes in town and they have some amazing specialty coffees. Some of their coffees consist of lavender lattes, Hawaiian sunsets (which has coconut, Ghirardelli chocolate + caramel), peppermint mocha and more!


You just can’t go wrong with anything you order here. Food or otherwise.


Jimmy’s Café


Two things you need to know about Jimmy’s Café: Great food. Great service. They always make you feel like family whenever you go in, and trust me, the food will keep you going in. The café is decorated with photos and paintings of basically every well-known person named Jimmy (or James) you could think of which adds to the charm of the place—and, you know, goes with the name of the place.


I’m a fan of the breakfast enchiladas or their skillets, but the burritos (like everything else here) are so SO good! They definitely have regulars that are always there, and once you try the food, you’ll definitely see why.


The Grove Café and Market


The Grove uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible and is dedicated to supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. Which is just one of the many reasons I love this place. The food is obviously another. I absolutely love their sweet potato hash which consists of roasted sweet potatoes, feta, cauliflower rice, avocado, roasted mushrooms, tomatillo salsa, sunflower sprouts and an egg. Their pancakes with fresh fruit, crème fraiche, local honey and maple syrup are another favorite. But if burritos are your thing, don’t skip theirs. It comes with scrambled egg, tully’s local sausage, goat cheese, green chile and roasted tomato jalapeno salsa.


Just take a look at their menu and head there now. You won’t regret it.


The Shop Breakfast and Lunch



With made from scratch food like this, you just cannot go wrong. Their lemon cornmeal pancakes consist of blue cornmeal, lemon curd, whipped butter, berry jam, fresh berries and maple syrup. Can you say yum?! Or what about their biscuits and chorizo gravy? That comes with a homemade biscuit, avocado, poached eggs, red chile and queso fresco. If you’re not sold yet, I have two words for you: DUCK. HASH. It comes with hash of potato, duck confit, green chile, mushroom, onion, brussels sprouts roasted garlic, two eggs, cheddar, and it’s served on a bed of red chile. Yup. You’re definitely going to love The Shop.


They are also supporters of local and get as much of their ingredients from local vendors as possible so that just makes them even more awesome.


Friend, my advice to you is this… Run. Don’t walk to these places. Wherever you decide to go for breakfast is going to be great. They’re all different and delicious in their own ways, but each one represents Albuquerque’s culinary scene so well. And I, for one, cannot wait to pick up food from one of them to go watch balloons launch this weekend.

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