Destinations New Mexico

11 Things Nobody Tells You About Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is a city most people have heard of but just can’t spell. Commonly called ABQ to make everyone’s lives easier, you may be surprised to learn these things. Check out these things nobody tells you about visiting ABQ.

Red Or Green? Is A Common Question

Nope, your server isn’t asking about your favorite Christmas color. They want to know if you prefer red or green chiles on your burger. Fun fact, if you order “Christmas” which is a combo of both.

Chili and Chile Are Different

Chili is a soupy meat and bean stew, while Chile is a type of pepper. When ordering, make sure you distinguish between chile cheese fries (red or green) and chili cheese fries.

Pequin chiles in Old Towne

Chiles Are Available Everywhere

McDonald’s and Wendy’s both offer specialty chile burgers in Albuquerque! These regional flavors are so delicious, even the big fast-food chains jumped on the trend.

Sopas from Cocina Azul

Fry Bread Will Blow Your Mind (& Diet)

Sopapillas (AKA Sopas) is basically fried bread, that is eaten with honey. It is served at many restaurants as a dessert and is DELICIOUS. We recommend having it at Cocina Azul, a small New Mexican food chain in Albuquerque. They give it to you (free) at the end of your meal.

You’ll Learn What Pinons Are

I had never heard of a pinon before coming to ABQ, but it’s actually a type of pine nut. You’ll frequently see it used in coffee and sometimes in cookies and chocolate. You can also buy pinons directly and our New Mexico sources say the best place to do it is from roadside vendors.

Hot Air Balloons Are A Big Deal Year-Round

You’ve probably heard about the Balloon Fiesta event which happens every October, but there are actually several large club events throughout the year where you can see and even ride in hot air balloons without paying an arm and a leg. It’s actually a HUGE community of people who buy and fly their own hot air balloons.

If you do come for the October Fiesta, book your hotel room early. Over 100,000 people come every year. If you want something more mellow, look into the Friends and Lovers event which is held in February.

Roadrunners Aren’t Just A Cartoon Bird

Yep, roadrunners are real birds and can be seen (you guessed it) running around ABQ! Also, they’re pretty cute AND the official state bird of New Mexico. Fun fact, they can run up to 15 MPH.

The Weather Can Be Surprising

ABQ is actually quite sunny, getting 280 days a year of sunshine. Duke City only gets about 11 inches of snow and 11 inches of rain per year.

ABQ Microsoft HQ

ABQ Is A Tech Hub

Albuquerque was actually the first place in the US to have a Bitcoin machine installed, it was in a cigar bar. Microsoft was also founded in Albuquerque originally. Today, it’s one of the best cities for women in the tech field.

Breaking Bad Is Still A Big Deal

Yea, you probably knew that the TV show Breaking Bad was filmed in ABQ. But did you know that the woman who owns Walter White’s house sits in her garage and yells at gawking visitors nearly all day, every day? Apparently, she had to put up a fence because people kept throwing pizzas on her roof. If you watched the show, you’d understand.

PC: Giphy

Also, what a waste of pizza.

There are also blue “meth” donuts available at places like Rebel Donuts, and various filming locations can be found around the city. So much so that there are Breaking Bad RV Tours which are actually quite expensive at $65+ per person. There is even a Breaking Bad store, that opened in January 2020.

The show actually ended in 2013 and only ran for five seasons from 2008-2013. So the popularity of the show is actually longer than the show itself.

There Are Law Offices Everywhere

For some reason, there are a ton of small boutique law offices throughout ABQ, as well as billboards that say things like “Hurt? Call Bert!”. Why does it seem like so many people need lawyers? I guess we’ll never know.

These things are just based on my observations from spending a week in Albuquerque, so if I’m totally off base leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

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