A first timer’s guide to this colorful cultural high desert city.
by Morgan Tilton
Seriously fresh eggs. Seriously. Bite into El Pinto’s Huevos Rancheros with a side of the fire-roasted green and spicy red chiles. In 2016, the brother-owned, 55-year-old family restaurant introduced the nation’s only hen-laying program on a restaurant property that’s Animal Welfare Approved, a third-party certification that ensures the 250 hens can range and live totally natural—which simultaneously boosts the eggs’ vitamin levels and lowers the saturated fat.
Take a spin: venture to Old Town’s 300-year-old adobe plaza to join Joshua Arnold, co-owner of Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals, on a bike tour of the city. Include a stop at North America’s largest concave fresco, a 4,000-square-foot masterpiece, Mundos de Mestizaje, created by Frederico Vigil, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
These aren’t the popsicles from your freezer: Grab a Mango Chile Paleta, a Mexican popsicle made with fruit, cane sugar and ground chili powder, at Pop Fizz.
Book a room in Chaco Canyon- well, close. In April 2017, Hotel Chaco — an inaugural modern interpretation of Pueblo Bonito — opened in Old Town Albuquerque, decorated with the original, Chaco-inspired work of 13 Native American artists. Espinoza, owner of the local travel company Heritage Inspirations, collaborated with the hotel and the UNESCO World Heritage site to develop the first-ever overnight tours with the blessing of the elders. The abstract bronze tower, Oneness, was encircled with soil from Sculptor Joe Cajero’s Pueblo. The earth ring symbolized a sipapu, a small hole in the floor of a kiva where ancient ancestors emerged to visit the present world. Centuries later, the human connectivity that was cultivated by Chaco lives on.