Duran Central Pharmacy

New Mexican | Pharmacy Lunch Counter
One of the best

A full-service drug store in Albuquerque’s Old Town, Duran Central Pharmacy hosts a lunch counter where New Mexico’s signature dishes are at their best. There are tables, but I much prefer a seat at the counter, where the view is of a lady in the open kitchen wielding a wood dowel to roll out rounds of dough into broad flour tortillas that are beautiful tan circles.  Cooked on the grill opposite the counter, each flatbread puffs up from the heat and blisters golden brown. Available plain or brushed with butter, tortillas come on the side of most lunches, including magnificent carne adovada.

Tortillas also are used to wrap hamburgers and as the base of quesadillas. We like them best as a dunk for Duran’s definitive red or green chile, available either plain (nothing but chilies and spice) or ballasted with ground beef, beans, potatoes or chicken. Green is hugely flavorful, hot and satisfying with an earthy character; red tastes like desert air and sunshine turned to manna in a bowl.

What to Eat
Duran Central Pharmacy, Carne Adovada
Carne Adovada
Duran best dish: carne adovada with a hand-rolled tortilla
Duran Central Pharmacy, Frito Pie
Frito Pie
Frito pie, hand-rolled tortilla & a frosty Coke
Duran Central Pharmacy, Enchilada
Enchilada with red & green chile (Christmas) and a bowl of red
Directions and Hours
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
13 stops | 347 MILES | 5 hr 56 min

The Royal Road

One of the most delicious American Byways is El Camino Real ("The Royal Road") through New Mexico. In addition to spectacular natural beauty, travelers will encounter all kinds of opportunities to savor one of the nation's most distinctive regional cuisines, much of which is based around the state's two official co-vegetables: the…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Harry’s Roadhouse

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Harry’s Roadhouse is a colorful Santa Fe, New Mexico, restaurant with a three-meal-a-day repertoire from lemon ricotta hotcakes to cool margaritas.

  • Shake Foundation

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Shake Foundation serves up a spicy green chile cheeseburger, swoon-worthy French fries, and a legendary cinnamon milkshake.

  • Golden Crown Panadería

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Green chile bread is worth a detour to this squat bakery near Old Town Albuquerque. New Mexico’s state cookie, biscochitos, are great, as are pizzas.

  • Pasqual’s

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Pasqual’s is Santa Fe’s favorite corner eatery, serving bright, modern versions of New Mexico classics. Corned beef hash is some of the best in the West.

  • Santa Fe Bite

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Santa Fe Bite serves what many consider to be the best green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico. It might be the best hamburger of any kind, anywhere!

  • Model Pharmacy

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    A vintage lunch counter serving true New-Mex green chile stew, warm fruit cobblers, and soda fountain specialties, Model Pharmacy is a taste of old Route 66.