Review by: Michael Stern

Breakfast at The Frontier in Albuquerque is a heap of fun, especially if you haven’t been to bed the night before. Located on old Route 66 across from the University of New Mexico, this landmark eatery is closed for only a few wee hours of the morning. Wait in line until a green light flashes, indicating someone is ready to take your order. “Bingo!” the counter man calls as our turn comes; and 120 seconds later, the food is ready for us to carry to a table. The famous Frontier sweet roll is hot and gooey with a cinnamon sugar glaze; the breakfast burrito is a lovely tan flour tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs, melted cheese, hash browns and hot green chilies.

Lunch and supper also are great examples of quick-eats, New Mexico-style. There is fine green chili stew by the bowlful, there are big broad enchiladas that can be had with beef or vegetarian-style with meatless green chili, cheese, and onions; there are chalupas and tacos and some excellent blue-plate hamburgers. We like the Frontier burger special, a big goopy sandwich made with hickory-flavored sauce, cheese, and 1000 Islands dressing, served with French fries on the side.

The Frontier is huge: a multi-room, block-long mess hall decorated with a collection of art that includes John Wayne portraits, antique rifles, steer horns, and romantic paintings of soaring eagles, bold stallions, and Pueblo pottery.

Directions & Hours

5am - 12am
  • Monday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM

What To Eat

Cinnamon Roll

Huevos Rancheros


Green Chile Stew


Carne Adovada Breakfast Burrito

Green Chile Cheeseburger

French Fries


Frontier Recipes


What do you think of Frontier?

2 Responses to “Frontier”

Robert Baker

August 9th, 2008

I have a little bone to pick with the Sterns over their Frontier Restaurant review. They said that the best thing on the breakfast menu is the burrito. Not true. The best thing on the breakfast menu here is the huevos rancheros with cheese.

Go up to the order counter and tell them you want huevos rancheros with cheese. They will ask, “Red or green?” This is a standard query in NM, nothing unusual about that. And if you say red, they will give you red chile (oh, I forgot: it is assumed when they ask that, that you understand they are talking about the chile–that is also standard for NM). But if you say green, as you always should, they will ask, “Green chile chopped, green chile salsa, or green chile stew?” Ask for the green chile stew. I usually get the eggs over easy.

They give you a little ticket with your order number. Then you proceed to the pickup area, or a table in the restaurant. All over the place are these electronic boards where they post the order numbers for things that are ready. When you see your order number, go pick it up. What you get on your tray is a corn tortilla on the bottom, standard everywhere, then eggs on top, then the cheese, then your green chile stew on top of that, and a huge 12-inch tortilla folded in quarters on the side.

One word of warning for coffee drinkers. The only sweetener they have is sugar. If you use something else, as I do, you have to bring your own. Despite that, the Frontier is my favorite restaurant, especially for breakfast, and especially for the huevos rancheros with cheese, eggs over easy, with green chile stew!


Anne Ritchings

June 29th, 2007

The Frontier is a classic that continues to please. The menu is displayed above the large counter where you place your order. Once you have decided on your selection from the extensive menu you step up to the next open spot (with the blinking green light) and tell the very polite man or woman what you want. Your drinks are served at the counter and you are given a number for the rest of your order. Select a place to sit in one of the rooms and wait for your order number to flash on the screen. We’ve never had to wait more than five minutes for our food to appear and it is always piping hot and delicious.

The french fries here are some of the best I have ever had. They are crisp, crunchy and fluffy all at once. I’ve even been known to order them at breakfast just because they are so good. The breakfast burrito is one of the best in town (and that is saying something). If Albuquerque has a single representative food, the breakfast burrito is it. It is smothered in red or green chile (and if you can’t make up your mind, you can always order it “Christmas” – some of each). The contents within are a distinctly Southwestern blend of eggs, hash browns and cheddar cheese and green chile. If you wish, you can add bacon, or sausage, or carne adovada.

You can count on the Frontier at any time of day or night to satisfy your cravings for good Southwestern food.


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