New Mexican | Southwestern | Vegetarian
One of the best

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.

Anne Ritchings | June 29, 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.

What to Eat
Frontier, Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros
Buried underneath the cheese and fiery green chile are a couple of sunnyside-up eggs. I mashed my warm tortilla down and sopped up some yolk, which was a pretty good damper for the chilies' heat. The flavor mix of this dish is spectacular: brilliant, exciting, and immensely satisfying.
Frontier, Tortillas
Simple, full-flavored, and elegant, Frontier's tortillas come hot off the flame just moments before they are put on your tray.
Frontier, Green Chile Stew
Green Chile Stew
Unmistakably New Mexican, the green chile stew is more flavorful than spicy hot.
Frontier, Carne Adovada Breakfast Burrito
Carne Adovada Breakfast Burrito
A hearty filling breakfast with enough zing to start your day.
Frontier, Green Chile Cheeseburger
Green Chile Cheeseburger
Fiesta Burger = green chile, cheese, onion & pickle
Frontier, Cinnamon Roll
Cinnamon Roll
The Frontier's jumbo sweet roll is a signature dish. It is doughier than I like, although the sweet butter drippings that pool around at the bottom of the plate are heaven for running shreds of roll through.
Frontier, Hamburger
With a menu this big, it is easy to forget how good the burgers are here. This Bonanza Burger comes dressed with cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickle and Thousand Island dressing.
Frontier, French Fries
French Fries
Excellent thinly sliced, extra-crispy fries come with the burgers.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday5am - 10pm
Monday5am - 10pm
Tuesday5am - 10pm
Wednesday5am - 10pm
Thursday5am - 10pm
Friday5am - 10pm
Saturday5am - 10pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
11 stops | 306 MILES | 5 hr

A visit to New Mexico during the height of chile season takes us from Albuquerque, where the State Fair is underway, north to magical city of Santa Fe, then finally south to the chile-growing country of the Mesilla Valley, where we will be hosted by Dr. Paul Bosland, the world's foremost chile expert.

10 stops | 360 MILES | 5 hr 52 min

The drive along old Route 66 from the Texas Panhandle to the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico is a pageant of natural splendor and unabashed roadside kitsch: garish trading posts juxtaposed with stunning rock mesas, come-hither billboards rising up in turquoise skies, long-abandoned house trailers scattered in measureless fields, and…

21 stops | 2213 MILES | 34 hr 19 min

What a yummy trip it is to eat one's way from Chicago to L.A. along old Route 66! This tour of 21 excellent stops along the way includes some that are directly on the old road as well as a few that are worthy short detours. None require a reservation, all are easy on the…

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, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • 66 Diner

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    The 66 Diner of Albuquerque is a good place to taste food unique to New Mexico, including green chile cheeseburgers and green chile stew.

  • Tesuque Village Market

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Casual eats north of Santa Fe. Tesuque Village Market is a grocery, restaurant, & town square. Best bets: tortilla soup, enchiladas, Frito pie, hefty burgers.

  • Garcia’s Kitchen

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Garcia’s is a fun, friendly place (6 locations in Albuquerque) that serves some of the best New Mexican food, especially breakfast, available any time.

  • Cecilia’s Cafe

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Cecilia’s Cafe is a humble Albuquerque restaurant serving memorable carne adovada & green chile cheeseburgers. Any dish with red or green chile is great.

  • The Range

    Bernalillo, New Mexico

    For downhome food in Bernalillo, New Mexico, the Range is best. Breakfast: huevos con queso; lunch: the Rio Grande Gorge chile-smothered burger on a tortilla.

  • Duran Central Pharmacy

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    The lunch counter of a full-service Albuquerque drug store, Duran Central Pharmacy serves New Mexico fare at its best, including magnificent tortillas.