Garcia’s Kitchen

Diner | New Mexican
One of the best

From the time Roadfooders extraordinaires Chris Ayers and Amy Breisch singled it out as a highlight of their epic Route 66 road trip in the summer of 2010, Garcia’s Kitchen was high on my hit list of alluring eateries in Albuquerque. It has been around since 1975 and there now are seven locations around the city. All are bright and festive, from Fiestaware dishes to colorful murals on inside and outside walls. All Garcia’s Kitchens serve breakfast any time.

Lucky me, my first breakfast was with three other hungries from the Roadfood tour and I was therefore able to savor lots of different things. We ordered a mere 4-ounce bowl of chicharrones (you also can get them by the pint), which are a bacon-lover’s fantasy: nuggets of crisp fried pork that are about half-meat, half-fat – unbelievably delicious when eaten melt-in-the-mouth warm, still irresistible as we devoured the last of them at the end of the meal, appetite only a memory but taste buds still ravening. It was especially fun to tear off a piece of sopaipilla, insert a single chicharrone, then drizzle on some honey: sweet, wheat, and meat all in one!

Glorious carne adovada: hunks of pork saturated with sunny chile flavor and bathed in red puree – so much puree that the yolks of two fried eggs on the plate barely poke up through the chile. On the side come good fried potatoes and lard-rich refritos. Huevos rancheros is an equally overabundant plateful. You get your choice of red or green chile; say Christmas and you get both – two soupy brews that magically arrive perfectly separated on the plate, but then swirl together as soon as you attack with a fork. A huge breakfast burrito can be had similarly dressed, half-and-half.

Beyond breakfast, the menu includes such New Mexico signature dishes as blue corn enchiladas, green chile cheeseburgers and stuffed sopaipillas. There are Tex-Mex chili con carne and true-Mex menudo as well as a full array of burritos available “chili in,” “chili & cheese over” or “smothered.”

What to Eat
Garcia’s Kitchen, Carne Adovada
Carne Adovada
As popular at breakfast as at supper, carne adovada spotlights the flavor of chile. Chunks of pork are saturated with it, and the whole plate is smothered with puree that is intensely flavored but not incendiary hot. When those half-hidden yolks were poked, they swirled deliciously with the chile.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito
Like so many New Mexican dishes, the breakfast burrito is offered with either red or green chile. If you want both, say 'Christmas,' and you get half and half.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Karnitas
Garcia's karnitas, which most other places spell carnitas, are strips of beef stewed with chile, tomatoes and onions. They are at the left of the plate, accompanied by eggs topped with green chile, refried beans and potatoes.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros
Huevos rancheros, 'ranch eggs,' is a big breakfast atop a wheat tortilla, here smothered with green and red chile and sided by fried potatoes and refried beans.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Chicharrones
Chicharrones are little nuggets of fried pork rind -- like bacon squared or, in this case, cubed.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Sopaipillas (2)
Sopaipillas (2)
Breakfast comes with your choice of tortilla, toast or -- pictured here -- sopaipillas. Paul Bosland of NMSU's Chile Institute recently expressed his puzzlement at sopaipillas' etymology. Sopa means pillow and sopaipilla would mean little pillow, but apparently the word 'sopaipilla' -- like the dish -- is a New Mexican invention with no equivalent in Mexico or Spain.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Green Chile Stew
Green Chile Stew
Mild in heat, but bold in flavor, this bowl of green chile stew was an excellent way to start our dinner at Garcia's.
Garcia’s Kitchen, Agua Frescas
Agua Frescas
To drink, a couple of agua frescas. That's sandia on the left, melon on the right.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 2pm
Monday7am - 2pm
Tuesday7am - 2pm
Wednesday7am - 2pm
Thursday7am - 2pm
Friday7am - 2pm
Saturday7am - 2pm
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.

7 stops | 786 MILES | 12 hr 24 min

Sopaipillas are are made from dough that is rolled out very thin, cut into small sections, then tossed into boiling oil, preferably lard. The lard makes the pieces of dough puff up into little pillows (the meaning of sopaipilla) and become slightly crisp at the edges but mostly soft and airy. Restaurants that serve baskets…

9 stops | 1000 MILES | 15 hr 33 min

Fritos were created in San Antonio in 1932, but it took some thirty years before the Frito pie was born. Teresa Hernandez, working behind the Woolworth's lunch counter in Santa Fe, had the idea to slice off the top of a single-serving bag of Fritos and ladle in chili, then cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato.…

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…

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

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tecolote

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Tecolote, Santa Fe’s premier breakfast restaurant, is a southwest treasure offering creative New Mexican fare and a grand bakery basket. Lunch is served, too.

  • Roque’s Carnitas

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    A Santa Fe, New Mexico, food truck, Roque’s Carnitas wraps strips of char-cooked marinated beef with onions & chilies in broad wheat tortillas.

  • Golden Crown Panadería

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

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