Film/Television Editor Devin D. O'Leary served as film/television editor at Weekly Alibi for 28 years. He wrote and produced four feature films here in New Mexico and has been the booker/host of Midnight Movie Madness screenings at Guild Cinema for 13 years.


Albuquerque is well-known for its tri-cultural heritage. While Spanish, Native and Caucasian history, art and cuisine are certainly ingrained in our state’s soil, there are countless other people from around the world who have contributed and continue to contribute to life in the Land of Enchantment. Look no further than the top-flight restaurants we have here, serving up food from countries far and wide. While there remain a few glaring gaps (why no Ethiopian, Duke City?), Burqueños can nosh on sushi, shawarma and tandoori to our heart’s content.

Best Japanese

Japanese Kitchen, a staple in Albuquerque’s Park Square for decades, is really two restaurants in one. On one side of the courtyard is the sushi bar, plating up fresh albacore tuna green chile rolls. On the other side is the steakhouse, offering iron-grilled filet minion teriyaki. You must choose. But choose wisely.

6521 Americas Pkwy NE

1.) Japanese Kitchen Steakhouse & Teppanyaki Grill

2.) Magokoro Japanese Restaurant

3.) Crazy Fish

Best Chinese

Plopped right in the heart of Nob Hill, Fan Tang is famous for serving up cooked-to-order, pan-fried Asian favorites. They run the gamut from traditional (ma po tofu, walnut shrimp) to specialty (tea-smoked beef, coffee chicken). Looking for a bit more variety? Fan Tang is decidedly pan-Asian, offering dishes from Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Mongolia as well.

3523 Central Ave NE

1.) Fan Tang

2.) Budai Gourmet

3.) Chen’s

Best Italian

M’Tucci’s is on a serious roll these days. The famed Westside dining spot has already expanded into Rio Rancho (M’Tucci’s Moderno) and the I-25 Corridor (M’Tucci’s Twenty-Five). Now Albuquerque’s own Italian Empire is getting ready to take over Nob Hill, moving into the old Kelly’s Brew Pub location. Whether serving up a five-pork Bolognese at M’Tucci’s Italian, a smoked prosciutto board at M’Tucci’s Twenty-Five, a pork chop ripieno at M’Tucci’s Moderno, this European favorite always satisfies.

6001 Winter Haven Rd NW

1.) M’Tucci’s

2.) Trombino’s Bisto Italiano

3.) Farina Alto Pizzaria & Wine Bar

Best Chef

It’s a good bet that if the restaurant has your name in it, you’re a pretty good chef. In 2016 Chef Jennifer James traded Jennifer James 101 for Nob Hill’s iconic Frenchish. Before that, she ran Jennifer James Contemporary Cuisine and Graze. There’s no doubt that the multiple James Beard Award-nominated chef is an icon of Albuquerque’s high-end food scene. And whatever the name or location of her restaurant, it’s worth checking out.

3509 Central Avenue NE

1.) Jennifer James (Frenchish)

2.) Marc Quinones (MÁS Tapas y Vino)

3.) Elizabeth Bibiano (Vegos)

Best Korean

Soo Bak was an Albuquerque favorite when it was a food truck showing up at local parks. Finally, though, it’s landed itself a brick-and-mortar location in Nob Hill where you can sit down and really indulge in one of their build-your-own bibimbap bowls. Will it be Korean BBQ beef, spicy pork, fire chicken or tempura avocado? Will you top it with radish kimchi, edamame or jalapeño salsa? It’s up to you. But hurry up and decide. A lot of us are waiting in line behind you to eat!

111 Hermosa Dr SE

1.) Soo Bak Seoul Bowl

2.) Asian Pear

3.) Takumi

Best Indian

Year after year, Taj Mahal remains Albuquerque’s favorite Indian restaurant. Between the tandoori chicken, the biryani and the Mughlai curry, it’s tough to choose just one dish. This is why Taj Mahal is so famous for its lunchtime buffet. Just have a little bit of everything. It’s all delicious. And there’s more of it on the way.

1430 Carlisle Blvd NE

1.) Taj Mahal Cuisine of India

2.) Curry Leaf

3.) Namaste Cuisine of India and Nepal Restaurant

Best Middle Eastern

A hookah lounge, a samovar bar, an outdoor patio and regular belly dancers? Even before you pick up the wide menu of Mediterranean and Persian delights, Pars is clearly as close to the Middle East as Albuquerque offers. Spanikopita, dolmas, falafel, Persian stews and a kebab feast for five are just a small sample of the exotic foodstuffs on offer inside this Northeast Heights jewel.

4320 The 25 Way NE ste 100

1.) Pars Cuisine

2.) Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery

3.) Cafe Istanbul

Best Tapas

Why have one big meal when you can have three or four tiny ones? Preferably with wine. That’s the idea behind tapas. Originally a Spanish creation, tapas have expanded to encompass a wide variety of bar-based dishes. MÁS Tapas y Vino, located inside the stylish Hotel Andaluz sticks close to the Spanish roots, offering up stunning creations like crispy Brussels sprouts, “pizza” squash blossoms and Iberian black pig secreto.

125 2nd St NW

1.) MÁS Tapas y Vino

2.) Cafe Azul

3.) Vara

Best Vietnamese

Thanks to the International District’s proximity to Kirtland Air Force Base, the area is home to a number of Asian eateries—including a selection of Vietnamese restaurants that rival any others this side of Hanoi. In fact, throughout Albuquerque, the sheer volume of Vietnamese bakeries and pho shops seems to run a close second to Mexican restaurants. Basil Leaf’s elegant selection of bánh mì, soups, crepes and vermicelli dishes will feed your Southeast Asian cravings.

1225 Eubank Blvd NE

1.) Basil Leaf

2.) Viet Taste

3.) May Cafe

Best French

It’s no shocker to see Frenchish, the fancy/casual Nob Hill eatery run by Albuquerque’s Best Chef Jennifer James, in the top spot. Start with duck confit or pork rillettes as an appetizer. Follow with a nice endive salad or some grilled brie. Settle into your “plat principal” with a hearty cassoulet … or keep it simple with a perfect French onion burger. After all, this is French made easy.

3509 Central Avenue NE

1.) Frenchish

2.) La Quiche Parisienne Bistro

3.) Le P’tit Louis Bistro