Downtown Albuquerque offers visitors a perfect place to shop, eat and spend some time. Take the Rail Runner to the Alvarado Station, then walk through the pedestrian-friendly streets to find restaurants and shops. For a bite to eat, consider Lindy's, La Parisienne Bistro, the Gold Street Caffe or Nick's Crossroads Cafe. Shop at Skip Maisel's for authentic Indian jewelry, pottery, and kachinas. Stop in at the famous Men's Hat Shop for a cowboy creation. And don't miss a stroll over to the KiMo Theater to discover its Pueblo architectural style.
Many national names perform at the Sunshine, which often hosts all ages events. With a constantly rotating venue, it has become synonymous with youth culture.
One Percent for Arts
Albuquerque's One Percent for the Arts program has brought sculptures such as this one in close contact with the public. Albuquerque values the arts, and downtown is no exception. The area is home to galleries, theaters, and many cultural events.
The Maisel Store on Central Avenue, built in the 1930s, is a one stop shop for authentic Indian arts and crafts. It has always provided shoppers with a wide variety of Indian pottery, jewelry, crafts, blankets, and kachinas. At night, Maisel's lights up with the neon signs so popular along the old Route 66. In its Route 66 heyday, the store employed over 300 craftsmen on site. This store is truly one of a kind.
American Diner Food
What started in 1929 with the Coney Island chili dog has remained along Central Avenue for eighty years. They must be doing something right. From the antique cash register to the worn out booths, Lindy's delivers the kind of dining experience people still enjoy. Along with hamburgers and fries, they also serve up local chile dishes and even Greek food. There's something for everyone at this local landmark.
As Albuquerque becomes increasingly diverse, its cultural influences continue to branch out. There are a growing number of French restaurants and bakeries in the city.
Pueblo Deco Carvings
The entryway to the KiMo Theatre has orange and blue tiles made in the Arts and Crafts mode, with raised Indian reliefs. Carvings and Drawings along the entry's wooden columns depict kachinas, dancers, and symbols of the Pueblo tribes.
Pueblo Deco Style
The KiMo at 5th and Central is an Albuquerque landmark. Built as a vaudeville venue and movie palace in 1927, today it serves as one of the city's premiere cultural institutions. Its stage hosts opera, dance, poetry slams, theater performances and more. Its tiles, kivas, walls and architectural decorations are indicative of the beautiful and unusual Pueblo Deco style.
Although hats have gone out of style in general, they remain ever popular at the shop where they've been making them to custom specifications for many years. The many styles of cowboy hats are a reminder of Albuquerque's role in the Old West.
This plaque at First and Gold depicts a street scene of life along the street in the 1880s. Downtown Albuquerque boomed with the introduction of the railroad, and the downtown area grew up around the commerce and trade the trains brought with them. The downtown area architecture, with its bricks and Victorian houses, was a vast change from the territorial and pueblo-style houses found in the Old Town area.
There are many restaurants to choose from in the downtown area. One of the favorites for locals is the Gold Street Caffe, where chile dusted, fried calamari and other takes on local favorites are the norm. Located in the downtown business district, the cafe has an upscale urban feel and is emblematic of the area's new age.
Old Route 66
Central Avenue is part of what was once called Route 66, and remnants of the thoroughfare's heyday are still apparent. The car still dominates downtown, and shops, restaurants, and neon remind visitors that the area was host to many automobiles passing through.
Downtown Events Center
The Convention Center is across from Civic Plaza and located close to hotels and downtown's amenities.
Directly across from the Alvarado Transportation Center, the Century Theater is a centrally located theater for moviegoers to see the latest films. The theater also hosts Metropolitan Opera viewings.
Live Music Nightly
The Atomic Cantina has karaoke nights and lots of live music, making it a hub for the thriving downtown music scene.
The Alvarado Transportation Center
The Alvarado Transportation Center is a re-creation of the original Alvarado Hotel and station, which was demolished in the 1970s. The new center serves passengers aboard the Amtrak Rail Runner, which runs between Belen and Santa Fe, making several stops in Albuquerque. From the station, a bus and trolley system connects riders throughout the city, but taking a short hop around downtown is easy and fun.
Albuquerque's downtown has seen major urban revitalization within the past few years. More residents have settled in the area at apartment lofts such as those found at 100 Gold Avenue. Being centrally located to the Alvarado Station and within walking distance of downtown's many amenities, it has proven to be a popular place.
Restful Pedestrian Spot
The 4th Street Walkway offers pedestrians a chance to rest along its many benches or shop at some of the downtown's stores. There are sidewalk vendors, street musicians and plenty of restaurants and cafes.