Albuquerque has a little bit of everything when it comes to shopping. For the most independent, local shops, head to Old Town, Nob Hill, Downtown, and the North Valley. Even better, if your travel plans coincide, head to the local growers and artisan markets, which run April to October. If you’re looking for brand-name and department stores, the city has four large shopping malls. Here are the top 10 places to shop in the Duke City.
Albuquerque’s original neighborhood has transformed into one of its top shopping destinations. Several dozen shops, boutiques, and galleries occupy the adobe and territorial-style buildings surrounding the shaded plaza between Downtown and the Rio Grande. If you’re looking for quirky souvenirs or locally inspired T-shirts, this is the place to go. Old Town also has several fine art galleries, such as the Albuquerque Photographers Gallery and Penfield Gallery of Indian Arts. For books by local authors and on local culture and history, head to Treasure House Books & Gifts, which also often hosts local author signings. For lifestyle gifts and home decor, walk across Mountain Road to Spur Line Supply Co. Although technically in the Sawmill District, the sprawling store is worth the stroll.
Albuquerque’s largest indie shopping district, Nob Hill overflows with quirky boutiques, shops, and galleries. Don’t miss Mariposa Gallery, which has been exhibiting contemporary crafts since 1974. Local artists primarily make the art, crafts, jewelry, and sculpture you’ll find here. If you’re struck by local pride, head to And Stuff, one of the newest additions to the neighborhood. The retail collective features local makers, from jewelry designers to T-shirt screen printers. If you’re headed to a New Mexico United soccer game, you can stock up on your black-and-yellow apparel at the team store. The neighborhood also hosts events like the Route 66 Summerfest, a citywide festival, and Nob Hill Shop and Stroll, a holiday shopping event.
Rail Yards Market
The Rail Yards Market operates on Sundays from May to October, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market pops up in a former railroad repair shop. The venue—with its industrial cathedral-like buildings—is as memorable as the booths within it. Whereas the Downtown Growers Market has more farmers, this market has more artisans, selling everything from T-shirts with New Mexico-inspired designs to body products. Some vendors accept debit or credit cards, but not all do so be sure to bring cash. You’ll also want to have your own cloth bags on hand to bring home your purchases. You can plan to enjoy lunch at the market; plenty of food trucks and stalls are on hand.
Downtown Albuquerque brackets its shopping options with contemporary art galleries on one and vintage stores on the other. Along Central Avenue, Sumner & Dene exhibits a diverse selection of art, from fine-art photography and landscape paintings to playful and unusual ceramics. Richard Levy Gallery features contemporary artists in rotating exhibitions. It represents both established and new artists, but all are cutting edge. Along Seventh Street, duck into Relic, a midcentury modern furniture store and art gallery, and Paradise Club, a vintage apparel and home decor store.
Downtown Growers' Market
The Downtown Growers' Market is a local farmers’ market, with a few artisan booths mixed in. The season runs from mid-April to October. The market is only open on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon. (It opens at 7 a.m. during the height of summer.) At the market, you’ll be able to wander among booths with fresh tomatoes and salad greens beneath shady cottonwood trees. Grab a fresh croissant and sit in the grass to listen to live bluegrass music.
If you want to avoid crowds, head to the market the first hour of opening. From that point to close, the market is thick with shoppers. Be sure to bring cash and your own bag, plastic bags are banned in Albuquerque.
Coronado Center, in the Uptown neighborhood stands as the largest shopping center in the state. Anchored by department stores such as Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, it also has entertainment destinations such as Round One Entertainment, an arcade, and a bowling alley. Big-name restaurants, such as The Cheesecake Factory, help hungry shoppers fuel up after visiting some of the 130 stores .
With more than 100 stores, Cottonwood Mall ranks as the second largest shopping center in the state. Department stores, including Dillard’s, anchor this Westside mall. The food court is one of the center’s most notable features; it features a mural on the ceiling depicting an aerial view of the city of Albuquerque. The mall is also a small screen star. It’s been a filming location for several productions, including the TV show “Better Call Saul,” the prequel to “Breaking Bad.”
ABQ Uptown is an open-air mall in the Midtown neighborhood. It’s adjacent to both Winrock Town Center and Coronado Center. ABQ Uptown stands out as an upscale shopping destination, with more luxury stores such as Williams Sonoma and J Crew, as well as the only Apple store in the state of New Mexico. There are 51 different stores and household name dining destinations such as California Pizza Kitchen.
Winrock Town Center
Located in the Midtown neighborhood, Winrock Town Center is an open-air shopping center. It’s undergoing an evolution—and the construction that comes with that—from a simple shopping center to an entertainment destination. It’s already anchored by a 16-screen movie theater. Future plans include an outdoor concert venue and park. It’s located on the site of the Winrock Shopping Center, which opened in 1961 as the first regional shopping center in New Mexico.
The North Valley area encompasses stretches along Rio Grande Boulevard and north Fourth Street, particularly within the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Along Rio Grande Boulevard, head to Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm’s Farm Shop. Here you’ll find their signature line of lavender body products, which use lavender essential oils from plants grown on the farm, as well as other New Mexico products. Look for jewelry, dishware and kitchen goods, as well as local foods, from honey to chile powder. Along north Fourth Street, you’ll find a collection of vintage and antique stores, including Los Ranchos Antique Mall, A Few Old Things, and Antique Co-Op.