Golden Crown Panaderia – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Golden Crown Panaderia, one of Albuquerque’s premier dining destinations

Around the world while the city still sleeps, you begin.  Some of you because that’s what your parents did.  Others, you’re the first of your kind.  But all of you are one.  Siblings in an ancient tradition.  You take the time, temperature and love.  You bring them together to make something that brings people together.  You make more than just food.  You make friendships.  You make joy.  And for a hundred years, Dawn has been right there with you.  So this is for you, for bakers everywhere.  Thank you for letting us be part of your story.  Here’s to the next chapter together.  Here’s to bakers.” Albuquerque’s beloved Golden Crown Panaderia was one of five bakeries across the globe selected to be featured in a new spot for Dawn Foods. The advertisement, which showcases the work bakers do each morning, followed the father-son tandem of Pratt and Christopher Morales as they get Albuquerque ready for the day with the best baked goods in town.  It’s a touching tribute to true unsung heroes: Dawn 100 Years | Thank You

Although we pride ourselves on keeping a pulse on the local dining scene, it took a nationally syndicated Food Network cable program called Food Finds to introduce us in 2003 to the Golden Crown Panaderia, an Albuquerque fixture for nearly three decades. In an episode entitled Viewer’s Choice filmed entirely in New Mexico, hostess Sandra Pinckney visited several small-town shops, mom-and-pop stores and local vendors that pride themselves in creating specialty foods the old-fashioned way.  That was in 1996.  Since them every vehicle we’ve had has known the directions to Golden Crown by heart.

View from the Patio

The Golden Crown Panaderia is an exemplar of dichotomy, a highly successful operation in which old-fashioned meets state-of-the-art and father and son proprietors rely on both technology and tradition to create one of New Mexico’s most unique and beloved dining experiences. The Panaderia crafts its magnum opuses on equipment that is positively ancient by modern automation standards, but it uses avant-garde technology to grow the herbs and vegetables for its salads, sandwiches and pizzas.  Vending machines which dispense food are very common in Japan.  The Golden Crown Panaderia is Albuquerque’s first for dispensing breads and other baked goods.

In a Hurry? Get Your Golden Crown Products Here.

Old-fashioned might also describe the relationship between senior proprietor Pratt Morales and his son Chris. It’s an old-fashioned father and son relationship in the tradition of Andy and Opie. On Food Finds, Pratt recounted having helped deliver his son, calling it the beginning of a life-long love affair. Pratt also demonstrated his unique craft–bread sculpting. He can literally prepare bread in any shape and form as chronicled in a photo album replete with pictures of the artistic bread creations. Although the Food Network made larger than life celebrities out of father and son, they are both as friendly and accommodating as possible.

A Small Patio Provides Respite From the Sun

I probably wouldn’t be writing about Golden Crown, however, if the end product wasn’t good. Make that outstanding! Make that “the very best bakery in Albuquerque” outstanding!” Situated in a ramshackle old building just outside Old Town, it’s far enough off the beaten path as to be relatively inconspicuous. Inconspicuous, however, doesn’t mean diners aren’t finding it. This humble Panaderia has been consistently ranked by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel community, as one of the top five out of 1,235 restaurants in the Duke City. Golden Crown receives similar praise from Yelp while Lonely Planet, a French publication calls Golden Crown “Albuquerque’s best place to eat.

A rare sight–no queue

The Panaderia’s crown jewel (no pun intended) is the original New Mexico green chile bread on which is sculpted a Santa Fe style coyote baying at the moon. Aside from green chile, this staff of life is fashioned with onions, fresh tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and cilantro. The bread is baked slowly to seal in the flavor and aroma of all the fresh ingredients. Toast it with butter and (if you can get it) New Mexican chokecherry jelly and you’ve got a mouth-watering breakfast.

One of the most beautiful pastry cases in New Mexico

All artisan breads are baked fresh daily and are out of the oven at regular intervals between 10:30AM and 2PM. There may be no more pleasing bouquet in the Duke City than the aroma of fresh bread baking in one of the Golden Crown’s ovens: honey whole wheat, cinnamon raisin honey whole wheat, cinnamon pecan honey whole wheat, Appaloosa bread (a dark and light swirled rye), black rye and even seven-grain bread. They’re all great!

Guy Fieri Visited the Golden Crown

The Appaloosa bread is edible artwork. Swirling patterns of visually appealing dark brown pumpernickel ornament the bread like a beautiful Rorschach ink blot. This is a full-bodied bread, the type of which makes outstanding delicatessen style sandwiches thickly smeared with a fine mustard or with sauerkraut piled on generously. It’s also excellent toasted which enhances the vibrancy and flavors of the bread.

Golden Crown Panaderias World-Famous Biscochitos

Also beyond reproach are the biscochitos, New Mexico’s official state cookie which is mildly sweet with a light taste of anise and a hint of cinnamon. These orb-shaped treats are melt-in-your-mouth delicious! The minute you step into the bakery, a complementary biscochito is handed to “children of all ages,” a gift from the bakery gods. You’ll probably leave with a dozen or more biscochitos courtesy of that warm cookie welcome. In January, 2016, Spoon University named those bizcochitos New Mexico’s best dessert. Spoon described them as “sweet, cinnamony cookies” that became the “official state cookie almost 20 years ago” and “deserve to graduate onto the official dessert.”

Blueberry, Cherry and Lemon Empanadas with Biscochitos

You might think it heretical, but the Moraleses also feature a chocolate biscochito made from a strong, slightly bitter dark chocolate and sprinkled liberally with anise. If you like your chocolate dark, you certainly won’t care that New Mexico’s official state cookie has been altered such. A more recent addition to the biscochito family is a unique cappuccino biscochito. It’s like dunking a biscochito into strong coffee. Abuelitas everywhere (or at least in New Mexico) marvel at the fact that Golden Crown even bakes biscochitos from blue corn flour.

In Food & Wine’s “100 Best Bakeries in America” for 2023, the only bakery from the Land of Enchantment to make it to that list was Albuquerque’s Golden Crown Panaderia. Food & Wine had this to say: “The anise-scented biscochitos, one of New Mexico’s favorite treats, are a highlight at this Old Town institution, run by father-and-son duo Pratt Morales and Chris Morales. But it’s the bread, specifically the green chile bread, that is everything you want from a bakery in New Mexico and will have you going out of your way to getting here.”

The World’s Greatest Coffee Shake and an Empanada

How good are the Golden Crown’s biscochitos? The October, 2005 edition of Gourmet magazine indicated the Golden Crown’s handmade version of biscochitos “make a delightful holiday accompaniment to red or white wine.” Wine, by the way, is how biscochitos were originally served in Spain. With or without wine, biscochitos are an absolute treat in which New Mexicans delight. The Golden Crown’s biscochitos were also celebrated in the July-August edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine. An article entitled “five American desserts worth the trip” describes them as “fragrant, infused with anise, this flaky shortbread coated with cinnamon.” A more succinct way to describe them is absolutely wonderful!

At 85-Years-Young as of September 2023, Pratt Morales is Still Going Strong

Contemporary worldview asserts that a bidirectional relationship exists between the mind and body and that the more we acknowledge these interactions and adopt a holistic approach to our health and well-being, the greater the potential for longevity.  Psychology Today recently profiled an Albuquerque baker who knows the mind-body connection very well.  Pratt Morales, long-time co-owner (with his son Chris) of the Golden Crown Panaderia believes he’ll live to be 130 years young.  You’ll believe it, too, after reading the profile.  Pratt is an 85-year-old going on 22 who’s as spry and fit mentally as he is physically.

During a September 2023 visit, Pratt shred the secret of his longevity.  At 85 years young, he can perform one or two hand cartwheels.  He focuses on flexibility exercises and watching his diet.  I chided him (kiddingly) that the world’s greatest coffee shake is my weakness and reason I won’t ever be in as good a shape as he is.  Pratt proceeded to give me a valuable lesson on things I should do to extend my life.

Combination Pizza on Blue Corn Crust

Another pastry favorite are the flautas (flutes). No, not the corn tortillas rolled around a filling of shredded chicken or beef then fried until crisp. These flautas are filled with glorious lemon or apricot filling and dusted with white powdered sugar. Not too sweet and not too tart, they are absolutely delicious. The Golden Crown’s empanadas are nonpareil, absolutely the very best in New Mexico–whether pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, blueberry, strawberry, apricot, lemon or raspberry. The crust is reminiscent of the biscochitos in both texture and flavor.  Golden Crown even serves empanadas topped by ice cream.  Who says you can’t top these empanadas?

10 September 2023: The menu purports to offer the “creamiest latte in town,” its creaminess attributed to”the freshest milk in town–straight from the cow.” Espresso, latte and mocha coffee drinks are all available if indeed you wish to dunk your biscochito into excellent coffee. The coffee-flavored milk shake also has the flavor of strong coffee (courtesy of two shots of espresso) without the cloying flavor of coffee that’s been over-sweetened. It’s an adult coffee shake and it’s served cold thanks to nearly a full pound of vanilla ice cream out of the freezer.  This is my very favorite shake in Albuquerque and the very best coffee-flavored shake I’ve ever had anywhere. Obviously, both the proprietors and legions of fans agree with me as this shake has earned the designation of “the world’s greatest coffee shake.” That’s how it’s listed on the menu.

Combination Pizza on Green Chile Crust

The Morales family goal is to serve products which are delicious, nutritious and beautiful. In keeping with that lofty aspiration, Pratt has figured out how to bake breads that are free of trans-fats, oils and fat without losing absolutely nothing taste-wise. Still, it’s the artistic nature of his bread sculpture that continues to induce awe among visitors, including Guy Fieri who visited the Golden Crown Panaderia for a 2013 airing of an episode titled “All kinds of Gobble, Gobble” celebrating restaurants who specialize in Thanksgiving offerings. Pratt Morales demonstrated his technique for sculpting a bread turkey.

By popular demand, the Golden Crown Panaderia also serves bakery-style pizza that starts with your choice of three innovative crusts: blue corn dough, peasant dough or the famous New Mexico green chile dough. Doesn’t it stand to reason that no one knows bread (or pizza) crust as well as a baker? While Albuquerque The Magazine‘s staff didn’t give this pizza enough love to place it among their top five pizzas in their annual Food & Wine issue for 2010, it was rated the best pizza along Route 66 by a Roadfood crew rating the “best of the best” from among the dozens of restaurants they sampled in a 5,250-mile excursion along the route. The pizza which captured the Roadfood crew’s affection was a green chile and roasted chicken pizza on a blue corn crust. Golden Crown’s pizza is among my top three in Albuquerque and top five in New Mexico.

Make Your Own Pizza: Sausage, Canadian Bacon, Extra Cheese on Peasant Bread Crust

10 September 2023: This hand-tossed, thin-crust pizza features a housemade pizza sauce, mozzarella and your choice of ingredients in sizes ranging from personal to extra large (30% larger than the regular large). Gourmet toppings include anchovies, oven roasted chicken, artichoke and more. Each pizza is baked to order in about fifteen minutes baking time per pizza. Each pizza comes with a biscochito, an amuse bouche you don’t often see. The personal-sized combination pizza (tasty pepperoni, hearty Italian sausage, black olives, crisp bell peppers, red onions and mozzarella) is my favorite, an artisan-style pie that isn’t nearly as circular as what you might find at a chain, nor is the crusty rim of equal thickness throughout the circumference of the pie. Not that it matters much because every morsel of the pie is an adventure in deliciousness. At eight-inches, the personal-sized pizza is probably right-sized, but it’s so delicious you’ll want a larger sized pie to sate your pizza cravings.

The ingredients are of the highest quality and are absolutely terrific, but it’s the crust that will absolutely blow you away. If you love your pizza crust imbued with the memory-inducing, olfactory arousing aroma of fresh bread just out of the oven, this is the pizza for you. You won’t be leaving behind any of the crust from around the rim, nor will you be sharing it with the annoying pigeons scavenging around the outdoor seating areas waiting for a hand-out. When it comes to olfactory arousing, the green chile crust is absolutely for you with just enough piquancy to get your attention, but moreover, the bouquet of roasted green chile. The green chile crust includes some 18 ingredients while more than 20 ingredients go into both the blue corn and peasant crusts.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Chips and Queso

24 July 2016: The housemade sauce is slathered on thickly and is quite good, a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce that complements other ingredients well. The Italian sausage is not that benign sausage which tastes like so much hamburger meat; it’s sausage with a bit of attitude and a pronounced smokiness. The pepperoni is nicely spiced; several thinly-sliced orbs generously applied throughout the pie. The black olives and green peppers are fresh and delicious and the mozzarella is creamy and chewy. My Kim’s favorite pizza is a make-your-own topped with sausage, Canadian bacon and extra cheese on a peasant crust. It’s an outstanding pizza!

A sandwich board features six sandwiches built on the panaderia’s fresh-baked bread and uses only high quality meats, cheeses and fresh vegetables. Your sandwich can be built on sliced bread (including the fabled green chile bread) or sub sandwich bread.

Turkey sandwich adorned with fresh from the garden lettuce, tomatoes and more

In the November, 2010 edition of New Mexico Magazine I was asked to write an article showcasing the use of turkey for breakfast, lunch and dinner in three Albuquerque restaurants. My featured lunch selection was Golden Crown’s Turkey & Swiss sandwich (served with mayonnaise, Italian dressing, deli mustard, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and a kosher pickle). It is an outstanding sandwich–and thankfully NOT named the “Albuquerque Turkey” as so many turkey sandwiches (particularly those offered by chains) seem to be. Crafted on the Panaderia’s fabulous bread and adorned with vegetables grown on the premises on a hydroponic (a method of growing plants in water using mineral nutrient solutions with no soil) garden, the sandwich is accompanied by a biscochito and chips.

I also had the opportunity to introduce the world to Golden Crown in an article entitled “America’s Best Food Regions” published on the May, 2011 edition of Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine. Along with bloggers from other storied American food regions, I was given 500 words to explain why New Mexico’s “Chile Country” reigns supreme over other culinary regions. Naturally the Golden Crown was one of six purveyors of America’s most incendiary regional cuisine I wrote about.

Ham and Swiss toasted with avocado on the famous New Mexico Green Chile bread
Ham and Swiss toasted with avocado on the famous New Mexico Green Chile bread

It’s no surprise this humble bakery was also featured in the Unique Boutique section of the November, 2005 edition of New Mexico Magazine. In May, 2007, the magazine published a lengthier article profiling Pratt and his passion for baking. It’s no longer a surprise when the Golden Crown Panaderia receives national accolades….such as a designation as the “best place for a book stop” from Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine. The magazine extolled the green chile bread and urged readers to “buy a loaf and snack away during an extended session.”

The Golden Crown Panaderia leaves no stone unturned in providing the highest possible in quality products and produce. In 2010, the Morales family began cultivating its own herbs and vegetables for use on its salads, sandwiches and pizzas. In a temperature controlled indoor environment, utilize state-of-the-art aquaponic techniques to grow several varieties of lettuce as well as fresh basil which resonates with flavor on pizza. The garden is somewhat of an anomaly in that so much of the equipment throughout the bakery is an anachronism, veritable antiques which function under the master bakers to create culinary masterpieces.

Chris Morales proudly shows off the Golden Crown’s herb and vegetable garden from which they craft fresh salads.

Before the advent of propane-powered chile roasters, New Mexicans either roasted chile themselves or they took it to their favorite baker. With advance arrangements, the Moraleses will still provide this service for loyal customers. Under the skillful hands of the Duke City’s very best bakers, the chile is roasted far more evenly than it is on a gigantic rotating drum–and without the abuse to which the chile is subjected in the tumbling process.

Pratt Morales loves being a baker so much that he often wakes up at three in the morning and walks to work so he can get started on his next sculpting project or bread innovation. We should all love our jobs as much as he does.  We should all be as patriotic as he is.  Not only does he wear his own dog tags signifying his service in the United States Air Force, he wears his dad’s dog tags.  He’s very proud of his dad’s service during World War II.  When we visited in September, 2023, Pratt told me Chris was getting ready for a tour of bakeries throughout Europe.  It made me wonder who will be teaching whom the art of bread-making.

My friends and frequent dining companions Sr. Plata, Bill Resnik and Paul Lilly with Pratt Morales, a baker’s baker.

The Golden Crown Panaderia is a rarity–a bakery-slash-restaurant that does both well. Pratt and Chris Morales have made this panaderia an Albuquerque institution and in the process, have become part of the fabric of the Duke City’s unique cuisine culture themselves.

Golden Crown Panaderia
1103 Mountain Road, N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Web Site | Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 10 September 2023
COST: $$
BEST BET: Green Chile Bread, Tres Leche Cake, Biscochitos (Traditional, Chocolate and Cappuccino), Specialty Pizza, Turkey & Swiss Sandwich, Combination Pizza, Blueberry Empanada, Cherry Empanada, Lemon Empanada, Roast Beef Sandwich

40 thoughts on “Golden Crown Panaderia – Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. Short on cash and in a Quandary? as to what to get her/him for Valentine’s Day?

    Have you ever had….or showed Her/Him how much you love ’em with The World’s Best Chocolate Coffee Milkshake from The Golden Crown Panaderia?

    Make this that year! Guaranteed to make you: ImMemoriable!

    (Ignore the dated pricing here: )

    $7.05 Med and “only” $8.99 for the Larger (which is obvious to go for!)

    (If I were Y’all, I’d check for reservations for V-Day!)

  2. Bobo, while you represent inflation as quite moderate you seemingly forget its a compilation of items.
    As the cost of food goes thru the roof gasoline declined precipitously.
    I know in your welterschung food should remain low and not be affected by anything else, but per reality our changing climate per lack of rain (climate change) has played havoc with our growing areas.
    I place some of the blame on older cars (read old Firebirds) that folks still tool around in thinking they are chick magnets attracting, luring younger women in their web. Ergo, you are self defeating your well known penchant for frugalness (read using spittal instead of precious tap water to test the heat in frying pans) by driving a car that causes food prices to accelerate per their horrendous carbon footprint
    I believe that is called penny wise and pound foolish.

  3. In commenting about The Little Red Hamburger Hut on Mountain Rd. just now, JohnL “It’s been a while since we went last. Had the Medium Burger Combo. Still a good burger but it was smaller than we remembered and the price has gone from $7.95 to $10.95.”
    Yo JohnL…It must be catching! I don’t know per the chicken and the egg, but just a couple of blocks away, Golden Crown Panaderia’s sandwiches are up by two bucks…e.g. 9.95 for just salami, one slice of provolone with L/T/O and the same for the World’s Best Coffee Milkshake (WBCM). While JohnL didn’t note how long since he’d last been, I had the WBCM about six weeks ago before it bumped up to 7 bucks, albeit I don’t know how long it was 5. BTAIM, a 40% jackup would cover quite a few years of recent inflation at only 2-3%.

    Lest Folks havent’ been in awhile, the space for ordering/pick-up/”seating” lest you were claustrophobic, has been expanded per knocking out a wall into the “recently” renovated indoor sunroom for cooler times, which is a nice accommodation to having made an outside area into a nice umbrellaed patio if ya haven’t been the past few years in the summertime.
    All in all, for those who might have shied away per limited beverage choices, you can now enjoy suds and vin!
    Buena Suerte!

  4. Yo…I stopped in to pick up some Empanadas and Oatmeal/Raisin cookies for a now traditional gathering of family/friends after doing our 14th (of 15) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks on 10/26. Yo!!! Just to say, did I score points for those Yum Yums! (if ever, best to go when they open…LOL)
    ~ Say did you know that in addition to their popular sculpted Turkey bread they do for the Holidays I’m encouraging them to exemplify our laid back life style by coming up with some (no pun intended!) to send to my up tight friends elsewhere for Christmas or whatever upcoming Holidays Folks are into!!!

  5. For those who’ve never tried the delicious YumYums (sandwiches/pizzas/breads/pastries/shakes) which Golden Crown Panaderia (GCP) has to offer, perhaps Y’all might consider this a Golden opportunity.(Scroll down to Amazon Local Deals; then scroll across, clicking the arrow on the right for GCP $20 for $10.)
    As many of Y’all might bypass GCP per being “out of the way”, consider combing with a visit to the hands-on “Explora” museum – not just for kids/let your inner child out! or the Albuquerque Museum of Fine Arts or the Natural History and Science Museum (featuring I-Max films)all just west on Mt Rd by Old Town. Speaking of OT, consider some old fashioned strolling especially now that all the tourists are gone and especially if you are into Christmas or December Gift Giving, while the weather is still mild. In addition to some shoppes with Indian/Mexican fare, some might be surprized that Old Town offers a variety of unique remembrances (not typically found in Malls) by Local, small businesses!

    1. The Golden Crown Panaderia has been in the news several times recently:

      In a recent Travel & Leisure article, Albuquerque was ranked fifth among America’s best coffee cities. The article showcased the Golden Crown Panaderia’s coffee milkshake which Duke City diners acknowledge is the very best in the world.

      Cheryl Alters Jamison’s most recent column for New Mexico Magazine featured New Mexico’s Dia De Los Muertos traditions. In the article Cheryl highlighted the popularity of pan de muerto, a specialty at Golden Crown.

  6. Alas Bruce S, …despite your proximity to New England, you missed…or, better, I failed miserably to get across that my comments were a mishmash of New England wry/dry/tongue-in-cheek/and another common descriptor that alludes me, that I was attempting to use, which apparently came off poorly, in attempting to be ‘diplomatic’ with the original critique of the cost of the Turkey Loaf of the Golden Crown Panaderia. (I.e. in today’s world, I was trying to use “Code”…LOL) Hence, for example, the comparison to modern art which is often created with a lesser artistic effort than what Senor Morales had to use to create his loaf, i.e. I tried to lay out, as a minimum, how much laborious, time consuming effort (i.e. time is money/cost) he has to go through even REGARDLESS of his overhead, which is, regardless, separate from what HE VALUES the loaf as and is willing to trade (or not) for what you/I value to have to trade (or not)!
    – Alas, my valued (spelled with NO pejorative undertones) cohort! re Ayn: Despite a few things of hers I have a hard time with, she would praise you…yes praise you…. for your being In-Sync with one of her basic tenets, which is roughly as you alluded to and with which you were in fact proselytizing me with!!!: “You and I and everyone else has the option of walking out of the offending business. But what we don’t have is the right to price anyone’s work…”
    I.e. shall we trade by…compulsion or (mutual)consent?
    – In deference to the Blog, Food, and readers Bruce, I’m hoping, as we agreed last, to still dine again wherein we can touch on all the above!

    I’m never sure “per” your reviews if we ever agree but I do know I’m apt to read them multiple times before I have even an inkling of whether or not you are pro or con.
    Just my opinion, you either like or dislike the places.
    To tell experienced chefs and owners how to improve well run respected establishments how mac and cheese at $3.99 would make their restaurants better is a personal statement and I’m not sure if any of them take your advice.
    Pricing their menus without taking their overhead and financial needs into account still seems presumptuous at best.
    i’m curious if you have ever owned an eating establishment?
    Ayn who, BOTVOLR? Wasn’t she a chef who cooked up crazy stuff best taken with lumps of salt, not grains?
    Still have a happy Thanksgiving, even if turkey prices are up this year!

  8. Alas Bruce S, I’m glad to read we do not disagree, but I knew that!
    OMG! per your “But…” comment: have you finally begun reading Ayn?!!

    You can rail all you want over price via a vis the product in question but when you carp about a donut that is rock hard the next morning or an establishment charging $1 or $2 for a Pepsi (you should be embarrassed for preferring Pepsi over Coke) you seem to forget the cost of overhead like um, rent. or heatIng and cooling or even the cost of labor, and equipment.
    Here is a good solution to your donut problem, buy some Hostess donuts which have a shelf life measured in light years. Or dunk in your morning coffe which I’m guessing isn’t Starbucks..
    The shelf life of a fabulous baguette from thenFrench Riviera Bakery is about 10 hours and then poof, hard bread good from making bread crumbs. I’ll still take the home made bakery loaf over a corporate made loaf that will be soft 3 weeks from now.
    Perhaps making cookies for 65 cents is not as satisfying as his artistic efforts and obviously he stretches his talents for a very special holiday.
    Don’t patronize places you find too expensive, but really don’t tell them how to put a price on their creations, it very presumptuous to do so.
    You and I and everyone else has the option of walking out of the offending business.
    But what we don’t have is the right to price anyone’s work including a $35 baked bread turkey, which to me from the description is quite involved.
    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

  10. Yo David I hear ya on that albeit I’m vexed by it all whether you mentioned it or not! I loathe places trying to charge me 1 to 2 bucks, maybe more, for a fill of Pepsi when a can (in a pack of four 6 packs) at Wallymart would be about only 25 cents. And then there are the donut places!!! What is with charging 89 cents!!!! for a plain doughnut that if I don’t eat it right away will be like a rock to try to eat for breakfast the next AM!!!

    Indeed, I’d love to pass out several Turkey Loaves as carinos early next week, but at 35 bucks? By definition a Carino is under 5, well maybe under 10.

    Alas, on the other hand, did you watch that Viejo of Golden Crown Panaderia demonstrate the making of a Turkey Loaf on Diner/Drive-Ins/& Dives this week which Fieri apparently found of worth ? Heehola, he had to gather up several ingredients by hand, i.e. they didn’t squirt pre-measured out of some costly piece of equipment in order to make the dough. Not only that, there are two different mixtures of ingredients needed to make two different doughs. Alas, he did use a mixer to mix each set of ingredients. Nevertheless, he then roller-pinned by hand those two different batches of dough to then form by hand the different parts of The Bird….breast, wings, drumsticks. Here is the querky part: some might say there is a certain element of artistic ability which comes into play to make these parts look ‘life-like’ as well as proportional to the rest of The Bird. Consider if you will comparatively: An artist takes out the BBs of several shotgun shells and replaces them with dollops of different paint colors which he shoots at a canvass with his eyes closed. That painting sells for thousands as well as subsequent, similarly made ones. In many cases they are sold right from his scruffy, paint spattered/slopped studio loft in the bowels of NYC…i.e. not even a 5th Avenue haute gallery!!! What more am you and I getting in terms of the actual bread, if we walked into Tamaya to pay 35 bucks for a loaf, and immediately walked out (after spending 6 bucks in gas to/fro e.g. downtown ABQ) than if we went to (some might say the en-vogue or Enchanting) ‘digs’ on Mountain Rd.????

    The nice thing about living in the USofA till now is that if I want to paint something so simple for mega bucks like a can of Campbell’s soup like Andy Worhol, I can. Similarly, you and I can mix, roll out, shape a Turkey (or Lady Gaga, Mylie Cyrus, a swastika) loaf of bread!!! Or, we can search around and find a better deal. E.g. I found this one for only 20 bucks from…ahem…. San Francisco of all places!!!! (well, plus shipping for $17), albeit its not quite the same: Lo, we can even complain about the price without having to come up with an alternative!

    Lo, who knows what prompts the hundreds of people who are lured to this Viejo to offer this Bird year after year when it is ‘a bit’ labor and time wise intensive, when he could be making cookies to offer for only 65 cents, is beyond me. Once again, the social inequity of it all cries out for government intervention per the gall of it all! I’m just saying!!!
    Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All!

  11. I wanted to order one of their turkey loaf bread. But when they told me the bread had a $35.00 price tag to it I was confused. Now that is a lot of money for a loaf of bread that looks like a stuffed turkey that was not stuffed with anything. Its just a loaf of bread. After all it is not the Tamaya Hyatt Resort doing the baking its a mom and pop operation for crying out loud. When I asked why so expensive he just hung up on me. He really wanted my business. Of which he will never get.

  12. Edward and I stopped by Golden Crown after Down N Dirty Seafood last week…Gil’s praise of the coffee milkshake had to be checked out!

    It was indeed an awesome milkshake, delicious empanadas, and fabulous FRESH green chile bread!

    I’m glad we went before the episode of DDD airs, because it’s a teeny place and I hate fighting crowds…which there are going to be, for sure!

  13. Going to be on Diners/Drive-Ins/Dives on Monday the 18th at 8pm on the Food Network.
    Nov 19, 2013
    1:00 AM ET/PT
    Nov 22, 2013
    9:00 PM ET/PT

  14. It’s not much to look at but go there for the food. The sandwiches and the pizza are both very good. They will pretty much put whatever you want on your pizza and the crust is amazing. Go there, you wont be disappointed.

  15. Less folks be offput to visit or return per the limited seating inside or the previously more primitive accommodations in the entry, I espied what appears to be a significant upgrade for patio dining along two sides with festive umbrellas! Alas, I’d just eaten down the road.

  16. Handsdown, the very best coffee milkshake! I have use all my self control to NOT stop on my way to school to get one, otherwise I would go broke. Their biscochitos are crispy and delicious as well as their mini pecan loaves, which I wish they would make in bigger sizes so it would last longer. This is another hidden gem I found because of Gil’s blog and cannot thank you for pointing me in the right (delicious) direction.

  17. I tried Golden Crown out for the first time a week ago. I’ve already been back. The pizza is outstanding, especially the green chile crust. You can’t get this type of pizza crust anywhere else in New Mexico. All of the toppings are very fresh and tasty as well. The empanadas are also great. I have thus far tried the pumpkin, apple, and sweet potato. I will be going back for more pizza and to try out some of their bread. One of Albuquerque’s true gems.

  18. Starting to get very excited about my green chile turkey bread scupture othat will be ready for pickup Wednesday. I hope my friends got their orders in! Thank you Golden Crown!!!

    1. Hello Nancie

      The Golden Crown Panaderia is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7AM to 8PM and on Sundays from 10AM to 8PM. It is closed on Mondays. Seating is very limited with only two tables within the bakery, but a small number of tables on the outdoor patio. The bakery can get very busy and crowded. If you can’t find seating within the restaurant, you can always order take-out and drive about a mile to Tiguex Park to dine al fresco.


  19. Sr Plata brought the entire Plata family for a Friday night out to Golden Crown and I have to say all enjoyed their time. First, I must disagree with Andrea but I believe it was the best coffee milkshake I have had and I have experience much from here to the hometown of L.A. But back to the food, what was cool is my 21 year old Niña (Niña Plata) is very particular on her pizza and only had cheese but she said she would come back anytime I invite her. I had the Vegetarian pizza with beef (yes, you read that right) on peasant dough and was well pleased. My son had the pastrami sandwich and enjoyed it also; he is always looking for good pastrami and the bread used was excellent. I do have to say that the avocado & turkey sandwich could have used a bit more avocado, Señorena had to look for it but all in all she enjoyed the sandwich. The Master baker came outside to talk to us, an exceptional personal touch that impacted my family. He also gave us some basil that is home grown inside the restaurant which totally amazes me which is why I had one of the best salads ever. I even came back the next day to get a large blue corn pizza with little cheese since we are watching the calorie intake and it was awesome. Pratt/Chris, you guys Rock!

  20. Love Golden Crown . . . BUT you err in the designation of the best coffee milkshake anywhere.

    THAT honor goes to the Espresso Shake at Cafe Pasqual’s. No contest.

  21. I have had two visits to Golden Crown Panaderia, and was more than satisfied each time. My first visit was dine-in for pizza, and had two different kinds of crusts (Traditional & Blue Corn). It was my first time trying a blue corn crust, (as mentioned above) was a thin type crust, but not crispy. I prefer the thicker crusts that have a bit more dough, but I really enjoyed hearing about all the natural products that went into making both crusts. On my second visit, I stopped in to buy Green Chile, and Cinnamon Bread, with an empanada for dessert. It was nice to get a chance to buy the bread un-sliced, and was able to slice it myself at home. This was especially great for the cinnamon bread that I turned into French toast this past weekend.. (What a Treat). The quality of everything I received was outstanding, and was made to feel at home on both of my visits. The venue would be a bit small for a large group, but very welcoming for a few people to experience a cozy experience and enjoy the culture of Albuquerque with fresh herbs and thoughtfulness put into the products they offer. A must visit for those who enjoy the hometown bakery venue!
    Paul – AKA (Boomer)

  22. This is the first time I’ve heard of Golden Crown Panaderia. I am definitely looking forward to checking it out. Thank you for writing about it and introducing it to me!

  23. Had an awesome time with Sensei and his loyal grasshoppers celebrating Gil’s birth over Pizza. Not just any kind of Pizza but one you feel was baked by the bakers hand in the ‘old country’. Gil introduced us to Pratt Morales, the owner/baker who joined us at his table and told us amazing stories of his life and how organic and healthy the Pizzas are. What was amazing was they grew their own vegetables and spices (I had fresh basil that was plucked from the pot close to the counter). There are three choices of crust and I had the Blue Corn which was delicious. It was more of a thin crust which I understand is made with a large number (more than 20) of natural ingredients. I had the medium size with ground beef, mushrooms, garlic, basil and olives and I was extremely happy with it. It was a meal that could easily be shared with Senorena Plata when adding a fresh grown salad with most ingredients plucked from pots grown inside the restaurant. When Pratt, joined us, I was reminded a lot of my Grandfather who was a baker in the ‘old country’ of Greece and Turkey in the 1920’s and I understood he too built bakery items as natural as possible. I really felt comfortable having lunch there and look forward to returning…

  24. I think Golden Crown is a neighborhood and an Albuquerque treasure. I only wish they’d put just a little money into the upkeep of their building and into their outdoor seating area.

  25. I am so happy to see this place get the recognition it so deserves! I love everything that I’ve ordered from them! I have visited many sandwich shops in Albuquerque and I have never had one near the quality as Golden Crown! They have to be the best sandwiches ever, bar none!
    Their bakery items are little bits of heaven as soon as you smell them and then as you pop one in your mouth, you feel as if you were transported to someplace magical!
    And yes, I have to agree, the staff there is friendly no matter when you visit! Such a delightful change from the “hurry up and wait” establishments around! Thank you Golden Crown!

  26. I have been one of the lucky people to have grown up with the Panaderia. I have fond memories from their original location as well as yummy ones from today. My family has had everything from the cookies to the bread and pizza. We have had it shipped and we try to get in several times a month. We have never had any issues and have always received what we have ordered and it is always delicious. Pratt, Chris and the rest of the staff make you feel right at home and I do not think anyone who walks through the door is ever seen as a stranger. You are just another one of the “kids” who needs a biscochito to welcome you into the family.

  27. Golden Crown Bakery is our favorite bakery in New Mexico.
    We visit Albuquerque every spring and Golden Crown Bakery
    is our very first stop every year.
    We load up the first day and return once or twice before we
    head back for Illinois.
    Not only are the baked goods outstanding so are Pratt, Chris
    and staff. We look forward to seeing them again next week!!!

  28. I visited the Golden Crown on a visit to Albuquerque some time ago. My daughter, also on a visit, discovered the bakery and told me that I just had to go there on our next trip through.
    It was a very pleasant experience. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The green chile bread was delicious and biscochitos, all three flavors, devine.
    Wish I could visit the bakery on a regular basis. The 750 mile trip is a little limiting for me.

  29. I love this bakery, the historic old building is great for many other items besides those mentioned in this article. The empanadas are fantastic and a dozen will rarely make it through 24 hours in my presence. The coffee and hot teas plus an empanada go so great sitting outside in the warm New Mexico sunshine.

  30. I have ordered pizza from this place 5 times – I love the pizza, but their attn to detail is NOT good.
    I have yet to, even with repeating the order, get what I asked for — it’s disappointing.

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