Walker’s Popcorn Company – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

Who doesn’t love popcorn? Along with hot dogs, apple pie, hamburgers and barbecue, it’s been an American favorite–or should I say tradition–for generations. A humble treat, popcorn can grow in other parts of the world where other corn can’t. It was grown in the Americas, China, Mexico and India long before Columbus journeyed to America. According to urban myth, it was brought to the “first” Thanksgiving” (at least the one taught about in history books) by the Iroquois and since then, a tradition has existed of bringing popcorn to peace negotiations as a token of good will. Today Americans consume over seven billion quarts of popcorn every year.

For generations, throngs of Chicago residents have stood in long lines to get the world’s best popcorn at Garrett Popcorn Shop. A resilient lot, they stand there regardless of frosty air, oppressive humidity, turbulent winds and every other way in which Mother Nature vents her wrath. The popcorn at Garrett is transformative.  It’s life-altering.  It’s a religious experience.  After each visit to Chicago, we crave Garrett for months and though there is no equal, Albuquerque has a popcorn shop which does  assuage our craving.

Walker’s Popcorn Company has been serving Albuquerque since October 1st, 2003 with a popcorn specialty store–which might not be Garrett’s (a truly incomparable shop)–but it’s pretty darn good in its own right. Appropriately enough, it’s owned by former residents of McHenry, a northwest suburb of Chicago. The Walkers are passionate about popcorn and pop their product daily the old-fashioned way, in small batches using great ingredients to ensure you always receive an unfailingly fresh popcorn product.

The Walker’s popcorn flavors are innovative and unique. You no longer have to imagine what popcorn might taste like if flavored with hot cinnamon, watermelon, tangerine or green apple because Walker’s has these flavors and many more. It’s not quite the Baskin Robbins of popcorn, but you get the picture. Traditionalists can have their plain buttered popcorn or cheddar cheese flavored popcorn if they’re daring, but you’re well advised to venture into the realm of sensory exploration. Skeptics will be quickly disarmed when they find the fruit flavored popcorn actually has a fruity taste.

A three popcorn combination from Walker’s

Expatriated Chicagoans (like my wife) order their popcorn Chicago style (cheddar tossed with caramel) by the gallon tin size. The sharp cheddar taste and caramel sweetness mingle beautifully and will leave your hands an orange, sticky mess. New Mexico style popcorn features green chile tossed with caramel. The green chile is, in fact, more piquant than what is served in many New Mexican restaurants. A green chile caramel and biscochito popcorn are also available.  If there’s one nit about Walker’s popcorn, it’s that the size of the kernels are rather on the small size (at least compared to the steroidal kernels popped at Garrett’s).

Walker’s popcorn will put to shame any popcorn made in a movie theater and especially the popcorn sold at the malls around Christmas time (that popcorn should be used as packing material for gifts). It just may have you swearing off the piteous microwave mediocrity. Seasonal specialties include a biscochito flavored popcorn (that does include the flavor of anise and cinnamon) and a licorice flavored popcorn that’s popular around Halloween. Other store specialties include fudge and caramel apples. 

A Gallon-Sized Bag of Chicago-Style Popcorn
A Gallon-Sized Bag of Chicago-Style Popcorn

After fifteen years at its original Central Avenue location just south of the University of New Mexico, Walker’s relocated to a much larger location on Menaul in what used to be Dee’s Cheesecake Factory.

Walker’s Popcorn Company
3900 Menaul, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 4 August 2018
BEST BET: Green chili and Caramel, Cheddar and Caramel, Cheddar and Buttered, Biscochito Flavored Popcorn, Chicago-Style Popcorn

11 thoughts on “Walker’s Popcorn Company – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

  1. It appears that as of August 1, 2018 that Walker’s has moved to a new location. They are at 3300 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque NM 87107 (the old Dee’s Cheesecake location). I’m looking forward to checking them out tomorrow.

    1. The new location is so much better than the old one! They have a lot more room and they are planning on being open on Saturday at least for a while, which is nice for those who still work. We absolutely had to have 2 large bowls of Chicago style popcorn as well as an 8 oz bag of red chile caramel.

      1. Thank you so much for alerting us to Walker’s new location. Even though I work at the University of New Mexico not too far from Walker’s original location, the Menaul store is much more convenient. There’s not only more room, but a much better parking situation…and the popcorn is still outstanding. We got a gallon bag of Chicago style popcorn to celebrate the new location. Next time we’ll have the red chile caramel.

        1. My pleasure to alert you to the new location! I retired from the University last year and getting to the old location and finding parking upon my return was always an issue. I love the parking in the new location and it is so very convenient for us to make a trip to Richard’s for some awesome carne adovada too!

  2. I tried Walkers Rainbow popcorn yesterday and it is fantastic! I was never a big popcorn fan, but I couldn’t stop eating it…now I’m hooked!

  3. In all honesty, I haven’t been to Walker’s, so please don’t take this as a comparison.

    During the Christmas (aka Holiday)/New Year’s/Rose Bowl Game/My Birthday/SuperBowl/Fat Tuesday’s/Preparing my Income Tax Festivities, I discovered bringing gourmet POPCORN of all things as an avant-garde alternative to the ring of frozen shrimpies I’d bring as a Single’s PotLuck contribution…LOL

    As such, I present this Comment per my enthusiasm for a “product” at a place that seems to have (unless I’m reading things incorrectly) a) smaller servings for one’s dining pleasure, and b) one “purer” choice, i.e a non Carmelized offering. I.e. my current enthusiasm is for The Popcorn Cannery’s Christmas (i.e. Red/Green Chile)Popcorn delight! To be upfront, and lest my taste buds are playing tricks, I’d prefer it with a bit of less salt!!! (I’ve also had a small, what they call a “Pillow”, bag of their Carmel corn which I wouldn’t kick out of bed neitherly!!!)

    While relatively easy to find, it might perplex or cause concern for some Folks herein as it is in a somewhat industrialized area (Eh! it’s a Cannery!) north of a residential area, but south of I-40 on 7th NW. http://www.thepopcorncannery.com/location.html

    If you really really need an excuse to “venture” there: you can explore other great places less than a mile or two close by (i.e. places reviewed herein) as e.g. a great Chile Cheeseburger or jerky at the NM Beef Jerky Co. on Fourth, exotics at Pasion Latin Fusion on Central, Bocadillo’s ABQ “Ruben”, breads/sandwiches at Golden Crown Panaderia and, of course, a FLCCD at the Dog House!!!!!

    Eh…walking in you’re not committed to anything as the kindly Grandma Ladies will spot ya complimentary samples! Don’t now what more I can do except to say: “Chow!”

    1. If this is the popped corn you brought to your favorite hot dog palace on 02/05/14 I highly recommend it. You are a boy genius.

  4. Gotta try Crazy Maizy’s whenever your down in Las Cruces! It’s on Solano, and their red chili mango popcorn make me smile! Hurry go get some!

  5. The boys loved watching them make the many flavors and the kind customer service and low cost were nothing less than outstanding. Our sons loved the Triple Berry and Cherry Cobbler and my husband and I enjoyed the Caramel Peanut and Cookies n’ Cream.

    This is, by far, the freshest and most flavorful specialty popcorn we’ve ever eaten!

  6. I’m both embarrassed and not to admit that I’m obsessed with Garrett’s cheese & caramel combo. And that I’ve been dreaming about Walker’s lately. I may just have to go over there right now.

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