Italian Restaurants

There was a time–not that long ago, in fact–when Italian restaurants in New Mexico were dismissed as just “good for New Mexico,” but certainly not of the caliber of Italian eateries in more sophisticated, more cosmopolitan locales heavily populated by Italians.  There are restaurants on my list below which wouldn’t have to take a backseat to any Italian restaurant anywhere!  By clicking on the name of the restaurant for which you wish to know my opinion, you will be magically transported directly to my review of that restaurant.

Restaurant Location Why It’s On The List
Las Cruces
Not only New Mexico’s best Italian restaurant, but likely its very best steakhouse, too.  There’s a reason Bob and Kim Yacone are multi-time award winners in national and world pizza and wings competitions.  Simply the best!
Joe’s Pasta House Rio Rancho New Mexico’s best “red sauce” Italian restaurant in the finest traditions of red sauce restaurants throughout the East Coast.  This is the anti-Olive Garden in every respect!  It’s also one of New Mexico’s very best “seafood” restaurants.
M’Tucci’s Twenty-Five
 Albuquerque The crown jewel of the M’Tucci’s restaurant family, a 10,000 square-foot pantheon of delicious Italian cuisine.  Offering everything from artisan pizza and pasta to unique entrees and appetizers sure to please.
M’Tucci’s Kitchina Albuquerque One of the very best restaurants launched in the Duke City in 2013, M’Tucci’s has a whimsical ambiance, but a very serious menu with excellent Italian cuisine masterfully executed by chef John Hass.
Piatanzi Albuquerque Two Duke City locations from which to choose.  Fabulous small plate Italian creations and even better Grandi Piatti “Large Plates” will make a believer out of you.  Two words to remember: Funghi & Tartufo
Paisano’s Albuquerque Paisano’s pays attention to the details, the real difference makers.  Preparing made-from-scratch fresh pasta, veal, fish, poultry and beef in the traditional Italian ways, Paisano’s is also famous for its soul-warming soup.
10 thoughts on “Italian Restaurants”
    1. Before Covid changed the way the world works, plays, shops and eats, Dennis could be found at Urban Taqueria on First Street. Urban Taqueria offers one of the most innovative, fun and delicious menus of any restaurant in New Mexico. It’s definitely a “must visit” restaurant.

  1. Hello,
    I am a fan of your blog and generally put a good deal of faith in your opinion. I thought I was the only Burqueno who was not a fan of Tromino’s until I read, with delight, your scathing comments about it. That brings me to my question for you – why are there no reviews for Capo’s on Central? It is another place which seems to be a favorite with the Olive Garden set – a place which I think serves some of the worst, most insipid food on the planet, yet it is still open for business.

    1. Hello Mrs. Brown

      In all fairness, my review of Trombino’s was written fourteen years ago in 2006. I probably should visit Trombino’s again. After all, it continues to earn “best Italian restaurant” honors in several local publications.

      As for Capo’s, a former Albuquerque Journal critic awarded it four stars. After that same critic awarded Joe’s Pasta House only 3.5 stars, I certainly had to question if Capo’s could possibly be better than Joe’s, but haven’t visited Capo’s to find out for myself.

      There are a number of local favorites that I seem to be in the minority about with respect to not “loving” them: Dion’s, Quarters BBQ, Sadie’s and Trombino’s come to mind. If we all loved all the same restaurants, it would be a boring world.

      Thank you for your kind words about Gil’s Thrilling…


    1. Gil only gives ratings to restaurants AFTER the 2nd visit. As Forghedaboudit only has one visit, you do not have a rating yet. But take solace in knowing that Gil only does that when he intends to go back to a restaurant…as he’s been known to rate a restaurant in, say Kentucky, as he is unlikely to return anytime soon.

      I can’t wait to make it to Deming and try your wonderful restaurant! I’m gonna tear those wings up!

  2. I’ve just discovered your blog, thank goodness!
    Finding good food being served here has been very
    difficult for us to find until stumbling onto your blog.
    We tried the San Pedro Middle Eastern Market and
    you were spot on, can’t wait to start trying the others
    you’ve written about.
    Thank You !

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I hope we continue to hear about your journey to discovering the best New Mexico’s restaurant kitchens have to offer.


  3. You’re back, you’re back! I’m so happy you’re back! I missed you so! I was alone in a culinary desert without you! Thank you for your wonderful resource of a website!

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