There is a wide range of nightlife, from punk clubs to elegant establishments, sure to impress any date. Here’s a cross-section of places that are sure to suit whatever experience you’re looking for, whether hanging out with hipsters at live music clubs or sipping martinis in velvet chairs. Of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the selection down to those places with the greatest appeal and reputation. We offer a carefully curated selection so you can explore Albuquerque’s nightlife at your own pace. However, if time is really tight and you don’t have the leisure to browse all of our offerings, we present you with our list of the best Albuquerque nightlife spots. Here we distill the best companies into a special selection of ten. These locations promise an outstanding experience and a taste of the city that you just can’t miss.
Sandia Resort and Casino, secluded in its splendor on the Sandia Pueblo Reservation with the Sandia Mountains as a backdrop, offers widespread musical entertainment along with its casino and world-class restaurants. Directly in front of the resort is the open-air amphitheater, which attracts well-known artists for summer concerts. Inside, top notch live bands enliven the main floor of the casino and play great dance music. This secluded bar and dance floor can get crowded and lines can gather, so get there early on a Saturday night. Outside by the pool in summer there are sometimes steel barrels to fill the air. Located at the top of the 9th floor, the Bien Shur Lounge offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the mountains to the east and the city’s countryside to the west. Pop and jazz bands play on the weekends and it’s easier to get a table here than downstairs. There is a bar menu here.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This elegant nightspot atop the Sandia Resort and Casino offers expansive views of the Albuquerque city lights and Sandia Mountains.
Steve’s expert tip: The Bien Shur Lounge upstairs is more intimate with spectacular views. Hungry? Order the fish tacos!
Read more about Sandia Resort and Casino →
This cozy neighborhood bar has been a Nob Hill haunt for years and it’s no secret why – friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, late hours, good prices and a good selection of beers, spirits and pub grub. Great service and arguably the best burgers in Albuquerque!
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: As authentic as an Irish pub can be found just before a trip to Dublin.
Steve’s expert tip: Play Geeks that Drink Trivia here, give us a call.
Read more about O’Niell’s Irish Pub →
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Located in Rio Rancho, just north of Albuquerque, Turtle Mountain is well worth the drive. There are always the brewery’s award winning beers on tap and many others from around the country as well as national and international beers. The food is almost as good as the beer, and the variety of wood-fired pizzas makes it hard to choose. Big screen TVs are usually tuned to sports, including football, but it’s also a great spot for busy, loud conversations. TMBC is the end result of way too much dreaming (and drinking) on the part of owner Nico Ortiz. Beginning with a student exchange to Germany at the age of 16, he has dedicated his life to the pursuit of good beer. This brew pub is the culmination of over two decades of “market research” at hundreds of restaurants, bars, brew pubs, breweries, garages and beer festivals around the world. The name “Turtle Mountain” comes from the Tewa name for Sandia Peak. Born and raised in Oke Owingeh, north of Espanola, Alfonso Ortiz (Nico’s late father) is one of six Pueblos who speak Tewa. Nico’s father’s Native American name was “Oku Pin”, which means “Turtle Mountain”. In homage to his father, who provided the inspiration and financial means to open the pub, Nico named it Turtle Mountain Brewing Company.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Turtle Mountain brews its own award-winning beer and its New Mexico-style wood-fired pizzas are excellent.
Steve’s expert tip: Take home a growling beer.
Read more about Turtle Mountain Brewing Company →
Photo courtesy of Marble Brewery
Marble Brewery is a production brewery with its own tasting room and outdoor beer garden in downtown Albuquerque. Marble Brewery offers a range of seven house beers and a variety of seasonal styles on tap and in the bottle. The attached pub has 10 ales on tap and a 40ft bar that looks into the brewery. Sandwich menu is available.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Marble brews its own award winning beer which you can also find in local shops.
Steve’s expert tip: Brewery tours are always available when the brewer is in house, just ask or call ahead.
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Local split level bar downtown, pretty on the hip side. Pool tables, dim lighting, $2 PBRs. Complimentary pool and Thursdays all beer and fountain drinks are $2.75. Open Monday to Saturday until 2am and Sunday until midnight.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Great local bar right in the heart of downtown happenings.
Steve’s expert tip: Free pool and Thursdays all beers and fountain drinks are $2.75.
Read more about Downtown Distillery →
Kelly’s Brew Pub, housed in the historic Jones Motor Company, is a great summertime hangout as the large terrace has a very relaxing atmosphere and is popular with younger college folk and always busy. A sports bar and space to play billiards indoors and a relaxing outdoor terrace, it has everything including an extensive menu. Find appetizers, wraps, burgers, sandwiches and more. You also have the wide range of beers that are brewed on site. You can even reserve to brew your own beer. Enjoy the old signage and decoration preserved from the original building.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: This great terrace restaurant and bar in Nob Hill brews its own beer on site.
Steve’s expert tip: Kellys Brews pints are only $3 on Fridays, and kids eat free from the kids’ menu on weekends.
Read more about Kelly’s Brew Pub →
Photo courtesy of Billy’s Longbar
Relaxed, friendly bar where bikers sit alongside businessmen in suits. The bar menu is fairly standard, but the staff and bartenders are welcoming and the beer selection is impressive. Lots of TVs with sports channels, darts, pool tables, smoking room, nice wrap around bar (it is long indeed) and outside terrace.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Solid drinking hole with great shuffleboard table.
Steve’s expert tip: Separate room for smokers; great for local color in the Albuquerque Heights. Good happy hour deals.
Read more about Billy’s Longbar →
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If you are interested in local dives this is the place. The seats are torn, the floor is sticky and the music is live and loud. Performing some of the best live music in the South West, this is an eclectic mix of cowpunk and alternative. The crowd looks rough with lots of tattoos and piercings, but the vibe is friendly and relaxed.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Downtown, Burt’s Tiki Lounge is a wonderful nook and the place to be for live alternative music.
Steve’s expert tip: Best spot in Albuquerque for live alternative music. No cover.
Read more about Burt’s Tiki Lounge →
Photo courtesy of hotelparqcentral.com
The Apothecary Lounge is worth a visit for the view alone. Located on the rooftop of Hotel Parq Central, the Apothecary Lounge offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains, downtown skyline and famous New Mexico sunsets from its heated patio. Inside, the bar shines with old apothecary bottles. The cocktails served are Prohibition Zone, making this one of the trendiest speakeasys you’ll ever visit. Craft beers and fine wines are also served, and the menu items (though not cheap) are gourmet. Perfect for a date and better if you can get a room below so you don’t have to leave.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Located atop the historic Hotel Parq Central, the Apothecary Lounge is New Mexico’s premier rooftop bar. She only serves classic drinks available during Prohibition.
Steve’s expert tip: Heated roof sitting on sofas; excellent views of downtown Albuquerque.
Read more about the Apothecary Lounge →
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Voted “Albuquerque’s Best Happy Hour” and “Best Ladies Night Out” 3 years running, and now “Best Lounge” and “Best Bachelorette Party Location”, this multi-venue bar is Albuquerque’s most elegant and exclusive nightclub. In addition to a piano lounge, extensive wine list, media and billiards room, QBar offers a range of intimate spaces for conversation and a variety of entertainment options. Great for an upscale night on the town.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Q Bar at Hotel Albuquerque is Albuquerque’s trendiest nightclub, with dim lighting, plush furnishings and a premium drink menu.
Steve’s expert tip: The gallery and the VIP lounge offer a versatile and elite area for dancing and private parties. Live entertainment Entertainment Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
Read more about Q Bar →