There is a wide variety of nightlife experiences, from punk clubs to elegant establishments, sure to impress any date. Here’s a cross-section of places sure to suit whatever experience you’re after – whether you want to hang out with hipsters in clubs with live music or sip martinis in velvet armchairs. 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 nightlife spots in Albuquerque. Here we distill the best companies down to a special selection of ten companies. These places promise an outstanding experience and a taste of the city that is not to be missed.
Standing alone in its splendor on the Sandia Pueblo Reservation with the Sandia Mountains as a backdrop, the Sandia Resort and Casino offers extensive musical entertainment in addition to its casino and world-class restaurants. Directly in front of the resort is the open-air amphitheater, where concerts by well-known artists are held in the summer. 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 queues can form. So be there early on a Saturday night. Outside by the pool in summer there are sometimes steel barrels to fill the air. Located on the 9th floor, the Bien Shur Lounge offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the mountains to the east and the cityscape 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 chic nightspot atop the Sandia Resort and Casino offers stunning 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, long 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 an Irish pub as one can find without a trip to Dublin.
Steve’s expert tip: Play Geeks that Drink quiz here, call us.
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’s always the brewery’s award-winning beers and many others from across the state, as well as national and international beers on tap. The food is almost as good as the beer and the variety of wood-fired pizzas will make it difficult to decide. Big screen TVs are usually tuned to show 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. With a student exchange to Germany at the age of 16, he began to devote his life to finding good beer. This brewpub is the culmination of over two decades of “market research” in hundreds of restaurants, bars, brewpubs, breweries, workshops and beer festivals around the world. The name “Turtle Mountain” derives from the Tewa name for Sandia Peak. Alfonso Ortiz (Nico’s late father) was born and raised in Oke Owingeh north of Espanola and is one of six Pueblos who speak Tewa. Nico’s father’s Native American name was “Oku Pin”, which means “Turtle Mountain”. Nico named it Turtle Mountain Brewing Company in homage to his father, who provided the inspiration and funding to open the pub.
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 beer mug.
Read more about Turtle Mountain Brewing Company →
Photo courtesy of Marble Brewery
Marble Brewery is a production brewery with an on-site tasting room and outdoor beer garden in downtown Albuquerque. Marble Brewery offers a range of seven house beers and a variety of seasonal beers on tap and in the bottle. The attached pub offers 10 beers on tap and a 12 meter long bar overlooking 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 possible at any time when the brewer is in the house. Just ask or call ahead.
Read more about the marble brewery →
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Split level local bar downtown, nice on the hipster way to dive. Pool tables, dim lighting, PBRs for $2. Free pool and Thursdays all beers and drinks are $2.75. Open Monday to Saturday until 2am and Sunday until midnight.
Recommended for Best Nightlife Because: Great local bar in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Steve’s expert tip: Free pool and Thursdays all beers and drinks are $2.75.
Read more about Downtown Distillery →
Kelly’s Brew Pub, housed in the historic Jones Motor Company, is a great meeting place in summer as the large terrace gives a very relaxing atmosphere and is popular with younger students and is always busy. An indoor sports bar and billiards spot, as well as a relaxing outdoor terrace – there’s everything, including an extensive menu. Find appetizers, wraps, burgers, sandwiches and more. You also have the large selection of locally brewed beers. You can even reserve to brew your own beer. Enjoy the old signage and decor 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: On Fridays, pints of Kelly’s beer are only $3, and on weekends kids eat free from the kids’ menu.
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 pretty standard, but the staff and bartenders are friendly and the beer selection is impressive. There are plenty of TVs showing sports, darts, pool tables, a smoking room, a nice wraparound bar (it’s actually long) and an outside patio.
Recommended for Best Nightlife Because: Solid drinking venue with a great shuffleboard table.
Steve’s expert tip: Separate room for smokers; Ideal for local color in the Albuquerque Heights. Good happy hour deals.
Read more about Billy’s Longbar →
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If you like local dives this is the place. The seats are tattered, the floor is sticky and the music is live and loud. Performing some of the South West’s best live music, this is an eclectic mix of cowpunk and alternative. The crowd looks rough with lots of tattoos and piercings, but the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed.
Recommended for Best Nightlife Because: Downtown, Burt’s Tiki Lounge is wonderfully atmospheric by design and the place to be for live alternative music.
Steve’s expert tip: The best place 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 gleams with vintage 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, while not cheap, are gourmet. Perfect for a date, and better if you can get a room downstairs 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 during Prohibition.
Steve’s expert tip: Heated roof terrace for sitting on sofas; excellent views of downtown Albuquerque.
Read more about Apothecary Lounge →
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Voted Albuquerque’s Best Happy Hour Venue and Best Ladies Night Out three years running, and now Best Lounge and Best Bachelorette Party Location, this multi-venue bar is Albuquerque’s most elegant and exclusive nightclub. The QBar offers a piano lounge, an extensive wine list, a media and billiards room, and a number of intimate spaces for conversation and diverse entertainment. Great for an upscale night out 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 celebrations. Live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
Read more about Q Bar →