An old-school Albuquerque New Mexican classic is Cervantes Restaurant up near Kirtland Air Force Base. A spot where I’ve never had a bad experience—or a bad margarita. It’s a good time, with good hearty food and an atmosphere that creates a traditional N.M. feel.

Cervantes is known for having some fantastic Cinco de Mayo specials and events. Of course, you’ve got the requisite margarita and tequila specials, but you can’t celebrate a good Cinco without some mariachis. While you’re slurping down those fantastic margs, make sure to eat their delectable food. Some of the best carne asada I’ve had is at Cervantes, so I top off my huevos rancheros with their carne to kick up the heat.

Back to their margaritas: Cervantes has a fame to their cocktail-making abilities, but were they stand out most is their strong tequila cocktail. It’s called the Cervantes Silver. A simple build to an incredible drink, it makes the simple things go far. But it doesn’t stop there. If you feel a sweet tooth coming on and need a sweeter drink to substitute for dessert, try their chocolate margarita—a cool little cocktail containing silver tequila and a dark chocolate vodka with lime and agave. Let’s just say the margarita combinations are endless at Cervantes.

Cervantes owner Roberta Finley has done a fantastic job keeping the restaurant’s reputation thriving for multiple decades. Especially in such a tough location on Gibson where there seem to be more chains than local eateries, the lounge has developed a loyal following that has given them the abilities to succeed.

Cervantes Restaurant & Lounge

5801 Gibson Blvd. SE

Neighborhood: Nob Hill

Category: New Mexican

Phone: (505) 262-2253

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Cade Guererro

Cade is young journalist who has worked at publication in Austin, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He focuses on the cultural topics of Albuquerque.

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