is one of the economic and entertainment centers of sunny Albuquerque.
Minutes away from anywhere in the city, it has grown from a modest mall and financial district into the area with the highest concentration of retail establishments in the state. An abundance of shopping and dining venues characterize this fast-developing nucleus of commerce, and people looking for an urban experience without transportation headaches won't be disappointed by this neighborhood's metropolitan feel and quick access to area interstates and cycling paths.
Uptown reflects the diversity of Albuquerque. Clean, tree-lined residential streets and a sense of community greet visitors as much as the flashy shopping centers, and residents take pride in the fact their neighborhood is becoming one of the faces of Albuquerque.
Schools in the area test among the best in the state and the entire city is easily accessible from the Uptown Transit Hub, in addition to ready freeway access to Interstate 40. Residents find pockets of serenity close to the excitement and enjoy a unique experience in Albuquerque.
Schools in Uptown
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Uptown is host to a staggering range of dining and entertainment opportunities from sandwiches and steak to stadium-seating movie theatres. Savor a famous pork chop and a glass of wine from Marcello’s Chophouse, or try signature dishes from local favorites like Relish or Kokoro.
An absolute area favorite, Magokoro serves traditional Japanese cuisine like shrimp tempura and also specialties like its spicy deep-fried marinated chicken. The native art and Japanese-speaking customers enhance its reputation for being authentic, and most entrees remain under $20. It gets crowded on weekends, so be prepared to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.
Relish is an area favorite for sandwiches and salads. Locals on the stop in for the Cubano especial sandwich, piled with chipotle-roasted pork and honey ham and pressed into a baguette for less than $10. This spunky lunch spot has quickly gained a reputation as one of Albuquerque’s hometown favorites.
The IMAX theatre at Regal Winrock Stadium 16 shows the latest movies, while more adventurous entertainment-seekers can drink and play at Dave and Buster’s — both are in the center of Uptown. If you’re still thirsty afterward, stop by for a margarita at Garduno’s a few minutes’ walk away. This establishment features daily specials on New Mexican favorites, including carnitas and Santa Fe blue enchiladas, a regional favorite. Enjoy plenty of food as you taste some of the exotic margarita variations on the menu — there's over a dozen available
When heading out on the town, include Alien Brew Pub on your itinerary. This pub's live music has a reputation for being loud, and the menu tasty. A unique beer menu includes Alien Small Batches, Milky Way Stout, and Crop Circle Wheat.
History & Culture
Uptown's growth began in earnest during the 1970’s with the development of the first mall in the state: Coronado Shopping Center. Since then, it has become the commercial crossroads of the city owing to its central location and freeway access.
For people with a creative calling, jewelry-making classes provided by local mineral shop Mama’s Minerals help you learn exciting new skills. Subjects taught run the spectrum from the mundane art of wire-wrapping to the arcane skill of dowsing. Kids can also get an introduction to geology in classes all their own for around $35, including materials. Most classes take two hours.
Families wanting to experience cold war history visit the colossal B-52 bomber along with the rest of the collection at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. It’s about two miles east of Uptown and recalls the eerie sense of paranoia experienced by those who lived during the period.
Uptown Transit Center is located a short walk away from ABQ Uptown Shopping Center and Coronado Mall, just inside Uptown’s Financial District. This is one of the city’s two major transit centers and provides connecting service to all of Albuquerque’s bus routes and the New Mexico Rail Runner — a light rail system providing service to Santa Fe — for $2.
Drivers find validated parking near the busiest shopping centers, but for those willing to walk a few minutes, parking is ample and free at Coronado Mall. The fast access to Interstate 40 means you’re only a quick trip from anywhere in the city thanks to the convenient junction of Interstates 25 and 40 northeast of downtown.
Uber is also a popular option for people coming to and from the awesomely walkable Uptown shopping district as taxis can be scarce. Nearby bike trails link with the city’s award-winning system of pedestrian and bicycle paths.
The cost of living in this tight-knit community is 3.2 percent higher than that of Albuquerque; however, it's still lower than the national cost-of-living average, coming in at 1.2 percent less. A one-bedroom
apartment in Uptown rents for about $619 a month. At a local pub, expect to pay around $6 for pint of beer. Average gas prices in Uptown are 8 percent lower than the average national rate. The nearby Uptown Transit Center can connect you to anywhere in the city for $2.
Uptown Albuquerque has plenty of shopping choices for residents. Glowing with lights, Louisiana Boulevard introduces everyone to the half-mile corridor connecting Coronado Center and ABQ Uptown Shopping Center. Louisiana Boulevard itself hosts dozens of retail and dining outlets.
The inviting and pedestrian-friendly concourses of ABQ Uptown Shopping Center feature hundreds of shops, including clothes from top labels such as Lucky Brand Jeans and Lululemon. Look for electronics from Apple and jewelry from Jared as well. Shoppers seeking fashion with local flair delight in Mati, a boutique featuring high-end, location-exclusive Kabana jewelry. The place also sells Swiss watches from Breitling and Omega.
Beauchamp Jewelers represents another gem for local jewelry enthusiasts. The shop has been a vital part of Albuquerque longer than Uptown itself. In addition to affordable engagement jewelry, this establishment also carries one-of-a-kind pieces from estates and other sources. Mr. Beauchamp himself often assists customers.
Local specialty shop Mama's Minerals remains a mother lode of geology knowledge and gifts. Staffers clearly know their rocks, as shoppers dig through an enormous variety of stones. Shoppers find inexpensive gifts, such as shark teeth and turquoise pendants, while they marvel at mineral specimens from the Albuquerque area and the rest of the world.
Check out the Coronado Center, which remains the largest shopping center in the state. Stop by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop for a treat, and then browse big names in fashion such as Macy's, H&M, and Banana Republic in the two-level retail hot spot that helped give Uptown its allure.
Several supermarkets dot the landscape in Uptown. Residents often stock up at the Target across from ABQ Uptown Shopping Center, which carries everything you'd expect from this prominent chain store in addition to fresh meat, produce and household essentials. For organic food and specialty edibles, try the Trader Joe's just west of Target. In the summer, the ABQ Uptown Growers' Market carries produce that's locally grown and picked within 24 hours of sale. This market takes place on Saturdays and Tuesdays from dawn until noon.
Uptown enjoys close access to a number of recreational opportunities, including gyms for workouts, Pilates and power-lifting. But if you want to work on your fitness
goals in the great outdoors, the parks in the area provide access to the city’s extensive bike and pedestrian trails, which have garnered praise from urban developers and earth advocates alike.
Near the southern edge of Uptown, Jerry Cline Park
features over an acre of playable grass and connects to the over 400 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails that fan out over the city. With some of the best free courts in the city, it’s also a favorite of tennis fans.
Taylor and Alvarado Parks also provide well-maintained fields with additional space for residents. Those with canine companions enjoy the secure dog park that lies just two miles east of Uptown at Los Altos Park, which also has a skate park crawling with kids and softball fields where adult leagues play in the evening.
During the holidays, ABQ Uptown’s tree-lighting ceremony is a full day of free fun for kids, with live music and activities leading up to the throwing of the switch to light the tree. Another favorite annual event is A Taste of ABQ, a popular springtime showcase of the Duke City’s version of savoir faire — scalding sauces from El Pinto and slices of heaven from Pizza 9 are just two of the appealing edibles made available by dozens of dining hosts.