Answers from Our Experts (1)
Students — of which there are many since Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico — would definitely say the best nightlife is downtown. Central Avenue is lined with bars and clubs, and the streets are closed to cars later in the evening. The scene can get pretty rowdy, but it’s worth coming down for the vast choice of beers at Anodyne, an indie-rock show at the Launchpad or the more dressed-up cocktail scene at Ibiza Lounge, the outdoor bar at the Andaluz hotel. Farther east in hip Nob Hill, another stretch of more mellow bars awaits — Kelly’s, for instance, is a brewpub in on old car showroom. Get a seat outside, to watch the street scene in this cool part of town.
Albuquerque’s performing arts scene is also very strong — particularly for theater and comedy. Check the newspaper, as venues can shift, but one long-established black-box theater is the Vortex. For concerts, the best venues are the Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the KiMo Theater downtown, which is operated by the city and worth a visit for its vintage pueblo-theme interior alone.