Above: First-timers should start with the original Laguna Burger. Photograph
by Douglas Merriam.

IF YOU LOVE the food at the original Laguna Burger, on Laguna Pueblo west of Albuquerque, you’ll be thrilled to know you can now get the same juicy burgers in the Duke City. With a stylish new restaurant across from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, this 10-year-old institution (a third location is in Río Puerco) upped its game, still serving the same lip-smacking pit-stop burgers but in a more sophisticated atmosphere. First-timers should start with a traditional Laguna Burger, a fat patty topped with green chile, cheese, and all the fixings. Then you can branch out with the third-pound Mushroom Swiss Wimp, smothered with grilled onions, sautéed onions, shrooms, and Swiss cheese. Or try the Frito pie, green chile stew, or a bacon-wrapped Pancho dog. Hot tip: If the line stretches out the door, peer inside and see if there are any seats available at the bar. If so, skip the queue, have a seat, and order directly from the bartender. (I’m a big fan of the $5 margaritas.)

The New Laguna Burger
2400 12th St. NW,
Albuquerque, NM
505-352-8282, thelagunaburger.com