On a revitalized stretch of 12th Street just north of I-40 in the heart of Albuquerque, there’s a restaurant with a story to tell—well, several stories, actually. It has been a neighborhood fixture since 1976, something not many Albuquerque restaurants can claim. It sits on a patch of Native American-owned land in the center of the city, something even fewer Albuquerque restaurants can claim. The name has changed a few times, but it has always been owned and operated by the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. That restaurant, of course, is Pueblo Harvest.
From its humble beginnings as the small Indian Oven restaurant to its current grand architecture and decorative venue, Pueblo Harvest’s food has always reflected the land and people of New Mexico. In the last two years, they’ve been strengthening the connection with the museum to include more education in their menu. It’s not just a restaurant inside a cultural center—it’s a culinary extension of it.
Native Sourced, Pueblo Inspired
Diners can find local staples like Green Chile Stew, Posole, Blue Corn Enchiladas, and the Tewa Taco (sometimes also referred to as an Indian Taco or Navajo Taco), plus “Native Sourced, Pueblo Inspired” dishes like the Corned Bison Sandwich with house-corned bison brisket, Swiss cheese, pickled red onions, and mustard on Pueblo oven bread; Blue Corn Chicken and Waffles with blue corn-crusted chicken, red chile waffles, and green chile syrup; and the Sovereign Burger with a blended patty of bison, Pueblo corn, and smoked wild mushrooms, topped with aged white cheddar, chokecherry jam, pickled red Fresno chiles, and a house-made blue corn onion ring on a house-made blue corn bun.
Have you ever been to a Pueblo feast day? Whether you have had the pleasure of that experience or not, you can get your fill anytime of feast-day staples like Mutton Stew, Feast Day Stew, Pueblo Oven Bread, and Pueblo Pies. Dining with two or more people? Try the Pueblo Feast, offering a fantastic sampling of Pueblo foods, while reliving part of the Pueblo feast-day experience.
Pre-European Contact Menu
Pueblo Harvest is also among the first restaurants in the United States to offer pre-European-contact dishes, allowing diners to experience a rich flavor palette from half a millennium ago. The selections serve as a meaningful insight into the wealth of flavors of an indigenous diet that are lesser-known to mainstream culinary audiences, while highlighting Native cuisine and adding merit to Albuquerque and New Mexico being increasingly popular dining destinations.
The pre-contact menu also opens a cultural and educational dialogue about the origins of the foods that Americans do or do not consume on a regular basis, and why. The absence of beef, chicken, wheat, butter, refined sugar, and common rice varieties illustrates how many modern dietary staples are alien to North America.
The heavily researched menu is rich with game meats that were originally hunted by Native peoples, including bison, rabbit, duck, elk, and trout. Many plant varieties either cultivated or gathered during pre-contact times complement the game: wild greens, prickly pears, yams, squash, blue corn, amaranth, yucca, and berries, to name a few. Because wheat was not present prior to European contact, all pre-contact options are gluten-free, and contain no refined sugar.
Gluten Free & Vegetarian Dishes
Many dishes at Pueblo Harvest are gluten-free, and there are plenty of options for vegetarians, too. Green Chile Vegetable Stew, Sweet Potato or Nopales tacos, Pueblo Harvest Relleno, Fried Kool-Aid Pickles, and the innovative Obsidian Burger with house-made black bean patty, black kale, black-garlic mayo, and pickled poblano chiles on a house-crafted charcoal bun are just some of the irresistible meatless options.
From daily menus to monthly pairing dinners and special feasts for Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, and Easter, Pueblo Harvest’s menu offerings include Native foodways from times of pre-European-contact through contemporary favorites. They source as many ingredients as possible from the pueblos of New Mexico and other tribal communities throughout the U.S., with an ever-growing list of Native agricultural partnerships. This is the heart of “Native Sourced, Pueblo Inspired.” Inspire your taste buds with a visit today!
2401 12th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104