Brewpubs, and Just a Pub
Two places in Nob Hill make their own beer but have more of a restaurant feel. Kelly’s (3222 Central Ave. SE, 505/262-2739, 8 a.m.–midnight daily, $9), formerly a gas station, is the city’s most popular spot for patio dining and schmoozing. The rich Kelly Porter washes down beer-friendly food such as bison burgers and curly fries—not entirely inspired and often served by distracted waitstaff—but you’re really here for the scene, the sun, and the suds.
Il Vicino (3403 Central Ave. NE, 505/266-7855, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri. and Sat., $7) has better food but lacks the expansive feel of Kelly’s. Order at the front counter from the list of high-grade pizza toppings, and the dough promptly gets slid into the wood-fired oven at the back—or opt for a grilled panono sandwich or a big fresh salad. Then squeeze into your seat and enjoy your pint of Wet Mountain IPA while you wait; in keeping with the upscale pizza-joint feel, there are also wine and Italian sodas.
And one place doesn’t make its own beer but has legions of fans for its fish-and-chips and other bar snacks: O’Niell’s (4310 Central Ave. SE, 505/255-6782, 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. Mon.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–midnight Sun., $8), an Irish pub that also happens to have a very nice patio. It’s packed for lunch, and the kitchen is open late.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition