Historic Route 66 runs right through Albuquerque under the guise of Central Avenue. While the road signs might say Central Avenue, this stretch of Albuquerque is still very much as it was when the historic route was laid out in the 1920s to link Chicago to Santa Monica. Filled with classic eateries and plenty of glowing neon signs, the Albuquerque portion of Route 66 stretches for 18 miles. Cruising Albuquerque’s stretch of the iconic route should be on any traveler’s itinerary while in town, especially if you’re a Breaking Bad fan!

If you’re a Walter White enthusiast, you’ll know that several stops along historic Route 66 were featured prominently in Breaking Bad. So grab your driving gloves and head out on this Route 66 Breaking Bad tour of Albuquerque!

Stop 1: Loyola’s Family Restaurant

"ABQ2014:" by Rex Brown is licensed under CC 2.0.

ABQ2014:” by Rex Brown is licensed under CC 2.0.

Want to experience a classic Route 66 diner? Easy! Stop off at Loyola’s Family Restaurant. Just a quarter mile east of Albuquerque’s trendy Nob Hill neighborhood, Loyola’s serves up New Mexican cuisine at its cheapest and most greasy. The classic, no-frills diner offers some of the best chile in town. You’ll also recognize Loyola’s as the spot where Mike and Jesse refueled in Season 5 of Breaking Bad.

Stop 2: The Crossroads Motel

"Crossroads Motel" by fabulousfabs is licensed under CC 2.0.

Crossroads Motel” by fabulousfabs is licensed under CC 2.0.

You might not want to stay the night at the Crossroads Motel, but it’s worth driving by as you cruise down Route 66. This funky motel was featured in a number of Breaking Bad episodes, so much so that it was nicknamed the “Crystal Palace.” While it’s pretty modest looking nowadays, the motel is a real piece of history from the days when retro inns used to line the stretch, welcoming travelers along the monumental route.

Stop 3: KiMo Theater

"Kimo Theater Albuquerque 1" by Tony Hisgett is licensed under CC 2.0.

Kimo Theater Albuquerque 1” by Tony Hisgett is licensed under CC 2.0.

The KiMo Theater didn’t play a huge role in Breaking Bad—other than being featured as a spot that Walter White happens to look at a few times—but it’s worth a visit for its Pueblo-Deco style architecture and Native American motifs. Opened in 1927, the theater still hosts a wide range of performances and events including plays, movies, and concerts. Pop in from Tuesday through Saturday just to marvel at its interior design.

Stop 4: Java Joe’s

"Java Joe's" by teofilo is licensed under CC 2.0.

Java Joe’s” by teofilo is licensed under CC 2.0.

The name might not sound familiar, but the look of the building certainly will! Featured on Breaking Bad as enemy Tuco’s home base, Java Joe’s is a hip coffee shop conveniently located right along Route 66. The area is decidedly less creepy than it’s portrayed on the show. Plus, it actually lends itself to a fine cup of Joe!

Stop 5: Dog House Drive-In

"ABQ2014:" by Rex Brown is licensed under CC 2.0.

ABQ2014:” by Rex Brown is licensed under CC 2.0.

Located in Albuquerque’s Old Town, the Dog House Drive-In boasts a flashing neon sign that’s classic Route 66. That giant neon sign is a dachshund, making it one of the city’s most recognizable buildings along the historic route. Throughout the series, fans came to know the Dog House Drive-In as a favorite hangout for Jesse. An icon in Albuquerque for nearly 60 years, the Dog House Drive-In serves up burgers, chili cheese dogs, and even a classic southwestern dish, Frito pie. Don’t ask questions. Just try it.

Are you ready to start cruising down Route 66? Which places are on your pit stop list? Tell us in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. Bob Curmudgeon

    – I’ve eaten 576 Foot Long (NM Red) Chile Cheese Dogs con onions as paired with an Orange Drink!!!
    – Born in MA, I’m here so I don’t have to own a shovel (sno-blower nowadays); don’t have to worry the backside of my pants look like I had an “accident”; can sit on my patio without shooing mosquitoes/flies; don’t have to pay high property/etc. taxes; all while enjoyin enchanting sunsets and great New Mexican cuisine! Come to Visit-but ya don’t have to stay!!!
    – BTW, it is the only place where you can see where 66 (pre-1937) crosses 66!
    – When Y’all come for e.g. the 500+ International Balloon Fiesta, stop by the Tourist Info Desks at Old Town or the Airport http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/ Remember: Albuquerque: Changing your Perspective!


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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.