Il Vicino melds the heart of Albuquerque with the soul of Italy, serving up wood-fired wonders and home-brewed delights in a setting that's as much about community as it is about culinary excellence. (Montgomery and Juan Tabo location in the photo. Images courtesy of AIartA App)
IL VICINO WOOD OVEN PIZZA
Imagine a slice of the Italian Riviera right here in Albuquerque—Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza has been crafting this dream for three decades. With seven spots dotting the landscape across Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico, this establishment is a local legend, whisking you off to Italy with every bite, yet keeping your wallet firmly anchored in the Land of Enchantment.
Chef Tom White, a founding partner with a palate fine-tuned by Italian sabbaticals, ensures that whether you're biting into the pepperoni-laden Salsiccia or the decadently creamy Tartufo, you're getting authenticity without the airfare. And it's not just pizza that's got the town talking; their home-brewed root beer began in the Nob Hill basement and bubbled up into the canteen brewing scene, becoming a hometown hero in its own right.
Ben Hensley, the manager on the west side, can't help but reminisce about the root beer's humble beginnings and its journey to local superstardom. And let's not forget the fiery love affair Albuquerque has with Il Vicino's New Mexican red chile oil—it's a relationship that's been spicing up dining tables for years.
Step inside Il Vicino, and you're stepping into a slice of Portofino, with an ambiance that wraps around you like a warm Italian hug. But what truly sets Il Vicino apart is its heart for community, always ready to rally the neighborhood for a good cause.
For me, Mark Stensland, it's not just about the food—though their red chile oil could start a flavor revolution—it's about the memories. From the tiramisu that ends every meal on a sweet note to the cavatappi con carne that comforts like a best friend, Il Vicino isn't just a restaurant; it's a piece of my Albuquerque childhood, served up with a side of balsamic onions and a trio of pizzas that are nothing short of divine.