Breaking Bad is the biggest star on Albuquerque’s Hollywood walk of fame. The TV drama hasn’t broadcast for several years; however, the story of teacher-turned-meth-cook Walter White continues to have steely grip on fans. Here are the real-life locations featured in Emmy-winning drama:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Pollos Hermanos restaurant—the fried-chicken joint where Gus Fring operated his meth ring—isn’t real. In the show, Twisters was the setting. That restaurant serves tasty breakfast burritos and other New Mexican food on the go that will make your journey to the South Valley location where the show filmed worth the drive. (The restaurant also has a Los Pollos Hermanos logo up for fans’ requisite selfies.)
Heading back into the heart of the city, you’ll pass Jesse’s house. The stately house in the Country Club neighborhood was the site of much evil doing and soul searching for Walt’s partner. (Take note that this along with Walt’s house are private residences.) Nearby, in Old Town, stop in The Candy Lady, a confectioner for more than 30 years that made candy that looked like blue crystal meth for the show. You can buy a packet of the prop to take home. Also in Old Town, swing by Dog House Drive In. The real-life hotdog joint earned screen time on several occasions, including when Jesse dashed his millions.
Heading north along Central Avenue, lunch at The Grove Café & Market. This sophisticated locavore hotspot was a meeting place for Walter White and his meth-ring partner Lydia Rodarte-Quayle—until she met an untimely death by a poisoned Stevia packet. The real-life restaurant serves fresh breakfasts, salads, and sandwiches and is a can’t-miss eatery in town, even without its show connections. Farther still along Central, you’ll pass the Crossroads Motel, which gained fame when DEA agent Hank Schrader explained the ways of the world to Walter Jr.
Drive to the North East Heights for the final three stops on this highlights tour. If eating rock candy straight out of the bag isn’t your style, stop in Rebel Donuts where the sugary topping is sprinkled on one of its signature donuts, the Blue Sky.
The real-life Mister Car Wash played the role of A1A Car Wash in the show, where Walt had a second job at the start of the show and which he later bought to launder money. Today, you can stop in to run your rental car though the wash and to pick up t-shirts, stickers, and other show paraphernalia. The true pilgrimage site for Breaking Bad fans is Walter White’s house, which lies in an unassuming neighborhood. Over zealous fans have crashed the couple’s pool and, in a move reminiscent of Heisenberg, threw a pizza on the roof. Best to refrain from both during your visit.
For a guided experience, pedal along with Routes Bicycle Tours and Rentals to many of the downtown and Old Town locales. Or climb aboard a 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RVs for a Breaking Bad RV Tour.
Extras and cast members of the show lead the trip to more than 20 filming locations, with a ring of Hector Salamanca’s bell (a lookalike) marks the next stop. This company has also launched tours for the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul, which has filmed two seasons in Albuquerque and is slated for a third.
Albuquerque for Families: Where to Let ’em Loose … Must-see destinations for multi-generational travel in Albuquerque
Albuquerque for First Timers: Seeing the Big Picture … An orientation of the most popular attractions in Albuquerque
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: An Insider’s Guide … How to fly high in Albuquerque at the world’s largest hot-air balloon event