Thrifting in New Mexico, Part One: Burque

<center>Thrifting in New Mexico, Part One: Burque</center>

We’re thrifting in New Mexico.  I’ve long been a fan of the Land of Enchantment.  There’s something about this State: it’s beautiful, sacred mountains, the uniqueness of it’s architecture, it’s rich history, and yes – it’s blue corn tamales.   Greg and I have been thrifting (and eating) our way around New Mexico, so I thought I’d share some of our favorite haunts with you, while we go thrifting in New Mexico.

Thrift Trip: New Mexico
Somewhere near Route 66


Thrift Town Albuquerque
Best of Burque

Our first stop was Albuquerque, which is called Burque, by the locals.  I was pleased as punch to find that Thrift Town – one of my Bay Area favorites – could be found here.

thrifted souvenirs
Great place to find souvenirs on the cheap

The symbol of the cross is ever present in New Mexico –  even at Thrift Town.  These cute little cross votive candle holders would make a nice gift for someone back home.

Cross Votive Candle Holders
Cross Votive Candle Holders


Thrift Town Burque
New Mexico is a Sacred Place

New Mexico tends to be a land of seekers and many artists are drawn here because many parts of this state are known as an “energy vortex,” so it stands to reason that when you glance upon the types of books New Mexicans are reading, many of them cover sacred or spiritual topics. It’s always so interesting to me to discover the regional differences – the things that set apart one place from another. And, if you look carefully, no where is this more evident than in your friendly, local thrift store.

Route 66 Souvenir
Here’s a little Thrift Tip from our Thrift Trip: skip the tourist spots and head to a thrift store to find great souvenirs for the folks back home.

Speaking of artists, we just happened upon the lovely store of John Isaac Antiques & Folk Art in Old Town Albuquerque.  John collects antiques and folk art from around the world, but his most unique pieces are from New Mexico, Mexico and Central and South America.  We purchased some gorgeous crosses for our cross wall back home and enjoyed chatting with John, a former English teacher, who now dedicates his time to his true passion – using his unique aesthetic by offering these one-of-a-kind treasures.

John Isaac
John Isaac

John (who goes by “Jack”) at John Isaac Antiques had so many great crosses, we ended up buying several of them to adorn our cross wall in our den.  We love our newest additions!

Cross Wall
Cross Wall

And, of course no day of thrifting would be complete without some good, New Mexican cuisine.  So, we stopped at Frontier Restaurant, conveniently situated directly across from the campus of the University of New Mexico.  It’s worth a visit just to get a glimpse back into pure, vintage New Mexico.  And, it’s a great place to get green chile stew.

Frontier Restaurant, Albuquerque
Vintage New Mexico

All in all, our thrift trip is off to an amazing start.  I picked up a copy of the book Legends of the American Desert: Sojourns in the Greater Southwest by Alex Shoumatoff, and I’m already engrossed in it’s intriguing true stories about the mysterious southwest.  A must read for anyone heading out on the highway this Summer!

Sky in New Mexico
Sky in New Mexico

Until next time, Happy Thrifting!



Hotel Andaluz – beautiful historic renovation
125 Second Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(877) 987-9090


Frontier Restaurant – vintage New Mexico
2400 Central SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 266-0550


John Isaac Antiques & Folk Art
323 Romero St NW 
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(505) 842-6656
Thrift Town
3900 Menaul Blvd NE  
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 872-0647




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