Breaking Bad Tour in Albuquerque

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for a good TV drama. And while I have seen many that I have thoroughly enjoyed, my all-time favorite show is actually the first show I ever binge-watched on Netflix, Breaking Bad. If you haven’t yet seen this acclaimed show, I highly recommend you drop whatever you’re doing and watch all fifty episodes immediately. All jokes aside, in this piece there will be many spoilers, so, if you haven’t watched the show yet but fully intend to, please stop reading so you don’t ruin it for yourself.

Before visiting Albuquerque, my main reaction to the thought of this city was “BREAKING BAD!!!” Now that I’ve visited, my main reaction is still “BREAKING BAD!!!” (among other things). In my opinion, no visit to Albuquerque (“ABQ”) is complete without a proper Breaking Bad tour. There is a paid tour offered through an excellent company in which tourists can ride in a Breaking Bad RV-meth-lab-replica-turned-tour-bus. And while this guided tour comes highly recommended by many, we opted for the self-guided tour so that we could go at our own pace and choose exactly which stops we wanted to make. Here, I will highlight each stop, where it is located, and why we chose this location on our personal tour.

1. Hank and Marie’s House

Our first stop of the day was Hank and Marie’s house. This home is featured all throughout the series, but my favorite scene here is where Walt comes to visit Hank, and Hank reveals his suspicions that Walt is Heisenberg. A fight ensues, and things become very intense. This was a quick stop for a photo, since someone lives here and we wanted to be respectful.

This is Hank and Marie's actual home as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.

 

2. Law Offices of Saul Goodman

Our second stop was at the “Law Offices of Saul Goodman,” which is now a hip-looking sports bar (Duke City Sports Bar). We were here in the early morning before opening, otherwise we would have had to stop in for a quick drink. The only thing missing from the scene was Saul’s dopey yellow car.

Officially known as "Duke's City Sports Bar," this is the filming location for the Law Offices of Saul Goodman, as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.

3. Walt and Skyler’s house

Our third stop is most likely the most popular stop on the tour: Walt and Skyler’s house. It could be argued that the most important scenes of the series were filmed here, so it is no secret that this would be the Breaking Bad fan’s most important stop. I did feel genuinely bad for the owners of the home, as they had a tall iron gate, orange traffic cones, and signs plastered  everywhere asking people to “take your photo but respect our privacy.” As asked, we snapped a quick photo before heading on our way.

This is Walt and Skyler's actual home as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.

4. A-1 Car Wash

Our fourth stop was at the “A-1 Car Wash,” which is actually a franchise of “Mister Car Wash,” a national chain. This location is where Walt works a second job in the very beginning of season one and is also the business that he and Skylar buy later on for their money laundering purposes. It looks almost exactly the same as the car wash in the show, which made my nerdy heart very happy. We went in for the basic wash, where the attendant noticed me taking pictures and told us to, “Have an A-1 day!” My life was officially made.

This is a franchise of the nationwide Mister Car Wash business, also known as the filming location for the A-1 Car Wash, as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.

5. La Palomita Park

Our fifth stop was a place where we only typically see one of the major characters: La Palomita Park. This location is frequented by Mike, where he brings his granddaughter Kaylee for bonding time, while simultaneously accepting business calls related to the drug trade or his work as a bodyguard for a local kingpin. Good times.

This is La Palomita Park, where Mike Ehrmantraut frequently takes his granddaughter Kaylee to play.

6. Los Pollos Hermanos

Our sixth stop was my favorite of all, as we were actually able to enter the building and feel like we were on-set. Called “Twister’s” in real life, the restaurant used as the “Los Pollos Hermanos” location in many iconic Breaking Bad scenes is actually a popular New Mexico chain restaurant. We stopped in for lunch, and, although Twister’s specialize in burritos instead of fried chicken, they did have the famous curly fries from the show, and the food was pretty good. They even left the “Los Pollos Hermanos” sign on the wall by the entrance. Unfortunately, Gus wasn’t working, but it was still a great stop nonetheless.

This is the filming location for "Los Pollos Hermanos," known as "Twister's" in real life, as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.  Although Twister's does not servefried chicken, they do serve delicious burritos, complete with curly fries, as seen on Breaking Bad. Although the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant is actually a Twister's location, they left up the Los Pollos Hermanos decal that you see on the show when people enter the restaurant.

7. Crossroads Motel

Our seventh stop was at the Crossroads Motel, which has the same name in real life as the motel in Breaking Bad. Affectionately referred to as “The Crystal Palace” by Hank, this location is the home of lots of shady activities throughout the show. It is also Wendy’s home and Jesse’s occasional hideout. It seriously looked like it hadn’t changed one bit since the series was filmed.

This motel is commonly seen on Breaking Bad, usually as a place for shady activity, such as drug deals, prostitution and hiding from suspicious cops.

8. Tuco’s Hideout

Our eighth stop was not super iconic but looked interesting, and I’m glad we added this to our tour. While actually a hip coffee shop called Java Joe’s in real life, this location was sketched up and used as Tuco’s hideout in a few scenes from season one. We enjoyed some delicious coffees inside and wondered what was going on upstairs.

This is the exterior of Java Joe's a hip coffee shop in downtown ABQ, also used as the filming location for Tuco's hideout in the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

This is the interior of Java Joe's a hip coffee shop in downtown ABQ. The graffitied exterior is the filming location for Tuco's hideout in the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

This is the interior of Java Joe’s, whose exterior was used for Tuco’s Hideout in Breaking Bad.

9. Jesse Pinkman’s House

Our ninth stop was Jesse Pinkman’s house, located just a few minutes away from the coffee shop. It looked a bit different than Jesse’s house in the show, and it appears that a garage was added in place of the long driveway that once housed the RV/lab and Jesse’s old Toyota. C’est la vie.

This is the filming location for Jesse Pinkman's house, as seen on the hit television show Breaking Bad.

10. The Candy Lady

Our next stop was not included in the filming of the show but is iconic nonetheless. We paid a visit to “The Candy Lady,” where we bought dime bags of “blue sky meth,” which is actually just delicious sugar candy. The owner was so sweet and talked to us for awhile about the filming of the show. We found out after we left that the prop meth used on the show was the very same candy that the shop still currently sells.

Blue sky fake meth, which is actually just sugar candy, from The Candy Lady in Old Town ABQ

11. Gus Fring’s Laundromat/Superlab

Our final stop was at “Argyle Laundry,” also known as “Lavenderĺa Brillante,” to anyone who asks, but also known as the “superlab” where Walt and Jesse professionally cook huge batches of meth while they work for Gus’s organization. The back of the building looked exactly the same as the laundry organization in the show, except a fence had since been constructed.

This is the filming location for La Lavenderia Brillante, AKA the superlab, as seen on the hit TV show Breaking Bad. This is the filming location for La Lavenderia Brillante, AKA the superlab, as seen on the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

 

That concluded our Breaking Bad tour. I’ve linked the map we used, which includes many, many more locations which we did not visit. If you visit ABQ, you must do at least some of the tour, and if you have never seen Breaking Bad, I suggest you get on that.

Have you been to ABQ and taken the tour? What did you think? Did we miss anywhere important? Let us know in the comments below.

About Samantha Binger

Samantha BingerSam is one-half of the Life Among Pines crew. She is an animal-loving bookworm, an avid photographer and an amateur chef/wanna-be foodie. Travel and adventure are two of her biggest passions in life, and she loves living life on the road, where she can explore new places on the daily. When not writing a new blog post, you can find her sipping tea, hiking with her dogs, sampling a local brewery, or fulfilling orders for her Etsy shop, MugsySupplyHouse. Feel free to reach out and say hi!