To those of you who haven’t watched Breaking Bad, where the hell have you been living, under a rock? The series, set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the late 2000s, tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who, on learning that he has terminal cancer, transforms into a key player in the local meth trade.
The show quickly became one of the most successful long-running TV series of all time, winning pretty much every award under the sun, and garnering a devoted fanbase in the process. It has since come to embody that era of high-quality television known as the ‘golden age of TV’ along with Mad Men, House of Cards, and Game Of Thrones.
Here, we’ve put together a guide to the filming locations of the era-defining series, all of which was filmed in or just outside Albuquerque. And even though Breaking Bad finished nearly ten years ago (yes, that made me feel weird too), the city still hosts flocks of fans every year. Clearly, the legacy of Walter and Jesse hasn’t lost its lustre just yet.
The filming locations of Breaking Bad:
Walter White’s home
Location: 3828 Piermont Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-3416.
The most obvious place to start our trip through the filming locations of Breaking Bad is with the fictional home of its protagonist, Water White. Of course, this modest bungalow is private property, so be wary.
From all the varying accounts of people who have visited the house, the elderly couple who live there will either shoo you away with a broom or sit you down and recount all the tales from shooting. I would recommend being mindful of the resident’s wishes and those of their neighbours before you decide to visit.
Location: 9800 Montgomery Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111.
Hooligan’s Tavern on Montgomery Blvd was used to film the exterior shots for Saul Goodman’s office. As one of the most celebrated characters from the series – and the only one with his own spin-off series – Hooligans is an essential stop on any Breaking Bad Tour.
It’s also not unhelpful that you can buy a beer here while you work out your next destination. While it might carry the smell of the deep fat frier tucked away in the kitchen, this quintessential sports bar certainly has a reputation as one of the best places to catch a game in Alberqeurqe.
Location: 257 Isleta Boulevard Southwest, Albuquerque, NM.
According to the manager of Twisters, at one time, the burrito joint was receiving 30 to 40 Breaking Bad fans every day, many of them pulling up in cabs straight from the airport, keen to meet the real-life incarnation of Gus Fring.
The restaurant was used to film the scenes inside Los Pollos Hermanos, a front organisation for Gus Fring’s meth manufacturing operation specialising in fried chicken. As you would expect, the popularity of Breaking Bad has given Twisters a huge surge in business, with fans hoping to get a bite and sit in ‘Walt’s Booth’.
Location: 906 Park Ave SW #3045, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
This cosy coffee house on Park Avenue served as the headquarters for Tuco Salamanca, a sociopathic and sadistic drug lord who just so happens to be Walter White’s arch-nemesis. In reality, Java Joe’s is one of the best spots to get breakfast in the city, serving fresh roasted organic coffee and a selection of delicious, locally-sourced dishes on a daily basis.
I must warn you, though, it’s quite hard to leave once you sit down. On a sunny day, the patio is a sun trap, and with local musicians performing for your pleasure, you might find yourself unable to stand up.
To’hajiilee Indian Reservation
Location: New Mexico, US.
The To’hajilee reservation is a contiguous section of the Najavo nation that extends through parts of western Bernalillo, eastern Cibola, and the southwestern Sandoval counties in New Mexico, just west of Albuquerque. This sepia-toned expanse bookends Breaking Bad.
The location is the first place Walt and Jesse park the rolling meth lab and features at the poignant climax of the series. To’hajiilee was founded on the ‘Long Walk’, in which American forces forced the Navajo tribal people to walk from their native lands in what is now Arizona to New Mexico. Many of the residents claim that the original settlers were a band of renegades who, in 1864, refused to walk any further and settled in the area.