About Laguna Burger

Fuego Enterprises LLC
The World Famous Laguna Burger Restaurants
“Fresh With a Kick” Past – Present – Future

The Laguna Burger was introduced to the public in 2005 as a no-frills green chile cheeseburger inside The Pit Stop convenience store at the village of Old Laguna off Interstate 40 at Exit 114. Nearly two decades later the World Famous Laguna Burger has expanded to include six locations, both on and off the Pueblo of Laguna. Today plans are underway to make the Laguna Burger an iconic, stand-alone fast casual hamburger brand throughout the Southwest United States.

The story began more than 70 years ago when the hamburger became a part of the traditional celebrations during Laguna Pueblo feast days. Feast days include traditional dancing and singing, an arts and crafts market, and traditional foods that are prepared and served at each household and shared with family and friends. Tribal elders fondly recall when the idea of grilling hamburgers on a camp stove was first introduced and eventually became a part of every feast day.

The burgers were simply called Feast burgers: ground beef patties topped with freshly chopped raw green chile, fresh shredded lettuce, tomato, mustard, and onion all on a store bought bun. In recent years, hamburgers have become increasingly popular with local vendors who open their booths and work to satisfy the insatiable demand for Feast burgers.

This Laguna feast day tradition pointed to the potential for a good green chile cheeseburger at The Pit Stop and other locations. Hence the Laguna burger was introduced at businesses operated by the tribe’s primary business entity Laguna Development Corporation (LDC). LDC was formed in 1998 to manage Laguna’s business holdings including travel centers, convenience stores, and casinos.

In 2007 LDC’s culinary team begin experimenting with a proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give the half-pound handmade beef patty its special flavor with a uniquely firm and juicy consistency. Through a process of trial and error a variety of locally baked buns were evaluated to find the one that was most diner friendly. The decision was made early on to use only the finest green chile from the world renowned growing region of Hatch, New Mexico and partnerships were forged with local growers to ensure the freshest vegetables were always on hand. The process of improving the burger has been perfected over time.

The opening of Laguna Burger at the Pit Stop location in Laguna Village was followed by another Pit Stop location near the Pueblo’s eastern border off Interstate 40 at Exit 140. Word quickly spread within tribal communities and the Albuquerque metropolitan area about this one-of-a-kind green chile cheeseburger that was worth making a special trip for. Laguna Burger’s following increased with many social media posts of people from surrounding areas making that special trip and attesting to not only the absolute quality of the Laguna Burger but also of the house made, fresh cut fries.

Today the World Famous Laguna Burger is more popular than ever and prides itself on serving the best green chile cheeseburger in the world. Laguna Burger always fresh, never frozen, is a half-pound of seasoned fresh ground beef, grilled to perfection, on a locally baked bun, with farm fresh lettuce, tomato, onions, green chile, and cheese – always cooked to order and served in a clean, comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

Though the Laguna Burger had developed an avid loyal following amongst locals, truckers, and interstate travelers over the years the burger’s popularity achieved another level in 2016 when it was named the best green chile cheeseburger at the New Mexico State Fair. One of the most hotly contested culinary awards in the state was a notable event in a growing list of awards and recognitions garnered by the burger’s homegrown origin and adherence to quality and consistency. The Laguna Burger has been named “the best” by readers of both the Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque the Magazine five years running.

In 2017 Laguna Burger experienced another watershed moment when the first off-Pueblo Laguna Burger Restaurant opened on 12th Street in downtown Albuquerque. Laguna Burger became an early tenant in the Avanyu Plaza developed by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

In 2018 Laguna Burger partnered with University of New Mexico Athletics to become the Official Burger of the Lobos and opened a Laguna Burger outlet inside the iconic University Arena, or “The Pit,” where basketball fans have enjoyed the burger for the past six years. In 2019 a state-of-the-art Laguna Burger food truck was introduced in the Albuquerque metro area and currently makes regular stops throughout the city and surrounding areas. In 2021, LDC opened a 5th location inside Route 66 Casino Hotel.

In April 2024, Laguna Burger introduced its 6th location and second outside the Pueblo of Laguna with the opening of a west side outlet in the city of Rio Rancho adjacent to the Latitudes gas station and convenience store on Rio Rancho Blvd.

Laguna Burger “Fresh With A Kick” is a unique story of a Native American business created from humble beginnings that has kept strong links to its Pueblo culture. It is a vibrant enterprise today and has future growth potential. Laguna Burger Restaurants are operated by Fuego Enterprises, LLC, a subsidiary company of LDC specializing in food and beverage development. Fuego and LDC are committed to expanding the Laguna Burger to additional locations in New Mexico and the Southwest.