Three years after the demise of Heisenberg, Breaking Bad is badder than ever.
The runaway-hit TV series tells the story of how a good-natured high school chemistry teacher transforms himself into a ruthless crystal meth kingpin.
Critics have declared it the best television show of all time.
Set and filmed in and around Albuquerque, Breaking Bad put the Duke City on the international tourism map.
We recently explored the world of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman aboard ABQ Trolley X.
The 38-mile, 3 ½-hour BaD Tour takes visitors to the iconic Breaking Bad filming locations for a behind-the-scenes look.
Featured locations include: Walter White’s house and condo, Jesse Pinkman’s house and duplex, Gus Fring’s house, The Car Wash, The Laundry, Saul Goodman’s law office, Tuco’s headquarters, Combo’s Corner, The Crossroads Motel, and Los Pollos Hermanos.
Driver / Tour Guide / Co-Owner, Mike Silva, was a wealth of information on Albuquerque, its film industry, and the making of Breaking Bad.
Jesse Pinkman’s House & Duplex
Show creator Vince Gilligan originally intended to have Jesse killed at the end of the first season and have Tuco as Walter’s partner. But a writer’s strike shutdown production and the season ended with the footage that was already “in the can.” Furthermore, the actor who portrayed Tuco, Raymond Cruz, asked to be remove from the show. Cruz was playing the role of detective Julio Sanchez on The Closer at the same time he was playing the role of Tuco on Breaking Bad. The contrast between the two characters, good-guy cop vs. psychotic meth dealer was messing with his mind.
Jesse’s house is located in an affluent neighborhood in downtown Albuquerque known as the Albuquerque Country Club. Local filmmakers have used the Country Club area in many films because it doesn’t look like the typical dessert Southwest. With its big overgrown trees and green grass, it can look like Anywhere, USA. For instance, the setting for the movie Wild Hogs was Cincinnati, however many scenes were shot in the Albuquerque Country Club neighborhood.
As of August 2016 Jesse’s house is for sale and listed on the market for $1.6 million.
Los Pollos Hermanos
Los Pollos Hermanos, the fried chicken franchise used by drug baron Gus Fring as a front for his crystal meth empire, was filmed at this South Valley Twisters location. Twisters is a local favorite best known for its breakfast burritos the size of a newborn baby.
The Twisters sign above the entrance was replaced by a computer generated “Los Pollos Hermanos” sign in the show. Although there are several Twisters locations throughout Albuquerque, this location was chosen because it was closest to Albuquerque Studios, home to the Breaking Bad set.
Saul Goodman’s Law Office
The site of Saul Goodman’s law office has been several different businesses since Breaking Bad premiered on January 20, 2008. We know of four: Hooligans, The Local Brewhouse, The Vault Nightclub, and Sinner’s ‘N Saints Bar & Grill. During renovation, the current owners found the original door and glass window that the production company left behind and have incorporated the Breaking Bad connection into their business.
Walter White’s House
Just as Walter White transformed from mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher into coldhearted Heisenberg so too is this retired teacher-homeowner transforming into her own Heisenberg. Completely fed up with the volume and abuse of her property by fans, she has taken to sitting all day, every day in her garage, giving passers-by the “#1 fan” salute. She has also tried to disguise her house. It is now painted green with white trim around the window and garage. There is a gate at the front entrance and AstroTurf in the front yard. On this tour we were fortunate to catch her on a rare day off.
All interior scenes of Walter White’s house were shot on set at Albuquerque Studios. No interior scenes were ever shot at this location.
Series creator Vince Gilligan owns this condo and rents it out to actors who are in town filming.
The Car Wash
The location of the A1A Car Wash, where Walt laundered his drug money, was the Snow Heights location of Octopus Car Wash, a well-known Albuquerque landmark. The family owned Octopus Car Washes are now owned by Mister Car Wash the country’s largest car wash chain.
Across the street from the car wash is Taco Sal another well-known Albuquerque institution.
John B. Robert Dam
The John B. Robert Dam was used as the pick-up location for those who needed to disappear. The concrete “tombstones” are designed to slow the flow of flood water spilling over the dam from the summer monsoons.
Gus Fring’s House and Laundry
The location of Gus’s industrial laundry business and meth super lab is a real-life industrial laundry business called Delta Uniform & Linen. It is the only location where the actual employees were used as extras.
Not On The Tour
The following locations are not on the tour but are worth seeking out.
Hank and Marie Schrader’s House
Hank and Marie’s house is located in the foothills of the Sandia Mountain’s with beautiful views of the city.
Walter White’s Headstone
Sometime after the final episode of Breaking Bad aired on September 29, 2013, a fake funeral was held for Walter White at a real Albuquerque cemetery. The headstone was placed in Albuquerque’s Sunset Memorial Park as part of the funeral, however families with loved ones buried in the cemetery were concerned that the site would become a tourist attraction. The headstone was moved and is now located in the Village Shops at Los Ranchos on 4th street. It is mounted on a wall at the back of the shops on the north side.
Note the little bag of crystal meth left by a fan on top of the headstone.