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Flying Star cafe, in downtown Albuquerque

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Flying Star cafe, in downtown Albuquerque
photo by Andrew Collins
One of the most architecturally distinctive of the several Flying Star cafes (723 Silver Ave. SW, 505-244-8099) set around Albuquerque (there's also one in Santa Fe), the downtown ABQ Flying Star occupies the 1950 Southern Union Gas Co. building, which was designed by the seminal New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem. The two-floor space with both a main dining room (pictured here) and a quieter upstairs loft area is a favorite hangout of students, downtown offices workers, artists, and tourists. It serves delicious breakfast fare, a full range of coffee drinks, wine and beer, wonderful pastries and cakes, and an eclectic (Asian, New Mexican, Middle Eastern, American) mix of lunch and dinner fare. For relatively simple fare and an order-at-the-counter setup, Flying Star isn't as cheap as some cafes around town, but given the spacious seating area in which patrons are generally welcome to gab, read, or peck away on their laptops for hours on end, it's a pretty wonderful value.

Flying Star is open from 6 am until 10 pm most days, and until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.

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