By Chris Pine
If you’re tired of the chain coffee shops like Starbuck’s and Dunkin Donuts, Albuquerque has quite a few unique coffee shops, especially around the University area. Here are a few coffee shops you might check out the next time you need a cup of Joe.
1. Flying Star
Flying Star now has 8 locations due to their massive popularity. Two of these are outside the city, in Bernalillo and Paseo del Norte. The best location to go to is the original, located on Central Avenue. This location was founded in 1987. Flying Star Cafe serves a wide variety of coffee drinks, sandwiches, and deserts. Their magazine rack is huge, so if you didn’t bring any reading material of your own, you will always be able to find something to read here. One of the best aspects of this coffee shop is that they have an automatic coffee dispenser. This means you never have to trek up to the front counter and ask the barista for a refill. The only downside about this place is that the food is a bit overpriced.
2. Satellite Coffee
Satellite Coffee may be the most popular chain in Albuquerque. They began in 1998, and there are now 9 Satellite Coffee locations. It was actually started by the same team who created Flying Star, but Satellite is more of a quick-service coffee shop, as opposed to the full-service food menu offered at Flying Star. The coffee at both is equally great-tasting. One of the most popular locations is in the Nob Hill area directly across from the University on Central Avenue. They are usually decked out with tons of comfy chairs and couches, and they provide free Wi-Fi. For this reason, many students come here to study or just to hang out. If you frequent a Satellite Coffee shop often enough, you’ll get to know the whole community of regulars.
3. Winning Coffee Co.
Popularly known as Winning’s, this is a small artsy coffee shop located on Harvard, directly south of the University. If you’d like to keep up on the local jazz or art festival happenings, this is a great place. Winning’s also doubles as a small independent bookstore. Sometimes you can find a rare gem for an extremely cheap price. While the coffee at Winning’s is not nearly as good as the coffee at Flying Star or Satellite, it definitely wins points for its unique atmosphere.
There are quite a few other independent coffee shops in Albuquerque, but the above three are all very good. If you like free Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee refills, and a relaxing atmosphere, they are all great choices. Albuquerque is a beautiful town, so please keep it clean by depositing your empty coffee cups in the commercial trash can [http://www.kitchen-trashcan.com/commercial-trash-can.html] that is provided at the store. They usually use heavy duty trash bags [http://www.kitchen-trashcan.com/heavy-duty-trash-bags.html], so it’s not like they’re going to break. Don’t litter!