Nuts and Bolts
An eye for detail transforms a simple eatery into a welcoming respite from the outside world. It's the little things that keep us coming back to our favorites.
Flying Star is a Burque fave, no doubt about it, but when it comes to design the owners have spared no expense, and it shows. Cool chrome teamed up with retro space-age décor and eclectic colors make these eateries not only unique but now award-winning.
1. Flying Star Café
2. The Standard Diner
3. Tie: El Pinto, Slate Street Café
You can dine on the finest food in the world, but if you're doing it in a dumpy environment your food will taste like it came straight from a monkey's butt. Frontier's food tastes light years better than anything that's ever come from a monkey's butt. Partly, this is because the University area staple serves some of the best diner grub in the city. Partly, it's because while you're chowing down you can gawk at a truly impressive array of Western art. John Wayne's portrait in nails? Come on, that would make a shoe taste like filet mignon.
2. Tie: Saggio’s, Java Joe’s
3. Spinn’s Burgers and Beer
Much like fine art (see above), a picturesque table setting can make a meal go down smooth. The Ranchers Club is quite possibly the swankiest restaurant in Albuquerque, so it makes sense that these folks would know how to do a table setting up right. Just remember: Work from the outside in so as not to embarrass yourself in front of your date.
1. Ranchers Club of New Mexico
2. Artichoke Café
3. Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill
Bright, flashy bulbs or plain and appealing—the sign out front is the first indicator of a joint's personality. The top spot in this category is a three-way tie between O'Niell's Pub and its inviting new lit-up arrow number, the Flying Star Café with its logo in motion and Graze with its funky but simple lettering. Who says you can't judge books by their covers? Sometimes, first impressions are pretty accurate assessments of what's inside.
1. Tie: O’Niell’s Pub, Flying Star Café, Graze
2. Tie: Il Vicino, Saggio’s, Satellite Coffee
3. Tie: 66 Diner, Bandido Hideout, Dog House Drive In, Relish Sandwich Shop
The winner in this category is a tie between Scalo Northern Italian Grill and Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill, and as far as customer banter goes, these spots will give you just enough noise to cower behind during a breakup, or just enough quiet to read a Harlequin romance novel without being too conspicuous.
1. Tie: Scalo Northern Italian Grill, Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill
2. Tie: Artichoke Café, Flying Star Café
3. Tie: Great American Land and Cattle Co., Orchid Thai Cuisine