Each year, the Chronicle's Best of Austin issue highlights many of the things that make us want to inhabit our fair city; to be neighbors in a diverse community,to raise our families here, to support the local economy, and to protect the environment.
This time around, we continued the tradition of giving our readers the opportunity to vote in a poll that runs through a series of weeks, and offer our usual (or unusual) critics' picks, where Chron staffers share their opinions of what makes Austin so special. Since we are in agreement from the start that Austin is, in fact, the best city - and its businesses, services, and places are what make it so - we have to accept the impossibility of citing every reason why in these relatively few pages.
Please understand that it is not our intention to step on toes here, but our decision is to try listing different categories from year to year, for the idea of "Best of Austin" to grow and evolve as our city does. If your favorite isn't included this time, it may well be next year. The Readers Poll, of course (results meticulously compiled by our own Nisa Sharma), reflects choices you have made yourselves. We hope you find some of the very best of Austin in the following pages. – Jennifer Scoville