Artz Rib House: Award-winning ribs and gumbo served in a casual atmosphere.
Babe's: This joint serves up a variety of big, juicy burgers just the way you like them.
Broken Spoke: Owner Arnetta White's Texas country food is every bit as authentic as the Texas country music at this legendary Austin honky-tonk.
Dog & Duck Pub: The stick-to-your-ribs pub grub here is a perennial favorite with Chronicle readers.
Fadó Irish Pub: The mainstream American version of Irish pub fare served here comes with a smile and a lilting Dublin brogue.
Filling Station: This friendly neighborhood joint has a great burger and hot dog menu built around a garage theme.
Gilligan's: A tempting seafood menu with tantalizing island flavors and a wine list that garners national accolades every year.
Hole in the Wall: Longtime regulars and UT-area dwellers alike frequent this place for substantial menu items such as "The Reality," a chicken-fried steak served with cheese and jalapeños.
Jazz-A Louisiana Kitchen: A tasty mixture of Cajun and Creole dishes in a New Orleans-style party menu.
Jovita's: A cold cerveza, a hot plate of reliable Tex-Mex comida, and Don Walser's sweet yodel wafting out across the clear South Austin night. Heaven.
Manuel's: This popular downtown eatery boasts great margaritas, a fresh Interior Mexican menu, and Austin's longest-running jazz brunch.
Mozart's: A soothing lakeside view complemented by excellent coffees, pastries, and desserts.
NeWorlDeli: The creative sandwich assortment here offers one of the most interesting menus around town.
Pato's Tacos: A broad selection of tasty tacos is the hallmark of this Eastside Tex-Mex haven.
Miguel's La Bodega: The spicy Tex-Mex and Interior Mexican menu items are the perfect partners for the equally spicy salsa, tango, and merengue music selections available at this downtown Latin dance spot.
Sullivan's Ringside: This popular downtown beef emporium brought steak out of the closet in the Capital City and can claim one of the few rooms in town actually designed for listening to music.
Ruta Maya Coffee House: Enjoy pastries, desserts, and richly flavored coffee at this funky corner spot while observing the rich pageant of downtown life in the warehouse district.
Scholz Beer Garten: The legendary home of Texas political discourse where you can eat Texas victuals, drink Texas beer, discuss politics, or listen to music just like it's been done for almost 150 years.
Shady Grove: A sloppy green chile cheeseburger and a huge order of crispy, hand-breaded onion rings on their patio on a breezy spring evening can make you mighty happy.
Stubb's BBQ: Probably the only place in Texas where you'll find a gospel brunch that serves eggs, biscuits, pancakes, and barbecue!
Threadgill's: The Wednesday night Sittin' & Singin' Supper sessions are almost as famous as the chicken-fried steak, mountain of fried chicken livers, and the second helpings on vegetables.
Threadgill's World Headquarters: Washing down an order of Armadillo nachos with a cold draft beer and listening to great Austin music in the back-room saloon here is as close as we're likely to get to the late, great Armadillo World Headquarters again in this lifetime.
Waterloo Ice House (38th Street/Sixth & Lamar): We've always been partial to the burgers, fries, and onion rings at these joints, but lately we've developed a jones for their stellar line of pies.
Rhythm House: This cozy neighborhood joint just north of campus is highly regarded for its Spanish tapas menu and acoustic music lineup.
Flipnotics Coffee Space: The smoothie menu here is particularly appealing, but the sandwiches, empanadas, soups, and salads are equally good.
-- Virginia B. Wood