The Austin Chronicle Restaurant Poll

2005 Critics Picks

Best Upscale, Relaxed, Classy Restaurant With Great Service


Best New Restaurant

Little Texas Bistro

Best Bartender

Tom Upthegrove at Vespaio

Unsung Kitchen Hero

Chef Ryan Sampson at Vespaio

Rising Kitchen Star

Paul Peterson at Little Texas Bistro

Best Waitpeople

Susan Shields at Vespaio, Mark Hutchins at Asti Trattoria

Most Charismatic Restaurateurs

Suzi Yi at Suzi's Chinese Kitchen, Giovanni Cocciante at Andiamo Ristorante

Best New Wave Sushi Slinger

Tyson Cole at Uchi

Best Affordable Traditional Sushi

Timothy Thomas at Origami

Best Upscale Contemporary and Traditional Sushi

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

Most Entertaining Sushi Scene

Disco Karaoke at Seoul Restaurant & D.K.'s Sushi Bar

Best Wine Bar


Best Bargain Wine list

TIE: Bistrot Mirabelle, Castle Hill Cafe

Best Small Wine list

Eastside Cafe

Best Restaurants for Pairing Great Wine With Great Food

TIE: The Driskill Grill, Bistrot Mirabelle

Restaurants Where Waitstaff Really Knows the Wines

TIE: Asti, Vespaio, wink

Best Restaurant Selections of Texas Wines

TIE: Bistrot Mirabelle, Wildfire

Most Welcome Expansions

New bars at Wink and 7

Best New South Austin Outdoor Dining Options

TIE: Freddie's Place, Opal Divine's

Best Trip to Taiwan Without Leaving Town

Din Ho Chinese BBQ

Best Cowboy Cuisine Without the Trail Dust

Roaring Fork

Most Creative Food at a Sports Bar

Ringers Sports Lounge

Best Brew, Booze, and Bar-Food Experience

Opal Divine's

Best Mexico City Hangover Breakfast

Bowl of Birria at Garibaldi's Mexican Restaurant

Best Cauliflower Soup and Octopus Salad

Andiamo Ristorante

Best Amuse Bouche

Cauliflower Mousse at Aquarelle Restaurant

Best French Bread and Unusual Desserts

Ba Le

Best Reason to Get out of Bed on Sunday Morning

Dim Sum at Marco Polo Restaurant

Best Squid on a Stick


Best MaPoDoFu

Pao's Mandarin House

Steaks Worth Driving For

Backstage Steakhouse & Garden Bar

Best Popularly Priced Steak House

JC's Steakhouse

Tex-Mex Worth Gassing Up That Ol' SUV

Maudie's Tex-Mex

Best Avocado Recipe

Tacos Ahogados at Elsi's Restaurant

Best Chinese Seafood

South: Marco Polo Restaurant, North: T&S Seafood

Best Thai Home Cooking

Madam Mam's

Best Bubble Tea and Filipino Snacks


Best Greek With a Side of Italian, Great Mediterranean Meatballs

Konstantinos Estiatorio

Best Italian Food Under $7 With a Side of Free Texas Roots Music

Gino’s Italian Grill

Best Authentic Vietnamese Menu Selection

Sunflower Restaurant

Best Posh Noshing

Royal Victorian Tea at the Driskill

Best Pies and Cobblers

R.O.'s Outpost

Best Turnaround of a Sports Bar Menu

The Tavern

Best Skillet Cornbread


Best Grilled Halloumi Cheese Sandwich

Grape Vine Market

Best Fruity Treats to Beat the Heat

Paletas From La Paletera

Best Cosmopolitan Treat to Beat the Heat

Espresso Granita With Vanilla Gelato at Téo

Best Norteño-Style Grilled Mexican Meat Feasts

Best Affordable Mexican With Handmade Tortillas and Real Mexican Cokes

El Borrego de Oro

Best Oysters

Oysters Contraband at Evangeline Cafe

Best Old-School Tex-Mex

Amaya's Taco Village

Best Get-It-and-Go Rotisserie Chicken

El Regio

Best Salvadoran (Take a Dictionary or a Native Spanish Speaker)

El Sunzal

Best Louisiana Po'Boys

TIE: Gene's New Orleans Style Poboys & Deli, Shoal Creek Saloon, Evangeline Cafe

Best Muffaletta This Side of I-10

Cypress Grill

Most Glamorous Hamburgers

Kobe Cheeseburger at JC's Steakhouse; Big Ass Bacon-Cheeseburger at Roaring Fork

Best Chips & Salsa With a Combo Platter

Evita's Botanitas Mexican Restaurant Chip Tower With El Rey Combo #1

Best Time-Travel Back to a Forties Diner

Arkie's Grill

Best Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken With Gizzards and Livers at Top Notch

Best Asian Fried Chicken

Java Noodles

Best Kolaches

Lone Star Bakery

Best Lemon Bars


Best Goat's Milk Ice Cream

Water Oak Farms Brand at Boggy Creek Farm

Swankiest Appetizer at Stars Across Texas Grand Tasting

Seared Foie Gras With Creme Fraiche Ice Cream From Finn & Porter

Best Chicken Salad

The Kitchen Door

Best Turkey Sandwich

Portabla on Sixth

Best Chicken Sandwich

Roasted Chicken Shawarma at Phoenicia Bakery & Deli (Ed Ward Memorial Award); Bahn Mi With Chicken at Ba Le Vietnamese Bakery

Best Cabrito Flautas

El Azteca Restaurant

Best Late-Night Barbecue

Sam's BBQ

Best Chicken-Fried Steak With a Side of Barbecued Pork Rib Ends

R.O.'s Outpost

Barbecue Comeback We're Happy to See

Ben's Long Branch Bar-B-Q

Restaurant Resurrection for Which We Yearn

Dot's Place

Most Fabulous Outdoor Dining

Patio at the Cafe at the Four Seasons

Best Outdoor Drinking Downtown

Club de Ville, Stephen F.'s Bar & Terrace at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel

Best Restaurant for Running Into Old Friends


Best Armadillo World Headquarters Flashback

Alice's Restaurant

Best Place for Good Food, Cold Beer, Free Music, and a Cool Breeze

Hill's Cafe KVET Texas Music Series

Best Restaurant Alternative

Sipping Wine and Grazing While Shopping at the New Whole Foods Market

Best View of Bouldin Creek With Food and Music

Freddie's Place

Best Breakfast Event

Culture Clash Breakfast at Ranch 616 During Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival

Best Restaurant Bathrooms

TIE: Backstage Steakhouse & Garden Bar, Finn & Porter, Ranch 616

Culinary Benefit of Which We're Proudest

Eat, Drink, Watch Movies for Chef Roger Mollet

Best Community Volunteers for Any Culinary Event

Texas Culinary Academy Student Body

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