Entertainment
1994 Readers Poll
1994 Critics Picks
Best Bar To Drink Alone

Both longtime institutions with friendly clientele, good food, and distinct personalities, Pearl's is Austin music's northern outpost while Wylie's is an anchor of the Sixth Street strip.

Best Beer Selection

Around 250 brands to choose from, including the 14% alcohol content Samichlaus from Switzerland and Golden Promise Scottish ale, the first organic brew to be sold in the U.S.

Central Market North
4001 N. Lamar, 512/206-1000
4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-4300
centralmarket.com

Best Brew Pub

A new trend and a new category, and this first-time winner is located in the burgeoning Arts District west of Congress Avenue.

Best Coldest Beer

Something about that flashing "air-conditioned" sign says everything in the place is cool. Too bad you can't watch the Terminix Bug rotate across the street anymore.

The Tavern
922 W. 12th
512/320-8377
www.tavernaustin.com

Best Dance Music Club

Our source says the Tuesday bondage night at Ohms is less thrilling than you'd think but Retro-Wednesdays and Fridays are cool. Our source also suggests trying 404 if you prefer "a classic, Eighties-style gay bar."

404
404 Colorado
512/499-0088

Best Free Entertainment

Not only is it free, but this is also one of the nicest spots to hear some of Austin's music in the open air as the sun goes down in town.

Auditorium Shores at the Long Center
South First at Lady Bird Lake
512/482-0800

Best Happy Hour Drinks

Hmmm - go to El Arroyo, get loaded under the trees and come up with your own silly political messages you'd like to see on the mobile sign or imbibe freely at Trudy's and ponder the hot sauce recipes.

El Arroyo
1624 W. Fifth
512/474-1222
www.elarroyo.com

Best Happy Hour Entertainment

Because, as one source puts it, "You can go in there in the afternoon and it feels like the middle of the night." Where else can you see talent the caliber of Toni Price or the Blues Specialists every week before the sun goes down?

Continental Club
1315 S. Congress
512/441-2444
www.continentalclub.com

photo by John Anderson

Best Happy Hour Food

It's nacho usual crappy hour buffet at Chuy's (they even have ground sirloin, amigo), or perhaps you can join the hotel and business crowd munching down at Tangerine's (some nights on Italian food, others on Mexican, others American, etc.).

Chuy's
1728 Barton Springs Rd.
512/474-4452
www.chuys.com

Tangerines
9721 Arboretum Blvd.
512/795-6040

Best Jukebox

One features the Buzzcocks and Tony Bennett, the other features Hank Williams and Talking Heads. You figure it out.

Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd.
512/472-0961
www.deepeddycabaret.com

Best Margaritas

Readers who voted B.A. the flavorite plead no contest to a-salt and flattery in a (triple) sec. (We're not lime to you, folks.)

Baby Acapulco
1628 Barton Springs Rd., 512/474-8774
13609 N. I-35, Ste 3B, 512/670-9111
Baby Acapulco Stonelake, 9505-B Stonelake, 512/795-9000
1705-A S. Lakeshore Blvd., 512/447-1339
www.babyacapulco.com

Best Movie Theatre Concession Stand

Along with the popcorn and other standard fare, Dobie offers healthy candies and snacks, specialty coffees, and other goodies you don't expect from a Jujube vendor.

Best Movie Theatre Facilities

Offering great sound, individual screening rooms designed to be theatres (and not previously parts of theaters), and the best prints, The Arbor 7 is a great place to watch movies.

Best Movie Theatre Programming

The foreign and independent films you read about in New York and national publications (but hold no hope that they'll show up here) frequently end up at the Village - they consistently book great independent and foreign films. Austin is blessed with the four screens at the Village, the excellent programming at the Dobie, and the interesting, often innovative films on campus. Fun date suggestion: take a friend to a foreign movie here. When it starts, hiss loudly "You mean we have to read the whole time?"

Best Piano Bar

Our Parisian friend E. says it's Paris in Austin. Look for local jazz favorites like Connie Blake, Sandy Allen, and Bobby Doyle.

The Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos
512/439-1234
www.driskillhotel.com

Best Place To Dress Up

Not just a hang out, but one with swell food. And it just wouldn't be right to spill fancy food on a plain white t-shirt.

Best Place To Eavesdrop

Actually, we knew this already - we overheard it in Slacker.

Best Place To Meet People

Interesting tie: let your fingers do the dancing on a bulletin board (the meat market of the info highway), or unleash your Penté-up romanticism whilst swigging down wheatgrass shots.

David Brendan Hall

Best Place To Stay Cool

Not to mention staying wet and tan and relaxed and possibly even fit. It's always 68deg., which is a blessing when it's 100deg.

Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
512/867-3080
www.austintexas.gov/department/barton-springs-pool

Best Pool Hall

Take your cue from the name of this joint -there are 19 tables at the south location and 24 up north.

Clicks Billiards
2121 E. Oltorf, 512/448-4945
10205 N. Lamar, 512/837-4688

Best Video Store (chain)

What does one say about a video store with a gazillion rated movies? How does one expand?

Blockbuster
1112-A N. Lamar
512/440-7710
www.blockbuster.com/

Best Video Store (specialty)

Fifty million Elvis videos can't be wrong. All right, well how about a handful of Elvis and a ton of cult classics? They sport a prime selection of NC-17s, foreign movies, kid stuff, independent works, and more. You'll find those rare titles here and trust the staff, they've watched an extraordinary amount of the inventory.

Best Wine Selection (Retail)

There is something to be said for a list that extends beyond "Red, White, and Pink." Frequent bargains and a selection that can inspire oenophiles to stock the cellar.

Central Market North
4001 N. Lamar, 512/206-1000
4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-4300
centralmarket.com

Best Bar To Drink Alone

Both longtime institutions with friendly clientele, good food, and distinct personalities, Pearl's is Austin music's northern outpost while Wylie's is an anchor of the Sixth Street strip.

Best Downtown Club

Free music, great bands, and can that Dave-the-manager-guy swear. Inkwise, squids would be put to shame if they saw the amount of skin art in this most beloved Austin tunecave.

Best Non-downtown Club

Good luck breaking this tie for out-of-towners who can only visit one. Ask them: Do you prefer a great time or a great time?

Continental Club
1315 S. Congress
512/441-2444
www.continentalclub.com

Best Cover Band Club

Just what U2 and R.E.M. had in mind when they formed: "Hmmm, let's create stuff that will sound great at that place with the overstuffed bouncers!" But let's not forget Maggie's incredible beer selection. Bottom's up!

Maggie Mae's
323 E. Sixth
512/478-8541
www.maggiemaesaustin.com

Best Tejano/Conjunto Club

Choose from live music on Friday nights with alternating Tejano bands (though local and touring alternative bands are sneaking in the schedule), or jam to Tex-Mex tunes spun by DJs.

Escape Club
110 E. Riverside
512/444-8452

Best Dance Music Club

Our source says the Tuesday bondage night at Ohms is less thrilling than you'd think but Retro-Wednesdays and Fridays are cool. Our source also suggests trying 404 if you prefer "a classic, Eighties-style gay bar."

404
404 Colorado
512/499-0088

Best Rock Dancing

Yes, rock (as opposed to country) dancing, although at this spot, it's more like "Dude, let's go rock dance in the mosh pit!"

Best Gay Bar

Described by one patron as a Hyatt Regency lounge meets an airport bar, Harry's is the place to find boys in starched everything.

Oilcan's
211 W. Fourth
512/320-8823
www.fb.com/oilcanharrys

Best Neighborhood Bar

May we suggest you try the former if you prefer Bukowski and the latter if you dig Hemingway? Or the former if you like cheap pitchers and the latter if imported pints are more your style.

Crown & Anchor Pub
2911 San Jacinto
512/322-9168
www.crownandanchorpub.com

Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd.
512/472-0961
www.deepeddycabaret.com

Best Place To Drink Outdoors

28 decks 450 feet above Lake Travis offer you and approximately 1,199 of your best friends an opportunity to enjoy a drink while the sun doth sink.

The Oasis
6550 Comanche Trl.
512/266-2442
www.oasis-austin.com

Best Teen Scene/Hangout

Somehow Rick Linklater's yesteryear version seems more safe and romantic than today's real life waifs begging change, toting tots, and smokin' Spirits.

The Drag
Guadalupe, between MLK and Dean Keeton

Best Place to Country Dance

Long before line-dancing wiggled its way into the suburbs, the Spoke gave pleasure to folks who wear boots and like real country music.

Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar
512/442-6189
www.brokenspokeaustintx.net

 
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