1995 Readers Poll
1995 Critics Picks

John Anderson

Best Bar To Drink Alone

With the popularity of this watering hole at an all-time high, it's a great spot to lose yourself in the crowd. Or you may just find a soulmate in the throng. Either way, now, as always, the atmosphere says bar with a capital "B."

Cedar Door
201 Brazos

Best Beer Selection

Remember when you were a kid and were leaving the grocery store and the wall was lined with gumball machines and you were ready to faint at all the choices? Well, that's how it feels when you enter the Gingerman and see the wall behind the bar just bursting with taps - 80, to be exact, including one for the designated root beer drinker.

Best Brew Pub

Whatever's ale-ing you won't be after you and your brew-ed hit a happy hour at this much-loved watering hole. Four beers are brewed on the premises year round and two seasonal, all going for $1 a pint daily between 5-6pm (with plenty of other happy-hour specials, too).

Best Coldest Beer

Monte, the cool (not cold) G.M. of the Sixth Street location, swears he would tell us if he thought the readers were mistaken. But he doesn't. And he says the brew at the 'house hovers just above freezing (that's 35 degrees to you and me.) Brrrrrrrrew-tal, man.

Waterloo Ice House
8600 Burnet Rd., 512/458-6544
6203 Capital of TX Hwy. N., 512/418-9700
9600 Escarpment Blvd., 512/301-1007
9600 S. I-35 Ste. D-100, 512/292-7900

Best Country/Western Club

The most authentic Country Dance Corral in the city, where you can boot your scootie to the likes of Don Walser & His Pure Texas Band, Gary P. Nunn, The Geezinslaw Bros., Chris Wall, Alvin Crow, and the Derailers.

Broken Spoke
3201 S. Lamar

Best Cover Band Club

When we're overwhelmed by that desire to snarf a couple of cold ones and sing along to words we sorta know ourselves, this veteran venue delivers. "Satisfaction" guaranteed.

Maggie Mae's
323 E. Sixth

Best Dance Music Club

The place Austinites want to wear their, their, their boogie shoes, just to boogie wit you.

311 E. Fifth

Best Downtown Club

The place Austinites want to wear their, their, their boogie shoes, just to boogie wit you.

311 E. Fifth

Best Free Entertainment

You can't beat free weekly tunes on the waterfront for the music-hungry residents of this city. The one thing we can't figure out is why the bats fly away from the action.

Auditorium Shores at the Long Center
South First at Lady Bird Lake

Best Gay/Lesbian Club

Four out of five friends of Dorothy agree, Oilcan's is the place to be.

211 W. Fourth

Best Happy Hour Drinks

Maybe it's the big tree, maybe the seasonal, frosty, yummy margaritas (new this summer, fresh watermelon margaritas; in the fall, ruby grapefruit). Manager Steve says the real reason folks do happy hour at "the place with the sign" is because, "We're real nice people."

El Arroyo
1624 W. Fifth, 512/474-1222

Best Happy Hour Entertainment

You got Toni Price Tuesdays, 8 1/2 Souvenirs Wednesdays, Don Walser and Asylum Street Spankers alternating Thursdays, The Blues Specialists Fridays. Plus, no cover. Get it?

Continental Club
1315 S. Congress

photo by John Anderson

Best Happy Hour Food

Not just another bin of chicken nuggets, folks. This place offers substantial cocktail cuisine.

9721 Arboretum Blvd.

Best Inexpensive Date

Better than a sonnet. Cheaper than a bottle of wine. Quicker to get to than the ocean. Want to win somebody's heart? Take them here to see a sunset; you won't have to say a word.

Mount Bonnell at Covert Park
3851 Mount Bonnell Dr.

Best Jukebox

A call to management, asking for a description of said box, netted this response: "It's pretty broad-range. Like our crowd." Featuring the likes of Ol' Blue Eyes, S.R. Vaughan, Tom Petty, Muddy Waters, and a bazillion others.

Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd.

Best Margaritas

We asked employee/lit major/transplanted New Jersey guy Ethan Z. exactly why Baby A's keeps winning this category. Ethan says, "Well, the margaritas are pretty strong, there are about a million flavors, you can mix and match them to your heart's content, and Hunter S. Thompson and Ernest Hemingway would both approve of them." Thanks, Ethan.

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

Best Movie Theatre Concession Stand

Alongside the ubiquitous Milk Duds and Red Hots, the Dobie sweet shop offers chocolate-covered espresso beans, butter-toffee peanuts, and popcorn to die for. The food is so good, we'd come here even if they didn't show such terrific flicks.

Best Movie Theatre Facilities

A return win for one of the cleanest, comfiest, most state-of-the-art cinemas in the city.

Best Movie Theatre Programming

The mix of cool independent work, fine foreign cinema, and the occasional sharp Hollywood flick, juggled over four screens, ensures that there is always don't-miss moviegoing here.

Best Neighborhood Bar

You say you want Deep Eddy Pool, sans sun and water? Then cool off and cue up at this ever-shady (as in cool and dark, not evil) establishment. Wet your whistle, not your swimsuit.

Deep Eddy Cabaret
2315 Lake Austin Blvd.

photo by John Anderson

Best Non-downtown Club

Welcoming you with its gigantic Elvis sign above an aqua facade, the C.C. is too cool. And on the inside, it only gets better: hot acts eight days a week, an ancient pinball machine that benefits AIDS Services of Austin, dancing couples that look to have arrived by time warp. No wrong ever done here, man.

Continental Club
1315 S. Congress

Best Piano Bar

Tinkle tinkle little bar... wait, is that the player's fingers on the keys or the soothing sounds of perfect little cubes tinkling against the confines of a cool, clear cocktail?

The Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos

Best Place To Dress Up

Something about the mix of burnished wood and Mediterranean cuisine makes this tapas bar y restaurant seem like more than another Sixth Street haunt. It's like taking a quick trip to the Continent, and that inspires one to dress apropos. Plus, you never know who you might bump into here.

Best Place To Drink Outdoors

Where you can admire a scenic sunset, your libation of preference in hand, from a choice of over a thousand chairs (imagine the agony of Goldilocks in a joint like this!).

The Oasis
6550 Comanche Trl.

Best Place To Eavesdrop

Always open, always a full house, always a range of River City citizens from all walks, and always, it seems, full of folks who have to spill some serious beans. Oh, the things we've heard while stuffing our face with those incomparable pancakes....

Kerbey Lane Cafe
3704 Kerbey, 512/451-1436
13435 Hwy. 183 N. #415, 512/258-7757
2606 Guadalupe, 512/477-5717
4301 W. William Cannon, 512/899-1500
3003 S. Lamar, 512/445-4451
2120 N. Mays St., Round Rock, 512/879-2827
701 Capital of TX Hwy. S., 512/879-2820
2200 Aldrich #100, 512/879-2818

Best Place To Stay Cool

It may be 93 degrees in the shade or 103, but here it's always 68 degrees in the wet. With a water temperature that never varies, and a chance to swim all year, this could be the one constant in all of our lives.

Barton Springs Pool
2131 William Barton Dr.

David Brendan Hall

Best Pool Hall

"Rack 'em, Dan-O." Over a dozen tables at each location.

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

Best Rock Dancing

Rock (at) the 'boat baby. For those who prefer Ian Moore than they prefer disco.

110 E. Riverside

Best Teen Scene/Hangout

Take your pick: Northcross, Highland, Barton Creek Square, Westgate, each and every one is a modern Pied Piper drawing various and sundry teens from every walk to check out the game scene, the fashions, and each other.

Best Tejano/Conjunto Club

Featuring hot Tejano tunes and cheap, cheap drink specials (Would you believe buck beers and buck margaritas?).

Tejano Ranch
7601 N. Lamar, Ste. A

Best Video Store (chain)

When you absolutely, positively have to see that brand-new video release tonight (the one thousands of other video-mad Austinites want to rent tonight, too), the 'Buster will provide. They have more copies of popular releases than god, probably. And there's one nearby.

1112-A N. Lamar

Best Video Store (specialty)

Craig "the big fuzzy guy" Pankey has managed to please our video-savvy readers once again. Whether your tastes run to classic, modern, foreign, or cult, Vulcan has a huge selection to suit you. The place to check for Japanimation or those wild Hong Kong action titles.

Best Wine Selection (Retail)

We're not talking boxes of blush here. With over 2,000 labels (from local to imported) to choose from (including "Twig Wine" - which comes with a piece of vine in the bottle) and prices from under $10 up to $80, C.M. takes the crown again this year.

Central Market North
4001 N. Lamar

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