1997 Readers Poll
1997 Critics Picks
Best All You Can Eat

The Asian banquet takes it. Dripping Springs' Salt Lick scarfs second and previous winner Mr. Gatti's grabs third.

Buffet Palace
4608 West Gate Blvd., 512/892-1800

Best Bakery

The cream has risen to the Crust, which takes first place in this category. Hats off to Sweetish Hill and Texas French Bread for a competitive showing.

Upper Crust Bakery
4508 Burnet Rd.

photo by John Anderson

Best Barbecue

Also known as "the plate lick," still holding the brass ring that they took away from long-time winner aka County Line.

The Salt Lick
18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, 512/858-4959
The Salt Lick Round Rock, 3350 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, 512/386-1044

Best Breakfast

Power breakfasts for those on the run with recently added screwdrivers and mimosas for the lingering set.

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 Caterer

Word of Mouth is the city's upscale caterer and has been so for several years. They've recently moved into the old Run-Tex building at 12th & Lamar, and by the beginning of next year should have a gourmet take-out business opening in the old Amandine's location.

Word of Mouth
2501 N. Lamar

Best Coffee House

After four years at their downtown location, this spare, soothing coffeehouse finally hit the big time, with a second locale near campus and a first-place coup d'etat.

Best Custom Cakes

Year after year, Lucy's affordable prices and impeccable service take the cake.

Best Dessert

Chez Zee pastry chef Corey Harris came to Austin two years ago inheriting the stellar dessert tradition of Chez Fred but has consistently upped the quality of that tradition to a higher level; check out her Truffle Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie, among many others, to find out why.

Chez Zee
5406 Balcones Dr.

photograph by Minh Carrico   Minh Carrico

Best Diner

Quintessential Austin indifference plus dirt-cheap food (and fabulously sinful breakfast tacos) make this all-night greasy spoon a city favorite.

Star Seeds Cafe
3101 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd

Best Grocery Store

An eclectic mix of the organic, exotic, and basic, mixed with just plain friendliness, redefined the grocery shopping experience.

Central Market North
4001 N. Lamar

Best Lunch Under $5

Compare T-Cloud's seemingly simple recipe to Kim Phung's mysterious and mystifying kitchen. Both are fantastic and fantastically low-priced.

Kim Phung Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant
7601-I N. Lamar

Best Milkshakes & Smoothies

Wrapido's fruit and energy smoothies are a paean to Nineties chic health consciousness while EZ's is a throwback to Fifties indulgence, with decadent milkshakes thick enough to suck out your tonsils.

Best Sandwich Shop/Chain

Their jingle gets more play than the Wallflowers, but it's those killer subs that keep 'em drifting back.

ThunderCloud Subs
ThunderCloud Subs #10, 903 W. 12th, 512/322-0154
ThunderCloud Subs #3, 3200 Guadalupe, 512/452-5010
ThunderCloud Subs #2, 201 E. Riverside, 512/441-5331
ThunderCloud Subs #11, 2521 Rutland, 512/835-6458
ThunderCloud Subs #14, 3201 Bee Caves Rd., 512/328-2114
ThunderCloud Subs #15, 2300 Lohmans Spur #108, Lakeway, 512/263-1620
ThunderCloud Subs #17, 5401 Burnet Rd., 512/467-9438
ThunderCloud Subs #18, 13776 Hwy. 183 N. #152, 512/258-9145
ThunderCloud Subs #19, 1807 W. Slaughter #500, 512/282-2255
ThunderCloud Subs #5, 7930 Burnet Rd., 512/451-0027
ThunderCloud Subs #6, 2308 Lake Austin Blvd., 512/479-6504
ThunderCloud Subs #8, 2801 S. Lamar, 512/443-0960
ThunderCloud Subs #9, 2021 E. Riverside, 512/445-4163
ThunderCloud Subs #20, 1110 N. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-2468
ThunderCloud Subs #28, 6920 RR 620 N., 512/335-3663
ThunderCloud Subs #31, 2500 W. Parmer #160, 512/255-2013
6105 Hwy. 290 E., 512/451-5830

Best Waitstaff

They're young, good looking, and downright kind. It's no wonder they won, but perhaps their retro red shirts swayed the vote for some readers.

Readers: Entertainment
Readers: Kids

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