This topic arose elsewhere; sharing my thoughts here.
In the Vista: Motor Suppy has excellent upscale food with mid-to-upper range prices. Gervais and Vine is a nice tapas bar. The Blue Marlin offers good seafood with a Southern touch. Nonnah's for desert.
In Five Points: Yesterday's is a local institution for good comfort food, casual dining. More upscale, check out Mr. Friendly's. Though I've never been, I hear Bahn Swann (sp?) serves excellent Thai.
Best kept secrets, off the regular restaurant path:
1) If you want a truly Southern meat and three lunch, try Nathan's at the corner of Hampton and Green. It's in an old pharmacy. Don't miss the stuffed potato - it's not what you think.
2) And if you are not claustrophobic, find a fun lunch experience at The No Name Deli on Elmwood near Bull Street. Always packed but the line moves quickly. They have the most incredible range of yummy choices! And I know of no other place anywhere that offers a dish of fresh mint leaves next to the iced tea pitcher.
Quick BBQ note: Little Pigs, Hudson's and Shealy's cook with wood. Palmetto Pig does not, but it is convenient to downtown.