Just a few suggestions for visitors etc. I'm going ot stay completely out of the BBQ and Tex-Mex areas. Those seem to be beaten to death.
Those looking for an excellent cup of coffee in the downtown area (though admittedly a "funky" atmosphere) should try Cafe Mundi 1707 East 6th St. It's the kind of hole in the wall place I love. Next to the railroad tracks. A bit difficult to find as it's hidden behind a Mexican restaurant. First time I went there was just on a whim. I was impressed with the excellent coffee and friendly service. They have a good light menu and delicious waffles (possibly only on Sunday mornings?)
Let me be perfectly clear on this point I hate Starbucks. I drink my coffee black and (in my opinion) they have the worst coffee imaginable. If you're not into "funky" there are two CC coffee shops in Austin. One on the drag, just below 24th street and the other in the far west by the corner of Exposition and Windsor that are great places to hang. In addition the one on the drag has electrical plugs and modem outlets on the two long tables just inside the front door. I'm not certain the modem connections are usable though.
Tam Deli and Cafe 8222 N. Lamar (Vietnamese) is a good bet for a slightly different menu. In addition they carry large pork buns (bau) everyday which they will heat up for you. A nice alternative to noodles or vietnamese sandwiches at only $1.39 each, two of them really fill you up for lunch.
Highlife Cafe 407 East 7th. Better than average sandwich and salad selection. Lousy service (when we were there). But a nice hangout none the less.
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