Wow I almost completely agree with Greg on places, except for the burger joints. I found the best burger joints in town to be Casino el Camino and the Jackalope. The jackalope is open during the day for your lunch burger fix. Try the sirloin sandwich here, its divine. Sams BBQ on east 12th is amazing if you can stand the shabby locale. Also Genes New Orleans style po-boys is the best cajun in town hands down in my book!
Tex-Mex - Chuy's
Lunch - Hyde Park Bar & Grill
Pizza - Mangia's
cheap Thai - Madam Mam's
Brunch - Trudy's (All hail the Mexican Eggs Benidict)
Fine Dining - Driskill Grill
Casual Cajun - Old Alligator Grill
more upscale Cajun - Gumbo's
Ice Cream - Amy's
Pancakes - Kirby Lane (just be prepared for bad service)
Jazz Bar (no food) - The Elephant Room
Bert's BBQ on MLK for sausage, Salt Lick in Driftwood (just south of Austin) for pork ribs, County Line or Iron Works for Beef Ribs.
Fonda San Miguel for Mexican
Delaware Subs for a great sub, use lots of sweet peppers.
Trudys for Sunday brunch, the Margs are great.
Katz's is a great club, good 2AM food too.
Huts for hamburgers, try the "Sink".
Amy's for ice cream.
Jeffrey's, Hudsons on the Bend, or Capital Grille for a little class.
Martin's Kumback burgers for a little grease.
Here's my list:
Fonda San Miguel is a great interior Mexican restaurant, but try Maudie's Cafe at Lake Austin Blvd and Exposition for true tex-mex.
I agree with Bert's Barbecue, but try the turbo t-man with a pork rib chaser. Iron Works cheats (they heat their pit with gas and use MSG in the rub) and I think that the Salt Lick's food has faded so much over the years that the cole slaw is the biggest draw now. IMPORTANT: You must drive to Kreuz market in Lockhart for the best barbecue anywhere. It's about 1/2 hour south of Austin on Hwy 183.
Hut's does great burgers and Dirty's (Martin's Kumbak)is a great place (try the OT and tots with a limeade), but I'd have to add Mike's Pub (7th Street immediately east of the Intercontinental Hotel) for a great daytime hamburger, probably the best in town.
I love Trudy's for breakfast/brunch any day; try the Migas Enchiladas and a bloody mary made with Sauza Hornitos instead of vodka. One of the best mexican places in town is Las Manitas, between 2nd and 3rd on Congress Avenue. Everything here is really good. Really. Open for breakfast and lunch only, treat yourself to a Sandia (watermelon agua frescas) since there is no bar.
Delaware subs with sweet peppers? Insist on hot, please.
Try Si Bon, Aquarelle, Sardine Rouge and Zoot as great places with a little class, they're excellent and local. I'm a little worried about you going to Hudson's on the Bend. The food and service have been really uneven since the co-owners launched their careers as celeb chefs. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants anywhere but I consider it a bit of a ripoff these days. I've heard nothing but bad things from friends who visit for quite a while, now.
Wander around Central Market Grocery on Lamar Blvd. between 35th and 34th. It's a wonderful store with a pretty good lunch spot attached.
If you are interested in other types of restaurants, please shout back and we'll post some more.
re: Greg Spence
One of the best and earliest purveyors of terrific southwestern cuisine is Castle Hill Cafe at 5th and Baylor. I've sampled a wide variety of dishes here (the menu changes) and liked everything I've tasted. I've never heard anyone make even the slightest complaint about the place and the wine list is wonderful (at least to my tastes) and very reasonably priced. No chowhound should visit Austin without having a meal here.