Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard, Austin

Where business is fiercely independent.

1 Located just a few blocks from where the first WHOLE FOODS MARKET opened, in 1980, the company’s largest store radiates inviting smells that make even a junk food devotee crave such wholesome fodder as local handmade cheese and organic tea. If you’re not in the mood to shop, test the in-house eating at one of many mini-restaurants or ask to have something random dipped in the chocolate fountain. 525 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-476-1206

2 If $1 million fell into our lap, we might be tempted to unload a good bit of our fortune at BY GEORGE. Quality fabrics and tailored garments separate these clothes from any trendy run-of-the-mill duds. After gutting the men’s section earlier this year, the store has now opened a women’s ready-to-wear area, drawing the faithful to designs by Marc Jacobs, Marni, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, et al. 524 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-472-5951

3 After debuting in this Victorian house in 1989, Z’TEJAS spawned almost a dozen other locations across the country with its successful approach to Southwest cuisine. Heat lovers can top off a dinner of Smoked Chicken Chile Relleno or Diablo Chicken Pasta with the Ancho Chile Fudge Pie. (Drinks like the 6th Street Margarita or the “Z”tini will tame that fire searing your taste buds.) 1110 W. Sixth, 512-478-5355

4 With their 14 percent butterfat, the offerings at AMY’S ICE CREAMS won’t ever be mistaken for namby-pamby frozen yogurt. Personally, we’re not sure why you’d look past the shop’s standbys (especially the Belgian Chocolate), but if you must, rotating specials, like Cop Stop (coffee and doughnuts), await. Adults indulging in Guinness or Shiner Bock flavors, rest assured: The counter staff was that wacky before you took a bite. 600 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 1012-B; 512-480-0673

5 WATERLOO RECORDS & VIDEO is commendable first and foremost for its extensive selection and mostly genre-free A–Z filing system. But it racks up bonus points for the ability to reflect the city’s discriminating tastes in its staff recommendations and in-store concerts. With vinyl and used- CD sections that hark back to the days of vibrant indie record stores, it’s no wonder that many out-of-towners consider this place a must-see. 600 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. A; 512-474-2500

6 When we think of WATERLOO ICE HOUSE, it’s usually burgers, fries, and beer that come to mind. In our opinion, that’s what it does best. But that’s not to say we don’t feel a little guilty whenever we glance at the healthier options. Next time, we’ll get the grilled chicken with bacon, blue cheese crumbles, toasted pecans, and Granny Smith apples on mixed greens—right? 600 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. G; 512-472-5400

7 Just before the 2006 holiday season kicked into high gear, the space once occupied by Whole Foods got a face-lift and opened as an REI, with enough camping, biking, and kayaking stuff to demand complete reorganization of your garage. Most of the ridiculously fit customers in here look right at home amid all the equipment, but even the casual enthusiast can find some useful gadgets before wandering next door to the also-new Anthropologie. 601 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-482-3357

8 Thankfully, the largest bookstore in Texas, BOOKPEOPLE, never traded its soul for square footage: Handwritten staff reviews, a coffee shop, and lots of cozy chairs make this a place to linger over a wider variety of titles than you’d find in the average chain store. This month’s visiting authors include Steven Saylor (April 12), Ian Rankin (April 19), and Rue McClanahan (April 27). 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-472-5050

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