Denton is well known for being an eclectic college town, but it’s also home to a variety of restaurants you won’t find anywhere else! On the Historic Downtown Denton Square, you’ll find Barley & Board, an American gastropub with a rotating seasonal menu, amazing charcuterie boards, 36 beers on tap and home to the 2015 and 2016 winner of Best Burger by D Magazine. What makes it even more unique is that this building was formerly The Lacy Hotel (built in 1858)—the very first hotel in Denton County. Bricks from the original building help construct the walls you see there today!
This is one of the coolest places on this list, in my opinion. Lewisville’s Prohibition Chicken was founded on a love of chicken and whiskey and was created to be a restaurant where both are taken very seriously. Munch on their famed Pecan Smoked Chicken and an extensive menu including sandwiches, salads, and (of course) cocktails! The coolest feature of this hen house is the speakeasy located behind a secret phone booth where you’ll need a password to enter. Just ask the bartender for the magic word, and you’ll be in for the night of your life!
Frisco is one of the fastest growing cities in America. There’s a reason Toyota relocated its headquarters here, as did the Dallas Cowboys—It’s a booming metropolis with new dining options popping up every week! One of these newcomers is CrushCraft Thai. Although it’s been a Dallas staple since 2014, this local faves’ new location at the Star in Frisco (Cowboys HQ) is phenomenal! Eating here is like being transported to the streets of Thailand, where brightly colored streamers hang from the ceilings and all ingredients are authentic to the culture.
This gem is one of my personal favorites for unique dining! Just a few miles southwest of Denton, you will find an Airstream trailer serving finger-licking-good BBQ, including their famous Loaded Tots topped with mouth-watering brisket. Bumbershoot is an ideal destination for the whole family, as it is encouraged to grab a brush and paint on the community fence while enjoying live music and a cold beer!
Plano is another city north of Dallas that’s known for its booming restaurant scene. One place that stands out for its unique flare is Turkish Cafe & Lounge! Be enchanted by belly dancers, exotic cocktails and hookahs with a waterside view. Get ready to dine on kebabs and gyros while puffing the night away on a hookah. You’ll want to come for dinner and stay late! This spot is open until 2 AM on Saturday and Sunday.
6. FIVE SIXTY
The best and most unique view of Dallas is at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Five Sixty. An elevator takes you 50 stories up Reunion Tower, where you’ll enjoy Asian fusion bites and panoramic views of the city’s skyline. As one of the best restaurants in all of the metroplex, reservations are highly recommended. Trust me—This is a place like no other in all of DFW!
Troy Aikman can proudly add restaurateur to his list of accomplishments as his concept, Troy’s, opened last year at Texas Live! Arlington is now home to a live music venue walking distance from AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park (home to the Texas Rangers), encompassing several eateries and watering holes. Troy’s is dishing out gourmet burgers, craft cocktails and the ex-quarterback’s favorite things to eat. It only makes sense that this Dallas Cowboys Hall-of-Famer would open a restaurant in a city where he remains a beloved sports personality! And yes—he’s been known to dine here, too.
8. CAFE MODERN
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth attracts world-renowned exhibits where you can release your inner creative and immerse yourself in culture. This Fort Worth favorite is also the setting for Cafe Modern, a cozy dining experience that prides itself on partnering with local farms and locally sourced ingredients. On Tuesday through Sunday, they offer lunch and full bar service—or you can rally your brunch bunch for a delicious brunch here on Saturdays and Sundays. Looking for an evening meal? Make those reservations, as Friday is the only night dinner is served!
Chef Misti Norris recently made headlines with her new Dallas concept, Petra and the Beast. We couldn’t be happier for her as Esquire named it as one of the nation’s Best New Restaurants of 2018! Located in the iconic Sinclair gas station built in 1932, Petra and the Beast will have an ever-changing menu of locally sourced ingredients. Stop by for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Friday and Sunday (BYOB). Reservations are required on Saturdays for a unique 2-hour food and beer pairing.
10. JOE T. GARCIA’S
Known for the best cocktail patio in DFW, Joe T. Garcia’s is a Fort Worth legend. Greenery and cabanas surround you as you kick back, relax and sip on a margarita. I felt like I had been transported to a magical garden….that also serves tequila! Take a look around and discover why this gorgeous space has been talked about since it began in 1935.