The Dish on Dining Guide

The Dish on Dining Guide

Hungry for variety? We’re serving up a menu of eating establishments to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Sample fresh family fun or relish a juicy burger with fries. Adults can dance to live music at a divine date-night locale, and high schoolers can rock the teen scene at venues that cater specifically to them.

Family Dining (with Teens and Tweens)     

Finding a family-friendly restaurant that’s affordable, accessible and delicious can be challenging – but we know where to look! The next time your kiddos ask, “What’s for dinner?” (you know, in that voice) pay a visit to one of these tried-and-true eateries:

Spork (Dallas)

shrimpcevicheThis retro/futuristic diner at Preston and Frankford is the perfect spot for both foodie and family. Classic cheeseburger? Check. Bulgogi kimchi fries? Check. Boozy shakes? Check. Craft beers and classy cocktails? Check/check. Pickled shiitake mushrooms on a buffalo burger with gluten-free bun? Triple check. And if the words “fried egg Caesar” and “cinnamon roll waffles” don’t lure you in, we don’t know what will. Open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks.

6110 Frankford Rd., Dallas, TX 75252
(972) 930-0668 |

Spezzo (Plano)

SPEZZO-3A chic Italian joint to grab a quick bite or linger—your call. Pizzas are fresh and fast, and hearty traditional sandwiches like Chicken Parm or The Gina Parm (with assorted Italian cold cuts and fresh mozzarella) are served on yummy semolina rolls from Empire Bakery. Spezzo’s choice of two appetizers—fried calamari with marinara and spicy garlic aioli or white bean soup—are solid. Wine, beer, cocktails, espresso and gelato also available.

4901 W. Park Blvd., Ste 521, Plano, TX 75093
(972) 596-8942 |

Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (Dallas)

Sissy'sReally, everything we’ve tried at Sissy’s is good. Really, really good. And the owner, Lisa Garza Selcer, couldn’t be more hospitable. But for family dining, the way to go at Sissy’s is with a bucket of her famous fried chicken. You’ll get ten pieces for just $25 (if you prefer all white meat, it’s $32) and it comes with your choice of coleslaw or whipped potatoes and gravy. Throw in some of her delicious sides like collard greens ($9), Sissy’s mac & cheese ($12) or her famous squash puppies with Texas honey butter and jalapeño jelly and voilà! Dinner is served.

2929 N Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 827-9900 |

Chicken Scratch (Dallas) 

fried_chickenIf you’re looking for slow fast food and a cool Austin vibe, Chicken Scratch (CS) is the place to be. The Fork and Knife Chicken Finger Biscuit Sandwich is like Chick-fil-A on steroids only in this version, the chicken is hormone-free, never frozen and local, and the biscuit is made from scratch. Not feeling “fried”? No problem. CS offers big salad bowls and pecan wood rotisserie plates, too. Grab an adult beverage next door at The Foundry and hang out at the outdoor picnic tables. When you’ve had your fill, enjoy an all-natural fresh fruit popsicle.

2303 Pittman St., Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 749-1112 |

Grimaldi’s (Allen)

GrimaldisThere was a time when you could only get Grimaldi’s famous coal-fired brick oven pizza in New York. But that was then. Today, there are Grimaldi’s almost everywhere, it seems. While the menu is somewhat basic (pizzas, calzones, salads), it’s also consistent. But what we like about the Allen location is that it overlooks the little park at Watters Creek where live music is often played during warmer months.

836 Market St., Allen, TX 75013
(214) 383-9703 |

Deli News (Dallas)

Deli-News-4Sometimes, you’ve just gotta have a sandwich – a really big, juicy one on pillowy bread, piled high with deli meats, cheese and condiments. And Deli News, a true New York-style deli, restaurant and bakery has served the best for the past twenty-two years. They’ve got everything the ex-New Yorker is looking for: whitefish, chopped liver, pastrami and more. But they do dinner, too. Dine in or take out (they also cater) from their hot food menu including beef stroganoff, boiled chicken in the pot with matzo ball, stuffed cabbage rolls and braised short ribs. What are you waiting for?

17062 Preston Rd. (at Campbell Rd.), Dallas, TX 75248
(972) 733-3354 |

Prime Patios    

Though we thought it would never get here, fall is actually just around the corner. Why not take advantage of our beautiful autumnal climate by dining al fresco any chance you get? Now, this is why we live in Texas!

Crú Food and Wine Bar (Plano, Allen, Dallas) 

WC_Patio-with-LightsAll three of the Cru locations offer tasty little bites to share (tapas style), stone fired pizza, big plates (steaks, chicken and fish) and a very nice selection of cheese. Bartenders are knowledgeable about the extensive wine selection. We enjoy ordering a flight of three two-ounce wines related by grape varietal, geographic region or style. Flights are a nice way to try something new without breaking the datex night bank. Plus, they encourage lingering.

Watters Creek (pictured)

842 Market St., Allen, TX 75013 | (972) 908-2532


3699 McKinney Ave., Ste 107 , Dallas, TX 75204 | (214) 526-9463

Shops at Legacy

7201 Bishop Rd., Ste E2, Plano, TX 75024 | (972) 312-9463

SMOKE (Plano)

smoke1See a full description of Smoke Plano and Chef Tim Byres in the Good Life Family article or below in the Date Night section of the Dining Guide.

You’ll love their patio, too.

2408 Preston Rd., Plano, TX 75093
(972) 599-2222

Café Malaga (McKinney)

Another great pick for tapas and maybe a lovely glass of rosé. Just off the beautiful downtown historic square, Café Malaga’s secluded back patio is a bit of a hidden gem but well worth a visit. Tapas standouts include the Lamb Lollipop Chops and gooey Fondue with five different types of cheese.

107 S Church St., McKinney, TX 75069
(972) 542-9996 |

Terilli’s (East Dallas)

The food at Terilli’s is standard Italian fare but pretty solid. They’re famous for two things: Italchos (an Italian nacho topped with marinara, cheese and an assortment of other toppings of your choice – killer!) and a rooftop patio with one of the prettiest views of Dallas you can imagine. Plus, most nights they play live music.

2815 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 827-3993 |

Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar (Dallas)

Although the inside space is gorgeous, it’s the patio overlooking the Arts District that’s the real draw at Saint Ann—the perfect spot for a cocktail or weekend brunch. The food is fairly straightforward: salads, sandwiches, steaks and fish. We like ordering a few appetizers (the bacon wrapped Medjool dates and spinach artichoke dip are nice) and kicking back while taking in the hipster crowd.

2501 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 782-9807 |

The Rustic (Uptown)

The gigantic patio is always packed! Enjoy down-home food made from scratch daily.  The menu features seafood from the Gulf, steak sourced from local ranchers, and dairy and produce grown by local farmers. The bartenders stay busy, pouring the most prolific collection of local beverages in town, including 40 beers on tap.

3656 Howell St., Dallas, TX 75204
(214)730-0596 |

Fifth Street Patio Café (Frisco)

This is a terrific place for patio dining—and they’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We adore the Bananas Foster French Toast, the Kentucky Hot Brown and the Frisco Cheesesteak (notice—we like decadent food!). Waits can be long, especially on weekends, but the food and the vibrant scene are definitely worth it.

8621 5th St., Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 377-3483 |

Date Night

When it’s time to make a break for it (although we love our kids), you’ll want to find a place that’s both grown-up and sophisticated. These places are all that, but we also appreciate their great service and ambience. It’s nice being pampered once in a while!

SMOKE (Plano, Dallas)

Smoke-ScallopsWhat’s not to love about Smoke? At the Plano locale, the food is delicious, the service is spot-on, the décor is warm and cozy, and the beautiful, covered patios are romantic and also a great place for people watching. And since it’s date night, after all, don’t miss the fire roasted oysters with scampi butter, chorizo and ash salsa. The Dallas location is smaller and charming with a retro feel (it’s adjacent to the Belmont Hotel), offering many of the same menu items as the Plano outpost and all of the same, excellent Texas-sized hospitality.

2408 Preston Rd., Plano, TX 75093 | (972) 599-2222

901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, Texas 75208 | (214) 393-4141

Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill (Addison)

Kenny's-Wood-FiredEveryone loves Kenny’s restaurants, including the Burger Joint, Italian Kitchen and Smoke House. What makes the Wood Fired Grill location perfect for date night, though, is its classy supper club décor and simply put, the food. Steaks, chops, burgers and fish are all perfectly prepared and delicious. Every meal starts with Kenny’s famous popovers and in our humble opinion, should include their half-pound jumbo lump crab cake. It’s too delicious not to order! Try a Grey Goose martini – their vodka is kept on tap at 28 degrees. Smooooth.

5000 Belt Line Rd., Ste 775, Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 392-9663 |

Coffee House Café (Dallas)

CoffeehouseCafeThis little jewel box offers delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices in a delightful setting. It’s the perfect place for date night or just about anything else. Their coffee is European style, handcrafted, mostly organic and all that. If you feel like a date night at home, they even offer a drive-through. It’s all good. But really, you had us at drive-through.

6150 Frankford Rd., Dallas, TX 75252
(469) 248-0554 |

Amberjax (Dallas/Trinity Grove)

This light and spacious Louisiana-style eatery has plenty to offer. Not only is it smack-dab in the middle of one of Dallas’ hottest dining destinations for date night and more, the freshly prepared seafood is tough to beat. Whether you’ve got a hankering for Down Home Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Mac & Cheese or maybe something lighter like Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Wasabi, Ponzu and Ginger, Amberjax will not disappoint. Don’t like fishy things? No worries. They also offer delicious chicken and beef.

3011 Gulden Ln., Ste 107, Dallas, TX 75212
(469) 513-9088  |

Javier’s (Dallas)

A Knox-Henderson “institution”, Javier’s is still the go-to place for a guaranteed good time with its bustling crowd of beautiful people and a swanky (just ignore the smoke) cigar bar.  No Tex-Mex here.  This is authentic Mexico City dining.  Don’t miss the Filete Cantinflas – tenderloin beef filet stuffed with Chihuahua cheese and topped with mild chile mulatto sauce or the Barra de Navidad – giant shrimp in a delightful diablo sauce. Olé!

4912 Cole Ave. , Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 521-4211 |

Want to be listed in our Holiday Issue Dining Guide (publishes November 1st)? Contact Tricia White at!

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