A Short List On Where to Eat in North Texas For Outsiders

A writer from The Atlantic wrote this fascinating list mostly comprised of corporate fast food joints and passed them on as highly recommended places to dine while in North Texas. It was the equivalent of recommending Starbucks to a coffee lover when they visit Seattle.

The amount of money you spend on the combo meal at your favorite fast food drive-thru/fast casual restaurant could easily get you something equally delicious from a local food spot in the same amount of time. As much as my generation (late 80’s baby) and the ones after me and before me like to rally against corporations and big money, we still happily give it to them at drive thru. Thanking them for our change as we take a sip of our large soda.

Here are some examples of top notch local spots in the North Texas suburbs that the Atlantic failed to mention. 

Daddy’s Tacos (McKinney)

In the time it takes to order lunch through the talking box at McDonalds: you could make a call for your order on your way to Daddy’s Tacos, spend about the same money, and be out the door ready to eat in your car. Is this the best taco place ever? Maybe not, but instead of stopping through Taco Bell and getting something you and your toilet will probably regret later, treat yourself to some spicy pork or grilled shrimp tacos that will have more flavor than a Doritos Locos Taco.

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1800 Independence Pkwy, STE 120
McKinney, Texas

Baker’s Drive In (McKinney)

Craving a cheeseburger? Like, a greasy cooked from scratch burger? This humble burger joint with some retro flare serves some the best burgers and onion rings in East McKinney. Drive up, grab a parking spot, and order from the window. Malts, shakes, tater tots, you name it. They have an old dive feel with speedy service and quality ingredients. Don’t worry, after that short trip to the counter and the walk back to your car with mouthwatering food in hand, you'll be glad you didn't spend that time stuck in a drive-thru behind the one person who ordered enough food for a family reunion.

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1001 S. McDonald St.
McKinney, Texas

Hurt’s Donuts (Frisco)

On the go and looking for something a little different? If you are driving through Frisco and make your way down Main Street, you will find Hurt’s Donuts. These unique and delicious donuts for all ages have jolly names such as Apple Fritters, Bacon Maple, Ande’s Mint, and Blueberry Cake, and so on. This may be a franchise business, but the service and family atmosphere can’t be beat. Save yourself some money on pre-ordering your Starbucks. Instead go here to grab a cup of joe and a sprinkled pick me up. You'll be in, out, and on the road to your destination in no time.

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3288 W. Main St.
Frisco, Texas

Cheezie's Gourmet Grilled Cheese (Frisco)

A little off the highway path, but worth the detour is the grilled cheese you’ve been waiting for. Why get a Whopper for the third day in a row when you can seize the opportunity for a really, really, good grilled cheese sandwich? From Turkey Grilled Cheese with Jam to Pizza Grilled Cheese, there is something for whatever mood your in, even an adventurous one. 

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5995 Preston Rd.
Frisco, Texas

Gyros & Kebobs (Wichita Falls)

For travelers passing through Wichita Falls, I've saved you the google search of finding something other than a Dairy Queen for a full lunch or dinner. Save DQ for the dessert because Gyros & Kebobs does authentic food at great prices with speedy service. Take a break from the BBQ and Hamburgers, and for the same tab you’d have at Dickey’s get yourself a gyro platter and some hummus with pita. 

3104 Kemp Blvd.
Wichita Falls, Texas

Willie’s Place Original (Wichita Falls)

If you are craving Burgers and BBQ, then look no further than Willie’s Place. This mom and pop shop has all the nostalgia of a small town joint and serves up affordable plates of mouth watering ribs, original burgers(consider trying a Pyscho Burger Challenge), brisket sausage, and curly fries. The clean, family friendly atmosphere paired up with friendly customer service will make your wallet happy to be purchasing their fare and contributing to the success of this hometown food stop.

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3135 10th St.
Wichita Fallas

Big Tony's West Side Philly Cheesesteak (Allen)

It’s Texas, so go big or go home right? Big Tony’s does gigantic cheesesteaks and piles of spicy fries. With a fairly extensive menu of unique cheesesteak offering, you wouldn’t be doing yourself a disservice by calling and asking for the favorite menu item of the person who picks up the phone. You can grab it quick to go or enjoy some heavy eating in their quaint dining room. They even have vegetarian options for the herbivores.

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740 S. Greenvile Ave. #400
Allen, Texas

5th Street Pizza (Allen)

5th Street Pizza has some damn good St. Louis style pizza. Scoop up some pizza rolls or toasted ravioli to eat on your commute, or sit down to a provel-cheese crispy thin crust pizza or a piled high salad with the housemade dressing. Speedy service and affordable menu options right off the highway.

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111 Central Expy N.
Allen, Texas

Mi Casita (Denton)

If you are looking for a local drive thru serving up something delicious, look no further in Denton then Mi Casita. I can never put my finger on what it is that makes this place so great. Not one thing is blow your mind spectacular but when you put it all together on a plate, Mi Casita always hits the spot. The homemade salsa, fluffy tortillas, crispy corn tortilla chips, and fresh ingredients all come together to create something so tasty you find yourself craving for it. 

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110 N. Carroll Blvd.
Denton, Texas



Whataburger could be renamed Whatahoneychickenbiscuit and not miss a beat. Honestly, any non-Texan should eat at Whataburger at least 3 times while visiting Texas. The consensus on the California intrusion that is In & Out is: okay burgers, shit fries. But Whataburger is a corporate eating experience worth savoring. Those delicious fries dipped in spicy ketchup served alongside a Monterey Melt or treating yourself to a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit are peak dining experiences. That’s a drive thru lane worth waiting in. If you live in a North Texas suburb chances are you have 3 Whataburgers within a 10 mile radius

This list could be as contentious as the one published by The Atlantic. We'll end with a quote from Dentonite Chris Wilborn on how important it is to dig deep for local restaurants while travelling. 

I used to travel a lot for work. I found myself in every small town in Oklahoma, Arkansas and East Texas. I found that by asking locals, going outside of my comfort zone and using a cool new app called the Internet that I was able to find great places everywhere. I had some of the best food experiences in some of the most unassuming towns. It made me realize that there aren't boring places, just boring people.

Header image photographed by Andrew Welbert courtesy of Unsplash
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados