In Dallas, the exciting restaurants on the horizon mostly have an international flavor. In cities surrounding Dallas, however, burgers and pizza will be the anticipated additions to the dining scene. But there are a few surprises too.
Here's a look at some of the restaurants worth visiting when they open in North Texas in 2017. Tweet us at @guidelive with other D-FW restaurants you think are notable.
Zaytinya, plus other restaurants at The Star
It might've been true more than 10 years ago that the "good" restaurants weren't in the Dallas suburbs, they were only in Dallas proper. These days, Collin County is stocked with interesting restaurants. The Star, a $1.5 billion project, will bring more than two-dozen restaurants to Frisco.
The heaviest hitter will be Zaytinya, a Mediterranean restaurant of sorts from nationally- famous chef José Andrés. The original Zaytinya in Washington, D.C., is a meze, or small dish, restaurant; the Frisco one will be, too. Andrés brings some serious chef-lebrity cred to the Dallas 'burbs.
The rest of The Star will be stocked with recognizable restaurants, such as Cane Rosso, East Hampton Sandwich Co., Liberty Burger, Neighborhood Services, Mi Cocina and the Common Table. Dee Lincoln, who has been called the "queen of steak" after she founded Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, is opening a new place she calls Dee Lincoln Prime.
- Zaytinya is expected to open in the spring at 6655 Winning Drive, Frisco.
Zoli's NY Pizza
The original Zoli's NY Pizza was a well-liked, short-lived pizza joint in Oak Cliff. Owner Jay Jerrier (the man behind Neapolitan pizza places Cane Rosso) said when it closed in February 2016, "We're probably a better fit in another part of town." Addison it is.
The coming-soon Zoli's won't be the same pizza joint patrons remember from Oak Cliff, however. Zoli's 2.0 will be a full-service restaurant, not an order-at-the-counter place. Lee Hunzinger, from the original, will oversee pizzas. Star chef Cody Sharp (whose résumé includes upscale Deep Ellum restaurant Filament and Uptown bar the Standard Pour) was hired to do everything on the menu that's not pizza.
The old Zoli's had some weirdo decor that made it endearing, like the Star Wars Last Supper. That'll return, yay! It's iffy whether the famous marquee sign -- which carried eye-catching messages such as "Live nude girls -- just kidding, pizza" -- will make it to Addison. We hope it does.
- Expected to open in late spring at 14910 Midway Road, Addison.
Moms and dads might want to keep an eye on the Yard. This backyard-style restaurant and bar on three-quarters of an acre in downtown McKinney will be designed to feel like an ice house where parents can have a good time. The menu will consist of cheffy spins on "food we would prepare in our own backyards," says Preston Lancaster, founder and CEO of 33 Restaurant Group, which also operates McKinney's popular Cadillac Pizza Pub next door. The chef has not been named yet, though Lancaster plans on a menu that will have smoked and grilled items such as brisket tacos and smoked meatloaf. (It won't be a barbecue joint, however.) Inside, customers can sit and eat in an old McKinney home; outside, there'll be trees, fire pits and backyard games.
"You'll see plenty of highchairs in the restaurant at 5 p.m.," says Lancaster, dad to three kids under 5. "Then we usually start rocking around 8 or 9 p.m."
- Expected to open in April at 107 S. Church St., McKinney.
If there were a single piece of real estate that's the most interesting new dining destination of 2017 outside of Dallas, it's Legacy Hall, the food hall planned in Plano. The 55,000-square-foot, three-story building will have 21 food stalls manned by some of Dallas' best-known chefs and restaurateurs. The building will also have several bars, a beer garden and a brewery.
Food halls are popular in Europe and in foodie cities such as New York and San Francisco. One of the ways to find success is to stock the hall full of name-recognizable talent -- people whom "foodies are going to fawn over, while regular folks are going to discover things they didn't know they liked," says Pat Garza, vice president of Legacy Hall.
Some of the stalls will be: Monkey King Noodle Co., first established in Deep Ellum; a yakitori and banh mi concept from Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown in West Dallas; a chicken wing and sandwich spot from former Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry; a sweet and savory Belgian waffle shop; an artisan doughnut shop from Glazed Donut Works in Deep Ellum; and an unnamed concept from chef Matt McCallister. It has the potential to be one of the most diverse places to eat in North Texas.
- Expected to open in August or September at 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano.
The original Knife, a steakhouse in Dallas, is slicing into other cities. Current Top Chef contestant John Tesar plans to open casual offshoot Knife Burger at two Plano addresses: at the Shops at Willow Bend and inside Legacy Hall. Tesar calls it "my version of Shake Shack."
Unlike Knife, Knife Burger will be an order-at-the-counter place. But like the steakhouse, Tesar will use beef from the lauded 44 Farms, a ranch 150 miles south of Dallas. The Willow Bend restaurant will have a butcher shop, too, Tesar says. You can bet the Ozersky, a cheeseburger named for the late food writer Josh Ozersky, will make the menu.
- Expected to open in early fall at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano; and in November at the Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano.
This new, three-story place in Plano's Legacy West development will be modeled after the Ranch at Las Colinas, a huge Irving restaurant with lots of Texas flair. Haywire will specialize in "Texas cuisine" as the Ranch does, but we don't yet have any sneak peeks into the menu. It's intended to "have the quality and Texas-sourced ingredients of fine dining with the comfort of casual home cooking," says a spokesman.
The restaurant group behind Haywire has invested in Plano in a big way: It also operates stylish, popular restaurants Whiskey Cake and Sixty Vines in Plano, among others. Company leaders have said the Dallas suburb is the region's next big dining destination, and they're right.
- Expected to open in the fall at 5901 Winthrop St., Plano.
The aim of this article was to introduce diners to new, exciting concepts coming to Dallas-Fort Worth. Shake Shack is not new, as its first D-FW burger joint opened in Dallas in 2016. But it is exciting. In fact, it's possibly the most anticipated burger brand to hit North Texas since In-N-Out caused a beefy ruckus. Shake Shack Plano will be in Legacy West and will have a 130-seat restaurant with a 40-seat patio. Menus aren't available just yet, but know this: It'll sell those famous burgers, fries and concretes. There'll be a line.
- Expected to open "in "2017" (how's that for vague?) at 7401 Windrose Ave., Plano.
Travis and Emma Heim, though relative newcomers to the Texas barbecue scene, have become D-FW foodie royalty. The husband-wife pair opened a food trailer, then their first restaurant, and they're already planning restaurant No. 2. Surprisingly, even though the Heims already operate a barbecue joint in Fort Worth, the second will be in the same city, at an address the couple said they had been eyeing for years. In addition to Heim classics such as bacon burnt ends, the Heims politely threaten that the coming-soon restaurant will have vegetarian options, too.
- Expected to open sometime in 2017 (timing depends on city permitting and approvals) at 4400 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth.