I grew up in Plano, and I remember when Chili's was the hottest place to be on a Friday night. Don't get me wrong; Southwestern Eggrolls are awesome. But Plano now has a host of newer restaurants that are both delicious and on trend.
Whether you're new to Plano or just looking for a new spot to dine, here are nine restaurants worth considering for brunch, lunch or dinner in Plano:
Sixty Vines: Go for brunch with girlfriends, go for a night away from the kids, take your parents, take your boss: The stylish, fun Sixty Vines in West Plano is a great choice for nearly any dinner occasion. The menu has nice variety, and you can hardly go wrong with the pastas, pizzas or cheeseburger. The patio, which feels like you're dining on your rich friend's impeccably designed porch, is a fun change of scenery if you don't want to sit inside. Go for small pours of wine, 2.5 or 5 ounces, and you can create your own little tasting.
Lockhart Smokehouse: Are you new to Texas? It's time to eat some barbecue. In the traditional Central Texas style, barbecue is smoked low and slow and often rubbed with salt and pepper only. Sauce might be available to you, but do us a favor and try the meat before you douse it in red stuff. Most everything is good at Lockhart Smokehouse, but here's what you must get: brisket, jalapeno sausage, and blue cheese slaw. 1026 E. 15th St., Plano.
Eatzi's: Eatzi's isn't a restaurant. It's the prettiest prepared-food market you've ever been in, where opera plays over the speakers and chefs offer you samples of anything. It can double as a restaurant, and there are a few tables where you can eat your selected items. But more likely, you should stop into Eatzi's and pick up an appetizer for a party or dinner for your family. Eatzi's makes not cooking seem really fun. 5967 W. Parker Road, Plano.
R Taco: Start with breakfast tacos if it's before noon. If it's after, opt for the brisket taco if you're a carnivore, the rajas taco (poblanos, mushrooms, onions) if you're a vegetarian. The Rusty taco with pork and pineapple is a winner, too. What is not negotiable is R Taco's margaritas, "made with cheap tequila," as stated on the menu. If you're over 21 and a responsible drinker, get one; they taste like the ones your aunts used to make at home, in the blender. 8000 Coit Road, Plano.
Chuy's: This Texas-based Tex-Mex restaurant serves up textbook Tex-Mex: chile con queso, cheese enchiladas with rice and beans and the like. (If you like cheese, you'll love Tex-Mex!) Plano and its surrounding cities are stocked with Tex-Mex restaurants, and it's hard to go wrong at most of them -- as long as you're not on a diet. Chuy's has an especially happy-go-lucky vibe and is super kid friendly, making it one of our favorites. On weekdays from 4-7 p.m., it's free nacho fixins: chips, salsa, beans, queso and more. 3908 Dallas Parkway, Plano; and 3408 Central Expressway, Plano.
Fireside Pies: There are probably a lot of great items on Fireside Pies' menu, but here's the short version: Get a salad, any salad; they're all good. Then get a pizza. Share both, with a glass of red. 5717 Legacy Drive, Plano.
Bread Winners Cafe: Brunch is a way of life in North Texas, and one of the best places to get indoctrinated into this hangover cure is at Bread Winners. Dishes like biscuits & gravy and fried chicken & waffles are presented regally, as if they're somehow good for you. Steel-cut oatmeal and egg scrambles might be more health conscious choices. But seriously, order a blood-orange mimosa, because brunch. 4021 Preston Road, Plano.
Smoke: Easily one of Plano's most interesting restaurants, Smoke stands out because of its James Beard award-winning chef Tim Byres. The themes are meat and fire, as in fire-roasted oysters, grilled bone-in rib-eye steaks and grilled quail. You'll spend more than you might at some of the other restaurants on this list, but you might just have a more exciting evening. The ambiance alone -- like somebody's arty living room in the desert -- is enough to get creative people feeling the fun vibe. 2408 Preston Road, Plano.
Shake Shack: As the first restaurant to open in the buzzy Legacy West development, Shake Shack might also be the most famous outside of D-FW. This New York City burger joint has expanded all across the country, and Texans have gone wild for it in Austin and Dallas. The Plano outpost, like the others, sells burgers, milkshakes and crinkle-cut fries. It's a fun, casual stop if you're in the mood for burgers. 7401 Windrose Ave., Plano.
Of course, Plano has tons of great restaurants. Search all of our listed Plano restaurants here.
For other news stories about stuff that happened in the Dallas suburbs, check out guidelive.com/the-burbs.