A plate of ShackBurger, cheese fries and Salted Toffee shake at Shake Shack in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

A plate of ShackBurger, cheese fries and Salted Toffee shake at Shake Shack in Plano, Texas, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer

I grew up in Plano, a suburb north of Dallas, when it was a wholesome city with nothing to do. Boy, has that changed.

Plano is now a hotbed of great restaurants with cool shopping districts and an adorable downtown. That brick street where my elementary school friends and I used to put on tap-dance performances during Christmas festivals is now the front stoop of coffee shops and family-owned bars and restaurants that are just as cool as the ones down in Dallas.

What's the deal with Shake Shack? An explainer for hungry Dallasites

Perhaps the most exciting part of Plano right now is Legacy West, the stylish development at the Dallas North Tollway and Legacy Drive. Here are a few of my favorite spots there:

The Tesla store: Yeah, there's a store where you can drool over Teslas. Even better, it's sandwiched in between boutiques, as if buying an electric vehicle were as simple as picking a new shirt for work.

 Shake Shack: Need a break after all that shopping? This New York City restaurant chain is right at home in Texas. The burgers and crinkle-cut fries are great.

Sugarfina: From afar, this beautiful store looks like it might sell jewelry. But those Tiffany-blue stickers adorn pretty boxes of candy -- so pretty, you almost feel like you shouldn't eat them. Almost. If somebody's watching your kids while you're shopping in Plano, bring 'em back a box of Sugarfina goodies.

True Food Kitchen: This calorie-conscious restaurant makes eating healthfully feel fabulous.

Frontgate: You might get the magazine. But it's so much more fun to explore this home decor store in person.

Welcome to Legacy Hall, a new dining and drinking playground in Plano

Legacy Hall: The busiest place in Legacy West is easily Legacy Hall, the three-story food hall. It includes a brewery and plenty of places to sit down and have wine. 

The best feature, though, is the dozen or so restaurants selling order-at-the-counter food. 

If you're dining with opinionated eaters, head to the food hall and everyone leaves happy.

The whiskey lounge at Haywire in Plano is located on the first floor.

The whiskey lounge at Haywire in Plano is located on the first floor.

Rose Baca/Staff Photographer
Three-story Plano restaurant Haywire is full of Texas-sized surprises

The whiskey bar at Haywire: This three-story restaurant tends to have long waits on the weekends, and if you don't have a reservation, don't bother. What you should do is pop into the first-floor whiskey bar and order a cocktail or two. It's a stylish, lively space.

Sprinkles: The mother of all cupcake shops still has but two dozen locations in the U.S. If you don't have one near your house, stop in to see what the fuss is about. Outside the shop is a "cupcake ATM" available 24/7/365, which is just ridiculous enough to make for an amazing Instagram video.

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