McKinney, nestled in the heart of North Texas, has blossomed into a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. With its captivating downtown, storied past, and diverse culinary landscape, McKinney beckons locals and travelers alike.

No place in McKinney is richer in opportunities to tantalize your tastebuds than McKinney's Historic Cultural Downtown District. Explore the enchanting blend of history and modernity in Downtown McKinney, its atmosphere and historic edifices providing an idyllic backdrop for culinary exploration. With more than 20 one-of-a-kind restaurants plus sweets shops and a thriving coffee shop scene, Downtown McKinney earned the esteemed Texas Travel Award as Top Destination for Foodies by readers of Austin Monthly, underscoring the top spot's stature as a premier destination in the Lone Star State.


Below are eight reasons Downtown McKinney is a popular foodie destination.

  1. Dish at HarvestAbundant Farm-to-Table Options: Indulge in the farm-fresh flavors at Harvest at the Masonic, Patina Green, Local Yocal BBQ & Grill, Cadillac Pizza, LOYO Burger, and other eateries. These spots showcase locally sourced ingredients in every delectable menu item, from succulent steaks and vibrant salads to sweet treats and creative cocktails. Add to these eateries the top-ranked McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square, held each Saturday morning. Named the #1 Farmers Market in Texas and the Southwest, the market features a vast array of goods including produce, herbs, flowers, dairy, and meats to handcrafted items for home and personal use. Downtown McKinney is also home to two butcher shops that source products from area farmers, bakers, and more - Local Yocal Farm to Market and Hamm's Meat + Market. 
  2. Flight of four ice creams with liquor bottles behind themSweet Treats Galore: Satiate your sweet cravings at Emporium Pies, a beloved destination famed for its handcrafted pies. Or head to Cocktail Creamery for alcohol-infused, handmade ice cream in a myriad of delightful flavors. (You can a flight of several flavors if you can't decide on just one.) And if you're looking for some sweets for snacking later, check out Mom & Popcorn and Goodies Texas (shown, various chocolate bars).
  3. Texas Twinkies (jalapenos stuffed with brisket and cheese, wrapped in bacon and grilled)Texas BBQ: Relish in signature dishes like smoked brisket and premium ribeye steak at Local Yocal BBQ & Grill, crafted with locally-sourced meat. Or head to the highly-rated (and often publicized throughout Texas) Hutchins BBQ. (Make sure to try Hutchins' Texas Twinkies, one of their most popular menu items, shown here, a pepper stuffed with cheese and brisket, wrapped in bacon and grilled.) 
  4. Diverse International Flavors: Embark on a global gastronomic adventure without leaving Downtown McKinney. Explore international cuisine from Italy and Mexico as well as sushi, each offering a tantalizing experience for the palate in addition to a wide range of American recipe options. (And outside of Downtown McKinney, you can partake of foods from Africa, Thailand, Jamaica, Japan, India, Ireland, Louisiana's Cajun culture, and more!)

    Person preparing food at McKinney Asian Festival
  5. Culinary Events and Festivals: Dive deep into McKinney's culinary tapestry at its lively food festivals and events. From Bavarian cuisine at Oktoberfest, Asian dishes at the McKinney Asian Festival, and Mexican flavors at Dia de los Muertos, there's always a reason to revel in McKinney's culinary culture.
  6. Outdoor seating in adirondack chairs and picnic tables at TUPPSCraft Beer Haven: Immerse yourself in McKinney's vibrant craft beer scene at TUPPS Brewery. Now open in their new location on Louisiana Street, beer aficionados will enjoy a diverse array of handcrafted beers brewed onsite as well as a new kitchen and an expanse of outdoor and indoor areas for gathering with family and friends. Another brewery to try out is McKinney's first and oldest brewery (founded in 2008) by a third-generation Bavarian brew meister, Franconia Brewing. Watch their onsite bottling process (if there on bottling day), sample their standard and seasonal brews, and take a tour of the facility, held on Saturdays.
  7. Large Number of Small, Locally-Owned Eateries: Support local businesses and savor the passion of McKinney's chefs at all the locally-owned eateries around the downtown square, where you'll find the largest concentration of small, homegrown businesses in North Texas and the State of Texas. Each establishment offers a unique dining experience infused with the warmth of Texas hospitality. 
  8. A Thriving Coffee Scene: With more than a half dozen coffee shops (including two roasteries), Downtown McKinney offers coffee enthusiasts a wide range of java enthusiast options. In fact, in celebration of this coffee culture, these shops and other downtown businesses partner a few times a year to host morning Coffee Crawls with multiple stops and tastings.
  9. patio dining in downtown McKinneyVibrant Downtown Atmosphere: Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of Downtown McKinney, where bustling streets, charming boutiques, authentic historic buildings, and live entertainment converge to create an unforgettable culinary escapade. In many cases, you'll be able to enjoy your dinner, wine, and/or dessert from a cozy, scenic sidewalk patio.

Other Great Foodie Experiences Elsewhere in McKinney

While Downtown McKinney is undoubtedly rich in culinary experiences, there are plenty of other spots throughout the city where you can experience a wide range of culinary delights. From casual dining options including a sports bar, breakfast spot, and wine room at Hub 121 to more upscale dining and desserts at District 121. (Both of these entertainment districts also feature lawns and amphitheaters where you can enjoy live music and movies during the spring and summer months.) For a sense of being in Europe right here in North Texas, head to Adriatica Croatian Village where you can partake of authentic Neapolitan pizza and Italian tapas, upscale Indian cuisine, tasty breakfast, and even wine, appetizers, and dessert at Zin Zen Wine Bistro

Throughout town, you will also find hidden small business neighborhood spots like The Stix IcehouseGuitars and Growlers, San Miguel Mexican GrillDelaney's Irish Pub, Brother's Pizza, Petra Fresh Mexican Bistro, 11|17, and Tipsy Crawfish, all of which offer one-of-a-kind dining (and in some cases, live music and patios) experiences. Check them out when you're looking for a new place to try.

McKinney, Texas, promises a culinary journey like no other. With its recent accolade as a Texas Travel Award winner, there's never been a better time to experience the gastronomic wonders of most welcoming gem in all of Texas.