A Guide to Eating on McKinney's Town Square

Categories: Eat This

Sara Kerens
Square Burger on McKinney's town square.
Unlike other town centers, where everything looks like it was erected in late 2010, McKinney's town square holds a lot of character. Some of the small boutiques are worth taking a peek into just to check out the old buildings that house them. An antique dealer now sits in the former bank, where the guts of the vault are open to walk through and the heavy metal door stands open on its hinges.

The antique store is one of many on the square, but is probably the third tenant to occupy the space over the course of only four years. The retail shops here rotate in and out like this, too. But the restaurants are unusually stable. They've been here for years, quietly establishing reputations and catering to locals.

If you're wanting lunch, or just in the mood for a great sandwich, head to Spoons (100 East Louisiana) first. They do comfort food classics from scratch and serve breakfast all day, and they recently added a full bar to their menu for the dinner crowd. Their hours are weird, and they aren't open full days on Wednesday, so check the website before you head out. But definitely try the pumpkin soup, which is served year-round here. You won't regret it.

Just down the street and around the corner in a simply appointed shop is the new location of Emporium Pies (107 South Tennessee). It's very good pie, as you know, and they serve Oak Cliff Coffee to wash it down -- a hard-to-find commodity way up in McKinney. You can walk in for slice or walk out with an entire pie. Your choice.

Emporium Pie Owners.jpg
Sara Kerens
The owners of Emporium Pies have taken their talents to McKinney.
At the top of Chestnut Square is the fittingly titled Square Burger (115 North Kentucky), named for its location, not the shape of its burgers. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow passersby to glimpse the 30 beers on tap, which is why my dad stopped cold when we walked past recently, and declared he was going to go have a drink. An order of medium rare here yields a burger that's actually medium rare, a strangely infrequent phenomenon across DFW.

If you prefer something more casual, or you're just craving pizza, head over to Cadillac Pizza Pub (112 South Kentucky) instead. A lot of the ingredients here, including the veggies, are locally sourced, and they make the day's sauce and dough by hand every morning. They may not have 30 beers on tap, but they've still got plenty of alcohol to wash down that Farmer's Pie.

That's all right in front of you. McKinney harbors some secrets, though, including Gregory's Bistro (111 West Virginia). Named after the owner and chef, this tiny little French restaurant is tucked away on a side street right off the square and serves the bright Chilean sea bass and a creamy lobster risotto. Don't sleep on (or through) dessert, either: I have dreams about their bread pudding involving that homemade whipped cream and caramel sauce. Gregory's is BYOB though, so visit one of the wineries on the square beforehand.

And after: I recommend ending the night at Landon Winery (101 North Kentucky). They have a wine tasting, 5 for $5, and they pour with a heavy hand. If you're a fan of reds, try the Miratage.

You may need a couple laps around the square before driving yourself home though, which on a nice night is a worthy endeavor anyway. Make your D.D. hit up Baker's Drive In (1001 South McDonald) on the way home. Or just go back to Cadillac and get another pizza. You deserve it.

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Wow, McKinney!  I thought you all self imploded when when you passed 635?  Downtown McKinney is a gem; we love walking around looking at the shops, and then maybe going to Sauce, or Landon.  I hope this story doesn't bring a whole bunch of ass hats this way, although they probably couldn't find this place. 

Check out The Cotton Mill.


The best place on the sqaure for breakfast is Snug on the Square! The biggest egg sandwich and omelette you've ever seen and my favorite is the cherry cobbler oatmeal! The owner, Sandra, makes everyone feel soecial! A must if in mxkinbey!

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Totally off topic but I just had a terrible interaction at Iron Cactus.  They along with the D Link are doing a promotion where you get 20% discount on Tuesdays for riding the Dlink and saying I rode the Dlink for a deal.  Well the manager refused to honor the deal saying that we had to take a selfie on the bus and each person in the group must have had a piece of paper from the website to honor the deal.  THis is a flat out lie as on the bus they advertise this and no where does it say for Iron Cactus that you must have a selfie.  I must say Im extremely disappointed in them as we had brought a group of 10. Unfortunately for Iron Cactus, we will not be returning as they failed to honor this.  


Square Burger is one of those places I wish I'd remembered more often when I lived in Allen. Good burgers and a surprising beer list. A little pricey maybe, but not at all outrageous. 

Now I live in Wylie, and while we've got the burgers on lock, finding a craft beer in the sea of Bud Light is a fool's quest.

Also, as long as you're visiting McKinney Town Square, don't skip a visit to Local Yocal. Excellent heritage, locally raised beef and other meats. Plan ahead and bring a cooler if you've got much of a drive. It's worth it.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kergo1spaceship @ScottsMerkin yeah, but discount and they easily accommodate a group of 10.  Update, we emailed the manager with no reply yet, so we sent a second email that was rejected and returned undeliverable so now have emailed a higher up in the company and contacted DART (which will probably get answered in 2 years)

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