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Downtown McKinney Texas - Best Restaurants, Bars, And Late-Night Activities

Updated on June 3, 2015

 At over 160 years old, McKinney, Texas has a rich history and a sound tradition.  Chestnut square and historic downtown McKinney still stand today and is the hub for local businesses and restaurants.  A very mellow feel and lovely historic architecture will entrance your senses as you take a casual stroll down the sidewalks past the shops.  With over 20 places to eat, If you are hungry, then this is the place.  This article will provide you with a look at some of the best restaurants, bars, and late-night that McKinney Texas Downtown has to offer.

Historic Downtown McKinney Texas

A markerDowntown McKinney Square -
112 E Louisiana St, McKinney, TX 75069, USA
get directions

The heart of the square is the historic downtown McKinney courthouse, that doubles as a Theater for plays and events.

Spoon's Cafe
Spoon's Cafe

Best Restaurants McKinney Square

With over twenty different downtown McKinney restaurants to choose from, there is something for everyone. Different fare from all over the world call McKinney downtown home. I have sampled most of these myself and they are all good, but these are the best. Here is what is on the menu:

The Pantry Restaurant- If you miss your mamma's home cooking then make your way to The Pantry Restaurant. They offer a wide range menu including different classic sandwiches and other home cooking. They offer different lunch and dinner menus and also offer a Sunday brunch. They make home made pies, and other sweets. My personal recommendation is the Cranberry Walnut Salad with the raspberry vinaigrette.

Aparicio's Restaurante Mexicano & Sports Bar- Great atmosphere and even better margaritas! They offer a full range of traditional Mexican dishes and serve very flavorful salsas. Their slogan says it best: "Tortillas, Tamales, Tequila, Terrific."

Spoon's Cafe- This cafe is located in a renovated and remodeled building that was originally built in the 1920s. They offer breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner is only offered on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday. This is one of the few "Free Wifi" spots on the Square, so if you love sitting and surfing in a cafe then this is a cool little spot. Their menu offers traditional American fare and is very reasonably priced. Spoon's also offers live music on certain nights of the week (see more below in Bars and Late-Night).


Inside Rick's Chophouse
Inside Rick's Chophouse

Rick's Chophouse- Just the name inspires your taste buds to start tingling. This downtown McKinney Restaurant is by far the top of the food chain on the square. Fine dining at it's best. The restaurant is actually a part of the historic Grand Hotel which is also located on the square. The menu is loaded with steaks (of course it is a chop house after all) and things like Grilled Texas Quail. This one is the priciest, but worth every penny.

Sauce On The Square- A reasonably priced little Italian place that offers all different kinds of beer and gourmet pizzas. I personally recommend the pesto, herb, and chicken pizza. It was delicious. They have good selections for the kids and daily pasta specials as well. Good food without breaking the bank.

Square Burger - This is the newest edition to the "Square" and one of the trendy places to eat. There is a fantastic atmosphere, and noticeably when you walk in the more than 50 different beers on tap. It is truly impressive and the burgers are great.

Paciugo Gelato- After dinner, I recommend swinging by this little boutique and picking up some Gelato. My favorite would have to be the Chocolate sorbet. This is a unique little place which offers over a dozen flavors of Gelato and great service. Treat yourself, you deserve it!

Best Hidden Restaurant Just Off McKinney Square - Cafe Malaga

Locate just about one block south of the historic McKinney Square on Church Street, you will find a true Mediterranean gem tucked quietly away. Cafe Malaga is a garden Mediterranean style restaurant boasting an exquisite Tapas menu and dinner menu. They also serve breakfast and brunch (please let me recommend the cinnamon sticky buns). This restaurant is inside a renovated 130 year old house and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers outside patio dining. This restaurant is worth the one block walk to taste those Andalucian Tapas! They also have a full bar and offer wines from all over the world. Hopefully I haven't ruined the "top secret" status of this restaurant for the patrons who have kept the treasure a secret for a long time.

Bars And Late-Night McKinney Texas

Now to the good stuff. If you are looking for a laid back scene with some great places all within walking distance of each other, then you have found your mecca. Here are some of the best places to wet your whistle on the McKinney Square:

Churchill's - This is a real British restaurant and pub. They serve traditional British dishes like Shepherd's Pie and Fish and Chips well into the night. They have an upstairs area with a hearth surrounded by couches, a pool table, and a dart board room fit for dart professionals. On Wednesday's they have team trivia night for a top prize of $50 to spend in Churchill's to the winning team.

Cadillac Pizza Pub - This is one of the live music spots for your evening entertainment. They have great bands come through from all over. Did I mention they serve awesome food late in to the night? Well, they do and this includes a real brick oven for their brick oven fired pizzas. I had the Philly Cheese steak sandwich and it was absolutely delicious. It is a small to mid size place and a real good time. They have lots of blues musicians come in and this is also a good spot to catch sporting events.

The Pub - Ask anyone around the Square where is a great place to grab a brew, and they will point you to the Pub. This owner of this watering hole also own a place in Plano, TX that is very well known. They have put the same care into this place and have really created a gem. Lots of beers on tap from all over the world. They have darts and are expanding to have a gigantic patio area out back. Don't be afraid to ask if they have board games, cause they do and you can bust them out and play right there.

Spoon's Garage- After dark, Spoon's Cafe converts over to Spoon's Garage. It is a bar atmosphere that features live music and a real good time. They have an outdoor patio out front with tables to enjoy a warm Texas night.


Downtown McKinney Square Video

 Here is a short video showing the historic downtown McKinney Square and some of the best places to go.


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    • profile image

      Pearl 5 months ago

      Great list. Though I am bit sad to not see Sugarbacon on the list. It is one of my all time favorite restaurants that I prefer to visit whenever I land in McKinney.

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      Jimmy Hamilton 5 years ago

      My favorite hangout in downtown McKinney is Dawgs N Hawgs a Biker Bar about a hundred feet off the square going east on Louisiana Street. Very non biker friendly and the music is killer all week long. Closed Mondays and Karaoke on Tuesdays but live music the rest of the evening and most of the day on the weekends. Outdoor patio is awesome with a stage outdoors and there is covered parking just ride up into the patio for your Hawg.

    • superninja79 profile image

      superninja79 7 years ago from USA

      Tried Cafe Malaga and it was really delicious. It was expensive though. We sat outside on the patio, and I must say the outdoor dining is fantastic. Live music playing in the background was great.

    • superninja79 profile image

      superninja79 7 years ago from USA

      I'm going to try Cafe Malaga this weekend and if it is as good as Holly says, then I will add to the hub. Thanks for the tip Holly!

    • profile image

      Holly 7 years ago

      This is a very informative review. I have been to many of these restaurants and agree with most of hercomments.I am however, very disappointed that this review did not mention my favorite restaurant in McKinney. My friends and I have recently discovered Cafe Malaga and cannot eat anywhere else. I have also introduced many other friends to this wonderful restaurant and they concur. It is amazing.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 7 years ago

      this is a good review on the restaurants in McKinney