About 30 minutes North of Dallas is the bustling city of Allen, TX. Allen is known for many things to those who live here and around DFW. Friday night lights, at the award-winning Eagles Stadium. Shopping day trips, with four open-air shopping districts. Allen Premium Outlets and Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm alone boast more than 200 shops and restaurants. But it’s not just what Allen is known for that keeps people coming back for more. It’s this authentic taste of Allen’s local cuisine that visitors just can’t get enough of.
Allen has more than 230+ restaurants with more than 60 of those being authentic to Allen. These authentic to Allen gems have been locally owned for years, recipes perfected over time by both the families who built their dream restaurant in Allen and the patrons who helped make those restaurants a steady home. Whether you love a classic diner-style breakfast or a trendy fusion dish, this city meets every self-proclaimed foodie’s desire.
Every type of cuisine for every type of foodie is right here, starting with the most important meal of the day. Allen has a wide variety of southern home-style breakfast and brunch spots. Ask any Allen local and they’ll tell you that Allen Cafe is a taste of H-O-M-E. Those warm dishes and authentic breakfast items will take you back leaving no wonder why this cafe was voted “Best Breakfast in Allen.” Locally owned and operated, Eggsquisite Café offers some “eggsquisite” home-style cookin’ like their locally famous chicken and waffles which come with just the right amount of bacon. That’s right, bacon! You can also choose from many other options to create your own custom chicken and waffles dish if you’re feeling adventurous at breakfast time. Two Rows Classic Grill, another local favorite, serves classic dishes like grandma’s shrimp and grits, and their own breakfast mac and cheese that comes with andouille sausage, bacon, and topped with a fried egg making it a tasty twist on southern cheesy mac. Let’s not forget their Honey Pepper bacon is the best-kept secret in Allen. Some might even say in Collin County. If cozy and quaint is more your style, stop by Frogg Coffee Bar and Creperie, aspecialty coffee and crepe shop nestled in the Village Green in Watters Creek. You’ll find over 20 types of crepe made right there in their kitchen. With crepes like banana foster, vanilla cream and berries, and their popular “nutella n’ stuff,” you can see why we say it’s guaranteed that you will enjoy some of the best crepes you’ve ever had.
But it isn’t just the places that stand out in the “best of” lists that are worth a visit. Allen has a few hidden gems, still sitting comfortably under the radar of DFW foodies and most who know about them prefer they stay that way. Inside a Chevron on the southeast corner of Custer and McDermott, The Taco Factory can be easy to miss. Family-owned, scratch taco kitchens like this don’t usually make waves, but ask anyone who’s tried one of their infamous Pastor De Pollo or Carnitas tacos, and they’ll tell you this place is one they’re planning to come back to. If authentic Mexican is your flavor of choice, you can’t come to Allen and not try Anasofia’s. Often highly rated by foodies from all over, you know no matter what you order off the menu at Anasofia’s, it will be fresh. From their house-made margaritas swirled with sangria to their enchiladas de mole, their tastes are both flavorful and full of spice. You’ll want to leave some room for dessert here and order their traditional Mexican flan or churros filled with Mexican cajeta.
If you’re not from Texas and need your fill of authentic Texas BBQ with a dose of Southern hospitality, Allen has your fix. You won’t find many places in DFW quite like Big Ray’s BBQ. In Allen for 13 years now, this family-owned favorite prides themselves on their slow-cooked meats and savory sides. Their specialty pulled pork is out of this world. Those who frequent Big Ray’s will tell you there isn’t anything on the menu you won’t enjoy including the service and people that make Big Ray’s so special.
You can’t wrap up a foodie adventure in Allen without trying some Thai food fusion at Silver Thai Cuisine. This Allen staple has been in business for almost 20 years and coins itself the “Original Thai Restaurant of Collin County.” If spicy Thai is your thing, order the Pad See Ew with a spice level of 4. The spice levels at Silver Thai Cuisine are not for the faint of heart and pack a real punch.
Saltlight Station Coffee and Pho is a great last stop on your journey through Allen’s many flavors. The restaurant was converted from an old gas station and totally renovated with beautiful colors, good music, and incredible service. Started by an Aunt and her niece a few years ago, Saltlight Station serves up an impressive menu of Vietnamese coffees, ginger teas, boba milk, and their pho menu is almost too good to be true. Their Texan pho noodle soup with ribeye and brisket is their signature “No MSG Pho Broth” crafted by slowly simmering choice meat and bones with charred ginger, onions, and aromatic spices.