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Downtown Plano, TX: 27 Best Spots you don’t want to miss

Shopping, Eating, Live Music, and Things to do in Downtown Plano

In what was once a bedroom community and is now a bustling city, the Downtown Plano area is a not-so-secret gem in Plano Texas, that locals know offers much more than you’d expect.

Since its early days in the 1870s as a small farming community, the Historic Downtown Plano area now has its own Plano Station DART rail, Haggard Park and Playground, Pavilion, and outdoor live music concert venue, along with a long list of some of the best restaurants and coffee shops.

More: Great Places to go Shopping that aren’t just Willow Bend Mall

If you look closely though, you’ll see some historic markers dotted around, as well as some of our oldest homes and buildings, like the Cox Theater and the old Mathews General store, which is now an event venue – Event 1013.

The Arts scene has a vibrant community with tons of murals, featured in the Plano Art Walk, performing arts at the Courtyard and Cox Theaters, and galleries, including the Art Center Plano which is just one of many historic buildings in the area.

We haven’t even mentioned the unique shopping, with some cutesy mom-and-pop owned stores with unique gifts, home decor, clothing and so much more.

We will tell you about the 17 best spots you don’t want to miss if you head to Downtown Plano for a half day or a full day and stay the evening too.

Video Credit: Visit Plano

The most notable Downtown Plano Restaurants, Coffee Shops & Bars

Our favorite, most unique Downtown Plano restaurants

On this list, we have to start with Jorg’s Cafe Vienna, where you go to try authentic Austrian and German food in their cozy dining room, and an outdoor Biergarten, while enjoying a European beer and schnitzels, goulash, and wurst (Be sure to check, as they have limited opening hours, phone reservations are recommended)

For Italian, Urban Crust is a must (be sure to try their rooftop patio for great views of 15th Street in Downtown Plano and share a big pie and cocktail while you’re there.

Its sister restaurant, Urban Rio is set back on 14th street, if you’re looking for typical Mexican fare but the unique atmosphere the “urban” brand provides.

If you’re looking for Seafood, we love Fish Shack (which is closer to Highway 75 on 15th Street) and the recently opened Urban Seafood Company, also on 14th Street.

Downtown Plano

Finally, you wouldn’t be in a Downtown Texan city without a great Barbecue joint and Burger Joint. Lockhart Smokehouse is very popular among the locals along with the Twisted Root Burger Co, which took over the spot from Hub Streat.

Their mouth-watering brisket, sausage, ribs, and other meats are smoked over Texas post oak.

For a sports bar with a great outdoor patio in Plano, try McNeal’s Tavern & Eatery!

If you’re looking to try somewhere new, at the corner spot on 15th and K Avenue in Downtown Plano is the Coco Beach Plano, to try their coastal cuisine menu.

Once you’ve had your fill of main meals, or you’re looking for a dessert-only or date night experience, you should give the Better than Sex (BTS) for a decadent dessert and adult beverage and The Gelato Cone for their favorite flavor, with kids.


Downtown Plano

Our Favorite Downtown Plano drinking holes and Coffee Shops

You have to start with the Fillmore Pub. Probably a good option for a date night or group night with friends, but they do have a small patio outside.

You can also head across the street to Vickery Park Plano, for great bites and drinks or go up to the top of Urban Crust to their 32-degree Rooftop bar.

If you’re looking for a great Coffee shop in Downtown Plano, we have a couple of perfect places: on the main 15th Street strip, you can visit Lemma Coffee, which stocks its own brand of coffee along with providing bagels and baked goods in a really nice location.

On K Avenue, you’ll find 1418 Coffee, a great spot for artists, students, and business people to meet, drink and enjoy a comfortable place to take out your laptop.


Where to shop in Downtown Plano?

If you’re looking for unique shops, there are plenty of perfect places to walk around before or after your lunch.

We love LaFoofaraw, the perfect place that combines home decor, jewelry, drinkware and so much more, along with pieces you’d find in antique shops. Chat with the owners too, they’re full of great tips and stories.

And another favorite is Lylas: Clothing, Decor & More. You never know what you’ll find among the treasure trove of gifts, decor, and clothing, including some fun Texas-themed items.

Just along the street a couple of doors down is The Feathered Nest Plano, a cute store with even cuter clothing.


McCall Plaza Downtown Plano

Events and Fun things to do in Downtown Plano

One of our favorite things about Downtown Plano is the great local events that are hosted in the area, sometimes at McCall Plaza, or at Haggard Park (outdoor festivals like the Plano International Festival or Asia Fest).

Be sure to check out the Third Thursday Sip & Shop, at participating stores and venues, Live Music at McCall Plaza which is hosted by the City of Plano, and various shows at our event venues.


What Attractions are there?

Some of our favorite attractions and things to do are:

  • Go back to the railroad of the past at the Interurban Railway Museum
  • Try out locally-made jams, salsa, candles, and more at Georgia’s Farmers Market
  • Come and watch a live music concert at McCall Plaza
  • Take the Plano Art Walk, which has various stops at murals and sculptures in the area.
  • Visit the Art Centre Plano, for various arts shows and events and enjoy the surrounding Haggard Park.

Haggard Park

Frequently Asked Questions

What parking options are there in Downtown Plano?

Aside from the street spots which can be hard to find, there are various parking lots – at the Plano Station for Dart Rail, behind the Cox Playhouse, and along the street by the Art Center and Haggard Park. You’ll also find various parking lots on 14th Street and along K Avenue.

How can I travel to Downtown Plano?

Aside from driving to the area by car, many visitors can get easy access from Dallas via the DART rail.

Is Downtown Plano a good area to live in?

It is, especially if you prefer to use public transit or like to get around on foot, as it’s one of our most easily walkable areas. Most of the housing is in apartments, but there are some single-family homes in the area, which are available for rent or purchase.

Downtown Plano DART Rail

More: Visit Plano has some great insight on dining and a guide on Downtown Plano too!


Author

  • Abbie

    Hi, I’m Abbie, super mom, and busy-bee who moved to Plano from London, England with my husband and 2 kids, Jesse and Lucy, in the Summer of 2013. Plano Moms was my lifeline when I arrived as I didn’t know anyone or anything about my new city that I now called home. When I’m not being a Plano Mom or being a taxi service to my kids, working out, cooking and reading (when I find the time!)

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Tina

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

And so very much more ..... Looking for centering, exploration, and growth? Shala Yoga Loft, Urban Core > Lagree Studio, Urban Nutrition Lounge, Carriers Skate Shop, and not to be forgotten Plano Co-op, with story time and Vintage clothing.