Sometimes you don't want to choose between going out to dinner or having fun with the gang. Cue these nine eateries where you can do both. Hurry up! Summer's slipping away.
5757 Main Street #112 & #111, Frisco
In what world do Candyland and Mario Kart serve as the amuse-bouche to gourmet entrees like braised short ribs from a scratch kitchen? At Nerdvana, of course. The family-friendly bar and restaurant is a winner for its choose-your-own-adventure style of video and board games, creative handcrafted cocktails and gourmet menu. Cheers to being a nerd.
7401 Lone Star Dr B120, Plano
Enter the “Village” of this post-apocalyptic-themed restaurant bar and get ready to play: Video game consoles including the coveted PS5, board games and chess are a few of the options to choose from scattered in vignettes around the 8,000-square-foot venue. The booths, couches and fun stations are cozy and feel like playing in your own living room if you had a gourmet chef serving buttermilk-fried cod and 24-hour marinated beef brisket sliders on bao buns. The vegan burger is a delicious surprise as are the milk and cookies.
301 Eldorado Pkwy #100, McKinney
We love the variety of games here — disc golf, whiffle ball, cornhole, pool — and the tire swings are the perfect spot to relax after a burger, sandwich or too much Frito pie.
635 N Central Expy, Allen
The name might ring a bell. After time in the strike zone, try the WTF platter: a ridiculous amount of wings, tenders, fries and tower of onion rings. The LED rock climbing wall is challenging; try non-peak hours (before 5 p.m.) to avoid crowds.
212 N Oklahoma Dr, Celina
You know that friend who takes winning too seriously? Bring that person to the Little Wooden Penguin to play The Greens. The 18-hole, no-frills putting course will test your skills for sure, but the surrounding elements — a fun bar with handcrafted cocktails, live music and food trucks — help foster more camaraderie than competition. Or, if your friend gets out of line, distract them with something shiny in the on-site home goods shop.
9410 Dallas Pkwy Suite 150, Frisco
When it comes to throwing sharp objects and drinking beer, Stumpy’s is our favorite place to go (in Frisco anyway). Reserve a pit online — there are only 10 and they go fast. We recommend bringing your own beer and the friendly Stumpy’s will put it on ice. If you happen to go full lumberjack and break the board — because of course you will — ask your instructor if you can take the piece home for a souvenir.
5762 Grandscape Blvd Suite 105, The Colony
Puttery is an experience. Or a vibe. It’s definitely the only place in the county where you can sink a hole-in-one past a giant book in a library-turned-mini-golf course while sipping a martini and devouring gourmet lamb sliders. But hold off on the second drink before trying the Illusion course. The black and white checkered flooring, wavy walls and polka dots signal the trippy entrance into the nine-hole adventure that will leave you feeling like you — not your ball — fell down the rabbit hole.
1011 S Greenville Ave, Allen
Terrified of gutter balls? Head to the gutter-free bumper lanes at JB’s — technically they are for kids but you’re young at heart! Regular bowling is equally fun here — the mini corn dogs are a delight — but we are big fans of cosmic bowling on Saturday night when the music turns up, the lights go low and the lanes glow.
1500 Andrews Pkwy, Allen
Before you go, make reservations online: Like most of the locations in this popular chain, the Allen Top Golf is packed with Tiger Woods wannabes swinging for the fences — and various holes, zones and angry birds, depending on your game of choice. Just in case you’re not on your game — the giant nachos piled high with pinto beans, cheese and smoked chicken is a perfect distraction.