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Best Of 2023: Restaurants

Let's see who came out on top according to Local Profile and our readers

There’s so much great stuff to eat and do in North Texas. But what’s the best? Just as the year ends, here’s a moment for us — and you — to look back at the best of the best for 2023. Local Profile voted internally on its favorites and, over the past year, let you do the same. While readers’ choice isn’t for every category, hundreds of y’all replied, letting us know what your favorites were. And for that, we thank you.

Best Restaurant

Lombardi Cucina Italiana

6655 Winning Drive, Frisco, TX 75034 | 469.200.5677

The grand dame of dining at The Star, Lombardi Cucina Italiana is not only one of the best Italian restaurants in Collin County, it’s one of the best in North Texas. Full stop. Raised in Northern Italy, owner and founder Alberto Lombardi brings his decades of experience to bear at his namesake restaurant. The restaurant itself is a beautiful space, whether that’s for brunch or a dinner date or anything in between. 

Readers’ Choice: Haywire

5901 Winthrop St., Suite 110, Plano, TX 75024 | (972) 781-9473

Haywire doesn’t just serve up delicious food and stiff drinks, it serves up Texas. Readers love the eats and cocktails and connect with the down-home vibes. The rooftop patio is primo seating to enjoy concerts or soak up a summer evening. 

“They have the best food that reminds you of your Southern roots. The vibe is amazing, the staff is so nice, and you can get drinks only or enjoy a fabulous meal that is delicious. Feels very high end without going all the way to Dallas.” — Paige M.

Best Seafood

Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill

4017 Preston Road, Suite 530, Plano, TX 75093 | 972.473.2722

Landlocked North Texas might not be known for its seafood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a delicious surf-based meal. Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill is the place to go in Collin County for sea fare. 

Best Steak

Knife Steakhouse

6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093 | 214.299.5943
5300 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75206 | 214.443.9339

Say what you will about Chef John Tesar, the man knows how to cook a steak — and cook it really well. Knife is his love letter to steak, and what better place to write that than in Texas? The Dallas location is excellent, sure, but the Plano location continues to fascinate, calling a beleaguered shopping mall home. The future seems bright for The Shops at Willow Bend, and a big part of keeping the mall relevant has been Knife. Thank Chef for that!

Best Sushi

Ebesu Robata & Sushi 

1007 E. 15th St., Plano, TX 75074 | 972.212.4564

Chef Koji Yoshida, an Osaka native, makes both traditional and American-style sushi — and does them both extremely well. But as great as the sushi is, don’t just go to Ebesu for that. Chef serves up authentic Japanese dishes like agedofu, tsukemen and grilled salted mackerel. Plus, the desserts are fantastic. Save room for them, if you can. (You can. I believe.)

Best Lunch

Meso Maya

4800 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093 | 972.372.4473

Our lunchtime default? Meso Maya. Whether we are meeting writers or clients or even having internal meetings, we are bound to be there. (Say “hi!” if you see us!) Try the chicharrones. The cocktails are good, too, if you’re having a liquid lunch. 

Best Butcher Shop (and Steakhouse)

BAR-Ranch Steak Company

1016 E. 15th St., Plano, TX 75074 | 972.424.2887

Dry-aged. Wet-aged. Wagyu, Akaushi, American Wagyu and Aberdeen Angus — and more. BAR-Ranch isn’t just a craft butcher shop; you can also enjoy a steak cooked to perfection in the BAR-Ranch dining room. The ambiance is great, and the spot is perfect for date nights, business meetings and memorable meals. The steaks are seriously good — so are the burgers. And if you want to buy meat to take home and cook yourself, BAR-Ranch has you covered. For meat lovers, it does it all. 

Best Restaurant in a Car Dealership

Earnest B’s BBQ & Catering

6100 State Highway 121, Frisco, TX 75034 | 972.581.2880

Before Ernest B. Morgan sold barbecue at the Crest dealership in Frisco, he sold cars there. Now, he leaves the automobile wheeling and dealing to others and focuses on making delicious ribs. 

Best Sandwiches in a Liquor Store

Mr. G’s

1453 Coit Road, Plano, TX 75093 | 972.867.2821

Head into the Spec’s (you read that right, Spec’s) on Coit and W. 15th St., pass the bottles of Johnnie Walker and behold sandwich heaven. Mr. G’s has been around for decades, and you can’t go wrong with a Reuben or a hot Italian, but dangit, this is the Lone Star State, so order the Tex-Mex Reuben (roast beef, pepper jack, coleslaw, spicy pepper mix and Russian dressing on rye bread). Mr. G’s only serves soft drinks, but you can pick up a bottle of Tito’s on the way out.