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Local Profile's Favorite Food And Drinks Of 2022

Here's your bucket list for culinary experiences in Collin County
Photo courtesy of Akira Back

This has been a great year for Collin County foodies — we found the top steakhouses, burger joints, pizza places, breweries and barbecue spots North Texas has to offer, amazing new restaurants were added to our bucket list and we even saved some space for dessert.

Now let's take a look back at Local Profile's favorite eateries of 2022.

We’re entering the raise-your-glass season when family, friends and colleagues deliver pithy toasts to mark the beginning of the new year. And while “cheers!” and champagnes and sparkling wines are great for any holiday occasion, many of us like to venture off the beaten path with well-thought-out prose and inventive libations. Pinot noir, zinfandel, and gewürztraminer go great with the richness of holiday bites. And don’t forget cocktails. Inventive sips include rye whiskey formulations with ginger and cider, holiday spiced mimosas, cranberry mules, and wintery spritzes with rosemary, club soda and gin. Consult your favorite mixologist.

It is not hard to find blog posts or stories talking about the differences between American versus Asian barbecues. And it’s often said that the main difference is that with Asian Q, the overall flavor of the dish—the vegetables, too, y’all—is what’s important. That observation is certainly not wrong, but don’t let anyone tell you there are no traditional Asian BBQ spots that offer meat in the leading role.

From the smoky goodness of Hard Eight BBQ to the Texas Q powerhouse that is Hutchins BBQ to Lockhart, the "Barbecue Capital of Texas," take this meaty tour across North Texas and visit some well-known spots as well as a couple of hidden gems.

They say home is where the wine is. Fortunately for North Texans, there’s a lot of it around here… and some of the best wineries are right here in Collin County! Who needs Napa when we have charming, wine-tastic wineries within a 20-mile radius of home? We’ve discovered several places to enjoy Texas wines right here in Collin County.

Don’t forget, the best wines are the ones we drink with friends, so invite your partners in wine and tell them it’s wine o’clock! Check out these best wineries and best vineyards.

Historically, Collin County has not been a sanctuary for Italian immigrants. In fact, according to the United States Census Bureau, there are just 291 Italian speakers in the county — or 0.0299 percent — out of a population of 1.03 million (2019). Not fertile ground for pizza authenticity, although that ground shifts when you consider the number of ex-New Yorkers mingling in our midst. 

Yet pizza thrives — exuberantly, in all its wood-fired, San Marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufala (or facsimile thereof) glory. We lift the crusty veil on this apparent incongruity to taste a wealth of delicious pizzeria currency.

All that food tasting must’ve dried Mark Stuertz’s mouth because he took a detour for Collin County’s best breweries. Lucky for him, North Texas has some refreshing hidden breweries gems he was able to try. Here’s a list of his favorites.

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. Spoil your inner child and gather with your friends for the last night of food, fun and games before the year ends.

How could we forget our sweet-toothed neighbors? We took the heavy task of tasting the best ice cream Collin County has to offer. We couldn't choose just one, so have a look at our top ten favorite gourmet shops.