DENTON – OLD WEST CAFE
I-35 and Loop 288
A grand breakfast stop! Excellent traditional fare (biscuits, chicken-fried steak) and some delightful “upscale” fare (Robin loves the almond-encrusted french toast). Very busy.
DENTON – LOCO CAFE
603 North Locust
A very hip breakfast, with soy-milk for your coffee, milk that comes served in chilled cocktail shakers, and corn-meal flapjacks (the very old is new again). I admire their jalapeno biscuit, a meal unto itself. Done in the Brutalist style of exposed-concrete and pipes interior, it’s a bit noisy, if its crowded, which it rarely is.
LEWISVILLE – STARSHIP BAGELS
(Main St / FM 1171 & Corner for Valley Pkwy)
A new take-out place, one should call ahead to confirm they are open, but outstanding water-boiled bagels. The poppy seeds are so dense the bagels look blue from a distance.
FLOWER MOUND – BOIL AND BAKE BAGELS
(2601 Flower Mound Rd/FM3040)
The people who ended the Great Bagel Drought in souther Denton County. They have a wonderful selection, but you need to go as early as possible to enjoy it – they sell out fast.
HIGHLAND VILLAGE – SEVEN MILE CAFE
(2300 Justin Rd./FM 407)
Hip farm-to-market breakfast house, it is a stand-out for its spicycorned beef hash, coffee concoctions, and top-notch toast and raspberry preserves. I most love that they have ample non-pork meat options, not so fond of their stingy approach to blueberries and chocolate chips on and in the eponymous pancakes.
DENTON – LAYALINA MEDITERRANEAN
(222 W Hickory off the Square)
Best Middle Eastern Food in Denton County. Top-notch falafel, good baba ganouj… Excellent place to take your superhero team for shawarma after a hard day of fighting extraterrestrial armies.
DENTON – DIX CONEY ISLAND
(On the Square)
Fine American greasy spoon serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All the classics are here, but I always go for the BLT made with beef bacon. They also have above average iced tea.
FLOWER MOUND – CHINA ISLAND
(Mall, south west corner of FM 407 and FM 2499)
For non-buffet Chinese dining, China Island is my first choice. Store-front atmosphere and some innovative dishes alongside the traditional Chinese-American fare make it a very nice eating experience.
FLOWER MOUND – BURGERS AND BRATS
(6100 FM 2499)
Best hamburgers in the county: big, crisped on the outside, juicy on the inside, remarkably flavorful. Often skip the fries [which are good] because of the size of the burger. Also make a worthy Philly cheese steak.
LEWISVILLE – PARMA ITALIAN/PIZZA
(129 E Round Grove/FM 3040)
Parma offers the closest-to-New York style pizza I’ve found in Denton County. Sold by the slice, they don’t pre-cook their sauce, and the resulting crisp thin crust, with little puddles of cheesy grease, is just like it’s supposed to be in the Big Apple.
JUSTIN – 407 BARBEQUE
(1213 FM 407)
Literally a pre-fab double-wide, come for brisket at lunch, it’s the best I’ve found in the area. Usual and tasty cole slaw. Beef ribs on the weekend!
COPPELL – HARD EIGHT
(Bass Pro/Old Bethuel Road and Freeport Pkwy)
The only true pit barbeque I’ve found in Denton County, the spectacle of selecting your meats from a smoking pit is worth the trip alone. Beyond that, the brisket is sauceless edible and the chicken is simply a delight. The side dishes are well done, as well. Great place to give visitors a blast of Texas.
DENTON – MR CHOPSTICKS
(1633 Scripture, Corner of Jagoe and Scripture)
A long-standing student favorite, this not-a-buffet hip diner has an eclectic Asian menu with very good vegetarian choices. I’ve had one bad experience with burnt pad thai, but other dishes, like sweet and sour chicken and Vietnamese salad, have been consistently good.
FLOWER MOUND – THAI RUBY
(FM 2499, in the strip mall by Red, Hot and Blue)
Excellent competition for Noodle Swing, it gives you more traditional decor (teakwood walls, plates shaped like flora), and recipes slightly different from its neighbor. The chicken-rise soup is very pleasant. Try the “Amazing Chicken” peanut-based dish.
FLOWER MOUND – BARI‘S
(Long Prairie south of 1171)
A Flower Mound institution. Good local pizza, nice selection of chicken dishes. Best Italian place for families. Nice space for big groups, and very easy to work with. Biggest problem? Everybody knows about it.
FLOWER MOUND – ISTANBUL GRILL
(2911 Cross Timbers Rd, Suite 103 – in the back)
Excellent Turkish dishes served by the eager to please owner. Kababs and lentil soup are my favorite. They also have good falafel and hummus. It is criminally difficult to locate on the backside of the strip mall but worth the effort.
LEWISVILLE – PHO QUE HUONG
(291 E FM3040 West of Vista Ridge)
Good Vietnamese food in Lewisville! I enjoyed the Bun Thit Nuong. Robin says the Pho is good. It’s a few hundred yards from Half-Price Books, making for a perfect lunch outing.
HIGHLAND VILLAGE – VERF’S GRILL
(Corner of Morris and FM 407)
Moving away from country toward modern American diner food with aspirations of nuvo-cuisine, this is a great family restaurant. I like the lamb sandwich with au jus. Interesting twists on classics. Chicken and waffles!