13 Dallas Suburbs You Should Absolutely Visit

Just outside the city, find eclectic restaurants and top-notch shopping at these Dallas suburbs.

When the hankering to get out of the city hits, there’s plenty of wide open spaces to explore in Dallas suburbs. Dallas, whose population clocks in at around 1.3 million, and Fort Worth, which lands just under a million, are great metropolitans but surrounding suburbs and mid-city communities harbor interesting experiences. From quiet residential enclaves with boutique shops to booming ’burbs packed with businesses, these towns sitting just over the DFW border have plenty to offer urban day-trippers, including top-notch restaurants, lush green spaces, and high-octane sporting events.

The next time you feel like expanding your North Texas horizons, head to these 13 Dallas suburbs for plenty of fun ways to pass the time.

Ida Claire Food
Ida Claire’s drool-inducing brunch offerings. | Photo courtesy of Ida Claire


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 14 miles
Up north, Addison is small in stature but mighty in restaurants and bars—it boasts more than 200 options in just 4.4 square miles. Within those many restaurants you’ll find great steak, seafood, pizza, and brunch, with fan-favorites including Gorji, Ida Claire and Zoli’s. Addison is also home to a handful of popular annual events, including the Kaboom Town fireworks show, Addison Oktoberfest, which is the metroplex’s biggest lederhosen-and-beer-fueled celebration, and the Taste Addison food festival.

Akira Back Dallas
Akira Back is a must-visit restaurant. | Photo courtesy of Akira Back

The Colony

Distance from Downtown Dallas: 28 miles
Questionable name aside, the Colony is a growing suburb that seems to add more to its resume every time we look up. Explore its many restaurants and bars, or get active and hit balls at Top Golf or test your putting skills at Puttery. When you want a place to park your car and stay awhile, head to Grandscape. The massive development houses a diverse array of restaurants, from global sushi spot Akira Back to Texas’s first Portillo’s, plus loads of retail shops, an outdoor stage for live music, and an indoor go-kart track. If you want to see it all from 200 feet up, hop into one of the gondolas on the Grandscape Wheel to get the lay of the land.

Whistle Britches Chicken
You can’t go wrong with any Whistle Britches chicken dishes. | Photo courtesy of Whistle Britches


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 25 miles
There’s more to Southlake than its eight-time state champion football team. The affluent suburb has well-manicured neighborhoods, but exudes small town charm, thanks in large part to the walkable Southlake Town Square, which is lined with retail shops and restaurants like Muchacho (Tex-Mex), Del Frisco’s Grille (steaks) and Whistle Britches (Southern brunch staples). When you’re ready for a pleasant stroll, head to the Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve to trek its 20 miles of hiking trails. Or, bring your gear to Bicentennial Park, which is packed with playgrounds, baseball fields, and tennis courts.

Distance from Downtown Dallas: 20 miles
Downtown Carrollton has it all—good beer (3 Nations), great pizza (Cane Rosso), and quaint shops. But Carrollton, home to the largest Korean community in the Southern U.S., also has New Koreatown. (Fun fact: DFW has not one, but two Koreatowns. The original is in the Asian Trade District around Royal Lane and Harry Hines.) Stroll through the massive shopping centers to find dozens of great restaurants serving grilled meats, spicy noodles, soft tofu stew, and Juk, a traditional Korean rice porridge. All trips here should start with a quality meal. After you get your fill, pop into H Mart to take a few speciality items home with you.

McKinney, Texas - Unique by Nature
Photo courtesy of McKinney, Texas - Unique by Nature


​​Distance from Downtown Dallas: 32 miles
This once-sleepy suburb lined with cookie-cutter houses has upped its offerings as its nearly 200,000 residents demand more places to eat and things to do. McKinney’s walkable downtown commercial district hosts more than 120 small businesses, two dozen local restaurants, and two beloved breweries, Franconia and Tupps. If you want to stretch your legs, McKinney also boasts plenty of parks, disc golf courses, and regular golf courses, including TPC Craig Ranch, which hosts the Byron Nelson golf tournament.

Visit Allen, TX
Get some swings in at Top Golf. | Photo courtesy of Visit Allen, TX

Distance from Downtown Dallas: 25 miles
Allen might be best known for its powerhouse football team, but this northern suburb has plenty to do once the Friday night lights go out. It’s home to multiple recreation venues, including Top Golf, Pinstack, Giant Party Sports paintball and airsoft complex, and Hydrous Wake Park, a cable-pulled wakeboard facility. If you don’t want to work that hard, Allen is also a shopper’s paradise, teeming with outlet malls, antique stores, a mercantile packed with artisan vendors, and Watters Creek, a 52-acre resort-style destination with shops and restaurants set amidst verdant landscaping and, yes, an eponymous creek. If you’ve got your pup in tow, check out Mutts Canine Cantina, which merges a dog park with a beer garden and features a “yappy hour” with discounted drinks on the daily.

Visit Arlington, Texas
Yes, it’s home to the original Six Flags (just don’t ask what the sixth flag is). | Photo courtesy of Visit Arlington, Texas

Distance from Downtown Dallas: 21 miles
Nicknamed the Entertainment Capital of North Texas—and for good reason—Arlington offers visitors practically limitless options for excitement. Six Flags Over Texas and across-the-freeway neighbor Hurricane Harbor provide the thrills, while Globe Life Field and AT&T Stadium showcase the hometown Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys. You can tour both complexes for a close-up experience of the field and facilities. Arlington is also the home of the Dallas Jackals—the new Major League Rugby team plays its games at Choctaw Stadium. Regardless of whether or not there’s a game in town, you can always hang out at Texas Live!, the massive dining, drinking, and performance complex stocked with more than a dozen restaurants and bars on site.

Photo courtesy of LSA BURGER


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 40 miles
Though it proudly holds on to its college town vibes, Denton has grown up to become a legit destination for the North Texas faithful and out-of-towners alike thanks to its incredible live music scene. With one of the top music schools in the nation at the University of North Texas, there’s a constant influx of new talent to add to the iconic acts that have been storming the stage for decades. One of the best spots to see a show is Dan’s Silverleaf, which puts you right next to other fan-favorites like Andy’s Bar and its upstairs offshoot, the speakeasy-style Paschall Bar. Don’t miss LSA Burger, which serves a burger menu named after local greats like Waylon Jennings and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Dee Lincoln Prime
Photo courtesy of Dee Lincoln Prime


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 27 miles
Frisco has become a hub for sports and entertainment. Get your fix of everything from football and basketball to hockey and the “other football” all within Frisco’s city limits. Officially branded as Sports City USA, Frisco is home to practice facilities for both the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and Dallas Stars (NHL), as well as the home fields and courts of FC Dallas (MLS), the Frisco Roughriders (MiLB), and the Texas Legends (NBA G League). Spring 2023 brings the new PGA of America Headquarters to town, with two 18-hole championship golf courses and the Omni PGA Frisco Resort under its purview. With so many athletic teams and organizations congregating in Frisco, businesses have built up around them, including bars and restaurants in The Star District. Even Universal Studios wants in on the action, announcing that it will build a smaller outpost park in Frisco with family-friendly rides and attractions.

Visit Grapevine
Photo courtesy of Visit Grapevine


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 22 miles
Grapevine’s claim to fame is, you guessed it, wine. Texas ranks fifth nationally in wine production, and while much of that is centered in the High Plains, Panhandle, and Hill Country, Grapevine hosts the annual Grapefest wine festival, and it houses several wineries and tasting rooms along its own Urban Wine Trail. Continuing the theme, the aptly named Hotel Vin is a luxe hotel featuring a couple restaurants, a speakeasy bar, and a European-style food hall. If you’re more into beer, there are a few craft breweries in town, too, including Hop & Sting, which also hosts the excellent Vaqueros BBQ trailer. If you want an activity that’s not just eating and drinking, get a change of scenery at picturesque Lake Grapevine, where you can partake in boating, windsurfing, and nine miles of wilderness trails. Grapevine is also where you’ll find a new outpost of Meow Wolf, the famous immersive art exhibit, which opens its doors in summer 2023.

Gondola Adventures, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Gondola Adventures, Inc.

Distance from Downtown Dallas: 13 miles
Irving is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, and that diversity is on display all throughout its incredible restaurant scene. When a craving for Indian food strikes, you’ll discover dozens of options from all-vegan or vegetarian options to meaty bounties representing different regions of the broad South Asian country. Irving is also home to several Chinese, Japanese, and Mediterranean restaurants, plus Peak, a fun Nepalese sports bar with great food. Once you’re sated, how about a boat ride? Gondola Adventures will take you out on the Los Colinas canals for quick tours, sunset dinner cruises, or early morning breakfast and brunch outings, providing one of the more unique experiences you can have this side of Venice.

 Visit Plano pool
Yes, that’s a Texas-shaped pool. Come in, the water’s fine. | Photo courtesy of Visit Plano


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 19 miles
Plano is filled with excellent restaurants, shops, and public parks, and its downtown is home to red brick buildings, a farmer’s market, lively bars, and Ebesu, one of the best sushi spots in DFW. When summer rolls around and you need to cool off, take a dip in the Texas Pool, a 168,000-gallon oasis shaped like the Lone Star State and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can buy a season membership or just opt for the $10 day pass. Either way, you’ll be able to brag (and cause a bit of confusion) on social media when you post that you just swam across Texas. Elsewhere, squeeze in a visit to Oak Point Park, where you can kayak, hike, or head high into the tree line for adventure courses and zip lining.

Good Fortune Supermarket
Good Fortune Supermarket | Photo courtesy of DFW China Town


Distance from Downtown Dallas: 13.5 miles
Richardson has a little something for everyone—assuming everyone likes whiskey, movies, and unbeatable Asian fare. Lockwood Distilling Co. is Richardson’s only distillery, and it serves a full food menu alongside its award-winning bourbon, rye, vodka, and gin. Alamo Drafthouse sits just across the street and still provides one of the best movie-going experiences in town (the copious amounts of pizza and beer served to you in-theater don’t hurt). Pop over to the other side of I-75, and you’ll hit DFW China Town, a collection of restaurants that’s putting out some of the area’s best food. Popular spots include Jeng Chi and Royal Sichuan, and you’ll find a variety of culinary treasures at Good Fortune Supermarket, which might be smaller than some of the Asian grocery megastores in North Texas, but benefits from an easier-to-navigate experience. Don’t miss the popular dim sum spot, Kirin Court, which awaits just up the road.

Kevin Gray is a freelance writer and editor covering all things food, drinks, and travel. He’s written for The Dallas Morning NewsForbesLiquor.comMen’s Health, and Wine Enthusiast, and his extensive home bar is turning into a real Hoarders situation.

Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist Contributor.