How to Spend a Day in Downtown McKinney

Picture by Chad Hatcher of Xtreme Heights Productions

The downtown McKinney square is a gem in Collin County. In fact, it’s the main reason my husband and I decided to move from the heart of Dallas all the way out to the ‘burbs, despite the fact that we both work in downtown Dallas. We’d been toying with the idea of building a house and getting more space so we could start a family, but we weren’t sure if we were ready to leave Dallas proper and everything it has to offer – trendy restaurants, night life, endless entertainment. 

But then we spent an afternoon in downtown McKinney, and fell in love. We knew we’d found our new home. Even though you can often find us commiserating over our grueling hour-plus commute down US-75, you’ll find us just as often saying it’s totally worth it.

The McKinney square has so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to start. So if you’ve never ventured to our historic little town, here’s your guide to a full day in downtown McKinney:

Breakfast in Downtown McKinney:

The McKinney square has several coffee shops and cafes (all of which are amazing, for the record), but here’s where I’d start:

Mid-Morning Home Shopping in Downtown McKinney

Once you’re all stuffed with deliciousness, you can walk it off with a trip around the shops. There are so many to choose from, so your best bet is some good, old-fashioned window shopping, but here are a few of my favorites to get you started:


Modern, boutique Style:

Lunch in Downtown McKinney:

After all that shopping, you’re probably going to be ready for lunch. There is no shortage of food options on the Square; that’s the main reason you need to dedicate a full day to our little downtown. One meal just isn’t enough!

  • Patina Green Home & Market – their “Brisket on a Biscuit” sandwich (only available on Fridays), is life changing. Like, think of how you felt when you held your first child in your arms for the first time. It’s like that, for your taste buds.
  • Landon Winery – everybody needs a post-lunch glass of wine, right?

Afternoon Clothes Shopping in Downtown McKinney:

Next up, clothes & accessories. I love the shops on the Square because you get boutique style at affordable pricing. Hello, win-win! 

Women’s Clothing:

Kids’ Clothing:

Afternoon Fun in Downtown McKinney:

You’ve had a busy day so far. It’s probably time to relax and just have some fun.

  • The Board Bar – gather your friends and make some art that you might actually want to hang in your home.

Dinner in Downtown McKinney:

I know, you’re exhausted. If you’re anything like me, this is probably the longest day you’ve had since you were in labor. Hang in there; this is worth it! Picking just one dinner option here is really hard, so I’ll give you a few options to choose from:

  • Harvest – the reigning king of downtown McKinney dining, as far as I’m concerned.
  • Rick’s Chophouse – Harvest’s upscale, steakhouse big brother.
  • The Yard – super fun environment with a huge outdoor seating and play space for kids.

Dessert in Downtown McKinney:

This trip around the Square ain’t for the weak, y’all. I hope you wore your stretchiest leggings, because we’re not done yet. For dessert, you have two stops (and you really need them both; don’t even try to choose):

Drinks in Downtown McKinney:

Just because we’re in suburbia, doesn’t mean we don’t do nightlife! If you haven’t passed out in the street from this day yet, then head to one of our favorite bars for a nightcap:

  • Rye – creative, seasonal craft cocktails
  • The Celt – Irish pub
  • The Pub – whiskey and craft beer

And with that, you will have successfully explored most of what downtown McKinney has to offer. But there’s also an Escape Room, chocolate shop, monthly art walks, and seasonal events (like Krewe of Barkus and Oktoberfest) for the whole family, so you really haven’t even scratched the surface. 

Fellow McKinney mamas – what did I miss? Drop your recommendations in the comments!


  1. Great list! Just need to add doing a food tour with We Ate Well Food Tours for cocktails/happy hour or lunch.

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