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One Day In...

How to Spend a Day in Allen

Allen is known for its high school sports. But with revitalization in the works, this 26.5 mile town offers shopping, dining, and events galore. Here’s where to start.
By | |Illustration by Michelle Thompson
Things to do in Allen, Texas
Michelle Thompson

Outlaw Sam Bass committed the first Texas train robbery in Allen, and President Theodore Roosevelt once stopped in on his way to San Antonio. Today, the notoriety comes from the city’s massive high school, whose football team has won five state championships and plays in a multimillion-dollar stadium. Allen’s 26.5 square miles now include three shopping centers, a convention center, and more than 200 restaurants. There’s a downtown revitalization plan in the works, but in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to spend a day in the once-sleepy town. 

Allen Cafe

302 E Main St. | 972-747-0151

From 6 am to 3 pm almost every day (Sundays get a late start at 7), you can fuel up at this family-owned restaurant. Depending on your hunger level, try a gyro omelet, cinnamon-swirl French toast, or a hash stack (hash browns, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese, and gravy). 

Allen Premium Outlets

820 W. Stacy Rd.

Like Coach from New Girl, we always have a game plan. We power up at Starbucks with a pistachio cream cold brew and then hit our shoe and accessories stores first: Cole Haan, Adidas, Nike, Coach. Then clothes, followed by kitchenware. (No one wants to lug that Le Creuset Dutch oven around.) Finally, one sweet treat for the road: Great American Cookies brings it all full circle.

Allen Heritage Village

352 St. Mary Dr.

The stagecoach route from Dallas to Sherman ran through Allen, and a number of homes and structures that once sat along the way can still be found here, from the Prairie-style Allen Christian Church to the former home of cabinetmaker Lewis Wetsel. Tours are available on the third Sunday of every month. 

Silver Spoon

1223 W. McDermott Dr., Ste. 85 | 972-907-0090

Allen has a sizeable Asian population (about 19 percent), and the Silver Spoon is a popular spot for Indian and Pakistani fare. The chicken combo has our favorite poultry three ways: biryani, korma, and tandoori. The vegan options are plentiful, too, and many of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers.

Chocolate Moonshine Co. 

941 Garden Park Dr. | 972-332-8440

This award-winning confectionery sells hand-painted chocolate truffle bars made in-house with chocolate imported from Belgium. Choose from alcohol-infused bars, such as piña colada or black cherry bourbon, or nonalcoholic ones, such as Viennese almond or tiramisu. There’s also small-batch fudge.

ACO Boutique

945 Garden Park Dr. | 972-332-8611

This tiny resale boutique at Watters Creek Village is stocked with gently used furniture, decor, and other home goods. Proceeds go directly to All Community Outreach, a human services nonprofit that helps those facing financial crisis or homelessness. Call ahead for donation information. 

This story originally appeared in the March issue of D Magazine with the headline, “One Day in…Allen. Write to [email protected].


Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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