Old School: Plano’s Longtime Favorite Restaurants

It seems like every time we blink, a new restaurant opens its doors in Plano. But it’s only right that while we try each new one, we also patronize those East Plano establishments that have stood the test of time. Here are some of our favorites among Plano’s oldest eateries.

Country Burger // since 1973

For a no-frills, delicious burger, head over to Country Burger. Opened in 1973, the signature burgers and sandwiches are superb comfort food on their own, but the sides are known to be fan favorites. Add some chili to the cheddar fries with homemade ranch for a true treat. The original location at 1700 14th Street has expanded to two other spots – one on Parker Road and the other in Murphy. Be on the lookout for Wally McNeely when you dine in; he manages the 14th Street spot along with the Murphy location. His brother, Jason, runs the Parker Road site.

Country Burger’s reliable burger, fries and drink combo // photos Emilee Prado

Poor Richard’s Café // since 1973

Poor Richard’s tagline reads “Plano’s Oldest Restaurant Since 1973.” While the restaurant has stood strong at its 2442 K Avenue location, it has recently undergone a change in ownership. Long-time employee Sonja Ryder purchased the diner with her father and brother. Sonja grew up in the restaurant, starting work as a hostess, moving up to waitress, then operations manager and now to owner. Regulars know the breakfast and lunch menu, available from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, is packed with plenty of home cooking options at low prices. Fill up on old-school fixin’s at a Poor Richard’s booth and dig in.

Poor Richard’s Cafe’s new owner, Sonja Ryder (in the dress) with longtime employees // photos Jenice Johnson Williams

Ye Ole Butcher Shop // since 1974

For specialty burgers that feature more exotic meat choices, try Ye Ole Butcher Shop. Diners may have already enjoyed its filets without knowing it – it supplies specialty meats to other local eateries, like The Fillmore Pub in Downtown Plano. Guests can pick up selections from the butcher block to take home or dine in by choosing from the concise menu. Over the years, owner Jeff Sparks and his son Joshua have created a loyal following. After testing out different locations, they settled into the current spot at 811 E. 15th Street in 2009. Before leaving, make sure to say “bye” to Buffy, the restaurant’s mascot, a mounted buffalo head.

Jeff Sparks worked at Ye Ole Butcher Shop before purchasing the business in 1986 // photos Jennifer Shertzer

Taco Delite // since 1976

There’s nothing that satisfies like a big helping of Tex-Mex, and Taco Delite’s popular plates prove that. Jerry and Wanda Rose opened the location at 1728 14th Street in 1976. The restaurant has stayed in the family and operates with the help of Linda “Rose” Humes, restaurant president. The Roses have a loyal staff working alongside them as well; manager Humberto has been employed for more than 20 years. They don’t skimp on quality and go the extra step to churn out homemade salsa daily. One bite of a crispy beef taco proves why this place has stayed around for 42 years.

Taco Delite’s longtime employee, manager Humberto // photos Emilee Prado

Tony’s Café // since 1989

Tony’s Café has been whipping up Mediterranean-inspired dishes since it opened in 1989. Owner Tony Richa created the restaurant with his wife Lena after years of joined experience in the industry. They wanted to offer dishes to appeal to a variety of diners while also providing something unique. The famous pastries and cinnamon rolls are made fresh daily. Tony said that Plano has become his home and he sees his restaurant as his way to engage with the community. He loves seeing familiar faces dine at their 909 W. Spring Creek Pkwy. location, as well as meeting new people who are just now moving to the area.

Tony Richa and his wife Lena // photos Emilee Prado

Bavarian Grill // since 1993

With a 1993 opening, Bavarian Grill is the newest restaurant on this list. But its authentic German food, beer and atmosphere has made a mark over the past 25 years. The beer garden’s checkered flags at 221 W. Parker Road bring credibility while staff dresses in lederhosen or dirndl dresses. Join the Stein Club to keep track of brew explorations and get points for trying new ones. The menu has Deutschland’s favorites like sausages and schnitzels. The best experiences at Bavarian Grill are had on evenings when musicians sing and play German tunes on the accordian.

Musician Alan Walling regularly performs traditional German music at Bavarian Grill // photos Jennifer Shertzer
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