Travel the World Without Leaving Plano

Plano is a melting pot of cultures and home to a wonderful array of international businesses that represent cultures spanning the globe. We have everything from modern steakhouses to wine country cuisine, but did you know you can also travel the world without leaving the ‘burbs? Let us show you how.

Caribbean

We get it. You have to drive about 300 miles from Plano just to reach the beach, and even then the Texan coastline is no match to the powdery white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean. But you can still indulge in the flavors of the Caribbean at Taste of the Islands. Its jerk chicken with rice and peas will surely bring back fond memories of your past beach trips. Bonus: one wall of the eatery is devoted to packaged Caribbean foods and goodies you can bring home.

Jerk Chicken at Taste of the Islands // photo Jennifer Shertzer

England

Hop the pond to Theatre Britain, founded by a group of expatriates who missed the shows back home. All of each season’s shows are by British playwrights, including this September’s American premiere of “Winston’s Birthday” about British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The annual holiday show is a traditional British panto, complete with singing, dancing, corny jokes and audience participation. Every production transports guests with British snacks, a portrait of the Queen presiding and a ticket-taker donning a Union Jack tie. Theatre Britain recently announced that this season will be their last, so be sure to get your show tickets now, as all shows will likely sell out this final season.

“Albert’s Anthology” at Theatre Britain // photo Mark Trew

Greece

Sadly, there are no white washed buildings with blue-capped rooftops in the area, but there are quite a few places that serve up an amazing Greek meal regardless. A favorite is Ziziki’s. The chicken or lamb souvlaki served with pita and tzatziki sauce is sure to conjure up memories of those Caldera sunsets.

Chicken Souvlaki at Ziziki’s // photo Nicole Forzano

Hawaii

Missing the islands? You will love the fresh poke bowls at Below 40. Poke (which rhymes with okay) is a Hawaiian snack that is basically deconstructed sushi. Pick the rice, protein, seasonings and sauce at Below 40. and it is served up in a bowl.

Below 40 poke bowl // photo Nicole Forzano

Hong Kong

Hong Kong dim sum sessions are all about tea appreciation; that’s why dim sum meals are commonly known in Cantonese as yum cha or “drink tea.” Find amazing baskets of delicate dumplings at Zhang’s Kitchen restaurant where dim sum is served daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dim Sum at Zhang’s Kitchen // photo Anna Cavnar

India

The choice for Indian food is endless in Plano but Kumar’s stands out as a favorite. Not only is the food fresh, but it is all served on banana leaves. The unlimited meals on weekends can be fun, controlled chaos, making diners feel transported to the middle of an Indian wedding.

Kumar’s // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Ireland

Pub” was originally a European term, short for “public house,” that indicates a place geared toward social interaction, usually sparked by the drinking of adult beverages. The Fillmore Pub is just such a place — warm and friendly. It is also one of a few watering holes in east Plano open until 2am. The bar is well stocked with Guinness, Smithwicks and Irish whiskeys sure to make any Irishman happy. Be sure to to try the Irish beef stew or fish and chips.

A pint of Smithwicks at The Fillmore Pub // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Italy

While there are many Italian restaurants in Plano, a special love is this family owned neighborhood spot. Joe’s Pasta and Pizza has a friendly staff and spot-on pizzas, calzones and pasta dishes. Plus, it’s okay to bring your own booze to enjoy with a meal.

Joe’s Pasta and Pizza // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Japan

If flying to Japan just to get your hands on popular Japanese snacks doesn’t seem reasonable, Shop Minoya has you covered. Although it doesn’t have matcha Kit Kat bars, it does carry Pocky in many different flavors including matcha and cookies and cream. This convenience store/grocer also sells Hello Kitty boxes, manga books, cute stationery and tea ceremony kits.

Shop Minoya // photo Priya Vin

Scandinavia

Stop at The Wooden Spoon to find unique gifts for hard-to-buy-for family and friends. Located in a beautiful 1867 Victorian house, one of the oldest homes in Plano, the shop carries everything from mini Viking ships, Thor’s hammer jewelry and Nordic patches to Scandinavian treats like salty licorice and homemade ginger snaps.

The Wooden Spoon // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Thailand

Dine at Nam Thai for delicious Thai herbal fried rice and pad kee mow. Surrounded by authentic Thai artworks and a friendly staff, you’ll easily forget you’re in Plano and not in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Both locations are BYOB.

Nam Thai // photo Priya Vin

Turkey

To feel as if you’ve truly left the country, enjoy belly dancing shows and the hookah lounge at Turkish Café and Lounge. The shish kebab and Turkish wines are nice, but honestly, go to simply enjoy the beautiful waterside patio, studded with hanging Turkish lamps.

Turkish Cafe and Lounge // photo Andre Jones
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