With the year drawing to a close, what better time to take a look at everything that is fantastic in Grapevine and make some nominations on what the very best things are. Take a look at our list below and discuss whether you agree!
Best Tex-Mex – Baja Grill. A local establishment, tasty food, lots of variety (LOVE the roasted corn side!) and huge margaritas. What’s not to love?
Best Patio – Pluckers. We love the picnic tables with umbrellas, which makes the patio good in more kinds of weather, and the food is definitely above average for a sports bar. And plenty of big screen TVs, too.
Best Italian – Amore’s. Now, Grapevine is not exactly known for great Italian food, but we love Amore’s best of all the local options. It’s small and cozy with great food and even better prices. And it’s BYOB. If you go as often as we do, I promise the owner and staff will greet you by name.
Best Wine Bar – Into the Glass. It’s a little pricey but their food is amazing and they have lots of unusual wines by the taste, glass or bottle. It’s a small, European-feeling space that is great for a cozy date night. I have to also give honorable mention to Cork It!, where you can buy a prepaid card and help yourself to tastes of whatever you want. Their food is tasty as well and their patio nice for a spring evening.
Best Club – Glass Cactus. OK, there are not a ton of clubs in Grapevine. This isn’t NYC or Vegas. But Glass Cactus is as hip as it gets out here in the suburbs. The Spazmatics play there often and if you love 80′s cover music you will have a blast. Best option on crowded weekends is to book a table in the VIP section. There’s a minimum charge but if you have 10-12 people eating and drinking, you’ll probably get there without a problem.
Best Burger – Peace Burger. It’s a dive (hey,they even refer to themselves as a “dive bar and grill”) but those places usually have the best food and this is no exception. Big, cheap hamburgers including creative ones like “Hell’s Burger” which has habanero salsa and jalapenos and states that it is “not for wussies.” Personally I love the Samba Shroom burger (mushrooms and Swiss cheese, of course) or the Hippie Burger (black beans) if I’m trying to eat “light.” Peace Burger has fantastic onion rings, too.
Best Day Spa – Renata Salon. It’s located in a lovely old house and their services (and service) are amazingly good. We recently gave a bride-to-be friend a gift certificate there. I go as often as my budget permits, which sadly is not nearly as often as I’d like.
Best Mani-Pedi – Pura Vida Nails. I discovered Pura Vida Nails just this year and I don’t know if I’ll go anywhere else now. It’s so relaxing in there and the service is well above average. Their prices are also better than most nail places around here. (A side benefit is that they are used to seeing runners, and don’t look appalled at my poor, training-worn feet!). EDIT – I was just informed by a sharp-eyed reader that Pura Vida nails appeared to be closed. I called Pura Vida Tan next door to inquire, and was informed that the nail salon was sold and then in November the new owners closed its doors. This makes me very sad. I love a good pedicure. Apparently at least one former employee is now working at Renata, so since I am already a Renata fan, I may have to go there now.
Best Coffee House – Buon Giorno. They have great coffee (and other hot drinks for the non coffee drinkers) and food and often live music.
Best Frozen Yogurt – Cassie’s. No competition here. They have the friendliest service anywhere and I have gotten seriously addicted to their Georgia peach yogurt. They are open late for all the people enjoying the Main Street festivities at night who suddenly have a frozen yogurt craving. I love that they give discounts on movie nights at the Palace Arts Center.
Best Breakfast Restaurant - Old West Cafe. I dream at night about their almond-crusted French toast. This is a tough category; I could have easily given this honor to Biscuits Cafe. Honorable mention also to Snooty Pig as it is more basic than these other two, but fast, tasty and convenient with great service.
Best New Restaurant – Winewood Grill. Winewood is a really classy place; more upscale than many local eateries, but still affordable for most people. Everything I have tasted there has been great, but my favorite so far is probably the hickory plank salmon. And do not miss the smoked gouda mac and cheese!
Best Dessert – I have not found anything dreamier than the Kahlua chocolate cake at Farina’s. It’s light and airy like German chocolate cake, but at the same time rich, served warm with real whipped cream.
Best Happy Hour – Speaking of Farina’s, I think their happy hour is the best in town. They don’t serve beer, which might turn some people away, but their wine is $5 a glass (regular price $9) and pizzas are half price. You can get a great deal for dinner if you go before 6:30.
Best Local Flavor for Visitors – This being Grapevine, there are as many possibilities for this as stars in the sky, but I am going to have to go with Esparza’s. It’s not my very favorite Tex-Mex in town, but it’s a great location in an old house just off Main Street, and they have some great margaritas.