Maybe you grew up in Dallas and are a recent transplant to Frisco. Maybe you lived in the city in your early 20’s and 30’s, before kids, when it was cool. Maybe, just maybe, you’re just a Frisco resident who likes to get out of the bubble and head down the Tollway for a night out on the town.
Or maybe you’re new to town and don’t go into Dallas very often or somewhere in between.
Regardless of which category you fall into what you should know, at the very least, is that we have Dallas Mexican restaurant royalty right here in our own Frisco backyard, no lengthy tollway trip required.
Tupy’s Frisco, the much loved local spot known for its special, special sauce and top-notch Margaritas, is actually a direct bloodline relative to one of Dallas’s oldest Mexican institutions, the 73-year old widely famous Tupinamba. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
We’ll talk about Tupy’s in a second, but first, let me introduce you to Tupinamba and share a bit of its history. Mostly so you can understand how special it is that we have a piece of this history in our own backyard.
Let’s go back to Dallas, 1947, when Papa Froylan Dominguez and his wife, Consuela, immigrants who came to the US during the height of the Mexican Revolution, opened Tupinamba in Oak Cliff with just a dream and some time-honored, much-loved family recipes. That’s it. It started as a modest family establishment and while it grew beyond its modesty, it has remained a family establishment, with son Eddie taking the helm and grandson Jeff working there from his earliest days, growing up on the Tupinamba floor.
It’s now a Dallas institution, known far and wide for incredible authentic Mexican food and a welcoming spirit that quickly turns diners into family.
They’re even credited with introducing Dallas to the nacho and sour cream enchilada. And for that, we can all be grateful.
Fast forward to 2010 when grandson Jeff and his wife Lisa knew they wanted to bring the Tupinamba name and legacy further North and recognized the growth and opportunity Frisco had to offer. At that time, the country was coming off of the heels of one of the worst recessions since the 30’s and many people called Jeff crazy for opening then. But he knew. He just knew Frisco would welcome the Tupinamba legacy with open arms.
“I knew when 121 started under construction and with its direct connection to DFW airport that Frisco was going to grow fast. I really felt the undeveloped land between Warren and Lebanon was prime for development.”
But because Jeff, like his grandfather, has a pioneering spirit, he knew he also wanted to make Tupy’s (not Tupinamba) his own. He absolutely could have re-created the Dallas institution like a mirror-image but knew, in his heart, that he wanted to make it his own while still honoring the family traditions that made Tupinamba a Dallas legend. Thus, Tupy’s was born.
Opening Tupy’s gave us the best opportunity to give the customer the complete Tupinamba experience with some differences in the menu options. Our recipes are the same but you will find additions on this menu that are some of my personal favorites.
— Jeff Dominguez, Owner, Tupy’s Frisco
Dominguez’s Tupy’s, just like its Dallas “grandparents,” is a family affair. It’s not just the food, which we’ll get to in a minute, it’s the atmosphere. It’s really, when it comes down to it, Jeff and Lisa.
Because if you go to Tupy’s at any time, you will find one of them there, greeting you, welcoming you, and treating you just like family. This is their labor of love, this is their home.
Jeff, like his grandfather and father before him, has the gift of hospitality. He leaves it all on the floor when it comes to his people. He’s there, at the restaurant constantly, because he wants to connect with Frisco, and wants to know the people.
He recognizes that he is as much a part of Tupy’s as the food is and that without the customers, Tupy’s is not the same. He knows his regulars. He knows their names, their families, their likes, and dislikes. This isn’t fake and it isn’t just for show, this is Jeff’s heart on his sleeve. Walking in the door of Tupy’s is walking into the Dominguez family, and both he and Lisa welcome you with open arms.
Even deeper than his love of Frisco and his love of his customers, Dominguez takes the Tupy’s family seriously. He treats his people well and, in an industry where faces change like the wind, you’ll find a surprising consistency there. It’s a testament to the man and the institution when the waitstaff, bartenders, and kitchen staff are consistent and loyal.
It’s a true statement of his heart when he is able to bring seasoned and loyal Tupinamba staff to Tupy’s Frisco and turn them into seasoned and loyal Tupy’s staff. It says a lot about the Dominguez legacy that he has turned workers into family, keeping much of the same staff for up to 20 years.
It’s just another testament to Tupy’s royalty. It’s tried and true.
And the menu, well, I told you we’d get to that. Tupy’s is truly authentic Mexican food and Dominguez is serious about the quality and the freshness on every plate that goes out of the kitchen. This is, after all, his name on the line.
There’s nothing quite like the Tupy Taco. I would love to explain it as a fried beef taco and leave it at that, but it would be doing it a severe disservice. Instead, I’ll say it’s a little fried piece of goodness that you’ve got to try but please (and I mean please) don’t forget to top it with their “special” sauce. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
The Shelby Metcalf dip is the stuff of queso legends (think queso but on steroids) and anything with their tender fajita chicken is sure to be a winner.
Everything on the menu is delicious — there’s nothing here that isn’t fresh, that isn’t a time-honored Dominguez legacy recipe — and everything is made to complete perfection when paired with a famous Tupy’s margaritas. There’s debate around town as to which is better, over ice or on the rocks. But regulars will tell you that there is no debate. The swirl is the way to go.
No matter what you order, you’ll find that Tupy’s food is every bit the food that made Tupinamba famous, with Jeff’s special Frisco twist. To eat here is to eat at the Dominguez family table, love and legacy is on every plate. You won’t be disappointed.
In a city where restaurants come and go and everyone is searching for the “next big thing,” this food writer urges you to try this Dallas legend, Frisco style. If you’ve never been, I urge you to try, as much for the food as for the heart. And if you have been, well, you already know.
Dine-In / Take-Out / Delivery
6975 Lebanon Rd
Frisco, TX 75034