Walk this way: top five restaurants close to campus
by Olivia Nguyen (Managing Editor)
For students who don’t have a car on campus and crave food that isn’t from Umphrey Lee or Arnold Dining Center, it can be difficult to find alternatives.
Food delivery apps are an option, but they never satisfy the immediate hunger rumbling in your stomach. Instead of waiting 30 minutes to an hour for selective food from far-away restaurants, why not walk a few minutes for some good eats?
The following list includes restaurants that are all five to 15 minutes walking-distance from SMU’s campus.
- Digg’s Taco Shop
Located on Hillcrest Avenue across from the Umphrey Lee Dining Center and Virginia Snider Residential Commons, Digg’s Taco Shop is a casual Mexican restaurant featuring burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas and more. Digg’s is also known for their tasty chips, guacamole and queso. The establishment is college-budget friendly and even accepts PONY Dollars.
- Sushi Kyoto
Not in the mood for Mexican food? Walk a few feet down Hillcrest to Sushi Kyoto — a Japanese restaurant known for their variety of specialty rolls, classic Japanese entrees and famous appetizers. Sushi Kyoto serves the highly praised Ahi Tuna Tower along with a Mustang favorite — the SMU roll.
A small taste of Italy resides at the corner of McFarlin and Hillcrest. Tucked away behind Goff’s, Olivella’s authentic Italian food satisfies any pasta, pizza or sandwich craving. House specialty pizzas like “Black Truffle” and “The Dream” make others seem inadequate, especially when paired with a refreshment from their drink list.
- Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches
On the opposite side of the SMU campus is Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches. The restaurant next to Luke’s Locker on Mockingbird Lane serves wraps, soups and salads. The American-styled deli specializes in cold rolled sandwiches from Catalina Chicken to the original Roly Pounder. Pair with a garden vegetable, spring asparagus or corn & green chili bisque for a satisfying meal.
- Lovers Egg Roll
Toward the end of the strip on Mockingbird Lane is Lovers Egg Roll. This Chinese and Thai restaurant serves classic dishes so everyone can find something to order. The Chinese menu offers sweet & sour pork, sesame chicken along with fried rice or pan-fried noodles. The Thai menu serves the iconic pad thai, honey-basil spicy fried rice and spicy flat noodles. With so many options, what’s not to love about this place?
by Christina Cox (Editor-in-Chief)
In the land of deep-fried Oreos and barbecue-covered steak, healthful dining options can seem minimal to non-existent. But, Dallas restaurateurs are slowly opening more and more healthful establishments in the area. Here are some of the best, health-food options near the state fair, where fried food dominates.
Start: 4814 Greenville Ave
If you’re in a hurry, head on over to Start, whose motto is “Real Food Fast.” The slower, fast food joint offers everything from quinoa salads to egg white breakfast sandwiches. The sweet potato tots are a must try.
LYFE Kitchen: 8315 Westchester Dr
McDonald’s executives looking to create healthier options for customers started LYFE. Love Your Food Everyday (LYFE) has a menu marked with gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. There is nutritional information provided for each item and all are 600 calories or less.
True Food Kitchen: 8383 Preston Center Plaza #100
The sit-down restaurant presents food as described in its namesake. This upscale chain for health-conscious eaters offers options like the Kale Crunch Salad, Butternut Squash Pizza and Grass-Fed Bison Burger.
Kalachandji’s: 5430 Gurley Ave
For authentic, healthy Indian food, visit Kalachandji’s. The vegetarian and vegan restaurant has been around for more than 30 years and is located inside Dallas’ Hare Krishna Temple. The buffet-style restaurant offers a different menu each day.
Spiral Diner: 1101 N Beckley Ave
Spiral is 100 percent vegan, but it doesn’t taste like it. The diner offers everything from a Jamaican Jerk BBQ sandwich to a Cookies and Cream milkshake. Spiral uses organic ingredients whenever possible and, because it’s vegan, all items are naturally cholesterol-free.
Company Café: 2104 Greenville Ave
Company Café is a newer restaurant in Dallas offering natural fresh food. There are options for everyone here as the menu offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items. The restaurant boasts of its farm-to-table mindset and offers breakfast all day long.
Salata: 2104 Greenville Ave
This chain is more than the average salad bar. Salata is a salad-based restaurant offering customizable salad options for each customer. There are more than 50 toppings, 10 dressings and several lean proteins from which to choose. Make sure to order one of Salata’s signature teas or lemonades when you go.
Dream Café: 2800 Routh St #170
Dream Café offers healthy menu items and gluten-free options for all ages. The most popular item on the menu is called the Square Meal and includes vegetables, Tahini miso, rice, beans and chicken or tofu. Visit Wednesday, Thursday or Friday nights to listen to live jazz while enjoying your meal.
by Lauren Aguirre (Assignments Desk Editor)
Tom Thumb: 7000 Snider Plaza
0.4 miles from campus
Everything you could possibly need – just a short walk away. Tom Thumb has a nice selection of food, laundry, kitchen and even pet supplies. If you’re used to shopping at Target or Wal-Mart, you might want to give this store a try. It’s located in Snider Plaza, just north of campus.
Whole Foods: 8190 Park Lane #351
2.2 miles from campus
If you’re looking for an organic entree, Whole Foods is your best bet. It’s a pretty long walk, but by car, you can make it there in under 10 minutes. Whole Foods offers a variety of natural and organic products, with the environment in mind. Also, it’s pretty close to NorthPark Center – so you can treat yourself to a movie or some new clothes after you finish grocery shopping.
Central Market: 5750 E. Lovers Lane
0.8 miles from campus
Voted best grocery store in our Best Of 2014 contest, Central Market offers a wide selection of organic products. It also has a wide selection of gluten-free products. Selections can range from European chocolates to Texas-grown grapefruit. If you like samples, stop by on a Saturday for tasting all around the store.
Kroger: 5665 E. Mockingbird Ln
0.5 miles from campus
Located on Mockingbird Lane, Kroger is an affordable option for students. It has a nice selection of products, including brand names like Lunchables and Cheez-Its. If you’re a mainstream kind of grocery shopper, this the place for you.
CVS: 3012 Mockingbird Ln
203 feet or 0.2 miles from campus
While this isn’t technically a grocery store, it’s perfect for a few quick snacks. There are two locations near campus – one on Mockingbird near the bookstore, the other in Snider Plaza. You can fill prescriptions, get some microwave meals and pick up a spare phone charger if you need it. If you’re living on-campus, it’s a great supplement to any meal plan. If you’re off-campus, it’s just a convenient place to grab a quick drink before class.
by Noah Bartos (Sports Editor)
Does ordering a quad, half caff venti three-pump vanilla, soy, extra hot, no whip latte from Starbucks sound too pretentious? Prefer more classic options than basic ones? Then a simple, delicious milkshake is always a great choice for lifting your spirits. Here are a few places within walking distance of campus where you can get some prime milkshakes.
Chick-fil-A: 6423 Hillcrest Ave
Chick-fil-A is not only a great stop for chicken, but also for a mean shake. The Chick-fil-A on Hillcrest Avenue is always a great stop for rich, thick shakes in a variety of flavors. This is a solid choice for shakes — unless it’s Sunday, of course!
Burger House: 6913 Hillcrest Ave
Rich shakes and malts are the name of the game here, all served up in an old-timey atmosphere. Pictures of the proprietor, customers and Highland Park’s athletics teams plaster the walls giving this place its unique signature. And the milkshakes are top-notch as well. Burger House is located just north of campus off Hillcrest Avenue.
Grub Burger Bar: 4925 Greenville Ave #150
Grub Burger Bar is a little farther from campus compared to these other offerings, but their shakes are worth the trip. They have several varieties of flavored shakes ranging from the standard chocolate to gourmet “American Pie” and “Kitchen Sink.” They also offer “spiked” varieties of shakes so you can mix your dessert and after-dinner drinks all into one delicious combination!
Hughes-Trigg Student Center: 3140 Dyer Street
What some students may not know is that the market in Hughes-Trigg Student Center has an automated milkshake machine. This machine allows you to customize the settings of your milkshake before it blends it up from preset flavors. The machine is good for a quick stop on campus, even if it isn’t as high quality as a handmade milkshake elsewhere. It is especially worth the stop if students are tight on time, have extra flex dollars, or are looking for a sweet treat between classes.
by Emily Ward (Fashion Editor)
Carnival Barker’s Ice Creams: 345 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Aaron Barker’s quirky ice cream shop will have everyone screaming for ice cream all the time. At Carnival Barker’s Ice Creams, they are making homemade vanilla extract, churning out several unique flavors of ice cream a day and creating delicious dessert novelties. Try The Munchies, a sweet peanut butter ice cream speckled with chocolate-covered potato chips, or a Rice Crispy ice cream sandwich. Catch their ice cream cart on the sidewalks of lowest Greenville Avenue too.
Crème de la Cookie: 6706 Snider Plaza
If it isn’t already, Crème de la Cookie will soon be your sweet tooth’s new best friend. This treat boutique is baking up irresistible cookies, cake balls, cupcakes, bars and brownies. The OMG Chocolate Chip Cookie (offered with or without nuts) features a deep rich flavor thanks to high-quality ingredients like chocolate imported from Germany, and was even voted Best Chocolate Chip Cookie by Forbes Traveler. Don’t miss special offerings such as whoopee pies with marshmallow buttercream and fudge brownie towers drenched in chocolate ganache either.
Emporium Pies: 314 N. Bishop Ave.
Fans of Emporium Pies never know which pie to pick, and reasonably so. Each pie pan filled with yummy goodness is made from scratch, in-house and uses primarily organic ingredients. The current line-up includes seven options: Cloud Nine (caramel, butterscotch custard and brown sugar meringue), The Drunken Nut (bourbon pecan with shortbread crust), Smooth Operator (French silk chocolate with pretzel crust), Lord of the Pies (deep dish apple with cinnamon streusel), The Nannerz (bananas, house-made vanilla and maple-caramel), Drop Dead Gourdgeous (spicy pumpkin custard with gingerbread crust) and Buttercream Gang (buttermilk pie).
Smallcakes: 5331 E. Mockingbird Lane, Ste. 140
According to Business Insider, Smallcakes is one of the fastest growing restaurants in America. But don’t think its speedy growth has made this cupcakery lose any of its charm. Choose from an assortment of signature flavors that are baked and frosted every morning, fresh from scratch. Favorites include the Pink Vanilla or Chocolate, “Famous” Red Velvet and Birthday Cupcake. For Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” lovers, Smallcakes made appearances in seasons one, two and seven as well as on the daytime talk show “The View.”
Steel City Pops: 2012 Greenville Ave.
Originally from Alabama, Steel City Pops does only one thing, but does it well. Choose from Fruity or Creamy popsicle varieties such as Arnold Palmer, Plum with Rosemary and Maple Bacon with Bourbon. Or, fall into the fall mindset with seasonal flavors like Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pecan. No matter the pop, there won’t be any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives found here, only natural and organic ingredients, locally sourced when possible. Buy one individually, or in bags of four, 10 or more to share with friends.
What is PONY? Pony makes life on and off campus so easy! PONY is a stored-value account that can be activated on your SMU ID card. Use it in lieu of cash or a credit card to make purchases on campus and at select off-campus locations. Add money to your PONY account throughout the school year at smu.edu/parkingID. Click on the “My PONY Account” tab under the “ID Card Services” pull-down menu. PONY dollars carry over from semester to semester until you graduate. PONY is accepted at the following off-campus locations:
by Sue Han (Contributing Writer)
Don’t believe the myth that there’s nothing to do in Dallas. There are tons of things to do beyond the Hilltop, Mustangs — you just may not have discovered them yet. Bishop Arts is one of these places. The charming neighborhood, the small boutique shops, the history and the beautiful murals are all waiting to be checked out.
Start off your journey by visiting Wild Detectives, a coffee shop that is a house in disguise. Once inside, it feels as if you are entering in someone’s library. The walls are covered with books available for purchase and there is plenty of seating inside. Take a seat by the window, on the long table or in the back on their patio. Over 21? They also serve alcohol.
Visit Hunky’s for a good ole’ hamburger with a fun upbeat atmosphere that takes you back the old soda fountain days. The prices are hard to beat at $3.95 for a hamburger and $4.25 for a cheeseburger. The birthday cake is also to die for – soft, pillowy, airy cake covered with rich butter cream icing. Yum!
The last stop at Bishop Arts should be Emporium Pies. It has a homey feel inside with small tables fit for sharing a pie for two. Expert advice: get the pie to go because the portion is a lot larger. The apple pie was simply divine with crumble on top and big enough to share.
by CarleeAnn Allen (Food & Fitness Editor)
Welcome to Trinity Groves, Dallas’s restaurant concept incubator. Trinity Groves encourages restaurateurs and chefs to create original restaurants and menus to draw in crowds. If you haven’t made it down to Trinity Groves, you need to, and here are the best places to go.
Cake Bar: 3011 Gulden Ln #117
Cake Bar is just what it sounds like; it is a specialty bakery that offers a wide selection of southern-style cakes. The line is always out the door, but it is more than worth the wait. The menu features traditional cakes like red velvet and wedding cake, along with flavors like hummingbird cake, carrot cake and German chocolate.
Saint Rocco’s: 3011 Gulden Ln #100
Saint Rocco’s New York Italian is a fun twist on Italian food. The restaurant celebrates family and tradition, while adding a unique flair to the menu’s items. Entrees like the tossed Sicilian Lasagna and Chicken Parmesan served with linguini and vodka sauce are just a few of the unique items Saint Rocco’s offers.
Kate Weiser Chocolate: 3011 Gulden Ln #115
Chocolate meets art. The only thing more exquisite than the chocolate’s flavor are the hand-painted designs on each piece. The best part, you can watch the chocolatiers expertly craft each piece right in front of you.
Kitchen LTO: 3011 Gulden Ln #108
Kitchen LTO is the most noteworthy restaurant in Trinity Groves. LTO stands for “Limited Time Only.” The restaurant is unique because it is a pop-up restaurant that features an ever-changing menu and chefs. Chef Anastacia Quinones is currently cooking up modern Mexican cuisine until the end of 2015.
Resto Gastro Bistro: 3011 Gulden Ln #104
Resto, winner of the Open Table Diners Choice 2015, is one of the most popular places to eat in Trinity Groves. The menu consists of American cuisine, influenced by cultures around the world. The must-try at Resto is definitely the lobster corn dog.
No matter what you are craving, Trinity Groves has something for every palate. Whether you need a fun date spot, a night out with the girls or you have friends coming into town, head to Trinity Groves to shake it up.
Trinity Groves is located just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in West Dallas. For more information about the area, check out trinitygroves.com.
by Katie Butler (News Staff Writer)
In Texas, we take our Tex-Mex very, very seriously. In the heart of Dallas, SMU students – both native Texans and newcomers alike – have come to appreciate and sample some of the very best Tex-Mex in the country. Here are some of the highlights from our favorite Tex-Mex eateries from around the city.
Walking distance from the SMU campus, Banditos is a favorite spot for SMU students grabbing dinner before celebrating the weekend. Located in Snider Plaza, sample one of their locally famous margaritas (or two.)
Recommended: “Ethyl” Margarita
Located just about a mile away from the SMU campus, Torchy’s, while famous for their tacos and signature “taco of the month,” might even be more famous for their queso. Loaded with beef, cilantro, onions, spices, cheese, and then some more cheese, go to Torchy’s for the tacos and you’ll be going back for the queso.
Pro Tip: Get extra chips
With food handcrafted daily and high-end décor, Mi Cocina is the best choice for the birthday dinner, date or celebration. The best part? Mi Cocina will make you feel super classy, even though you might be stuffing your face with delicious enchiladas.
Fun Fact: They have a gluten-friendly menu for our gluten-free Tex-Mex lovers
Late-Night Taco Experience:
Open until 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and serving breakfast tacos all day long, Velvet Taco is the best bet after a night out or a long night in the library.
Fun Fact: They make their own tortillas, and most of their tacos cost less than $4.
With its modern décor and white-curtain porch, Mr. Mesero will not only serve some of the best hand-crafted Tex-Mex in Dallas, but it will also have its customers eating in style.
Tip: Non Tex-Mex enthusiasts will be happy at Mr. Mesero with more American-cuisine choices available.
These are only a few of the Dallas Tex-Mex highlights. Make sure to visit the following restaurants, rated as the “best of the best” by fellow SMU students.
- Blue Goose
- Matt’s in Lakewood
- Gloria’s Rafas
- Uncle Julio’s
- Meso Maya
- El Fenix
- La Ventana
by Riley Coven (Arts & Life Editor)
One of the biggest decisions students make when families visit campus is where to take them to eat. A steak house? Sushi? Both? The options are endless, but if you’re struggling to figure out which restaurant is the best for your family, here is a small guide to ease those choices.
The Rustic: One of the best restaurant atmospheres in Dallas, The Rustic boasts an open and inviting indoor-seating area with friendly wait staff frequently making sure your stay is a good one and includes TVs across the wall for sports fans. What makes The Rustic so special is the outdoor backyard. Complete with a stage that frequently plays live music, corn hole and fire pits for the colder nights, the backyard is one of the most enjoyable dining experiences.
Mi Cocina: The quintessential SMU parents’ restaurant, Mi Cocina is a Mexican restaurant in Highland Park Village. With three floors of seating, each more intimate than the last, Mi Cocina is perfect for a large group or a small gathering. It can accommodate whatever experience guests are looking for and make it a good one. The food is delicious and the queso is a force to be reckoned with.
Blue Fish: An outstanding sushi restaurant located on Greenville, Blue Fish is always a good choice. Their rolls are delicious and always fresh, as are their other entrée options for those that aren’t as fond of fish. The building is large enough to make room for a big group, but also not so big as to take away the intimacy of an evening. It is a great place to go for a good time or a small casual evening with the family.
by Brian O’Donnell (Sports Editor)
Chipotle Mexican Grill
It’s so good that it doesn’t even feel like you’re eating fast food. You can build your own burrito, burrito bowl, crispy or soft tacos or salad and the chips are always on point. It’s cheap, easy and good for lunch or dinner.
The beauty of In-N-Out is its simplicity: burgers, fries and milkshakes. Pretty much everything a fast food lover could desire. While most people agree the burgers and shakes are always a hit, the fries are a different story — you either love them or you hate them. Be sure to do your research before you get there to find out about the famous secret menu.
Cane’s is the In-N-Out of chicken. With its simple menu, it’s not a question of what you want – the question is how much you want. You can’t go wrong with some chicken tenders dipped in their famous sauce and a side of Texas toast to go along with their thirst-quenching sweet tea.
With arguably the best chicken sandwich and waffle fries in the business, you can’t go wrong with Chick-fil-A. They have every chicken-based meal you can think of and unlike other restaurants, you won’t feel like you’re eating flavored rubber. On top of that, they offer some of the best service in the fast food industry. The only setback is that you can’t have it seven days a week because they are closed on Sundays.
A Texas tradition like no other, Whataburger is the late-night staple for many SMU students. Nothing fills an empty stomach at 2 a.m. quite like a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and there’s a reason that everyone talks about it. To go along with that, there’s something unique about a time-sensitive menu and it only adds to the experience.
If you’re looking for the most unique fast food experience around, Sonic is the place to go. The food comes to you, making every parking spot its own drive in. While there are a variety of items on the menu, many people go for the ice cream — and for good reason.
by Daniela Huebner (Online Editor)
We all get those late-night food cravings, but when the sun goes down, most restaurants near campus close up shop by 11 p.m. However, Dallas is also home to dozens of restaurants that serve up tasty snacks and meals late into the evening. Here are a few student favorites:
Café Brazil is conveniently located across from campus on North Central Expressway. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, and its location has made it popular among SMU students for decades. The funky interior complements its diverse menu, with brightly colored walls, artwork and a menu serving everything from French toast to steak. Café Brazil is sure to cure any craving at any hour, and at a price for which your wallet will thank you.
Four words: Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. Whataburger is the perfect destination for late-night munchies. Open 24 hours a day, the fast food joint serves up favorites like the Honey BBQ Chicken Strip Sandwich, as well as breakfast items from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. every day. The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, a favorite ‘breakfast’ item among customers, is a must have. With fresh biscuits, chicken and sweet honey butter – can it get any better?
BuzzBrews is a small, hip coffee shop that is open 24 hours a day and boasts a variety of food options. With multiple locations near campus, a menu full of savory breakfast and lunch plates, such as its veggie breakfast tacos, and a fun, funky atmosphere, BuzzBrews is quite a popular late-night food destination. BuzzBrews on Lemmon Avenue also hosts Classical Music Night every Tuesday starting at 8 p.m. Plus, a bonus for all those 21 or older: BuzzBrews is BYOB.
Of course, I had to include a restaurant devoted to the single greatest late-night snack out there: pizza. Zalat is now open seven days a week until 4 a.m. It’s carry-out or delivery only, so this joint won’t force you to step out into the public. Zalat’s menu features a variety of unique pizza creations, from the Reuben (a pie with a spicy coconut cream sauce) to the chicken teriyaki pizza, to a sweet and savory S’mores dessert pizza. At Zalat, there is a pizza for everyone, and it’s only a text away.
Fuel City Tacos
Although Fuel City Tacos is about 20 minutes away from SMU’s campus, it’s completely worth the trek. Fuel City Tacos is open 24 hours a day, and it serves up fresh, delicious tacos at a low price of $1.40 each. The catch – they’re served right behind a counter in a gas station. But don’t let that fool you. People often eagerly line up for Fuel City’s tasty ground beef, roast beef, beef fajita, chicken and pork tacos at all hours during the day and night.
Dining Guide Staff
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