Anyone who knows me knows that I am that girl who is thinking about what she is going to have for lunch as she eats breakfast. Having been at SMU the past few years, and lost the battle to make the dining hall work with my dietary needs, I’ve become somewhat of a savant when it comes to the best places to eat near campus. I’ve limited this post to restaurants I can and have walked to in the past. Dallas is HUGE and there are an endless array of wonderful places to eat and order from, but if you don’t have a car and don’t want to max out your credit card on UberEats, it helps to know where to eat near campus!
A couple disclaimers:
- There is a lot of hype surrounding Nekter and their smoothies/acai bowls. Nekter is FABULOUS, but an acai bowl ain’t a meal in my books, so I left it out of of my list of faves. Their acai bowls are as aesthetically pleasing as they are deliciously enticing, but I wanted to keep this post centered on heartier meals for those days where the dining hall just won’t suffice. Post-workout though? You best believe I’ll be in line at Nekter ordering a Pink Flamingo smoothie!
- Hughes Trigg has recently undergone some renovations, and there is now a full-service Chik-Fil-A on campus plus a Cinco Taco (which I have yet to try but hear has great food and ice tea!). In addition, if you’re in a pinch, the Market has protein bars and kombucha a-plenty as well as sushi and frozen meals for the more adventurous.
Without further ado though, here are my go-to spots near campus!
- Dive Coastal Cuisine: This is what I crave on a bad day! Their next-level iced tea bar and seasonal salads are just a few things to write home about if you have tried Dive. Although I try not to get the same meal every time I go there, I am partial to their Crunchy Asian and Hearts of Palm salads. I usually do a half order with a side of grilled salmon, but it should be noted that their half salad is significantly smaller than their full (which is a beast of a salad). Regardless of what you order, the nautical-chic atmosphere is reason enough to venture to Dive.
- Zoe’s Kitchen: My Mediterranean-cuisine-loving soul is smitten with Zoe’s Kitchen. I have recently discovered that their baked falafels are 100x better than any of my pitiful attempts to make them myself and their kabobs are all so fabulous that I honestly cannot say I have one that I would recommend over another. Let it be known that their food also makes for the best leftovers hands down! Best of all, Zoe’s Kitchen health-conscious menu gives you the freedom to customize your meal with different sauces and sides that are all worth trying!
- Original ChopShop: This restaurant has so many great things going for it: proximity to campus (one convenient crosswalk away), budget-friendly meals, and crave-worthy options that are actually healthy! While I am in a committed relationship with their kale and quinoa salad – which comes with a mountain of freshly grated parmesan – their teriyaki chicken bowl and chili shrimp bowls come highly recommended by all who eat there! I recently have been treating myself to their juices on occasion and I might actually love them more than my beloved vanilla sweet creme cold brew from Starbucks. The Hydrator and Slim Squeeze are my go-to’s, but at $6.50 a pop I have to limit myself from going seven days a week.
- Digg’s Tacos: So when it comes to tacos, there is no definitive “best taco in Dallas” in my mind, and frankly few people go to Digg’s for the tacos anyhow. The real reason to love Digg’s Tacos is for their burrito and salad bowls. Loaded up with jicama, mango, bacon, and your choice of protein, this ain’t your run of the mill Chipotle bowl! I definitely became a regular at Digg’s last year and ordered their salad bowl more often than I care to admit. Not to mention, once you add guac to the queso, you’ll never look back!
If you’re in Dallas or attending SMU and have any recommendations or questions feel free to comment below as I love receiving your feedback!