Eating in Dallas

Orientation Leader Zien Lin is here to share some of his favorite places to eat in Dallas to get you excited for your new home! Zien is a junior from Dallas, TX double majoring in Finance and Economics and knows all of the best restaurants around.


Being the major the metropolis that it is, Dallas offers an overwhelming variety of great culinary options outside of what is available on the SMU campus. In fact, just down the street there are multiple restaurants to try out! Most of the places on this list are all fairly close to campus, so there is no reason why you should not try every single one of them. Check out some of my personal favorites:


Torchy’s or Urban Taco both have hipster tacos, and any Taqueria in the east (think Pleasant Grove) have more traditional street tacos. When at Torchy’s, which is literally down the street from campus, try the trailer park – extra trashy. If you like queso, you’ll be in for a treat.



Hopdoddy and Grub Burger both serve upscale burgers paired with awesome sugary milkshakes. For the local greasy dive though, Keller’s and the Dairy-ette are the places to be. Try Keller’s red steer with an extra patty, bacon, and jalapenos or a home-made root beer float inside the Dairy-ette’s 1950’s vintage diner atmosphere! If you want to be in a nicer part of town and still have a greasy burger, Jake’s in Uptown is the spot. If you’re just trying to snack on some fries though, go to Burger House on Mockingbird. The seasoning there is the best. For the late night quick fix, you can never go wrong with Whataburger!



My personal favorites are Cane Rosso, iFratellis, Grimaldi’s, Fireside Pies, and Pie Tap. Grimaldi’s uses a coal-brick oven which they heat up all day so their pizzas are only offered after 7:00PM, but it’s worth the wait – and the price! For delivery and takeout, iFratellis is great. Their pizzas are thin crust and square, so opt for a larger size. For casual dining in, both Fireside and Pie Tap are good choices. Pie Tap has an industrial vibe with community style tables while Fireside has more traditional private seating.



Nothing says, “warm southern evening” more than sitting out on the porch enjoying the sunset with good company and an ice-cold pitcher of sweet tea. Well, now that you live in Dallas, you can enjoy that too! Have some casual southern cuisine at The Porch with some friends, but sit out on the porch when you do. Porch-ception. If you’re more of a Creole/Cajun type of person, Bucky Moonshine’s and Alligator Café in Deep Ellum are some of the best options.


For more restaurant ideas in Dallas, read this post from last year’s blog, written by one of our 2016 Orientation Leaders, Ray Cipriano!