Ambassadors Campus Life General Life Around Dallas Residence Life and Student Housing

Where to Eat in Dallas (On & Off Campus)

One aspect of college that I never realized would be so pivotal and meaningful to me was food. As I made the trek from California to Texas, I mainly thought of the heat, the cowboy hats, and the southern accents that would truly affect my location experience. It wasn’t until I stepped into the Dallas foodie scene where I quickly realized my love for food needed to be added to the list.

Of my 2 years in Dallas, I have made a list of restaurants on & off campus that have caught my eye and wanted to share with the community. So here is my coveted Top 20 List of Restaurants based on cuisine, expense, and my personal experience… enjoy!

  1. Sixty Vines (Modern American, $$, Constant favorite!)
  2. The Henry (American, $$$, Lovely brunch place)
  3. Le Bibloquet (French, $$$, I feel very fancy when I eat here!)
  4. Honor Bar (Traditional American, $$$, No reservations but great when you get in)
  5. Shinsei (Asian Fusion, $$$, One of the best places to get sushi in Dallas)
  6. *Mac’s Place (Fast-Food American, $, Great quick food & have dorm room essentials too such as paper towels/soap/microwavable food)
  7. Taverna (Italian, $$, Right on Katy Trail & can walk from campus)
  8. La La Land Coffee (Coffee, $, Just coffee and small bites but great back story and even better coffee)
  9. Luckys Hot Chicken (Hot Chicken, $, Tastes like you are in Nashville)
  10. Penne Pomodoro (Italian, $, Great for all meals and can walk from campus)
  11. *Cinco Taco (Mexican, $, Easy lunch in between classes)
  12. Olivellas (Italian, $, Best. Pizza. In. Dallas.)
  13. Flower Child (Healthy, $$, Great food when you feel like you have been eating unhealthy lately)
  14. Velvet Taco (Tex-Mex, $, Arguably the best queso)
  15. Torchys Tacos (Mexican, $, Also arguably the best queso)
  16. Wabi House (Japanese, $$, Go here if you are ever craving ramen)
  17. Bistro 31 (European, $$$, Best service in Dallas & in Highland Park Village)
  18. Public School 214 (Gastropub, $$, My parents say they have great drinks for those parents that visit)
  19. rise (French, $$, Souffles are to die for)
  20. Jose (Mexican, $$, Brunch is great and aesthetic inside)

*(on campus in Hughes-Trigg)


Thank y’all for reading & I hope when you visit Dallas for however long you visit at least one of these amazing Dallas restaurants!

Thank you,

Camille Enes ‘23

Ambassadors Life Around Dallas Texas Travel

Getting Around Dallas!

The fact that Dallas is our backyard is one of the best parts of being at SMU! This city has everything: exciting sports, tantalizing eateries, electrifying concerts, adventurous trails, captivating museums, and more! But figuring out how to travel to these events and places seems to be an insurmountable hurdle for SMU students…or is it?

Travelling around Dallas is actually really easy! And cheap! So don’t let a little logistics stop you from maximizing your time in this incredible city! Check out a few of my favorite transportation options below…


The cheapest, most fun, and most active way to get around Dallas!! On a beautiful Dallas spring day, grab a friend and a 7/11 Slurpee and head to anywhere in the city! Some popular spots near campus to walk to are Snider Plaza (eat at Bubba’s!), or to La Madeleine (use that student discount!). And if you really just want to walk, head down the Katy Trail. You can make it all the way to the American Airlines Center in only 3.5 miles under a canopy trail. You can walk, run, and jog there! Or if you are really adventurous, you can wog (walk jog). Some cool spots to stop along the way are the Village Baking Company, Wild About Harry’s, and the Katy Trail Ice House!

Pro: Free, fun way to explore, exercise!

Con: Takes a long time, limited geographic area

Your Car!

Freshmen can bring their car! Having your own car does provide you independence because, hey! Want to drive and get a Whataburger Hub Chub (Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit) at 1 am? Forgot to get a memory foam mattress topper at Target? Need to drive to the interview for your first internship? Yep! Having a car makes it easy to do all of these things and more. Your schedule, your car, and your time to explore! Also! You can 100% offer to drive your friends around. Better to explore together!

However, if you aren’t used to driving in a big city (or even if you are), Dallas drivers can be a little crazy. They drive FAST here, and the interstate system has many off and on ramps. Also, finding parking can be challenging to find, and then they make you PAY for it! Wild!

Pro: Independence, your own air fresheners, control (if you’re one of those people who need it)

Con: Paying for gas, parking, Dallas drivers


The easiest, quickest, and potentially the cheapest alternative to having a car. Your first friend on campus is typically your roommate, and the best way to bond with your roommate is to drive  unnecessarily long distances to stock up on the essentials. Carpooling with your roommate and new friends is the best way to make friends and help each other out. Although campus is great, people typically want a reason to go explore their new home (aka Dallas). So give them a reason to check out the latest Swedish furniture trends at IKEA, get gas at the greatest gas station in the world – Buc-ee’s, try a Czech Stop Kolache, and/or play at Klyde Warren Park.

Pros: Make new friends, give your friends a reason to explore Dallas, environmentally and economically friendly carpooling

Con: Lack of independence (no way to really hurry up that friend that can’t decide), parking

Uber & Lyft

The Uber and Lyft drivers are bountiful on SMU’s campus. (Not a bad side gig if you need one.) And with downtown only being 10-15 minutes away, no trip is ever too expensive. Plus, if you split a ride with friends (safety in numbers!), you’ll be paying pennies for your rides! Okay, so maybe not actual pennies…but! It will be cheap! The drivers are generally pretty friendly with great stories, and they know campus well. Convenient if you ever need to get somewhere fairly quick and want to avoid parking.

Pros: Fairly inexpensive, no parking, fun stories from your local drivers, convenient

Cons: Safety (just make sure to bring a friend or two), still does cost money, little less control


THE SINGLE GREATEST TRANSPORTATION OPTION EVER!!!!!!! Okay, that may be a little over dramatic/not 100% true…but! The DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit System) is awesome!! The DART is essentially free because you only pay $5 for unlimited access to the DART buses AND monorails for. all. 4. years. And the DART goes everywhere! I have personally traveled to the Texas State Fair, DFW Airport, American Airlines Center, Dallas Marathon starting line, and to many other places. Not only did I not have to pay for gas, I also didn’t have to worry about parking. Plus! I reduced my carbon footprint by using public transportation! And how fun is it to get a big group of friends and all travel together without worrying about who will drive or fighting over who gets shotgun?

Okay, so here is the non-rose-colored version of the DART. The DART is truly an easy and inexpensive way to get around Dallas. While the schedule is fairly reliable and consistent, the DART does not have the same time precision as a German train. (Aka it can be a little late). I would also recommend taking the DART with friends during the daylight. Also, although police officers patrol the DART, they cannot be everywhere at once. You will most likely make it home safely, but if it’s super late, you would be better off just taking the $10 Uber home. However! Coming from someone who didn’t grow up with reliable and ubiquitous public transportation, I cannot stress enough how cool of a resource the DART can be for us as SMU students!

Pros: Essentially free, cool way to explore Dallas, no parking, no Dallas traffic, ability to make memories with friends

Cons: Best to take during the day, potentially unpredictable schedule

The good news is that whatever form of transportation you choose, you will be able to explore Dallas and make memories with your new friends!


Travel onward, and Pony Up!

Nick Fontela

Class of 2021

Accounting, B.A. | Cox School of Business

Ambassadors Life Around Dallas

A Foodies Guide To The 8 Best Restaurants Near SMU

Texans love to eat. Among the hundreds of restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, some of them are located within walking distance of SMU’s beautiful campus. Over my last three years as a student here, I’ve tried everything from pierogis to biscuit french toast, and I can’t wait to tell you a little about my favorite spots. Buckle up & let’s take a ride to flavor town.

While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s also my favorite. Located just across the street from the new dorms, Shug’s is a brand-new New York inspired bagel shop that was recently opened by a SMU grad. Whether you are looking for a study break or a snack on the way back from your workout on the Katy Trail, this is a must try. The bagel to the right is the classic Shug, made with bacon, egg, cheese and a hash brown on your bagel of choice.

Biscuit Bar does things with breakfast food I didn’t know was possible. Nothing celebrates the completion of your 8am exam like a quick breakfast here—my recommendation is the French toast biscuit with a side of tater tots.




First on our afternoon agenda is Dive Coastal Cuisine. Dive was created for the health-conscious foodie. Created with all organic products, you can’t go wrong with their salads, sandwiches, and hand crafted beverages. The most popular order is the ahi tuna wrap paired with their homemade plantain chips.

Take a trip across the world with just a few steps across the street. Kuby’s Sausage House has been a SMU favorite since 1961, offering all your favorite German delicacies. Not to mention, attached to their restaurant is their extensive market that houses all of your European favorites.



Now, lets talk dinner. My personal favorite is Olivellas Neo Pizza Napolentana—the white pizza will change your life. Located just across the street from Umphery Lee, Oilvella’s is the perfect hole-in-the-wall pizza place.

Coming in at a close second is Dallas Grilled Cheese Company, which you can find just across the 75 in Mockingbird Station. As seen in the photo to your left, they are known for the Grilled Mac ’N Cheese sandwich. To make the meal even better, I order a side of their DGC Fries and malted milk chocolate shake.





Last, but certainly not least, is dessert. A personal favorite is Pokey-O’s, which you can find next to the SMU bookstore. Pick from your choice of two cookies and ice cream to make a delectable cookie sandwich. This is the perfect pit stop on Dallas’s 100-degree days.

I also recommend Baldo’s Ice Cream & Coffee. Why not reward yourself after a hard study break with a cone for your walk back to the dorms? Their slogan is “Anything but Vanilla,” because they believe that each time you have ice cream it should be an experience. Some of their unique flavors include Coffee Oreo, Frosted Animal Cookie and White Chocolate Pretzel. My personal favorite is the Coffee Oreo served in their freshly made waffle cones.


SMU can’t wait to welcome you all back in the fall, we have missed you all so much. I know I personally can’t wait to celebrate with a stop at all of these restaurants once we are back to campus.

Zac Scornavacco

Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas

Hail to the Red and the Blue Angels!

During this crazy time, one thing is sure – our medical workers are truly heroes! And, in the spirit of celebration and comradery, people have become creative in celebrating medical workers all over the world, whether it is blasting “Empire State of Mind” in New York’s hospitals, or cheering and applauding at a certain time for your local hospital. However, one of the most special tributes to our healthcare workers occurred on May 6 in Dallas, Texas – a flyover by the US Navy Blue Angels! The Blue Angels even had a chance to fly over our beautiful campus, and maybe got to take a look at the infamous Bishop Boulevard.

The Blue Angels is one of the infamous aerobatic teams in the world, and they fly in formation at various military and nonmilitary events to showcase pride for the military and its heroes, and to show off some patriotism. These skilled naval aviators fly only 18 inches apart during their Diamond 360 maneuver – crazy!

Although I wasn’t in Dallas for the flyover, it was so much fun to get up early to watch the flyover with some family in Dallas over Facetime, especially since my dad was also a naval aviator, and we know some pilots who were in the Blue Angels. My dad used to fly F/A-18 Hornets, and so we have always tried to swing by their shows when we can to spend time with friends.

The flyover was such a moving tribute to our healthcare workers, and it showcases how united the Dallas community is, and how SMU is an integral part of that community. Dallas is a strong and vibrant city, and the strength of the community continually amazes me. I can’t wait to be back at SMU, and to see how Mustangs can shape the future of Dallas and help those in need. Until then, please stay safe and enjoy your summer!

Pony Up!

Palmer Beldy

SMU Class of 2022

Public Relations and Advertising

Life Around Dallas Texas

Your Dallas Guide

Dallas has a little bit of everything, whether you want to see an up-and-coming band or eat dinner on a downtown rooftop. Growing up in Dallas, I have been lucky to experience this city for 21 years, and it has been so much fun seeing the city through fresh eyes with my friends from out of state. With both world-class museums and delicious food all residing in the same city limits, it can be hard to pick the best of the best, but here is a Dallas guide from a Dallas native.

Deep Ellum 

One of the coolest areas in Dallas, Deep Ellum, is home to amazing music, eccentric food, and unique shops. I personally love Deep Ellum because I take improv classes at Dallas Comedy House every week and have met so many amazing people there. And I had one of the most surreal experiences when I ran into Halsey outside her show at Club Dada and got to snap a picture with her.

Here are my top hits in Deep Ellum.

(Do not forget to snap a picture in front of the many murals)

Downtown Dallas

Many people forget that Dallas has an actual downtown scene, where students come to both to eat, shop, and work. I have spent the last two semesters interning in Downtown Dallas at the D Magazine office, and working in Downtown has been one of my favorite college experiences. Run Downtown to see a Stars or Mavs game at the American Airlines Center, or plan a night out to see a Broadway show at the AT&T Performing Arts Center; Downtown has a ton to do!

Uptown & Oak Lawn

On the Hilltop, we are lucky to have so much around our campus directly, whether it be a short walk or a 5-minute drive. Mockingbird Station is right across the highway, and Uptown is just a short drive, giving us lots of options for a quick dinner off-campus, or spending time with friends. That is one of the best things about SMU; it’s a small town in a big city.

I have loved growing up in Dallas and spending my college years here. I hope this list provides some insight into what the city has to offer and why living on the Hilltop is worth it.

Pony Up,

Kathryn Chavez

Ig: @Kathrynchavez

Ambassadors Campus Life Life Around Dallas Student Organizations

SMU, Service, and (Connor) Saeli

Hey everyone! My name is Palmer, and I am a sophomore studying Public Relations and Advertising. I am originally from California, but I live in Lexington, Kentucky, now. Dallas is the perfect blend of the big city culture of Los Angeles and the southern hospitality of the Bluegrass state.

Some of the best and most memorable experiences of my life have been at SMU. There is always something to do, and always someone to do it with. Whether you are Boulevarding on a Saturday or studying in a coffee shop in Deep Ellum, it is easy to become busy and let the time fly by. But, if you have some extra time, one of my favorite ways to meet other SMU students and learn about the Dallas community is through service and philanthropy! It might not be as glamorous as beating TCU (Go Stangs!), but if you like to volunteer or need some service hours for a scholarship, here are a few of the service experiences that have shown me what it means to be a Mustang.

Mustang Heroes 

Mustang Heroes is the biggest service organization on campus. Mustang Heroes works with over ten nonprofits in the Dallas area, and so there are plenty of options for students to choose from, whether it is tutoring little kids or walking dogs at the animal shelter.

The Big Event 

The Big Event is the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation. The Big Event was established at Texas A&M University in 1982 and continues to impact communities 36 years later. Each Spring, tens of thousands of students nationwide gather to serve their communities. It is so much fun to get to see so many friends, faculty, and staff members on one day and get to hang out and have fun while we help the community!

Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon is a year-long fundraising initiative that raises money for Children’s Health in Dallas. At the end of the year-long effort, we have a big dance party for 6 hours to celebrate all of SMU’s work in supporting the kids and families at Children’s. There are games, family speakers, music, performers, and more! For Dance Marathon 2019, we had Connor Saeli, an SMU grad and contestant on The Bachelorette, come and help us out! I am on the exec board for Dance Marathon, and so I got to work with the hospital families that visited and introduced them to Connor. I have never seen The Bachelorette or The Bachelor (sorry Bachelor nation!), but it definitely shows “once a Mustang, always a Mustang.”

There are so many more ways to get involved on campus, but these are a few of my favs! If you have any questions about these organizations or involvement on campus, please reach out at

Pony up!

Palmer Beldy

SMU Class of 2022


Ambassadors Campus Life General Life Around Dallas Uncategorized

What I Miss Most About SMU

Hey guys, I’m Zac from San Diego,CA majoring in Finance and Corporate Communication & Public Affairs.

College students across the country are struggling with the reality that their time on campus has been cut short. I know for me; it has been hard to walk away from the friendships that I have made here, especially with the seniors who won’t be returning to campus the next time I do. SMU has been my home for the past three years, and I have grown to love the culture that encompasses our beautiful campus in Dallas, Texas. Other than being away from the amazing friends I have made at school, there are a few other things that come to mind when thinking about what I miss most about SMU…

The Katy Trail

A beautiful 3.5-mile trail that begins at the edge of campus and stretches all the way downtown to the American Airlines Stadium. A few miles down the trail you can find the Katy Trail Ice house, which is a classic destination for good food and drinks.


Dallas Hall Lawn 

Dallas Hall Lawn is the ideal place to sit and enjoy a sunny Dallas day with your friends. There are dogs running about, people playing spikeball and hammocks in between trees. It’s a special place that is also home to many of our long-standing traditions like Boulevarding, Peruna Palooza (our mascot, Peruna’s, Birthday party) and Celebration of Lights.

Fondren Library 

Or what most students refer to as “Club Fondy,” is the first floor of Fondren Library. It is the ideal place to grab a quick snack, work on a group project, chat with friends or even meet with a mentor for a cup of coffee.


Armstrong Commons  

I am fortunate that Armstrong has been my home on campus for the past 2 ½ years. Some of my best friends and memories came from living in Armstrong. I now serve as a Resident Assistant and greatly miss the residents I used to interact with each and every day.

Dallas Food 

The restaurants in Dallas are like none other. A few of my favorite spots include Velvet Taco, Mi Cocina, Sixty Vines and GapCo. However, my favorite place when I am craving really good food, is the Honor Bar. You have to order the Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich.

I am already counting down the days until I step foot back on campus for one last time, as me and my friends start our senior years together.

Pony up!

Zac Scornavacco

Class of 2021


Life Around Dallas

3 Things To Do in Dallas if You’re a Kid at Heart

If you are like me, you embrace the quote by Walt Disney, “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” I am a true kid at heart, so when I came to Dallas from Seattle I was looking for something to satisfy that inner child. I have complied a list of three things you can do to satisfy YOUR kid at heart while living in Dallas as an SMU student or just passing through Dallas for a Campus Tour!

Dave & Buster’s Located just off North Central Expressway about 5 minutes away from campus is Dave & Busters, a heaven for the young at heart. With a full service restaurant and a video arcade, Dave & Busters is the perfect place to go with your friends, get out your competitive edge and win some fun prizes. 

Visit the Disney Streets One of several neighborhoods in Dallas named for the names of the individual streets within it, Disney Streets Dallas is an area of Northwest Dallas in the Midway Hills community which contains streets named after Walt Disney characters. Examples of the streets within the Disney Streets neighborhood include Pinocchio Drive, Cinderella Lane, Snow White Dr, Aladdin Dr, Dwarfs Cir and Wonderland Trail. This is a great destination to go on a drive with your friends or a relaxing study break.

Klyde Warren Park Located downtown Klyde Warren Park is a great afternoon or weekend spot. With four to five activities each day and a host of weekend programming including live concerts, any time is a good time to visit the park. Food trucks also come to the park almost every day, giving park goers access to snacks that exhibit the diversity and deliciousness of Dallas’ food scene.  

Careers Life Around Dallas

Now Boarding: Internships

Coming to SMU, one of the things I was most excited for was the opportunity to intern. A mentor in high school told me to think of internships as a trial for a career, and unlike many other trials, you’re the one getting paid to upgrade. My first year here in Dallas and at SMU, I began to fully realize how many companies have their headquarters or base office here in the area. One company immediately stood out to me and was only 10 minutes down Mockingbird Lane: Southwest Airlines. However, with over 20,000 applications submitted and only 150 spots, I knew it was going to be a tough opportunity to acquire.

My sophomore year at SMU, I applied for my first internship at Southwest Airlines. I used nearly all the resources on campus to best prepare myself. I went into the career center and had them look over my resume and perfect every word on the page. At one of the career fairs on campus I actually got to meet my recruiter from Southwest in person, and put a face to my resume. Through other SMU students I got to meet young SMU alumni that currently work and received their input and recommendations. I was able to have two of my favorite professors write extremely individualized recommendation letters for me, because they were able to get to know me so well both inside and outside the classroom. Fast forward a few months, and when I got the interview, I went back to the career center to run some practice interviews. I walked into my interview feeling the most prepared I have ever been and perfectly confident. I ended up receiving the internship on the Customer Experience team and loved it so much that I applied again for the following summer and interned as their first Corporate Strategy & Innovation intern.

My SMU connection was also beneficial while I was there interning. On a daily basis, my academic and extracurricular experiences made me an asset for my team and the projects we were working on. But the SMU benefit didn’t end there. Frequently I would walk down the halls of Southwest’s Corporate headquarters in an SMU shirt and someone would stop me and say they were a Mustang alumni and would love to help me in any way they could. These alumni connections have now become friends who continue to mentor me as I finish my undergraduate time here at SMU.

No matter where you chose to intern, I am confident that your SMU connections will help you professionally. All you need to do is get ready to explore, so buckle up.

Richmond Dewan

Academics Life Around Dallas Lyle School of Engineering

Beating the Heat and Learning About the World

Coming from California, I’ve been asked countless times by family and friends, “How’s the weather in Texas?” More often than not my response is, “Hot!” And yes, it is hot for the majority of the year, but you adapt quickly so the heat is nothing to fear. Lucky for SMU students, Dallas is home to many impressive museums and entertaining indoor activities for us to enjoy while beating the heat. When I have family or friends visiting and I know it’s going to be a warm day, I love to take them to the Dallas World Aquarium and the Perot Museum.

During Family Weekend of my sophomore year, I took my parents to the Dallas World Aquarium. We all expected a fairly typical aquarium experience with all the familiar aquatic life. You can imagine our surprised looks when we entered the aquarium to see two sloths dangling from a tree, a shoebill stork splashing in the water and an anteater running about its enclosure. The DWA has a collection of the six main classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. Expect to see crocodiles, river otters, a manatee, spiders, bats, penguins and a jaguar just to name a few of the incredible animals you can find in the aquarium. Being the nerd I am, I try to go to all the info sessions the DWA offers to educate visitors on the dozens of exhibits they host. That’s probably why I’ve been there three times and one of the reasons I love having friends and family visit: it gives me an excuse to go back to learn about these amazing animals.

Another great museum for students to visit is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, perfect for those interested in biology, engineering, physics, geology and paleontology. When my girlfriend visited last spring, we decided it would be a good spot to visit and we’d be able to explore a different side of Dallas. Studying biology, she was extremely excited when we arrived at the “Discovering Life” and “Being Human” Halls. I still laugh when I think about how she’d tell me something she’d learned in class, and within thirty seconds we’d find that same fact displayed in the museum. I was just as excited when we arrived at the “Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation” Hall. As a computer science major, the engineering hall was my playground. What I love most about the Perot, is its hands-on learning experience, where guests are encouraged to interact with a majority of the displays. My favorite activity was being able to program a robot to navigate an obstacle course. And while I struggled to no end with making it to the end of that course, I had a blast learning about my field of interest.

So yes, Dallas is a hot spot. Not just in temperature, but in entertaining and educational exhibits for all to enjoy. I still plan on exploring the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Zoo when I get the chance. I can’t wait to share my experience!

Christopher Lanoie

Life Around Dallas

Life in Dallas

Welcome to Dallas – a modern, diverse, cosmopolitan city that is a paradise for students! The city of Dallas is a place that every SMU student will call home. Yes, students have many opportunities to study abroad; study at SMU’s 2nd campus location in Taos, New Mexico; and have internships in other cities, but none of these experiences beat the experiences students have while living in Dallas, Texas. Life in Dallas is full of city lights, a stunning skyline, some of the best food in the world, concerts featuring top artists, sporting events and shopping!  

Living in the Highland Park and University Park area, home to SMU, allows me to start my day with healthy bites before class, on or off campus! In addition to the healthy food options, exercise is key to living a healthy lifestyle in college. The off-campus exercise opportunities are endless: cycling, yoga, running on the Katy Trail and many more. After class, I love hanging out with friends at Curtis Park, Caruth Park or Lakeside Park.

What can I say, shopping is awesome in Dallas– North Park, Mockingbird Station, Snider Plaza, Park Lane, The Galleria and Preston Center are just a small number of the many shopping locations! You can honestly find anything you can possibly need or want!

Other indoor destinations include one of our many first-class museums. SMU students have the benefit of the Bush Presidential Center right on their own campus! In addition, the Meadows Museum on campus holds one of the largest Spanish art outside of Spain. If you are an art, theater, dance or classical music enthusiast you are in a city that will provide you with entertainment equal to or better than other metropolitan cities.

For ambitious eaters, one can attend four years of school in Dallas and never eat at the same restaurant twice. My personal favorites are those that specialize in brunch, which is a must before Boulevarding for an SMU football game! North Dallas and Uptown are a foodie heaven, with every cuisine a person could possibly want. Some of my favorite restaurants around Dallas are Flower Child, Grub Burger, Mi Cocina, True Foods, The Porch and Fireside Pies; check them out when ever you come to visit campus!

Laura Catherine Harrell

Academics Life Around Dallas

Study Spots around Dallas

Though Fondren Library is a great spot to study, sometimes you need to find a different atmosphere away from campus to really be productive. Because of Dallas’ hundreds of different popular study spots, I would like to recommend three that provide not only delicious treats, but also a prime studying environment.


Union – This coffee shop is barely five minutes from campus and offers delicious drinks and pastries while providing a multitude of different study spaces ranging from bean bags to tables. Not only this, but the friendly staff is extremely welcoming, giving Union a warm atmosphere.


Café Brazil –  If you are looking for a more upbeat, late night study spot, Café Brazil is the place for you. The vibrant walls, bottomless coffee bar and famous chocolate chip pancakes allow you to take on your studying with a new, more positive attitude.


Royal Blue Grocery – Though groceries are not usually go-to study spots, this Highland Park shop includes a cozy coffee bar with seating not only along the wall, but also in the loft above.



Rebecca Brewbaker

Life Around Dallas

The Dallas Arboretum

Fall in Dallas is one of my favorite times. I love when the heat becomes mild, because we all know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner. There are so many fun things to do in Dallas during this wonderful season, like attend the State Fair of Texas, Boulevard and enjoy the beautiful weather on the Katy Trail and at White Rock Lake. Yesterday, I went to the Dallas Arboretum, one of my favorite fall spots.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a magical place. They routinely change the exhibits for each season. Currently, there is a pumpkin garden. The pumpkins are arranged by pumpkin type, and they are manipulated to create beautiful structures and pieces of art. This year’s theme is the Wizard of Oz. The garden was constructed to create pumpkin structures along the Yellow Brick Road and capture the magic of the movie. At the Arboretum, I felt like I was in Oz as opposed to Dallas! In addition to enjoying the pumpkin garden, the Dallas Arboretum has numerous dining options. I ate at the café that overlooked White Rock Lake. It was surreal. The restaurant is located in a building that is over 100 years old, with a Floridian vibe to it, which adds to the almost mystical feel of the Dallas Arboretum. Despite all the homework and stress I dealt with during midterms, going to the Arboretum allowed me to escape and take some time for myself as I enjoyed an afternoon with friends.

It is important to take advantage of the opportunities Dallas gives SMU students. No matter how much stress people feel, there are many ways to alleviate it. Visiting the arboretum allowed me to focus on the beauty of this incredible city we are lucky enough to live in.

Larissa Spies

Life Around Dallas Texas Travel

Weekend Trip to Austin

For a little weekend getaway, my friends and I drove down to Austin, Texas for Austin City Limits last weekend. That’s one of the great things about Dallas, its proximity to other really cool cities. Austin is just a quick 3-hour drive and can be fun for a change of scenery.

We drove down on Friday after class just in time to see Jay-Z, Martin Garrix and Foster the People. On Saturday morning, we went to brunch at Jo’s Coffee and then went in to ACL early to explore Zilker Park. They have the most amazing ACL Eats Food Court- with everything from Shake Shack to local Austin pizza places (eating pizza in Austin is a must!). There are 8 different stages, and the Austin skyline is visible from everywhere in the park. On Saturday, we saw Ice Cube, Red Hot Chili Peppers and then went to a Silent Disco.

There is so much to do in Dallas on the weekends that you would never have to leave, but I recommend exploring other cities in Texas if you get the opportunity. Over the past four years, I have fallen in love with not only Dallas and SMU but more broadly, Texas. Everything truly is bigger and better in Texas!

Taylor Walden

General Life Around Dallas

Texas State Fair

SMU’s location in Dallas, Texas has many perks.  There is always new food, music and entertainment to enjoy in the big city.  One of the most famous events is the world-famous Texas State Fair.  At the end of September each year, the fairgrounds come alive as vendors flock towards Dallas to show and sell everything from fried Oreos to fried jello. One of my favorite parts about going to the Texas State Fair each year is listening to the live music.  Surprisingly, there’s more than just country music to enjoy! I’ve seen everything from pop singers to Irish rock bands perform.  There are endless rides, games and performances to enjoy. One of the busiest days at the fairgrounds is when more than 100,000 people travel to the State Fair for the AT&T Red River Showdown game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners.  These rivals have met at the fairgrounds each year since 1929!  

As an SMU student, it’s impossible to miss the Texas State Fair.  Some classes will have projects that involve the fair and many student groups attend together throughout the season.  One of the easiest ways to get to the Texas State Fair is through the Dallas Area Rapid Transit transportation network.  As a benefit of enrollment at SMU, students may obtain an Annual DART Local Pass for a one-time fee of $5.00.  This is one of my favorite perks as an SMU student.  The DART goes to areas downtown, the American Airlines Center, the DFW airport and many more places.  Most importantly, it goes directly to the Texas State Fair!

Caroline Gurley