Dallas' SMU Neighborhood Offers Dining Gems at Every Turn

For students and families alike, University Park's SMU neighborhood offers a great range of restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving and budget. Not only will you find everything from steaks and barbecue to Tex-Mex, pizza and most any cuisine in between, but most of the eateries in this neighborhood lie within walking distance to the campus.

You'll find some of the area's most beloved restaurants in Snider Plaza, a picturesque, ninety-year old shopping strip that's located catty-corner to the campus. For German specialties, like brats, wursts and schnitzels, head to Kuby's Sausage House, a neighborhood favorite since 1961. If it's a Tex-Mex fix you're after, there's Banditos Tex-Mex Cantina. If you don't have time to wait for a table at Banditos, you can score fish tacos and other seaworthy fare at Half Shells Oyster Bar & Grill next door.

For killer sandwiches that you won't find any place else, hit East Hampton Sandwich Co., and for melt-in-your-mouth brisket and ribs, go to Peggy Sues BBQ

If you're hankering for fried chicken and other home spun comfort foods, try Bubba's, located on Hillcrest. Also on Hillcrest is Burger House, a local gem that dates back to 1951.

Not to be missed are the pizzas at Olivella's, an adorable pocket-sized pizzeria that looks like it came straight out of Naples. Another popular spot is Digg's Taco Shop, where tacos get inventive and margaritas are served on a stick. 

And if a top-notch steak dinner is more up your alley, then go to Knife, located in the swank Highland Dallas hotel. It's one of the most talked about restaurants in the city.

Bandito's Tex-Mex Cantina
Photo courtesy of Bandito's Tex-Mex Cantina

Tasty Tex-Mex delights, rock solid margaritas and fantastic happy hours keep this cheery cantina perpetually busy with everyone from families to students during most all hours of the day. As a consequence, you can almost always expect a wait to...  Read More

Half Shells Oyster Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Half Shells Oyster Bar & Grill

With fresh oysters and reasonably priced seafood dishes, it's no wonder that this convivial, shoe-box sized eatery stays packed to the gills on a regular basis. For oyster lovers there's everything from bi-coastal bivalves like Connecticut Blue...  Read More

East Hampton Sandwich Co.
Photo courtesy of East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Pretty much everything tastes better between two slices of bread, and this gourmet sandwich spot (named after the swank seaside village), delivers the lot in a breezy nautical setting. First off, everything is house-brined, hand-carved, fresh...  Read More

Bubba's Cooks Country
Photo courtesy of Bubba's Cooks Country

Fans of this Art Deco-style diner say that the extra crispy fried chicken here is pure southern glory. Which is likely why this place's popularity hasn't wavered even after two decades. But the deliciousness doesn't stop with fried fowl. Bubba's...  Read More

Peggy Sue BBQ-Snider Plaza
Photo courtesy of Peggy Sue BBQ

This cozy barbecue joint has been smoking up briskets and ribs on its wood-fired smoker since 1989. But the building's barbecue roots actually stretch back to 1948, when it opened up to Dallas locals as Howard and Peggy's Beef Bar. And though...  Read More

Digg's Taco Shop
Photo courtesy of Digg's Taco Shop

SMU students and taco heads alike really dig this laid-back taqueria that cranks out tacos filled with everything from slow cooked barbecue brisket to grilled mahi mahi and fried habanero shrimp. But there's more than tacos that meets the eye....  Read More

Kuby's Sausage House
Photo courtesy of Kuby's Sausage House

This family-owned German market and restaurant has been anchoring the corner spot in Snider Plaza since 1961. And, not only does the place boast one of the best selections of meats, cold cuts and European food imports in town, it's also the...  Read More

Burger House
Photo courtesy of Burger House

This pillbox-sized burger shack, known by locals as Jack's (named after its original owner, Jack Koustoubardis), has barely changed at all since it opened in 1951. And for that matter, neither has the food. Which is exactly why the place has a...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Olivella's

There's a general consensus that this charming pocket-sized pizzeria turns out the most deliciously addictive pies in town. In fact, these wood-fired orbs are so heavenly that Food Network star Rachael Ray declared them "The most incredible...  Read More

Knife Dallas
Photo courtesy of Knife Dallas

Celebrity chef John Tesar's swanky bastion of beef, inside the Highland Dallas hotel--has been the talk of the town since it opened in 2014. And there's a good reason for all the buzz: Knife serves up superbly flavorful meat, most of which has...  Read More


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. Ilene got hooked on this wanderlust lifestyle after...  More About Ilene