Restaurants / Lists

Where to Eat Near SMU — Great Restaurants For Students, Alumni and Everyone Else

A Different Type of Back to School Guide

BY // 08.27.22

With Southern Methodist University (AKA SMU) students back in school, it’s time for a refresher on the dining scene. Whether you’re a student, alumni, or just find yourself dining near the vibrant university, knowing the best spots to eat near campus can be half the battle.

This is your guide to the Best Restaurants Near SMU:

Cafe Brazil is open 24 hours serving fresh coffee and delicious food like these crepes.
Cafe Brazil is a longitme fixture of the SMU dining scene.  

Cafe Brazil on Mockingbird in University Park

This quirky, non-chain coffee shop has been hosting late-night study sessions since it burst on the scene in 1991. Cafe Brazil is your go-to, all day, everyday stop with friends. Better yet, it’s open 24/7. Cafe Brazil is the perfect place to unwind or dive deep into discussions about philosophy and geopolitics. SMU students have been coming here for more than 30 years.

Cafe Brazil’s expansive and eclectic menu covers a lot of ground from chile relleno crepes to coconut chicken salad. Big bonus? Breakfast is served all day. The bottomless coffee will keep you up til all hours thanks to the handy self-serve carafe station. Or you can get one of Cafe Brazil’s blended smoothies.

Must Try: The unusual pancrepes are the dessert of the breakfast world. Dipped in cinnamon egg batter and grilled, they are topped with crème anglaise.

Kuby’s Sausage House and European Market in Snider Plaza

Kuby’s has been feeding SMU co-eds and many more since 1961. It’s the classic German restaurant that alumni return to again and again. It’s almost like taking a quick trip to Kaiserslautern, Germany, where the traditional method of sausage making originated. You might say Kuby’s is an unbroken link to the old country.

Discover De Beers

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Choose from classic breaded schnitzel or a to-die-for Ruben stuffed to the gills with one-third pound of corned beef. But you can’t go wrong with the grilled bratwurst, sided by German-style potato salad and fresh sauerkraut.

Must Try: For breakfast or as an appetizer at lunch, it’s gotta be Oma’s potato pancakes served with haus-made applesauce and sour cream.


Food From Galilee in Snider Plaza

Another Snider Plaza proven winner is Food From Galilee (which also happens to be BYOB for those over 21). It brings the flavors of the Middle East to the collegiate landscape of Dallas. Food From Galilee serves up some truly mouth-watering recipes from all over the Middle East. From Beirut and Jerusalem to Cairo and Amman, the food’s represented here.

If you ever make it past the appetizer portion of the menu, you’ll find classics such as shaved gyros, shawarma, and stuffed cabbage rolls. But the Maza plate is a great introduction filled with many of the delicacies you dream about ― tabouli, baba ghannouj, hommos, kubbi, grape leaves, and a relish plate.

Must try: For a study break drop in for a piece of hand-made pistachio baklava and a bold Middle Eastern coffee.


Shug’s Bagels – BLT bagel sandwich with avocado and egg.
Shug’s Bagels is a key fixture of the SMU dining scene. 

Shug’s Bagel Shop on Mockingbird Lane

You’ll find some of the best bagels in Dallas at Shug’s. You can build your own egg sandwich layered onto a chewy bagel, or on a deli roll or wrap. Of course, the classic bagel and lox will warm your heart. It’s packed with plenty of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers.

Shug’s Bagels sells deli meats, spreads, and deli salads by the pound, perfect for filling your dorm fridge. It’s open daily from 7 am to 3 pm. It’s a favorite SMU stop for breakfast and lunch, but should you require bagels after hours, Shug’s makes that happen by also staying open from 6 pm to 2 am Thursdays through Saturdays.

Must try: Order the BLT with three slices of bacon and add fresh avocado to your bagel sandwich.


Original Chop Shop on Hillcrest

Known for serving healthy bowls and hearty chopped salads, Original Chop Shop is the place SMU students drop in to get their greens. A selection of sandwiches is served on locally sourced bread. Or try a wrap customized just the way you like it.

Students seek out Original Chop Chop for its fresh smoothies and juice drinks too. That’s a meal you can sip in class. The Cool Down with watermelon and pineapple can help power you through fall and the Cold Buster with orange, carrot, ginger, and turmeric might just keep you out of the Health Center.

Must try: Danish Salad tossed with house greens, arugula, smoked almonds, Danish bleu cheese, and a mélange of fruits like pear, apple, black currant, and dates in a red wine vinaigrette.


With everyone back on campus, understanding the SMU dining scene is a class of its own. Study up.

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