Restaurants / Lists

Where to Eat Near TCU — the Best Mexican, Pizza, Breakfast, Greek Restaurants and More

A Different Type of Back to School Guide

BY // 08.18.22

As Texas Christian University students head back to school (the first day of classes is this Monday, August 22), it’s a good time to look at where the best spots to eat near campus are. Whether you’re a student, alumni or just find yourself near TCU, knowing where to go is sometimes half the battle.

This is your guide to the Best Restaurants near TCU:

The Original Mexican Eats Cafe on Camp Bowie

Nearing the 100-year mark, The Original has seen many dignitaries, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a myriad of TCU students pass through its doors over the years. There is another offshoot restaurant location as well, called Del Norte in Northside, which opened last year. But the Camp Bowie Original Mexican Eats Cafe remains almost like a time capsule.

The Roosevelt Special is named after one very special presidential visit in 1936. The plate includes a cheese enchilada smothered in chili and a dusting of raw onion, sided by one bean chalupa and one beef taco. The layered and cheesy nachos are a meal in themselves. I have it on good authority that TCU alums from the 1950s and 1960s still meet there regularly to relive the glory days. And they still call it The “Old” Original.

Must Try: Berta’s puffy tacos are the bomb. The same great taco meat, grated cheese and diced tomato are stuffed into a crispy fried taco shell.

The Original's cheese enchiladas are smothered in con carne sauce and topped with raw onion.
The Original’s cheese enchiladas are smothered in con carne sauce and topped with raw onion.

Greek House Restaurant on Forest Park

The family-owned and operated Greek House is something of a tradition of its own. TCU alums from the 1980s still dip into the snug Fort Worth restaurant for a taste of their youth. Serving classic Greek dishes like that famous Greek Salad with pita points, or those fluffy gyro sandwiches drizzled with tzatziki sauce and sliced onion.

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It’s been a great lunch stop for decades for good reason.

Must Try: A side of the creamy baba gannoush roasted eggplant dip.

Ol’ South Pancake House on University

This is as old school as it gets. Ol’ South Pancake House is one of the few 24-hour restaurants left in North Texas, making it ideal for late night study or recovery sessions. With it serving a vast diner menu and breakfast all day, even into the wee hours, a trip to ‘Ol South Pancake House is almost a TCU right of passage of its own.

I described the perennial TCU haunt this way in a story on the pancake paradise’s expansion to Burleson in 2020: “Those early Colonial, barrel-backed, wooden Captain’s chairs and faux wood laminate table tops (with a lot of their wood-tone veneer rubbed off) just scream vintage. The vinyl-clad booths and brown carpet are both slightly sticky, but that only adds to the ambiance of this no-fuss diner. Wood paneling and a few accordion doors round out the throwback decor.”

Must try: The lemon and powdered sugar egg batter German pancake or the more diminutive Dutch babies never get old.

Mama’s Pizza on Berry Street

While this legendary local pizza company’s roots date back to 1968, Mama’s Pizza’s beloved Berry Street pizza shop came along in the 1980s. Be warned: Mama’s Pizza is addictive. It might singlehandedly account for some Freshman 15s, but it has also been touted as a trusted hangover cure.

Mama’s specializes in doughy East Coast-style pizza. The garlic butter brushed dough is made fresh daily, and the red sauce is chunky and spectacular, no matter what toppings your throw on it. There is even a college-budget-friendly lunch buffet that includes a salad bar.

Must try: A side of creamy Italian dressing to dip the crust into. Eat Mama’s Pizza the way locals have for decades ― with the all-important side of creamy Italian.

Mama’s Pizza – Take out, dine in or lunch buffet, it’s been a staple of the Frog diet for decades.
Mama’s Pizza – Take out, dine in or lunch buffet, it’s been a staple of the Frog diet for decades.

Yogi’s Deli and Grill on Hulen

You’ll find some of the best bagels in Fort Worth at Yogi’s. Plus, every conceivable cream cheese spread to top them with. Generations of TCU students have noshed on lazy breakfast and lunch at Yogi’s Deli and Grill.

While the bagels are Yogi’s true claim to fame, the menu covers a lot of ground. From eggs Benedicts, omelets and pancakes for breakfast to lunchtime burgers, Reuben sandwiches and scrumptious salads.

Must try: A bagel breakfast sandwich with your choice of filling and cheese. After all, in-between classes and cramming for exams, TCU students need to eat. And so does everyone else.

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