Southern Methodist University is a private research university located in University Park, just five miles north of downtown Dallas. The beautiful campus is home to approximately 6,500 undergraduates. Though SMU was founded by what is now The United Methodist Church, the school is nonsectarian in it’s teaching, and the student body is made up of many different religious affiliations. The university enjoys a close relationship with the community of Dallas and all it has to offer. SMU is a social school with an abundance of school spirit, in a city blessed with an average of 232 days of sunshine a year.
Stay: Perfectly located; The Lumen is directly across from campus housed in a restored 1960’s motel. The hotel offers special rates to Mustang families and provides a complimentary car service to downtown Dallas. Another favorite, also close to campus is The Highland, part of Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection. Prefer to stay downtown? The Joule in a Neo-Gothic 1920’s landmark building offers stellar service and a boutique ambiance, a sister hotel to the Lumen. The Adolphus, another Dallas icon and part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is one of the more luxurious hotels in Dallas. For a full list of the area’s hotels and discounted rates for SMU visitors click here.
Coffee: Enjoy the oldest outdoor shopping area in the United States, Highland Park Village, and head to Royal Blue Grocery for a cup of coffee. Need a quick fix before your tour, visit one of the three Starbucks right on campus. Union Coffee is a favorite student spot with comfortable seating and excellent coffee to help fuel study sessions. Grab a pastry and coffee and your day is off to a good start. Enjoy locally roasted coffee in a house filled with curated books of fiction and poetry at The Wild Detective. Nekter is a healthy juice bar that is right by campus. If you are staying at The Joule, Weekend is a small coffee shop inside the hotel.
Breakfast: German style deli Kuby’s potato pancakes or jumbo biscuits with eggs and sausage are just two of the tasty items on an extensive breakfast menu. At Bread Winners, (make sure to head to the Uptown location) order the legendary jalapeño bacon and cheddar waffle! If you happen to be in Dallas on the weekend, definitely go to Double Wide for a late brunch and a Bloody Mary!
Lunch: Honor Bar, in Highland Park Village, has a lovely patio with a crispy chicken sandwich and classic french omelettes parents rave about. Bird Bakery also in Highland Park Village is owned by Elizabeth Chambers and her husband, Academy Award-nominated actor Armie Hammer. Parents advise to order the Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese, “it’s to die for.” The Porch - on Henderson - has great salads and sandwiches. Close to campus, head to Dive Coastal Cuisine. East Hampton Sandwich Shop has good sandwiches, soups, and salads. Don’t miss the chicken fajitas at Mia’s. A little further from campus, it’s worth the drive to Cane Rosso serving the best pizza in Dallas.
BBQ Spots: In Dallas, it’s impossible to pick just one or two BBQ joints so here is a list of some favorites. Expect a long line at Pecan Lodge, but it’s worth it, especially for the fried ribs! Sammy’s BBQ is famous for its brisket served on Fridays. Slow Bone offers specialty BBQ items like tacos and tamales stuffed with smoked brisket. Mac’s BBQ is a staple in Dallas. Probably on every pit master’s list is Lockhart serving some of the best all-around BBQ in town.
Casual: Bandito’s Tex Mex in Snider Plaza, very close to campus, is always rocking. Nodding Donkey in the State Allen area is a great dive sports bar with a solid kitchen. Hopdoddy offers terrific burgers (grass fed beef, organic ingredients), fries and shakes originated in Austin. The McKinney Ave location is closest. Order a frozen margarita and tacos at Ojeda's. For delicious Vietnamese food, go to La Me.
A Step Up: Cafe Pacific, Knife, and Al Biernats are great choices for a steak dinner. Taverna (Italian) in the vibrant Knox-Henderson area offers a terrific patio and outdoor eating area. The wonderful daily specials and Eggplant Parmesan is worth the visit. Toulouse (French Bistro, next door to Taverna in Knox-Henderson) is great for dinner and brunch. Bistro 31, in Highland Park Village, is elevated dining with European influences. Upstairs is a fabulous see and be seen lounge serving sushi and small plates with a D.J. catering to the 21 and older crowd. In the mood for Asian fare? Uchi’s menu features elevated Japanese food.
Late Night & Sweets: Milk and Cream are famous for their Panini style ice cream sandwiches. You can even top your ice cream with some Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Is this insta-worthy? You betcha! Velvet Taco has two locations close to campus - one on Henderson and the newer one on McKinney - open until 4am on the weekend. Parents love the Spicy Tikka Chicken and the Shrimp & Grits Taco. Don’t skip the Red Velvet Cake. Buzzbrews’ original location on Central Expy is the closest to campus, and is open 24 hours a day. It’s not only good late night but also popular for breakfast.
Local Attractions: Right on campus, visit the Meadows Museum. The George W. Bush Presidential Library is worth a visit too - a museum housing the presidential archives of the Bush Administration. Don't miss the 13-acre park behind the library while you’re there. There is a strong art presence in Dallas. Some favorites include Perot Museum, Crow Center and Nasher Sculpture Center. If you enjoy music, take in a concert at the Meyerson Symphony Center. For a taste of local music, head to Sons of Hermann Hall.
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SMU FAST FACTS
Blue & Red
Medium - 6,300 Undergraduates
PO Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181
(p) (214) 768-2058
NCAA Division I
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