Rice University

From Julie M. Browning, Dean for Undergraduate Enrollment, and Tamara Siler, Senior Associate Director of Admission at Rice University:

Local Foods
2424 Dunstan Road
Houston, Texas

Locally sourced gourmet sandwiches, salads, and prepared meals. Here’s a hint of what you’ll find there: Capered tuna sandwich with tomatoes, crispy onions and hard-boiled farm egg; sides of Tuscan kale with golden raisins and toasted pine nuts;  arugula salad with shrimp, cranberries, Texas honey pecans, pecorino, and lemon-thyme vinaigrette. And… draft root beer from 8th Wonder Brewery.

Goode Company Barbeque
Three locations in Houston:
5109 Kirby Drive
8911 Katy Freeway
20102 Northwest Freeway

How do you like your barbeque? At Goode Company you’ll find beef brisket, pork ribs, turkey breast, chicken, Sweet Water duck, and jalapeno pork sausage. Can’t decide? Try the combo plates, BBQ po-boys or stuffed barbeque potatoes. There’s also a gluten-free menu.

Goode Company Seafood
Two locations in Houston:
2621 Westpark Drive
10211 Katy Freeway

Founder Jim Goode was born and raised along the Texas Gulf Coast. Goode Company Seafood combines his fondness for Texas roadside diners  with his love for the region’s seafood — including shell roasted oysters, campechana de mariscos, gumbo, po-boys, mesquite grilled redfish and Gulf red snapper, shrimp etouffe, and fried catfish.

Goode Company Hamburgers and Taqueria
4902 Kirby Drive
Houston, Texas

The menu has a little bit of everything from both sides of the border — burgers, hot dogs, mesquite grilled fajitas, crispy tacos, enchiladas, pork chops, and quail.  Sitting on the patio is a Houston tradition.

Empire Café
1732 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas

Stop by here for breakfast to fuel up for  your campus tour for omelets, frittatas, oatmeal, fruit pancakes or one of their egg specialties like the Parma — two eggs on herb roasted potatoes with pancetta and fontina cheese. Don’t worry. You’ll walk it off.

The Breakfast Klub
3711 Travis Street
Houston, Texas

Selected by Good Morning America as one of the four best places in America to have breakfast, brave the line to dine there.  It’s worth the wait and you’ll kick yourself for not having done it earlier.  Nothing brightens your morning like chicken and fluffy waffles, or catfish and grits, buttermilk biscuits, homemade cinnamon rolls, and a great cup of their special coffee.  Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Rice, and easily accessible from the light rail.

This is It
2712 Blodgett Street
Houston, Texas

A Houston institution for years, this is the place for soul food.  From smothered chicken to mac and cheese, fried catfish to cornbread, peach cobbler to tea cakes, Craig Joseph and clan will make sure you do not leave hungry.

Julia’s Bistro
3722 Main Street at West Alabama
Houston, Texas

Fantastic fusion cuisine with a heavy South American influence — plantain crusted snapper, churasco cut pork tenderloin, and pollo poblano. Minutes away from Rice, along the light rail.

3701 Travis Street
Houston, Texas

A Monica Pope restaurant – Monica was featured on Top Chef Masters Season 2 — this is a place which celebrates the local cuisine in inventive and unforgettable dishes.  There’s a  5-course tasting menu that will let you sample plates such as razor clam soup, polenta fries, maple chilil-marinated tofu, and beet brownie sundae. Wow!

Southern Methodist University

From the Admission staff of Southern Methodist University with special thanks to Rick Diaz, Regional Director of Admission:

Torchy's Tacos
5600 SMU Boulevard
Dallas, Texas

Torchy’s Tacos! Torchy’s started as a food truck in Austin, TX, and recently opened a location right near SMU. Choose among the Trailer Park, Baja Shrimp, or Mr. Orange blackened salmond tacos. Or try the Crossroads taco to get a taste of true Tex-Mex -- smoked beef brisket with grilled onions, jalapenos, cilantro, jack cheese and a slice of avocado with tomatillo sauce on a fresh corn tortilla. They also serve breakfast tacos -- bacon, egg and cheese, potato beans and cheese or the Ranch Hand -- grilled beef fajita with scrambled eggs and shredded cheese with diablo hot sauce. 


Twisted Root Burger Company
5609 SMU Boulevard
Dallas, Texas

Twisted Root serves amazingly creative combinations of meat, cheese, bread, and toppings that are completely worth the exhausting workout you’ll need to burn off the extra calories. For my fellow food junkies out there, the restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri! My favorites are The Verde with green chile, quac, and pepperjack; and The Western with pepperjack, bacon, fried onion strings and jalapenos.  Also, their black bean veggie burger with pepper jack cheese and guacamole is the perfect meal before heading to the Boulevard for an SMU football game.


Peggy Sue's BBQ
6600 Snider Plaza
Dallas, Texas

Right across the street from campus, Peggy Sue's brisket quesadilla is a favorite! Or try the chopped beef bbq sandwich with squash casserole and a hot individual cherry pie for dessert. We get hungry just thinking about it! The menu also features sliders -- mini sandwiches of brisket, turkey or pulled pork; Texas torpedoes -- cream cheese filled, batter fried jalapenos; Frito chili pie -- Texas brisket chili (that means no beans) topped with cheddar or scallions; or go for the salad bar and the smoked chicken salad or Peggy Soup, fresh vegetables and smoked chicken in a light broth.


Pokey O's
3034 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas

Located next to the SMU Bookstore, at Pokey O's you will experience one of man's greatest inventions - Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two homemade cookies. Could eat one every day. Fresh baked cookies, ice cream, malts and milkshakes.


Kuby’s Sausage House
6601 Snider Plaza
Dallas, Texas

A Texas institution, there's a meat market and deli, grocery store, bakery and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, Sunday brunch and dinner (dinner on Friday and Saturday only). The menu changes monthly but features favorites like potato pancakes, schnitzel, roulade and homemade soups. We recommend the Reuben with German potato salad.


Half Shells Oyster Bar and Grill
6617 Snider Plaza
Dallas, Texas

If you're from the East Coast and love great seafood, Half Shells is a great place to get a fix. From lump crab cake sandwiches served with a side of apple cider cole slaw or waffle fries, crawfish, and shrimp and grits, to fried Gulf oysters, grilled salmon salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, or New England clam chowder. 


Burger House
6913 Hillcrest Avenue
Dallas, Texas

The original location of this burger and fries joint -- opened in 1951 -- is right near campus. Made-to-order burgers and hot dogs -- and chicken sandwiches -- and shakes made with real ice cream. Try the chili double cheeseburger, corny dog, grilled cheese or Zoe's Chicken Sandwich Supreme. They have a secret seasoning they put on their fries that makes them taste so good!


3406 McFarlin Boulevard
University Park
Dallas, Texas

Just off campus, Olivella's is kind of hidden on a side street. The restaurant is small, but it will make you feel like you're in Italy -- it's quaint, with character, and really good pizza. If you're a purist go for the margherita; meat lovers should try the amante della carne with sausage, ground beef, ham, pepperoni and onion; or if you're in the mood for something a little different, try the al gorgonzola with gorgonzola, mozzarella, pear and walnut. Or go for one of the many other varieties on the menu! Yumm! 

3715 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, Texas

Gloria's Latin Cuisine is not to be missed. A favorite! Once you step inside, the smells transport you to a place of pure gastronomic delight. This is not your typical Latin American eatery. The food is authentic and savory. There are the traditional enchiladas, tacos, tamales, ceviche and quesadillas, as well as Tex Mex dishes like grilled chicken with sour cream sauce, poblano peppers mushrooms and onions or chicken flautas. I highly recommend the Sopa de Siete Mares -- a broth based soup of shrimp, scallions, halibut perch and vegetables. And they serve brunch, lunch and dinner.