A Students Guide to Dallas Dining

Dinner Special

It's not always easy being a college student in Dallas, Texas, trying to find somewhere affordable to eat, often while nursing a hangover. If a hangover isn't your problem, but finding a classy, affordable place to take a date is, then this guide should help you decide on both accounts.

Where are the best no-cover bars? For the adventurous on the south side, there is Absinthe Lounge. While the smoky atmosphere may be a negative factor, the varied crowd, live music, nostalgic 1970s decor, attractive bartenders and strong drinks more than make up for it. Flop down on a comfy chair or couch and take in the scene which is like something out of a shabbier version of Casablanca. Green lighting permeates the place. It's a great spot for a third date, to keep a bit of spontaneity in the relationship.

For the dive bar crowd, Cosmo’s Bar and Lounge in Lakewood is a noteworthy, one-of-a-kind place. It features a fireplace and a jukebox full of classics that go down as smoothly as your favorite cocktail. This place would make a great location for a Pulp Fiction sequel. The retro 1960s lava lamps coexist happily with the art deco ambience. Chow down on some Greek pizza and kick back with the gang. No, it's not the alcohol; the table is actually glowing, which creates a swimming sensation.

When in need of comfort food or drink to absorb the leftover alcohol, travel uptown to Kozy Kitchen. They even have a dish called the Hangover Helper, consisting of ground buffalo, salsa, eggs, guacamole and spinach. This will absorb any leftover alcohol, and provide you with the nutrients you need to get your day started. Just add black coffee and that hangover's on the run.

You can also try the brisket tacos at Manny's Tex Mex, another college student favorite, also located uptown. Tender, slow-roasted, and packed with meat, onions, and bell peppers; what's not to like? Or how about chicken enchiladas with sunset sauce, topped with eggs and bean soup? This would be good for either pre-drinking or hangover food. If you're sick of the food court, you'll be happy to know Manny's is affordable.

When you just have to have a Whataburger taquito with sweet tea and fries, the Highway 78 location gets raves for its quality and a pre-brunch shower isn't necessary. The potato, egg, and cheese taquitos are full of starch, protein, and dairy. These ingredients will help make you feel better at a faster rate than most other hangover foods. There's just something about breakfast foods that kill a hangover. The best part is that they serve breakfast from 11:00am - 11:00pm, something not many restaurants do anymore.

When the dorm becomes an impossible zoo, where's a student to go for free Wi-Fi? Try the Corner Bakery Café in North Dallas. While surfing the web, the warm chicken tortilla soup, cinnamon creme cake or grilled panini are recommended to fuel your study session. For a quick beverage, order a bottomless pomegranate tea or lemonade. You can never go wrong with endless drinks and free Wi-Fi!

For SMU students, the Coffee Haus with its welcoming staff and tasty eats is right across the street. Relax after studying with a choice of one of their 65 beers and light fare. Or challenge someone to a killer game of Monopoly.

Students who are already bleary-eyed from studying don't want to make a lot of food decisions. That's why Pooky O's Cookies and Ice Cream (ice cream sandwiches) in University Park is the perfect place for a study break. It has just a handful of choices, and the price is right at $2.00. Pooky O's is also perfect for chocoholics, with its soft, fresh-baked double fudge coconut cookies. They are open until 11:00pm to accommodate those late-night cravings. Take some Pokey Treats home for later: Chex mix with powdered sugar, chocolate and peanut butter.

If you're looking for a good steak, or simply to impress your date, you may want to head over to The Capital Grille. It's only three miles south from University Park on Maple Ave. You could walk, or ride your bike if you so desired. It';s a very classy restaurant with mahogany walls and oil paintings hanging all around. They have over 400 varieties of wine to choose from, ensuring you will find the right one for your meal. Their menu consists of the highest quality beef, pasta, and seafood, providing a smorgasbord of delicious food to choose from. I would personally recommend the 22 oz Delmonico rib eye. This is definitely a good place to bring a first date.

All in all, you shouldn't have trouble finding the right place to eat while in Dallas. From cheap, delicious taquitos, to unbelievably tasty steaks, you'll always be able to find something that will tickle your fancy. If by chance you're just passing through, you may want to make sure you have a good dental plan, because you won't stop eating the entire time! Kudos to Dallas, and its student-friendly selection of restaurants.

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