Campus Dining

Dallas, TX
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4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: It's good for the first few weeks but then you kind of get over it. The quality of the food goes in waves, like it's really good one week then you're eating cereal and eggs for two weeks. It's always great when there are campus tours because Umph puts on great food to impress the parents. There's a wide variety of things to choose from and there's a salad bar and dessert station and Starbucks coffee available. As a whole, on-campus dining is very good.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Excellent quality and options in Umphrey Lee, but meal plans are very expensive.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Eating at Umph gets old fast, you end up having a lot of sandwiches and omelets. Mac's Place is fantastic if you want good greasy hamburgers, or a tasty grilled chicken burger. I often used my pony dollars at the chick-fil-a.

2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Repetitive food, not very good.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There are many on/off days, weekends are bad.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 155th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 240th
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 299th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 303rd
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 343rd
    Best Quality Food

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Peter Goldschmidt
Jefferson City, MO
Financial Consulting
View all previous student authors

Almost every student will admit that the dining on campus is great . . . until their breaking point surfaces and they wish they were still eating mom’s homemade pot roast. Some are forced to commit to a semester of ramen. Everything can become a bit tiresome over time, especially if it is repetitive and over exhausted. All resident students must buy a meal plan. Each plan is the same price, but it differs based on the number of “Flex Dollars” chosen. Flex Dollars can be used anywhere with a cash register operated by SMU Dining Services. There are two other flexible meal plans offered for seniors or graduate students, both of which are less expensive. Most students, even upperclassmen, rave about Umphrey Lee’s lunch selections. This cafeteria features a large salad bar, Asian cuisine, American hamburgers and fries, a homestyle section, a grilled sandwich and wrap section, and many others. Umphrey Lee’s choices change every day. With the addition of Subway, more students are eating on campus during the lunchtime hour. SMU also offers other options. The school is conveniently located next to Hillcrest Avenue and Mockingbird. Both streets offer more dining options, and most of them accept Pony Express.

SMU Dining Services conducts a survey every semester to see what students like and dislike, as well as what they would like to add (hence the addition of Subway). The idea of eating on campus has an unpleasant stigma attached to it; however, having someone else clean your dishes and cook several different types of food is the upside of having a meal plan.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4910 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • CVS
  • Goff's Hamburgers
  • Jason's Deli
  • Jersey Mike's Subs
  • Jimmy John's
  • La Madeleine
  • New York Sub
  • Pluckers Wing Bar
  • Roly Poly
  • Smoothie King
  • Stromboli Cafe
Special Options
SMU offers Pony Express dollars that can be added onto your SMU ID. That money can be used to eat at off-campus places, such as Jason’s Deli, Jersey Mike’s, Stromboli Café, Jimmy John’s, Roly Poly, La Madeleine, and others. It functions as a pre-paid debit card and can be used at all SMU retail food centers.
Did You Know?
  • Twice a year, SMU Dining Services posts a customer survey online. Just by completing it, you are automatically entered into a drawing for a prize. In the past, they have featured a round-trip American Airlines ticket to anywhere in the country.
  • SMU's Umphrey Lee cafeteria offers special dinning nights that include sushi night, a Thanksgiving buffet, and a surf and turf night.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Location: Hughes-Trigg
Food: American, chicken, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Location: Cox School of Business
Food: Sandwiches, bagels, coffee
Hours: Daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Java City Cyber Café
Location: Dedman Center
Food: Coffee, pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Java City Cyber Café
Location: Hughes-Trigg
Food: Coffee, pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-12 a.m.
Mac's Place
Location: McElvaney Hall
Food: American
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
The Market
Location: Hughes-Trigg
Food: Grocery Store with Java Hut and Freshens
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Midnight Express
Location: McElvaney Hall
Food: Mini-grocery store
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
RFoC (Real Food on Campus)
Location: Umphrey Lee Center
Food: Various/buffet style and salad bar
Hours: Sunday 9:30 a.m.- 11 p.m., Monday-Thursday 1 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Location: Dedman Center
Food: Smoothies, drinks
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Meadows School of the Arts
Food: Coffee, snacks
Hours: May vary.
Location: Hughes-Trigg
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 58 responses

Very poor
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 8 responses

  • 27% Umphrey Lee (ROFC)
  • 27% HT Student center
  • 20% Mac's Place
  • 20% Einstein Bros Bagels
  • 7% The food sucks

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 6 responses

  • 56% Not open late
  • 22% Lunch is awful sometimes
  • 22% Everything, nothing is good about it

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 8 responses

  • 75% It's unlimited and the food is abundant!
  • 25% I hate the food here, it sucks.
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