With two generations of new Comets arriving on campus for the first time, we here at AMP have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that all of UTD’s most crucial generational knowledge is passed on successfully. With the help of several current students and recent alumni, AMP staff has put together a list of some of our favorite local restaurants near campus. With Covid on the rise again, we made sure that all of these places offer takeout and outdoor dining options, which we strongly recommend you take advantage of. If you’re new to campus, welcome! We hope to provide some much-needed relief from Dining Hall West and Moe’s. You’re going to need it in the coming year.
QQ Teahouse / Wu Wei Din Chinese Cuisine
QQ Teahouse, a cute cafe that serves bubble tea, rice bowls, and ramen, is a roughly eight minute drive from UTD’s campus. At $5.49, their popcorn chicken is both authentic to the streets of Taichung and affordable for a student shelling out thousands to attend the UT system’s most expensive university. At the higher end, their signature seafood ramen still only comes out to $8.99. They also have iced tea, milk tea, hot tea, and smoothies in every color of the rainbow with add-ons like boba and jelly being only 50 cents extra. Pandemic-be-willing, it’s also filled with couches and cozy vibes that make it a nice spot to hang out and study. But for now, QQ is takeout-only. You can order and pick-up through Wu Wei Din next door.
QQ’s next-door “brother restaurant,” Wu Wei Din Chinese Cuisine, is also a verifiable hit. Their website claims they’re the best Chinese slash Taiwanese restaurant in town, and you better believe it. Just take it from my grandmother, who swore that their Taiwanese beef noodle soup was the best she’d ever had— and she was flying home to Taiwan the next evening. They’ve got a wide variety of choices, from authentic staples like xiao long bao to an entire section of the menu labeled “America’s Favorite Chinese Dishes” featuring American Chinese dishes like orange chicken. Prices for entrees range from $9-12. Indoor and outdoor dining are available, but as space is very limited, takeout is encouraged. For lovers of Chinese food, both restaurants are definitely worth checking out.
Dos Arroyos Comida Casera (formerly Frankie’s Mexican Cuisine)
Located right next to ice cream parlor Sweet Firefly and a mere five minute drive from campus, Dos Arroyos serves some of the best Tex-Mex around. Dinner entrees range from $12-17, and if you come a little earlier, you can even get brunch for just $10. Every meal comes with fresh chips and salsa, and the staff are attentive and friendly even if you’re just stopping in for takeout. There’s a nice patio space for outdoor dining, and the general ambiance of the place is rustic and homey. They’re specifically known for their house-made tamales, brisket enchiladas, and Mexican lasagna, but I also recommend the tortilla soup, which you can grab a cup of for just $3. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was the best $3 I have ever spent. Dos Arroyos is absolutely worth your while.
Coffee House Cafe
Coffee House Cafe is a must-try when it comes to brunch spots. This restaurant really has a wide variety of options (including a bar) and is only about eight minutes from campus. One of the best parts of this restaurant is the variety in the menu. You can get anything from a parfait, an omelet, to french toast. One of the menu favorites are the breakfast tacos which are super filling. Everything is priced from $3-$12 which includes the small starter meals and the larger entrees. And if you’re looking for a sandwich or burger they have that as well. Their drinks range from hot chocolate, orange juice to iced coffee, and you can even get additions to your coffee like lavender or CBD. Coffee House Cafe also has a lovely outdoor seating area that resembles a french countryside patio.
Lekka is a quirky Mediterranean restaurant about ten minutes away from campus. It could also be considered American-ized Mediterranean food. They have cheese and hummus boards as appetizers and they have plenty of salads to choose from. One of their most popular options is their Tramezzini. A Tramezzini is a slice of grilled, stuffed pita bread, and they have loads of different options. Veggie, Italian, Philly, and a personal favorite, the Texan. It’s basically like a Greek quesadilla. They also have sandwiches, soups, and pasta, all reasonably priced from $7-$16. On top of the yummy meals, there are also plenty of delectable desserts like cheesecake, pie, and even custom-made cakes. The food at Lekka is great but a big part of the attraction is the decor and the ambiance. Inside there’s cute and quirky furniture and chairs and the outdoor seating is really beautiful. They hang cute trinkets about the seating area, and if it looks like it’s going to rain they’ll string umbrellas over the seating area. Not to mention, there’s also a store attached to the restaurant which you can browse around where they sell salt lamps, candles and much much more.