School is back and in full swing. For some of you that means college. Whether you’re new to your campus or maybe you just don’t explore your college town, I am here to help. Well, specifically I’m here to help Dentonites, both old and new.
I attended the University of North Texas for college, majored in Advertising and Marketing. I spent 3 years living there, plus the 2 additional years of me basically being there almost every weekend because the S.O. is finishing up school still. Between the two of us, plus some additional Denton-based friends, I feel I can help you in your foodie problems.
In what will be a small series of posts I will let you in on some of the best places to eat in Denton. Wait, disclaimer, “in my opinion”. You might try these places and think that they suck, that’s fine, at least you tried. There are some places on this list I don’t personally recommend but other people do. So, again, here are some of the “best places” to eat in Denton:
Let’s start the show with the most important meal of the day. Breakfast.
Denton does not have a big, breakfast-based, subsection of restaurants. I think it’s because it’s a college town and most people aren’t up till 11:00 anyways. There are some gems in there though, especially for the weekend.
Seven Mile Cafe:
Seven Mile Cafe is located off Congress street. Originally, it was a small house that was converted into a restaurant that also had a massive, kinda storage unit looking, coffee cafe right next door. Recently they switched the locations. The tiny house is now the coffee cafe and the bigger location is the restaurant. Logically it makes sense. There is always a wait at Seven Mile if you show up after 9:00 AM, in this larger location they can fit twice the amount of people. The downside is that the larger location is a giant box that has no sound absorption so it’s loud, and the old coffee bar, which is still there, takes up a lot of real estate in the center of the room.
The prices are just a little high. Not high enough to stop you from going but, for Denton, it makes you think twice sometimes. Most dishes are priced in the $10-15 range. That and tacking on a $5 mimosa and your breakfast is already at $20. Go with another person and now you’re at $40. The food though is good, but more importantly, it’s consistent. I’ve rarely been disappointed except when I got their loaded potatoes. It was basically a large ramekin filled with hash browns and cheese, and, if I was lucky, I found a small piece of chorizo or bell pepper. That dish just lacks texture. It was boring. It was fine, nothing was wrong with it, it was just boring. I recommend their french toast, or their huevos rancheros.
Old West is a staple in the Denton community. Everybody goes here. Literally everybody. This is the place that the post-church crowd hits. High traffic times are between 9:00 – 10:30 AM. If you show up in that time frame expect to wait at least 20 minutes. The place is small. More than once I’ve been at the outsider table that’s located against the wall between the bathroom and the kitchen prep area. You don’t want to sit there, but you will sit there because the food is massive and delicious. Pancakes as big as your head. I get the panhandlers which are biscuits and gravy topped with potatoes, scrambled eggs, cheese and a variety of meats and vegetables of your choosing. I usually get spinach, bell peppers and chorizo with pepper jack cheese. I never liked biscuits and gravy until I had them slathered in additional ingredients and now I’m all about it.
Home of the “Best Cinnamon Roll in Texas” Royal’s Bagels is located off University. It’s a great pop-in/pop-out joint. Bagels, bagel sandwiches, and cinnamon rolls. I love bagels like the natural born New Yorker I am. It’s in my blood to love them. Although I doubt the bagels themselves are made in house they make all the sandwiches to order.
The cinnamon rolls are made in house. They are rather large and you can get them covered in extra frosting, which you probably should.
This is where I eat when I just want to grab something and go. I always get an everything bagel with eggs, bacon and cheese. I’ve dabbled in their cream cheese bagel options, opting for one that was peanut butter fluff and bananas. I think monkey was in the name. It was good, but there was a lot of cream cheese which isn’t always my thing. It was a sloppy mess, spilling out the sides every time I took a bite. I’m sure that’s how it’s supposed to happen but I’ll pass.
Loco Cafe is the hippest of trendy joints out in Lil D Town. Been there once, wasn’t a fan, but you might be. It’s a place where you order at the counter and then go find your table. If you order a drink like specialty coffee you have to retrieve it from the coffee bar, which I didn’t like. They also gave me a hot coffee when I clearly ordered the iced coffee, which also rubbed me the wrong way. I honestly don’t remember what I ate so that should tell you that the food, to me, is probably mediocre at best. Give it a shot. I might have been having an off day but I’m not about to go again.
Cups and Crepes:
This is a place off Fry. I’ve literally tried to eat there twice and have YET to eat there. First time I drove over and it was clearly open but there is no parking on the street. So you’re only option is to park in the driveway (because this too is an old house converted into a restaurant) where you have a 100% chance of getting blocked in. So nope, drove somewhere else.
Second time I tried to eat there I walked because it’s that close to where I stay. Get there and place looks busted, mind you it’s only been a week or two from the first attempt. Doesn’t look open and there is a sign on the door that reads “Closed for Summer”. Um… you were open just the other week. Plus summer is over, school is back. Be open. Apparently the SO told me that he’s heard bad things about this place. That they’re kinda all over the board and you never know when they’re open. I just wanted to include this so you know it’s probably not a place you want to eat. But if you’re lucky enough to get inside the doors let me know what you think.