Ahh mixer season, the long awaited start to the second semester at SMU post recruitment. Mixer season is a time to mingle with the new fraternity pledge classes and get to know your own. What better way to do this then huge weekly dinners before every event? Below are some of the best mixer season restaurants from drink specials, to awesome locations to yummy eats — these places have it all.

1. Gloria's Latin Cuisine

 Gloria's is a huge restaurant space and has large tables that can accommodate your large party so that you don't have to turn anyone away. They also provide bean dip with the traditional chips and salsa which is perfect for if you don't want to order a full meal, but want to fill your belly up before going out. They also have great drinks such as the "Skinny Mojito" and "Blush Margarita". 

2. The Common Table

Abby Helme

The Common Table is the essential restaurant for big parties. They take reservations far in advance through Yelp online which is super helpful, and their menu and service are both superb. Nothing starts the night out better than a pitcher of their signature Skittles sangria or one of their tasty entrees such as the fried chicken cobb or the beef tenderloin and burrata salad.

#Spoontip: Go on Wednesday's when select bottles of wine are 30% off! 

3. Bar Stellar

Bar Stellar is the ultra-trendy spot of the moment for SMU students and Dallas residents alike. The nice light fare such as the chicken n' waffle cone and ahi tuna nachos are perfect for when you don't feel like gorging, but want to eat something before a night out of drinking. The insanely Instagram worthy drinks come in super sizes such as the "Mega Mosa" and "Skull Crusher" which are meant to be shared with friends. Bonus: You can text their number for reservations instead of calling. 

4. The Blue Fish

The Blue Fish has an awesome location on Greenville Ave which puts you close to many of the pregame houses. Their sushi is fresh and light and it is a great spot to go sake bombing. You can also make reservations online, which is super convenient. They also run a host of deals that includes 1$ Sake Thursdays.

5. Digg's Taco Shop

Digg's is super casual and only yards from SMU's northern dorms (MHPS and VS), making it super convenient. While they don't take reservations, there is ample indoor seating especially on weekdays (when most mixers take place). Digg's is perfect for a more low-key night. They have excellent frozen margs, queso and an array of great taco options such as the roasted pork carnitas and gulf shrimp. Your allowance will thank you because it's a counter service restaurant saving you the normal tip expense. 

6. Bandito's Tex Mex Cantina

Bandito's is the crown jewel of an SMU student's weeknight restaurant pick. Winning major points for friendly staff, walking distance and killer Skinny Margaritas that pack quite the punch. Bandito's is also excellent about constantly replenishing hot chips and their signature spicy salsa.

So there you have it. Here are some of my picks for the best overall dinner spots to start your night off right! And don't forget to put your pin on AFTER you order that Moscow Mule.