How to Spend 12 Hours Around TCU

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Heading back to campus for TCU Homecoming? You might want to set aside some time to explore.

By Franchesca Barua

It’s homecoming weekend at TCU, which means many Frog fans and alumni are heading back to campus. Whether you’re a TCU alumnus coming “home” for the game, or a visitor trying to get acquainted with the area around campus, there are plenty of great eats, activities and shopping to welcome you — 12 hours of it, in fact. 

Here are a few ways to spend a full day around Frog country.

9 a.m. | Rise and grind.

Black Rooster Cafe

With all the great food found around TCU, you might want to start the day with a workout. Adjacent to the GrandMarc at TCU is 9Round, a 30-minute kickboxing-themed workout with no class times, so you can just pop in, get your body moving, then head out. Hold off on the shower — or don’t — and head to the Black Rooster Cafe on Forest Park Boulevard afterward for some much-deserved breakfast. The menu has everything from bacon cheddar croissants, to spinach, tomato and feta frittatas. Top it off with some coffee, and you’re ready for a day’s worth of activities.

10:30 a.m. | Ready to peruse.

JunkerVal’s Antiques, Vintage Junk & Jewelry. Photo from JunkerVal's Facebook page.

After breakfast, take a seven-minute drive to Bluebonnet Circle for some shopping. THREE offers a variety of accessories, women’s clothing and even personalized gifts if you’re looking for a last-minute present for someone.

Just around the circle is JunkerVal’s Antiques, Vintage Junk & Jewelry where you can buy vintage cowboy boots, artwork, and even wigs. Don’t forget to stop by Collected, a comic book shop where you can purchase your favorite comics and sell them too.

12 p.m | Taco time.

R Taco

Here’s hoping you’re hungry again, because R Taco, also in Bluebonnet Circle, is calling your name. This newly opened taco joint serves a selection of fish, black bean, and fried chicken tacos. If you’re still craving breakfast, the menu offers all-day breakfast tacos too. Pair your meal with a fresh lime juice margarita for the full R Taco experience, or grab a drink nearby at Mellow Mushroom, Fred’s Texas Cafe or The Bottom Bar & Grill. Wear your purple on Purple Friday and snag $1 margaritas.

2 p.m. | University drive.

jean guru. Photo from jean guru Facebook page.

Make your way down University Drive to find TCU’s newly remodeled bookstore. Whether or not you’re a Frog fan, the store sports a brand new Starbucks and a section with Apple products on the second floor. 

Just a few steps from the bookstore is Record Town, a vinyl heaven welcoming record collectors and music lovers alike. This is a must-see while exploring the TCU area, not only because it’s been open since 1956, but because you’ll have the chance to browse the multitude of CDs, vinyls, cassettes and instruments being sold in store, like the guitars. Who knows, you may end up finding something you want to buy, that you could, you know, keep forever?

Continue venturing down University in search of Retrospection, a lifestyle boutique with home decor, clothing and jewelry. Spend some time hopping in and out of the shops along the strip just on the intersection of Park Hill Drive and University Drive. You might find yourself buying wine at Put a Cork In It, or buying your dad a pair of jeans at jean guru.

6 p.m. | Dinner and mules.

HG Sply Co. Photo from HG Sply Co. website.

Make your way past campus to WestBend. Warby Parker just opened its doors in a sleek space, neighboring Drybar. Its wide selection of prescription glasses and sunglasses will make you want try on a pair — or 50 —  forgetting that you do in fact have 20/20 vision.

Once you’re done, head over to HG Sply Co., to what is arguably one of the best patios in town, for some healthy — and flavorful — food options. The menu offers gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian alternatives like the ginger garlic hummus, the HG Kale Caesar salad, and the quinoa burger. Refreshing and tasty, the signature HG moscow mule uses ingredients like ginger, Buddha’s Brew kombucha, turbinado, and 42BELOW vodka. If you’re lucky, you might also catch the sunset toast (offered Monday-Friday), an HG tradition of offering a free rotating drink to diners at sunset. And if you’re sitting on the patio overlooking the Trinity River, you will have no reason not to order a Cucumber Smash.

9 p.m. | Night out.

The Aardvark. Photo from The Aardvark Facebook page.

Kick off the night at University Pub, where weekly drink specials are offered. Buy a pitcher of beer and play some tunes on the jukebox until you’re ready to move on for the night. Just down Berry Street is The Aardvark, where live music is a regular feature, and mini corn dogs are nothing to whine about. Once you’re out of breath from dancing, cross the street over to Whiskey Rose Saloon before it’s time for last call.