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a spread of tartines with a glass of white wine
Salento, in Rice Village, is known for its tartines.
Salento Bistrot/Facebook

18 Essential Rice Village Restaurants

Some of Houston’s best restaurants are steps away from Rice University

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Salento, in Rice Village, is known for its tartines.
| Salento Bistrot/Facebook

Just a stone’s throw away from one of the best universities in the country, Rice Village is also home to some of Houston’s finest restaurants.

And thanks to a measure put in place by the City of Houston last year, many of those restaurants, from tiny cafes to large local chains, have established outdoor parklets and sidewalk tables that allow for socially-distanced dining. As the springy Houston weather becomes more pleasant, the neighborhood has taken on the vibe of a European city, where diners sit on terraces, sipping their coffee or enjoying a leisurely lunch while people-watching the nearby shoppers.

Whether in search of excellent Mediterranean cuisine, late-night drunk fare, a healthy lunch, or a regular brunch spot, these 18 restaurants showcase the culinary diversity of the neighborhood that surrounds Rice University.

Is your favorite Rice Village spot missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Goode Company BBQ

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5109 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 522-2530
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One of Houston’s most popular barbecue joints, Goode Co. serves up all the classics — brisket, roasted chicken, ribs and more — plus meat dishes inspired by the long lineage of Texas immigrants, like Czech sausage and barbecue po-boys. Pair your meal with an ice cold Lone Star, and don’t forget the gooey Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie.

2. Local Foods

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2424 Dunstan Rd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 521-7800
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Healthy and fresh fare is served all day long at the Rice Village outpost of this popular local chain. Try the Gulf shrimp and crab roll, or keep it fresh with an asparagus and Brussels sprouts salad served with Texas goat cheese and herb vinaigrette.

Local Foods/Facebook

3. Coppa Osteria

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5210 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 522-3535
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Head to Coppa Osteria for a comforting bowl of pasta. The fusilli, ravioli, casarecce, and other freshly-made pastas here aren’t exactly cheap, but the quality is worth the occasional splurge for broke college students and budget-minded diners alike.

4. Hungry's

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2356 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 523-8652
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Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics at this popular Rice Village spot, where both hummus and old-school meatloaf are on the menu. Burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads round out the extensive menu, best enjoyed on the tree-shaded balcony.

Hungry’s/Facebook

5. Tiger Noodle House

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2424 Rice Boulevard A
Houston, TX 77005
(281) 974-4507
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The food at Tiger Noodle House runs the gamut from sesame chicken to dry beef noodles to Szechuan dishes like Chengdu-style grilled sliced fish. Ultra-friendly service is just the icing on the cake.

6. Salento Bistrot

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2407 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 528-7478
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This homey cafe is known for its tartines, open-faced sandwiches topped with everything from brie and mushroom to curried chicken. It’s also one of the few breakfast destinations in the Village, offering breakfast toasts with eggs and avocado alongside migas, egg-stuffed tacos and scrambles.

7. Helen Greek Food & Wine

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2429 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
(832) 831-7133
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With its chic dining room, killer wine list, and creative interpretation of “Gulf-influenced Greek food,” Helen Greek Food & Wine is an obvious choice for visiting guests, date night, or any time that a serious craving for mussels saganaki (cooked in ouzo and white wine) strikes.

8. Island Grill

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2365 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 527-8070
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Need a healthy and quick lunch? This casual spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up a massive menu of salads, sandwiches, and entrees that includes everything from tabbouleh to teriyaki.

Becca Wright

9. Café Rabelais

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2442 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 520-8841
Visit Website

Offering a decidedly more rustic (and old-school) take on French cuisine, the locals love Café Rabelais. Pay attention to the ever-changing board of specials (especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu), or stick with something like a simple Nicoise salad.

10. ATE Kitchen

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2445 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(346) 804-7208
Visit Website

A former tenant of the now-shuttered food hall Politan Row, Ate has reopened at the same Rice Village address, serving Caribbean eats like chickpea curry flatbread, plantain-stuffed samosas and Berbere-spiced grilled salmon. There are also excellent options for vegetarians too, like jerked jackfruit with coconut rice and peas.

11. Oh My Gogi

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5555 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005
(832) 509-5999
Visit Website

This mobile eatery fuses together the flavors of Mexico and Korea, and the results are pretty damn delicious. Kimchi quesadillas, patty melts made with Korean beef, and a burger with actual ramen noodles for a bun are on offer, making Oh My Goji an excellent late-night option. Pro-tip: pay attention to Oh My Gogi’s Twitter account for details on the truck’s location.

Oh My Gogi/Facebook

12. Prego

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2520 Amherst St
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 529-2420
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Prego has been a Rice Village fave for more than 30 years, serving pasta, house-cured salumi and Gulf Coast seafood like the pumpkin seed-crusted red snapper with butternut squash. The wine list is also extensive, with nearly 150 bottles from Italy and beyond.

13. D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe

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5510 Morningside Dr #140
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 526-3400
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Since 1996, D’Amico’s has been one of Houston’s favorite spots for a bowl of pasta, wood-fired pizza, or a perfectly pressed panini. The cozy, no-frills atmosphere is relaxing and unpretentious, but the pasta (made in-house) is just as good as pricier bowls found elsewhere in the city.

Photo: D’Amico

14. Istanbul Grill & Deli

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5613 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 526-2800
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Billing itself as Houston’s “first and most authentic” Turkish restaurant, there are plenty of Space City diners that would totally agree with that assessment. The dining options here are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers, and there’s plenty of dishes that vegetarians and folks with other dietary restrictions can enjoy.

Istanbul Grill/Facebook

15. Sixty Vines

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2540 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(281) 800-8808
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This Texas-born chain focuses on California-style cuisine and Napa Valley wines, with a menu that includes dishes like pan-seared rainbow trout with coriander-tarragon butter, coconut & cilantro infused shrimp tonnarelli, and sharables like pizza, charcuterie boards and baked ricotta cheese.

16. Roma, an Italian eatery in Rice Village

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2347 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 664-7581
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While there are several Mediterranean restaurants in Rice Village, Roma focuses mostly on the dishes of its namesake city, including deep dish pizza, carbonara, cacio e pepe, and more. For those still ordering takeout, the restaurant hosts a monthly wine dinner complete with guest Zoom appearances from vintners and sommeliers from around the world.

17. Pasha Restaurant

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2325 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 592-0020
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Tucked inside an old house, Pasha serves up what is arguably Houston’s best mezze. Order an epic spread of appetizers (perhaps labneh, dolmas, eggplant, and tabbouleh) on a platter, but only if you’ve brought along a friend or two with whom to share. The pizza is also a solid option, and don’t forget to snag a Turkish coffee on the way out.

Pasha Pizza
Pasha Pizza

18. El Meson

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2425 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 522-9306
Visit Website

This longtime Spanish and Latin American restaurant offers a hearty menu of tapas like jamón Ibérico with manchego cheese, pork belly braised in honey and wine, and piquillo peppers stuffed with cod fish béchamel. Entrees include dishes from a wide range of culinary traditions, including Tex-Mex, Cuban-inflected plates, and solid Spanish paella.

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1. Goode Company BBQ

5109 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098

One of Houston’s most popular barbecue joints, Goode Co. serves up all the classics — brisket, roasted chicken, ribs and more — plus meat dishes inspired by the long lineage of Texas immigrants, like Czech sausage and barbecue po-boys. Pair your meal with an ice cold Lone Star, and don’t forget the gooey Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie.

5109 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77098

2. Local Foods

2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston, TX 77005
Local Foods/Facebook

Healthy and fresh fare is served all day long at the Rice Village outpost of this popular local chain. Try the Gulf shrimp and crab roll, or keep it fresh with an asparagus and Brussels sprouts salad served with Texas goat cheese and herb vinaigrette.

2424 Dunstan Rd
Houston, TX 77005

3. Coppa Osteria

5210 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005

Head to Coppa Osteria for a comforting bowl of pasta. The fusilli, ravioli, casarecce, and other freshly-made pastas here aren’t exactly cheap, but the quality is worth the occasional splurge for broke college students and budget-minded diners alike.

5210 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005

4. Hungry's

2356 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005
Hungry’s/Facebook

Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics at this popular Rice Village spot, where both hummus and old-school meatloaf are on the menu. Burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads round out the extensive menu, best enjoyed on the tree-shaded balcony.

2356 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

5. Tiger Noodle House

2424 Rice Boulevard A, Houston, TX 77005

The food at Tiger Noodle House runs the gamut from sesame chicken to dry beef noodles to Szechuan dishes like Chengdu-style grilled sliced fish. Ultra-friendly service is just the icing on the cake.

2424 Rice Boulevard A
Houston, TX 77005

6. Salento Bistrot

2407 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005

This homey cafe is known for its tartines, open-faced sandwiches topped with everything from brie and mushroom to curried chicken. It’s also one of the few breakfast destinations in the Village, offering breakfast toasts with eggs and avocado alongside migas, egg-stuffed tacos and scrambles.

2407 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

7. Helen Greek Food & Wine

2429 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005

With its chic dining room, killer wine list, and creative interpretation of “Gulf-influenced Greek food,” Helen Greek Food & Wine is an obvious choice for visiting guests, date night, or any time that a serious craving for mussels saganaki (cooked in ouzo and white wine) strikes.

2429 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

8. Island Grill

2365 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005
Becca Wright

Need a healthy and quick lunch? This casual spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up a massive menu of salads, sandwiches, and entrees that includes everything from tabbouleh to teriyaki.

2365 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

9. Café Rabelais

2442 Times Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

Offering a decidedly more rustic (and old-school) take on French cuisine, the locals love Café Rabelais. Pay attention to the ever-changing board of specials (especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu), or stick with something like a simple Nicoise salad.

2442 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

10. ATE Kitchen

2445 Times Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

A former tenant of the now-shuttered food hall Politan Row, Ate has reopened at the same Rice Village address, serving Caribbean eats like chickpea curry flatbread, plantain-stuffed samosas and Berbere-spiced grilled salmon. There are also excellent options for vegetarians too, like jerked jackfruit with coconut rice and peas.

2445 Times Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

11. Oh My Gogi

5555 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005
Oh My Gogi/Facebook

This mobile eatery fuses together the flavors of Mexico and Korea, and the results are pretty damn delicious. Kimchi quesadillas, patty melts made with Korean beef, and a burger with actual ramen noodles for a bun are on offer, making Oh My Goji an excellent late-night option. Pro-tip: pay attention to Oh My Gogi’s Twitter account for details on the truck’s location.

5555 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005

12. Prego

2520 Amherst St, Houston, TX 77005

Prego has been a Rice Village fave for more than 30 years, serving pasta, house-cured salumi and Gulf Coast seafood like the pumpkin seed-crusted red snapper with butternut squash. The wine list is also extensive, with nearly 150 bottles from Italy and beyond.

2520 Amherst St
Houston, TX 77005

13. D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe

5510 Morningside Dr #140, Houston, TX 77005
Photo: D’Amico

Since 1996, D’Amico’s has been one of Houston’s favorite spots for a bowl of pasta, wood-fired pizza, or a perfectly pressed panini. The cozy, no-frills atmosphere is relaxing and unpretentious, but the pasta (made in-house) is just as good as pricier bowls found elsewhere in the city.

5510 Morningside Dr #140
Houston, TX 77005

14. Istanbul Grill & Deli

5613 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005
Istanbul Grill/Facebook

Billing itself as Houston’s “first and most authentic” Turkish restaurant, there are plenty of Space City diners that would totally agree with that assessment. The dining options here are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers, and there’s plenty of dishes that vegetarians and folks with other dietary restrictions can enjoy.

5613 Morningside Dr
Houston, TX 77005

15. Sixty Vines

2540 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

This Texas-born chain focuses on California-style cuisine and Napa Valley wines, with a menu that includes dishes like pan-seared rainbow trout with coriander-tarragon butter, coconut & cilantro infused shrimp tonnarelli, and sharables like pizza, charcuterie boards and baked ricotta cheese.

2540 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

Related Maps

16. Roma, an Italian eatery in Rice Village

2347 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

While there are several Mediterranean restaurants in Rice Village, Roma focuses mostly on the dishes of its namesake city, including deep dish pizza, carbonara, cacio e pepe, and more. For those still ordering takeout, the restaurant hosts a monthly wine dinner complete with guest Zoom appearances from vintners and sommeliers from around the world.

2347 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

17. Pasha Restaurant

2325 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005
Pasha Pizza
Pasha Pizza

Tucked inside an old house, Pasha serves up what is arguably Houston’s best mezze. Order an epic spread of appetizers (perhaps labneh, dolmas, eggplant, and tabbouleh) on a platter, but only if you’ve brought along a friend or two with whom to share. The pizza is also a solid option, and don’t forget to snag a Turkish coffee on the way out.

2325 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

18. El Meson

2425 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

This longtime Spanish and Latin American restaurant offers a hearty menu of tapas like jamón Ibérico with manchego cheese, pork belly braised in honey and wine, and piquillo peppers stuffed with cod fish béchamel. Entrees include dishes from a wide range of culinary traditions, including Tex-Mex, Cuban-inflected plates, and solid Spanish paella.

2425 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005

Related Maps