clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The interior of Eau Tour with a bar, banquettes, and large presentation of wine bottles.
Rice Village — the neighborhood near Rice University — harbors some exciting dining options, all with different vibes.
Jenn Duncan

Where to Eat in Rice Village

Vibey cocktails, student pubs, Israeli restaurants with live entertainment, and so much more await near Rice University

View as Map
Rice Village — the neighborhood near Rice University — harbors some exciting dining options, all with different vibes.
| Jenn Duncan

Considered one of the Ivy League universities of the South, Rice University is a prestigious college that has drawn in some of the most talented students and faculty from around the world. The nearby walkable neighborhood of Rice Village similarly draws in crowds, with more than a dozen blocks of boutiques, furniture stores, salons, coffee bars, worthy dining options, and people-watching opportunities.

Whether in search of the perfect morning pastry, the quintessential sidewalk cafe, a late-night haunt with Israeli eats and belly dancing performances, or a no-frills wine bar packed with locals, these 20 restaurants showcase the culinary diversity of the neighborhood.

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

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Under the Volcano

Copy Link

This decades-old bar is situated away from the hustle and bustle of the area’s many retail shops and restaurants. It’s relaxed and unpretentious and is themed out with Day of the Dead artifacts and decor. Find a hefty menu of Mexican eats like queso, tacos, empanadas, and tamales, along with frozen cocktails and a full coffee bar, and be sure to catch its steak nights held every Monday.

Eau Tour

Copy Link

Located in the same building as sister concepts, Local Foods, Local Foods Market, and Lees Den, Eau Tour is an exciting new French-inspired restaurant from Benjy Levit. The dining space has a retro aesthetic, and menu highlights include caviar service, crudos, pork milanese, and a double cheeseburger built with house ground patties made of short rib and duck.

Tuna tartare with romesco, toasted almonds, beef fat emulsion, bottarga, and endive at Eau Tour.
Eau Tour offers a French dining experience with a retro flair.
Jenn Duncan

Lees Den

Copy Link

An homage to the now-shuttered Houston Chinese restaurant, Lee’s, this speakeasy bar (with two discreet entrances) is known for its rotating wine list and seasonal cocktails. Shareable plates like Vietnamese-style tartare and pistachio-whipped goat cheese make it a worthy option of dining and imbibing while in the area. Opt for a glass of wine or purchase a bottle from Local Foods Market’s bottle shop downstairs, with no corkage fee.

Lees Den cocktail with a side of chips.
Though billed bar that specializes in wine, Lees Den offers much more.
Jenn Duncan

Local Foods - Rice Village

Copy Link

This mainstay and beloved local chain serves up fresh fare all day at its Rice Village outpost, including its unrivaled roasted “crunchy” chicken sandwich, which gets its crispy texture from a combination of crushed chips and a nut-seed crumble. Try the Asian chicken salad or one of the many vegan entrees, then venture off to the neighboring Local Foods Market for some goodies and wine to take home.

Valhalla

Copy Link

If looking to mingle with Rice students on campus, stop by this graduate student pub. Run by students, this Nordic-themed campus bar offers beer, wine, seltzers, a small selection of sandwiches, and an eclectic selection of decor. Be sure to bring cash (no credit cards), but don’t wear a tie unless you’ve just defended your thesis. The bar rule is you’ll have to remove it or cut it off immediately if it’s not thesis-related.

The inside of Rice University’s Valhara graduate student bar, with a post decorated in ties and balloons that say “Go Rats.”
Rice University’s Valhara is a volunteer student-led graduate bar with extra school spirit.
Brittany Britto Garley

Coppa Osteria

Copy Link

Although the choice between pizza or pasta is never an easy one to make, rest assured Coppa won’t lead you astray. Start off the night with the Tuscan kale salad before deciding between the classic margarita pizza or the creamy Coppa carbonara. On nice weather days, settling in at a table on the large wraparound patio is wise.

Gratify

Copy Link

With its spirited crowd and loud, artsy decor, Gratify is a see and be seen destination in Rice Village. Start with caviar and chips, or peruse the options within a cheese case showcased prominently at the bar, and check out the daily selections featured on the Gratify meat and cheese board. Enjoy mains like lobster risotto and beef bourguignon, but save room for the famed date cake.

Sushi by Hidden

Copy Link

Want to impress friends or out-of-towners with a unique dining experience? From the team behind Hidden Omakase, Sushi by Hidden offers 30-minute omakase tastings for 10 guests at a time at an intimate sushi counter. Like its sister restaurant, it boasts a speakeasy-style entrance, where guests must pass through a mock art gallery before entering the small dining area. The speedy experience is a budget-friendly alternative to some of the other omakase experiences in town, priced at $60 per guest.

Hungry's

Copy Link

At this family-friendly Rice Village stalwart, Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics. The extensive menu features homestyle dishes like old-school meatloaf and pasta, plus burgers, hummus, and an entire section devoted to plant-based eats. Lunch is a scene-y affair, with most guests taking to the large shaded patio. Visit the second-floor bar and lounge, called Upstairs, where it’s easy to enjoy daily happy hour specials on booze and bites from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m, and don’t forget about Hungry’s weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where the restaurant overflows with solid offerings like fried chicken and waffles and crab cake benedict.

Helen Greek Food & Wine

Copy Link

With its chic, narrow dining room, killer Greek wine list, and creative interpretation of “Gulf-influenced Greek food,” Helen offers something unique and special in Rice Village. Start with a cheese pie before moving on to grilled octopus and feta-brined chicken with roasted lemon potatoes.

Island Grill - Rice Village

Copy Link

This casual, family-friendly restaurant, with a dog-friendly patio, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — with dishes like pitas stuffed with falafel, grilled salmon, and sliced pastrami, and brunch favorites like breakfast tacos and creme brûlée French toast. As a bonus, Island Grill has fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Kasra Persian Grill

Copy Link

This longstanding Persian restaurant now has an inner loop location, on Times Boulevard within Rice Village. Dip fresh taftoon bread in hummus, whipped feta, or lentil soup before indulging wholly in a meat platter. Beef or chicken kubideh plates feature tender skewered meat with basmati rice.

Cafe Rabelais

Copy Link

Classics are such for a reason, and Café Rabelais is a prime example of that. French staples like beef bourguignon and trout amandine remain some of their best dishes, but don’t forget to explore the restaurant’s board of ever-changing specials — especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu.

Navy Blue

Copy Link

This chic seafood-focused follow-up restaurant to Aaron Bludorn’s namesake Montrose restaurant, Bludorn, is open for lunch and dinner. A seafood lover's dream, dishes here include smoked mahi mahi dip, oysters prepared three ways, and a fried grouper sandwich made with mussel aioli. Its new weekend brunch showcases brunch-exclusive plates like a worthy crab cake benedict and Texas-sized sticky bun.

A fish sandwich on seeded bun topped with lettuce and a tomato condiment, all wrapped in white paper.
The grouper sandwich at Navy Blue is a standout.
Caroline Fontenot

The Rice Box

Copy Link

This Chinese food truck-turned-popular local restaurant chain is easily distinguished by its bright neon signage and interiors, and its new Rice Village locale is no exception. Dining in is just as popular as carrying out, with the restaurant open until midnight on weekends. Portions are generous, with entrees like sesame chicken, pepper steak, and Mongolian beef accompanied with rice and an egg roll.

Hamsa brings the flavors of Tel Aviv to Houston. Expect hummus with lamb presented with fresh baked pita, falafel with tahini, and charcoal-grilled meats with vegetable skewers. The restaurant opens up to a vibrant patio that offers prime people watching views, making it a hot spot during lunch, but if you opt to visit after dark — consider dining on a Thursday, when the restaurant hosts Tel Aviv night with a DJ and belly dancing performances.

The exterior of Hamsa with outdoor seating.
Hamsa is popular for lunch, and its Thursday Tel Aviv nights.
Kirsten Gilliam

Badolina Bakery & Cafe

Copy Link

Badolina’s glass pastry cases reveal buttery baked works of art that look almost too good to eat. Find beautifully laminated croissants, tarts, cookies, and immaculately decorated cakes served alongside coffee and espresso drinks. Be sure to snag a loaf of sourdough to take home for later.

Istanbul Grill & Deli

Copy Link

Billed as Houston’s first Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Grill’s dining options are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers. Plenty of dishes are vegetarian, including the red lentil soup, which is a house favorite.

Sixty Vines

Copy Link

The Rice Village outpost of this Texas wine bar chain features a warm and sunlit space, spread over two levels. Find 60 Napa Valley wines on tap, and explore the food menu, which features shareable dishes like hummus, burrata, and pizzas. Brunch offers a festive atmosphere, with guests pairing their bubbles with dishes like avocado eggs Benedict or almond chiffon French toast.

Bookmark this charming Italian restaurant for your next date night or a special night out with friends and family. Dine in the rustic, dimly-lit dining room or opt for the outdoor patio bedecked with string lights, and journey through the menu, which showcases dishes from Italy’s 14 regions. Start with burrata and arancini, then choose from one of many heaping platters of pasta. Finish strong with limoncello tarts or tiramisu.

Under the Volcano

This decades-old bar is situated away from the hustle and bustle of the area’s many retail shops and restaurants. It’s relaxed and unpretentious and is themed out with Day of the Dead artifacts and decor. Find a hefty menu of Mexican eats like queso, tacos, empanadas, and tamales, along with frozen cocktails and a full coffee bar, and be sure to catch its steak nights held every Monday.

Eau Tour

Located in the same building as sister concepts, Local Foods, Local Foods Market, and Lees Den, Eau Tour is an exciting new French-inspired restaurant from Benjy Levit. The dining space has a retro aesthetic, and menu highlights include caviar service, crudos, pork milanese, and a double cheeseburger built with house ground patties made of short rib and duck.

Tuna tartare with romesco, toasted almonds, beef fat emulsion, bottarga, and endive at Eau Tour.
Eau Tour offers a French dining experience with a retro flair.
Jenn Duncan

Lees Den

An homage to the now-shuttered Houston Chinese restaurant, Lee’s, this speakeasy bar (with two discreet entrances) is known for its rotating wine list and seasonal cocktails. Shareable plates like Vietnamese-style tartare and pistachio-whipped goat cheese make it a worthy option of dining and imbibing while in the area. Opt for a glass of wine or purchase a bottle from Local Foods Market’s bottle shop downstairs, with no corkage fee.

Lees Den cocktail with a side of chips.
Though billed bar that specializes in wine, Lees Den offers much more.
Jenn Duncan

Local Foods - Rice Village

This mainstay and beloved local chain serves up fresh fare all day at its Rice Village outpost, including its unrivaled roasted “crunchy” chicken sandwich, which gets its crispy texture from a combination of crushed chips and a nut-seed crumble. Try the Asian chicken salad or one of the many vegan entrees, then venture off to the neighboring Local Foods Market for some goodies and wine to take home.

Valhalla

If looking to mingle with Rice students on campus, stop by this graduate student pub. Run by students, this Nordic-themed campus bar offers beer, wine, seltzers, a small selection of sandwiches, and an eclectic selection of decor. Be sure to bring cash (no credit cards), but don’t wear a tie unless you’ve just defended your thesis. The bar rule is you’ll have to remove it or cut it off immediately if it’s not thesis-related.

The inside of Rice University’s Valhara graduate student bar, with a post decorated in ties and balloons that say “Go Rats.”
Rice University’s Valhara is a volunteer student-led graduate bar with extra school spirit.
Brittany Britto Garley

Coppa Osteria

Although the choice between pizza or pasta is never an easy one to make, rest assured Coppa won’t lead you astray. Start off the night with the Tuscan kale salad before deciding between the classic margarita pizza or the creamy Coppa carbonara. On nice weather days, settling in at a table on the large wraparound patio is wise.

Gratify

With its spirited crowd and loud, artsy decor, Gratify is a see and be seen destination in Rice Village. Start with caviar and chips, or peruse the options within a cheese case showcased prominently at the bar, and check out the daily selections featured on the Gratify meat and cheese board. Enjoy mains like lobster risotto and beef bourguignon, but save room for the famed date cake.

Sushi by Hidden

Want to impress friends or out-of-towners with a unique dining experience? From the team behind Hidden Omakase, Sushi by Hidden offers 30-minute omakase tastings for 10 guests at a time at an intimate sushi counter. Like its sister restaurant, it boasts a speakeasy-style entrance, where guests must pass through a mock art gallery before entering the small dining area. The speedy experience is a budget-friendly alternative to some of the other omakase experiences in town, priced at $60 per guest.

Hungry's

At this family-friendly Rice Village stalwart, Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics. The extensive menu features homestyle dishes like old-school meatloaf and pasta, plus burgers, hummus, and an entire section devoted to plant-based eats. Lunch is a scene-y affair, with most guests taking to the large shaded patio. Visit the second-floor bar and lounge, called Upstairs, where it’s easy to enjoy daily happy hour specials on booze and bites from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m, and don’t forget about Hungry’s weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where the restaurant overflows with solid offerings like fried chicken and waffles and crab cake benedict.

Helen Greek Food & Wine

With its chic, narrow dining room, killer Greek wine list, and creative interpretation of “Gulf-influenced Greek food,” Helen offers something unique and special in Rice Village. Start with a cheese pie before moving on to grilled octopus and feta-brined chicken with roasted lemon potatoes.

Island Grill - Rice Village

This casual, family-friendly restaurant, with a dog-friendly patio, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — with dishes like pitas stuffed with falafel, grilled salmon, and sliced pastrami, and brunch favorites like breakfast tacos and creme brûlée French toast. As a bonus, Island Grill has fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Kasra Persian Grill

This longstanding Persian restaurant now has an inner loop location, on Times Boulevard within Rice Village. Dip fresh taftoon bread in hummus, whipped feta, or lentil soup before indulging wholly in a meat platter. Beef or chicken kubideh plates feature tender skewered meat with basmati rice.

Cafe Rabelais

Classics are such for a reason, and Café Rabelais is a prime example of that. French staples like beef bourguignon and trout amandine remain some of their best dishes, but don’t forget to explore the restaurant’s board of ever-changing specials — especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu.

Navy Blue

This chic seafood-focused follow-up restaurant to Aaron Bludorn’s namesake Montrose restaurant, Bludorn, is open for lunch and dinner. A seafood lover's dream, dishes here include smoked mahi mahi dip, oysters prepared three ways, and a fried grouper sandwich made with mussel aioli. Its new weekend brunch showcases brunch-exclusive plates like a worthy crab cake benedict and Texas-sized sticky bun.

A fish sandwich on seeded bun topped with lettuce and a tomato condiment, all wrapped in white paper.
The grouper sandwich at Navy Blue is a standout.
Caroline Fontenot

The Rice Box

This Chinese food truck-turned-popular local restaurant chain is easily distinguished by its bright neon signage and interiors, and its new Rice Village locale is no exception. Dining in is just as popular as carrying out, with the restaurant open until midnight on weekends. Portions are generous, with entrees like sesame chicken, pepper steak, and Mongolian beef accompanied with rice and an egg roll.

Related Maps

Hamsa

Hamsa brings the flavors of Tel Aviv to Houston. Expect hummus with lamb presented with fresh baked pita, falafel with tahini, and charcoal-grilled meats with vegetable skewers. The restaurant opens up to a vibrant patio that offers prime people watching views, making it a hot spot during lunch, but if you opt to visit after dark — consider dining on a Thursday, when the restaurant hosts Tel Aviv night with a DJ and belly dancing performances.

The exterior of Hamsa with outdoor seating.
Hamsa is popular for lunch, and its Thursday Tel Aviv nights.
Kirsten Gilliam

Badolina Bakery & Cafe

Badolina’s glass pastry cases reveal buttery baked works of art that look almost too good to eat. Find beautifully laminated croissants, tarts, cookies, and immaculately decorated cakes served alongside coffee and espresso drinks. Be sure to snag a loaf of sourdough to take home for later.

Istanbul Grill & Deli

Billed as Houston’s first Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Grill’s dining options are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers. Plenty of dishes are vegetarian, including the red lentil soup, which is a house favorite.

Sixty Vines

The Rice Village outpost of this Texas wine bar chain features a warm and sunlit space, spread over two levels. Find 60 Napa Valley wines on tap, and explore the food menu, which features shareable dishes like hummus, burrata, and pizzas. Brunch offers a festive atmosphere, with guests pairing their bubbles with dishes like avocado eggs Benedict or almond chiffon French toast.

Roma

Bookmark this charming Italian restaurant for your next date night or a special night out with friends and family. Dine in the rustic, dimly-lit dining room or opt for the outdoor patio bedecked with string lights, and journey through the menu, which showcases dishes from Italy’s 14 regions. Start with burrata and arancini, then choose from one of many heaping platters of pasta. Finish strong with limoncello tarts or tiramisu.

Related Maps