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A spread of salads, steak and potato, caviar roe, and more at Lees Den.
Lees Den is one of Rice Village’s newest dining destinations.
Jen Duncan

19 Essential Rice Village Restaurants

Find beefy hot dogs, Israeli fare, and some of the city’s best barbecue just steps away from Rice University

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Lees Den is one of Rice Village’s newest dining destinations.
| Jen Duncan

In the backyard of one of the best universities in the country, Rice Village showcases some of the best dining options in the city. Home to countless boutiques, furniture stores, and restaurants, this walkable neighborhood is a prime spot for a great meal with a side of people-watching.

Whether in search of excellent Mediterranean cuisine, late-night drunk fare, a classic French meal, or some spicy Nashville hot chicken, these 19 restaurants showcase the culinary diversity of the neighborhood.

Tiger Noodle House, Prego, Roma, Pasha, El Meson, and the now shuddered ATE Kitchen have been removed from this list to offer up more options in the Rice area. Learn more about newcomers like Agnes, Hillstone, Yoyo’s Hotdog, Badolina Bakery Cafe, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, and the newly-opened restaurants, Lees Den and Hamsa.

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

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Hillstone Restaurant

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Formerly known as Houston’s, this restaurant’s beloved shoestring French fries, the spinach-artichoke dip, and delectable steaks remain. Relish in the exclusive vibe by enjoying a crispy martini in the dimly lit leather booths, and enjoy a french dip au jus or a double-cup pork chop.

Goode Company BBQ

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One of Houston’s most iconic 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.

A great option for a casual breakfast or lunch, Agnes is multi-faceted, serving dinner, offering takeaway, and selling specialty groceries. Look for baklava granola, spinach and feta-stuffed flatbread, hot-smoked salmon tartine, and tahini-roasted cauliflower steak. Bar-wise, Agnes offers a curated wine list, and various takes on coffee cocktails and spritzes like the sweet and tangy strawberry-rhubarb spritz and creamy espresso milk punch.

Lees Den

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An homage to former Chinese restaurant Lee’s, this swanky speakeasy bar is known for its selection of rotating wines and seasonal cocktails. Its unique shareable plates, like sesame ginger meatballs 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

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Whether served with a bun or in salad form, Local Foods’ crunchy chicken sandwich reigns supreme in the Houston sandwich game. This mainstay and popular local chain serves up healthy and 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 their daily specials. While you’re there be sure to check out one of its sister spots — LFM- Local Foods Market, a market and wine shop with a few special menu items.

Coppa Osteria

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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 pappardelle with seasonal mushrooms and guanciale.

Hungry's

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Celebrating 45 years in Houston, Hungry’s Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics. The extensive menu features everything from hummus and old-school meatloaf to burgers and pasta. Dinner or lunch is best enjoyed on the tree-shaded balcony. Don’t sleep on their happy hour at their second-floor space, Upstairs. Nine-dollar basil gimlets pair well with their fire-roasted Brussels sprouts and spinach artichoke dip.

Salento Bistrot

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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, and empanadas stuffed with brie and fig.

Helen Greek Food & Wine

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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 a serious craving for feta-brined chicken with lemon roasted potatoes strikes.

Island Grill - Rice Village

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This casual spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up a massive menu with seemingly endless options. The breakfast tacos are some of the best in the neighborhood, and the pitas come stuffed with everything from falafel to grilled salmon to sliced pastrami.

Cafe Rabelais

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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 but don’t forget about their ever-changing board of specials (especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu).

Hamsa brings the flavors of Tel Aviv to Space City in its colorful and modern space. Expect perfectly creamy hummus sprinkled with lamb and served alongside fresh-from-the-oven pitas softer than your favorite pillow. Open for lunch and dinner, keep an eye out for the beef tenderloin skewers with za’atar sumac butter and the grilled branzino. 

A plate of hummus with chickpeas and a side of pita bread.
Hamsa offers an array of sharable plates.
Kirsten Gilliam

Oh My Gogi (Food Truck)

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This food truck fuses the flavors of Mexico and Korea, and the results are nothing short of supreme. Kimchi quesadillas, patty melts made with Korean beef, and a burger with actual ramen noodles for a bun are all 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.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

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After a full day of shopping, sometimes a juicy burger and parmesan truffle fries is the sustenance needed to bring you back to life. With 12 specialty burgers and a special of the month, there’s something that fits everyone’s fancy, not to mention a solid drink list with various beers on tap, and the Big Larry, their goblet frozen marg topped with Grand Marnier.

Badolina Bakery & Cafe

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Badolina’s glass pastry case shows off their flakey butter baked goods in an almost museum-like way. Find beautifully laminated croissants, delicate tarts and breads served alongside their custom blend of coffee and espresso drinks. Be sure to snag a loaf of sourdough on your way out. It’s some of the best in the city.

Yoyo’s Hotdog (Food Cart)

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Since 2010, this family-owned food cart has been Houston’s go-to late-night hot dog purveyor. Marked by its signature red and white umbrella, Yoyo’s made-to-order, grilled all-beef franks are covered in all things savory, saucy and crunchy, like crispy fried onions and curry ket, and pair best with a cold brew. Though typically in the area Thursday through Sunday, be sure to check out their website for their most recent location.

D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe

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Since 1996, D’Amico’s has been one of Houston’s favorite spots in Rice Village. The cozy, no-frills joint has been serving unpretentious but delicious homemade pasta, paninis, and wood-fired pizzas that won’t break the bank.

Istanbul Grill & Deli

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Billed itself as Houston’s first Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Grill’s dining options are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers, with plenty of dishes that vegetarians and folks with other dietary restrictions can enjoy.

Sixty Vines

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This Texas chain outpost features a warm and sunlit space serving up California cuisine and 60 Napa Valley wines on tap. Share a meat and cheese board before diving into the fig and prosciutto pizza or the bavette steak with mushroom shallot confit. The space is great for groups, with OpenTable reservations available for up to 15 people.

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Hillstone Restaurant

Formerly known as Houston’s, this restaurant’s beloved shoestring French fries, the spinach-artichoke dip, and delectable steaks remain. Relish in the exclusive vibe by enjoying a crispy martini in the dimly lit leather booths, and enjoy a french dip au jus or a double-cup pork chop.

Goode Company BBQ

One of Houston’s most iconic 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.

Agnes

A great option for a casual breakfast or lunch, Agnes is multi-faceted, serving dinner, offering takeaway, and selling specialty groceries. Look for baklava granola, spinach and feta-stuffed flatbread, hot-smoked salmon tartine, and tahini-roasted cauliflower steak. Bar-wise, Agnes offers a curated wine list, and various takes on coffee cocktails and spritzes like the sweet and tangy strawberry-rhubarb spritz and creamy espresso milk punch.

Lees Den

An homage to former Chinese restaurant Lee’s, this swanky speakeasy bar is known for its selection of rotating wines and seasonal cocktails. Its unique shareable plates, like sesame ginger meatballs 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

Whether served with a bun or in salad form, Local Foods’ crunchy chicken sandwich reigns supreme in the Houston sandwich game. This mainstay and popular local chain serves up healthy and 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 their daily specials. While you’re there be sure to check out one of its sister spots — LFM- Local Foods Market, a market and wine shop with a few special menu items.

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 pappardelle with seasonal mushrooms and guanciale.

Hungry's

Celebrating 45 years in Houston, Hungry’s Mediterranean influence meets comfort food classics. The extensive menu features everything from hummus and old-school meatloaf to burgers and pasta. Dinner or lunch is best enjoyed on the tree-shaded balcony. Don’t sleep on their happy hour at their second-floor space, Upstairs. Nine-dollar basil gimlets pair well with their fire-roasted Brussels sprouts and spinach artichoke dip.

Salento Bistrot

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, and empanadas stuffed with brie and fig.

Helen Greek Food & Wine

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 a serious craving for feta-brined chicken with lemon roasted potatoes strikes.

Island Grill - Rice Village

This casual spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving up a massive menu with seemingly endless options. The breakfast tacos are some of the best in the neighborhood, and the pitas come stuffed with everything from falafel to grilled salmon to sliced pastrami.

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 but don’t forget about their ever-changing board of specials (especially if the foie gras torchon is on the menu).

Hamsa

Hamsa brings the flavors of Tel Aviv to Space City in its colorful and modern space. Expect perfectly creamy hummus sprinkled with lamb and served alongside fresh-from-the-oven pitas softer than your favorite pillow. Open for lunch and dinner, keep an eye out for the beef tenderloin skewers with za’atar sumac butter and the grilled branzino. 

A plate of hummus with chickpeas and a side of pita bread.
Hamsa offers an array of sharable plates.
Kirsten Gilliam

Oh My Gogi (Food Truck)

This food truck fuses the flavors of Mexico and Korea, and the results are nothing short of supreme. Kimchi quesadillas, patty melts made with Korean beef, and a burger with actual ramen noodles for a bun are all 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.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

After a full day of shopping, sometimes a juicy burger and parmesan truffle fries is the sustenance needed to bring you back to life. With 12 specialty burgers and a special of the month, there’s something that fits everyone’s fancy, not to mention a solid drink list with various beers on tap, and the Big Larry, their goblet frozen marg topped with Grand Marnier.

Badolina Bakery & Cafe

Badolina’s glass pastry case shows off their flakey butter baked goods in an almost museum-like way. Find beautifully laminated croissants, delicate tarts and breads served alongside their custom blend of coffee and espresso drinks. Be sure to snag a loaf of sourdough on your way out. It’s some of the best in the city.

Related Maps

Yoyo’s Hotdog (Food Cart)

Since 2010, this family-owned food cart has been Houston’s go-to late-night hot dog purveyor. Marked by its signature red and white umbrella, Yoyo’s made-to-order, grilled all-beef franks are covered in all things savory, saucy and crunchy, like crispy fried onions and curry ket, and pair best with a cold brew. Though typically in the area Thursday through Sunday, be sure to check out their website for their most recent location.

D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe

Since 1996, D’Amico’s has been one of Houston’s favorite spots in Rice Village. The cozy, no-frills joint has been serving unpretentious but delicious homemade pasta, paninis, and wood-fired pizzas that won’t break the bank.

Istanbul Grill & Deli

Billed itself as Houston’s first Turkish restaurant, Istanbul Grill’s dining options are abundant, ranging from Turkish-style pizzas to grilled meat skewers, with plenty of dishes that vegetarians and folks with other dietary restrictions can enjoy.

Sixty Vines

This Texas chain outpost features a warm and sunlit space serving up California cuisine and 60 Napa Valley wines on tap. Share a meat and cheese board before diving into the fig and prosciutto pizza or the bavette steak with mushroom shallot confit. The space is great for groups, with OpenTable reservations available for up to 15 people.

Related Maps