The neighborhood inside the loop with the most suburban feel is Rice Village, hands down. PSA: If you hear people talking about “the Village”, this is what village they mean. I highly recommend the ‘hood for families or newly married couples who don’t want to stray too far from places with things to do. Homeownership can be pretty pricey, but there are plenty of great apartments, as well as single family homes, to rent.
Important: You don’t need to live in the Village to enjoy it! When I lived on campus at UH, I spent so much time here. It’s just so close to everything and there’s so much to do!
We’re defining Rice Village as anything south of 59, west of Main Street, north of Holcombe and east of Kirby — yes this includes the Rice University campus!
Where you need to go
- Best Pilates: Method Pilates
- Best Megaformer: HIP Fitness
- Best Running Trail: Rice University Loop
- Best Rowing Class: Row Studios
- Best Barre: Pure Barre
- Best Full-Body Workout: OrangeTheory Fitness
- Best Breakfast: Le Peep
- Best Brunch: Punk’s
- Best Crepes: Sweet Paris
- Best Tapas: Mi Luna
- Best Tacos: Torchy’s Tacos
- Best Burger: Shake Shack
- Best Indian Food: Shiva
- Best Chill Spot: Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Best Quick Bite at Any Time of Day: Island Grill
- Best BBQ: Goode Company
- Best Seafood: Coppa Osteria
- Best Tex-Mex: Cyclone Anaya’s
- Best Veggie-Friendly: Local Foods
- Best Patio: Hungry’s
- Best Ice Cream Sandwich: Smoosh
- Best Ice Cream: Cloud 10 Creamery
- Best Juice: Nourish Juice Bar
- Best Happy Hour: Benjy’s
- Best Beers: The Gingerman
- Best Frozen drinks: Under the Volcano — get the strawberry basil margarita
- Best Trivia Night: Little Woodrow’s
- Best Honky Tonk: Armadillo Palace
- Best Wine: Bacco
- Best Speakeasy: Valhalla — grad student-run pub with cheap drinks and weird hours
- Best Coworking Space: Local Office — scroll down to learn more!
- Best Quirky Outfitter: Beehive Houston
- Best Workout Gear: Athleta
- Best Boutiques: The Impeccable Pig, Bevello, Francesca’s, Elaine Turner, Hemline, Lily Rain, Pomp and Circumstance — sorry I couldn’t decide
- Best Skin Care: Bluemercury
- Best Sales Rack: Urban Outfitters and Express — seriously, these stores’ best locations are right here in The Village.
- Best Makeover (girls): Beautique
- Best Makeover (guys): The Boardroom
- Best Mani/Pedi: Isle Pedi Spa
What you need to know
Like most things that are great, traffic and parking can put a real damper on your fun. Now, Rice Village has paid parking EVERYWHERE, but 2 hour free garage parking. If you’re just trying to pop in real quick for a return, the metered parking might be worth it — $1 an hour. Similarly a headache, Kirby Drive from University to 59 gets sooooo backed up soooo often. Just plan accordingly.
I adore how walkable the Village is. Really, just abandon your car and walk all over!
Rice Village is a big perk for those brainiac Rice U students, so don’t be surprised if you see a young crowd at coffee shops or bars. But I also have found that the crowd is young families too. A nice little mix of ages and friendships!
Just can’t get enough? Here’s everything we’ve written about Rice Village.
Introducing: Local Office in Rice Village
- Phone booths for private calling, Conference Rooms, Copy/Printer/Scanner
- Access to reserved garage parking, podcast studio and 1,400 sq. ft. event space for pop-up shops, events, meetings, etc.
- Community lunch & learns, happy hours, etc.
- Fast and secure 1 GB fiber-based Wifi + Ethernet connection
- Guest reception and greeting
- Community kitchen with complimentary coffee, sparkling water, cold drinks (including beer), and snacks
Local Office is a sponsor of this guide.