The Best Bars In Rice Village, Houston

Rice University in Houston, Texas
Rice University in Houston, Texas | © Christian Offenberg / Alamy Stock Photo
Carolina Fragoso

In Houston, there are two kinds of bars, city bars and Rice Village bars. Thanks to the bohemian vibe and student population, Rice Village bars tend to be interesting, friendly and affordable. You’ll certainly find good drinking at any price point here. Read on to discover Rice Village’s 10 best bars.

The Bar at Valhalla

1. Valhalla

Bar, Pub Grub

Valhalla is an unpretentious nonprofit bar operated by Rice alumni right on campus, under the Chemistry Building. As a student-staffed and -frequented establishment, you can safely assume they’ll have the cheapest prices you’ve seen in a long while. It’s also why the walls are covered with ties left behind by students who have just defended their thesis or dissertation. Considering it’s underground, the space is roomy and comfortable, and you might enjoy looking at the murals on the walls while you enjoy your ‘I can’t believe I paid 95 cents for this’ beer. Bar snacks are mostly candy bars, chips and bahn mi sandwiches from Les Givrals.

2. Little Woodrow’s

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American

Beer Selection at The Ginger Man
© Christopher/Flickr
Little Woodrow’s is a laid-back bar for hanging out on the patio on any given afternoon, no judgement. Since it’s mostly frequented by students, they have great beer specials. There’s a jukebox, arcade games, darts and plenty of televisions to watch the game on. Tuesday nights are Geeks Who Drink Nights, a trivia event that’s excellent for bonding with your friends or meeting new people from around town. Keep in mind that food is no served at the location, but do not despair, it’s not difficult to find great food around Rice Village. Many patrons choose to go over to Istanbul Grill, the Turkish restaurant next door, or carry out from the Torchy’s Tacos nearby.

3. The Ginger Man

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American

This is more beer garden than bar, but it’s still a great time. Sunday afternoons spent here are a relaxing respite from the rest of the week. They’re attuned to the community, which makes sense since the pub has been there since 1985. There’s many traditions all throughout the year, like the Valentine’s Day chocolate and beer tasting, the Memorial Day party, and Oktoberfest, as well as cook offs and animal rescue parties. Bar games, a super-cool jukebox and a roomy patio complete the experience. Keep up with them online with their blog.

4. Under The Volcano

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, American

Cheese Plate
© Alexis Lamster/Flickr
Under the Volcano is a bar to get excited about. A great selection of frozen drinks helps alleviate the Texas temperatures, while a scrumptious menu will make you order one of everything. Regulars love the strawberry basil margarita and the frozen screwdrivers, but it’s the Bloody Mary that shines the most. Bartenders are creative and generous with drinks and ingredients, which means you can usually ask for modifications or extras. The ambiance is interesting, with eclectic Mexcan inspired décor that includes Catrinas, string lights and two patios.

5. Bacco

Wine Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American

Among all the casual dive-style bars in Rice Village sits Bacco, a more sophisticated (yet still quintesentially Houstonian) wine bar great for impressing any date or visitor. The bartenders are wine-savvy and friendly, always open to recommend or just chat if they’re not overly busy. The bar is cozy and dark, a true hideaway. Candles and Persian rugs keep the romance alive, while a covered patio will keep customers warm on winter evenings. There are wines for every price point, too, with most bottles averaging at $20. Freshly made pizzas and bar snacks complement the wines perfectly.

6. Simone on Sunset

7. Goode’s Armadillo Palace

Music Venue

Saddle bar stools, a huge silver armadillo and live Texas music make Goode’s Armadillo Palace a good representation of what Texas is all about. It’s a fun music venue and bar where you can enjoy a local beer while listening to some country music and feel right at home, no one will shame you for your Houstonian pride here. Authentic BBQ, chicken fried steak and venison chili are the stars of the menu, while the burger is often called the best in the city. Drink service is friendly and classic, and daily drink specials have great deals.
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Edit article