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.
Address and telephone number: 1616 S. Voss, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 750 0500
Let down your hair and don your cowboy boots, you’re in Texas, after all! Kay’s is the perfect place to spend a relaxed night listening to country music and enjoying cheap local beer. Drinks are made super strong and satisfying, even with the low prices. The location means the crowd is mixed, with young professionals, students and tourists frequenting the bar. Arcade games, pool tables and corn hole in the patio provide other entertainment choices. Make sure to sit at the Texas shaped table to get the true Kay’s experience.
Address & telephone number: 2324 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 528 9858
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.
Address & telephone number: 5611 Morningside, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 521 2337
The Ginger Man
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.
Address & telephone number: 5607 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 526 2770
Under The Volcano
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.
Address & telephone number: 2349 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 526 5282
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.
Address & telephone number: 5010 Dincans St, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 521 0411
Plate And Bottle
Specializing in hard-to-find wines, this wine bar and boutique shop is a must-visit for wine lovers in Rice Village. They hold a free tasting event every Saturday, which is both a great introduction to the establishment and a superb opportunity to meet other wine enthusiasts. A classic choice of cheese and meats pairs well with the wine selections, but you’ll have to go elsewhere for heavier fare. There’s plenty of seating at the bar, as well as in sofas and chairs, which makes this an ideal space for groups or to hold weddings, birthday parties or corporate events.
Address & telephone number: 5411 Morningside Dr, Houston, TX 77005 +1 832 804 6941
Don’t let the casual-sounding name fool you, Benjy’s is swanky. Although not technically a bar, this is definitely the best place around Rice Village to get a mimosa, and that’s why it made it to our list. The food menu is super tasty. They have gooey scrambled eggs, spicy sausage, sweet French toast, savory smoked salmon toast and decadent squash soup. Happy Hour runs from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day (long, we know!) and has some of the best cocktails in Houston. Lovers of sweet cocktails will appreciate the lychee fizz, while the hibiscus royale is a tart and delicious drink.
Address & telephone number: 2424 Dunstan Rd, Houston, TX 77005 +1 713 522 7602
Simone on Sunset
Simone on Sunset self-describes as an ‘urban-cozy gathering place’, and with good reason. They’ve tried to represent the best of Houston: the fun of the diversity, the friendly Rice Village aura, and the bohemian feel of the Museum District. It all boils down to a friendly neighborhood lounge with delectable food and appetizing drinks. Happy Hour is popular among patrons. Their food offerings are unexpected and delightful, like the duck and pear pizza and their signature truffle parmesan popcorn.
Address & telephone number: 2418 Sunset Blvd, Houston, TX 77005 +1 346 980 8107
Goode’s Armadillo Palace
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.
Address & telephone number: 5015 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098 +1 713 526 9700