The Best Bars In Rice Village, Houston

Rice University in Houston, Texas
Rice University in Houston, Texas | © Christian Offenberg / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Carolina Fragoso
12 July 2017

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 | © D.L./Flickr


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.

Little Woodrow’s

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American
Beer Selection at The Ginger Man
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.

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.

Under The Volcano

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, American, $$$
Cheese Plate
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.


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.

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

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.

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