In the area surrounding the tree-lined streets of Rice University, is a small neighborhood that packs a mighty punch with great food, great fun and great shopping. It’s what Houstonians refer to as Rice Village and though this area is a little off the beaten path – no major highways are close by – it is worth exploring when visiting the Bayou City.
In Rice Village, there are unlimited options for foodies looking for the best Houston has to offer. If you want something Mediterranean, the quaint restaurant Helen Greek Food and Wine is a delicious choice that boasts some of the best Greek food in the city. Make your reservations fast though because this place tends to fill up fast. Coppa Osteria, a modern Italian hotspot, is a local favorite with their breezy patio, pizza and happy hour. For all you Sunday brunchgoers, Hungry’s is one of Houston’s notorious brunch locations with its expansive menu and cocktail list. Other notable Rice Village eateries include the popular taco joint Torchy’s, mouth-watering burgers at Shake Shack and Hopdoddy, and the always-trendy Benjy’s.
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Lodging options directly close to Rice Village are very limited. The area is mainly residential so if you want to stay close, you may have to venture out toward the bustling Galleria area or Museum District. Luckily though, neither are far and offer a variety of nearby attractions all their own. The best place to stay would be the decadent Hotel ZaZa. With lavish rooms, amenities and a location that cannot be beat, Hotel ZaZa is steps away from Rice University, Houston Zoo and Hermann Park.
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Then most people think of Rice Village, they first think of all the shopping opportunities. The outdoor shopping area features dozens of retailers from big names to small boutiques, as well as nail and hair salons. For those who love supporting the arts, Main Street Theater, an intimate venue that has been putting on shows since 1975, has a yearly roster of shows. And when you just want to wrap up the night with a cocktail, Simone on Sunset and Under the Volcano are two options with very different vibes: One is a cozy wine bar, while the other is a Tiki Bar with tasty Mai Tais.