West University/Rice Village Top Spots

Following on from our run down of the Heights Top Spots earlier this year, it’s time to delve into the neighborhood favorites of the leafy & picturesque, academic hub of West University and its nearby shopping and entertainment mecca, Rice Village.

Tree-lined Rice Village

This area of Houston is a great mix of families, couples and Rice Uni students in some of the prettiest tree lined streets I’ve ever seen.  The great thing about the West U, Rice Village, Southampton and Southside areas is that you can walk to the shops, bars and restaurants and leave your F150 at home!  It is also within easy access to the Downtown, Galleria and Montrose neighborhoods and about a 1o min drive to Reliant Stadium.

In the 2 years I have lived in Houston, it has become clear you certainly cannot judge a book by its cover and that some of the city’s most interesting and best places are hard to find, so in compiling this list I was surprised(or not!) to stumble across some amazing places I never knew existed in my own Houston ‘hood of West U.

Antica Osteria

Fine DiningAntica Osteria – Cozy, romantic, authentic Italian that locals flock to every night.  Café Rabelais – Could not feel further away from a strip mall location in Houston, when you step into this french bistro with perfectly french dishes.

Weekend BrunchBenjy’s in the Village – Decor is a little bit more stylish than Benjy’s on Washington with a similarly great menu and lively crowd.

Tiny’s No.5

Ladies Who LunchTiny’s No.5 – Sister restaurant of Tiny Boxwoods in just as spectacular setting with a more sophisticated feel for dinner and free transport home via a 6-seat electric car or bicycle if you live locally and walk down.

Tasty Sandwiches & SaladsLocal Foods – This creation of Benjy’s does fresh and healthy lunches and the elusive quality sandwiches and paninis. Black Walnut – A perennial fave which consistently produces tasty brekkies, lunch and dinners in a welcoming atmosphere.


Evening BeerGingerman – Beer connoisseurs love the selection on tap and the front beer-garden to chill on warm Houston evenings.

Evening WineSimone on Sunset – Wow, can’t believe I never knew this cute wine bar was right around the corner! Locals have definitely been keeping this one quiet!!

Second Hand BooksBrazos Bookstore – Houston’s best bookstore regularly has author appearances and events to keep every bookworm happy.

Sweet Paris Creperie & Cafe

Coffee FixCafe Salento – Friendly cafe doing great coffee,vino and lunch snacks at anytime of day.  Sweet Paris Creperie & Cafe – Delicious savory and sweet crepes paired with good parisian coffee in a stylish french setting.

Dress To ImpressChloe Dao – The Project Runway alumni showcases beautiful dresses and other popular labels. Abejas Boutique – The go-to for celeb fave labels and current trends.

Cocktails at Under The Volcano

Late Night BarUnder the Volcano – Cute, cool and laid-back Central American style bar with some of the best(& cheapest) cocktails in Houston. Hudson Lounge – Super swanky and modern bar serving first rate cocktails and yummy food.

Kids StuffRight Start – The goto for babies and kiddies needs,wants and gifts.

Music VenueThe Big Easy – Interesting decor, very interesting crowd…amazing Jazz and Blues.

A Great CurryShiva Restaurant – It’s hard to find good Indian food in Texas..but the tasty dishes here don’t lie and the entertaining manager is happy to order for you if you can’t decide!

Goode Co. BBQ

Texas BBQGoode Co. – Best brisket and BBQ atmosphere in Houston bar none.

Gifts & GoodiesThe British Isles – The stop for your fix of goodies from the UK and colonies.  Ten Thousand Villages – Special hand-made fair trade gifts from artisans in developing countries.

Custom StationeryPH Design – Paper nuts will love the one-off and custom stationery and paper designs.

What are some of your Neighborhood fave’s in H-town? Please don’t keep them a secret!! 

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