Eat Like a Rice Owl

William Marsh Rice University, widely known as Rice University, is a private university conveniently located in the Houston Museum District and right across the Texas Medical Center. Rice has about six serveries on campus, and the food there is absolutely amazing. But of course, there are some great restaurants near Rice, too. Lots of them actually. After all, Houston is a pretty big city. So, how do you choose from hundreds of great restaurants? Well, let me help you. 

Credit: Instagram @riceuniversity

Breakfast & Brunch

Common Bond

If you’re hungry, the place must be delicious, inexpensive, and not too far away. For Rice students, that place is  Common Bond. If you’re visiting Houston, you’ll have to stop by here, too.  It is a 3-5 minute drive from Rice University, which means you can even walk there. They’ve got a  great brunch, excellent pastries, a lot to choose from,  large portions, and reasonable prices. 

Get your brunch and coffee at Common Bond (Credit: website).


This is one of the Rice Owl’s favorite brunch places, although it’s got a lot more than brunch. The food is unquestionably great, and the staff is incredibly nice. If you love having brunch in a calm and refreshing atmosphere, then you’ve found just the place.

Burgers & Sandwiches

Rodeo Goat

Let’s talk burgers. There are so many kinds of burgers here, I can’t even begin to list them all—it’s really hard to find this much variety anywhere.  So, if you’re adventurous and would like to try as many kinds of decently priced burgers as you possibly can in one place, look no further than Rodeo Goat. Speaking of adventurous, Rodeo Goat allows you to place a  half order, so you can try half of two different burgers.

Left: Get a fried egg atop your burger at Flip n’ Patties (Credit: Instagram @flipnpatties). Right: The Sugar Burger at Rodeo Goat (Credit: Instagram @rodeogoathouston). 

Flip n’ Patties

Although far from Rice, you’ll be glad you made the trip to Flip n’ Patties. Fn’P has more than just burgers, but you should probably go with the burgers because they are unmatched. What’s more impressive is that Flip n’ Patties isn’t just a restaurant—its mission is to end hunger, so your dollar will not only feed yourself but also those who couldn’t otherwise afford a meal on their own. 

Katz’s Deli

Open 24/7, Katz’s is there to serve you classic deli sandwiches, burgers, pasta, steak, breakfast all day, and so much more. The fries are really good, too. This is also a great place for desserts, so you basically find everything you need in one place. In particular, the milkshakes are amazing, because you can customize them by adding any kind of cake slice into your milkshake!

Left: Breakfast at Katz (Credit: Instagram @katzdelihou). Middle: The “Not So Fried” chicken sandwich at Mendocino—roasted chicken layered with signature Krispies. Right: salad at Mendocino. (Credit: Instagram @mendocinofarms).

Mendocino Farms

Mendocino is more than just a sandwich market. With its warm welcoming atmosphere and staff, you’ll most certainly like the place before you devour its renowned healthy sandwiches. They also allow for custom combinations so you can create whatever looks and tastes best to you. Mendocino is conveniently located in Rice Village, and all of their ingredients are locally sourced.


Bodegas Taco Shop

Right in the heart of Houston Museum District, Bodega’s Taco Shop provides you with not only tasty tacos, burritos, and other many Mexican dishes, but also a warm welcoming atmosphere and family vibe. If you’ve heard of Tex-Mex or you’re a fan of it, then this is a place that will exceed your expectations –  at a decent price point, too.

Tacos al Pastor at 100% Taquito (Credit: Instagram @100taquito). 

100% Taquito

There’s no other place with more authentic tacos than 100% Taquito. Started as a  University of Houston school project, 100% Taquito has developed into a fast favorite of many Houstonians and Rice Owls.  Come for  quick tacos and other Mexican dishes. This is also a place where you can get great desserts, all served in a nice atmosphere and at very good prices.


Maharaja Bhog

Hands down!! You’ve successfully made it to the best Indian restaurant you’ll ever find in Houston. The menu is vegetarian and boasts bold flavors and savory dishes. I’m telling you this is the most authentic Indian food in the area, but if you don’t trust me, ask anyone who’s been there. 

A platter at Maharaja Bhog (Credit: website). 

Thai Spice

Are you looking for authentic Thai food? Well, Rice Owls have got you. Thai Spice, conveniently located in Rice Village, is the place to go. They’ve got a long menu that is filled with so many meals that you may have difficulty choosing one dish. Pro tip: they’re because they are all amazing. But hey, when you do go to Thai Spice, don’t forget to try the ‘Angel Wings.’ This dish is extraordinarily delicious.

Hokkaido Sushi

Are you looking for a place with exceptionally good Chinese food or fantastic sushi? Well, look no further than Hokkaido Sushi located in Chinatown. This place will absolutely surprise you with all kinds of sushi, rolls, and many other delicious Chinese dishes.


Left: Make sure you top your shawarma bowl with the Halal Guys sauce! Right: Order bowls or sandwiches. (Credit: Instagram @thehalalguys).

Halal Guys

Before I even tell you about the unmatched taste of Halal’s food, let me be the first to tell you that you will want to try their dishes just by looking at the pictures. They have rice, chicken, gyro, falafel, different sauces, and so much more. Everything is priced well and looks and tastes delicious, with very good service. 


Pasha is a well-known Turkish restaurant in Rice Village serving delicious and authentic Turkish cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. The food is priced very well, and they serve bread and olive oil to snack on while you wait for your order. The presentation is amazing, too.

Late Night Bites

YoYo’s hot dog (Credit: Facebook @YoyosHotDog).

YoYo’s Hotdogs

Despite the long lines and wait times, if you ask any Rice Owl what their go-to place is for a late-night snack, I’m sure they’ll say YoYo’s food truck in Rice Village. Both students and  Houstonians love the impeccable taste of YoYo’s hot dogs. So, if you are at Rice or anywhere in Houston from Thursday to Saturday between 8 pm-2 am, absolutely don’t miss out on YoYo’s hot dogs.



Trust me when I say  I don’t even have the words to describe the  inviting look and unique tastes of Bae’s ice creams. There are so many flavors that you can mix up—you can even add gold leaf— and the price is still affordable for a college budget.  The place is really nice, clean, and the staff is amazing, too.

Left: Add gold leaf to your ice cream. Middle: The ice cream at Bae’s is just as colorful as it is delicious. (Credit: Instagram @baelittletokyo). Right: The middle cone is the signature Sea Salt flavor! On either side is Butter Toffee and Mojito (Credit: Instagram @aquas_us). 

Aqua S

This soft-serve ice cream shop is located in Chinatown and similar to Bae. They have many flavors to try and the presentation is always unmatched. Their customer service is really awesome, too. If desserts are your thing,  this is definitely a place for you. If you’re not a dessert fan, you can always give it a try, and you just might get hooked.