Things to do in Rice Village, Texas


Rice Village is a shopping district located a half-mile west of the center of Rice University’s campus in Houston, Texas. Rice village features a collection of restaurants, shops, and pubs, that is why it is pretty impossible that anyone would ever get bored here.

Whether you want a chill, personal spa day, explore and find your new favorite shop, or want to indulge in good food and delicate pastries, Rice Village has got you covered. That is why, in this article, we are going to learn more about the history of Rice Village and the things you should not miss while you’re there.

History of Rice Village

An old photo of Rice University’s Administration Building in 1913

Rice Village has been around since 1938, which makes it one of Houston’s oldest shopping destinations. This area features several old and new retail stores that sell all kinds of different things.

During the 1950s and the 1960s, Rice Village was filled with several shops, and it thrived as a shopping district. But, it was the economic boom in Greater Houston that caused the development of Rice Village during the 1970s. Experts believed that the influx of young families in Southampton, Southgate, and the City of West University Place, gave Rice Village the revitalization it deserves.

During the mid-1980s, Rice University started to purchase land in the Rice Village area. The university’s vice president for investments, Scott Wise, said that Rice Village is a strategically located place where there’s room for possible growth and flexibility.

Things to Do in Rice Village

Rice Village Apartments in Rice University

Whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or relax, Rice Village has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Rice Village.

Visit the Main Street Theater

This theater was established in 1975, and it is a small and intimate venue that is perfect if you’re looking to spend some quality time with your family. The fact that this theater is not too big makes it great for the audiences to be fully enthralled by the show.

Aside from fantastic theater performances, the Main Street Theater offers summer programs for the kids and weekend classes. You will never have to worry about your tummy while you’re here because the theater is surrounded by plenty of dining options. Aside from that, it is also located in the Museum District.

Relax and vibe to the music at Under the Volcano

This is a dive bar that gives you a relaxed and eccentric vibe while listening to a jukebox filled with great music. Under the Volcano serves excellent steaks along with discounted bottles of wines every Monday Steak Night. Aside from great foods, Under the Volcano also serves exquisite drinks such as a frozen screwdriver or strawberry basil margarita.

Enjoy your day out at the Resort Nail and Spa

If you want to relax and take a break, then the Resort Nail and Spa have got you covered. This place adds cucumbers, rose petals, and even lemon slices to water while you’re getting a pedicure. This place also has staff who are excellent at painting nails. After that, you may also indulge in some relaxing massage while you let the magic happen.

Unlock your mysterious desires at the Murder By the Book

This place is an independent bookstore that mostly sells mystery books. If you are a bookworm and want some new books to take home with you, we suggest that you visit Murder by the Book. Aside from these fantastic books, Murder by the Book hosts several different events that sometimes feature famous writers.

Want more sweets? Head on down to The Chocolate Bar

If you are looking to munch on some more sweets, this shop on the corner of University Blvd is what you need. The Chocolate Bar also sells chocolate cakes that are four stacks high, as well as a handful of different ice cream flavors.

Shop some chic clothes at Dao Chloe Dao

This is a store owned by Chloe Dao, who won the second season of the famous TV show Project Runway. This store sells Dao’s chic designs as well as hand-picked labels from other designers.

One of the best things they offer here is you get a personalized shopping experience because you will be assisted by someone who really knows fashion. They don’t just sell clothes for profit; at the end of the day, Dao Chloe Dao wants to deliver customers’ satisfaction by suggesting clothes they know will flatter them.

Interesting Facts About Rice Village

Rice Village, a vibrant part of Houston, has many interesting aspects beyond its popular attractions. Here are some facts that add to the charm of this neighborhood.

  • Historic Roots: Rice Village has been a shopping destination since the 1930s. It has grown over the decades while maintaining its unique character.
  • Local Art: The area features several public art installations and murals, adding a creative flair to its streets and alleys.
  • Pet-Friendly: Many shops and restaurants in Rice Village welcome pets. It’s a popular spot for dog owners to bring their furry friends.
  • Diverse Cuisine: The dining options in Rice Village are incredibly diverse, offering everything from traditional Tex-Mex to Asian fusion and European cafes.
  • Walking-Friendly: Rice Village is designed to be pedestrian-friendly, with wide sidewalks and plenty of benches. This makes it easy to explore on foot.
  • Frequent Events: The neighborhood hosts various events throughout the year, including seasonal markets, live music, and outdoor movie nights.
  • Sustainable Practices: Several businesses in Rice Village focus on sustainability, offering eco-friendly products and using green practices.
  • Boutique Shopping: In addition to well-known brands, Rice Village is home to many unique boutiques, offering a variety of specialized and handmade goods.
  • Community Feels: Despite being in a large city, Rice Village has a strong sense of community. Local businesses often collaborate on events and promotions.
  • Educational Influence: Proximity to Rice University means that the area is frequented by students and academics, adding to its vibrant and intellectual atmosphere.


Rice Village, Texas, is a dynamic neighborhood with a lot to offer. From unique shops and diverse dining options to engaging events and a strong community vibe, there’s always something happening. So, come visit Rice Village and enjoy the location’s sights and sounds.

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