Walkable Houston: Rice Military

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens | Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

While Houstonians definitely love their cars, there are nooks and crannies of the city that are best explored by foot. In our Walkable Houston series, we traverse those districts to find the prettiest parks, hottest restaurants and bars, coolest local art and shops, and most visit-worthy hidden gems.

This tiny, walkable hood sits between Washington Ave and the Buffalo Bayou, running from Shepherd to Wescott. Take a stroll to check out its art and gardens, shops and restaurants, nearby parks, and local gems you’d only find in Houston.

Play & Explore

  • The Beer Can HouseYou can see the house that beer built, literally, by stopping by this Houston icon. Located on Malone, the house is covered in an estimated 50,000 flattened beer cans. Admission is $5 (free for children 12 and under).
  • Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Housed in the former home of Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg on Memorial, the eye-catching Bayou Bend Collection is one of the finest showcases of American furnishings, silver, ceramics, and paintings in the world. Open year-round, visitors can explore the 14 acres of gardens and take tours of the space.
  • Memorial Park Right on the edge of Rice Military, Houston’s iconic park rocks things like a 3-mile loop, 30 miles of hiking trails, tennis and croquet courts, softball fields, sand volleyball, a driving range, and an 18-hole golf course, just to name a few.
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Jump on trails along Memorial and you can access Buffalo Bayou Park, which hosts hike and bike trails, art installations, and plenty of fun things to do.

Eat & Drink

  • Black Walnut Cafe Located on Memorial, this local café offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and happy hour. Hit it to enjoy everything from bacon jam burgers, chipotle chicken pasta, and blackened salmon Caesar to lobster benedict, breakfast migas, and Texas cut challah French toast.
  • Brenner’s on the BayouEscape at this bayou-side steakhouse, which offers lush garden views, cascading waterfalls, and a rustic feel. Dine in the two-story dining room to enjoy steak and seafood selections, or hit the patio for happy hour cocktails and bites.
  • Coco Crepes, Waffles & CoffeeOver on Washington, this sweet café boasts lattes and smoothies, soups and panini, and crepes and waffles, both sweet and savory. Get them loaded with things like Moroccan sausage and caramelized onions, Nutella and toasted almonds, turkey and cheddar, and peanut butter and jelly.
  • Kolache Factory Stop by this Memorial Park area kolache shop to pick up the good stuff loaded with assorted fruit, cream cheese, spinach, chicken fajita, and sausage, egg, and cheese.
  • Piada Italian Street FoodOver near Memorial Park, this Italian street food spot offers greens and grains, tossed pasta, and hand-rolled piada wraps filled with things like crispy chicken, pancetta, basil aioli, romaine, bruschetta tomatoes, and creamy parmesan.
  • Pollo Bravo Hit this Peruvian-Mexican chain to dig into rotisserie chicken, sweet fried plantains, Mexican rice, and salchipapa.
  • Snap Kitchen Stop by this nutritious spot to pick up a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates, from bison quinoa hash to Thai grain bowls, plus snacks, juices, and sweets.
  • Sunrise Taquito This Memorial breakfast and lunch favorite is the spot for taquitos, migas, barbacoa and more.
  • Surya India Head to this fine dining Indian eatery off Durham and enjoy lamb korma, chicken vindaloo, prawn pepper masala, and tandoori Chilean sea bass.
  • Velvet Taco On Washington Ave, this Dallas-import specializes in tacos without borders, from spicy chicken tikka and Ahi tuna tacos to fried falafel in a lettuce wrap.
  • Concrete Cowboy Open Thursday through Sunday nights, head to this adult playground for a start or close the weekend out in style.
  • HandleBar Houston Located on Washington, this good-looking bar rocks everything from classic cocktails and tiki drinks to craft beer and wine.
  • Fuego’s Saloon Hit the outdoor patio at this pet-friendly Durham bar and enjoy 26 beers on tap, 22 flatscreens, and pub grub from pork sliders and nachos to hot wings and hangover burgers.
  • Kung Fu Saloon Featuring vintage arcade games, karaoke rooms, happy hour, and plenty of cheap eats and drinks, this Washington Ave saloon always brings the party.

Shop & Support Local

  • AMC Music Head to Feagan and you’ll find this music shop, which offers print music for choirs, piano, and voice.
  • West End Bicycles With a friendly and knowledgeable staff, this Blossom St bike shop stocks bikes, gear, and parts and offers repairs, rentals, and bike servicing.
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Brooke Viggiano
Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .