Houston Nightlife: The Best Bars Near Rice University

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Photo courtesy of Grand Prize Bar

Houston comes alive at night, with dives, cocktail bars, and nightclubs dotting the city. In our Houston Nightlife: Best Bars, we’ll cover the best night owl watering holes in each neighborhood.

Set on a picturesque 294-acre campus, there is plenty to experience at Rice University. And nearby, there is also plenty of places to unwind, including these college budget-friendly watering holes.

Note: This list covers neighborhoods near Rice University, including Rice Village, West University, the Med Center, and the Museum District.

The Best Bars Near Rice University

  • The Ginger Man University students who love craft beer can head to this Rice Village pub and cozy up with a pint (or five, depending what time class is tomorrow). On nice nights, hit the tree-shaded patio and take your pick of specialty beers from around the world. Fun times include featured beers of the month, Monday night trivia, and live music on Thursdays. Click here for directions.
  • Grand Prize BarOver in the Museum District, this neighborhood dive slings some pretty stellar cocktails thanks to the talented staff. Head to the low-key spot to sip stiff drinks, play pool, pick tunes from the jukebox, and make some friends, while you’re at it. Click here for directions.
  • Little Woodrow’s The Rice Village Little Woody’s is known for its super chill patio bar vibe and lineup of drink specials. Head to the sports pub for $3 to $5 25-ounce beers and trivia during “Big Ass Beer Night” on Tuesday; and check out happy hour for $3 domestic drafts, $4 wells, and $5 select calls on Monday through Wednesday 3pm to 7pm, and Thursday and Friday 2pm to 7pm. Click here for directions.
  • Under the Volcano – Hit this kitschy, Day of the Dead-themed dive off Bissonnet for good times. Weekday happy hour runs ‘til 7pm, with $1 off beers and cocktails, including a killer strawberry basil drink. On Mondays, steak night offers 16 juicy ounces of beef alongside a salad and garlic mashed potatoes for $17. Click here for directions.
  • Valhalla – Run by graduate students and hidden on campus, sipping a cheap beer at this hangout is a Rice University rite of passage. The prices are always right, and the spot offers a lineup of fun things, like tap takeovers, chips, candy, and snacks and the occasional 3-buck banh mi from Les Givral’s to go alongside. Just remember it’s cash only. Click here for directions.
  • Other great options – Get an artsy vibe and whiskey smash at Simone on Sunset; head to second-story terrace and bar, Upstairs, to sip a roster of cocktails featuring freshly made juices; enjoy a laidback, New Orleans vibe at live music and blues bar, The Big Easy; sip craft beers inside an old bank vault at Kelvin Arms Pub; and pair cocktails and poke at Doc Holliday’s.