Where to Brunch in Rice Village & West University

Photo courtesy of Helen Greek Food & Wine

In our Where to Brunch series, we search Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods for the very best brunch offerings.

While Rice Village is not exactly a neighborhood, but rather a mixed-use district, it is often treated as one along with the neighboring community of West University Place (aka West U). The beautiful, tree-lined area appeals to both the young and the young at heart, with plenty of shopping, entertainment, and brunch opportunities for all.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Rice Village and West University are defined as the area bound by 610 to the west, Greenbriar to the east, Bissonnet to the north, and Holcombe to the south.

Where to Brunch in Rice Village & West University

  • Benjy’s – This fan favorite brunch spot rocks brunch Friday through Sunday. Head here to grub on cheddar biscuits & chicken sausage gravy, blueberry port jam French toast, pork chilaquiles, and breakfast fries topped with bacon, cheese, and egg. Lunchier items include grilled salmon and quinoa, Tennessee hot chicken, and all-American burger. Tack on house cocktails—think watermelon sangria and chipotle bloodys—or mocktails like coconut limeade. Friday and Saturday 10:45am to 4pm; Sunday 10am to 4pm. Click here for directions.
  • Black Walnut Cafe Spend your weekend brunching on challah French toast, chocolate pancake stacks, angry shrimp omelets, and steak & eggs at this fast-casual favorite. Feeling lunch? There’s also afternoon delights from bacon burgers to blackened salmon Caesar. Saturday and Sunday 7am to 4pm. Click here for directions.
  • Helen Greek Food & Wine – Unwind and go Greek with an array of Hellenic specialties. Start with a greens-n-cheese pie, a heavenly riff on spanakopita made with four greens and three Greek cheeses, and some roasted beets with grilled halkidiki olives and dried citrus for the table. Then move on to pork gyros, feta-brined chicken souvlaki, and Frixos Catch “Plaki Style,” a whole roasted fish that gets deboned and stuffed. You’ll also want to explore the adventurous wine list, one of the largest Hellenic wine lists in the nation. Tuesday through Sunday 11am to 4pm. Click here for directions.
  • Kenny & Ziggy’s – Get a New York delicatessen-style nosh at the West University location of this popular spot. Breakfast plates come fully stacked here, from homemade cheese blintzes and lox, stock and bagels to Roumanian steak and eggs. Breakfast is served all day, though if you’re feeling lunch, the triple decker sandwiches—packed with deliciousness like house corned beef, pastrami, and Russian dressing—come bigger than your head. There are mimosas and deli Marys, too. Monday though Friday beginning at 7am; Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8am. Click here for directions.
  • Punk’s Simple Southern Food – You’ll find brunch every day at this modern Southern charmer (except for Monday, when it’s closed). Get pillowy biscuits stacked with crispy chicken and cream gravy; or enjoy them sittin’ pretty alongside chicken & waffles and scrambled eggs, maple breakfast sausage, and home fries. Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 10:30am; Sunday beginning at 10am. Click here for directions.
  • Tiny’s No. 5 – Nestled in the old JMH No 5 Grocery Store in West U, this cozy spot offers deliciousness like pastry boards, pancakes & bacon, avocado toast, chicken enchiladas, and salmon Provençal. Don’t forget to turn the corner to pickup some cookies at Tiny’s Milk & Cookies before you go. Saturday 8am to 3pm; Sunday 9am to 2pm. Click here for directions.
  • Upstairs – Perched in the oak trees lining Rice Boulevard on the second floor of Hungry’s (which also rocks brunch), Upstairs bar and lounge offers a lazy day weekend brunch worth lingering over. Dig into crab cake eggs benny, croissant french toast, and sizzling huevos rancheros with jalapeño sausage. On warmer days, you’ll definitely want to #FrozéAllDay. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 3pm. Click here for directions.

More Great Brunch Options in Rice Village & West University

Sip white peach bellinis alongside chicken scaloppini and waffles at Prego; pair huevos rancheros with mimosas at Cyclone Anaya’s; get all-day breakfast at Buffalo Grille and Le Peep; fill up on sweet and savory crêpes at Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café; “brunch” on at Torchy’s Tacos, burgers at Shake Shack and Hopdoddy, salads at Sweetgreen, and sandwiches at Mendocino Farms; and be sure to check out Politan Row Houston, the new, mid-century inspired global food hall opening Fall 2019 in the heart of Houston’s Rice Village.

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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 .