Where to find delicious food in HTX!

By: Esther Jimenez, Ph.D. Candidate in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

House of Pies Milkshake

Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States and the most diverse city in the nation. With Houston being such an expansive place, it's no wonder that you can find a wide range of cuisines, from BBQ-Indian fusion to delicious pizza. Being a Houston native, I have spent all my life trying to find the best foods in this wonderful city. In this blog, I want to talk to you all about the fantastic food options that can be found around the Rice campus for those who don't have a method of transportation. Additionally, I will share my favorite places to eat outside of the outer loop that are worth the drive. This list will range from coffee places to restaurants! If you are interested in more options, my husband and I have a foodie page on Instagram called letseat.htx; check us out!

So you have decided to come to Rice University for your Ph.D. or Master's and have no idea where to get delicious coffee, or even a meal, for a reasonable price. Don’t worry, today is your lucky day. Here are 7 of my favorite top places to visit in Houston for some of the best food, drinks, and desserts you will ever have! These are in no particular order. I encourage you to visit all of these places if you can. 

1. The Gypsy Poet 

Location: 2404 Austin St, Houston, TX 77004 (11 min from Rice) 

Gypsy Poet is the best pizzeria in Houston we have tried so far. It is typically pretty full, but there is plenty of seating, and we have only had to wait at most 30 minutes for our food. Even if you had to wait a bit more, it's 100% worth it. The pizza is not heavy and perfectly balanced in the sauce/topping/dough ratios. The quality of the ingredients can be tasted with every fresh bite. We recommend getting the Pepperoni Madness and the Fancy Backpacker; they were exquisite! Furthermore, with every order, you get complimentary fresh basil leaves, crushed red pepper, parmesan cheese, and signature honey sauce. 

2. Truth BBQ

Location: 110 S Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007 (12 min from Rice) 

Truth BBQ is one of the best, if not the BEST, Barbecue we have had here in Houston. There is always a line before it opens, so you must arrive about 30 minutes early. The employees are friendly and will give you samples of the meats if you ask. Everything is amazing, but our favorite meat is the beef ribs, and our favorite side is the delicious corn pudding. This restaurant is a must-try!

3. Tiger Noodle House

Location: 2424 Rice Boulevard A, Houston, TX 77005 (3 min from Rice) 

The restaurant is a staple of Szechuan cuisine in the center of Rice Village, which is open late and has excellent service. The noodles always taste fresh and have a pleasant texture, and the food, in general, is delicious. Plus, it's not very expensive, and they give you a lot of food. This is the definition of getting a lot of bang for your buck! 

4. Aga’s Restaurant and Catering 

Location: 11842 Wilcrest Dr, Houston, TX 77031 (20 min from Rice)

This restaurant has terrific Pakistani food that is great for large groups or if you want to eat with a few friends. Our favorites are the mango lassi, Beef seekh kebabs, and chicken tikka breast! They have a very diverse menu, and the service is excellent. We 10/10 approve!

5. Tacos Dona Lena 

Location: 8788 Hammerly Blvd G, Houston, TX 77080 (22 min from Rice) 

Taco’s Dona Lena is an excellent Mexican restaurant with everything from tacos, gorditas, tortas, and sopes! Everything is very delicious, and I 100% recommend getting the cucumber agua fresca.

6. House of Pies 

Location: 3112 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098 (8 min from Rice)

House of Pies is a diner that feels like you are at grandma's house. The milkshakes and pies are fabulous. I have tried almost every pie, and they are all fantastic, but my favorite is the Bayou Goo. They also have a vast selection of breakfast food they serve all day and many dinner options. You will find something to eat and feel at home!

7. Rice Coffeehouse  

Location: at the RMC on the Rice campus

The Rice Coffeehouse is another coffee shop where you can get your bang for your buck. The coffee is relatively cheap, and it's good for the price. I love their Arnold Palmer and the Milky Way with an extra shot of espresso! Plus, it's on campus, so it's incredibly convenient!