Where to Eat in West University

Explore Houston’s bustling and charming neighborhood of West U covered in beautiful oak trees near the prestigious Rice University and popular Rice Village shopping district. Visitors, locals and college students have many restaurants, retail stores and quiet study spots to choose from in this neighborhood. Read on for our favorite dining spots to enjoy for a perfect day of eating in West U.

Courtesy of @badolinabakery on Instagram



A great way to start your day in West U is visiting a local coffee shop like Badolina Bakery & Cafe in Rice Village shopping district. They offer savory and sweet Middle Eastern pastries and artisan bread like Burekas and Kamut bread. Pair with their frozen granita shake with espresso and enjoy your coffee and pastry on their beautiful outdoor patio. 

For a quick coffee run, we recommend Grinder’s Coffee Bar where you can order online for curbside pick up or grab a coffee and pastry inside their earthy and vibrant shop. Pro-tip: Ask to have your favorite quote or art printed on your next latte! 

For brunch with friends, visit Tiny Boxwoods and order their Mother's Breakfast with sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs, white cheddar grits, biscuit, strawberry jam, whipped honey butter to enjoy al fresco.

El Topo
Courtesy of @eltopohtx on Instagram


What started as a food truck is now Chef Tony Luhrman’s El Topo, nestled in a quiet corner in West U. This spot has West Texas inspired decor, a charming patio and serves up tasty tacos on hand-pressed tortillas, pastries baked from scratch and other items sourced locally. For lunch, we recommend ordering their popular Houston Taco with 44 farms beef barbacoa, pickled onions, herbs and epazote aioli, a side of Guacamole Perfecto or savory Street Corn. 

A noteworthy spot: Goode Company BBQ has been serving tender brisket, sausages, ribs and more since 1977! This is always a great restaurant to enjoy a true taste of Texas BBQ in Houston.

For quick lunch options, order healthy salads and bowls from Local foods or great sandwiches from Brown Bag Deli.

Happy Hour

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Simone on Sunset
Courtesy of @simoneonsunset on Instagram


SIp on your favorite drink at Simone on Sunset hidden below twisting vines is a courtyard and casual space that makes you feel like you’re in Europe. Describing itself as a gathering place for neighbors, you’ll want to visit for a great happy hour. Happy hour is 4 PM to 11 PM Monday & Tuesday, 4 PM to 7 PM Wednesday through Friday, 3 PM to 7 PM on Saturday and 1 PM to 7 PM. on Sunday. Enjoy $20 house bottles, $5 glasses of wine, $5 wells. Other deals include Thursday Steak Nights with 6oz choice of NY Strip, Rib-eye, or filet served with grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes for $27.

A noteworthy mention: Little Woodrow’s in Rice Village is a neighborhood sports bar perfect to watch an Astros game or enjoy a cold beer after work. Happy hour is from 2 PM to 2 AM Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 2 AM Saturday and Sunday.

Hungry’s Cafe
Courtesy of @hungryscafe on Instagram


For dinner, head to Hungry’s Cafe where you can dine on the patio or upstairs overlooking Rice Village. With 45 years of serving market-fresh flavors to locals and visitors, you know you can’t go wrong with any menu item you choose. We definitely recommend tasting the Spinach Artichoke Dip with tortilla chips, pico de gallo, signature tzatziki and Penne Bolognese with homemade meat sauce, parmesan, fresh basil and garlic toast. Got room for dessert? Top off a great dinner with Chocolate Molten Lava Cake à la mode.

A noteworthy mention: Sixty Vines is a nice dinner spot if you’re craving pasta and wine. With over 50 wines on tap, simply select your wine of choice, order a starter like their Red Beet & Edamame Hummus appetizer and a Short Rib Pappardelle with red wine braised short rib for an entree. 

Sweet Paris
Courtesy of @sweetparis on Instagram


After dinner, end a perfect day of eating in West U with a sweet dessert crêpe at Sweet Paris! This popular dessert spot will have you coming back for more when you taste their Nutella crêpe with strawberries, bananas and vanilla bean ice cream or any of their sweet and savory crêpes. Their charming dining room with stunning chandeliers and signature aqua accents alone will transport you to Paris, France.

A noteworthy mention: At Tinys Milk & Cookies, you can walk up to their window and order some of the best chocolate chip cookies in town, pastries, artisan bread, ice cream and coffee. Love chocolate? Ice cream, hand-dipped chocolate, cakes, cupcakes, sweets and more can all be found at The Chocolate Bar