Guide to Grad Life | Food and Recreation




Rice Dining includes a variety of information, including possible meal plans and public and private dining spaces. There is also a variety of community dining options that graduate students can take part in.



(The GSA does not vet, sponsor, or endorse any of the following items or associated entities apart from explicit GSA items, therefore we encourage interested students to do research on any items.)

You probably have to do grocery shopping at some point in grad life, but going to the same place can be boring. Here are a few grocery stores most loved by Rice students.

Do you have any good recommendations for restaurant? Please add to this Google Doc by category! 






Valhalla started 40 years ago as a place for graduate students to hang out, relax and socialize after a long day of school/work. We are staffed by graduate students and alumni volunteers. Four decades later, not much has changed. This wonderful place is open from 11:30 am to 1 pm (lunch) and from 4 pm to 2 am Monday through Friday, closed Saturdays, and open from 7 pm to 12 am on Sundays.


GSA Sports and Fitness

Rice provides a state-of-the-art recreation center. The David and Barbara Gibbs Recreation Center was opened to the Rice community in the last quarter of 2009. This multi-level facility boasts of two swimming pools – a recreational pool and a competition pool. On the first floor, there are multiple squash and racquetball courts, ample cardio equipment and a dedicated weights room with the latest equipment. Level two has multipurpose courts used for basketball, indoor soccer or hockey as well as multiple rooms for fitness classes. There are also ping-pong and pool tables for those who love them. Recreation center also offers various fitness programs – individual and group fitness programs. Most programs are either free for recreation center members or carry a nominal fee for graduate students.

Also, if you like outdoorsy things, the R.O.P.E. program at the Rec Center is definitely for you. For more information, visit their page!


Intramural and College Sports

Intramural and college sports are a great way to meet new people outside your own department or lab. Intramural sports involve a set of sports in which the participants can be any combination of Rice University students, staff, faculty and their spouses. Popularly called IM Sports, these are more about fun and enjoyment than serious competition. GSA also participates in college sports as a “graduate college”. College sports consists of teams composed of student members of a specific college. GSA competes with the various undergraduate colleges in competition for the President’s Cup, a cup awarded annually to the team with most points across the college sports.


Club Sports

If you love a sport that is not a part of college or IM sports, there is a whole range of club sports that you can participate in. Unlike the college or IM sports, club sports are coordinated by the individual clubs. So, for additional information regarding rules, game timings and membership fees (if any); please get in touch with the club leader reported on the above link.


Beer Bike

Beer Bike is a combination intramural bicycle race and drinking (chugging) dating back to 1957. Ten riders and ten chuggers make up a team.



Passport to Houston 

In a city as large and diverse as Houston, there is always plenty to see and do. Check out Passport to Houston to get information on things to do, places to eat, and what to see.

With GSA, you will have free admission to Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts: Houston, and Houston Museum of Natural Science. Stay tuned with GSA Announcements for signup sheets! This is on a first come first serve basis. 


National Sports

There are several professional sports teams in Houston, so if you are a big sports buff, or just want to go for an experience, these are the current teams: