For over three decades, this quirky lounge has remained a fairly well-kept secret among Rice University students, with an aura of carefree irresponsibility. Mixing high IQs with a few pints has probably led to a few scientific breakthroughs amid the typical it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time bar hijinks. Located under the front steps of Keck Hall, the chemistry building on the Rice campus, Valhalla attracts an intellectual crowd of graduate students and professors but you’ll also find the university maintenance crew here as well because the beer and wine at this non-profit bar are about as cheap as you can get in Houston. The drinks are also served in cups made of the finest cheap plastic, so leave your snooty friends at home. It’s a dark, cave-like place with piles of books and board games available to help you pass the time (or help you break the ice if you see someone you want to meet). Afterwards, take a walk around the university grounds, which are stunning at night with soaring backlit arches, fountains and statues.