About Sambuca Restaurant - Houston

909 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002
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A word from Sambuca Restaurant - Houston
Located in the historic Rice Hotel downtown, Sambuca is Houston’s only rockin’ dinner club. We serve American food with a side of nightly live music as diverse as our menu. And our talents don’t stop there! Sambuca can cater your next special event in style. Whether it is off-site at Sambuca or in the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, you can be sure every detail will be handled with the upmost attention. Contact our catering department to book your next party.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American

Hours of Operation:


Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Dinner: Monday - Wednesday - 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Thursday & Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - Midnight

Cross Street:
Travis St.

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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Private Dining

We understand that every moment deserves its own special detail. We will work with you to make your event extraordinary.

Sambuca Restaurant - Houston Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.0

service

4.2

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (48)
Romantic (33)
Good for Groups (29)
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Vibrant Bar Scene (27)
Hot Spot (25)
Late-night Find (21)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Great for Lunch (14)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Notable Wine List (7)
Scenic View (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Great for Brunch (2)
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436 reviews
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Everything was great except my duck. It ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Everything was great except my duck. It had great flavor but it was really tuff. My steak knife couldn't cut through the piece of meat.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Took a group for a business lunch, and e ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Took a group for a business lunch, and everyone was very pleased with my choice of venue. The crab and shrimp dip appetizer was wonderful. The menu choices are great, everyone was able to find just what they wanted. The fish tacos were a big hit. Waiter was attentive, atmosphere is very nice and well suited for a professional group. I would recommend.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The last time we went to Sambuca was abo ...

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

The last time we went to Sambuca was about 4 years ago and the food, presentation and ambiance were GREAT! Since then they must have changed their menu as well as their chef. The presentation was poor and the food was cold and tasted microwaved. Our waiter was pleasant but with our reservations, they stuck us back in a small cubby booth with lighting so dim that it was hard to read the menu. Sadly, our first experience was our best and will not likely to return.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value2

I always enjoy my experience at Sambuca! ...

 
 (Amarillo)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

I always enjoy my experience at Sambuca! The food is always well prepared, the staff is knowledge and friendly and the vibe is super cool!

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Steak was overcooked and way over-season ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Steak was overcooked and way over-seasoned, potatoes were still raw, the bisque was barely warm and the service was very slow even though we told them we had tickets to the theater. It was very disappointing.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value2

Great meal before taking in the theatre. ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Great meal before taking in the theatre. Enjoyed the Houston Food Bank restaurant week menu. Will go back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food was good but the service was unacce ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Food was good but the service was unacceptably slow.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

The Sea Bass was delicious.

 
 (Virginia)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

The Sea Bass was delicious.

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food5
ambience3
service4

Great food and excellent service. I wou ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Great food and excellent service. I would definitely visit them again.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Convenient to the theaters downtown. Men ...

 
 (Corpus Christi)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Convenient to the theaters downtown. Menu looks promising but the kitchen does not deliver. Ingredients, preparation, wait staff skills, and wine list are what you might expect from a low cost family restaurant. The prices are out of line with the food and wine quality.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

Atmosphere was good, but where we were s ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Atmosphere was good, but where we were seated was very dark so we needed to use our cell phone light to see the menu. Food was okay at best - overpriced for what it was. I had the blackened fish which appeared to be cooked very fast because it was overly cooked on the outside and okay on the inside. The band, ShapeShifters was okay if you like to kick back and listen to oldies but goodies. If you like to party, dance, and have a great time, then don't go when that band is playing or you will be horribly disappointed.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value2

Everything was spot on. I chose this re ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Everything was spot on. I chose this restaurant for my date and I and I came out looking really good! He was impressed. The food, the ambiance, the music, the waiter all was really really good!!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place to take friends for a night ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

Great place to take friends for a night out. Will definitely go back.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

This restaurant is one of the finest in ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

This restaurant is one of the finest in Houston!! Everything about it is awesome!!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food looked amazing and was deliciou ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

The food looked amazing and was delicious. The ambiance was nice. Overall, we were very pleased.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

It was a very enjoyable dinner with our ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

It was a very enjoyable dinner with our friends before the play. I would love to come back and listen to the bands you have. The service was fantastic and the food was some of the best we have ever had. Desserts were so delicious.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We wanted a nice dinner before the theat ...

 
 (San Antonio)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

We wanted a nice dinner before the theater but this went all wrong. We ordered in plenty of time (2 hours before the show) but after appetizers had been served and eaten and we were waiting on entrees, they came out with a menu to tell one guest their selection was not available. This was very late in the process to learn this. She changed her order quickly but we were served long after tables seated after us. We asked twice for the check and then still had to wait for the server to bring it back. The end result was we missed the first act at the show because they had already closed the door. The food was bland and overpriced. Will never return.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value3

If you're looking for great tasting food ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

If you're looking for great tasting food and live music, this place is excellent; great atmosphere for the grown and sexy.

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We were dressed real cute for a bday.. G ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

We were dressed real cute for a bday.. Got stuck in the back..:(

But 20 people came by to tell us how cute we were.. Waiter was off..no tea refilling without begging for it.. Got checks wrong..

BAND WAS GREAT..

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

My wife and I ate there while staying do ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

My wife and I ate there while staying downtown for our wedding anniversary. My Ribeye was tough, with lots of gristle, no seasoning, and no flavor. Tator tots were bland. My wife wanted the Cobb salad but it was not a dinner menu item. She ordered a regular salad instead but did not even finish half of it. Steak dinner was refunded. Very disappointed. Would not eat there again.

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food2
ambience2
service3
value2

When I walked into the restaurant, I was ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

When I walked into the restaurant, I was asked if I had a reservation and I told her No. She told me with no reservation the wait to eat would be 1 to 1.5 hrs. I went outside, checked Open Table, saw they had reservations for 15-30 mins later, which I booked. I still had to wait over 1 hour. I feel like I made the hostess mad so she made me wait regardless.

Service was horrible. We spent over $50 per person at my table of 5, I had heard so much good about this place. I will probably never go back as nothing I tasted there would make it worth a 2nd try....

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food3
ambience3
service1

I had requested for them to write "Happy ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

I had requested for them to write "Happy 10th Anniversary" in our dessert and I wanted to surprise my husband and they didn't do it so they did comp our dessert.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

My boyfriend and I wanted to have a rela ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

My boyfriend and I wanted to have a relaxing and romantic evening and enjoy music while doing so. The ambiance was great, the food and drinks were delicious, and our service was fantastic. All around a great night!

Tags: Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Horrible . Food was unedible . Service w ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

Horrible . Food was unedible . Service was horrible . Music was terrible . 😢

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

The live music was fantastic! The Fab 5 ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

The live music was fantastic! The Fab 5-Beatles Tribute Band. We ate, drank, and danced the night away!! Loved it! Always do. Service was excellent, as usual.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Overly friendly service but attentive. D ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

Overly friendly service but attentive. Drinks were good. Food was subpar and overpriced. The best part was the toffee bread pudding that probably wasn't made in house. Very dark and can hardly see the menu. Go for live music and drinks but eat before.

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food2
ambience3
service4

Great Restaurant!

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on June 9, 2016

Went for a business meal- farewell lunch. Great service, food was delicious and came fast. Will definitely come in the evening for the live music!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

What happened?

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on June 8, 2016

I ordered the pork chop which was delicious. However my spouse ordered the Chilean Sea bass, one of our favorites. The fish was mushy and tasted awful. Although we were not charged for the fish, I felt as though they could have thrown in maybe something extra, for ruining our romantic getaway, which happened to be our anniversary. To top it off, the musicians were an hour late. Count me as disappointed this time.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food2
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent menu selection, great drinks, ...

 
 (Nashville)
·Dined on June 6, 2016

Excellent menu selection, great drinks, terrific service! Would definitely return if I lived in the area

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food5
ambience4
service5

The Ribeye was good. My guest sent back ...

vip
 (Orlando)
·Dined on June 2, 2016

The Ribeye was good. My guest sent back the shrimp due to a bad taste. The live music was fun.

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food2
ambience4
service4

Happy Birthday to me!

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on May 22, 2016

A definite jewel, in downtown Houston!

Great service.... food and drinks, along with live music. Loved the ambiance of this spot! Will definitely return here, when in Houston again. Much better than ours here in Dallas.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This restaurant was great, as it had liv ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on May 15, 2016

This restaurant was great, as it had live music, colorful lights and delicious food. My girlfriend said before we even finished the meal that this should be a recurring spot for us. I agree

Tags: Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Loved the Jones Band and the food! Our ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on May 15, 2016

Loved the Jones Band and the food! Our meals were excellent and the staff very friendly!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had an amazing time great food,great ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

We had an amazing time great food,great band, and our waite Donald was awesome!!!!!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

I Love the Idea of This Place for Houston....but

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

We went to Sambuca looking for a fun night out with great food and music. We found an OK time. The idea of this place is great, but things about the restaurant and how they run it kept it from being what it could be. We thought the entrees were excellent, but about 20% too highly priced. The menu did not specify that the main dishes came with a side so we got 2 more sides to split and ended up with way too much food (gee thanks waitress). After dinner we made it over to the bar to enjoy the band. The club setup is really strange. They have dining tables in front of the stage and in order to go see the band, you have to stand in front of someone dining. Instead the lounge crowd stands/sits around the bar off to the side of the stage and it keeps you from connecting with the musicians. In turn they are playing to 3 or 4 tables full of people 30 feet away - with a bunch of people looking at their sides and backs. There was a bunch of space in the back corner to the right of the stage that did not seem to be used. They should move the stage to the back left corner to try and pull the bar crowd in better. We saw the Jones band perform. They were pretty good for Texas Blues. The left handed guitarist was excellent and we enjoyed his voice more than the lead singer. While I enjoy Texas Blues in the right setting, the Cajun themed menu and cocktails and ambiance suggested the place was really supposed to be geared more towards New Orleans style blues/jazz - you know the kind with trombones and trumpets. So it was an interesting clash of styles. So great potential, poor execution. The management should take a trip to Maison in New Orleans to see how to do it. Serve dinner in that space till 9:00. Then pull up the tables and let a great band take over. Lastly stay away from the coffee drinks at the bar. Mine was served cold (it wasn't supposed to be) and I watched the bar tender smell the cream before serving it up. Apparently not a popular seller.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food3
ambience2
service3
value1

Dinner before Concert

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined on May 5, 2016

My wife, son, and his fiancee went to Sambuca, and they were ready for us. Service was fast and friendly, and the food was perfectly prepared. Since this was our first visit to Sambuca, we tried a variety of menu items, including the flatiron steak, chili-rubbed scallops, the margarita shrimp, and the pork chop. The margaritas were average, and I had the lemon grass martini, which was served in the wrong glass (old fashioned) and was too sweet. Having said that, I would enjoy going back, especially since they are located so close to Jones Hall, and would recommend Sambuca to any of my friends.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

BAd meal before the theatre

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on May 4, 2016

The lobster enchilada was tasteless and dry. Would have sent it back if we were not going to a theater performance immediately after dinner. My date's shrimp linguini looked and tasted good. Our waiter Christopher had a weird sense of humor. Will try another restaurant in the theatre district next time.

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food3
ambience5
service2
value3

Wonderful food!

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on May 2, 2016

Great historic location and flavorful food! I would recommend Sambuca for an occasion when you have time to enjoy the ambiance and savor the food.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Always great!

 
 (Houston)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

Sambuca's is a 'sure thing'. I have been several times over the last few years and each time is better than the last. The ambiance, as always, was perfect and the band playing kept surprising us with old and new music. The food was worth the $$. Our server, Donald, was awesome! He allowed us a bit more time at our table to enjoy the band. I look forward to my next outing there. :-)

Tags: Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

Close to theater

vip
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

This restaurant was en route to the Alley Theater, a great performance venue in downtown Houston. It has a chic interior and a decent pour in drinks. Food is pricey but tasty. The evening we were there, we were offered a free appetizer with purchase of two entrees...and we got to choose ANY appetizer on their list! Very generous. Our server was efficient and attentive.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

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