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

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4

service

4.2

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Vibrant Bar Scene
Houston
Hot Spot
Houston
Vibrant Bar Scene
Houston
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special occasion (56)
romantic (47)
good for groups (46)
See All
vibrant bar scene (42)
hot spot (36)
late-night find (34)
fit for foodies (32)
great for lunch (12)
notable wine list (12)
neighborhood gem (11)
scenic view (9)
great for brunch (8)
great for outdoor dining (5)
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405 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Happy Birthday to me!

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, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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

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, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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

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, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Dined on May 14, 2016

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

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food3
ambience2
service3
value1

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

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
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Dinner before Concert

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, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food3
ambience5
service2
value3

BAd meal before the theatre

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.

food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Wonderful food!

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
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

Always great!

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, special occasion, scenic view
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Close to theater

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
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Great pre-theater dining

Dined on April 30, 2016

Sambuca is conveniently located near Houston's theater district. Park in the City's parking garage, walk to Sambuca & enjoy a wonderful dinner along with good wine before your show. Servers are attentive & polite. There is usually a band later if you want to return after the show.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Great business meal or date

Dined on April 30, 2016

The service was good, a little slow, but it was a crowed Friday night. Waiter was very knowledgeable and the food was fantastic. Very nice setting with linens. Margherita Pizza was amazing.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Good food downtown

Dined on April 29, 2016

This is the second time my boyfriend and I have been tonSambuca for dinner. It was convenient for us to walk there from our hotel to the music concert afterwards. There is a nice selection of mixed drinks, wine etc. we had the oysters to start that were good. We really enjoyed the ribeye steak we split with vegetables. Prices were mid ranged, but we split the entree so it wasn't as expensive. We will be back next time we stay downtown.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

Overpriced and underwhelmed!

Dined on April 24, 2016

The food was terrible.... Dry chicken, terrible drinks! How does a fine dining establishment no know how to make a mint julep? The place was super noisy and the waitress seemed like she didn't care and had too many tables!

Tags: vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great place to eat

Dined on April 23, 2016

The waiter was awesome. My food was delicious. I definitely have to go back soon

Tags: good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience3
service3
value2

Menu leaves something to be desired

Dined on April 23, 2016

Don't look for foodie items on this menu, it is two pages with no out-of -the-ordinary offerings; the wine/drink list is 4-5 pages. Great for non-serious diners!

Tags: good for groups, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Lively Downtown Hotspot

Dined on April 18, 2016

Even for a Sunday night it was a lively and delicious environment for a special occasion! The menu is exciting and the live music was festive. The team of servers were lovely, friendly and quite attentive. They made us feel like very special guests!

Tags: good for groups, romantic, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience4
service4

It was my husband's birthday and I decid ...

Dined on April 17, 2016

It was my husband's birthday and I decided to take him somewhere new. I made reservations on Open Table, like I usually do and made a note that we would be celebrating my husband's birthday. We arrived and were seated immediately in a VERY cozy area. I'm vegan and I was able to find something on their menu. The waiter was very helpful. My husband had a ribeye steak and crab dip, which he enjoyed. It was a bit warm where we were sitting, but overall it was bearable. We received the check and there was no celebration or mention of my husband's birthday. I'm not sure we enjoyed it so much to go back or refer people to check it out.

food5
ambience5
service5

Ambiance is amazing and the service was ...

Dined on April 17, 2016

Ambiance is amazing and the service was great.

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Good Time

Dined on April 9, 2016

I visited Sambuca with my husband and we enjoyed the scenery as well as the live music. A perfect place to go relax and have a good time. We had the ribeye, cooked to perfection. Overall the food quality met my expectations. I will def go back. I had 3 different cocktails and they were all delicious! A must go.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Small plates are amazing!

Dined on April 9, 2016

Fun place with great food and bands are always good as well!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Return of the ...

Dined on April 4, 2016

We keep coming back - we love this place - love the ambiance, the food, the music, the drinks. We hit it just right the other night for Happy Hour - so we got drinks and small plates (appy's) discounted. Food was very good - we did order one dish and it was very spicy. It took us by surprise because it did not indicated on the menu. Portions are always just right - we never feell over stuffed but Dessert put us over the top. Andrew was great!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

HCSO86

Dined on March 26, 2016

Great atmosphere, waiters were attentive, food was very good (a little pricey but good). They have live music every night.

Tags: good for groups, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

Beignets were great apps!

vip
Dined on March 20, 2016

I loved the beignets! Those were awesome! Waiter was great!

Tags: vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Food was ok my wife's pork over cooked twice

Dined on March 20, 2016

Food was ok. Over priced and the quality was average at best. Services was good but I was not impressed with food. The music was good but not sure if I will ever go back.

Tags: good for groups
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

I love this restaurant. Good food and gr ...

Dined on March 19, 2016

I love this restaurant. Good food and great service. I always enjoy the music when I dine here!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect Night Out

Dined on March 13, 2016

Small bites, entrees, desserts and amazing drinks! Mix all that with the live music and I ant think of anywhere else I would want to be! I loved the ambiance of the Restraunt. We had 6 people and did not leave a bite of food on the table because it was THAT good!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
food2
ambience2
service4
value3

Anniversary Dinner

Dined on March 11, 2016

I would recommend, but I was a bit disappointed. The restaurant did not have a great smell, not really bad, just not real pleasant. We have only visited this restaurant one other time about 10 years ago, and the food options seem to have been downgraded and the quality was so-so. Nice ambiance.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food2
ambience4
service4
value1

Horrible food

Dined on March 6, 2016

Ambiance and service were excellent, food was terrible. Have not sent food back in 15 years, but ended up sending a $14 dollar appetizer (tuna poke) back because it was so bad. The were great though, ended up giving us a different appetizer (braised short rib) instead, it was mediocre. We ordered the stuffed snapper etouffe which was actually very good. Also ordered the pork chop which was mediocre. Overall, would not have minded too much except the prices are very high (in the mid $30 range for entrees). Hadn't been here in a long time, so really went for the ambiance, music, etc. That part was fun although it was a much older crowd. Also the service was excellent.

food4
ambience5
service5

Great date night!

Dined on March 6, 2016

Great date night!

food1
ambience3
service2
value1

Just Bad

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

I don't really know where to start here. I tried to find a restaurant last minute on a Friday night and I guess I got what I deserved. I am usually not this harsh, but am reviewing honestly so what happened to me doesn't happen to someone else. I had a 7:30 reservation and was seated with my girlfriend. It took a solid 5-10 minutes before our waitress approached us to offer us a drink. The place was empty. When she finally came she was friendly. We were starving, and the food was still terrible. We started with the calamari and it tasted like fried rubber. We then split the filet, asparagus (even though we asked to substitute brussel sprouts), and mac and cheese. It wasn't good and it was all over priced. This was one of the worst restaurant experiences I've ever had. We went here on the whim that they had live music and the band literally played one song when we walked in, then were on break for the next hour or so until they played another song and we had to leave. To top it all off there is an entertainment charge for the band. I would not mind this had I been notified via a statement on the menu or something similar, but to just blindly tack that onto people's bill is ridiculous. I am just wondering if this is a late night place where people don't eat and just come for live music and drinks or what the deal is. Nevertheless, I would not recommend this restaurant.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Get with the times!

Dined on March 4, 2016

I paid with an Open Table Gift card that I earned and no one knew, how to obtain the phone scan version. I was inconvenienced of coming back at 3:45 pm with a hard copy version of the gift card. I had to explain to my boss that I had to return to Sambuca to pay since the Manager and staff didn't know how to use the phone version, even though it was clearly an option when purchasing. Please learn how to utilize this option so we are not wasting paper. Thank you.

Tags: romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
food1
ambience5
service5
value2

Sambuca Review

Dined on March 2, 2016

The live band was great. Great vibe and ambiance. The drinks were good. The food was terrible and overpriced. Great for music, drinks and a good time. Bad for food.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

Good time. Great food. Got loud.

Dined on February 28, 2016

Our group included 3 couples celebrating my husband's birthday. Everyone enjoyed their food which ranged from the ettoufee, to the salmon, to the flatiron steak and pizza. We got there early because we had Symphony tickets. I didn't think the band would start before 7 and we would need to be on our way to Jones Hall by then. Well I was wrong as the Houston Blues Society started up at 6PM and we were not able to visit once they did. The music was great, but not what we went there for. We were seated in area in the back that ended up being just to the right of the band. My only suggestion would be to have the band start after 7PM.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

GREAT ALL-AROUND!

Dined on February 28, 2016

I can not say one bad thing about this place and I am very particular!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
food2
ambience3
service4
value2

Great Band!

Dined on February 28, 2016

Food was OK, but don't go here expecting great food. Go for the entertainment!

food4
ambience4
service1
value3

Late Night Dinner

Dined on February 21, 2016

Its a good spot for a good meal after a concert or late event. The service needs improvement. Although everyone was nice, we had to wait for a hostess to appear in order to be seated. We had to consistently ask for water and the waiter reached across our food to refill everyone's water at the same time which resulted in wasted water on the able and on the food.

Tags: special occasion, late-night find
food3
ambience3
service1
value1

Horrible service not with the money spent at all.

Dined on February 21, 2016

The food was okay but not cooked to the was it was requested. The service was horrible and even after talking to a manager didn't improve. I received the worst cup of coffee I have ever had 10 mins after my desert came and was finished. Worst meal out ever. I was totally disappointed.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Close to theaters with good food.

Dined on February 20, 2016

Great place, virtually next to out hotel (Lancaster), we were met with a great smile and taken directly to our table. Waiter was attentive, informative, and accurate. Food was very good.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Great, experience and food

vip
Dined on February 19, 2016

Great, experience and food

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