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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.17mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
  3. Distance: 0.18mi
  4. Distance: 0.19mi
  1. Distance: 0.17mi
  2. Distance: 0.17mi
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About Sambuca Restaurant - Houston

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.

909 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002
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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

4.0

service

3.9

ambience

4.1

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

82% would recommend it to a friend

Live Music (21)
Good for a Date (16)
Good for Groups (13)
See All
Dancing (12)
Happy Hour (12)
Special Occasion (11)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Romantic (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Fun (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Hot Spot (7)
Modern Decor (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Casual (7)
Business Meals (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Cozy (6)
Comfort Food (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
People Watching (3)
Quick Bite (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Outstanding Value (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Authentic (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
Spicy (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Family Style (1)
Tapas (1)
Healthy (1)
Great Beer (1)
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516 reviews
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 (Cincinnati)·Dined 3 days ago

Location is great for out of town visitors staying downtown. nice environment and the food was good, but not great.
BUT, the live music was really good and we ended up staying for a while after the meal to listen to the music.
I wouldn't go there again for the food, but I would for the music.

Tags: Good for Groups, Live Music
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 5 days ago

Very nice music and food scene

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined 5 days ago

My guest and I arrived on time and the hostesses were very nice, professional, and seated us immediately. Decor is lovely, though it was hard to see in the dark. Also very hard to read menus. Service from the waitress was slow. Super slow. We ordered wine and then waited about 15 minutes. When she brought the wine, she finally asked about appetizers. Once dinner plates were delivered, she did not return until she was ready to bring the check. In other words, when the food became cold and congealed on the plate and it was useless to ask her for anything.
We ordered the vegetable lasagna and the pork chop but substituted the side dish, requesting Au gratin potatoes if substitutions were permitted. They are.
The lasagna came out in a giant roll. Not layers, a roll. A huge roll that could have fed the average family of 4. I'm not one to complain about large portions, but it was sort of flavorless so it didn't matter how much of it was there. It lacked any italian seasoning- just a log of veges and ricotta cheese wrapped into a pasta blanket.
The pork chop was very good but a tomato puree of sorts was on top and that was not. The Au Gratin potatoes were also bland and very dry. No salt, pepper, rosemary, or even cheese was in the potatoes. There was some cheese on top, but aren't au gratin potatoes supposed to have a least a little sauce?
After dinner we were planning to sit at the bar, have a drink and enjoy the band. The bar seats about 12 people. It was full. The bartender was really working hard but he was angry and cussing out another bartender while he did. He had lots of lovely opinions about his co-worker and suggestions were made for his (hopefully) post-work personal entertainment.
I used to love this place. What the hell happened?

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Live Music
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service2
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined 5 days ago

Nicely impressed. Will definitely return.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined 7 days ago

Awesome, I love it here, pricy however that never stops me from returning, very classy and supreme service

Tags: Business Meals, Fun, Live Music, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Dancing, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined 7 days ago

Great happy hour to hit up before a show. Buca balls and pizza are excellent.

Tags: Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 10, 2017

The service was great. The food was awesome. We had dinner before the ballet. We had plenty of time to enjoy our meal and get to the ballet on time.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 9, 2017

Went to Sambuca for my birthday lunch with friends. We were seated right away, our server was great and we had a very nice lunch.

Tags: Happy Hour, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 6, 2017

Food was good as usual but waiter forgot about us. Typically excellent for a quiet business lunch.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 6, 2017

I'll start with the appetizers, we ordered the Shrimp Crab Dip. The seasoning was horrible, it was so bland. It was almost like a cream cheese dip. We ordered a Miller Lite that was warm? Who likes to drink Warm beers? No one I know. The pricing was outrageous for the quality of each meal. Around the Table we all ordered the following: The Rib eye dish, ordered it medium rare- was over cooked. Came on the Medium well side. The shrimp scampi, no complaints on that dish. The Miso Bass, the sea bass was over cooked. The Scallops Dish, the menu read that it came with risotto rice, also asparagus. When the dish arrived, the price compared to the meal size was ridiculous. We also ordered a Bloody Mary that was one of the most blan bloody Mary's in a Houston. To finish our meal we ordered the Cobbler, because the waiter complimented it so well. Only for him to come back in a matter of 10 minutes to tell us he didn't realize they ran out of cobbler. Talk about Lack of communication, it wasn't busy. It was a rainy Sunday night so we were a little surprised by that news. We settled for the Cheesecake, it was frozen to start off. The texture was not smooth whatsoever and the taste of a traditional cheesecake lacked completely. Overall, for a birthday dinner I would of loved to spend $250.00 elsewhere. I will not be recommending this place to any friends in the future.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Live Music
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food3
ambience4
service3
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 4, 2017

A group of 6 women from work met at Sambuca for dinner before attending a show in the theatre district. We enjoyed the convenience of the location, valet parking, atmosphere and food. We found the service to be very attentive and helpful. We would recommend this restaurant to others.

Tags: Good for Groups, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 3, 2017

Excellent food and good service. Ideal for a business lunch.

Tags: Good for Groups, Afternoon Coffee
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on February 28, 2017

We were looking for a place downtown to celebrate my husband's birthday before the theater and I had received a $25 off coupon to celebrate Samba's 25th Anniversary. It did the trick and got us back to Sambuca and we had a lovely meal. Everything exceeded our expectations. It was a Tuesday night and we were early enough for happy hour so we started with a margarita and mai tai and a flatbread appetizer which was delicious. Next up was shrimp and crab bisque for my husband and the gorgonzola and walnut salad for me. For entrees he went for the scallops and I had the gorgonzola-topped 7 oz filet. We split a creme brûlée which they wrote "Happy Birthday" on the plate. Our reservation was at 5:30 and it was nice and quiet. The band was setting up and the crowd was really picking up as we were leaving for the theater at 7 PM. We had a great time and the food and service was impeccable. $12 for valet parking was a bit high, seems like they could validate it for half price or something but it's downtown.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 26, 2017

Ordered a steak, medium, was brought back well done. Sent it back to have redone, they sent it out completely rare. So sent back again. They cooked the same piece of meat and returned it with zero apologies from management. They acted like it was no big deal. If I'm paying $40 for a piece of meat, I want it cooked the way I ordered it. Instead of comping the steak, which they should have, they acted like it was nothing. We won't be dining there again.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience2
service5
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 25, 2017

This is one of our favorite restaurants. The food was great. The menu has changed - not as many wonderful dishes to choose from which honestly was kind of a surprise. We had dinner with some friends and then went to the Rockets game. We came back after the game for a night cap and the listen to the band. The band/music was a lot of fun as we have seen them in the past.

Tags: Dancing, Romantic, Live Music, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 19, 2017

Overpriced and service was horrible . Took my love for his birthday and I was very disappointed in service and food . Only good experience was the music .

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food3
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 19, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed dinner while listening to the blues-y band 'Delta Flood' on my Feb. 18 visit. I hadn't been for dinner and music in a very long time and was glad to reacquaint myself and introduce a friend to Sambuca. My meal was the Salmon Oscar - excellently prepared and a pretty good deal for wild salmon. Started with the Gorgonzola salad....delicious and a must try. My friend ordered the Med. Veggie Lasagna which I tasted and liked - didn't love - but it was good. Our waiter was attentive but left us in peace enough to enjoy the evening. We were seated at a table two rows back from the dance floor and had a good time watching dancers and just enjoying a fun night out with some really solid music. Will return.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Live Music, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Dancing
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 18, 2017

The ambiance was amazing! Top notch food and service and the entertainment was perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Our server was great; very attentive and helpful when we mentioned this was our first time being at Sambuca. We were there for a Birthday celebration and it was enjoyed by all who attended that night. Definitely would go again.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Family Style, Romantic, Good for Groups, Live Music, Worth the Drive, Dancing, Vibrant Bar Scene, Casual, Good for a Date, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on February 11, 2017

All good
Music was good
Met. A celebrity

Tags: Good for a Date, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Overall it was a pleasant experience. The food was great and the service was excellent. Definitely worthy of a return visit.

Tags: Live Music, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Not worth the high over inflated prices. Service was great. The dishes were just okay.

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food4
ambience3
service5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Food was not good, sorry. Either very bland or too salty. Waiter was nice and attentive. Convenient for pre-show dinner (Jones Hall).

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food1
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Great ambiance and service was fast!

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food3
ambience5
service5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 29, 2017

We had a really fun evening. The costs of the food was a little high in comparison to other Houston night club / dining venues. We went to see the band, Shape Shifters, but also enjoyed the drinks and dancing. I would recommend this place to others and we will try it again at a time when the Super Bowl crowd / visitors are not as prevalent.

Tags: Good for Groups, Modern Decor, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Authentic, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Food was great, but pricey. The menu was different than I had seen on review sites such as Yelp. The food selection was very different, more upscale, and more expensive than those sites showed, but it was very good and worth the price. Maybe they changed the menu recently?

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Not impressed, had to wait for table even though we had a reservation, when we were seated it took 15 minutes before a waiter came by and the new menu is worse than the old one and overpriced.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 22, 2017

It was great! The waitress was very nice and attentive. The live band was awesome too! Great people watching!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 18, 2017

Waiter was a smoker and disappeared often. Steak was tough and not worth the money. Nothing tasted special, only mediocre and next time will enjoy music without the food. There are plenty of places in Houston to eat great food that is worth every penny. Just not here.

Tags: Live Music
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Wish they had been better with our seating location. I will try making reservations earlier next time to see if that helps.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Live Music, Dancing, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Our friend recommended this place and I made reservations for 4. Didn't mind the valet charge since it's downtown. They didn't give me the balcony seat reservation I ask for (2 days in advance) with no prior call to tell me. Met at the bar and out of Tito's., really, we are all vodka folks. This is Texas. Out of calamari for appetizers really. Food we ordered was just OK. The Beatles band looked it to some degree and was only par on sound. Me and my friend sounded more like the Beatles when we sang at the table. Me and the girlfriend won't go back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Service was slow. Waiter was not attentive. Food was just ok. Restaurant was not clean and crisp. I was disappointed with the atmospher. Did not have a classy feel to it

Tags: Happy Hour
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food1
ambience2
service1
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 15, 2017

We went for the live music. We made reservations in advance, online - asked to be placed within sight of the stage. We asked again when we arrived and waited for a table for 10 minutes (I thought so we could sit near the stage). We were seated at a table where we could not view the stage. It's a small venue so we could hear the music, but not see the band. We ordered a full dinner (3 courses with alcohol), were served quickly, but seemed to be rushed to leave. Our server never asked us if we wanted more wine after our meal, which we did. So we left feeling that we couldn't sit and talk to each other or enjoy the band (because we couldn't see them).

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

The waitress was very nice. Most of the food were good. The asparagus seemed overcooked and sweet potato was just okay.

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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Early dining before symphony. Little disappointed with limited options on dinner menu. Entrees fine but not great.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 5, 2017

The bartender was great! And I highly recommend the steak if you go. Pretty small portions for the price but if you can overlook that it's worth it.

Tags: Modern Decor, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

This is our first time having dinner, only had drinks outside before. We really enjoyed the food, the server was very attentive and sweet. The band was good & lively! Will definitely go back! Overall a really nice evening!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Great meal bit pricey.. But it's down in theater district

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Im 36 and every 2-3 yrs my hubby n i come here. Fodd is uhmmmwhahhh!

Tags: Hot Spot, Romantic, People Watching, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Molecular Gastronomy, Modern Decor, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 18, 2016

My wife and I went at 5:30 pm on a Sunday evening before a play at The Wortham Theater. We arrived and were promptly seated. Unfortunately that was the most prompt part of the evening. The service that evening left a lot to be asked for. Drink time from order to receiving averaged 20-30 minutes. Our food took 50 minutes to come out. To summarize the service that was provided, a dirty and grimy spoon was hand delivered by our server when he brought out my wife's soup. We had been looking forward to finally trying the place out for awhile and were sadly disappointed. We will never be going back for a second visit.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

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