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

3.9

service

4.0

ambience

4.0

value

3.6

noise

Moderate

78% would recommend it to a friend

Live Music (14)
Good for a Date (12)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
See All
Special Occasion (8)
Dancing (8)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Modern Decor (7)
Business Meals (6)
Good for Groups (5)
Casual (5)
Romantic (5)
Fun (5)
People Watching (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Cozy (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Fit for Foodies (1)
Great Beer (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Healthy (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Authentic (1)
Family Style (1)
Tapas (1)
Dining Occasion:
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500 reviews
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 (Houston)·Dined 7 days ago

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
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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
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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

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 18, 2016

We chose Sambuca's thinking it would be a fun location for our Christmas office gathering after the Theater. When we arrived we were seated promptly and drinks ordered. So far so good. Our server was attentive and the appetizers arrived after a reasonable period of time. We ordered our dinners ( a party of 9) and another round of drinks. This is where it all went downhill. It took more than 20 minutes for our next round of drinks to arrive and another hour before our food arrived. Some of the dishes were barely warm. Our Host went to speak to the Manager since other guest around us were being served food and drink before our party and they had arrived way after we ordered. The manager did come to the table and comp the appetizers because of "Hell week" is what he called it , a token in my opinion since our tab was in excess of $700! I also found it odd that there was no music at all. Not even canned music. I can understand perhaps live music might have started after 9pm but no music at all seemed strange based on how they market Sambuca's. Needless to say, the end of the evening left a bad taste (pun intended) in our Host mouth. Customer service is a huge deal to our business. I believe the Management Team at Sambuca's should be re-trained on what that good customer service really looks like. I'm sorry sir. You are a fine dining establishment in the Theater District of Downtown Houston. Don't you really EXPECT a large amount of business and large dinner groups in the month of December? Perhaps you should plan more appropriately for it. Apologizing for poor service because it has been "hell week" is pretty unprofessional.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Atmosphere was great. Food was very disapppointing.

Tags: Late-night Find, Casual, Dancing
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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 17, 2016

The restaurant was gorgeous, and the food was impeccable. However, they need to work on managing the time that people wait for their food. My family (6 total) had 5:30pm reservations, we showed up on time, and had all of our food and drinks ordered in by 5:45-5:50, and we were not served our food for 1 full hour. Multiple tables that we sat after us had their meals and were leaving before we had our food. They claimed that our wait was due to a few large parties being there at the same time, however a good manager coupled with a great kitchen would know how to manage the time for multiple parties that sat close together. Especially if they were all known reservations. I would recommend this place to others, but I would warn them that they may have an inordinatley long wait time.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Live Music, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 12, 2016

Great restaurant

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 12, 2016

The waitress never told us the drink menu. I had to prompt her about drink for the discussion to begin. She was not very attentive to our table needs. The overall rating was just modetate.

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 12, 2016

Please avoid during the holidays. Normally a great atmosphere and great good but right now they are catering to private parties. Several menu options are not available and you get the feeling you are stuck with leftovers.

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food1
ambience2
service1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 4, 2016

We loved the food and atmosphere. Both of our dishes were tasty and our server was excellent.

Tags: People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Great Beer, Romantic, Live Music, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 29, 2016

Food is disappointing. The dishes as described on the menu is not what you get.

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food1
ambience1
service3

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on November 13, 2016

We had a nice experience although it was really loud even though seated upstairs. Not so much from the music but the large table seated by us were really, really loud.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Antonio)·Dined on November 9, 2016

My friends and I have dined here several times. The cocktails are very good. The coconut mojitos are light and not too sweet. The crab dip and chips is delicious. The filet and ribeye are very good as well. My friend had the striped bass and enjoyed it very much. Overall food was fantastic although slow at times and it wouldn't have been a big deal but we had tickets to Adele and were trying to walk to the Toyota center.

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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on November 4, 2016

Great place for a business lunch, but also for an evening cocktail and music.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Dancing
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 4, 2016

We had a terrible experience. We were seated at 7pm with our reservation. There was not a wait list, yet we waited 30 minutes for our drinks. The server spilled the tray of drinks because he tried to put reach across his tray and the table to put down a drink. The entire tray of drinks (5) landed on my son's lap. We asked for the manager, who said, "Things happen" - we left and will never go back.

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food1
ambience3
service1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on October 30, 2016

The food won'twwon'twin any awards but the ambiance, location, and service was great for my moms 59th birthday.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on October 30, 2016

The red snapper etouffee was delicious and the Cucumber Pineapple Crush was refreshing!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Great place, everything was great we had a wonderful time

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Service and kitchen was slow. The Fab 5 was great for dancing but recently all the other bands are for easy listening only; no uptempo dancing except the Fab 5.

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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on October 14, 2016

The food and service were outstanding. Julie, our waitress, was extremely engaging and fun to spend a few minutes in conversation. Our small plates were very good and tasty. Will absolutely go back.

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on October 6, 2016

There were gnats in my food. I think that is all that is needed to summarize this experience. Then again, on the upside, the server was nice and attentive. I ordered the lunch tacos and was surprised that they were served with tortilla chips and no salsa. I asked if there was a salsa option, and the thoughtful server, brought me a cup of of Pace Picante from the kitchen. He was kind enough to name the salsa by brand. This concluded my dining experience. I will not be returning.

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food1
ambience2
service4
value1

 
 (Austin)·Dined on October 2, 2016

We had a lovely time here while we were in town. Our hotel was just down the street. There was a jazz band. We sat away from them so it wasn't too loud, but I could see how it could be very loud. Really good ribeye.

Tags: Dancing, Late-night Find, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 1, 2016

food was wonderful, but the band was too loud. I love live music, but still want to be able to have a conversation. Left after our apps & found someplace we could speak

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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on September 29, 2016

Great meal and ambiance! Our waiter was attentive and gave great suggestions. The jazz music was really great and energetic but we were still able to visit at our table.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 24, 2016

The Lady at the front was veryrude. She spoke in a rude manner to my guests.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 18, 2016

I am 38 and have been wanting to go to Sambuca since high school! I finally got to go 9/17 for my birthday and I have to say I was very disappointed. First, it was so dark inside that you could hardly read the menu and it was so back people had their phones out trying to get more light to see the menu. The menu itself was good but the food, not so much. Food was incredibly salty and otherwise had very little flavor. but on the upside the POMTINI was amazing.

Music was incredibly loud and we were seated behind a huge pillar so we couldn't see the people dancing or the musicians.

I am glad I finally went so that I can stoop thinking about it but I don't think I will ever go back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 18, 2016

We celebrated a night on the town at Sambucas in Downtown Houston! Great pork chop and cheesecake. Our server Eduardo was great!!

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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 10, 2016

Acrylic glasses, really? What a surprise to order a bottle of champagne and have it served with acrylic stemware. Unexpected in downtown Houston.

Tags: People Watching, Casual
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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on September 9, 2016

The server made the evening even better than it already was. Very knowledgeable, engaging and fun.

Tags: Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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