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

3.9

service

4.0

ambience

3.9

value

3.4

noise

Moderate

79% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (10)
Live Music (10)
Good for a Date (9)
See All
Good for Groups (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Modern Decor (6)
Business Meals (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Dancing (5)
Romantic (5)
Late-night Find (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
People Watching (4)
Fun (4)
Casual (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Cozy (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Scenic View (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Great Beer (1)
Tapas (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Healthy (1)
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481 reviews
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Early dining before symphony. Little dis ...

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

This is our first time having dinner, on ...

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

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

 
 (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

Im 36 and every 2-3 yrs my hubby n i com ...

 
 (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

My wife and I went at 5:30 pm on a Sunda ...

 
 (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

We chose Sambuca's thinking it would be ...

 
 (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

Atmosphere was great. Food was very dis ...

 
 (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

The restaurant was gorgeous, and the foo ...

 
 (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

Great restaurant

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 12, 2016

Great restaurant

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The waitress never told us the drink men ...

 
 (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

Please avoid during the holidays. Normal ...

 
 (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

We loved the food and atmosphere. Both o ...

 
 (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

Food is disappointing. The dishes as de ...

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

We had a nice experience although it was ...

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

My friends and I have dined here several ...

 
 (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

Great place for a business lunch, but al ...

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

We had a terrible experience. We were se ...

 
 (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

The food won'twwon'twin any awards but t ...

 
 (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

The red snapper etouffee was delicious a ...

 
 (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

Great place, everything was great we had ...

 
 (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

Service and kitchen was slow. The Fab 5 ...

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

The food and service were outstanding. J ...

 
 (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

There were gnats in my food. I think th ...

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

We had a lovely time here while we were ...

 
 (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

food was wonderful, but the band was too ...

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

Great meal and ambiance! Our waiter was ...

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

The Lady at the front was veryrude. She ...

 
 (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

I am 38 and have been wanting to go to S ...

 
 (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

We celebrated a night on the town at Sam ...

 
 (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

Acrylic glasses, really? What a surpris ...

 
 (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

The server made the evening even better ...

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

I thought that by making a reservation i ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 7, 2016

I thought that by making a reservation it would be for a nice table and not shoved against the window where I then had to jump over the chairs. It was not very ladylike for sure. Some business men were just in front of us and they got a very nice table. The staff is a little slow in coming around to see to our food and comfort. Otherwise, the staff was friendly and the food was good.

Tags: Comfort Food, Business Meals
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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

First time here. Came during Houston Re ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 4, 2016

First time here. Came during Houston Restaurant Weeks. Was very pleased. Food, service and ambiance was great. Will come back again.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place to go for dinner / drinks be ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 4, 2016

Great place to go for dinner / drinks before a concert or show downtown. We had a great time then walked 2 blocked to Jones Hall. Food was very good and service was great.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Good service , food was not up to the ex ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on September 3, 2016

Good service , food was not up to the expectations. Would not recommend to take Steak, I ordered medium rare, it was delivered as well done; increments were not good neither. Starters were okay. I was expecting more after previous visits. Not my place anymore.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food1
ambience4
service4
value2

We were very disappointed in our steaks. ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on August 30, 2016

We were very disappointed in our steaks. I had the filet. I had asked for medium rare & it was medium. We were on our way to a 7:30 show at the Alley Theatre, so we didn't have time to send food back. Both of the people at our table who ordered the ribeye said it was flavorless and also overcooked, and I took most of those two steaks home to my dogs.

Tags: Dancing, Live Music
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food1
ambience4
service4
value3

Great place to go before a performance a ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on August 27, 2016

Great place to go before a performance at one of the theatres. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful with a few food & bar choices. Food was just right amount and very delicious.

Tags: Disabled Access, Spicy, Molecular Gastronomy, Special Occasion, Vegan, Wood Oven, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, People Watching, Tapas, Seasonal, Kid-friendly, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Overall my experience was average. I fre ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on August 27, 2016

Overall my experience was average. I frequent upscale restaurants. I was not impressed except for my server. Extremely attentive. Food was ok.

Tags: Live Music, Afternoon Coffee
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food2
ambience3
service5
value3

$12 valet parking is absurd--especially ...

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on August 25, 2016

$12 valet parking is absurd--especially when we had a $200 dinner bill!

We thought we went earlier enough (630) to avoid the band, but didn't. I love live music, but I want to be able to have a conversation with the person at my table. Band was entirely too loud!

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food4
ambience2
service3
value2

This was our first visit. The menu was e ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on August 20, 2016

This was our first visit. The menu was eclectic with interesting dishes. We both loved our meals. The dinning waiter was very attentive and service was very good. Nice modern decor and noise level was down. Prior to dining we went to the bar for a drink and despite a meager crowd , bar service was below par. We will go back to try some of the other menu items.

Tags: Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

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