Cafe Rabelais

4.6
137 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Houston’s Café Rabelais serves sumptuous French cuisine in its classic, European-inspired eatery. Fantastic starter options include the mouth-watering smoked salmon plate, the white bean and vegetable soup, as well as a variety of decadent cheese plates. Café Rabelais’s specialty dinner entrées include the seared duck breast with Szechuan demi-glace, the seared snapper in rich beurre blanc, the vegetarian orzo pasta with purple cauliflower and feta cheese and the red wine marinated ribeye with eggplant.

Top off your Café Rabelais French feast with an unforgettable dessert, like the mixed nut and chocolate silk pie “fondant au chocolate sur croute de noix” or the fruity “sorbet du jour” and wash it down with a fresh, hot espresso.
What 137 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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m
Austin
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had the trout and the flounder and thought they were both delicious! The wine selection is amazing. Small and intimate setting...makes you feel like you’re in France!

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RG
Houston
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We will be going back soon. We hate to have to pay for parking, but that's not their fault. The food is very good but the tables are very small and crowded for two people and the noise level when all the tables are full is quite high. The prices are in line with the quality and the wine list is extensive.

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TC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took the Mrs. there for Mother’s Day. She absolutely loved it. Impeccable attention to detail about everything. The food prepared by the chef had exceptional presentation and the taste was exquisite. Great atmosphere, able to have conversation in a normal level. I would highly recommend this place.

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BM
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We're regulars and never had a bad meal. The food and service are excellent.

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s
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food is great, but the service really suffered and the restaurant was too loud. Food for each person was brought out at different times and one of the 6 guests dinner order was not placed. Could have been a rough night, but this certainly made the evening less enjoyable. Would try again since the food was good.

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S
Houston
18 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

Not as good as last time. Whole place did not seem as tidy. and 2 mix ups on order. Table menus not ready so had to have blackboard read to us. That board is getting old and writing scratchy so maybe a bit of affectation.
Will wait a year to return again!

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AK
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

very good food, lovely ambience, mussels were superb

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TW
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful experience and our waiter was very helpful in choosing a wine!

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TH
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food, excellent reasonably priced wine selection and good but not great service.

A bit cozy, table for four was very small.

Will come back as the food was excellent.

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OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Always great, but prepared to be patient when it comes to service - it's amazing when it's your turn - one waiter/sommelier for the entire restaurant.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time for our anniversary. We sat outside and it was very peaceful with a beautiful ambiance. The service was great and the food was amazing. The lamb and pork was delicious.

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OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy this place for special occasions.

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T
Houston
66 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Concise focused menu that is very well done. Red snapper is excellent, not over cooked. Great French wine list with wine specials listed.

It’s a small cozy place that is filled with warmth.

Highly recommended

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NJ
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Pork chop dry -nothing to add to it, beef bourguignon a heap of overcooked beef -no presentation, vegetables perhaps cooked away? Rack of lamb minuscule with added nondescript brown sauce with sausage hunks?

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B
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been several times and have always enjoyed our experience. Both the food and service are great.

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JJ
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Cafe Rabelais! The food is always delicious and the atmosphere is very authentic.

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L
Central Coast
18 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is just our favorite date night restaurant. We love the mussels and rather wine!

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OT
Houston
111 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cafe Rabelais is th closest you will get in Houston to a bistro in Paris. The mussels are fantastic and come with real pomme de terre frites.

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C
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

One of our favorite places in Rice Village! The food is always great and the selection of wines by the glass and bottle is fairly extensive. The cheese selection is quite varied and served with toasted hazelnuts which are an amazing accompaniment and honeycomb as well. I would recommend the Salad Nicoise which is delicious and served with fresh grilled tuna. Everything we've eaten here is good! I would recommend making a reservation because it's a fairly small place and always crowded.

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PF
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The specialty of the house
Mussels Rabalaies was outstanding
The bread was hot and delicious
The wine was magnificent

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RC
Houston
169 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Food is always good and the service is always poor.... no difference this time

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OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Took a while to order an $80 bottle of wine.

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MS
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We were there on Saturday the 23rd of March. The menu was well-executed, but uninspired. Mashed potatoes are not a suitable accompaniment for Duck Breast. The lamb chop with a merguez sausage was accompanied by couscous, but the entire plate was not nearly hot enough upon presentation and quickly cooled down to "tepid" or downright cold. Our wine selection proved to be problematic, as the wines on hand did not match the list presented. I would go again, but just hope for a better result.

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P
Houston
44 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

We were seated on time but the service was very slow...to order drinks, order food, deliver food and attention to get the check. With no dessert the 3 of us were there nearly 2 hours. Slow service you might expect in France, but not here.

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MM
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Cafe Rabelais. It is quiet, the food is excellent and the recommended wine exceeded expectations. A great place to have a quiet and excellent dinner.

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G
London
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite restaurants -- and easily one of the more special/unique -- in Houston. Always a great meal and a gastronomic treat!

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DD
Houston
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good- great wine list

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E
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb in every way!

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CH
Houston
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

Used to love this place. The quality of the food has really gone down hill. Ordered shrimp with pasta. Got the really tiny shrimp (picture the size of a quarter) and the pasta was bland. For $28 wasn't expecting huge prawns but at least decent size fresh shrimp.

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OT
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

It was just too loud and food took forever to be served

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G
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely love Café Rabelais. It is my favourite in Houston. I feel as though I am back in France. Their mussels are 2nd to none and their bread is authentic.

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NJ
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A pleasant dinner in a cozy setting. Attentive and informed service.

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TE
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We entered the cafe on a cold windy nite and immediately felt warmth.The service the wine suggestion bread&main course all were excellent as well as dessert .We look forward to a return visit.

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JK
Houston
15 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are regulars at the restaurant and our visit with friends lived up to expectation. The food was excellent, particularly the Moules and the Steak. The wine list is broad and deep. We have always found the wine we are looking for on the night or a recommended substitution that has not disappointed. We like the atmosphere as the estaurant is popular and always has a buzz. Highly recommended.

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TW
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

As always, Cafe Rabelais exceeded our expectations. Anyone who has been to Paris will instantly feel as though they are in an intimate Parisian bistro upon arrival here. The food is always authentic and delicious, the wine list is outstanding, and the wait staff is attentive. It’s become a tradition for us to visit here whenever we come to Houston.

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S
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in town for a MD Anderson visit and our grand daughter met us for dinner. It’s becoming a tradition.

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V
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A group of us took a friend there for her birthday, knowing she liked French food. We all enjoyed our meal choices, but she was especially ecstatic over her escargot. The service and food were impeccable. I will definitely go again.

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A
New Mexico
78 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife had fresh snapper served with cous cous and it was delicious and also the presentation was beautiful. The bread was served warm and it was yummy. We had a country pate that was so good. I had a great salad with warm goat cheese and frsh vegtables. We really love the ambience and the great service and menu selections.

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J
New Orleans
15 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Really a great evening. Salmon and duck perfect. I thought the torch on could be a bit finer —- but what do I know. Loved our evening

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CL
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 1

First time there and probably last. The noise is unbearable, the service mediocre, and you are packed in there like sardines. The people at the table next to us had to move so my wife could go to the restroom. The food was great, and the dessert excellent but just to busy to enjoy a nice quiet dinner.

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