Cafe Rabelais

4.7
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234 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 234 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Houston
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food2service2ambience3

We usually go here for the duck, but to my surprise the dish was completely changed. The duck was rare cooked and didn’t enjoy the dish.

BF
Houston
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Still one of the top restaurants in Houston with an unparalleled wine list which is fairly priced ...

RS
Houston
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was our anniversary and the dinner was lovely and romantic.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful as always

S
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We have been regulars at Cafe Rabelais for at least 20 years and enjoyed yet another great meal and wine here.
We started with Pierre Laurent champagne and pork pate en croute followed by Vinison with fois gras accompanied by a Saint Emillion bourdeaux.

L
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is just our favorite place. It is small and cozy with a lot of atmosphere and good food. Perfect!

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner.

F
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Being French we usually are very critic with the French restaurants.
But this place is very nice, the recipes are typical from France, the wine list is huge with affordable good wine.
We came with my family for the New Year eve and we really enjoyed.
Highly recommended if you want to try the French cuisine.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent dinner of 31 Dec

JH
Houston
22 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of our favorites in Houston did not disappoint on New Year's Eve. Great service, as usual, superlative food, their wines are their calling card for us. The crowd was appropriately boisterous for the occasion. A fun experience.

MR
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great French food
Great French wine
Great service and attention

NJ
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We love Cafe Rabelais. It's a cozy oasis in the Village and we usually go just as a duo. This time we had a group of 9 for lunch. Great service, pleasant ambiance, good variety in the menu for our group which included a vegetarian.

C
Houston
22 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous Christmas Eve!!!! Our favorite neighborhood restaurant but a special place anytime.

M
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was a little warm in the restaurant.

C
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Just in for a dependable excellent experience.

HD
Houston
18 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service. Steak and frites are amazing!

C
Las Vegas
12 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Tables were very crowded, I kept being bumped by anyone passing by and the person behind me. Food was fair, shrimp entree were overlooked and tough, my husbands mussels were flavorless and sauce was overpowering.

JW
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always! Delicious food and wine and service was great too. All in all a wonderful evening!

EK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time at this restaurant. We had a party of 6 and everyone ordered something different. We shared the appetizers (the octopus and bacon were fabulous), all of the sides (all were amazing except the brussel sprouts were to charred for our liking). Dinners were steaks - all different and cooked differently, but we all agreed that it was the BEST steaks that we had ever had. And the wine list was over the top! This is now my favorite place!

AC
Houston
25 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A neighborhood gem that is always a joy to go to when we do not feel like cooking. Tables are a bit tight at times but that is true in most small European restaurants or perhaps i am just too damn large. Probably the latter.

PS
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It is just like a bistro in Paris. We have always enjoyed Rabelais!

T
Houston
73 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a great meal. Focused menu of classic dishes. Meat done right to the temperature requested. Great French wine list.

VR
Houston
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food, wine, and ambiance.

E
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

We have been to this restaurant many times and often end up having the same dishes. We like it because it is often a nice place to go for a not-too-late night during the work week.
Something has changed. The restaurant didn’t appear to busy but we waited for 35 mins for our food. My wife usually has the Niçoise salad and loves it. This time she left most of it . I had the duck. It was tough and chewy and cold. I wonder what has changed.

LE
Houston
67 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We had avoided Cafe Rabelais for a few months after several bad experiences with the food and service but friends of ours wanted to go there and we relented. Our experience was as we feared. The best food is their delicious French bread but after that the rest of the meal was mediocre at best. The salads were wilted and tasteless. The duck was dry, the trout was drenched in oil and vegetables meager and boring. To top it off our server had body odor which was off putting to say the least. This is such a charming little bistro and used to be so good. I don't know what has happened here but the kitchen and staff really need to ramp it up a lot for us to ever return again.

M
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Rabelais! Fabulous food, wine and staff. Our favorite go to restaurant.

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent lamb chops and beef. Service was very attentive without being intrusive. They got us in and out in an hour so we could attend a play. Very enjoyable.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

A taste of Europe—usually I order the mussels, which are delicious. I ordered the flounder & thought it was prepared & presenter well.

CL
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was my husband’s birthday and we had a lovely evening! My friends have been trying to get us to come here for a while but, to be honest, we eat early and waiting to 6 is a struggle. I am finally glad we came. The food and service was the best! I plan to go back!

WL
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience3

While the food was excellent, the service was substandard. The tables are very close together and difficult to navigate around them.

JJ
Houston
13 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect every time.

TM
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is classic French food that’s not pretentious. It’s delicious, especially the Beouf Borgignon! The service is impeccable. You never feel rushed and the servers are attentive without intruding.
We came for my birthday. The waiter was so perceptive that without even telling them it was my birthday they brought dessert with a candle in it for me!
This restaurant is great for dates, special occasions, kids and family, or just a glass of wine and some cheese! Oh, did I mention their comprehensive wine list? It’s huge!
We’ll be back again and again!

ZC
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite place!! The quiche was so good! Love the wine list.

L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food, fantastic wine (great job by the sommelier). Tables can be pretty small, so it can get a bit messy. Very good service and ambiance. Highly recommend trying the foie gras, the bone marrow, and the scallops were just amazing.

ND
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was good as usual. Noise was worse than usual, and service slower

a
Mexico City
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are on vacation but have known the place from when I lived here in Houston 11 years ago. Everything was delicious, the quality of the food is superb. I definitely recommend Cafe Rabelais. It is a must if you visit Houston.

LC
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Oh, yum. Not only was the food great, but also therecwere half bottles of Whispering Angel. So wonderful.

DR
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always enjoy this place. Excellent wine, wonderful feel.

OT
Austin
17 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had not been to Cafe Rabelais in quite some time so was pleased to see they have maintained the superb quality in food and service. I’ve already recommended it to some of my friends and plan to return soon.