Cafe Rabelais

4.6
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193 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 193 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place

GM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

French. Fantastic. Friendly. Favourite. Don't go if you want a menu with 200 items, with multiple options. Don't ask for the chef's delicious sauce "on the side". Just go if you want to eat the lovely French food they prepare, no arguments.

d
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It has been a year since our last visit to Cafe Rabelais and our next visit won't be near that long !!! We had forgotten what we loved about this place and it was everything !!! We will be back SOOON with friends !!!

GE
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Mussels I've had in a VERY long time. The sauce was rich and the FRIES ARE REALLY GOOD.

OT
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We are trying out different restaurants to decide where I will celebrate my 61st birthday I prefer French restaurants.

SS
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our 3rd time to CR and we have enjoyed every dinner there!

E
Houston
32 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure to dine at Cafe Rabelais! My mussels were great— a very healthy size and delicious. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his onion soup and salad. One of the things I like about this restaurant is that they are willing to work with the customer. For instance my husband prefers just broth and onions and that was what the waitress graciously brought him. They were also very helpful in getting us seated and helping us leave with his bulky walker walker. A really lovely evening.

EM
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, wine and service was perfect! A great place for an intimate dinner. Be sure to leave room for desert!

l
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

The ambiance has always been nice. But the food had gone down hill. My pork and my Bf’s chicken plates look identical except for the meat. This is high end cafeteria food. Wine by the glass is hideous. We tried this place 3 times since the change. Will not be back. Wish the old cafe Rabelais would return 😟

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and service. Very consistent.

T
Houston
23 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely place...the 2 tops were a bit small but the service & food were outstanding.

SK
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best places in Houston. Try the Duck confit, a personal favorite!

M
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

Very disappointing. The food was marginal at best. Service was poor. It was restaurant week, but still ... Will not return.

R
Houston
32 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful place to dine. Well trained wait staff, most have been there many years and are totally aware of what the proper descriptions of both the food and wine offerings are. The noise level is low, not at all what you would expect with a capacity crowd at a small cafe!

PM
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious; buttery. We had the gazpacho, trout and desserts.

D
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Scallop ($27) and Shrimp ($34) dishes were outstanding and came with plenty of vegetables of the day, and crusty bread and butter. Somewhat pricey but felt it was worth it. The place was jammed packed, and busy with lots of noise for a Thursday night with a 7:30 reservation. Optional outside seating is available. We had a very sweet server, Elisabeth.
Only Wine and Beer are offered, and I thought they were priced too high. Examples: Cave De Lugny Macon Villages 2016 $12 charge and the only 2 beers offered: Bass Pale Ale and Leffe Blonde $6.50.

The chalk board menu of entrees is impossible to read, though one printed menu of the day was given to our party of 3 to share.

S
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was amazingly delicious and courses were beautiful! I didn’t realize how much I missed French food! I highly recommend

OT
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great wine and excellent food. service very attentive to one’s needs!

MM
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Throughly enjoyed our dinner and so happy you can make reservations now!

LH
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Both the food and service was excellent. We definitely plan to back in the near future

A
Houston
24 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s difficult to think of something we didn’t like about Cafe Rabelais. Food, wine, service...amazing. Personally, It’s very old world charm....it has the feel of a small town restaurant in the French countryside. Parking is abundant. Highly recommended.

S
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My son and I went there for lunch during Houston Restaurant Weeks and had a delicious meal. There were several good choices for both the first and second course. His steak was cooked to perfection, and my chicken breast was tender with a scrumptious brown sauce with raspberries. Dessert was over the top! Each of us received a plate with 3 mini desserts on it, each one complete perfection. We definitely plan on returning!

AK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Trout with almond was amazing. Portion of Dessert assortment was generous. Pleasant ambiance with lots of wine options. Will come again

MJ
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A lovely evening, great ambiance and good service. The food is a product of good traditional French cooking. Great wine list too!

OT
Houston
114 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Cafe Rabalais is like being in a bistro in Paris. Great place.

k
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service, huge wine list, and great taste! It is a true neighborhood gem.

TP
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Many decades ago, duck a la orange was fully cooked, moist, prepared in its own sauce. Here, it was dry, hard and cooked separately from the sauce. A different story with the rack of lamb, requested to be medium, but alas, it was served raw--not rare mind you, but raw. The sauces that accompanied both the lamb and the duck were delicious. The bread was delicious and so was the butter. Ordered wine by the glass and both the Riesling and the Beaujolais were fine. Service was good, one cannot blame them for the kitchen errors. The overall appearance of the place is identical to what it was 10 years ago, sadly, it includes also the wooden chairs that could have been used as instruments of torture during the Inquisition.

R
Houston
15 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

Disappointing. Amatuerish presentation and plating. Could not recommend.

DJ
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great French restaurant! One of our new favorite restaurants.

JM
New England
12 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent restaurant. Attentive staff. Amazing french food. Huge wine list, but with some great and affordable choices. I highly recommend it and will definitely go back. It's a bit crowded - small tables, and not much space between them. But not so much so that it's uncomfortable.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite places to go!!!

SK
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food is always great and their wine list is amazing. Really loved the freshness of the tomato basil salad. Our waitress this last time wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, she wasn't able to explain some things on the menu correctly and mixed up a few things, but she was friendly so no real harm done.

OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food first class, wine list extensive and great value

OT
Houston
114 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Cafe Rabelais is like being in a Paris cafe. The food is wonderful. And we had a great time, but the service was very slow. There were several servers, and some were taking attentive care of their tables. However, our waiter was not around much of the time and seemed to be standing by the bar on the phone a good deal of the time.

MM
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic as usual.

EH
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and very comfortable setting. Service was prompt and unobtrusive.

OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A jewel of a restaurant in the Rice University area.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was delicious, as always. We waited for our main course over an hour after ordering, without explanation or apology. Very unusual. Won’t keep us from returning, as it’s one of our favorites.

JH
Houston
22 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best restaurants in town, bar none. The auberge setting is ideal for time with friends or just an intimate meal.

JS
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, enough! What more do you want???? ???????!!!!??????!???????!

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