Cafe Rabelais

4.7
459 Reviews
$31 to $50
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.

Experiences

  • Annual Champagne Dinner

    $135.00 per person

    Dec 14, 2021 only

    Join us for our Annual Champagne Dinner at Café Rabelais! This year's menu will be put together by guest Chef David Denis. We'll serve 5 courses with 5 champagnes. Tickets are $135/person; taxes and gratuity are not included. Bring a date or a group of friends, and make it a celebration! Tickets for these events go fast so make your reservation today!
What 459 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
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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L
Lunar
Houston
17 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good food and service. Have been a fan of this place for many years. So

WD
vipWillD1
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have visited (and loved) Cafe Rabelais twice over the last 10 years, but never got to bring my wife. We had cause to be in Houston last weekend, so we made reservations. The place lived up to my memories and the hype; may have been our best restaurant meal in years. Food, service, ambiance, all top notch. Waiter could not have been more polished or familiar with the menu. It was almost enough to make us move to Houston. We can't wait to go back.

SJ
SJBMA
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed everything we ordered here—lamb, duck, mussels, croque monsieur, and three different desserts. I would happily return here.

C
vipClau71
Mexico City
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

My husband and I have been going to Cafe Rabelais for many years, and always have had an incredible experience. Our family loves Cafe Rabelais. But yesterday’s lunch was terrible! The service was mediocre and the food bad! We both ordered the chicken sandwich. When the sandwiches arrived, they were missing key ingredients. When we told the waiter, her answer was “ohh I think they changed the menu”. When we pointed to the sandwich menu up on the wall that confirmed our comment, we felt bad for the waiter because she had to go bring out the chef so he too check it out. We never heard anything more. And then, when we asked for coffee, we were told the kitchen was closed for the afternoon. We understand that once a kitchen is closed, unprepared food cannot be served. However, we have ordered and received coffee from countless restaurants even though the kitchen is closed. We understand the increased prices vs pre-Covid, and the challenges caused by the pandemic, but we miss the warmth and care that Cafe Rabelais has traditionally offered. We hope this is helpful.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

ALWAYS my favorite restaurant to visit when I’m in town. A French staple in Houston!

GN
vipGloriaN
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous and wonderful mussels!!!! As always

L
vipLuv2dine
Central Coast
24 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We really enjoy this restaurant but miss the blue cheese salad that we have gotten there for years. The salad choices just aren’t to our liking. Our meal is always a salad snd mussels so the salad is very important. I hope you will add the old salad back into the menu. It was outstanding.

JA
JAHtown
London
9 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience2

I won’t come back here. Food was not special
and service was very subpar.

A
Ashleyh
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is outstanding! A true gem!

JB
vipJeanetteB
Houston
39 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

3 friends for long lunch outside!

MD
MichaelD
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

the clams are outstanding, as are the snails. House Champagne is also the best. this is a gem of french cooking in Houston and one of our favorites.

JK
vipJohnK
Houston
40 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu has been changed with some excellent additions. As always the wine options are very good across a broad price range. Service was excellent with all staff being friendly and helpful. Very enjoyable evening.

DW
DonnaW
Houston
20 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Mussels, beef bourgeon and bread are always favorites. We also enjoyed a Rabelais green and beet salad. Our waiter suggested a wonderful Burgundy wine to go with dinner. Very nice meal.

CG
vipCynthiaG
Houston
22 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for lunch! Superb French food which is consistently great. I highly recommend it.

AT
AnnaT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!

JW
vipJustineW
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Consistently great food. Please bring back Kir Royale!

DC
DebbieC
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We’ve been enjoying meals at Cafe Rabelais for almost 20 years. I love the atmosphere as it feels like being on a little escape to Paris. Food is great, huge wine list and excellent waitstaff. Highly recommend.

CL
ClioL
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Good vibes and environment, good outside dining setup. We had some long waits for our dishes, the food was 7/10, overall a decent experience but not one that would keep me coming back frequently.

J
vipJantex
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience5

The online menu was extremely different from what was available.
The wait time was extremely long for our entree and the steak was blood rare not medium rare.
The food was good, however, and I would return.

EW
EdW82
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great, relaxed setting with fantastic food and wine. Service was very good. Will definitely return.

d
docjohn
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An old west u mainstay !!!! French Bistro fare still GREAT !!! Good food Good wine selection Good service What else could you ask for ????

H
Husker
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Outside seating was good as was the service. The mussels, frites and bread was as good as ever. The suggested wine was excellent. The pork tenderloin however was a bit overdone and as a result not very juicy and somewhat tough.

RM
RonM
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We definitely enjoyed the restaurant but probably won’t go back. Service started out terrible. 30 minutes there and had not even had someone take drink orders. Service did get better, but staff in general seemed to need training. Very cordial but week on service. Food was really good but not spectacular. I am a bit of a gourmet chef myself and I look for food better than I can cook. This food was about on my own par. Mashed potatoes were dismal. A nice potato purée would have been much better. Lamb was cooked perfect as were the carrots. Escargot and salads were quite nice. Wine list had a lot of interesting wines but hasn’t been put together well by someone that knows wine. Saw a 2015 French wine on the menu from a Chateaux, but no other information so asked to see it. Turned out to be an overpriced simple Bordeaux that was 95% Merlot. Ordered a 2018 Haut-Medoc that was a little young but very tasty and went perfectly with our lamb. Overall, a quaint and pretty good restaurant with a fun atmosphere, but doesn’t blow you away if you want great French food. But then again, if you don’t get much good French food, it’s definitely above average.

FW
vipFreddyW
Houston
26 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

We had a great meal and had attentive service, but the staff was completely overwhelmed last night. We are regular customers and were completely sympathetic and were sad to see wait staff berated by some of the other customers - we love Cafe Rabelais and will be back soon! The Warners

DS
DanielS
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit and we were delighted in pretty much every regard. It is a lovely space and the service was welcoming and friendly and the food was excellent. Unpretentious and relaxing. Wonderful experience. We will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe made another step up to perfection. The dishes are even tastier than before. Unfortunately the wine menu is much smaller but they are working on it. Overall 5 stars for everything!

GA
GrumpyAggie
Houston
27 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Overall this was a very good experience. Like many places, they appeared to be short-handed, so I will not nock them too much, here. But, our glasses did sit empty a couple of times, and the front-of-the-house manager took pity on us when they came to get a bottle of wine behind our table and took away the dishes, and got us the check. Our waiter was engaged in a 7min+ conversation with someone at another table. As for the food. I loved my french onion soup and beef bourguignon. However, my wife ordered the pork tenderloin and it was cooked well done and was dry. We joked about this being an old-school British cook in a french restaurant. This is the 2nd time we have ordered food here and they overcooked it. Lamb cooked well done last time, and pork tenderloin cooked well done this time. We love this place, but you must insist that they not overcook the meat.

KD
vipKelliD
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time. Food was perfect.. best mussels that I've ever had! Wine list was great, and ambiance was lovely. Can't wait to go back.

AC
ACETTP
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent menu and wine list. This is a bustling environment that has a true french vibe. No fancy but high quality.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire dinner experience was exceptional! Service was great, food was amazing and wine was excellent! Thank you!

BJ
vipBJBJ
Houston
18 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My rack of Rack of Lamb was superb. My Escargot 🐌 was just perfect. My wife had the Filet of Red Snapper with vegetables and Red Beet salad was excellent along with a glass of red wine wrapped up a wonderful evening with soft dinner music surrounding us.

Topping all off was Jeff our waiter making this his 18th year, which should speak for itself. Could not do dessert. Why we couldn’t eat another bite!!

SR
SusanR
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been wanting to try Cafe Rebelais for a while now. The HRW menu offered a great way to try it! Loved the wine, ambiance and food. We will definitely return.

T
Teresa
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

mussels, frites, steak, pork tenderloin, cheese/charcuterie board, fish of any type!

MT
MarlaT
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time here, came for HRW. My daughter and I loved it! Food, champagne in little bottles, dessert, quaintness, service, all wonderful!

s
vipsarah
Houston
22 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Double date with our friends . A bit loud since there was a 50th bday dinner at the same time - but excellent food & service nonetheless

1
vip1constantdiner
Houston
21 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food, wine, and service. Just like being in France (except the service is better)!

r
raoul
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Everything was very good as usual. The only complaint is that we made reservations way in advance and we requested a specific table which was confirmed. However when we arrived the suggested table was not available as the place was busy, which we understand but they failed to notify us of the situation and gave us another table. The experience was good but we were disappointed not to have been notified by the management of the change.
We would appreciate being notified in the future, so we may have made alternative arrangements or decided to stay there. Communication is always of utmost importance when you are offered the opportunity to requested special arrangements and then you are disregarded . Thank you.
I. Raoul Benaim.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall1food1service4ambience3

The food was terrible and service was good . Had the pork tenderloin and it along with everything else on the plate was over cooked. Best calories consumed was the wine and frites and bread service. Creme brûlée was over done and no longer a custard but like globs of who knows what. Service was great and staff was friendly. The old days of amazing food at Cafe Rabelais are long gone.

GN
vipGloriaN
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

These are best Mussels on the planet. I have been dreaming for them throughout covid and FINALLY last night my dreams came true and I had them again! Hooray!!

KM
KevinM
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding restaurant…we will definitely be back. Try the red snapper it was awesome

FAQs

Cafe Rabelais is rated 4.7 stars by 459 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.