Cafe Rabelais

4.7
410 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.
What 410 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
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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d
davidr
London
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great ambience, great food and wine, great service. Not cheap

T
vipTurtlexing
Houston
51 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food prepared very well. Incredible wine selection. Overall was a great experience.

EH
EileenH
Houston
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful generous Salad Nicoise for lunch ! Great service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

excellent mussels

Report
r
raoul
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good restaurant , with moderate prices. Service is correct and pleasant. My only recommendation is to have the owners of the restaurant, check on the acoustic issues of the place.
Thank you.
I.R.B

SF
SrFrito
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Two couples who have dined at Cafe Rabelais many times over the years, but have not done so in over a year due to the pandemic, were reminded it is one of the top restaurants in Houston. Wine list, waitstaff, appetizers to desserts, we had a wonderful evening and look forward to return.

TX
vipTXfoodie
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We loved the food, the wine, the service, but the noise level was extremely difficult to handle.

M
Momopflug
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great place to eat and spend an afternoon. Love this place and the people who work here. Been going there forever and it makes me so happy!

SL
SLDiner
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and lots of menu choices at lunch -- sandwiches and dinner-style entrees. Professional and friendly service.

A
Anne
Naples
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been a Rabelais fan since 2013! love the low key ambiance, great wine list and friendly service. Their food is outstanding! Wonderful salads suitable for a light lunch--their goat cheese salad in particular is a treat! Their dinner menu is excellent as well.

K
vipKenn
Houston
29 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always a great meal! It's great to dine in a smaller more intimate setting.

PI
vipPaulaI
Houston
30 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dine at Cafe Rabelais a few times a year. Post Covid they are up and running 100%. Two of us had stuffed chicken and one had the mussels. We were blown away by how good it was. Wine selection is excellent. It's always a treat to dine here. Beware the parking meters are odd. A small price to pay for an excellent restaurant.

HE
vipHeikEnergy
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We continue to be impressed with the food and service. We tried a new bottle of wine that wasn’t to our liking and they happily replaced it with another bottle. Mussels are always delicious but we ventured toward steak and were not disappointed.

MB
MerrilyB
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is always a delightful meal at Cafe Rabelais. The atmosphere is comfortable and the food consistently excellently prepared. We brought friends for their first visit, and they loved it. I always look forward to a meal at Cafe Rabelais.

HM
HughM
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ambience and service were
excellent. The French Onion soup was some of the best I have had. My husband enjoyed his Steak au Poivre and sides. My Trout Almondine was excellent. Could have been slightly more seasoned, but delicious. For dessert we shared a Creme Brûlée. It is my favorite dessert, and we loved it.

MP
MiriamP
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We had a good dinner. Only draw back is gets noisy as the restaurant fills up.

CV
vipCraigV
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service excellent, just as it was pre-pandemic.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great dinner and a great atmosphere! Will be returning.

c
vipchristocino
Houston
229 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It had been a long time. The menu seems shorter but the quality better. Salmon appetizer was a standout. St.Jacque Risotto was a lovely executed dish. Very good creme brûlée.

KM
KatherineM
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining here is like no other place in Houston. You feel as if you are in a Paris bistro. Wonderful,consistently sublime food and wine.
I wish I could be there every night!

f
vipfoodfanatic
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food4service1ambience4

Food is very good, but service was incredibly poor and slow.

m
mymommymonet
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

This wasn’t the best of Cafe Rabelais. But little things didn’t help. Our table wasn’t ready and there was no place to wait ( maybe the car). So we drank our wine in the way of the wait staff until the bar cleared. Minor. But we sat at a table with just no light. Ok we’re older but it is getting so tiresome to have to use a phone to read the menu. There is a menu board but the spotlight on the main entrees was out Or misdirected. Then our former favorite mustard dressing was tasteless on a house salad with underripe tomatoes. Blah! Fortunately someone put apples in by mistake which gave the salad something palatable. Turns out they we’re supposed to go on the blue cheese salad at our table which didn’t have them. This was remedied quickly. That salad was good. Brussels Sprouts were soggy and bacon wrapped chicken was ok but bacon wasn’t crispy. Next time I will stick to steak with fries. They do these pretty well. Plus the French bread is fabulous. Wines were great. Profiteroles delicious though the pastry has shrunk. It may be awhile before we return. Sorry to say. We’ve been dining here for many years. But had not been here since they installed (unreadable )parking meters! More reasons to not make the trip into Houston from the burbs.

MP
MiriamP
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall3food5service4ambience5

We had terrible meals. Only could not hear a thing since very noisy.

EH
EileenH
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So happy Cafe Rabelais survived the pandemic. The food is great and the restaurant is lovely intimate dining experience.

Thank you for taking reservations instead of first come first serve.

T
Tovarish
Detroit
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific dinner! Seafood was fresh and well prepared. Steak was done perfectly! Service was impeccable. Very extensive wine list. Quiet, pleasant ambiance. Highly recommend.

J
Joseph
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Service was somewhat sparse. It seemed the wait staff were stretched too thin. Overall very good food and atmosphere. I definitely will return to dine again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I love the restaurant and wanted to treat my brother and his wife to a small quiet evening. There were 2 tables of four that were so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves in conversation. Because of the size and all concrete walls and floors it doesn’t take much to make it unbearable. Maybe putting some small area rugs may absorb the sound. I will return but thought you would like to know.
Thank you.

TB
TimB
Houston
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We highly recommend you give this wonderful little cafe a try, the ambiance is quaint and casual with some chatter and noice in the background. But table conversation is easily heard. The menu options are good, and the smoked salmon appetizer is delicious. Escargot was good and traditionally prepared. Both the bone in ribeye and beef fillet were properly prepared and delicious. Creme brûlée was perfect!!

JN
JeromeN
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great to enjoy authentic French food in a simple and elegant atmosphere

GA
vipGrumpyAggie
Houston
20 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

This could have been a five-star review. The staff was very friendly. It is a great place with lots of character. The drop in score was related to my wife's dish. Our starters included mushroom soup and french onion both had very good flavor. For mains, I had beef bourguignon and it was excellent. She ordered lamb chops medium-rare but one came out medium and the other medium-well. It was the first time she has ever had to send a meal back. However, the staff took it without fuss, and a new order cooked medium-rare was quickly served. We will be back, this could easily become a regular for us.

NM
NoahM
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fantastic. Been going here for 15 years and we’ve never had a negative experience. Ask for Jeff!

SF
StephenF
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Post Covid I can understand the need to recoup costs, but the prices were higher than the meal deserved. I had the St Jacques. The 4 scallops were excellent. But I got half a cup of risotto.

C
Chas
London
2 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner at Cafe Rabelais! We started with the bone marrow. Decadent & delicious. For our entrees my wife had the famous Cafe Rabelais Moules-frites. The best in Houston. I had the delicious red snapper. For desert… profiteroles of course. It was great to dine again at one of favorite restaurants

AG
vipAmyG
Houston
93 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my fav's in Houston. Like a typical French Bistro.

DC
DianeC
Houston
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of my favorite restaurant. Food is good. Try the mussels and risotto. The best ever.

1
vip1constantdiner
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place as always. Fantastic food and service in a quaint French neighborhood atmosphere. So glad they are open for lunch again.

MB
MichaelB
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The food made up for the start of our experience. When we showed up, we were told to wait 5 minutes while the table was cleaned. We were next on the reservation list (saw it on the iPad). Took a step outside to wait, and the couple that walked in after us ended up getting seated first because the waitresses were managing rather than a dedicated front person. So a different waitress came up, and took them without seeing us or confirming if they were even next. Then when trying to order a bottle of rosé, all of the bottles on the list were not prepared, ie still at room temperature. Luckily the food hit on all notes and saved the rest of the experience.

k
vipkfaith
Houston
24 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A staple for French cuisine. I had not been to Cafe Rabelais in many years but it was ALWAYS a favorite of mine. Returning was just as I expected, friendly staff, the mussels were still just as yummy and the fries was AMAZING!! A GEM of a restaurant in Rice Village.

AB
AmanB
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great place ! great food ! very friendly ambiance.

G
Galleriadiner
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy this authentic French bistro. One of my favorites!

FAQs

Cafe Rabelais is rated 4.7 stars by 410 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.