Grotto - Downtown Houston

4.4
992 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
Conveniently located at Avenida Houston and connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Grotto Downtown offers a chic, vibrant dining experience in the heart of Houston—within walking distance to Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and Discovery Green. Unlike any other Grotto, Downtown offers a new look with a rustic, warehouse style interior and exposed brick. From small and shareable plates, fresh and local salads to refreshing and dynamic Italian cuisine, Grotto’s menu also offers a selection of curated craft beers, Grappa and wine—the ideal place for any occasion whether it’s lunch, happy hour, a business meeting or dinner in the city. Valet is available at the entrance of Grotto Downtown for $11 cash, or it can be added to your check inside. Self-parking is also available at the Avenida North parking garage, directly across the street on Rusk, where we will validate up to 3 hours for free.
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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 992 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing!! Their homemade ricotta was delicious on the bruschetta and then I got the Short Rib Ricotta Gnocchi and it was one of the best meals I have had in a while. Definitely recommend!!

p
pcookie
Houston
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I liked the ambiance and the bread. The staff was kind, although a but of a wait to order and checkout, but being with friends and chit chatting it didn’t really bother us that much. It was just noticeable. The pasta dishes we ordered was ok, Im sure there is better to try. The bruschetta was good, just needed the bread toasted a little more. Overall a “good experience”.

CB
CocoB
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Pasta verdura was delicious. Shot glass size of tiramisu is just the right amount.

h
henryg
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Filthy Restrooms
Very disgusting
No dress code as previously was there
Looks like a youths bar now
Never will bringing my business partners there again, never again

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Good food. Nice atmosphere.

TG
TerraG
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The pizza and salad was very good and worth it, i would definitely go back and for sure would recommend!

b
vipbabybear
Houston
50 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our cute male waiter was fantastic!
He kept giggling and telling us all of THE best foods to order.
I have never had such an incredible, great experience in my life at Grotto. Give that man a raise!!

e
evansmme
Houston
20 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The bolognese was very good - my son had a pepperoni pizza that was too oily. The service was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Horrible experience for Houston restaurant week

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Very disappointing customer service. We were very excited to eat here, reviews and food pictures looked great, and in the midst of COVID they had the option of outdoor seating. When we arrived we were told they were a little short on staff so bear with them on service time, we were waiting for others in our party so this was not a big deal. After nearly an hour and not even water was brought to us we were finally able to speak to a manager who essentially said outside was closed and we shouldn’t have been seated, and she could serve us herself but it would be slow service. And even though the CDC encourages people to try to avoid gathering indoors, citing that outdoor dining is safer to prevent COVID- The host told us we should not be dining out at all if we preferred to sit outside because of our concern about COVID.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Overall good experience in Downtown. Unfortunately had children on both sides of us for date night and were playing loud shows which killed the mood a bit.

Food and wine was good but value was not as great as I’d like. Service was somewhat slow but overall good experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This is our third or fourth time at the Grotto. As before everything was really good. The short rib gnocchi my wife said was fabulous. I added some pasta to my shrimp dish and that to was fabulous. O my the chocolate cake is like no other. It’s a must if you like chocolate. Waitress seamed timid as maybe new but did a fine job. Can’t wait to the next time we are in town to eat here again.

C
Catkins
San Antonio
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience4

HORRIBLE SERVICE.....We waited 10 minutes after we were seated before a server even stopped to look at us. Then the drinks too forever -- one glass of wine and one cocktail (which was wrong). Once the food arrived it was OK....undercooked pasta in the Carbonara, tossed salad was bitter and under dressed and when I asked for additional dressing I was told they really didn't have a dressing they could bring out to me for that particular salad???? So, then she just delivered ceasar. I had asked for a side salad, she offered a tossed side, which I accepted. When it arrived it was huge - obviously the dinner portion, which I questioned and was told it was a side salad!!! When the bill came, sure enough I was charged for the $17 dinner portion. The waitress took it to the manager who removed it because she said "it was obvious you didn't like it"....Just one thing wrong after the other! I really really wanted to love this place! I'll recommend but BEWARE!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Excruciatingly long wait. We got a table immediately but then waited on our server for hours. She said there would be bread but it was still cooking. Never got bread. She would leave and not come back for a long time. We were there for almost 3 hours.
Our server charged us for an item incorrectly. The only saving Grace was the manager who finally stepped in to help. She fixed our ticket error and helped us pay and get out of there. She was extremely nice and was doing her job plus everyone else’s. I wish I remembered her name because she was great. We Will not be going back.

S
4Star
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and excellent food!

G
vipGodwin
Atlanta
27 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Horrible experience.

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

No valet service. Food was average. Nothing special.

MG
MichaelG
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Service was terrible. Took over 2 and half hours for dinner for 5.

Order was also incorrect and when telling the waiter the waiter had an attitude about the issue.

TY
TerryY
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to Grotto for first time and really was surprised. I visited the downtown location.

Really liked the decor of restaurant. I found the food to be very good. My friend had the restaurant week menu while I had the pescadore. My food was excellent. It was served hot which that was to my liking. My friend’s dinner was served warm. My sauce was very very good with plenty of mussels, shrimp and calamari.
We had a bottle of white wine with our meal. Although the portions aren’t as large as one gets in Houston we walked out full. The one drawback is bread wasn’t served.

All in all I would give it a 4.7 out of 5.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a great experience. From the great service, to the ambiance and the food was AMAZING. Highly recommend!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
13 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service as always. One of my favorite downtown restaurants when I come from Austin for a
Conference or VB tournament at the convention center.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Nice, service and food

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience and food was wonderful. Staff was excellent and bar was quick. Overall great experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
Oklahoma City
4 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Celebrate son finishing school and finish taking the CPA exam and he’s picky about food but he really liked the lasagna pizza. Really nice wait staff. Very friendly. Highly recommend.

KP
vipKerryP
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carbonara and other small plates genius. Everything was so good!

TF
TheFoodCritic
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was a real treat. Brought my girlfriend here for her birthday and she absolutely loved it! Best restaurant in Houston!

LA
vipLittleAnn
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Attentive not overbearing service is always great! Crispy Grouper with Corn Risotto was amazing and the Bolognaise was very good too!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience2

We were celebrating my father in law’s birthday… and the meal was a disaster. We waited for an hour ab a half for our food to show up. The manager kept saying they were very backed up on pizzas… was just awful, won’t be there again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The waiter tried really hard to manage being beyond slammed. Bread…I think it might have been left over cold pizza. Grotto salad was basically iceberg lettuce with one olive and maybe Swiss cheese. Entrees were tasty enough.

KM
KrisM545646
Houston
30 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

My galfriends and I went to Grotto for Houston Restaurant Weeks, and overall, we had a really great time. For the most part, the food was all delicious. My salmon dish came with a pea risotto I didn't particularly care for, but the salmon itself and everything else I ordered was fantastic. Also, the waiter we started out with was not the one we finished with, and I want to give kudos to the waiter who stepped in at the last second to take care of us after the first one went MIA. He was really sweet, and we appreciate everything he did. The only other complaint I had was that we ended up next to a family with a small baby who would not stop crying, and the family refused to do anything about it. We didn't get relief until they finally left. That, however, is not the fault of the restaurant. I mean they had to put them somewhere. I just wish we hadn't have been the ones to draw the short straw, as the crying baby was constantly disrupting our fun. But overall, we were still very happy with the experience and we hope to come back again soon. Maybe next time, we'll try the lunch hour on a weekday when there aren't as many families with small children out and about. ;)

C
Colleyville
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrating 50th Birthday, excellent service and drinks!

TB
ThomasB
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had several choices downtown to dine. Grotto did not disappoint us or our grandkids. And, several Gluten-free options.

M
Murph
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Pretty good food. Could be seasoned a tad bit more and the portions are sorta on the small side for the price. But overall, still a good place good experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

it was nice everything was well, good service, hostess was a bit rude

WE
vipWmElex
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service1ambience5

Restaurant weeks gave us a chance to try this restaurant in our neighborhood. Unfortunately did not impress with bad service and not really trying to showcase themselves. Asked waiter who said it is what it is.

g
vipg8trnyc
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

I don’t even know where to start with the service. Wine took over 20 minutes to arrive. Food took an hour, but the worst was when the check was dropped at our table right after we started our main course (was not asked for) and a quick apology for the time it took to bring the wine. No mention of how our food was, if we wanted another bottle of wine or if after we finished we wanted dessert. The food was good so beyond disappointing with the service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
18 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place to have an anniversary dinner. Good food and drinks and the service was above and beyond.

2
2charlestonfoodies
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food tasted great. All our meals were delicious. But the appetizers were too small to really share and they were pricey. (The meatballs small plate/appetizer was literally 4 small 1-bite sized meatballs in tiny glass cups for $13). Good location for where we were staying and easily walkable from several surrounding hotels. Service was ok but was overall a little slow. Final thought -- never been to an Italian restaurant that didn't serve any bread!

P
Parkbmt
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service as always. No valet available, which is the only thing not perfect about it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The whole staff did a wonderful job in making my baby girl feel special on her 15th birthday. We booked a 12 person table for her and her friends and we were able to be seated discreetly nearby. Everything was perfect! Thanks!

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Grotto - Downtown Houston using the Order Online button. Grotto - Downtown Houston also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (713) 658-0752.

Grotto - Downtown Houston is rated 4.4 stars by 992 OpenTable diners.

Grotto - Downtown Houston does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.landrysinc.com/giftcards/default.asp.

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.