Sambuca Restaurant - Houston

4.3
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917 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
A word from Sambuca Restaurant - Houston
Located in the historic Rice Hotel downtown, Sambuca is Houston’s only rockin’ dinner club. We serve American food with a side of nightly live music as diverse as our menu. And our talents don’t stop there! Sambuca can cater your next special event in style. Whether it is off-site at Sambuca or in the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, you can be sure every detail will be handled with the upmost attention. Contact our catering department to book your next party.
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Private Dining

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What 917 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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m
Houston
99 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We had good food, our reservation was ready for us when we arrived. The waiter started serving us promptly. They were out of the wine we wanted, but he had something else we also liked very well. The wait service at the end of our meal was a little slower than we wanted, given our Alley Theater tickets. It was a good visit and we all enjoyed our food.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Valentine’s day

JC
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Booked 3 weeks in advance a table for 9, with many open tables, waited 50 minutes to be seated. Finally, we were asked to sit in a secluded area of the second floor, away from the better ambience and live music. After complaining to the manager who at first said nothing they could do, a table was prepared in a slightly better location. The service was terrible: Waited a long time for food, wine order was not served as requested, asked for bread and butter twice, never served. We then went downstairs to listen to music and told we could not stand in the hallway were we waited earlier for nearly an hour waiting for a table.

OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Been here many times over the last 12 years or so. This was the worst experience we’ve had. Band was not very good tonight - some of the singers were on, some couldn’t hit a right note. Speakers were so loud I couldn’t talk to my wife. :/
Not great for a “romantic Valentines dinner”.

DS
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

band was great, but way too loud. sitting as far away as we could we still could not hear each other speak.

OT
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner was awesome ❤️

WP
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great, friendly service. Romantic vibe but laid back, not stuffy. Like that you can eat a nice meal and then listen to a live band, or both. Shape Shifters was playing. Great music, singer, meh.

T
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent and so as Etouffee. Breadpudding was the best I've ever had! Definitely going back again.

D
London
12 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The food was outstanding. I had the shrimp and crab meat fettuccine, and my wife had the vegetable lasagna. Both were fabulous. The vibe was not what we were looking for. We were there for a pre-symphony meal, and it looks like Sambuca is geared more to the party crowd. The music was very loud, and the band was getting set up as we left.

A
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall1food5service5ambience1

I have been to this location before and LOVED IT!! Excellent food and cocktails and it had a great ambiance. I made reservations for Friday Feb. 7th and this trip was extremely unpleasant. There was a beetles/ monkeys cover band and the music was WAY too loud! I had out of town guests and dinner was supposed to be a time to catch up. We couldn't even hear our waiter and we had to yell to communicate. For a "jazz bar" type of place that was not the music and volume that I had planned on hearing. We had to get up and leave we couldn't even order dinner. I woukd recommend this place but find out if there will be a band there prior to making reservations.

KK
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I've been to Sambuca for drinking and dancing but this was the first time for eating. I was disappointed that with reservations, we didn't get to sit closer to the dance floor when there were empty tables there. I asked if we could sit at one of those tables and was told they were reserved. Well, we made reservations also! I wonder if it was because I booked through OpenTable rather than directly through Sambuca. The speakers above our table were crackling, distorting the sound of the great band. We later moved down to the bar area and had to stand the rest of the evening. Very disappointing.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

The hostess stand was very rude and dismissive during our visit.

We had reservations and didn’t get seated for 50min with open tables in plain sight.

The band was excellent.

And our waitress Katie was the best.

OT
Tulsa
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was a bit over priced. Also a few meals were under cooked. The band was great entertainment. Valet parking made it convenient.

TM
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Overall I was very impressed with the easy process to reserve a table. My party enjoyed the ambiance and service. The band was electric! I will definitely go back.

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Hubby’s birthday. It took a ridiculous amount of time to get the check and had to flag someone down to get our server to come pick up the check. My party left me at the table to close the bill as we were trying to find seats near or at the bar in order to get a good view of the band. The server did not seem concerned about taking forever. The food is decent and the entertainment is always top notch. Breakfast at Tiffany’s will always bring us in the door.

S
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The $12 valet took six minutes to retrieve the car at the end of the meal, while we stood on the chilly street, waiting. The 8 member band was excellent and fun, but their drummer wasn't behind a shield, so everyone else had to play and sing so loudly that conversation was impossible, even at the most distant table where we were seated, and we and our waiters had to shout at each other the whole evening. Our first waiter had to abandon us after taking our order because she "was in the wrong section." Our second waiter took our order by memory, only to need to come back in five minutes asking us to repeat it so he could write it down. The food was good but not great, halfway between bar food and gourmet. Overall, the music was good, but the food and service were mediocre.

TN
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time at Sambuca Friday night. Made reservations through OpenTable and walked right in and sat down. The service was excellent with our server and the manager checking on us frequently. It was not too loud with the live band and was nice to be able to order food, dance, eat and dance some more. The blackened red snapper was awesome. We will be back.

AH
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service by the Sambuca staff. Our original table was tucked away in an awkward corner with no line of sight to the live band. We immediately asked for a new table and in a matter of minutes, we had been relocated to a much more desirable spot near the band and dance floor. Thank you Sambuca!

Great food, great wait staff and great place to watch live music in Houston

YG
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We really had a great time, my husband enjoyed his birthday!! Thank you

OT
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Birthday celebration.

TB
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for fun and the food is awesome the staff is friendly and courteous they helped us get a table right next to the band

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our third wedding anniversary could not have been any better, thanks to the hard-working and thoughtful staff at Sambuca. We were seated in a private area and offered complimentary champagne. The food was delicious and even received a special message with our dessert. The manager knew that Sambuca catered our wedding event, and that we got married at the Crystal Ballroom upstairs. He walked us up to the venue and let us look around and reminisce. It was an amazing night for my wife and I. Thank you to the awesome staff who truly stepped up to give us a special night. Cheers.

B
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience2

Just about the worst service I’ve ever endured during a dining experience. Out of multiple wines, took 45 minutes to get water after our waiter was MIA, told us they were out of salmon 15 minutes after we ordered. We’re at the restaurant almost 3 hours and the actual dining experience lasted maybe 30 minutes of that. Would not recommend anyone going here in a hurry. The only reason they’re not 1 star was the food was surprisingly quite good.

JB
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had dinner before a show at Jones Hall. Our server was aware and did a great job of getting our food to us promptly. The food was good but pricey for what we got. Overall, a good experience.

MA
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great place with live music. Great option for a date night in downtown.

C
Austin
12 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

We made a reservation but when we arrived they said that it would take 30-45 minutes to get a table. We decided to sit outside (amazingly nice night) which is considered bar area and not wait. We felt ignored. Then a homeless man came over to our table asking for money. Finally got drinks and food which was very good. Not sure what to think of our overall experience though.

DF
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is still a great restaurant to take family and friends for dinner! Other than having to eat and leave within 2 hours... Urghhhh... my party of 4 was very impressed and completely satisfied with the food, ambiance, efficiency of the waitstaff, etc, was totally superb!

MP
Houston
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great food. Portions leave you a bit wanting
Service was excellent
A bit loud but there is live entertainment which is nice so expected

FE
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Need to have dancing music during the breaks. Dances that the entire crowd can get on the floor and enjoy. Seemed like there was no DJ for this time who could feel the crowd and put on some enjoyable music.

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sambuca was a great restaurant! My boyfriend & I danced while waiting for our food to arrive. The band was great & kept the party going. The food was excellent! Very nice romantic ambiance.

KR
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food was great but the service was a bit off even though it was Sunday evening and only a few tables occupied.

JR
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed a nice anniversary dinner with jazz playing in the background. Food was great and the place was not too crowded (Mon night). Cost was a little high, but it was worth it for a nice evening.

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food2service1ambience2

Wasn’t a live band.... bad quality of food and the service wasn’t good. Not recomendable

TR
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

I've been to Sambuca before and the experience was much different. This time around was not as pleasant. They were short staffed ( and didn't tell us initially), The band canceled ( they didn't tell us that either untill much later into the night). They had us waiting as table after table became free, which is a bit disconcerting. On the other had, the DJ who filled in was excellent and played crowd appropriate music. Our wait staff was excellent and the food was brought out in a timely fashion.

C
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent service and ambiance. We really enjoyed the live music of “SVK”. Food was good but a bit overpriced. Would highly recommend this place to couples and parties!

s
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

This place is not good if you are vegetarian. Also, the music is too loud

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

EXCELLENT!!!!!

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LE
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

I made a reservation for the top deck, when I got there I was told they had nothing available other than the bar. What's the point of making a reservation then. So they sat us on the first floor. It took 30 min to get our drinks eventhough they were waiting on 3 tables!! The restaurant was empty

DB
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have told a few friends about the Music, Food, Service, and Vibe of Sambuca! It's one of my favorite hot spots.

R
Houston
34 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Food is good (not great) but menu could be updated. Seems like it's been the same for over a year. Should add some casual dishes which would would align better with the type of establishment (entertainment venue).