Sambuca Restaurant - Houston

4.2
844 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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What 844 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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KR
Dallas
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed the live music! The appetizers were also delightful. We had a really nice hostess and waiter.

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DJ
Houston
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great music and food... the ambiance was great. Beautiful venue

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JG
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have a group of 14 people to celebrate a birthday on Thursday night. Excellent food and service. Good live Latin music and great environment to dance and have a great time. Be back every Thursday night.

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GA
Houston
13 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

My husband and I (who are both servers and bar tenders) almost always write 5 star reviews, so for us to give something at this level means it honestly was a bad experience.

We arrived at 550pm for our reservation and were sat immediately. Our server did not greet us until after 6pm (at which time we were ready to order). I ordered a water, my husband an Old Fashion and water. We also ordered the Bruchetta appetizer. We tried to order our entrees, but our server walked away before we could. My water arrived, then a food runner brought us our appetizer, then the server dropped off my husbands cocktail. He again walked away before giving us a chance to order. A back waiter refilled my water and cleared our appetizer. By 620, our server had not come back to take our order.

Since we had a 730 show at Jones Hall, we went up to the hostess stand, let her know we needed to close out our table because our server wasn’t available to take our order and that we’d be happy to reseat ourselves at the bar so we could have some dinner. She brought our check to us at the bar.

While seated at the bar, what appeared to be a bar back offered us a menu. We let him know that we didn’t need a menu, we were already ready to order. He said “ok” and walked away. There were 4 people behind the bar which was about 1/3 full. It appeared to be 2 bar tenders and 2 bar backs. Not one of them acknowledged us for the next 10 minutes. They stood around watching soccer on the TV and talking to each other.

By 630 we were approaching the point of no return. We let the hostess know that no one at the bar seemed to want to take our order either and we were going to have to go somewhere else if we were going to make our show on time. She apologized.


My husbands cocktail and our bruchetta were both good. We were looking forward to this dinner and are disappointed that two entire sections of the restaurant were incapable of taking our order so we could enjoy dinner and a show for my birthday.

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

Great food and service, thanks Cameo for making our anniversary dinner special 😀

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EP
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our dining experience. Not to mention our seating was excellent; we had a perfect view of the city and the stage.

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RM
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was good but expensive and didn’t fit with the Latin theme. Most people just came for drinks, dance, and music. We felt out of place as a dinner crowd. A lighter Latin themed menu; much less expensive, would have fit.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Good experience as always. Special thank you to the chef. She was amazing

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TF
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a good experience! Even the rice is usually not cooked well or supposed to be dirty rice...the place and service is awesome..

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

it’s was an amazing experience. the food was so good. i wish i could eat it all over again. our server was so sweet and amazing and the bang playing was GREAT. they played so many good sounds and sounded amazing. literally anything you order on the menu is going to be so good

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B
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

when arriving the restaurant did not have our table ready (group of 6) and looked confused when i told them my name and reservation time (I even called the night prior to go over my birthday arrangements) We waited over 10mins to be seated

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JC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

My party really enjoyed themselves. But, as a group of musicians, we were a bit disappointed in the band.

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KG
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 5

Would refer to a friend if they want a good location downtown to meet friends for a drink; however, the food leaves a lot to be desired.

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BP
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

My wife and I had our anniversary dinner here at 7:30pm on the June 15h. Fish plate that I had was something I feel I could have made my self for way cheaper. It was dry and had a bland taste. My wives shrimp pasta was good though. The involvement was not as nice as I had envisioned looking at the website. The waiter that we had was very nice and was attentive. On the notes for our reservation I let the club know that it was our anniversary and I would like to have a table maybe with something special like rose pedals or something different. I let them know to contact me and we could discuss it. There was never a phone call or email made. Also I will say everyone was very nice except for a weird vibe with one Caucasian gentleman with a waitress that seemed that maybe she was in training that would come by and ask if we were going to have more drinks. When we would tell him not at the moment, he gave off a vibe like what are you doing here. So you know we stayed for about 2:15 mins and drank our drinks the whole time ate and danced. I just was not impressed with the overall quality of the food, not accommodating my request for something special at the table which I had no problem paying for, and the lack of romantic atmosphere that the place provides for the price. I will not be going back and would not recommended this place to anyone else.

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M
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Sambuca. The music was a little loud at first to enjoy conversation with our guests but that was quickly remedied. We asked for the music to be turned down and there was no issue. The food was delicious. The service was fabulous. The restrooms were clean.

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LI
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Sambuca's is always on our list to have dinner and see a show when we are downtown Houston.
The wait staff could have been a little more attentive.
The presentation, quality and flavor of the meal was good.
The entertainment was good, though they started late.
We'll be back.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and awesome wait staff. Drinks are delicious and perfect way to spend an evening out

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F
Pittsburgh
50 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Started with a cock n bull drink. It was very good!!! The dressing for the house salad was a balsamic vinaigrette, slightly sweet, just the way I like it. The main course was the miso sea bass. Served over jasmine rice, grilled apples and vegetables. Very, very good!!! Somewhere along the way I had another cock n bull.
I finished the night with the toffee bread pudding, more like a cake, with ice cream and strawberries and a coffee.
The band started mid sea bass. All and all a delightful night!!!

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We got there early before everything was moving. Everything was ok and once the servers were in for the evening it was better.

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C
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Great place for drinks/dinner before a show. Walking distance to theaters (Hobby Center was a little far but def ok). Plus you can leave your car with Sambuca's valet service.

Food was good, nothing special but good. However our server was very slow. Only 4 tables and 2 waiters and we waited at least 15-20 min for him to come back and take our order after we had finished our appetizer. I think that perhaps he thought we were not eating dinner. When the food was delivered, we asked for our check so we could leave quickly to make the 7:30 curtain. Also ask the Manager who had stopped by the table. Never got our bill so we had to ask the hostess for it. She closed us out.

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NG
Houston
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was slow given there were not too many people. Food was ok but nothing spectacular. Music was very mediocre
Nothing special. Will not go back.

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T
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice combo of music, food and drinks. Great for a date.

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CT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Really good waiter. A little disappointed in the food. I ordered Oscar Salmon and it seemed to hve been frozen for a very long time. However, the waiter was very good.

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E
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Enjoyed the food. The service could have been more attentive but it was a little crowded, tables too close to get us from table. Was told over the phone that they had no more reservations, but was able to make reservation with your service. Was charged a fee per person, children included, that was not advertised on websites. Great day with family and grandchildren. Thank you.

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SJ
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great. Service was excellent. One of my favorite places to dine.

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S
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day Brunch and it was awesome

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B
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great... my mom, sister n law and I truly enjoyed ourselves

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OT
Amarillo
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Live music and great food.

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AD
San Antonio
3 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I took a lovely lady to Sambuca and we were pleasantly surprised with our seating (right in front of the stage) and the band did a great job. The service was good, but they did miss our appetizer but brought it out later for us. The Sea Bass was outstanding, one of the best I’ve had. And the bread pudding was also wonderful! We danced a bit to several songs and had a wonderful time. Definitely recommend to check it out!

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NG
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and entertainment. Perfect date night restaurant.

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TA
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was uncrowded and easy to talk. Only complaint is that the menu is largely unchanged for years and could do with some updates.

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VM
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Good service and food. Nice environment and a lovely band.

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TP
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

The food was good - but the service was bad. The server got our order wrong. We mentioned multiple times that we were going to the theatre but she was incredibly slow and didn't have a sense of time. And to top it off the bill was incorrect...

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CD
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I use to enjoy this spot some years ago, but the ambiance and food has changed tremendously. The dress attire is not enforced .

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MC
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great.. Love the place, service great, excellent entertaiment, large area to dance Salsa.
Directions to get there are super easy, and there is lots of parking.
We are going back again, really enjoyed it.

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R
Detroit
22 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

It was NOT ok for a business dinner. It was loud.

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OT
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Easter Day brunch with a good selection and entertainment

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MA
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I really love this restaurant but was disappointed during our last visit. It just didn't live up to my service expectations. The hostess seemed confused. We had to ask twice to receive a waiter. My husbands steak was AMAZING, however my Salmon dish was cold. We had a front row table in front of the band and the noise level was just right. We were able to carry on a conversation or just sit and relax while enjoying the music.

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LY
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Thought there was suppose to be live music on the weekends. No live music by the time we left around 7:30pm.

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CG
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

We went to celebrate our 9 year anniversary. The hostess was warm and inviting. She took us to a quiet and cozy spot per our request. Our waiter Alex came to our table and introduced us to the person he was training and asked us if we wanted to order. We asked for a moment to look at the menu. When he came back we ordered cocktails and a charcuterie tray and the calamari. The cocktails and appetizers were good. Everything went downhill from here. After this we waited for drinks and the rest of our food was not edible. Eventually we flagged our waiters trainee down and requested the check. We told him the food was poor quality and he picked up our full plates and thanked us for the tip and let us know that he would not try those items himself....then brought us the bill for the entire amount. We went in excited and optimistic and left disappointed. We would NEVER go back.

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