We are all internet friends right? So I can be honest with you here.  Here is the truth, a couple of years ago I went to Sambuca with my foodie group and HATED it. The food, the service, everything.   I found my way back there a year or so later and thought it was better, but still no cigar.  I kept these experiences in mind when Houston Food Blogger Collective received the invite for Happy Hour at Sambuca.

Look, I’m all for second chances when it come to restaurants.  Matter fact, it was a second chance that led me to fall in love with Lucille’s and dub it one of my favorite restaurants in Houston.  So I kept this in mind as I trekked to Sambuca for Happy Hour last Thursday.  Similar to my Lucille’s “second time around story”  this story also has a happy ending, as this go around I thoroughly enjoyed Sambuca!

The Setup

So here are the deets that you should know.  Sambuca is located in the heart of downtown near Texas Street and Main, where parking is hit or miss.   Many of the nearby parking lots have been taken over by new high rise monstrosities.  So for parking, you are left with street parking and nearby garages.   I lucked up and found free street parking two blocks away (free after 6pm).  There was also a valet and several parking garages nearby charging as low as $5.  You could also be like an East Coaster and use that wonderful light rail.

Once you have figured out parking and make your way into Sambuca you will be greeted by an older crowd there enjoying the scene.  Sambuca features music every night which I imagine pulls in a good crowd for them.  The rest of the restaurant has a dark velvety look reminiscent of many of the higher end steakhouses in town.

I was so in awe of the food that I failed to get a picture of the inside of Sambuca! But you can see plenty of great photos on their website here.

The Drinks

Their drink menu is extensive and since I had a busy day the following day, I couldn’t taste them all out for you guys!  What I can tell you is the happy hour menu is priced to move these drinks.  The cocktail, wine and beer offerings I saw included drinks from $5-7.  Those are my kind of happy hour prices.  The one drink I had though, the Sambuca 75 (think French 75) was excellent and had a kick to it as well.

My Sambuca 75, fruity and champagne? I am SOLD.

My Sambuca 75, fruity and champagne? I am SOLD.

The Food

Sambuca laid out an excellent spread of their popular appetizers for us to try.   As one of the first ones to arrive, I got prime pickings and the best pictures *insert smirk emoji here*

Our tasting included, mini Korean chicken tostadas, the Sambuca charcuterie board, Lobster deviled eggs, the Bianca flatbread and sun-dried tomato basil risotto croquettes.  I have never found deviled eggs appetizing so I skipped out on those.  My friends who tried them said they were excellent.  Other than the eggs, I honestly liked everything, but the tostadas stand out the most for me.   The toppings gave you a variety of sweet and spicy flavors that pulled together nicely.  The charcuterie board will be great to share and the croquettes offer a good vegetarian option.


Here again when I gave a restaurant a second chance, I did not regret it!  So I will admit that the older crowd and music may not appeal to a millennial crowd, but these prices though? That has broke millennial saddled with student loan debt written ALL over it.  Add to that, the food is actually good, so in short Happy Hour at Sambuca is a winner folks!

Sambuca Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato