The flames broke out around 3:40am at the Dolce Vita restaurant off Westheimer near Whitney. Firefighters say the fire started in a dumpster, then quickly spread to the back of the building.
The restaurant was closed for the night and nobody was inside at the time of the fire. Firefighters say this warrants an investigation.
"It's not abnormal to have dumpster fires, but when they catch on the building, that is when we have to call arson to investigate so we can have a true cause for it, because there is really no way for a dumpster fire to start without something going inside the dumpster," said Houston Fire Department District Chief Eric Hutzley.
Fire crews say there is a lot of smoke damage in front of the restaurant and fire damage in the back of the building, totally about $40,000..
There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.