Where to Find the Best Crawfish in Houston – Updated
Crawfish season is always over too soon. But fortunately for Houstonians, there are a host of locations dishing up the spicy crustaceans allowing for optimum opportunities to indulge. Beyond restaurant dining, there are crawfish boils, events and sundry specials available across the city to satiate the cravings of the hungry masses. We scoured the city for some of the best sources in H-town and share them below.
BB’s Tex-Orleans, multiple locations: Texas and New Orleans flavors mingle at this local favorite (where the official term is “Tex-Orleans”). Up the ante with optional crawfish seasoning, melted butter or crawfish dippin’ sauce and extend the noshing with add-ons like button mushrooms, corn and red potatoes. If that’s not enough, the concept serves BB’s Boys — its take on po’ boys — plus “Maw Maw’s Gumbo” and assorted fried seafood.
Cottonwood, 3422 North Shepherd: Visit this Garden Oaks hangout for Viet-Cajun style crawfish starting at 11 a.m. every Saturday. Seasoned mudbugs are $8 per pound or $35 for five pounds while supplies last. Eureka Heights Buckle Bunny Ale is only $4 a pint during crawfish service.
Crawfish & Noodles, 11360 Bellaire: When David Chang’s Netflix series, Ugly Delicious, featured Houston, it included this essential restaurant. Chef Trong Nguyen opened it in Houston’s International District and is considered one of the pioneers of Viet-Cajun seasonings in Houston. The menu is basic: one side focuses on noodles, hot pots and Vietnamese special dishes while the other highlights a variety of seafood, rice dishes and choice of wings. The flavors, however, are anything but simple. Go for the crawfish that come smothered in proprietary Viet-Cajun seasonings with spice levels of regular, mild, medium or spicy. There are also a variety of crabs, including Dungeness, snow, king and blue, as well as oysters and shrimp.
Flying Pho, 3434 Ella: Visit this BYOB locale in Oak Forest for a new seasonal menu that begins March 29 and highlights Viet-Cajun crawfish in a variety of presentations. Choose from the garlic-butter “Windmill” flavor, “Flare”, which is the original plus truffle oil, and the sweet and tangy “K-kick”. Crawfish are $9.99 per pound or $7.99 per pound for orders of five or more pounds. In addition, the new menu includes crawfish pho, crawfish fried rice, crawfish loaded tater tots and crawfish klobasniky (kolache). Flying Pho is open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night dining until 12 a.m.
Hank’s Crawfish, Multiple locations: This local landmark consistently brings the fire with crawfish styles varying from original Cajun boil to garlic butter, Vudeaux sauce and citrus garlic. Spice levels are straightforward with mild, sweat-inducing medium, the guaranteed-numb-lips spicy, and “New Orleans”, which gets heat from habaneros. For non-crawfish aficionados, there’s other seafood, such as Alaskan snow crab, Gulf blue crab, jumbo shrimp and combinations. While you’re there, pick up the must-try Gator Bites, crispy boudin balls, and fried rice.
La Grange, 2517 Ralph: In addition to the regular Sunday brunch menu, this Montrose locale offers Viet-Cajun style crawfish for $8 per pound or $35 for five pounds. Regular brunch selections include breakfast enchiladas and shrimp and grits. Brunch is available Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saigon House, 3101 Main: Chef Tony Nguyen actually serves crawfish year-round and is able to do that thanks to using not only Louisiana crawfish, but also its distant cousins the California crawfish and the Oregon Signal crawfish. The inventive sauces include H-Town Bang, Saigon Heat and Thai Surprise. For those who like it really spicy, the “secret” sauces with Double D. Spice levels include Sissy Unicorn, Fiery Phoenix and Angry Dragon. The end result is crawfish that are equal parts tangy, sweet and spicy.
The Cravin’ Cajun, 2323 North Fry: Considered one of Katy’s hidden gems, this tucked-away locale is situated at the end of a shopping center. The restaurant’s ace in the hole is its BYOB policy. Pair your choice of six-pack with the Cajun, garlic butter or the highly recommended House Special, which is sweet and tangy. Levels of spices range from mild, medium, hot or the dangerous-sounding atomic.
88 Boiling Crawfish and Seafood, 1910 Wilcrest: This local favorite in southwest Houston has a long legacy of pleasing patrons. Although the dining area is a bit tight, it boasts an enclosed patio and lightning-fast service. Menu items include blue crab, king crab leg, snow crab leg and green mussels. Flavors include lemon pepper, garlic butter, and the 88 Special, which is a combination of the first two. Levels of spice include mild, medium-spicy, spicy and XXX spicy.
Ragin’ Cajun, 4303 Richmond Avenue & 9600 Westheimer #80: Ragin’ Cajun has been around for over 40 years, a Houston mainstay no doubt attributed to its sterling reputation and earned peoples trust. They pride themselves on their Po-Boys and authentic Cajun flavored crawfish, so pull up to one of the many communal tables and get cracking and shucking. Aside from the seafood of the boiled variety they also serve them up fried and don’t pass up the shrimp and crab gumbo or the crawfish etoufée. One of many staples in the storied menu at Ragin’ Cajun.
Quick Hits Suds & Bugs
Buffalo Bayou Brewing, 5301 Nolda: Crawfish season is an ideal excuse to visit Buffalo Bayou’s upgraded taproom and patio with Crawfish Sundays weekly at 11 a.m. The goods are prepared by Grateful Gourmet Tim Rowley and are available at market price and served with corn and potatoes.
Ladybird’s, 5519 Allen: This friendly neighborhood dive/craft-cocktail bar is hosting a crawfish boil and tap takeover on Saturday, March 23. The event is a collaboration with craft breweries Breckenridge, Twisted X, and Clown Shoes. The party takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crawfish are $5 per pound, $30 for all-you-can-eat, or $20 for two beers and three pounds. Additional specials include a Cajun cocktail menu and frozen hurricanes.
Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith Street: Brennan’s of Houston opened in 1967 as a sister restaurant to Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, throughout the years its been held in high regard. Now, executive chef Joe Cervantez will be going full throttle into peak crawfish season. They’ll be serving up specialty menu items Breaux Bridge Crawfish Enchilada, Louisiana Crawfish Pies, Crawfish Boudin Stuffed Quail. In addition, every Sunday through the month of May the famed Kitchen Table will play host to a crawfish boil where parties six to twelve can enjoy an three-course dining experience where chef Joe will prepare a choice of 1/2 dozen oysters or shrimp remoulade, all you can eat crawfish with corn, potatoes and andouille sausage, crawfish bread loaf. Hit the link to reserve.
Updated, 03/22/2019, 6 p.m.