The 13 Best Seafood Restaurants in Houston

From shrimp tacos and poke bowls to Gulf oysters and fresh market catches.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House | Photo by Becca Wright
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House | Photo by Becca Wright

When people think of Houston’s cuisine, most go straight to city staples like Tex-Mex, BBQ, and even Asian-Cajun. But what they often forget is the city’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico—we’re just off Galveston Bay and just an hour drive to the beach—meaning our seafood options run as deep as the Seven Seas. Oyster season is pretty much year-round here, and in addition to freshly shucked bivalves, we’ve got enticements like Gulf red snapper, colossal shrimp, and buttery amberjack aplenty. Of course, many of our finest seafood establishments source from around the globe, so you can also get your hands dirty with the best Alaskan king crab, Portuguese octopus, and Skull Island prawns. Nothing wrong with that. Here are the region’s top destinations for brining and dining.

Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine
Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine | Photo by Leah Wilson

Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine

Montrose
A remake of the beloved Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood, this familiar haunt may have changed its name and moved to a new space, but it kept its traditional Southern flavors intact. Now with two years under its belt, Eugene’s has hit its stride with a menu of Cajun and Third Coast-inspired eats. Feast on shrimp and oysters en brochette, blue crab stuffed redfish, seafood courtbouillon, and a damn good dark roux gumbo (which also makes its way into the famous Bloody Danton at brunch, by the way). Dress code is business casual, even if you’re only slurping goodies in the oyster bar.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out online, or get delivery via DoorDash.

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House | Photo by Becca Wright

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House

San Leon
There’s a new reason to drive to San Leon, and that’s to get your hands on the freshest oysters in town. The concept comes from second-generation oysterman Raz Halili of Prestige Oysters, and not only does Halili know his product inside and out, he was wise enough to tap Executive Chef Joe Cervantez (formerly of Brennan’s) to lead the bayside project. Head here for pristinely shucked oysters on the half shell, available both raw with all the proper accoutrements and char-grilled with extras like crab gratin and fiery habanero butter. All that plus crispy cornmeal crusted snapper, wood-grilled yellowfin tuna, and a baller seafood-spiked Bloody Mary for brunch.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Acme Oyster House

Montrose
At long last, the Houston outpost of NOLA darling Acme Oyster House has arrived in its home on the lower Westheimer curve, which means you’ll no longer have to make your way to the French Quarter to shoot oysters like a boss. Get ‘em ice-cold, sizzling in butter and cheese, fried and stuffed into po’boys, or, our personal favorite, straight-shucked into a shot of vodka with a dab of cocktail sauce. Tack on Acme favorites from seafood gumbo and crawfish dip to the totally-not-seafood-but-no-joke-tasty roast beef gravy smothered “boo” fries.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Field & Tides
Photo courtesy of Field & Tides

Field & Tides

Heights
We’ve got our eyes on the “tides” portion of this land and sea venture, where you’ll find Chef Travis Lenig’s addictive fried snapper collars and braised octopus studded with chorizo and fingerling potatoes (two starters you won’t want to miss), plus a she crab soup that gives you all the low country feels and mains from pistachio-crusted halibut to buttery scallops atop seafood risotto. Add on buttermilk pie and one of their riffs on classic cocktails and you have yourself a meal for the ages.
How to book: Call 713-861-6143 to reserve.

Ouzo Bay
Photo courtesy of Ouzo Bay

Ouzo Bay

River Oaks District
This glitzy Mediterranean hotspot is the closest you’re going to get to Santorini in Houston, with fresh seafood flown in daily from Norwegian-born Aegean branzino and langoustines straight to Skull Island prawn. Take a trip to the Greek isles as you work your way through market selections, and when you crave a return (trust us, you will), consider also checking out sibling restaurant Loch Bar, a high-end seafood tavern with one of the biggest raw bars in town.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

1751 Sea & Bar

Heights
Rare jewels like otoro fatty tuna and Imperial Golden Osetra caviar service are just part of the charm of this seafood and gin-fueled ace (its name is a nod to the Gin Act of 1751, so you’re bound to find gin and tonics, mules, and spot-on martinis, too). Head chef J.D. Woodward (Underbelly, Rainbow Lodge, Southern Goods) wows with scallops in smoked onion veloute, steamed mussels soaked in burnt miso broth, grilled Ora King salmon, and a roster of smoked, cured, and preserved selections from tuna tartine to gin-washed gravlax.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order delivery via GrubHub.

Liberty Kitchen

River Oaks & Memorial
While it churns out a seriously mouthwatering truffle and foie gras burger, this oyster bar and coastal kitchen’s menu shines when it comes to all things seafood. Start with goodies like poke, sashimi, seafood gumbo, and grilled oyster boards before moving on to big guns like Texas redfish, crab-stuffed shrimp, broiled seafood platters, and lobster bolognese. And if your server asks if you want to add lobster or lump crab to your mac and cheese and potato mash, the answer is yes.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable (River Oaks, Memorial).

Gilhooley’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar 

San Leon
You’re leaving the Loop for this one, so we’ll give you a moment to get over that. Alright, now take solace in the fact that it’ll all be worth it, because these oysters are so fresh, they don't even need to bother with trivial things like ice. The bivalves are pulled straight from the water, cleanly shucked, and promptly served straight up with lemon, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and saltines. Perhaps better, though, is when they get a healthy brush-stroke of garlic butter and Parmesan, then take a thrill ride in an oak and pecan-wood barbecue pit before coming out with a crackling, oozing crust a la the Oysters Gilhooley.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Caracol Mexican Seafood Kitchen

Galleria
Husband-and-wife team Tracy Vaught and chef Hugo Ortega already had their hands full with the success of Mexican eatery Hugo’s and classic Southern spot Backstreet Cafe. Thankfully, that didn’t stop them from expanding their empire to include yet another concept, this time focusing on the cuisine of coastal Mexico. Start with the wood-roasted Gulf oysters dripping in chipotle butter, then dive into campechana, live fire-roasted Gulf shrimp in chile de arbol, and catch-of-the-day a la plancha, which arrives butterflied, wood-grilled, and drizzled in chile sauce. Dessert means the playful El Coco, a chocolate-coconut shell that you crack open with a tiny wooden mallet to reveal coconut buttercream, coconut ganache, coconut streusel, and whipped coconut. There’s no seafood in it, but that’s probably a good thing.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms, order take-out online, or get delivery via UberEats.

Lotus Seafood

Multiple locations
What began as a humble “You Buy, We Fry” shop in the ‘90s has blossomed into an incurable seafood addiction for locals in the know. What is the root of the addiction, you ask? Easy.  "Loud Packs" and "Crack Sauce.” That’s some Snap-worthy shrimp and crawfish fried rice with extra spice and more shrimp that you can and will absolutely smother in creamy garlic butter sauce. Good thing there is\ a quartet of stops at which you can do so.
How to book: Dine-in, take-out, and delivery options vary by location.

Number 13 Prime Steak & Seafood

Galveston
Sitting pretty on the Pelican Rest Marina, this chic chophouse boasts a two-story, island-style terrace coupled with an indoor dining room that’s 100% luxury. Hit up either one to feast on sweet Gulf and East Coast oysters or go all out with the sexy Grand Amuse, an iced seafood tower stacked with East Coast oysters plus cocktail shrimp, smoked salmon rillettes, yellowfin tuna poke, lobster tail, and Alaskan king crab. Complete your meal with blackened whole fish, brown butter scallops, and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu strip.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

La Fisheria

Downtown
True to its name, the Vuelve a la Vida soup at La Fisheria will give you life. The popular Mexican hangover cure is teeming with clams, mussels, mahi mahi, and jumbo shrimp, plus a whole lotta spice to help you sweat out last night’s poor decisions. And that’s not the only reason folks swear by this downtown seafood shack. Go for what just may be the city’s finest ceviches, the trio of seafood tacos (beer battered shrimp, creamy lobster, and al pastor-marinated red snapper), gorgeously charred and super tender octopus, and a whole deep-fried lobster served with black beans, rice and scratch-made corn tortillas.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via ChowNow, or get delivery via DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats.

Rudy & Paco Restaurant & Bar

Pants are required to get a taste of this Latin American fine dining game-changer nestled in Galveston’s beautiful historic district. Hang with a slightly-more-casual afternoon crowd munching on mango habanero salmon and fantastic grilled fish tacos, or go for the gold with a dinner of plantain-crusted Gulf red snapper, linguine with spicy shrimp diablo, and grilled Ahi tuna in jalapeño cream sauce. And there’s some damn fine steak, too, for the turf-lovers out there (yawn).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who would take #PokeAllDay over #RoséAllDay pretty much all day. Do it with her @BrookeViggiano or @brookiefafa.
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