Food & Drink

Where to Find the Best Crawfish in Houston

Published On 01/18/2016 Published On 01/18/2016

Warm weather means crawfish season is coming a little early this year. Not only does that mean the mudbugs are already here, but it also means that later in the season, you can expect the little guys to be not so little, making some already amazing crawfish boils even better. With that in mind, we rounded up the best spots for you to get elbows deep in mudbugs. Twist. Suck. Peel. Pinch. Repeat. Starting right now.

BB's Cafe

Tex-Orleans-style crawfish

BB's Cafe

Address and Info

Montrose (& other locations)

Texas meets Louisiana at this local favorite (take its roast-beef-gravy-and-queso-smothered take on poutine, for instance). And everyone knows you haven’t truly partaken in crawfish season until you’ve got your hands and face messy with some of BB’s quality, mouth-numbingly good beauties, served on a giant platter with all the proper boil accoutrements.

Cajun Kitchen

Spicy Cajun boil

Cajun Kitchen

Address and Info

Alief

Step 1: head to this Viet-Cajun spot and choose your spice level -- mild, medium, spicy, extra spicy, or suicide. Step 2: pick a flavor: Cajun, Garlic Blend, The “Kitchen” Special, or Thai Basil. Step 3: add crab legs. Step 4: demolish.

Moon Tower Inn

All-you-can-eat crawfish

Moon Tower Inn

Address and Info

East End

This cool kid beer and weenie joint is one of the chillest places to go mud buggin’. During the season, the guys crank out crazy-good all-you-can-eat crawdaddies in the yard. Suck ‘em down pound by pound alongside a solid lineup of craft suds, but be prepared for a well-worth-it line.

Louisiana crawfish boil

The Boil House

Address and Info

Heights

This in-season-only crawdaddy shack reps its Louisiana roots to the fullest, as seen by the LSU flag parked loud and proud out front. The offense, however, is easily forgiven once you get your hands on some of its freshwater crawfish, fiery sausage links, and boudin egg rolls.

Cajun crawfish boil

Lotus Seafood Market

Address and Info

Greater Fondren Southwest (& other locations)

Warning: following Lotus’ Instagram account will cause constant seafood cravings thanks to sexy shots of fried lobster, smothered shrimp, and buttery crab legs (never skip leg day). But when crawdaddys are in season, you’ll want to tack on dat Cajun-style boil and crawfish fried rice covered in crack sauce, too.

Crawfish Shack

Meaux spicy boiled crawfish

Crawfish Shack

Address and Info

Crosby

This mudbug shack has a cult following for a few good reasons. First, the price is right (get ‘em by the pound for $5.95). Next, it’s BYOB. And finally (and most importantly), its bold Louisiana-style boil and beyond-butter dippers are slap-yo’-mama good.

Flickr/T.Tseng

Garlic butter crawfish

Crawfish & Noodles

Address and Info

Alief

Good thing there are paper towels on the table at this popular Vietnamese and Cajun staple, because your face is about to be dripping with piping-hot garlic butter and crawfish juice. Get a few hunks of bánh mì to soak up every last bit of goodness.

The Cajun Stop

Hot boiled crawfish

The Cajun Stop

Address and Info

Downtown

This Cajun eatery delivers with specials like fried catfish smothered with crawfish cream, but when the bugs are in season, you’ll want the guys in their purest form: hot and boiled with corn and potatoes, as is tradition.

LA Crawfish

Asian-Cajun crawfish

LA Crawfish

Address and Info

Memorial (& other locations)

What started out as a modest Asian-Cajun joint inside 99 Ranch Market has exploded into a full-blown empire complete with things like crawfish pho, crawfish po-boys, and cheesy crawfish rolls. Do those, but also get the critters hot from the bag and soaked in garlic butter, Cajun seasoning, or sweet & sour sauce. Our advice? Come with a crew and order it all to make the ultimate Mutt City smorgasbord.

The Boot

Louisiana Boiled Crawfish 

The Boot

Address and Info

Shady Acres

After the Shady Tavern Ice House closed two years ago, it reopened as this totally airy seasonal Cajun seafood stop. The welcoming neighborhood vibe lives on, but the upgrades -- including tongue-tingling Louisiana-style crawfish & lobster boils and fresh, buttery étouffée that'll rival your maw-maw's -- make it way cooler than the original spot. 

Flickr/T. Tseng

Garlic butter & wild Cajun-style crawfish

Wild Cajun

Address and Info

Westchase (& other locations)

Though this Vietnamese-run Cajun trio of boil shops pump out live crawfish all year-round, you’ll want to go in season to get the critters in their prime. The big and juicy crawdads get tossed in a legit house garlic butter or served Wild Cajun-style, stir-fried with more garlic butter with green and yellow onions.

Kickin' Cajun boils

Crawfish Cafe

Address and Info

Chinatown

Crawfish egg rolls, Cajun shrimp, andouille, crawfish fried rice, and classic crawfish boils are all on the menu at this Hong Kong plaza crowd-pleaser. Hit it to get your crawfish positively dripping in your choice of sauce: Original Cajun, Kickin' Cajun, Garlic Butter, Lemon Pepper, Thai Basil, or The Mix (a mix of garlic butter and lemon pepper). Time to get suckin'.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who only believes in crawfish in its purist form -- soaked in butter and spices. Share your mudbug truths with her @BrookeViggiano.

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1. BB's Cajun Cafe 2710 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006 (Montrose)

This Cajun eatery in Montrose is a neighborhood staple serving up Texas and New Orleans cuisine in a laid back atmosphere. Get your hands on Cajun classics like ettouffe and crawfish boils in addition to full loaded po-boys. All of the food is pretty gut-busting, so bring some friends to go in on shareable apps like loaded fries. BB's is open late, making it the perfect stop after a night out.

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2. Cajun Kitchen 6938 Wilcrest Dr Ste E, Houston, TX 77072

This Viet-Cajun restaurant in Chinatown serves everything on the spectrum from Southern to Asian cuisine from blackened fish and chicken wings to po boys to its serious seafood boils — choose your own spice level and flavor to create your ultimate boil experience and add some other seafood basics and wings to your order. Take everything out to the back patio where you can cool your burning mouth with fresh air and a cold beer.

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3. Moon Tower Inn 3004 Canal St, Houston, TX 77003 (East End)

Awesome events like horror movie nights and growler giveaways, tons of craft brews from their wall of taps, and exotic hot dogs like a wild game sausage make Moon Tower Inn a unique and enjoyable hangout. Oh, and they have a backyard, too.

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4. Boil House 606 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77008 (The Greater Heights)

Boil House serves real-deal Cajun crawfish in season only, and owns its Louisiana roots -- the LSU flag out front proves that. You'll forgive this offense, however, once you get your hands on some of their crawfish, sausage, and boudin egg rolls.

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5. Lotus Seafood Market 8550 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77071

Westchase's Lotus Seafood Market is a one-stop-shop for any seafood you could possibly desire. Fresh from the sea, the menu items here are practically endless and include simple fried rice plates to massive seafood platters with catfish fillets and fried oysters between (all served to go in styrofoam boxes so don't expect to hang around for long). You can unexpectedly find some really good chicken wings at this spot, too, but it'd be a mockery to eat those when you've got fried lobster with Louisiana fried rice waiting for you.

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6. Crawfish Shack 5822 FM 2100 Rd, Crosby, TX 77532

With crawfish by the pound for $5.95, it's no wonder this cajun spot has a cult following. Plus it's BYOB, so really it's spots like the Crawfish Shack that prove spicy hot boiled seafood dreams really can come true.

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7. Crawfish & Noodles 11360 Bellaire Blvd Ste 990, Houston, TX 77072

Crawfish & Noodles serves up an unexpected combination of Cajun and Vietnamese food to west Houston. On the corner of a Bellaire Ave strip mall, C&N impresses with bowls of piping hot, garlic-butter-soaked crawfish alongside the likes of slow-simmered beef and pork meatball pho. This joint's also got a massive dining space with ample seating and even a dance floor, which makes it a prime spot for private parties and events for the whole family.

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8. The Cajun Stop 2130 Jefferson St, Houston, TX 77003 (Downtown)

We could all take a lesson in loving thy neighbor from The Cajun Stop, East Downtown’s homage to Louisiana cuisine. The Texas outpost for all things Creole, The Cajun Stop will take you across state lines -- from Houston to The Big Easy -- with its authentic food and drink offerings. Enjoy Creole classics like po-boys, seafood gumbo, crawfish (boiled and served with corn and potatoes), and of course, frozen daiquiris at this fast-casual, Louisiana-loving restaurant.

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9. LA Crawfish 3957 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027

One of many locations all over Texas, this Asian-Cajun joint serves up some serious hot boiled seafood. With menu items like crawfish pho, crawfish po'boys, cheesy crawfish rolls, plus you know, actual hot boiled crawfish, LA Crawfish has something to offer everyone.

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10. The Boot 1206 W 20th St, Houston, TX 77008

Let the good times roll at this Houston institution that's known for their savory Tex-Mex/Cajun fusion cuisine.

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11. Wild Cajun 6533 Wilcrest Dr, Houston, TX 77072

Despite its name, Wild Cajun literally has something for everyone, even those who don't like cajun food. This Chinatown spot's massive menu sports boiled, fried and grilled fish, wings, fried rice platters, sushi and a ton of mouth-watering starters like fried pickles,cheese fries, egg rolls and oysters. With dark orange walls, plentiful (and perpetually full) black tables, neon signage and flatscreen televisions, Wild serves all its authentic cajun and Asian cuisine with a laid back sports-bar vibe.

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12. Crawfish Cafe 11209 Bellaire Blvd Ste C-36, Houston, TX 77072

With 6 different sauces to add to your boiled crawfish, crab, clams or shrimp, Crawfish Cafe really knows how to bring out the flavor. Plus they offer mouth-watering appetizers and seafood baskets if you're feeling extra hungry.

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