Food & Drink

Where to Find the Best Boiled Crawfish in New Orleans

Published On 04/07/2015 Published On 04/07/2015

“To everything there is a season,” the proverb goes, and thank goodness that it is now the season for crawfish in New Orleans. Yes, there are plenty of ways to incorporate the delectable critters into dishes both novel and classic, but if you want to be a purist, getting elbow-deep into some spicy, boiled crawfish is definitely the way to go (and remember, it’s never “crayfish” or “crawdads.” It's mudbugs.). Should that be the case, here are some of the finest spots in New Orleans boiling up some of the best crawfish in town.

Seither’s Seafood 

Harahan
Though Seither’s is also known for its po-boys, as well as plenty of fried and blackened seafood, it’s worth a trip out to Harahan for its boiled craws. But if you’re not up for driving, you can find its crawfish at the Maple Leaf Bar on Sunday nights.

Flickr/Candy Ford

Cajun Brothers Seafood & Poboys

Mid-City
Formerly known as KJean’s, the Bros will hook you up in Mid-City once mudbug season rolls around, and it's very conveniently located near awesome places to enjoy those mudbugs al fresco, like Bayou St. John or City Park. 
 

Charles Seafood

Harahan
Beloved spot Charlie’s Seafood closed a while back, but was gloriously re-opened (courtesy of legendary local chef Frank Brigtsen) as Charles Seafood. It has a killer seafood menu, but don’t overlook the Belle River boiled crawfish if you’re looking to suck some heads and pinch some tails.
 

Schaefer Seafood 

Metairie/Bucktown
This isn’t the place you’ll hear about in the travel brochures, and locals are happy to keep it that way. Schaefer’s (aka “Schaefer & Rusich Seafood”) is the place to go to carry out a sack of truly perfect boiled crawfish, with all the fixins like corn, mushrooms, potatoes, and sausage. It also has “Hot” boudin available as well, though the quotes on that are certainly mysterious.

Frankie & Johnny's

Frankie & Johnny's

Uptown
Another local favorite recently reopened and lovingly renovated from the once-sketchy shack it used to be, Frankie & Johnny's is a great spot to get your crawfish on. It has a cool raw bar now, as well, and it’s very kid-friendly. 
 

Sal’s Seafood 

Marrero
No gourmet touches here: what you’ll find at Sal’s are picnic tables and paper plates, but really, what more do you need when you have piles of boiled crawfish and maybe a few oysters thrown in for good measure? 
 

Fisherman’s Cove 

Kenner
You’ll have to make your way out to Kenner (a suburb of a suburb) for the hot boiled action at FIsherman’s Cove, but 30 years of steady business say that it’s worth it. It’s close to the airport, which is convenient if you need crawfish on your way in or out of town. And unlike more rustic crawfish joints in NOLA, you can actually order online now, which is pretty sweet.

Flickr/Bee Collins

Big Fisherman Seafood 

Uptown
There aren’t tons of reliable spots for huge orders of boiled seafood to go (note, BF is only a market, not a restaurant), but this place has lines out the door once boiling time comes around. If you can’t wait to get them home, you can eat your crawfish in the little park nearby behind Breaux Mart... just don’t park in Breaux’s lot, or you’ll get the boot in no time. 
 

Deanie’s  Seafood 

Metairie/Bucktown and French Quarter
A longtime favorite for BBQ shrimp and boiled seafood, Deanie’s has a serious reputation when it comes to crawfish served by the sack. While it has a French Quarter location these days, you can also opt instead for the Bucktown location, where you can get your sacks to-go in its adjacent market and eat them picnic style right on the levee overlooking Lake Pontchartrain.
 

Bevi Seafood Co. 

Metairie
This “Metry” newcomer is getting all kinds of raves from locals when it comes to its chef-inspired seafood menu. Like other spots in town, it’s a combo seafood market, restaurant, and caterer, giving you three ways to enjoy its amazing mudbugs.

Superior Seafood

Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar

Uptown
Conveniently located right on “The Avenue,” getting to Superior is a cinch on the streetcar, if you happen to be staying Downtown. It’s a nice place for a seafood lunch or dinner, but don’t overlook its crawfish, which it also offers catering-style (“We’ll bring the boil to you!”) if you’re looking to have a party. 
 

J & J Seafood 

Gretna/West Bank
If you’re on the other side of the river, head to J & J’s for some super-juicy craws, not to mention pigs feet, boudin, turkey necks, and other fare. Just know that it’s take-out only, so you’d better have a place in mind to enjoy them before you head its way.

Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar

Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar

Kenner
Eat-in boiled crawfish in restaurants aren’t as easy to find in NOLA as takeout, but Harbor is there for you if you don’t want to get your car/yard/hotel room covered with mudbug guts. Old school, with wood-paneled walls, neon beer signs, and TVs at the bar, it’s a seafood “jernt”  in all the best ways. 
 

Perino's Boiling Pot 

Harvey
It’s got “Boiling Pot” right there in the name, so you know Perino’s is going to offer some serious mudbug action. The fried seafood baskets are also a great bet, if you or any member of your party is craw-ed out. 
 

Rivershack Tavern 

Old Jefferson
Located on River Rd right on the Mighty Mississippi, Rivershack is, you guessed it... a seafood shack on the river. If you like live music and plenty of drinkin’ with your mudbugs, as well as pool, darts, or video poker, this is the spot for you.

Flickr/Todd Sanders

Zimmer’s Seafood

Metairie
The po-boys at Zimmer’s are some of the finest in town, but it also has its crawfish game on point, too. And if you want crawfish bread with your crawfish (craw-ception!), you can make that happen, too. 
 

Somethin’ Else Cafe 

French Quarter
Seafood-loving visitors will love the fact that Somethin’ Else is very handily located right in the heart of the French Quarter. Almost as much as they’ll love the crawfish. There’s also the “Piggy Strips,” an alligator corn dog, and the cochon de lait to keep in mind. 
 

Zydeco’s Cajun Restaurant 

Belle Chase
Is it really worth the trek out to Belle Chase (on the West Bank) for boiled seafood? The answer, when it comes to Zydeco’s, is a resounding “yeah you right!” Bring friends, because the long picnic tables make sharing fun and easy. In addition to crawfish, it also offers boiled blue crabs, dungeness crabs, snow crabs, and Gulf shrimp if you really want to go to town.

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Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Seither's Seafood 279 Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA 70123

Though Seither’s is also known for its po-boys, as well as plenty of fried and blackened seafood, it’s worth a trip out to Harahan for its boiled craws. And if you’re not up for driving, you can find its crawfish at the Maple Leaf Bar on Sunday nights.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Cajun Brothers Seafood & Poboys 236 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

The Bros. will hook you up in Mid-City with outstanding crawfish (once mudbug season rolls around), and their spot is very conveniently located near awesome places to enjoy them (as well as tasty sammies and other ocean fare) al fresco, like Bayou St. John or City Park.

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3. Charles Seafood 8311 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA 70123

This Harahan spot has a killer seafood menu, but don’t overlook the Belle River boiled crawfish if you’ve got fingers looking to suck some heads and pinch some tails.

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4. Bevi Seafood Co. 4701 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001

Part seafood market and part restaurant, bare-bones, family-run Bevi features, well, a bevy of locally sourced seafood that focuses on four seasonal New Orleans specialties: crawfish, crab, shrimp, and oysters. In addition to these boiled Gulf Coast treats that reign supreme in NOLA, there's exceptional hot food, like from-scratch po-boys with fresh, homemade ingredients like smoked ham and slow-roasted beef (the fried shrimp with brown gravy and cheese is a favorite too), as well as platters of BBQ gulf shrimp, gumbo, and fried green tomatoes.

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5. Schaefer Seafood 1726 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA 70005

This Metairie seafood resto offers up a variety of tasty swimmers, but if you really want to try out their specialty, order up their boiled crawfish by the pound to take home.

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6. Frankie & Johnny's 321 Arabella St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

This Uptown jewel not only offers outstanding seafood and authentic Creole dishes, it also features a terrific happy hour including oysters, beer, wine, and cocktails.

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7. Sal's Seafood 315 W Loyola Dr, Marrero, LA 70072

There are no gourmet touches at this Marrero spot. What you’ll find at Sal’s are picnic tables and paper plates, but really, what more do you need when you have piles of boiled crawfish, and maybe a few oysters thrown in for good measure?

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8. Fisherman's Cove 3201 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065

Doing business for more than 30yrs, Fisherman's Cove is top-notch when it comes to ordering the freshest seafood.

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9. Big Fisherman Seafood 3301 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

These guys know fresh seafood better than just about anyone in the city. Stop by their market store to get fresh crawfish, shrimp, crab, oysters, all the best sides, and more.

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10. Deanie's Seafood 1713 Lake Ave, Metairie, LA 70005

This is the original Deanie's location and it's been serving the community of Bucktown a variety of fresh and filling seafood dishes for more than 50yrs.

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11. Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar 4338 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

Located in Uptown New Orleans, the name of this place tells you everything you need to know, except for the fact that they have sweet happy hours for both oysters and drinks. In fact, come late during the weekdays to get an extra special happy hour. Even though Superior is often frequented by tourists, you can carve out some bar space for you and your friends if you get to the bar early.

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12. J & J Seafood 632 Franklin Ave, Gretna, LA 70053

If you’re on the other side of the river, head to J & J’s for some super-juicy craws, not to mention pigs feet, boudin, turkey necks, and other fare. Just know that it’s take-out only, so you’d better have a place in mind to enjoy them before you head that way.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar 3203 Williams Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065

Eat-in boiled crawfish in restaurants aren’t as easy to find in NOLA as takeout, but Harbor is there for you if you don’t want to get your car/yard/hotel room splashed with mudbug guts, oyster shells, and butter/lemon juice. Old-school, with wood paneled walls, neon beer signs and TVs at the bar, it’s a seafood “jernt” in all the best ways.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Perino's Boiling Pot 3754 Westbank Expy, Harvey, LA 70058

It’s got “Boiling Pot” right there in the name, so you know Perino’s is going to offer some serious mudbug action. The fried seafood baskets are also a great bet, if you or any member of your party is craw-ed out.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Rivershack Tavern 3449 River Rd, Jefferson, LA 70121

Located on River Rd right on the Mighty Mississippi, Rivershack is, you guessed it... a seafood shack on the river. If you like live music and plenty of drinkin’ with your mudbugs, as well as pool, darts, and video poker, this is the spot for you.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. Zimmer's Seafood 4915 Saint Anthony Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122

The po-boys at Zimmer’s are some of the finest in town, but it also has its crawfish game on point, too. And if you want crawfish bread with your crawfish (craw-ception!), you can make that happen, too.

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17. Somethin' Else Café 620 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

This French Quarter haunt specializes in Cajun and Creole fare and "traditional elevated comfort food". And it certainly doesn't get more comfort food-esque than its chicken friend bacon.

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18. Zydeco's Cajun Restaurant 7010 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037

Sometimes you need to go a little far away to satisfy your Cajun cravings, and Zydeco’s is worth a trip across the river. Its fried fare is great, but make sure not to overlook the seasonal boiled seafood platters, especially when crawfish are in season (think late spring).

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