Whether you like your crustaceans coated in garlic and butter or spiced up with a classic Cajun kick, there’s a boil spot for you, as long as you don’t mind getting a little messy. Just get to pinching and peeling before spring is over!
Brooks Bassler’s chain offers casual Gulf grub with po-boys, gumbo, fried fish, and, when the season rolls around, crawfish. Choose between traditional Louisiana style with no added spices or Tex-Orleans made with garlic paste. Diners have the option to add unexpected sausage varieties like spicy alligator andouille to their corn and potatoes. Some go another route entirely, ordering Lloyd’s crawfish étouffée with red roux.
The LSU banners in this tiny wood shack are your first clue that this is the spot for authentic Louisiana-style mudbugs. The regular crawfish are packed with lemony and lightly spicy flavor, while the “lips swollen” version offers maximum heat. Both come with exceptionally smoky sausage, and are best washed down with a craft beer or frozen marg on the front porch. In a hurry? Hit the drive-thru.
606 E. 11th St. 713-880-3999
This is a friendly, no-frills spot offering a couple of TVs, inexpensive beer, and both Cajun and Viet-Cajun mudbugs. The garlic butter sauce is more garlicky than others you’ll find in town; as for heat, there’s multiple levels, starting with spicy and extra spicy (we’re cool with extra). Other seafood boils are also available. Still hungry? Tack on an order of fried catfish with a side of vegetable fried rice.
13480 Veterans Memorial Dr. 281-583-5507
Bring your own beer to this Cajun spot offering traditional crawfish with mix-ins like snow and king crab legs alongside Cajun-spiced fries and kid-friendly chicken-tender baskets. Try to score a picnic table seat on the covered patio, but beware: The place gets packed come peak season.
2210 Allen Genoa Rd. 713-378-4201
Chef/owner Trong Nguyen started offering mudbugs in mouth-numbing garlic butter more than a decade ago, just as that style was becoming a staple of
the Houston diet. An order of Viet-Cajun medium here is fiery enough, but don’t stop there: Nguyen’s eclectic menu includes the Vietnamese fried chicken dish com ga xa xiu and deeply delicious hot-pots like the lau duoi bo with oxtail. Come prepared to wait up to an hour—totally worth it.
11360 Bellaire Blvd. 281-988-8098
Nab a seat beneath the covered front patio of this standby for moderately fiery crawfish in rich garlic butter—the best choice here. Try green mussels for an alternative boil option. Elsewhere on the menu two grilled catfish with three jumbo shrimp, fried rice, and salad is a steal at just $13.
1910 Wilcrest Dr. 713-789-8288
This is the place for the ultimate Cajun crawfish fix thanks to an irresistibly mouth-burning Mr. Crawfish spice blend cooked into the mudbugs, post-meal washing station, bar, friendly service, and zydeco soundtrack. For a heartier meal, get the pasta Mardi Gras—shrimp, crawfish, and smoked sausage in étouffée sauce—red beans and rice, or redfish topped with étouffée.
19430 Hwy. 6. 281-489-7777
This family-run strip mall joint dishes out mudbugs in flavors including garlic butter, lemon pepper, Cajun, and Thai basil. An order of “mix all” combines everything but the Thai basil, with beautifully tangy, rich results. Tack on an order of the pork-and-shrimp fried rice and kick back in front of the TV with a beer or two.
10834 Beechnut St. 281-988-5870
Ford Fry’s buzzy restaurant is a love letter to Gulf vacations, so naturally you can order mudbugs on the patio during in-season weekends. The crustaceans here are doused in Creole seasoning with a numbingly peppery bite, and the spiced sausage is among the best you’ll find in a professional boil. Just add fries, La Lucha’s revelatory smoked oyster mayonnaise, and a beer.
1801 N. Shepherd Dr. 713-955-4765
Come here for an easygoing atmosphere, plenty of booze, and one heck of a special: $5.50-per-pound crawfish on weekends. The light Cajun variety has moderate heat and plenty of flavor. You’ll want to pair your order with a big ol’ boudin link for an extra $10.
2307 Ella Blvd. 713-701-9150