We citizens of the Best Coast know certain things are our birthright—things like glittering, golden tilefish and slate-blue crabs just hauled up from the Gulf, translucent shrimp that turn a feisty, furious coral shade as they plump up on the grill, and sweet oysters recently pulled from their beds, tasting of the ocean itself. It is our luck not only to live on the Gulf of Mexico but to have its bounty at our fingertips.

It’s also our luck to live here at a time when our food culture is stronger than ever. While Houstonia’s old-school seafood palaces continue to serve the great dishes of our coastal culinary heritage—campechanas de mariscos, fried shrimp, gumbo, redfish on the half shell—a new roster of restaurants has arrived eager to turn our understanding of Gulf seafood on its ear, proudly serving what was once considered “trash fish,” local appellation oysters, and fascinating dishes like amberjack ceviche and roasted oysters with pork belly.

For our guide to Gulf seafood, we’ve trawled Houstonia to bring you the best of these traditions, along with the best of our coastal culture—and what we must do to protect it. Because when it comes to seafood, we like to take a page out of the Goode family book and give some serious thought to thanking our lucky stars we’re in Texas…

In This Feature:

Houston’s Best Old-School and New-School Seafood Joints

From classic to cutting-edge, these 12 restaurants represent the Bayou City’s best of both worlds.

03/01/2016 By Katharine Shilcutt

The Perils of Taking Gulf Seafood for Granted

If you want to really eat local, it’s the last wild food you’ll find in abundance.

03/01/2016 By Alice Levitt

Catch of the Day: Houston’s 7 Best Seafood Markets

From Spring to Seabrook, here’s where to scoop up the best Gulf fish.

03/01/2016 By Alice Levitt

Ceviche City: Gulf Fish Goes Raw

What better way to enjoy fresh-from-the-water catches than in crudo form?

03/01/2016 By Alice Levitt

Cajun or Creole, Here’s Your Go-to Bowl of Gumbo

Where to find the best bowls of Houston’s favorite seafood stew.

03/01/2016 By Robb Walsh

Get the Good Kind of Raw Deals on Gulf Oysters

Want cheap and cheerful? Bottles of bubbly? We’ve got the right oyster bar for every personality.

03/01/2016 By Katharine Shilcutt

Cooked to Oyster

There’s a bright side for bivalve buffs who’d rather not eat oysters raw.

03/01/2016 By Katharine Shilcutt

Four Spots for the Freshest Fish in Galveston (and One in Bolivar!)

From the Strand to the Seawall, these are the top places to try coastal cuisine on the actual coast.

03/01/2016 By Robb Walsh

Heroes on the Half-Shell

The best way to cook redfish is also the easiest.

03/09/2016 By Nicholas L. Hall Illustrations by Kyle Fewell