Here Are Houston’s 15 Best Crawfish Dishes

There may be a good two months left in this year’s crayfish season. And as we go down the wire, you’ll find heaps of crawfish broth bubbling all over the Greater Houston area.

But what if you’re one of those people who loves crawfish but not the laborious and messy ritual of peeling, squeezing and sucking? Fear not, you won’t be left out in the mudbug madness. Houston restaurants serve crawfish dishes beyond the traditional boil. Whether it’s fried tails, pasta, enchiladas or empanadas, there are plenty of ways – some inventive, some downright elegant – to enjoy our favorite seasonal critters. Here are some of our favorite crayfish presentations:

Ragin’ Cajun (picture above)

The Richmond restaurant that brought crayfish to the boil in Houston has a variety of crawfish dishes on its menu (in addition to one of the best boils in town), including crawfish stew and pasta with Lafouche seafood with prawns and crayfish tails in Alfredo sauce. But his fried crayfish tail po’boy is a stunner: a traditional French baguette filled with hot fried tails and seasoned with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mayonnaise. 4302 Richmond; ragin-cajun.com

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at Winnie’s

Winnie’s pays homage to the cuisines of Louisiana and Texas with its pimento cheese queso dip topped with blackened crawfish tails.at Winnie’s

Midtown Bar and Restaurant pays homage to the cuisines of Louisiana and Texas with its pimento cheese queso dip topped with blackened crawfish tails, served with tortilla chips. 3622 Main; winnieshouston.com

To know :

Knowledge in the Heights offers blackened gnocchi with crayfish sauce and etouffee sausages.
Knowledge in the Heights offers blackened gnocchi with crayfish sauce and etouffee sausages.To know

Heights Restaurant pays homage to the beloved mudbug with a seasonal dish of blackened gnocchi in crawfish sauce and andouille etoufe. 1344 Yale; knowhouston.com

Brennan from Houston

New this season at Brennan's of Houston is Crawfish Squared (cornbread and crawfish pudding with sautéed crawfish tails and Nantua crawfish sauce topped with roasted merliton).
New this season at Brennan’s of Houston is Crawfish Squared (cornbread and crawfish pudding with sautéed crawfish tails and Nantua crawfish sauce topped with roasted merliton).Lexie Brenan

Crawfish dishes dominate the Houston classic, including grilled pork chop with crawfish and cornbread pudding; crawfish enchiladas; crayfish patties topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce; and the new Crawfish Squared (cornbread and crawfish pudding with sautéed crawfish tails and Nantua crawfish sauce topped with roasted merliton). 3300 Smith; brennanshouston.com

Turkey Leg Hut

Turkey Leg Hut's signature slow-smoked turkey thigh options included topped with Cajun crawfish macaroni and cheese.
Turkey Leg Hut’s signature slow-smoked turkey thigh options included topped with Cajun crawfish macaroni and cheese.Turkey Leg Hut

The Festival Palace in the Museum Quarter does everything big, and that goes for its slow-smoked turkey legs. One of the most jaw-dropping (and jaw-dropping) presentations is the turkey leg topped with Cajun crawfish macaroni and cheese. 4830 Almeda; theturkeyleghut.com

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Willie’s Grill & Cooler

Willie's Grill & Icehouse restaurants offer a basket of fried tails and fries served with cocktail and tartar sauces and lemon wedges.
Willie’s Grill & Icehouse restaurants offer a basket of fried tails and fries served with cocktail and tartar sauces and lemon wedges.Willie’s Grill & Cooler

The house fried seafood platter includes fried catfish, Gulf shrimp and crayfish tails. But if you want to focus on the crawfish, opt for the basket of fried tails and fries with cocktail and tartar sauces and lemon wedges. Multiple locations in the Houston area; williesgrillandicehouse.com

BB Lemon

BB Lemon's weekend brunch includes potato and crawfish hash topped with poached eggs and blackened Hollandaise sauce.
BB Lemon’s weekend brunch includes potato and crawfish hash topped with poached eggs and blackened Hollandaise sauce.Bonner Rhae

Restaurateur Benjamin Berg’s tavern on the Washington Corridor offers crawfish hash for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Potato and crawfish hash is topped with poached eggs and blackened Hollandaise sauce. 1809Washington; bblemon.com

Pier 6 Seafood and Oyster House

Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon celebrates the season with crawfish empanadas.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon celebrates the season with crawfish empanadas.Lacy Creek

The San Leon hotspot gets into the crawfish feast with its special off-menu chef of crawfish empanadas. The appetizer includes creamy crawfish tails and Pepper Jack cheese in puff pastry. 113 6th St., San Leon; pier6seafood.com

State kitchen and bar

State Fare Kitchen & Bar's weekend brunch menu includes Crawfish & Creole Benedict: fried crayfish tails and poached eggs on etoufée-covered French bread.
State Fare Kitchen & Bar’s weekend brunch menu includes Crawfish & Creole Benedict: fried crayfish tails and poached eggs on etoufée-covered French bread.State Tariff

The restaurant with a Texas comfort food menu features Crawfish & Creole Benedict on its Saturday and Sunday brunch menu. Fried crawfish tails and poached eggs on French bread are smothered in suffocate and served with hash browns. 947 Gessner and 15930 City Walk in Sugar Land; statefaretx.com

monkey tail

Monkey's Tail offers crawfish and shrimp and crawfish enchiladas during Lent.  They are made with homemade ground corn tortillas and topped with Cajun cream sauce and cheese.
Monkey’s Tail offers crawfish and shrimp and crawfish enchiladas during Lent. They are made with homemade ground corn tortillas and topped with Cajun cream sauce and cheese.monkey tail

Until Easter Sunday, the Lindale Park neighborhood bar and restaurant offers crawfish, shrimp and crawfish enchiladas made with homemade corn tortillas and topped with Cajun cream sauce and cheese. 5802 Fulton; monkeystailhou.com

The photos of Arnaldo Richards

Arnaldo Richards' Picos restaurant marks crawfish season with crawfish enchiladas: fresh corn tortillas filled with sautéed crawfish and smothered in creamy chipotle sauce and Chihuahua cheese.
Arnaldo Richards’ Picos restaurant marks crawfish season with crawfish enchiladas: fresh corn tortillas filled with sautéed crawfish and smothered in creamy chipotle sauce and Chihuahua cheese.Peaks

Iconic Picos celebrates crawfish season with crawfish enchiladas: fresh corn tortillas filled with sautéed crawfish and smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce and Chihuahua cheese, served with Mexican rice and sautéed spinach. 3601 Kirby; picos.net

Piggy’s kitchen and bar

Cast Iron Cheesy Crawfish Cornbread Made to Order at Piggy's Kitchen & Bar is a hot skillet of cornbread stuffed with crawfish, peppers, cheese, Creole seasoning and butter.
Cast Iron Cheesy Crawfish Cornbread Made to Order at Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar is a hot skillet of cornbread stuffed with crawfish, peppers, cheese, Creole seasoning and butter.Piggy’s kitchen and bar

The Terrace Bar with an inviting pub fare menu created Piggy’s Cast Iron Cheesy Crawfish Cornbread, a hot skillet of cornbread stuffed with crayfish, peppers, cheese, Creole seasoning and butter. It’s made to order. 3412 W.Lamar; piggyskitchen.com

Cactus Cove Bar & Grill

Cactus Cove Bar & Grill offers crawfish macaroni and cheese made with boiled fresh crawfish tails and cheese queso.
Cactus Cove Bar & Grill offers crawfish macaroni and cheese made with boiled fresh crawfish tails and cheese queso.cactus cove

The Creek Group’s comfort food draft house offers seasonal crawfish porridge in addition to its crawfish macaroni and cheese made with boiled fresh crawfish tails and cheese queso. 3333 W. 11th; cactuscovehouston.com

Barbecue Blood Bros.

The Blood Bros.  BBQ features a seasoned seafood dip: a creamy blend of cheese with shrimp, chunk crab and crayfish, topped with a hot link crumble and green onions.
The Blood Bros. BBQ features a seasoned seafood dip: a creamy blend of cheese with shrimp, chunk crab and crayfish, topped with a hot link crumble and green onions.Barbecue Blood Bros.

Bellaire BBQ Restaurant offers a variety of daily specials and for crawfish season there are two specials: crawfish toast and a seasoned seafood dip created by Sous Chef Bao Nguyen. The cheese dip combines shrimp, chunk crab and crawfish and is topped with a hot link crumble and green onions. 5425 Bellaire; bloodbrosbbq.com

street cafe

The Backstreet Café offers an artichoke bottom stuffed with crayfish, mushrooms, piquillo pepper and lemon butter.
The Backstreet Café offers an artichoke bottom stuffed with crayfish, mushrooms, piquillo pepper and lemon butter.Paula Murphy

The classic River Oaks features an artichoke bottom stuffed with crawfish, mushrooms, piquillo pepper and lemon butter. A stylish way to enjoy crayfish season. 1103 S. Berger; backstreetcafe.net

Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him topical tips at [email protected] Listen to him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn more about barbecue culture in Houston and Texas.

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