Updated March 11, 2011
It's time to feast. Here some places to order a pound or two or 10.
- Ragin' Cajun has been boiling mudbugs for 35 years and sells the highly seasoned critters by the bucket. (And mark your calendars now: The Sugar Land store will host its annual Bike & Bugs festival from noon-10 p.m. May 7 where it’ll raffle off a Harley-Davidson.)
- Floyd's Cajun Seafood is another Houston institution that built its reputation on spicy crawfish. Try it with an order of super-thin onion rings, and you’ve got a masterpiece of a meal.
- Mardi Gras Grill touts every Tuesday as Fat Tuesday, when crawfish and Hurricanes are both on special. And the spiffed up patio is just the place to be.
- Don't be discouraged. There's almost always a line waiting to get inside the no-frills Boiling Crab. One a growing number of Asian-owned crawfish shacks, the Boiling Crab offers boiled crawfish, blue crab, lobster and dungeness (when in season), all brought steaming hot to the table in big bags that are served picnic-style, directly on the table. Messy, messy goodness.
- The sprawling patio at Big Woodrow's is akin to a block party during crawfish season. And the beer is the coldest in town.
- Benno's on the Beach in Galveston can get crowded on the weekends during crawfish season. And that should tell
you much about the quality of the super casual cafe’s crustaceans.
- My favorite Sam's Boat is in Seabrook, where you have unobstructed views of Clear Lake. But all are good choices for alfresco dining. In addition to mounds of mudbugs, there’s terrific adult beverage specials ($2 pints on Tuesdays) if you time your visit right. And ask about happy-hour specials on hot boiled shrimp and oysters, too.
- You can't beat Outriggers in Seabrook for its laidback atmosphere and sunny deck overlooking the ship channel. Grab a spot on the patio, order a couple of pounds of crawfish and a peppery bloody Mary and watch the hordes on the Kemah Boardwalk from safely across Clear Creek Channel. Sweet.
- One of my new favorite spots is Hank's Cajun Crawfish. The original Bear Creek restaurant is in a converted Taco Bell and there’s another in New Chinatown, but I’m smitten with the new spot on far west Westheimer. Young, friendly servers make you feel at home. It’s even got a drive-through so you can get your bugs to go.