It’s no secret Houstonites love to prepare and eat Cajun food. Whether it’s a backyard crawfish boil or dining out at one of the city’s many Pappadeaux locations, there are soul food and seafood restaurant options aplenty. With so much to choose from, though, it’s not so easy to boil down the top local spots for Cajun food on your own. With the help of Chron’s “12 classic Cajun restaurants in Houston” article, we’ve curated a list of top tier Cajun restaurants in The Bayou City so you can skip the digging and go straight to digging in!
Abe’s Cajun Market
This Clear Lake eatery has been serving up authentic Cajun food in Houston for over twenty years. Their menu has all the staples you’d expect from a Lake Charles family-owned restaurant, like fried okra, po-boys, and gumbo, but also serves unique dishes like Abe’s crawfish etouffee loaded potato! In addition to sit-down service, this soul food spot is a market that sells packs of sausage and boudin, quarts of Cajun specialties, and other take-home delicacies – grab your Thanksgiving Tur-Duc-Hens here! Open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week, this is one of the best Cajun restaurants in Houston to visit for a quick bite or grab something on-the-go. Abe’s has a casual, but unmistakably Cajun ambiance and there’s a convenient parking lot out front.
Chron writer Brooke Viggiano describes Acadian Cost as a “mash-up of Creole, Acadian and Houston influences,” and that’s a lot of delicious inspiration! Featuring entrees like Redfish Pontchartrain, Shrimp & Alligator Jambalaya, and Shrimp Brochette – a jumbo shrimp skewer served over Acadian Dirty Rice and House-Made BBQ sauce – you can taste the full Bayou region at this Cajun restaurant. There’s a great weekday executive lunch and on weekends, head over for a delicious Cajun food brunch served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Warning: there are five different beignet dishes. During popular meal times, it’s recommended to make reservations, but don’t stress about parking. Acadian Coast is in a strip center right on Navigation Boulevard with plenty of spots. You can also check their events page for Happy Hour info and other happenings, like the occasional Blues Brunch.
BB’s Tex Orleans
With over ten locations, BB’s Tex-Orleans is serving up all the crawfish Houston can eat! This local Cajun food staple delights diners with fried favorites, like catfish and oysters, traditional New Orleans fare like gumbo and crawfish etouffee, as well as salads, a variety of po’boys, and boiled crawfish, shrimp, and dungeness crab. With a unique mash-up of Texas and New Orleans style flavors you won’t find at other Houston-based cajun restaurants – think Cajun empanadas– get your taste buds excited about this one. For added Louisiana-style flare, they serve Abita in addition to other domestic and imported beer to wash down all the delicious seafood. According to Chron, the original location at Montrose and Westheimer keeps the kitchen open until the wee hours for those late-night Cajun cravings. All in all, they have a down home NOLA vibe that’s fun and casual with great eats to match.
- Montrose2710 Montrose Blvd A, Houston, TX 77006
- Upper Kirby3139 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77098
- Northside2701 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007
- Central1737 W 34th St #500, Houston, TX 77018
- Westside6154 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057
- Energy Corridor1275 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77077
- Katy406 W Grand Pkwy S #400, Katy, TX 77494
- Cypress26010 Hempstead Rd, Cypress, TX 77429
- Tomball21441 Tomball Pkwy, Houston, TX 77070
- Kingwood25635 US-59, Kingwood, TX 77339
- Pearland9719 Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77584
- Webster1039 Bay Area Blvd, Webster, TX 77598
The Boil House
The Boil House is one of the best Cajun restaurants in Houston if you’re searching for perfectly spiced Louisiana-style boiled crawfish. The menu is simple at this Cajun restaurant: there’s crawfish, shrimp, sides, and desserts – including everyone’s favorite New Orleans’ sweet, pralines. Chron warns that this spot is only open during crawfish season, but it makes sense considering that’s their expertise! This shack in the Heights is a seafood restaurant that feels like a party, with its outdoor picnic tables piled high with mudbugs like a real Cajun cookout. Walk, bike, or drive to this Cajun food canteen, which has designated parking spots and a community feel. Wet your whistle with their daiquiris, beers – both domestic and imported – or soft drinks all available on premise or to-go.
Brennan’s of Houston
Fine dining combined with Creole and Cajun food is what you’ll find at Brennan’s of Houston. Located on the corner of Stuart Street and 527, this is one of the more upscale Cajun restaurants in Houston where you can dress to impress and experience “top-of-its-class hospitality,” as Chron describes it. The food here is everything you’d expect from a high-end seafood restaurant, with offerings of snapping turtle soup (a New Orleans favorite), gumbo du jour, and shrimp remoulade. The entrees are plentiful – come hungry – but as seating is limited, reservations are recommended. Brennan’s is a beautiful, classic fine dining establishment perfect for special occasions and celebrations, or anytime you’re looking to treat yourself. Brunch service is offered Saturdays and Sundays, in case you need an excuse to have pecan pie a la mode with breakfast.
Esther’s Cajun Cafe & Soul Food
As one of twelve siblings and a mother of six, Chef Esther Lewis-Bernard knows about having mouths to feed, and family is a big inspiration for this Cajun restaurant in Independence Heights. The daily menu offers soul food plates complete with meat, rice, two sides, and cornbread: now that’s good eatin’! The weekend menu includes Cajun food specials like savory turkey wings or cajun chitterlings. Try one of “Queen E’s” signature cocktails along with some bar bites – we suggest the boudin egg rolls. Esther’s Cajun Cafe & Soul Food has a lot of personality, from their fun-loving family staff to their casual, but carefully-curated interior. Parking is tough because Esther’s is often packed, but the line moves quickly. Plus, it’s well worth the wait in both quality AND quantity: expect to be taking home leftovers!
Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine
This prim and proper Cajun restaurant near Montrose has an ornate dining room and a strict dress code, but it’s worth donning your top couture. This white tablecloth establishment serves up Cajun food fit for kings, like the spicy seafood courtbouillon or shrimp and grits Montrose. Don’t count them out on handhelds; they have po’boys and debris sandwiches that are out of this world. With Saturday brunch and happy hour six days a week, it’s always a good time to visit Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine with friends or family; their kids’ menu features youngster favorites. They offer food and drink to-go, including alcohol, but for those dining in, enjoy specialty cocktails, oyster shooters, and save room for dessert! And as you’d expect, Eugene’s has valet parking to go along with their chic Cajun atmosphere.
For a refined dining experience and stellar Cajun food, visit Eunice, one of Houston’s premier Cajun restaurants in Upper Kirby. The menu is seasonal, but always includes dishes inspired by Executive Chef Drake Leonards’ childhood that “marry European influences with the ingredients and foodways of the Gulf Coast.” Here you’ll find an impressive raw bar alongside creative, flavorful versions of New Orleans Style Gumbo, Cochon de Lait, and other Cajun food favorites. Reservations are recommended, especially for larger groups, and if you’re looking for a bright, beautiful space to celebrate a special occasion, Eunice has a decorative private dining room fit to seat up to twenty-four guests. Parking is available in the plaza garage – the restaurant will validate your ticket, just don’t forget to ask.
Self-proclaimed “a Texiana eatery,” Gumbo Jeaux’s combines Texas-style eats with the Cajun food flavors of Louisiana and the result is dynamite! Chron highlights how this Cajun restaurant near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport offers the best of both worlds with Creole and Cajun dishes served up in Southwest style taco form. They have a second location in Fairbanks and both sites serve up spicy, saucy fare in a fast-casual environment. This is the kind of place you can pop into anytime, no reservation required, and ample parking is available right in front. It might have a laid-back vibe, but Gumbo Jeaux’s takes their food seriously; they even carry an assortment of hot sauces for guests to choose from while dining. Don’t take our word for it though, stop in and get yourself some top tier Cajun food all at highly-reasonable prices.
Heads & Tails
Another casual spot to grab Cajun food in Houston is Heads & Tails, located in the Railway Heights food hall. Their comprehensive menu of delicious bites features perfectly-crispy fried catfish to scrumptious gumbos and blackened seafood po’boys. What’s fun about Railway Heights is making your own smorgasbord; pair Cajun creations with Mac & Twist before treating yourself to dessert at Churrazon! The team at Heads & Tails organizes community crawfish boils using their “VietCasian” style Boss Sauce, the region’s traditional garlic butter with a kick of Vietnamese spice. The seafood restaurant pros at Heads & Tails are available for catering if you want the joy of a family feast without the heavy lifting. If you’re visiting in person, there’s ample parking and fun for the whole family with a park, dog park, and biergarten, so make a day of it!
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
The infamous Pappas family seafood restaurant chain, Pappadeux, is serious about their Louisiana-style fare; Chron reports they have fresh fish being flown in daily! Locations are styled with an upscale sports-bar vibe, with large TV’s and wall-hung fish. Depending on the location, outdoor seating may be available; visit their website to choose your preferred restaurant’s available reservations and if the wait’s a bit long, you can usually squeeze in at their large bar. No matter which Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen you visit, expect high-quality Cajun food, from starters all the way through dessert. Fresh-shucked oysters, crispy alligator, “Louisiana” gumbo, and crawfish and shrimp etouffee are just some of the delicacies at this regionally-revered seafood restaurant, and be sure to order one of their infamous cocktails. With over ten locations in Houston, Pappadeaux ensures there’s always a high-quality Cajun restaurant near you!
- Mid West6015 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77057
- NRG2525 S Loop W, Houston, TX 77054
- Downtown1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX 77010
- Memorial City10499 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, Houston, TX 77024
- Westside12109 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077
- Stafford12711 US-59 S, Stafford, TX 77477
- Fairbanks13080 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040
- Willowbrook7110 Farm to Market 1960 Rd W, Houston, TX 77069
- Conroe18165 I-45 South, Conroe, TX 77385
Conveniently located on Richmond Avenue, Ragin’ Cajun is an authentic Louisiana-style kitchen that cooks some of the best Cajun food in H-Town. This seafood restaurant serves it up boiled, fried, and in classic Bayou dishes like etouffee and jambalaya. They also put a fun spin on traditional favorites, like their Creole stuffed jalapeños. Ragin’ Cajun is hard to miss – their exterior is bright red and adorned with a giant, light up crawfish on top! Parking is available right out front and for nights when you don’t feel like cooking, they offer family meals to go with servings for four or six – you choose – and if your family is the type to get loose, you can even take home frozen margaritas, hurricanes and swirls by the gallon. Laissez les bons temps rouler!