Best of Houston

Bigger Crawfish Are Here: A Roundup of Houston's 10 Best Mudbug Spots

We're at the part of the crawfish season when peeling becomes less laborious, where miniature-lobster-sized crustaceans replace the teensy mudbugs that filled your bucket just weeks ago. This is the perfect time to strap on a bib and stock up on moist towelettes for high-yield shell peeling.

Since our local fare is almost synonymous with Viet-infused anything, Vietnamese-Cajun spots dominate the roundup of crawfish joints that I've assembled. While Chinatown hosts the most abundant concentration of mudbug places in town, there are still plenty of longtime haunts that offer traditional spice mixes for the Louisiana natives who might protest any twist on traditional Cajun blends.

10. Ragin' Cajun (and Bayou City Seafood)

While plenty of food-critiquing locals and gourmands alike will dismiss these Richmond neighbors for their lack of hole-in-the-wall status, they offer consistently tasty crawfish with classic spice blends. An added bonus: Ragin' offers them in any season. You also won't want to miss the bread pudding à la mode at Ragin'. This rum-sauce-covered dessert makes even one pound of crawfish satisfy like an entire meal. And for a well-worth-it food coma, order a bowl of the chive-filled gumbo at Bayou to accompany your bugs.

9. Good Ole Boys

The sweetest-named spot on the list, this Katy Cajun favorite manages to pack a lot of flavor into its crawfish without overpowering the sweetness of the meat. The aroma that emanates from its boil hints at the flavorful but balanced Cajun spice mix that satisfies without setting your tongue ablaze. Plus, it's the best spot in this suburb, so Katy dwellers won't have to drive too far to satisfy their crawfish cravings.

8. BB's Cafe (all locations)

For inner loopers who are reading this at midnight, it's not too late to sate your appetite for bugs right now because this late-night favorite also serves up solid mudbugs with traditional spices. While crawfish are up for grabs well into the wee hours of the night you can only get them here while in season. The spice-averse will love this crawfish because it's milder without sacrificing flavor. Plus, BB's Cafe has good Louisiana beer on tap.

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Darla Guillen