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A Map of Where to Get Your Gumbo Fix

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BB's Café
| Gary Wise/ Flickr

Food holidays often go unnoticed by most food lovers who consider every day a different dish's celebration, but when local spots are upping their game because of say, National Gumbo Day, it does make us take notice. When Eater learned that Liberty Kitchen is serving a special smoked duck gumbo for the occasion this Saturday (October 12), it got us thinking about the best in town. What makes a good gumbo really varies from person to person. At its core is roux, a fat and flour mixture used as a thickening agent. It's what determines if a gumbo is dense and "muddy" or thinner and broth-based (usually with more beer than roux). Each place on the map usually does a thinner or thicker version, but they're all hearty and satisfying.

From muddy, roux-based stews to thinner, lighter variations, these are the gumbo spots you should visit — Gumbo Day or not. As always, let us know if we missed your favorite spot.


· October Essential 38 Map [-EHOU-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Danton's

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4611 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX
Thick, roux-based gumbo awaits at this Houston classic. It's almost nutty and smoky with the rice helping to break up the intense flavors. Easily one of the best in Houston.

2. Captain Tom's Seafood & Oyster

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20525 Katy Fwy
Katy, TX 77450
(281) 829-6407
We recently added this spot to our Essential 38, and it was in great part due to the gumbo they serve up. The crab often disintegrates in the stew, thickening the gumbo with the sweet meat of the claws.

3. Bayou City Seafood & Pasta

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4730 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 621-6602
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Filled with chives and crab, the seafood gumbo here is balanced and flavorful. It's not the ultra dense, muddy kind that some prefer, but it's always a must-order dish here.

4. The Cajun Stop

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2130 Jefferson St
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 222-8333
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Once known as Calliope's, it's name changed late last year due to some legal trouble. Some locals might prefer the rice and beans with their fish at this East End classic, but its the gumbo that's a perfect side here. It's balanced, not as dense and opaque as some others on the list. This is the spot for those who prefer more oysters than crab in their stew.

5. Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

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1050 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 802-0531
The Heights-area restaurant serves a ton of great seafood, but it's the oysters that are most popular here. The gumbo is topped with fried oysters, which adds some bite to your stew. The fried bits add enough texture to make this gumbo memorable and addictive.

6. BB's Cajun Cafe

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2710 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 524-4499
The po-boys are always a highlight here, but you should always start your order with a cup of seafood gumbo. It's not too chocolate brown, but it's thick enough to satisfy and thin enough to leave you ready for a fried shrimp sandwich. Plus, the hours are hard to beat at this late-night spot.

7. Gumbo Bar

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2105 Post Office Street
Galveston, TX 77550
If you're in Galveston and have had your fill of Gilhooley's oysters, this might be next place to check out for its massive gumbo portions. Locals swear by it.

8. Goode Company Seafood - Westpark

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2621 Westpark Dr
Houston, TX
(713) 523-7154
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Another Houston staple, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention one of the best classic gumbos in town. Tons of crab, thinner roux and topped with chives.

9. Calliope's

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7590 West Bellfort Avenue
Houston, TX 77071
(713) 773-2099
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This is one spot where seafood gumbo is almost out-shined by the sausage stew. It's smoky and spicy and highly addictive.

10. Treebeards

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315 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 228-2622
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Another local favorite, this spot's sausage and chicken gumbo is almost as good as its seafood bowl but not nearly as special as its duck gumbo. That one is only served on particular days of the week, so plan accordingly.

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1. Danton's

4611 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX
Thick, roux-based gumbo awaits at this Houston classic. It's almost nutty and smoky with the rice helping to break up the intense flavors. Easily one of the best in Houston.
4611 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX

2. Captain Tom's Seafood & Oyster

20525 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77450
We recently added this spot to our Essential 38, and it was in great part due to the gumbo they serve up. The crab often disintegrates in the stew, thickening the gumbo with the sweet meat of the claws.
20525 Katy Fwy
Katy, TX 77450

3. Bayou City Seafood & Pasta

4730 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027
Filled with chives and crab, the seafood gumbo here is balanced and flavorful. It's not the ultra dense, muddy kind that some prefer, but it's always a must-order dish here.
4730 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77027

4. The Cajun Stop

2130 Jefferson St, Houston, TX 77003
Once known as Calliope's, it's name changed late last year due to some legal trouble. Some locals might prefer the rice and beans with their fish at this East End classic, but its the gumbo that's a perfect side here. It's balanced, not as dense and opaque as some others on the list. This is the spot for those who prefer more oysters than crab in their stew.
2130 Jefferson St
Houston, TX 77003

5. Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar

1050 Studewood St, Houston, TX 77008
The Heights-area restaurant serves a ton of great seafood, but it's the oysters that are most popular here. The gumbo is topped with fried oysters, which adds some bite to your stew. The fried bits add enough texture to make this gumbo memorable and addictive.
1050 Studewood St
Houston, TX 77008

6. BB's Cajun Cafe

2710 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
The po-boys are always a highlight here, but you should always start your order with a cup of seafood gumbo. It's not too chocolate brown, but it's thick enough to satisfy and thin enough to leave you ready for a fried shrimp sandwich. Plus, the hours are hard to beat at this late-night spot.
2710 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006

7. Gumbo Bar

2105 Post Office Street, Galveston, TX 77550
If you're in Galveston and have had your fill of Gilhooley's oysters, this might be next place to check out for its massive gumbo portions. Locals swear by it.
2105 Post Office Street
Galveston, TX 77550

8. Goode Company Seafood - Westpark

2621 Westpark Dr, Houston, TX
Another Houston staple, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention one of the best classic gumbos in town. Tons of crab, thinner roux and topped with chives.
2621 Westpark Dr
Houston, TX

9. Calliope's

7590 West Bellfort Avenue, Houston, TX 77071
This is one spot where seafood gumbo is almost out-shined by the sausage stew. It's smoky and spicy and highly addictive.
7590 West Bellfort Avenue
Houston, TX 77071

10. Treebeards

315 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
Another local favorite, this spot's sausage and chicken gumbo is almost as good as its seafood bowl but not nearly as special as its duck gumbo. That one is only served on particular days of the week, so plan accordingly.
315 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

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