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A white bowl holds a piece of quail on a bed of crawfish. A whole crawfish sits on top.
The crawfish stuffed quail at Brennan’s Houston.
Captiv Creative

11 Excellent Cajun and Creole Restaurants Around Houston

Where to find the city’s finest gumbo, po’ boys, and so much more 

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The crawfish stuffed quail at Brennan’s Houston.
| Captiv Creative

With Louisiana only a few hours away and the Gulf of Mexico connecting us, Creole and Cajun culture are an influential part of Houston’s food scene. People of Creole and Cajun descent have moved to Houston for centuries, with a large influx after the Great Mississippi Flood in 1927 and after Hurricane Katrina. They settled in the Fifth Ward, also known as Frenchtown, and in Barrett Station, which was settled by a former Louisiana slave.

As for what makes a dish Creole or Cajun, to keep it super simple: Cajun food is more country and uses lots of seasoning (like sassafras or peppers), while Creole food is a fusion with influences from France, African, Indigenous American and Spanish. The easiest to spot difference is that Creole food uses tomatoes while Cajun does not.

In modern cuisine, many restaurants combine the two. Houston has plenty of Creole-Cajun restaurants. When the mood strikes for gumbo, boudin, cracklin, or Cajun hibachi, here are all of the places to know.

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Gatlin's Fins & Feathers

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With a menu focused on Houston and Louisiana’s merge of culture and cuisine, this restaurant showcases what Gulf Coast dining is all about. Try its New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, chargrilled oysters, or the Everything Gumbo. Also noteworthy is the H-Town Hot Sandwich finished with a Viet-Cajun hot sauce.

The Best Stop Cajun Market

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Newly opened Best Stop Katy is making waves with its chicken cracklin. Originating out of Scott, Louisiana, this is a classic meat market experience where guests can purchase specialty meats and hot meals including crab burgers, a bowl red beans and rice with sausage, and fried pork chops.

Hebert's Specialty Meat

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Stop by Herbert’s Specialty Meat Store, a Louisiana-style meat market with daily Cajun lunch plate specials. From po’boys to boudin egg rolls, the menu is filled with items that can also be purchased frozen in its fridges. Before walking out, grab a stuffed chicken to cook for dinner.

Gotti's

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Cajun and Creole flavors are sprinkled throughout the menu here in dishes such as the crawfish empanadas and blackened shrimp and grits, as well as its boiled seafood. Pro-tip: start the dining experience at this spot with a cup of Big Mama’s Cajun Gumbo.

Brennan's of Houston

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Brennan’s is the sister restaurant to New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace, and it has been serving Houstonians for over 50 years. This elegant Creole eatery is known for classic Creole favorites including Gulf Fish Pontchartrain, a loaded seafood dish with lump crab, Louisiana oysters, shrimp, parmesan mushroom rice, and Brennan’s own butter. Other notable dishes are the Shrimp Chippewa, served flambe tableside, and its iconic sherry-finished snapping turtle soup.

Chef Drake Leonard has brought his hometown of Eunice, Louisiana to Houston at Eunice. The menu includes a modern twist on traditional dishes such as Court-Bullion Grand Mere, a thick tomato based stew made with roux that has poached gulf fish, shrimp, oysters and served with scallion rice.

Stick Talk Cajun-Hibachi

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At Stick Talk, Cajun ingredients and Japanese-style cuisine come together. Try the Yacht Club combo plate with lobster, salmon, shrimp, and crawfish tails or the seafood egg rolls filled with crawfish, shrimp, and a three-cheese sauce.

Creole Kitchen and Daiquiris

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Creole food and daiquiris go hand in hand at Creole Kitchen & Daiquiris. It serves Creole classics, including the Gumbo Jeaux and etouffee. It also has dishes that will become your new Creole favorites, such as the Creole Heaven — a fried catfish filet on top of seafood cornbread dressing that is smothered in crawfish etouffee.

Sleepy's Po-Boys

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Sleepy’s Po’Boys serves New Orleans-style food, from yaka mein to gumbo. It puts an emphasis on po’boy for a reason — the stuffed shrimp boudin and hot sausage po’boys are sure to get you right. Its other location on Houston’s northwest side has expanded to offer brunch and happy hour.

Calliope's

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Among the wide selection of po’boys here, the po’boy with fried oysters or the surf and turf made with roast beef and gravy then topped with fried shrimp are the go-to orders to try.

Swamp Chicken Mo City

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Swamp Chicken Mo City has a taste of Louisiana with a modern twist. One of its most popular items are the boudin stuffed wings. The menu also features zydeco pasta (Cajun-style pasta with shrimp and sausage in a creamy sauce), gator tacos, and chicken fried chicken.

Gatlin's Fins & Feathers

With a menu focused on Houston and Louisiana’s merge of culture and cuisine, this restaurant showcases what Gulf Coast dining is all about. Try its New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, chargrilled oysters, or the Everything Gumbo. Also noteworthy is the H-Town Hot Sandwich finished with a Viet-Cajun hot sauce.

The Best Stop Cajun Market

Newly opened Best Stop Katy is making waves with its chicken cracklin. Originating out of Scott, Louisiana, this is a classic meat market experience where guests can purchase specialty meats and hot meals including crab burgers, a bowl red beans and rice with sausage, and fried pork chops.

Hebert's Specialty Meat

Stop by Herbert’s Specialty Meat Store, a Louisiana-style meat market with daily Cajun lunch plate specials. From po’boys to boudin egg rolls, the menu is filled with items that can also be purchased frozen in its fridges. Before walking out, grab a stuffed chicken to cook for dinner.

Gotti's

Cajun and Creole flavors are sprinkled throughout the menu here in dishes such as the crawfish empanadas and blackened shrimp and grits, as well as its boiled seafood. Pro-tip: start the dining experience at this spot with a cup of Big Mama’s Cajun Gumbo.

Brennan's of Houston

Brennan’s is the sister restaurant to New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace, and it has been serving Houstonians for over 50 years. This elegant Creole eatery is known for classic Creole favorites including Gulf Fish Pontchartrain, a loaded seafood dish with lump crab, Louisiana oysters, shrimp, parmesan mushroom rice, and Brennan’s own butter. Other notable dishes are the Shrimp Chippewa, served flambe tableside, and its iconic sherry-finished snapping turtle soup.

Eunice

Chef Drake Leonard has brought his hometown of Eunice, Louisiana to Houston at Eunice. The menu includes a modern twist on traditional dishes such as Court-Bullion Grand Mere, a thick tomato based stew made with roux that has poached gulf fish, shrimp, oysters and served with scallion rice.

Stick Talk Cajun-Hibachi

At Stick Talk, Cajun ingredients and Japanese-style cuisine come together. Try the Yacht Club combo plate with lobster, salmon, shrimp, and crawfish tails or the seafood egg rolls filled with crawfish, shrimp, and a three-cheese sauce.

Creole Kitchen and Daiquiris

Creole food and daiquiris go hand in hand at Creole Kitchen & Daiquiris. It serves Creole classics, including the Gumbo Jeaux and etouffee. It also has dishes that will become your new Creole favorites, such as the Creole Heaven — a fried catfish filet on top of seafood cornbread dressing that is smothered in crawfish etouffee.

Sleepy's Po-Boys

Sleepy’s Po’Boys serves New Orleans-style food, from yaka mein to gumbo. It puts an emphasis on po’boy for a reason — the stuffed shrimp boudin and hot sausage po’boys are sure to get you right. Its other location on Houston’s northwest side has expanded to offer brunch and happy hour.

Calliope's

Among the wide selection of po’boys here, the po’boy with fried oysters or the surf and turf made with roast beef and gravy then topped with fried shrimp are the go-to orders to try.

Swamp Chicken Mo City

Swamp Chicken Mo City has a taste of Louisiana with a modern twist. One of its most popular items are the boudin stuffed wings. The menu also features zydeco pasta (Cajun-style pasta with shrimp and sausage in a creamy sauce), gator tacos, and chicken fried chicken.

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