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Buckets of seasoned seafood are displayed on a table at Nauti Crab.
Crawfish is just the beginning when it comes to Houston’s Viet-Cajun cuisine scene.
Rebekah Flores

16 Viet-Cajun Restaurants in Houston That Go Far Beyond Crawfish

Houston’s Viet-Cajun scene is brimming with spicy noodle dishes, signature crawfish dishes and seafood covered in Cajun and Vietnamese spices, and creative cuisine mash-ups like banh mi-po’ boy hybrids

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Crawfish is just the beginning when it comes to Houston’s Viet-Cajun cuisine scene.
| Rebekah Flores

“Viet-Cajun” may just be the best mash-up since brunch. Though mostly associated with crawfish boils, this distinct fusion extends beyond mudbugs. When Vietnamese immigrants fled to Louisiana in the 1970s, settling into their new home, they married elements of the Creole and Cajun cuisines with the flavors of Vietnam. From there, recipes that combined fresh seafood and Cajun seasonings with the balance of Asian spices like lemongrass and basil took on a life of its own.

People now flock to Houston’s Viet-Cajun restaurants during crawfish season for the spicy, butter garlic-soaked crawfish, but there are plenty of other dishes that keep places packed year-round. And with the city’s crawfish expected to experience some delays, it’s a perfect time to explore the many other offerings that Viet-Cajun yields. Craving gumbo but also want a banh mi, or longing for fried catfish with a side of Vietnamese egg rolls? These 15 places slinging Viet-Cajun dishes in the Houston area have you covered.

Don’t see your favorite Viet-Cajun spot? Shout it out in the comments.

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Cajju Seafood and Grill

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This family-owned and operated hidden gem in Katy has a little something for everyone. Start with the jalapeno frog legs and boudin balls for appetizers, and follow it up with Bo Kho, its Vietnamese beef stew that’s served with a fresh French baguette. The seafood boils come smothered in your choice of sauce but the house specialty — Cajju sauce — is the perfect blend of garlic butter, Cajun seasonings, and other secret ingredients.

Wild Cajun

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Another long-time staple for Viet-Cajun crawfish boils, Wild Cajun in Asiatown also boasts an extensive menu of combo platters and fried platters, plus a variety of Vietnamese specialty dishes and seafood dishes. Order the crawfish Cajun udon or the Cajun shrimp noodle for something out of the ordinary.

Nauti Crab

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Though an import from New Jersey, this newer Viet-Cajun restaurant in the Briar Forest area, offers buckets of seafood boils with ranging levels of spice and flavors, like Nauti Cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper, and Old Bay. Best sellers include the roasted Dungeness crabs, its lobster stir fry, and rice dishes, including its seafood fried rice. Don’t be afraid to indulge in some East Coast favorites like the crabcakes or the crab fries, which are loaded with crab meat, Old Bay seasoning, and homemade mayo.

Ocean Crawfish

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Often a packed house at Ocean Crawfish in Asiatown, people come for the unique and reasonably priced seafood dishes that are full of flavors. Specialties include grilled finger snails with green onion butter and periwinkle snails sauteed in lemongrass, but those looking for Cajun dishes can find fried gator and a solid bowl of seafood gumbo, enjoyed best with an ice-cold beer, Michelada-style.

Reel Seafood & Bar

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Originally located in Missouri City, Reel Seafood & Bar moved to the Heights area in early 2023. Viet-Cajun-style crawfish, stir-fried crab legs, and oyster po boys are staples on the menu but you can’t go wrong with its fried bites, such as fried okra, green beans, mushrooms, gator bites, and crispy chicken skin. Chicken wings that come in 16 different flavors and combination baskets of catfish and shrimp pair well with a frozen margarita, sake, or beer on tap.

Crawfish & Noodles

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James Beard Award finalist Trong Nguyen’s Crawfish & Noodles has become one of the most well-known spots for Viet-Cajun crawfish. But it also serves up a variety of dishes that’ll keep you intrigued in the off-season. Enjoy raw oysters and fried seafood, a sweet and savory salt and pepper shrimp, and Vietnamese specialties such as Muc Chien Gion, fried calamari tossed in Chef Trong’s special seasoning blend. A second location at the Houston Farmer’s Markets brings bold flavors to the Heights area.

Crawfish & Beignets

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What started as a stall in the food court of Hong Kong City Mall has become one of Houston’s original go-to restaurants for Viet-Cajun crawfish and more. Now located in Asiatown’s Dynasty Plaza, it continues to offer a spin on classic Creole dishes, including boudin eggrolls and catfish po-boys, plus pillowy beignets for dessert.

South x Saigon

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Chef Skip Nguyen offers Vietnamese and Cajun comfort foods with a Southern twist at this Viet-Cajun hotspot in Westchase. Get gumbo, wings, and hush puppies alongside Vietnamese egg rolls, frog legs, and coconut snails. Those looking for a true mash-up of flavors will find it in the Saigon Pan Roast, a tomato-based stew with shrimp, sausage, and crab meat, or the Banh Boy, a delectable combo of a traditional po-boy and banh mi.

At her Montrose restaurant, Chef Nikki Tran has created cuisine she deems as “Viejun — a personal spin that combines the Viet-Cajun flavors she came to love while living in Houston and the traditional recipes of her Vietnamese roots. A favorite on the menu is the Viejun seafood boil, which comes with the choice of king crab or langoustines tossed in the house Viet Cajun sauce, plus complements like corn and potatoes. The Viejun Pho is an amalgamation of culture that brings together shrimp, escargots, and King crab in a hearty and spicy Cajun sauce broth.

Saigon House

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Chef Tony Nguyen started Saigon House in Midtown in 2017 but even when it closed, he continued to share his version of Viet-Cajun by opening the FM 1960 location. Fans of his crawfish drenched in the signature garlic butter sauce he calls Bang Sauce, still make their way there every crawfish season. The daily menu still keeps people happy during the off-season as they tuck into the Viet-Tex pho with Texas oak-smoked brisket in oxtail broth and Viet-Cajun pasta dishes such as the Mardi Gras Mac N Cheese with crawfish, shrimp, chicken, and sausage.

Bluewave Seafood

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Located in a strip center along Veterans Memorial, the casual and spacious restaurant serves an array of Cajun-style fried and boiled seafood but the main attraction is the impressive variety of Vietnamese-style seafood dishes ranging from razor clams and cockles to escargot and conch. There’s even a selection of Lau, Vietnamese hot pot brimming with seafood.

Boiling Dragon

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Owner and chef Harold Wong’s Pearland neighborhood restaurant isn’t just Viet-Cajun — it’s more accurately described as “Asian-Cajun.” Alongside boiled seafood options of crawfish, shrimp, and snow crab, the menu includes boudin balls, Korean tacos, bao, and bulgogi fries.

Crazy Cajun

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This seafood vendor inside the Post Houston satisfies Downtown patrons’ crawfish cravings and Viet-Cajun specialties year-round. The dark roux seafood gumbo; buckets of crawfish, shrimp, and oysters; and fried rice are packed with flavor, and the loaded oyster nachos make for a fun food hall snack.

Cajun Craven

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A family-run business located on Beamer, the Cajun Craven has been serving Viet-Cajun dishes for over 15 years. Locals flock there during crawfish season, opting to go with the Craven-style sauce that blends garlic butter and Cajun seasonings, and extra spicy for those who can handle it. When it’s not in season, it stays busy dishing out classics like boudin, gumbo, and po-boys along with expertly fried Vietnamese eggrolls and whole flounder.

Black Bayou

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Located in a former Whataburger (true Texans will surely recognize the building), Black Bayou is a local Baytown favorite for solid Viet Cajun and Creole offerings like its boudin egg rolls and the jalapeño bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizers. The namesake Black Bayou Shrimp entree — plated with jumbo shrimp sauteed in Cajun garlic butter sauce served on top of crawfish fried rice — is the definition of Viet-Cajun and should not to be missed.

Viet Cajun

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The name says it all. Located in a strip mall across from the Galveston seawall, this casual restaurant is the ideal place to get fresh boiled Viet-Cajun seafood at any time. The menu also runs the gamut, with boudin balls, crab cakes, and burgers, along with vermicelli bowls and steaming bowls of pho. The loaded fries — topped with marinated beef, onions, cilantro, Ranch, spicy aioli, Hot Cheetos, and a sunny-side-up egg — is worth the trip itself.

Cajju Seafood and Grill

This family-owned and operated hidden gem in Katy has a little something for everyone. Start with the jalapeno frog legs and boudin balls for appetizers, and follow it up with Bo Kho, its Vietnamese beef stew that’s served with a fresh French baguette. The seafood boils come smothered in your choice of sauce but the house specialty — Cajju sauce — is the perfect blend of garlic butter, Cajun seasonings, and other secret ingredients.

Wild Cajun

Another long-time staple for Viet-Cajun crawfish boils, Wild Cajun in Asiatown also boasts an extensive menu of combo platters and fried platters, plus a variety of Vietnamese specialty dishes and seafood dishes. Order the crawfish Cajun udon or the Cajun shrimp noodle for something out of the ordinary.

Nauti Crab

Though an import from New Jersey, this newer Viet-Cajun restaurant in the Briar Forest area, offers buckets of seafood boils with ranging levels of spice and flavors, like Nauti Cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper, and Old Bay. Best sellers include the roasted Dungeness crabs, its lobster stir fry, and rice dishes, including its seafood fried rice. Don’t be afraid to indulge in some East Coast favorites like the crabcakes or the crab fries, which are loaded with crab meat, Old Bay seasoning, and homemade mayo.

Ocean Crawfish

Often a packed house at Ocean Crawfish in Asiatown, people come for the unique and reasonably priced seafood dishes that are full of flavors. Specialties include grilled finger snails with green onion butter and periwinkle snails sauteed in lemongrass, but those looking for Cajun dishes can find fried gator and a solid bowl of seafood gumbo, enjoyed best with an ice-cold beer, Michelada-style.

Reel Seafood & Bar

Originally located in Missouri City, Reel Seafood & Bar moved to the Heights area in early 2023. Viet-Cajun-style crawfish, stir-fried crab legs, and oyster po boys are staples on the menu but you can’t go wrong with its fried bites, such as fried okra, green beans, mushrooms, gator bites, and crispy chicken skin. Chicken wings that come in 16 different flavors and combination baskets of catfish and shrimp pair well with a frozen margarita, sake, or beer on tap.

Crawfish & Noodles

James Beard Award finalist Trong Nguyen’s Crawfish & Noodles has become one of the most well-known spots for Viet-Cajun crawfish. But it also serves up a variety of dishes that’ll keep you intrigued in the off-season. Enjoy raw oysters and fried seafood, a sweet and savory salt and pepper shrimp, and Vietnamese specialties such as Muc Chien Gion, fried calamari tossed in Chef Trong’s special seasoning blend. A second location at the Houston Farmer’s Markets brings bold flavors to the Heights area.

Crawfish & Beignets

What started as a stall in the food court of Hong Kong City Mall has become one of Houston’s original go-to restaurants for Viet-Cajun crawfish and more. Now located in Asiatown’s Dynasty Plaza, it continues to offer a spin on classic Creole dishes, including boudin eggrolls and catfish po-boys, plus pillowy beignets for dessert.

South x Saigon

Chef Skip Nguyen offers Vietnamese and Cajun comfort foods with a Southern twist at this Viet-Cajun hotspot in Westchase. Get gumbo, wings, and hush puppies alongside Vietnamese egg rolls, frog legs, and coconut snails. Those looking for a true mash-up of flavors will find it in the Saigon Pan Roast, a tomato-based stew with shrimp, sausage, and crab meat, or the Banh Boy, a delectable combo of a traditional po-boy and banh mi.

Kau Ba

At her Montrose restaurant, Chef Nikki Tran has created cuisine she deems as “Viejun — a personal spin that combines the Viet-Cajun flavors she came to love while living in Houston and the traditional recipes of her Vietnamese roots. A favorite on the menu is the Viejun seafood boil, which comes with the choice of king crab or langoustines tossed in the house Viet Cajun sauce, plus complements like corn and potatoes. The Viejun Pho is an amalgamation of culture that brings together shrimp, escargots, and King crab in a hearty and spicy Cajun sauce broth.

Saigon House

Chef Tony Nguyen started Saigon House in Midtown in 2017 but even when it closed, he continued to share his version of Viet-Cajun by opening the FM 1960 location. Fans of his crawfish drenched in the signature garlic butter sauce he calls Bang Sauce, still make their way there every crawfish season. The daily menu still keeps people happy during the off-season as they tuck into the Viet-Tex pho with Texas oak-smoked brisket in oxtail broth and Viet-Cajun pasta dishes such as the Mardi Gras Mac N Cheese with crawfish, shrimp, chicken, and sausage.

Bluewave Seafood

Located in a strip center along Veterans Memorial, the casual and spacious restaurant serves an array of Cajun-style fried and boiled seafood but the main attraction is the impressive variety of Vietnamese-style seafood dishes ranging from razor clams and cockles to escargot and conch. There’s even a selection of Lau, Vietnamese hot pot brimming with seafood.

Boiling Dragon

Owner and chef Harold Wong’s Pearland neighborhood restaurant isn’t just Viet-Cajun — it’s more accurately described as “Asian-Cajun.” Alongside boiled seafood options of crawfish, shrimp, and snow crab, the menu includes boudin balls, Korean tacos, bao, and bulgogi fries.

Crazy Cajun

This seafood vendor inside the Post Houston satisfies Downtown patrons’ crawfish cravings and Viet-Cajun specialties year-round. The dark roux seafood gumbo; buckets of crawfish, shrimp, and oysters; and fried rice are packed with flavor, and the loaded oyster nachos make for a fun food hall snack.

Cajun Craven

A family-run business located on Beamer, the Cajun Craven has been serving Viet-Cajun dishes for over 15 years. Locals flock there during crawfish season, opting to go with the Craven-style sauce that blends garlic butter and Cajun seasonings, and extra spicy for those who can handle it. When it’s not in season, it stays busy dishing out classics like boudin, gumbo, and po-boys along with expertly fried Vietnamese eggrolls and whole flounder.

Black Bayou

Located in a former Whataburger (true Texans will surely recognize the building), Black Bayou is a local Baytown favorite for solid Viet Cajun and Creole offerings like its boudin egg rolls and the jalapeño bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizers. The namesake Black Bayou Shrimp entree — plated with jumbo shrimp sauteed in Cajun garlic butter sauce served on top of crawfish fried rice — is the definition of Viet-Cajun and should not to be missed.

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Viet Cajun

The name says it all. Located in a strip mall across from the Galveston seawall, this casual restaurant is the ideal place to get fresh boiled Viet-Cajun seafood at any time. The menu also runs the gamut, with boudin balls, crab cakes, and burgers, along with vermicelli bowls and steaming bowls of pho. The loaded fries — topped with marinated beef, onions, cilantro, Ranch, spicy aioli, Hot Cheetos, and a sunny-side-up egg — is worth the trip itself.

Related Maps