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Where to Find Houston's Best Po'Boys When You're Missing NOLA

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Houston may sit six hours west of New Orleans, but southern Louisiana cooking is as easy to find within the Loop as beads on a Mardi Gras float and it doesn’t get much more authentic than a pile of fried seafood wedged into a crispy-chewy bread aka the po’boy.

Though fillings are more or less the same (fried shrimp is the undisputed favorite), each locale features its own super secret version of the essential baguette along with some creative twists for those who shy from seafood.

Craving one yet? These Louisiana transplants and locals offer Houstonians easy access to this superb sandwich.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys

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It’s hard to beat the fried shrimp po’boy at this Houston mainstay where everything from the bread to the sauces is made from scratch – as it has been since 1962. Order any number of hot seafood combinations served in baguettes from Slough Dough Bread Co. or try the original with ham, salami, provolone, chow chow, mayonnaise, and pickles on toasted Italian bread from Royal Bakery. Can’t decide? Just close your eyes and point because honestly, it’s all good.

[Photo: Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys]

BB's Cafe

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Skip the traditional (though yummy) fried seafood and take on the Midnight Masterpiece made from award winning roast beef. Chuck roast is cooked for 5-6 hours before being shredded to create “debris” which is also a convenient sponge for soaking up the gravy made from the drippings of said roast. It’s all mixed with special seasonings and finished off with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and BB’s chipotle infused mayo. Luckily, 5 area locations ensure one is never too far this one-of-a-kind work of art.

[Photo: BB's Cafe]

Beaver's

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Everything Monica Pope creates turns to culinary gold and the Bad-Ass Po-boy is no exception. It is a monstrous serving of fried fish and shrimp topped with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and crispy onions so full of crunch you may need to get your teeth checked after consuming. Just kidding.

[Photo: Beaver's]

Calliope's Po-Boys

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Voted best Houston’s Best Po-boys in 2010, these overflowing sandwiches come in all kinds of addictive variations including fried soft shell crab, fried oyster, and the most popular fried shrimp. Come a little bit hungry and order the 8” or come ravenous and get the 32”. Either way, don’t miss out on the spicy homemade tartar sauce which is equally good slathered on the inside of the bread as it is as dip for a side of fries.

[Photo: Ellie Sharp]

D'Amicos

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For a decidedly different spin on po’boy prowess, D’Amico’s serves an enticing variation featuring ham, turkey, Genoa salami, provolone, lettuce, and tomato. Perhaps with heritage closer to Italy than New Orleans, the hoagie po'boy is nonetheless well at home on the menu of those who enjoy a solid sandwich with simple quality ingredients.

[Photo: Paula Murphy]

Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

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Take one look at the New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp Po Boy served up at this Midtown seafood haven and you can destroy all plans of saving room for dessert. Plump shrimp literally fall out of the overstuffed sandwich piled high and dripping with homemade BBQ sauce. Fried green tomatoes, grilled lemon, and cane syrupmint aioli sweeten the deal and ensure finger licking is not optional but unquestionably required.

Cost: $16/Lunch

[Photo: Paula Murphy]

Punk's Simple Southern Food

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Most po’boys utilize crusty baguettes for that signature bite-induced snap, but Chef Brandi Key features soft bread to bookend her fried seafood sammies and ensure easier eating. This choice also provides a beautiful culinary canvas that showcases the shrimp, oysters, and crawfish (choose two for extra fun) spilling out and begging to be snatched up and eaten on sight. Made-from scratch cocktail and b&b pickled tartar sauce make these po’boys extra crave-worthy.

Cost: Cost: $16

[Photo: Debora Smail]

Ragin’ Cajun

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Come for the food and stay for the culture at this classic Houston original where every Tuesday can be Fat Tuesday with the right perspective (hint: just order their killer hurricane). Popular po’boy favorites here include the fried shrimp, oyster, crawfish tail, and catfish served on compliment-garnering homemade French bread. Each sandwich comes dressed with iceberg lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mayo – jazz it up with a little Louisiana hot sauce for extra flavor.

Cost: $12.99

[Photo: Ellie Sharp]

The Cajun Stop

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When Lisa, the Houma, LA native and owner of this East End eatery opened up shop she wanted to offer guests something different, so she combined her two most popular po’boys into something incredibly rich and flavorful. Double-fried shrimp are layered with homemade roast beef and gravy before being dressed with lettuce, pickles, tomato, and mayo on a truly unique French bread different from anything else around. This sandwich has perhaps the most loyal fan club in town as one guest comes in twice a week just to indulge. A native of New Orleans, he says “When you find some place that tastes like home you stick with it.” Who can argue with that?

Cost: $11.55/Small; $13.25/Large

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar

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Fancy brews from Boomtown Coffee aren't all this New Orleans inspired coffeehouse delivers. Taking a modern spin on a creole classic, The Honeymoony knocks it out the ballpark with its sophisticated po'boy. Sandwiched between a baguette with a crackly-crisp exterior, lies sweet yet slightly acidic green tomato–onion jam and lightly dressed rainbow chards. Stopping short of becoming a BLT, chicken livers coated in a cornmeal crust are added to the mix.

[Photo: Jakeisha Wilmore]

Tony Mandola's

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How do you like your catfish (or shrimp, oyster, or crawfish) po'boy? Blackened or fried in cornmeal? Whatever your preference, Tony's Mandola's does it right. Dressed with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and served with “Mama’s homemade tartar sauce” on tantalizingly crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside French baguette, this is a sandwich you’ll return to again and again much like the beloved city of NOLA itself. For something entirely different, try the Sicilian Style Grilled Fish Po-Boy dressed with crushed olives, celery, cauliflower, sliced Italian peppers, shredded lettuce, fried green tomatoes, and homemade cocktail sauce. A little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and entirely enchanting.

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

Zydeco Louisiana Diner

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Enjoy fried Gulf shrimp, Gulf oyster, US farm-raised catfish, crawfish, or pork roast po’boys in an atmosphere that is comfortable yet casual and welcomes diners in everything from suits to sandals. Po’boys come dressed with lettuce, tomato, and special house made “hybrid Remoulade”. Speaking of condiments, don’t leave off the seriously addictive homemade tartar sauce, which just might be the best thing that ever happened to fried seafood.

Cost:

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

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Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys



It’s hard to beat the fried shrimp po’boy at this Houston mainstay where everything from the bread to the sauces is made from scratch – as it has been since 1962. Order any number of hot seafood combinations served in baguettes from Slough Dough Bread Co. or try the original with ham, salami, provolone, chow chow, mayonnaise, and pickles on toasted Italian bread from Royal Bakery. Can’t decide? Just close your eyes and point because honestly, it’s all good.

[Photo: Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys]

BB's Cafe



Skip the traditional (though yummy) fried seafood and take on the Midnight Masterpiece made from award winning roast beef. Chuck roast is cooked for 5-6 hours before being shredded to create “debris” which is also a convenient sponge for soaking up the gravy made from the drippings of said roast. It’s all mixed with special seasonings and finished off with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and BB’s chipotle infused mayo. Luckily, 5 area locations ensure one is never too far this one-of-a-kind work of art.

[Photo: BB's Cafe]

Beaver's



Everything Monica Pope creates turns to culinary gold and the Bad-Ass Po-boy is no exception. It is a monstrous serving of fried fish and shrimp topped with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and crispy onions so full of crunch you may need to get your teeth checked after consuming. Just kidding.

[Photo: Beaver's]

Calliope's Po-Boys



Voted best Houston’s Best Po-boys in 2010, these overflowing sandwiches come in all kinds of addictive variations including fried soft shell crab, fried oyster, and the most popular fried shrimp. Come a little bit hungry and order the 8” or come ravenous and get the 32”. Either way, don’t miss out on the spicy homemade tartar sauce which is equally good slathered on the inside of the bread as it is as dip for a side of fries.

[Photo: Ellie Sharp]

D'Amicos



For a decidedly different spin on po’boy prowess, D’Amico’s serves an enticing variation featuring ham, turkey, Genoa salami, provolone, lettuce, and tomato. Perhaps with heritage closer to Italy than New Orleans, the hoagie po'boy is nonetheless well at home on the menu of those who enjoy a solid sandwich with simple quality ingredients.

[Photo: Paula Murphy]

Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar



Take one look at the New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp Po Boy served up at this Midtown seafood haven and you can destroy all plans of saving room for dessert. Plump shrimp literally fall out of the overstuffed sandwich piled high and dripping with homemade BBQ sauce. Fried green tomatoes, grilled lemon, and cane syrupmint aioli sweeten the deal and ensure finger licking is not optional but unquestionably required.

Cost: $16/Lunch

[Photo: Paula Murphy]

Punk's Simple Southern Food



Most po’boys utilize crusty baguettes for that signature bite-induced snap, but Chef Brandi Key features soft bread to bookend her fried seafood sammies and ensure easier eating. This choice also provides a beautiful culinary canvas that showcases the shrimp, oysters, and crawfish (choose two for extra fun) spilling out and begging to be snatched up and eaten on sight. Made-from scratch cocktail and b&b pickled tartar sauce make these po’boys extra crave-worthy.

Cost: Cost: $16

[Photo: Debora Smail]

Ragin’ Cajun



Come for the food and stay for the culture at this classic Houston original where every Tuesday can be Fat Tuesday with the right perspective (hint: just order their killer hurricane). Popular po’boy favorites here include the fried shrimp, oyster, crawfish tail, and catfish served on compliment-garnering homemade French bread. Each sandwich comes dressed with iceberg lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mayo – jazz it up with a little Louisiana hot sauce for extra flavor.

Cost: $12.99

[Photo: Ellie Sharp]

The Cajun Stop



When Lisa, the Houma, LA native and owner of this East End eatery opened up shop she wanted to offer guests something different, so she combined her two most popular po’boys into something incredibly rich and flavorful. Double-fried shrimp are layered with homemade roast beef and gravy before being dressed with lettuce, pickles, tomato, and mayo on a truly unique French bread different from anything else around. This sandwich has perhaps the most loyal fan club in town as one guest comes in twice a week just to indulge. A native of New Orleans, he says “When you find some place that tastes like home you stick with it.” Who can argue with that?

Cost: $11.55/Small; $13.25/Large

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar



Fancy brews from Boomtown Coffee aren't all this New Orleans inspired coffeehouse delivers. Taking a modern spin on a creole classic, The Honeymoony knocks it out the ballpark with its sophisticated po'boy. Sandwiched between a baguette with a crackly-crisp exterior, lies sweet yet slightly acidic green tomato–onion jam and lightly dressed rainbow chards. Stopping short of becoming a BLT, chicken livers coated in a cornmeal crust are added to the mix.

[Photo: Jakeisha Wilmore]

Tony Mandola's



How do you like your catfish (or shrimp, oyster, or crawfish) po'boy? Blackened or fried in cornmeal? Whatever your preference, Tony's Mandola's does it right. Dressed with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and served with “Mama’s homemade tartar sauce” on tantalizingly crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside French baguette, this is a sandwich you’ll return to again and again much like the beloved city of NOLA itself. For something entirely different, try the Sicilian Style Grilled Fish Po-Boy dressed with crushed olives, celery, cauliflower, sliced Italian peppers, shredded lettuce, fried green tomatoes, and homemade cocktail sauce. A little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and entirely enchanting.

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

Zydeco Louisiana Diner



Enjoy fried Gulf shrimp, Gulf oyster, US farm-raised catfish, crawfish, or pork roast po’boys in an atmosphere that is comfortable yet casual and welcomes diners in everything from suits to sandals. Po’boys come dressed with lettuce, tomato, and special house made “hybrid Remoulade”. Speaking of condiments, don’t leave off the seriously addictive homemade tartar sauce, which just might be the best thing that ever happened to fried seafood.

Cost:

[Photos: Ellie Sharp]

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