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a overhead shot of a whole roasted pompano fish topped with lime slices and flanked by a margarita and various sauces
Whole roasted pompano from La Fisheria
La Fisheria/Facebook

11 Stunning Whole-Fish Dishes to Order at Houston Restaurants

Head-turning platters of snapper, branzino, and flounder are fun to share, or not

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Whole roasted pompano from La Fisheria
| La Fisheria/Facebook

Thought common in many cuisines, it’s not always easy to find whole-fish dishes in Houston. Still, a handful of restaurants offer everything from snapper a la plancha and fried flounder to whole-roasted pompano, and even a sushi dish made with tiny two-inch fishes.

With nothing going to waste, these dishes are perfect for sharing, or keeping all to yourself. Below, find 11 of the best whole-fish dishes in the city.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Superica

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1801 N Shepherd Dr #B
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 955-3215
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In addition to Tex-Mex staples like steak nachos and tacos al carbon, Superica serves Gulf red snapper on the bone. The picture-perfect fish offers meaty bites and pops of color thanks to fresh avocado and tangy tomatillo salsa.

2. Phat Eatery

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23119 Colonial Pkwy suite b-2
Katy, TX 77449
(832) 913-6382
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Phat Eatery takes barbecue to the next level with its Ikan Bakar, a popular Malaysian dish. Here, a whole golden pomfret is barbecued and served with spicy sambal sauce that seriously packs a punch.

3. La Fisheria

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213 Milam St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 802-1712
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At this seafood-centric restaurant in Downtown, there are two delicious whole-fish dishes. Choose from the pampano al limon, a pompano that’s pan-seared and served with lime-spiked butter sauce, or the mojarra frita, a whole tilapia that’s fried until crisp. 

4. The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

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2704 Navigation Blvd
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 228-1175
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In lieu of sharing a platter of fajitas, try Ninfa’s drunken snapper, a whole Gulf red snapper roasted in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and served with mushrooms and tequila-lime butter.

5. Ostia

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2050 Dunlavy St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 324-9288
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Journey to the bountiful coast of the Mediterranean with chef Travis McShane’s whole fresh fish offering at Ostia, a portion large enough for two diners. The fresh catch varies depending on seasonality — currently it is a roasted branzino atop a bed of tomato sauce and capers — and is prepared in the restaurant’s stone deck oven.

6. Le Colonial

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4444 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 629-4444
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At Le Colonial, soups and curries are vibrant and colorful, but few dishes cause a head-turning moment like the Ca Chien Saigon, or crispy red snapper. The fish, decorated in a spicy garlic glaze, is presented whole, then fileted tableside.

7. Ouzo Bay

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4444 Westheimer Rd Suite G130
Houston, TX 77027
(832) 430-6610
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With seafood flown in daily from around the globe, Ouzo Bay is one of Houston’s premier destinations for whole fish. Options like Hawaiian kona kampachi from the Pacific and wild-caught dover sole are de-boned then served simply with olive oil. Feast on the fish as-is, or add Mediterranean salsa verde or a champagne reduction with Siberian caviar for an extra boost of flavor.

8. Nobie's

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2048 Colquitt St
Houston, TX 77098
(346) 319-5919
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This cozy Montrose restaurant serves up a crispy whole fried snapper complete with braised black beans, garlic sauce, salsa de aguacate, and a side of puffy spiced fry bread, made in house.

9. The Toasted Coconut

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1617 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 485-4775
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In addition to a lively, tropical vibe and festive tiki cocktails, this Montrose bar boasts a serious dining menu, including whole fried snapper. Accompanied with corn tortillas, the fish is enhanced with spicy salsa macha and shaved vegetable salad.

10. Kata Robata

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3600 Kirby Dr suite h
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 526-8858
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Famed for its vast menu of fresh fish offerings from around the world, Kata Robata puts a unique spin on whole fish with its kohada sushi. The entire fish — albeit a tiny one at just two inches in length — is put to use in this dish, with the exception of the head. Give it a try for $6 per piece.

11. Hai Cang Harbor Seafood Restaurant

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11768 Bellaire Blvd #2452
Houston, TX 77072
(281) 564-4288
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A visit to Hai Cang in Chinatown is well worth the trek for a sampling of the restaurant’s fresh seafood haul, including Dungeness crab, prawns, lobster, and whole flounder. A hearty portion for one person, the flounder is fried and served with soy sauce.

1. Superica

1801 N Shepherd Dr #B, Houston, TX 77008

In addition to Tex-Mex staples like steak nachos and tacos al carbon, Superica serves Gulf red snapper on the bone. The picture-perfect fish offers meaty bites and pops of color thanks to fresh avocado and tangy tomatillo salsa.

1801 N Shepherd Dr #B
Houston, TX 77008

2. Phat Eatery

23119 Colonial Pkwy suite b-2, Katy, TX 77449

Phat Eatery takes barbecue to the next level with its Ikan Bakar, a popular Malaysian dish. Here, a whole golden pomfret is barbecued and served with spicy sambal sauce that seriously packs a punch.

23119 Colonial Pkwy suite b-2
Katy, TX 77449

3. La Fisheria

213 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002

At this seafood-centric restaurant in Downtown, there are two delicious whole-fish dishes. Choose from the pampano al limon, a pompano that’s pan-seared and served with lime-spiked butter sauce, or the mojarra frita, a whole tilapia that’s fried until crisp. 

213 Milam St
Houston, TX 77002

4. The Original Ninfa's on Navigation

2704 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 77003

In lieu of sharing a platter of fajitas, try Ninfa’s drunken snapper, a whole Gulf red snapper roasted in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and served with mushrooms and tequila-lime butter.

2704 Navigation Blvd
Houston, TX 77003

5. Ostia

2050 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006

Journey to the bountiful coast of the Mediterranean with chef Travis McShane’s whole fresh fish offering at Ostia, a portion large enough for two diners. The fresh catch varies depending on seasonality — currently it is a roasted branzino atop a bed of tomato sauce and capers — and is prepared in the restaurant’s stone deck oven.

2050 Dunlavy St
Houston, TX 77006

6. Le Colonial

4444 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027

At Le Colonial, soups and curries are vibrant and colorful, but few dishes cause a head-turning moment like the Ca Chien Saigon, or crispy red snapper. The fish, decorated in a spicy garlic glaze, is presented whole, then fileted tableside.

4444 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027

7. Ouzo Bay

4444 Westheimer Rd Suite G130, Houston, TX 77027

With seafood flown in daily from around the globe, Ouzo Bay is one of Houston’s premier destinations for whole fish. Options like Hawaiian kona kampachi from the Pacific and wild-caught dover sole are de-boned then served simply with olive oil. Feast on the fish as-is, or add Mediterranean salsa verde or a champagne reduction with Siberian caviar for an extra boost of flavor.

4444 Westheimer Rd Suite G130
Houston, TX 77027

8. Nobie's

2048 Colquitt St, Houston, TX 77098

This cozy Montrose restaurant serves up a crispy whole fried snapper complete with braised black beans, garlic sauce, salsa de aguacate, and a side of puffy spiced fry bread, made in house.

2048 Colquitt St
Houston, TX 77098

9. The Toasted Coconut

1617 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006

In addition to a lively, tropical vibe and festive tiki cocktails, this Montrose bar boasts a serious dining menu, including whole fried snapper. Accompanied with corn tortillas, the fish is enhanced with spicy salsa macha and shaved vegetable salad.

1617 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77006

10. Kata Robata

3600 Kirby Dr suite h, Houston, TX 77098

Famed for its vast menu of fresh fish offerings from around the world, Kata Robata puts a unique spin on whole fish with its kohada sushi. The entire fish — albeit a tiny one at just two inches in length — is put to use in this dish, with the exception of the head. Give it a try for $6 per piece.

3600 Kirby Dr suite h
Houston, TX 77098

11. Hai Cang Harbor Seafood Restaurant

11768 Bellaire Blvd #2452, Houston, TX 77072

A visit to Hai Cang in Chinatown is well worth the trek for a sampling of the restaurant’s fresh seafood haul, including Dungeness crab, prawns, lobster, and whole flounder. A hearty portion for one person, the flounder is fried and served with soy sauce.

11768 Bellaire Blvd #2452
Houston, TX 77072

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