The Best Crawfish Spots In Austin

For when you want to work for your meal.
The Best Crawfish Spots In Austin image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Crawfish, crayfish, crawdads, mudbugs, mountain lobsters, weird turtles—call them whatever you want, but once the season rolls around, it’s time to boil them. When is crawfish season? There’s no definitive start or end date, but your best bet for finding some is probably going to fall somewhere between February and July. What is crawfish season? A brief period of mass hysteria that occurs annually as Texans seek out the best crawfish the city has to offer. 

Lots of Austin bars and restaurants will offer weekend or monthly boils, but this list is made up of places you can get crawfish any day of the week (seasonally), including a few that offer crawfish year-round. Whether you’re looking for Viet-Cajun, Sichuan-style, or something a little more classic, here’s where to go for crawfish in Austin. 


photo credit: Holly Dirks


South Lamar

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Deckhand may look like just an oyster bar from outside, but it’s also quietly one of Austin’s best Thai restaurants. Show up during crawfish season, and you’ll be able to try the Deckhand special seasoning—a blend of housemade Cajun spice mix with lots of garlic and butter. Crawfish is sold by the pound, with corn, mushrooms, potatoes, and sausage available as add-ons. Deckhand currently has two locations, one in far north Austin near Round Rock, and the other at South Lamar and 360. 

Stepping into Catfish Parlour on Ben White (near Burleson Road) feels a little like stepping into an old diner in a small fishing town in rural Louisiana. It’s been around for almost 50 years—in that time amassing a small collection of old license plates, neon beer signs, and “I’d rather be fishing” wood mounts. And once crawfish season rolls around, we’re stopping in for a couple pounds. These have a pretty classic Cajun flavor profile, but get tossed in a heavy dusting of additional seasoning at the end that’ll leave your fingers feeling spicy for the rest of the day.

The outside of Shoal Creek Saloon has a giant football helmet with a Saints logo on it, which should be your first indication of what you’re about to step into. But if you’re sports illiterate, then maybe the Abita on draft, the smell of fried seafood, or the giant “Southern Louisiana Cooking” on the outside wall will give it away. The crawfish here is boiled in a pretty classic mix of Cajun spices, with flavors that penetrate all the way through the meat—there’s no need to toss it all in any post-boil seasonings. Head here when crawfish is in season—the patio’s positioning on Shoal Creek makes it one of the best places you can be when the weather is nice. 

With almost two dozen locations across the state, LA Crawfish isn’t exactly some local hidden secret. But with only one location in a South Austin shopping mall, it’s not the most well-known, either. The specialty here is Viet-Cajun-style crawfish, and you can get a very good version here—with a generous amount of heat to complement all the sweet and buttery garlic. But our favorite seasoning here is the Sichuan-style (when it’s available). Partially because it’s not a style we see a lot of in Austin, but also because we can’t get enough of the spicy, mouth-numbing peppercorns on everything.

Located inside of a large Cedar Park shopping plaza, Happyrito is one of the few spots in the Austin area specializing in Viet-Cajun crawfish. So after you’re done shopping for new bed sheets, video games, and sneakers, you can stop in for a few pounds of the good stuff, all tossed in a sweet and spicy Viet-Cajun-style buttery garlic sauce that will leave your fingers smelling like crawfish for hours. The crawfish here isn’t cooked with the same level of expertise you might get out of an old school Louisiana meat market or restaurant, but the heavy seasoning on the outside adds enough flavor to it all that it feels like a welcome compromise. 

Equal parts meat market and restaurant, Stuffed Cajun Meat Market near Cedar Park is a one-stop-shop for everything Louisiana—if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at hosting your own backyard boil, this is probably where you should head to pick up supplies. But if you’d rather just try a few pounds cooked by the pros, you can also head in for lunch or dinner and skip all the work. This is a classic Louisiana boil, cooked in Cajun seasonings, and served with andouille sausage, corn, and red potatoes. The crawfish doesn’t get tossed or seasoned in anything after it’s cooked here, which is exactly what we’d expect out of a Louisiana market/restaurant. But when the boil mix is seasoned this well, the meat takes in so much flavor that you don’t really need anything else. 

You would hope that a place with “crawfish shack” in its name would know its way around a mudbug, and we’re happy to report that this spot on Wells Branch Parkway delivers. The flavors here are pretty traditional, but the crawfish gets tossed in a heavy mix of housemade Cajun spices and butter at the end, adding a deep, rich depth to every bite. Crawfish Shack is built for this—the tables are covered in long sheets of white paper, with bibs and napkins at the ready. And with crawfish on the menu all year round, it’s not difficult to see why. 

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