The Best Seafood Restaurants In Houston

Because sometimes life calls for a seafood tower.
The Best Seafood Restaurants In Houston image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Seafood in Houston is plentiful. We have no shortage of places to crack our crabs, peel our shrimp, or throw back oysters. We dove through seafood towers that are best consumed with a pinky in the air, a roster of ceviche options, and gumbo filled with every sea creature that could be contained in a bowl. After our excursions, we’ve come up with a guide to the best seafood restaurants in Houston


photo credit: Justin Cook



$$$$Perfect For:Happy HourOutdoor/Patio SituationEating At The Bar


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Austin import Clark’s Oyster Bar screams coastal, as though a chic, sweater-clad clambake could break out at any moment. It also has a patio built for cruise-ship-level lounging. Folks cram into Clark’s for crisp east and rare-to-find west coast oysters, overstuffed $40 lobster rolls, and lime-doused red snapper ceviche. Dinner can get expensive quickly, but Happy Hour offers 50-cent-per-oyster discounts and $1 house martinis, making it a great spot for a Montrose evening pre-game.

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Along with excellent trays of ice cold, briny oysters, Little’s Oyster Bar also constructs artful seafood platters, sears off Gulf seafood filets, and fries up excellent crab croquettes. If you are looking to eat (and spend) like an underwater king, hit up this glamorous seafood restaurant in Midtown to have your fill of mollusks, crustaceans, and tender whitefish galore. Follow up each bite with one of Little’s opulent $18 cocktails to feel even fancier. Go here for a special occasion or date night, or if you have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket.

Christie’s has been serving up seafood and steaks in the Galleria area for over 100 years. The dining room resembles an old-school cruise ship deck, or perhaps the nicest restaurant in a small seaside town. There are stuffed fish mounted above every table, likely gazing out over sparkling platters of fat Gulf oysters or crispy fried snapper po’boys. Not to get all corny, but this is a great place to go with a multi-generational group, because this is where memories are made for all kinds of people who grew up in Houston.

For all the times you crave ceviche, there’s La Cruderia, a Mexican mariscos and michelada spot in Bellaire that serves, like, 10 different types. The sheer number of options here is worth mentioning, like the vegetal Ceviche Nayarita with lime-seared white fish, or the bright green shrimp aguachile overflowing with cucumber and slivers of red onion. Add on a La Golosa michelada, comically topped with beef jerky, and you’re set. Go here for a casual date night and linger over some pulpo tostadas, or grab an early dinner to skip evening traffic. Stay long enough (or drink enough michis), and you can almost feel the sand between your toes.

Combine a lot of chrome, a renovated old railway car, and a Wurlizter piano together near the edge of Rice Village and, somehow, you wind up with Goode Company Seafood. The Gulf Coast seafood spot serves up some of the best campechana in the city, a slew of fried combos, po’boys, and mesquite-grilled fish served with the curious but delicious duo of an empanada and garlic bread. We love to hit the bar early for Happy Hour where you can get a beer and oysters, or an entire seafood tower.

Hai Cang, a Vietnamese-Chinese seafood restaurant in Chinatown, loads you up with spicy and tangy seafood by the truckload. The massive platters of crab, lobster, and noodles are perfect for a big group dinner or perhaps an informal seafood-eating contest. Get particuarly wild with pounds of lobster wok-fried in savory dry spices and a fire-red Dungeness crab carcass for fried rice, soft scrambled eggs, and juicy shrimp. Roll as deep as possible to Hai Cang, and give the table’s lazy susan an extra spin for good luck.

When the mood strikes for Cajun-style seafood boils or a mean bowl of gumbo, there’s Backyard Boil House. A Third Ward deep cut, it’s a charming little spot with about six tables and a chalkboard menu crammed with Creole seafood staples. Make the adult decision and try them all by getting the Commbeaux—essentially a seafood sampler of snow crab legs, jumbo shrimp, corn, and sausage, all submerged in a decadent garlic butter. There’s never really a bad time to peel back shrimp like you’re going for a world record, so head here whenever you want a cozy, casual seafood excursion.

While “‘feathers” make up half of the menu (and name), the “fins” alone are worth a trip to Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers in Garden Oaks. All of the seafood served at this retro diner is Southern comfort style which means the food is downhome, no-nonsense cooking. Grab a bowl of the everything gumbo brimming with shredded crab meat and shrimp, or a shrimp po’boy slathered in cajun mayo on a fluffy baguette. Few things provide the comfort that the sound of sizzling fried catfish does, so we like to head to Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers when we need a dose of comfort throughout the week. 

Caracol comes from the team behind Hugo’s and also does upscale coastal Mexican food. Like most Galleria neighborhood restaurants, Caracol is super bougie— even the air running through the vents somehow feels designer. There’s a small army of ceviches on the menu but you’ll be set with the ceviche de caracol with pineapple and citrus coating some fresh conch. Or, the tuna tacos held in blue-flour corn tortillas (and our hearts). And if you need an extravagant seafood moment, get the seafood tower filled with more crustaceans than you can count. Come here when you want to have a fancy date night or just really want to impress someone.

Eunice serves upscale Cajun seafood in the Upper Kirby neighborhood and looks ready for the cover of Southern Living magazine. Shrimp is the star of the seafood menu, and any dish that features it is a solid choice, like the dan dan shrimp covered in banana peppers, and the shrimp and grits that are buttery, a little smooth, and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes that taste like little gifts from the produce gods. A meal at Eunice will cost a pretty penny so swing by when you need to have an impressive power lunch or when someone else is footing the bill.

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