Crawfish & Noodles

From the folks sucking back crawfish heads to the goldfish hoovering up every morsel in their tank, everyone at Crawfish & Noodles is chowing down. This spot is a Viet-Cajun institution in Chinatown, where everyone is donning bibs and comically large plastic gloves like cartoon surgeons while frantically snapping crawfish in half. Every bite laced with lemongrass, ginger, chili keeps people ordering pound after pound. Scent bombs of cayenne and paprika waft up from bowls of braised turkey necks, alongside endless bowls of rich and anise-spiked pho, crispy fried egg noodles, and batter-crusted blue crab. You often feel as if you’ve stumbled into a wayward sports bar—with TVs blaring Astros games—and the restaurant has an unconventional mix of decor (why is there a Darth Vader helmet in the corner?). But as with all Houston institutions, it doesn’t have to totally make sense, the food just has to be really, really good. And it is.

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photo credit: Richard Casteel

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