HOUReview

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image
8.6

Best New Restaurants

2023

Josephine’s

SeafoodSouthern

Midtown

$$$$Perfect For:Impressing Out of TownersSpecial OccasionsDate Night
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If it weren’t for the TVs hanging over the bar or the noise of downtown Houston traffic outside, you could mistake Josephine’s for a restaurant from another decade, or at least one in the deep south. And while a lot of southern-inspired restaurants can easily veer into a heavily cliched Cracker Barrel territory, Josephine’s has a sense of place, with a creative and incredible Gulf Coast seafood-driven menu that could only come from Houston. With dishes that often resemble the spread at a family potluck, Josephine’s modern interpretation of southern cuisine is smart, surprising, and, most of all, comforting.

Josephine’s menu playfully nods at Houston. Unexpected spice and Vietnamese flavors pop up with raw blue crab. African influences are also front and center with the additions of tart chermoula rubbed over redfish or okra succotash with roasted chicken. Dishes like a southern pea salad or a melon salad with actual gummy bears obviously descended from those funny layered casseroles someone always makes for a cookout but no one ever eats (but you will want to eat these). The smoky and sweet barbecue shrimp comes straight from Louisiana, the blue crab rice bowl from the Carolinas, and the Sittin’ Sidewayz burger (cue up the Paul Wall playlist). 

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Finding a solid southern seafood restaurant in Houston should be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, or as counting how many cars forget to use the blinker while yeeting themselves across the highway 59 and 610 interchange. However, nothing else like Josephine’s exists in our massive metropolis. So whether you’re a southerner, or a Texan—or if, as the saying goes, you got here as quickly as you could—everyone’s welcome to join in on Josephine’s version of a bustling family get together, with a sense of light sprinkling of nostalgia and serious flavor. Head here with a big group of friends and split everything, to split trays of oysters and a mound of warm biscuits, or just to eat something that tastes like home.

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Josephine’s image
Josephine’s image
Josephine’s image
Josephine’s image
Josephine’s image

Food Rundown

Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Blue Crab Fingers

Josephine’s opted to switch up the traditional and reserved way of serving raw blue crab claws by making something akin to a Vietnamese gỏi vịt. The dish incorporates bits of cabbage, jalapeño, crispy garlic, and fish sauce makes everything taste acidic and crisp.
Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Southern Pea Salad

We are fully convinced someone’s great aunt made this, and has been making this for decades. The combination of peas, eggs, cheddar, and lettuce scream classic Southern salad. This dish is definitely hiding in someone’s family recipe box.
Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

BBQ Shrimp

The roux base for this BBQ shrimp was cooked down and darkened so expertly that every bite tastes smoky and caramelized. Mopping up every bit with bread feels like the only way to properly honor being able to eat this.
Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Smashed Boudin Melt

Move over smash burgers and patty melt, because this boudin melt just took gold in squished sandwich supremacy. It’s spicy, rich, tangy, and sweet. A thing of beauty topped with a pearl.
Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Halfshell Redfish

Nothing else epitomizes fishing in Galveston quite like redfish, other than maybe shrimp (but we’re talking about fish). This tender, slightly rich but not overly fatty whitefish served with a schmear of tangy chermoula, sort of a North African version of chimichurri.
Josephine’s image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Collard Greens

The first time we tried these greens, time stopped. This humble little side dish of collards and ham is unfathomably good with a wonderful balance of fat and vinegar and salt and sweet. We order them every time.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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