Top 8 Places to Enjoy Gumbo in Dallas

Image:by Steven Doyle

Gumbo is that delicious pot of stew that starts off with a roux, that chocolate brown thickener that gives gumbo its distinctive hue and rich flavor. In New Orleans a meat-based gumbo may consist of chicken, turtle, duck, squirrel, rabbit or alligator. Seafood-based gumbo generally has shrimp, crab, and sometimes oysters. Most varieties of gumbo are seasoned with a special mirepoix consisting of onions, bell pepper, and celery, or what they call the Holy Trinity. Today, most people are familiar with seafood gumbo and chicken and sausage gumbo.

Let’s check in to some of our favorite places in Dallas that make a mean bowl of gumbo.


Alligator Cafe has two locations in Dallas, both with a a great bowl of gumbo that has a rich and spicy flavor that will haunt you until you are able to get another fix. Serves well with a side of a catfish po boy.


Amberjax takes great pride in serving some terrific seafood items, with a fresh fish case located for your perusal in the foyer of the restaurant in Trinity Groves. Seats are a premium, and they typically sell out nightly, so best to get early reservations. This gumbo is served traditionally with a side of potato salad instead of the more familiar rice. Many of my friends from Louisiana tell us that this is how they grew up eating gumbo.


If you read craveDFW with any regularity you will know we are huge fans of TJ’s Seafood Market. We should be well paid for extolling the virtues of this marvelous addition to the Dallas seafood landscape, but we will settle on just knowing we are doing our part to enlighten the public about this restaurant. There are two locations in Dallas, with the newest at Preston and Royal with larger digs and more selection. TJ’s will have the best crawfish once the season hits its stride, and you can order the mudbugs by the bushel bag. Or you can just sidle up to the bar and grab a bowl of gumbo.


Nates Seafood in Addison also has some wonderful crawfish, with its signature spice rub that kicks up the already flavorful crustacean. The gumbo has the dark brown patina that is the mark of some great eating. Be sure to indulge on the buttery garlic bread and hushpuppies.


Buttons is known for their southern hospitality, and they make an insanely good bowl of gumbo. Two locations, one in Addison, the other in Fort Worth. Don’t miss this treat.

flying fih

Flying Fish has several location in Dallas and also serves some spicy crawfish that rings Mardi Gras for revelers of all ages. The umbo served at Flying Fish just adds spark to any plte of seafood ordered here, including a few pounds of crawfish.


You will have met your spicy match with the gumbo at Freeman Cafe in Deep Ellum. For an extra kick in the head, the bowl is garnished with a few spicy blacked shrimp for good measure.  Enjoy nightly live music, including Dixieland and jazz by the Freeloaders, the in-house band headed up by the owner John Jay Meyers. Their rendition of St James Infirmary is spot on delicious.


Cajun Tailgators, located in Plano, started as a food truck that went all brick and mortar on us. Known for their choice Cajun selections, Tailgators offers a few unusual items not normally found in North Texas such as their Natchitoches meat pie and crawfish pistolettes. But you can find more familiar items such as their delicious etouffee and jambalaya. Their gumb is a stand out and not to be missed.


Filed under Steven Doyle

11 responses to “Top 8 Places to Enjoy Gumbo in Dallas

  1. What about Razzoo’s Cajun Cafes? They have great gumbo, as well as Mardi Gras specials through Feb 17:
    $4 Rat Toes
    $3 Fried Pickles
    $1 off pounds of Boiled Crawfish
    $2 off Dozen Raw Oysters
    $1 off Half-Dozen Raw Oysters

  2. Yvette

    The BEST Gumbo is the Original Dodies 2129 Greenville Avenue bar none!

  3. Keith Mitchell

    I found a guy selling gumbo at Dallas farmers market who sells the best gumbo I have had here in Dallas!!
    He’s there on Saturday and some Sunday’s, usually sells out on Saturday’s !!!
    Also the crawfish étouffée, is to die for!!
    He serves it either over rice or cornbread dressing, sounds strange but damn it’s good. His signature dish has to be the Shrimp and Grits!! Was in line one day and I actually saw a lady cry after tasting, reminded her of grand mothers cooking!!

    • Thank you for the hot tip!

    • Carlla

      I was that lady who actually cried real tears after tasting the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever eaten! Honestly, I know my shrimp and grits since I am a Mississippi Gulf Coast native! Never have I eaten anything that was so obviously made with love! Cannot wait to go back for more!

  4. Sarah

    I have also had gumbo from the guy at the Dallas Farmers Market…a chicken and sausage gumbo that was delicious. I’ve also had the crawfish etoufee and shrimp and grits there. Both were equally amazing. I would highly recommend all three. Steven, you really need to get down to the market and try them.

  5. Suzi Migdol

    You totally need to give period to Bridge Bistro…. amazing cup of gumbo. Consistently delicious.

  6. Mark

    Perhaps due to owning their own trucking & favorable purchasing power due to the amount of stores but I find that Pappadeux’s Gumbo obliterates the field in terms of # of shrimp & other seafood included in a bowl.

  7. gabe

    S & D Oyster has the best gumbo by far.

  8. Food looks so delicious.

Leave a Reply