2016 Top Ten Places To Enjoy Crawfish In Dallas

crawfishby Steven Doyle

Although we have seen crawfish as early as December, the bugs just aren’t at their peak sizes just yet. It is a bit early, but they are tasty and it looks to be a great year for crawfish. The winter has been mild and the we haven’t experienced the flooding in prime breeding grounds like we did last year. For now we will enjoy medium-sized crawfish until the more mature beasts start filtering through. We have already been scoping out the latest hot spots for the 2015 season, and we have plenty to share. Notice a few newcomers on the list this year that will excite your palates with their rendition of the spicy crustaceans.

May we present our 2016 favorites:  

tasty tailsThe Boiling Crab

A leader in Dallas crawfish lore, noted for their spicy and very spicy sauces plied to their seafood offerings. This is actually part of a chain of restaurants scattered across the West Coast. All the seafood is boiled in a bag with an assortment of sauces available, but it is best to order the Whole Shebang, which gives you all the flavors in a buttery sauce. You may order plain to XXX in the spicy department. XXX will hang with you for a long time, and for the faint of heart it will make you weep tears of joy. Expect extremely long wait time, usually three hours during peak times. Look for this marvelous Mecca to seafood located very near Garland, Texas.

Shell Shack

The Shell Shack does the same seafood offerings as Boiling Crab, but without the long wait time. They are located in Uptown, so easy access to most of the population. The Dungeness Crab is the crave favorite, but they offer seasonal crawfish at market pricing. The owners of the fairly new hot spot claim they will carry all grade A mudbugs once the season gears up, and that means huge crawfish at a premium. A premium well worth paying. Our last visit we paid $6.99 a pound (market price so it can change up or down), and they were meaty and tasty. You may order the crawfish with varied degrees of spiciness with wet sauces or a dried rub. Watch for a new location coming soon to Plano.

crawfish2Nate’s Seafood

Located in Addison, Nate’s has been a long time player in the crawfish game. Here the water is seasoned extra spicy where the bugs are given a mild hot bath to retain their crispness. You may have an added level of dried rub spice applied that will give you some terrific finger burns as you plow through piles of the wonderous large and plump crawfish. Once the season gets into high gear you can expect a highly discounted night mid-week. You will generally find a cool Cajun band playing Zydeco hits. It is best to position yourself at the bar for the best service, and quick returns on re-orders and cold beer.

TJ’s Seafood Market

Owner Jon Alexis doesn’t fool around when it comes to seafood. The noted fishmonger also takes pride in obtaining the very best crawfish available to mankind. You may enjoy crawfish by the pound at the Oak Lawn or newest location on Preston and Royal while sipping one of their signature beers, or chat up Alexis about doing your own boil at home. TJ’s can supply you with all the needed equipment, or cater a crawfish party. Look for only grade A once the season officially starts in the coming weeks.


crawfishTasty Tails

If you haven’t been to the Food Court on Legacy off of I75 in Plano, you are missing the boat, folks. It is here we have enjoyed some pretty special Asian cuisine. Let’s do a quick rundown of the highlights of the Food Court, which is BYOB. Hong Kong for steamed and baked buns, Hanni Indonesian for some terrific rice dishes, and Palayok for the very best an most authentic Filipino fare. Where else can you enjoy a vast assortment of nine Asian restaurants in one setting? It is here you will find some of the very best Cajun food in the city. Be sure to order a side of gumbo with your crawfish. You may also want a po boy (awesome) or some of the oddball items like a turkey neck. The crawfish can be ordered with a varied degree of spiciness. Thank us later for this recommendation.

The Free Man Cajun Cafe

Think live jazz nightly with your Cajun food. Great gumbo, fried catfish and alligator. Also, be sure to check out the huge fried jalapenos that are so spicy they will take the chrome off your Cadillac. The crawfish are prepared very well, and are market priced. Dixieland is the jazz of choice before 10pm, then i is anything goes.


Aw Shucks/ Big Shucks

Aw Shucks is located on Greenville Avenue, and Big Shucks is not terribly far away in East Dallas on Mockingbird (a second location is on South Coit). Plenty of terrific fried options like catfish and shrimp, but they also carry crawfish. It is seasoned well, but extreme on the heat like several locations we mention above. Very good gumbo and one wonderful Caldo, which is a shrimp and fish soup. All locations get extremely busy, and it is best f you are bilingual, but not required.

Fish City Grill

Plenty of seafood options here including a nice selection of oysters. Our favorite menu items here include a crab bisque, red beans and rice, and fish tacos. we also love the oyster nachos and the bread pudding. In addition, Fish City serves up some very good boiled crawfish.


Shuck’n Jive

Serving Dallas with multiple locations, Shuck and Jive is an uber neighborhood spot for all things seafood. The gumbo is superb with a smokey roux that gives the soup a depth of flavor. The crawfish come out steaming, spicy and very serious. You won’t find soggy bugs here as they are cooked to order.

If you have a favorite we did not mention, let us know and we will check it out and possibly add to our list.

The Flying Fish

This place has it all. Great seafood selections to fit any hunger, along with some really good crawfish. Last visit the crawfish were very large, and very spicy. Love the rainbow trout. The menu selection is vast, making decisions tough- we call that a high class problem. Many locations to serve you, but we generally dine at the Preston Center spot. They serve breakfast, and a damned good one.


Filed under Steven Doyle

14 responses to “2016 Top Ten Places To Enjoy Crawfish In Dallas

  1. The Boiling Pots in Plano actually by far the best place we have found so far.

  2. David

    I hate the dry seasoning on the shell, so pointless. And if you’re doing it for spice, then ya ain’t boilin’em right.

  3. Johnnie

    I put Dodie’s LIVE in Frisco up against anyone & their LIVE music only adds to the experience! Their Fat Tuesday rocked on BOTH!

    • friscocajun

      Dodies is nasty. Eaten there twice, and I’m from southern Louisiana and know good Cajun. Gumbo is like dishwasher and crawfish were mushy.

  4. Ricardo m

    Come to mickeys sports bar and grill 3758 s.carrier pkwy Grand Prairie tx guaranteed best crawfish in the metroplex

  5. Hey Steve

    You forgot the Grester Dallas Restaurant Association’s Heads or Tails Seafood Boil Monday, February 23rd at The Rustic!!! We have one of your favorite bands playing – Shoot Low Sheriff. See you Monday.

  6. David Klick

    Cajun Tailgators in Plano boiled the way crawfish should be done . True Louisana folks who grew up doing it. Most of the places mentioned here are Asian culture Markets .

  7. Sheperd Smith

    TJ’s is a joke. No need to explain, just go to Nates Seafood in Addison instead.

  8. Bayou Cat in Arlington should have made this list

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  10. Lue Hogge

    I am usually to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

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