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Where to Eat Soft Shell Crab in Houston Restaurants

Eater Staff, Jodie Eisenhardt, and Ellie Sharp on May 19, 2015, 10:50a

Due to the variable water conditions that trigger molting cycles, soft shell crabs could be here to stay or gone tomorrow. Regardless a slew of local spots are serving the delicious crustaceans. Quantities are limited and not guaranteed so call ahead to confirm availability and avoid disappointment.

1 Brennan's of Houston

Live crab delivered directly from Louisiana to Chef Danny Trace’s kitchen is the base of several dishes where this regional favorite shines. The Crispy Louisiana Softshell Crab bathes the main attraction in Brennan’s signature Creole seasoning blend before getting an egg wash and breadcrumb treatment. The whole shebang is served atop goat cheese stone ground grits, Covey Rise lima bean succotash, and finished with a charred lemon ravigote sauce.

 [Photo: Courtesy Brennan's ]


2 Kata Robata

East meets South in Chef Manabu Horiuchi’s Louisiana Soft Shell Crab Tempura. The golden crab is enhanced by sauce composed of sugar, fish sauce, Thai chili, lime, and mirin — not to mention a sprinkle of Korean BBQ powder. It comes with shishito peppers and bibb lettuce.

3 Mockingbird Bistro

Chef John Sheely's Soft Shell Crabs a la Meuniere incorporates the classic flavors of brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon for a no-fuss-just-good salute to the seasonal favorite.

4 PESKA Seafood Culture

With celebrity-chef Omar Pereney at the helm in stylish new Peska, the newest eatery in popular BLVD Place, you know goodness awaits. Look for tacos with battered & fried soft-shell crab nestled against serrano pepper, red onion, avocado, and a citrus soy glaze served on a fresh flour tortilla.

5 Pico's Mex Mex

Take a “swim” over to Arnaldo Richard’s Upper Kirby restaurant for his “al mojo de ajo” style soft-shell crab. Here the crab gets dusted with a proprietary blend of flour and spices before being pan sautéed with garlic-infused olive oil. Also on the plate are a spicy dipping sauce, rice, and cubes of avocado.

6 Prego

Though Rice Village is far from the sea, Prego is ready to shorten that distance if only temporarily. Here the cornmeal-crusted soft-shell crab is pan-sautéed and then baked to crispy perfection, served with tomato-lemon butter sauce, grilled asparagus, and house made truffled potato stuffed ravioli.

7 Straits Restaurant

For a decidedly different angle than the traditional Southern depiction, try this City Centre hotspot offering soft-shell crab “sliders” within fluffy Chinese bao buns. The crispy, seasoned crab is served with a sweet onion Yuzu sauce that offers a bright and savory deviation from expected mayo-based sauces.

8 Table 57

Chef Malachi Davis created the soft-shell crab po’boy at this restaurant within H-E-B (on San Felipe). He soaks generous-sized crustaceans in buttermilk before dredging them in his signature seasoning that includes BBQ spice, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. A dip in hot oil ensures ultra-crispy crab that is topped with fried onion rings, house-made remoulade, fresh tomato slices, and green-leaf lettuce. It is served with a side of fresh cut onion rings (or fresh fries) and homemade jalapeno hush puppies.