Who knew DFW had so many great Cajun food options? If the spirit moves you this Carnival season, try one of these, or two, or three, and be sure to report back on your experience! The area's best in gator, gumbo, crawdads and étouffée awaits!
1. THE FREE MAN
Heading to the Free Man is a truly special Dallas experience each and every time. The live jazz and swing music nightly is a true treat, for sure, but their Cajun food menu doesn't get near enough love. Try their voodoo chicken sandwich after sharing some hot crab dip, and your toe will start to tappin' because it's music in your mouth. We also love their pasta dishes The Ella and The Louis! Big recommend!
2. BIG SHUCKS
No matter which of the five Big Shucks locations in Dallas (Greenville or Mockingbird), Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco you happen to be visiting, you're bound to get a dose of DFW's best shucking seafood when you go. The oysters may be kings at Big Shucks, but the crawfish are a very close second. They're always live at Big Shucks, and they're always worth sucking the head. The po' boys ($11.99) are also winners here!
3. NOLA BRASSERIE
There is a great atmosphere and energy to Nola Brasserie, and you feel it as soon as you walk in. This is where Cajun Creole seafood is perfected in Dallas. For starter, you can't go wrong with either the Creole crab cakes ($12.50) or the alligator bites ($11). For a main, the redfish Acadian ($27) always impresses, or you can always keep it simple with a Who-Dat Special ($17), which requires just one choice: fried shrimp or catfish, to go along with your fries, slaw and crawfish fritters.
4. THE BOILING CRAB
📍Dallas and Plano, TX
Enjoy "Feast Mode" at the Boiling Crab, where their story is written in Sha-bang sauce all over your bib and in the beer spilled across the table. The flavors are bold, the seafood is fresh and there's plenty of dirty fun to be had at Boiling Crab! The simplicity of the menu is this place's power — the ingredients do all the talking here, but you can also get it fried and spicy! We love the Shabang Bang shrimp.
5. BUCKY MOONSHINE'S
You may have known it as the Alligator Cafe, but Bucky Moonshine's Southern Eats takes the foundation built by its predecessor at the same spot in Deep Ellum and expands on it. Chef-driven Southern food mixes well with the distinct Southern charm that wafts through the air at Bucky Mooneshine's. We love how the fried catfish fillets ($13.50) are actual fillets here, not just strips. We love the February special even more, though. All month long, be sure and grab their delicious crawfish enchiladas!
6. S+D OYSTER COMPANY
Uptown's S&D Oyster is a true Dallas original. Herb and Mary Kay Story named the place for their two children in 1976, just a year before their third, Charlie, arrived. Sorry, Charlie. But for the best oysters in town, S&D is absolutely on the shortest of short lists. We love the spicy shrimp and cream cheese dip as a starter, before cramming as many oysters as is legally allowable into our faces. The lemon pie and bread pudding with whiskey sauce are both excellent dessert options, too!
7. SHUCK AND JIVE
No nonsense here. Just straightforward and affordable fried Southern goodies all up and down the menu. We love the shrimp, oysters and crab combo ($12.99) or an order of the Cajun fried oysters ($15.49) to get things started, then may be a crawfish roll or an order of crab cake sliders ($9.99 each) just for grins. You can't beat a $4.99 house-made bread pudding to seal the dessert deal, either.
8. TWILITE // Fort Worth
📍Fort Worth, TX
The Po' Boy Shop at Twilite Fort Worth is amazing. You can always go familiar and get a po' boy (they're all $13.50) of the catfish or shrimp varieties, and you would be well served in doing so. But why not step out and get one with the grilled andouille sausage, or with roast beef and "debris." And if you're going on a weekend around brunch or lunch hours, be sure to try the brunch po' boys ($7.50 – $10.50), which start with egg and cheese and come with your choice of bacon, ham, andouille sausage or fries.
Add these to the Love List!✨💕