If Gumbo is one of your favorite dishes to eat when you’re out and about or fancying a takeaway, it can be tricky to know where to go to get just the right thing.
So in this guide to the best places to get Gumbo in Houston, we will show you the areas that we thought stood up to the competition.
Best Gumbo Restaurants and Takeaways in Houston
We have researched and tested many restaurants in Houston to show you our guide, giving you an excellent selection of family-friendly, up-market, casual, authentic, and modern eateries so that there is something for everyone.
We have looked at budgets, locations, and dietary requirements, so you will find somewhere that suits you, whether you want a gluten-free meal or are dining with a vegetarian or vegan.
#1. Ragin’ Cajun
|Address:||4302 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027|
|Food:||Seafood, PO-boy, jambalaya, sandwiches|
|Our Recommendation:||Red Beans with Rice and Sausage|
The Ragin’ Cajun offers a good variety of gumbo-style dishes. For example, their menu “From The Bayou” has six options, with two different Gumbo dishes and similar choices such as the Jambalaya and Etouffee’.
Alongside the gumbo menu, they have an extensive choice of seafood options if you visit with anyone after something other than Gumbo. These include snow crab, Gulf-coast shrimp, and crawfish. Some of these options are seasonal, so be sure to check out what seafood is in the season before visiting if any of them take your fancy.
They offer a children’s menu consisting of classic favorites such as mac & cheese, or for those more adventurous little ones, they have crawfish tails and catfish nuggets.
They promote many offers throughout the week, like daily specials, a happy hour Monday to Friday between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and weekend specials. These keep things interesting for the regulars.
Ragin’ Cajun is not an ideal place to go if you’re traveling with a vegetarian, as there are not any veggie options on the main menu.
Their prices range averages at around $9 to $15 for most of the main courses, making it quite reasonable for most.
|Address:||1119 Pease Street, Houston, TX, 77002|
|Food:||Gumbo, jambalaya, salad, PO-boy|
|Our Recommendation:||Fried Crawfish Platter|
A traditional family-run restaurant that uses classical ingredients and recipes passed down through generations; Zydeco has been serving since 1988. This is where you go for an authentic Gumbo dish.
While their presentation may not be something to share with your Instagram followers, this means nothing regarding flavors. Zydeco has a large following of loyal and regular customers who support them, proving their quality and standards for their food.
They offer two different Gumbo dishes, a shrimp and crab claw, and a chicken and sausage, so you have the option of meat or seafood.
They also offer children’s meals, sandwiches, and a choice of platters should you wish to order any extras.
You can also get a lunchtime menu here, which changes daily, but you will be pleased to know the Gumbo is available on each day of the week.
Once again, there are not many vegan or vegetarian options available here. But not to worry, we’re getting to those.
#3. Bayou City
|Address:||4712 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027|
|Food:||Gumbo, bisque, salad, seafood, pasta|
|Our Recommendation:||Pasta Liberty|
Bayou City is an exciting restaurant well known for its Gumbo, pasta, and seafood. They do not take bookings here and operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, which given their popularity, means you need to arrive in good time to secure yourselves a table and avoid a lengthy wait.
They have an extensive menu with a wide range of options for proteins, including meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes.
They offer a happy hour special, every day of the week, weekdays from 2 pm, Saturdays till 6 pm, and Sundays, all day. They also offer a “Power Lunch Special” every day from 11 am – 4 pm.
Their menu is relatively large, so our advice would be to check the menu ahead of your visit, especially if you’re in a rush, as you will be spoilt for choice.
They offer seafood and meat gumbo, alongside some jambalaya dishes. These will cost you $14.50. For this, you get a good-sized, well-presented portion of food which is packed full of flavor and made to a high standard, using good quality ingredients.
There are many vegetarian options available here, and also dishes to suit multiple dietary requirements.
They have an extensive pasta menu and also a good selection of specials. There are also children’s options available for the little ones.
They also have a decent drinks menu, consisting of special offers depending on the day and time of your visit.
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#4. Esther’s Cajun Cafe and Soulfood
|Address:||5204 Yale St. Houston, TX 77091|
|Food:||Gumbo, roast chicken, etouffee, steak, fried chicken|
|Our Recommendation:||Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee|
Esther’s Cajun Cafe and Soulfood is a family-run restaurant mainly favored by daytime diners. They aren’t open as late as some other places in the area. They are also well known for their outside catering. They have been successfully serving in the area since 2008 and are constantly expanding.
They offer weekend specials on a Friday and Saturday, including a Gumbo dish served with a 5oz fish fillet for only $13.79. There is also an etouffee and a pasta dish available on this offer.
They have an extensive list of side dishes to accompany your meal, which is all low priced, around $3-£4 each. They also have a children’s menu, which cost an average of $9.00 and are available Monday to Thursday.
Their dishes are all well presented and vibrant, making them very appealing to the eye on top of tasting incredible.
Their meals can be ordered as a smaller portion for half the price, making it perfect for a light lunch or those with a smaller appetite.
They offer a good choice of specials, drinks, and desserts.
#5. Brennan’s of Houston
|Address:||3300 Smith Street, Houston, TX 77006|
|Food:||Oysters, Steak, Shrimp and grits, Enchiladas|
|Our Recommendation:||Beef Tips Diane|
Although Brennan’s is not a gumbo-focused restaurant, we had to mention it here in our guide due to the high-quality experience we received at this establishment. Although this may be out of some people’s price range, if you are looking for somewhere for a romantic meal in Houston and looking to splash out for that special occasion, then Brennans can not miss this place.
The dishes available here are exquisite, and you will not know what to choose with unique dishes such as the snapping turtle soup. We, of course, sampled the Gumbo, which was out of this world, along with the beef tip Diane, which comes accompanied by roasted mushrooms and a red wine demi-glaze.
The prices here sit at the higher end of the scale, with some main courses averaging around $28-$40. But we can assure you; it’s worth every penny.
You can book parties here where you will get a room, and catering for any occasion, perfect if you’re celebrating a wedding, christening, special birthday, etc.
Brennan’s has a courtyard bar, surrounded by beautiful oak trees, creating a great atmosphere. The bar is open Tuesday to Sunday, 4:00 pm till 9:00 pm, and also offers a happy hour Tuesday to Friday, 4:00 pm till 7:00 pm. They have some fantastic handcrafted cocktails and a lovely snack menu in the courtyard too.
They also offer some excellent vegetarian and vegan dishes, which stand out from the usual meals available at other restaurants and stand up to the same quality as the rest of their menu. One example is a Mushroom and Spinach Ragu in a Yello Tomato Marinara Sauce, Starburst Squash, with a Vegan Cream Cheese.
This restaurant is aimed more at the special occasion dinner or those looking at splashing out on fine dining.
#6. Abes Cajun Market
|Address:||1080 Clear Lake Blvd, Suite D, Houston, 77062|
|Food:||Speciality meats, meatloaf, stuffed potato, gumbo, sandwiches|
|Our Recommendation:||Seafood Gumbo Cup|
Abes Cajun Market is a family-run restaurant and meat market. Serving up authentic Cajun cuisine, they are a favorite with their locals and visitors. It is a casual and family-friendly establishment.
Abes is open seven days a week, 9 am-9 pm. They offer daily specials on specific days of the week, so be sure to check their website depending on what day you’re visiting to see what is on that day.
Both the chicken and sausage and the seafood Gumbo are exceptional; using classical, authentic, and simple ingredients gives you a natural feel for the traditional flavors of the Gumbo.
They have some fantastic shrimp dishes, the satin shrimp being a real stand-out if you want to get something to share alongside your Gumbo; this comes highly recommended.
There is also a children’s menu, which has Nine options, a good choice compared to some other restaurants. And these are all priced at only $5.99 each.
You are looking at around $14 for a standard course regarding the main menu, but this depends on your choice.
There are a couple of vegetarian dishes available, but their menu is very meat and fish focused, so the choices are not great, but there are some suitable choices.
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7. Rainbow Lodge
|Address:||2011 Ella Blvd, Houston, TX 77008|
|Food:||Gumbo, carpaccio, burrata, mixed grill, chops, duck|
|Our Recommendation:||The Lodge's Smoked Duck Gumbo|
Rainbow Lodge is an amazing place to visit, not only for the food but also for the setting. It is a sophisticated yet casual restaurant, set in a beautiful log cabin on the bank side of White Oak Bayou and serving up wild game dishes and fresh seafood.
One of the gumbo dishes available on their menu completely goes against the grain of traditional recipes. It consists of smoked duck, andouille sausage, and wild rice pilaf, and take our word for it. When we say, you have to try it!
The rest of the menu is unique, showcasing dishes you will not see at your local diner. The South Texas Nilgai Antelope Loin served with mustard grains and studded cheddar grits is one of many that make them stand out.
Rainbow Lodge is at the higher end of the scale when it comes to pricing, so it is perhaps more of a venue selection for a special occasion. For instance, the specialty entrees will set you back between $32 and $57. The children’s meals cost $12.99, and the desserts are all $9.
There are one or two vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and they’re pretty appealing compared to the usual. For instance, the Sweet Potato Flautas, with charred mushroom salsa, avocado crema, pickled onion, was a massive hit and came highly recommended.
They do also offer gluten-free menu options.
They have a very long list of drinks available on their menu, including an extensive wine list and cocktail options.
We hope we have shown you that when it comes to finding a good gumbo dish in Houston, many places offer just what you need, from the most authentic to the more unconventional, and suit all kinds of budgets and requirements.
If you have enjoyed reading our guide on the Seven best places to get Gumbo in Houston, why not take a look at the best restaurants in Houston for other cuisines that might take your fancy.