I guess one of the best things about being so close to the coast is that any seafood you eat is bound to be as fresh as can be. At least that’s the deal in Houston, Texas.
Houston just so happens to be home to some of the best tasting oysters I have ever had. And I am pretty sure we can attribute that to the fact that the sea is literally a stone’s throw away!
The great thing about Houston is that there is a great mixture of fantastic independent eateries, and chain restaurants that are a favorite of anyone.
As you may know by now, especially if you have read other articles of mine, I am a keen foodie, and oysters are my all-time favorite. As such, I have eaten in countless Houston restaurants - basically, if they serve oysters, I want in!
In this article, I want to give you a review of some of the best oyster joints I have eaten at in the lovely old city of Houston.
If you are venturing to that part of Texas sometime soon and want to find out how you can get your oyster fix, this might just be the article for you.
Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette
4224 San Felipe St, Houston, TX 77027
First on the list, we have Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette.
As the restaurant name suggests, this joint is heavy on seafood - particularly oysters! They have a number of different menus, such as brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and some drinks and specials’ menus.
As such, there is plenty of choice for you, whatever time of day you visit.
One of the best parts of the menu, at least in my oyster obsessed opinion, is the section they have specifically for their ‘raw bar selection’. As you might have guessed, this is jam packed with a plethora of delicious oysters.
The choices are as follows: Gulf of Mexico Oyster Selects (from Texas and Louisiana), Seasonal East Coast Oyster Varieties (the location of these oysters varies with the seasons but you can ask your server for specifics when you visit), the Liberty Tower which includes 6 mixed oysters as well as cocktail shrimp and crab.
There is even the Liberty Stacked Tower for those who are sharing, containing a whopping 12 oysters, 8 shrimp cocktails, a pound of poached lobster, and a crab cocktail.
Other delicious options that you just have to try include the oyster deviled eggs, the oyster stew, and the aptly named Big As Your A** breakfast which includes a chicken fried ribeye, bacon jam (trust us when we say that this stuff is phenomenal) and of course, fried oysters - for breakfast no less!
The vibe of the restaurant is classy whilst being totally unpretentious. I was very impressed with the retro aesthetic, and the eclectic decor. You will certainly feel comfortable there, with the friendly staff, delicious food, and fantastic atmosphere.
1212 Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77019
The fried oysters from Tony Mandolas are some of the best I have ever eaten, and even that is an understatement.
I am especially a fan of the Jumbo Fried Oysters on the Blue Oyster Bar Classics section of the main menu. They are seasoned and covered in cornmeal bread coating and fried to golden crispy perfection.
They are served with delicious french fries and coleslaw, and the mixture of all three flavors just works so well.
If you want to try a bit of a mixture from Tony Mandolas, you can choose the Blue Seafood Combo Platter which includes those lovely fried oysters I just told you about, alongside catfish, shrimp, and crab!
If you happen to head on Tony Mandolas at breakfast time, you just have to try the fried oyster omelet. The pairing of the oysters with egg smoked ham, and onions, along with the sauteed collard greens are a delicious combination.
The overall atmosphere at Tony Mandolas is often bustling. You can tell how popular they are since they are busy the majority of the time. However, even at these busy times, service is always impeccable.
The ambiance is one of laidback class - y’know, the sort of place that you can relax in, whilst still feeling as though you are in a top-quality eatery.
A must-try oyster eatery if you are venturing to Houston sometime soon!
Captain Tom's Seafood & Oyster Bar
13955 East Fwy, Houston, TX 77015
Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar is one of the best places in Houston to go for great value, freshly shucked oysters. In fact, you can get a whale dozen freshly shucked oysters for just EIGHT DOLLARS!
One of the best things about Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar is the ambiance. The whole restaurant is a small, boat-shaped building. As such, it is the perfect place for an intimate meal with your loved ones.
Something you are bound to enjoy is that it is difficult to get a WiFi signal in Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. This forces you to just sit and enjoy the meal (which is easy to do when you taste how wonderful everything is).
If fried oysters are more your thing, then you can get those too, sling with fried shrimp, gumbo, boiled shrimp, and even a frog’s leg platter (hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!).
One thing I do want to point out is that because of its smaller size, Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar cannot fit as many people as some other restaurants on this list.
Now, this isn’t a bad thing, as it is a testament to how awesome it is - but it can get very busy, and waiting times can be high.
Trust me when I say that the waiting is well worth it, but if you are in a rush, you may want to consider getting a takeout order from the restaurant instead!
One thing is for sure, and that is that you are sure to love Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, and you should relish every second (and every bite) you have there.
4302 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027
Ragin Cajun. What can I say - the name says it all! Satisfying Cajun cuisine which just so happens to heavily feature oysters! I have one word for you (or is it technically two?) - po’boys!
If you are coming to Houston and happen to pass by the Ragin Cajun restaurant, it is essential that you pop in for a Po’Boy. They do lots of different flavor options, but of course, my favorite is the Fried Gulf Coast Oyster Po’Boy.
Delicious doesn’t even begin to cut it, especially if you spring for the additional cheese slices!
As well as Po’Boys, Ragin Cajuns also offer a fantastic array of seafood platters, starters, and main meals, among many other scrumptious recipes.
One of the starters that is a favorite of mine is the Signature Char-grilled Oysters. They are topped with Italian cheese and lemon-garlic herb butter, and the pairing of the flavors is indescribable.
Don’t even bother getting half a dozen - go for the whole dozen!
If you are dining with seafood haters (first of all reassess your friendship circle), you can rest assured that there are many other options on Ragin Cajun’s menu such as buffalo wings, pasta, and non-seafood Po’boys. There is truly something for everyone.
The overall atmosphere inside Ragin Cajuns is one of comfort. The staff at the restaurant and the way it is decorated all work to make you feel at home.
There is a bustling atmosphere without it being too loud and crazy. It is family friendly and sure to be a hit on your trip to Houston.
All in all, I am certainly impressed by the oyster scene in Houston. The seafood options, in general, are absolutely wonderful in this coastal city, likely thanks to the fact that oysters come in fresh almost daily!
It is hard to turn a corner without being met by a restaurant in Houston, and what’s more, most of them serve seafood of some sort.
When it comes to oysters, the four restaurants that feature in this article have nailed it. My experience at each of them was fantastic. It is hard to pick a favorite, as I loved each of them.
In terms of atmosphere, Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar was my favorite as it felt very authentic. However, in terms of sheer food quality, choosing a winner is impossible.
Suffice to say, I would happily eat at each of them daily.
If you are visiting Houston and looking for a great place to chow down on some oysters, I highly recommend that you check out all four - Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, Tony Mandolas, Captain Tom’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, and lastly, Ragin Cajuns. You will not be disappointed.