Young and Hungry

It’s Louisiana Crawfish Season But Where the Hell Can You Get Them?

One of the subjects in this mini-documentary on Louisiana crawfish claims that, at some point, 95 percent of the mud bugs were consumed right there in the Pelican State.

"My first reaction was," the subject tells the camera crew, "'How are we letting the other 5 percent get away?'"

Well, they certainly aren't sneaking their way to D.C., at least not in the droves that I'd like to see. I mean, it's Lent, for chrissakes (sorry). We're supposed to be tearing apart mud bugs right now and devouring their seasoned sweet meat along with links of smoked sausages and fresh corn on the cob.

But where are the crawfish boils around here? Where are the full head-on Louisiana crawfish? Here are the results of my quick survey of the local landscape:

  • Acadiana will start up its crawfish boils in April, weather permitting. They run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays on the patio.
  • Johnny's Half Shell has no crawfish on the menu, although chef Ann Cashion occasionally runs it on special.
  • Bardia's New Orleans Cafe gets crawfish meat from Argentina and serves it in jambalaya and etouffee. The owner swears you won't be able to tell the difference from the Louisiana crawfish.
  • Louisiana Kitchen buys frozen tail meat and uses it in bisque and etouffee and the like.
  • Sea Side Crab House buys whole crawfish from Louisiana, but they're frozen. Still, this is my favorite place to eat crawfish, although you have to drive all the way to the Eden Center to do it.
  • Social in Columbia Heights has shown considerable improvement with its "mud bug" beignets (which now taste like crawfish although the croquette's interior too closely resembles uncooked batter for my palate). The place also serves up a fine "crawfish Monica," a big bowl of rotini pasta studded with mud bugs and veggies and heavily sauced in a creamy, spicy Creole concoction. Both dishes feature small, presumably frozen pieces of tail meat.

Help me out, Y&H Nation. Where can you get some real Louisiana crawfish during the time of year when you're supposed to eat them? We gotta hurry. There are only a few weeks left of Lent.

  • monkeyrotica

    I get them from Jessie Taylor Seafood, Maine Avenue fish market, next to Captain White's. You can get a 5lb pillow pack to take home and boil your own or get the precooked kind and just eat them in the parking lot.

  • GeneM

    Thank you!!!

  • Tim Carman


    Do you know where Jessie Taylor gets his mud bugs? I need to make a visit. And thanks for the info.


  • Brian

    Tim, anyone who enjoys real New Orleans food wouldn't dare mention Bardia's or the terrible Louisiana Kitchen if they wanted to maintain a shred of credibility. I've been to both places, and this New Orleans native has no plans on returning to either.

    I think the best place to get the scoop on crawfish boils is through groups like the Louisiana State Society or the DC Louisiana Collegiate Coalition. Other than Acadiana, I don't know any restaurants doing large-scale crawfish boils.

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  • Lyle

    Ask and ye shall receive . . .

  • MW

    Last time I was at Phillips on Maine Avenue, there were crawfish at their buffet.

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  • jeremy

    jessie taylor does not serve fresh boiled mudbugs (or at least they didn't used to), nor do they sell them live.

    LA state societies are great bets, and several places (the cowboy cafe_ occassionally get them shipped up.

    the cajun grocer can also ship them up live, in bulk, but it costs.

  • jeremy


    Welcome to the DC Louisiana Alumni Chapters
    2010 Annual Crawfish Boil

    Save the date, Saturday, May 29, 2010.
    Fort Hunt Park – Area A – Alexandria, VA


    15,000 lbs of hot and spicy Crawfish, jambalaya, & fixin’s - Live Louisiana Music, Moonbounce for the kids, & park games with 1,500 of your closest Louisiana friends


  • Joshua McCallie

    Hello All,

    My name is Joshua with a new/old company...Steamboat Bill's Coast to Coast. I have spent this young season working with an expert in the field -Mr. Steamboat Bill, himself. I claim not to be an expert...yet. But, I can have you a weekly crawfish delivery there once a week. It will be fresh, clean, live crawfish no more than 20hrs out of the water before its at a doorstep or restauant. It would be awesome to get any feedback from you all on connecting myself with a customer base that is ready for the expansion of crawfish to the East Coast.

    Please place an order for our first week of delivery to the area, April 15th, to or call me 806-717-1449. You may also contact Jeff Cook who is a local in the area and will be the deliverer of some good ole' mudbugs! Jeff can be reached at 703-672-6831.

  • andrea h

    Yes Jessie Taylors does sell live crawfish. Had some last weekend. As of now they only seem to get them on the weekend. Iwent fri. and by sat. they had no more. Reall need a constant. Source here.

  • Zac Culbertson

    Ummmm... Hello? Every Saturday through July you can get all you can eat crawfish @ the Cowboy Cafe in Arlington Va. They're flown up live every Saturday morning from New Orleans via USAIR Freight. We boil 'em by the pot full. I know because I own the place. We've been doing it since the end of March. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the USO as well so you get a double bonus there.