crawfish in september

Popular Viet-Cajun crawfish restaurant steams up The Heights with new locale

Popular Viet-Cajun crawfish restaurant steams up The Heights

Crawfish Cafe crawfish
Viet-Cajun crawfish have arrived in The Heights. Courtesy of Crawfish Cafe

The Heights has a new destination for Viet-Cajun cuisine. Crawfish Cafe will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday, September 19.

A Chinatown favorite known for its garlic butter Viet-Cajun crawfish, Crawfish Cafe has been quietly holding a soft opening this week. Over a year in the making, co-owner Kiet Duong tells CultureMap he’s pleased by the welcome he’s received so far at the new location (1026 N. Shepherd Dr.).

“People who have been coming in have been great,” Duong says. “North Shepherd, there’s so much going on. I see Velvet Taco is popping up soon. It’s going to be a great location for business.”

To answer the obvious question, yes, Crawfish Cafe currently has fresh, live crawfish that it brings in from California. Priced at $10.99 per pound, they’re available in six different flavors (garlic butter, kicking Cajun, Thai basil, etc.) as well as three house special blends that mix two flavors together.

“The quality is really good,” Duong says. “People may not be familiar with it, but it’s pretty much exactly the same thing as Louisiana crawfish.”

Diners will find other Viet-Cajun favorites, including eight different wing sauces, fried seafood baskets, and crawfish eggrolls. Beverage options include all the usual sodas and tea, plus fresh-squeezed orange juice, beer, and margaritas.

Although the restaurant’s patio isn’t ready in time for opening weekend, Duong expects people will be enjoying crawfish al fresco in a week or so.

Saturday’s grand opening will be appropriately festive. The first 100 people through the door will each receive a $10 gift card, and everyone who dines will get 10-percent off their meals. In addition, Crawfish Cafe will be hosting two pop-ups: Mexican candy purveyor La Dulce Factory from 12 -3 pm and Golden Pig Cracklings from 2 - 5 pm.

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Crawfish Cafe will be operating at 50-percent capacity for now. Duong says the restaurant likely won’t go to 75 percent next week, because the space isn’t large enough to allow for the increase while still maintaining 6 feet between tables.