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Cajun House / Red Crawfish / Swamp / Rockin' Crawfish / Craw Station - What's the best?? [San Francisco]

This past summer I was renting an apt. on Hayes and used to walk to the Richmond daily for asian food... one evening, I stopped outside of Cajun House and peered in through the windows. I waited around 40mins (walked through the neighborhood) but couldn't get seating for one without a table, so I added it to my "to try" list and haven't been back since. I'm really craving cajun style seafood tonight and had instantly thought of trying Cajun House, however I'm discovering a few more options closer to my new 'hood (Pac Heights/Nob Hill) and wonder which is the best. I'll go out of my way if there's something worthwhile... can anyone suggest the best of the above mentioned restaurants please?

Thanks!!

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  1. No thoughts on any of the above?

    Red Crawfish gets the best reviews across the board but are any of the others worthwhile? Someone just posted about Craw Station... which is the best in SF proper?

    1. I don't have much to report, but Craw Station is frequently posting "Out of..." signs on the front door early in the day.

      It looks like they serve crabs and crawfish on white butcher paper, and you leave behind a pile of shells there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sugartoof

        or, fill the red metal buckets on the tables with the shells and your server will empty as it fills...
        children at the table can also draw on the white butcher paper with the crayons provided

      2. Thanks, I've made dinner reservations at Red Crawfish for next Sat. night and will try out Craw Station next to compare. It doesn't sound like any of the others are favored highly 'round here as nobody seems to mention them, so I'll start with these two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: OliverB

          If you are able to plan to arrive early, you may not have to wait for a table as the place was pretty much empty when we arrived at 5:30.

          Don't miss the catfish-- really moist and tastes so fresh. I loved the gumbo too and the mussels were in this garlic butter that I could have drank from a soup bowl!

          Parking was a challenge but I'm told that there's a metered lot somewhere on 8th between Irving and Judah if you get desperate.

          1. re: dimsumgirl

            Thanks! It's the first restaurant we'll hit when we get back from NYC. Meanwhile, we've got reservations at Red Crawfish for the Saturday after next. It'll be interesting to compare.

        2. I wasn't impressed enough by Red Crawfish to want to go back.

          More generally, I think serving shellfish in a plastic bag is gross. I'd be happy never to see that again.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Isn't that how they do it at all of these places?

            From what I've seen on Yelp, it sure looks like it... I just assumed it was a San Francisco thing.

            Do you just find it messy or unsanitary or what? I don't have any experience with it to know why it would be gross, unless you're just talking about the presentation.

            1. re: OliverB

              I've read that Vietnamese immigrants to the Gulf Coast came up with the plastic bag business.

          2. Hi

            I think it depends what you are looking for.
            I like my crawfish done Cajun, and I do not feel that most of the "Asian crawfish " places do it right. They use siracha and some other not so yummy sauces. In addition I have found that the other items offered are awful.

            Reds: I think they are the closest to what I am looking for, however they serve it in a bag, and the bugs overcook on the way to the table.

            Crawstation is my second.

            However, Boxing room is really the only place I feel nails it. (call ahead, they dont always have them)

            so I think it depends on what kind of crawfish you are looking for. I look forward to your report back

              1. Although lots have given it the thumbs down, for Viet style I think Red Crawfish is unbeatable. My girlfriend and I actually froze the remaining sauce and used it on shrimp months later and it totally did the trick. If you like Cajun style however, no Viet style will work. :)