Family life and social life on The Northshore, St. Tammany Parish, revolve around food, and nothing illustrates that better than crawfish season. Arrivals of the year’s first sacks of crawfish usually merit an announcement on the evening news, kicking off a feeding frenzy that lasts for months. Though the season can vary a little, supplies are usually plentiful and most reliable from January to June. This year will see a change to that pattern, owing to last year's severe draught, but festival planners are still making those boils happen--even if there might be a bit more fixin's in the boil than usual!


Slidell All You Can Eat Crawfish Cook-off


At peak season, around April, Louisianans celebrate spring with huge crawfish boils, cooking up 20- and 30-pound sacks of the crustaceans in cauldrons of spiced-up boiling water. There’s almost always crab boil (usually Zatarain’s) involved as well as cayenne pepper. Salt and lemons, too. Different cooks favor varied additions – corn on the cob, potatoes, mushrooms, whole garlic pods, sausage, among them. The crawfish, et al often are dumped, steaming, onto a tall table that has been lined with newspaper and family and friends gather around, standing, to feast, drink, laugh and repeat.


Scooping hot boiled crawfish from the pirogue.


Visitors sometimes are invited to these convivial crawfish boils (or are lucky enough to take part in one.) Cajun Encounters swamp tours in Slidell have tour captains that double as master boilers, and can arrange crawfish boils for groups in their pavilion. But seafood markets and restaurants get in on the action, too, selling hot boiled crawfish by the pound. (Expect to eat, on average, 3-5 pounds each!) Crawfish aren’t just served boiled. You’ll find them in iconic Louisiana dishes like crawfish étouffée or silky bisque, thrown into fettuccine and other pasta dishes, and battered and fried.


Platters of boiled crawfish, classic festival fare

Slidell's All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish Cook-off


Top Six Crawfish Cook-offs

These local crawfish cook-off events happen each spring in St. Tammany, and proceeds benefit local charities. 


NHBA Annual Crawfish Boil (March 8)


Olde Towne Crawfish & Music Festival (March 24)


Crawfish Cookin’ for a Cause (April 13)


Slidell’s All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish Cook-off (April 20)


St. Paul’s Alumni Association Crawfish Cook-off  (April 20)


Crawfish Cook-off for the Corps (April 27)



Seven Crawfish Spots on The Northshore

Dine-in crawfish are available at these locations on The Northshore.



Boiled and fried seafood and crawfish pies, too.
502 Gause Blvd., Slidell



Take home or eat there at the popular market and restaurant.
2020 LA Hwy 59, Mandeville



Boiled crawfish are among the Northshore’s best, and they ship overnight all over the U.S!
400 Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell



Market with fresh and boiled seafood, including crawfish, crabs, shrimp, fish, oysters, snow crab, shrimp, pork boudin and more.
1001 Gause Blvd. West, Slidell



This family-owned fish market and grocery has been providing fresh seafood to Louisianans since 1947.
304 LA-22, Madisonville



Legendary selection of seafood at this buffet-style restaurant off the beaten path.
81790 LA-21, Bush



Crawfish on the Geaux

These take-out spots serve boiled crawfish in drive-through fashion!

1512 N Hwy 190, Covington


2600 Florida St., Mandeville



Crawfish in net




Participants of the Crawfish Cookoof
Slidell's All You Can Eat Crawfish Cookoff

You'll eat very well on the Northshore. Search for restaurants by type of cuisine or location.