Louisiana is defined by our cuisine. Our French, Spanish, Native American, and African heritage has given us some amazing Creole and Cajun dishes. Chefs spend years perfecting that perfect roux. Families pass down their gumbo recipes for generations. Food is a huge part of who we are. We couldn’t possibly list all of the restaurants that define Louisiana, but we got a pretty good start. If you have out-of-state visitors, or maybe you’re just looking for some amazing southern cuisine, these are just some of the places to get some great food. Remember, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.
1. Middendorf's, Manchac
Any Louisianian worth their salt will tell you to go to Middendorf's. When Louis Middendorf and his wife Josie started this business in 1934, they had no idea that it would become such a Louisiana institution. They're known for their thin fried catfish, which was an original recipe of Mama Josie and they continue to use her recipe today. Located at 30160 US-51, Akers, LA 70421
2. Galatoire's, New Orleans
Established in 1905, this New Orleans staple is still run by the same family, now in its fifth generation. It's an oldie AND a goodie. Located at 209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130
3. Blue Dog Cafe, Lake Charles
Blue Dog Cafe will make you feel like you're dining in the middle of an art gallery. The walls are filled with the artwork from the famous blue dog artist, George Rodqigue. It's truly an impressive collection. You have to try the crawfish enchiladas! Located at 609 Ryan Street, Lake Charles LA 70503, and there's also a location in Lafayette.
4. Billy's and Ray's Boudin, Opelousas
Opelousas is known as the "spice capital of the world" and this place certainly lives up to that. Billy's got their start over in Krotz Spring and then expanded to Opelousas where they serve two boudin recipes: Billy's and Ray's. Smoked boudin, crawfish boudin, peperjack stuffed boudin balls and cracklins are just some of the items on the menu.
Located at 904 Short Vine, Opelousas, LA 70570
5. Darrell's, Lake Charles
Darrell's has been a Lake Charles favorite since 1985. It's one of the best places to get a po'boy in the Lake Charles area. Located at 119 West College Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605
6. Antoine's, New Orleans
The oldest family run restaurant in the country and it's right here in New Orleans. You have to try the Oysters Rockefeller, this is where it was invented! Located in the heart of the French Quarter, 713 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130
7. Prejean's, Lafayette
Prejean's is in the heart of Cajun country and their dishes stay true to traditional Cajun cuisine. Gumbo, Etoufee, Crawfish Bisque... you really can't go wrong with any of their menu options.
8. Commander's Palace, New Orleans
Probably one of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans, this place has been in business since 1880.
9. Restaurant Cotton, Monroe
Some of the finest southern cuisine is waiting for you at this restaurant. Located at 101 N Grand St, Monroe, LA 71201
10. Lagneaux's, Lafayette
For over 40 years Lagneaux's has been an Acadiana landmark. Called the "King of Seafood", they have an extensive menu that'll satisfy any palette. Located at 445 Ridge Rd Lafayette, LA 70506
11. Porky's, Alexandria
There's always a line at Porky's, and for good reason! This place has some of the best boudin and cracklins in northern Louisiana. Located at 1521 Bringhurst St Alexandria, Louisiana 71303
12. Herby K's, Shreveport
Herby K's has been in serving up delicious Cajun food since 1936. They're famous for their Shrimp Buster, four fried shrimp pounded flat and fried to perfection, served with a secret red sauce. Located at 1833 Pierre Ave, Shreveport LA 71103
13. Shucks! Oyster House, Abbeville
When you want fresh oysters, you can't bean Shucks! Oyster House in Abbeville. Located at 701 West Port Street in Abbeville, LA 70510 and they recently opened a Baton Rouge location at 18135 East Petroleum Drive in Baton Rouge, LA 70810
14. Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar, Kenner
A local favorite in Kenner, this place has a great atmosphere and an even better menu. Serving up high quality seafood for over 30 years. Bonus! Their retail store next door (Fisherman's Cove) will ship you your favorites, so you can have a taste of home wherever you are. Located at 3201 Williams Blvd. Kenner, LA 70065
15. Parrain's Seafood, Baton Rouge
Conveniently located in mid-city Baton Rouge, Parrain's has been serving up amazing dishes since 2001. Located at 3225 Perkind Rd Baton Rouge, LA
16. Mother's, New Orleans
You didn't think we'd leave out Mother's, did you? This place has been a New Orleans staple since 1938. Authentic New Orleans home-style cooking just like ya mamma used to make. It's worth the wait in line to try their baked ham, or their famous Ferdi Special (pictured above).
17. Strawn's Eat Shop, Shreveport
Strawns has three locations, Strawn's Eat Shop Original, Strawn's Eat Shop Too & Strawn's Eat Shop Also. The original has been serving delicious classic southern food since 1944. Beautiful murals are painted on the walls, adding a special ambiance to your experience. While they have amazing entrees, make sure you leave room for their famous ice box pies! Located at 125 Kings Hwy Shreveport, Louisiana
18. Drago's, Metairie
If you're looking for charbroiled oysters, Drago's is the place to go. Serving the New Orleans area since 1969. Located at 3232 N. Arnoult Rd Metairie, LA 70002
19. Morton's, Madisonville
You'll fall in love with this place when you walk in. Friendly atmosphere, great service, amazing seafood. Located at 702 Water St in Madisonville, LA
20. Crawfish Town USA, Henderson
This converted 19th century barn just outside of Breaux Bridge boils up some amazing mudbugs you just have to try. You can also shop at their Fresh Market and take home some boudin, smoked sausage, catfish, and other Cajun favorites. Located at 2815 Grand Point Highway Henderson, LA 70517
21. Sal & Judy's, Lacombe
Chef Sal Impasato has been cooking up authentic Italian since 1974. This place is a wonderful mix of Chef Sal's Sicilian roots blended with traditional Louisiana spice. One of his signature dishes is crawfish and crabmeat cannelloni. Located at 27491 Hwy 190, Lacombe, LA 70445
22. Swamp Daddy's, Alexandria
Boiled crawfish, fried seafood, boudin, cracklins... This place has all the Cajun staples you need to have an amazing experience. Located at 55 MacArthur Drive Alexandria, LA 71303
There you have it! Have you been to any of these restaurants? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!