You may have heard about them, you may have even dined at one of them, but did you know that these legendary restaurants are family owned? Yep, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most legendary restaurants in Louisiana that have been keeping it in the family for generations. Some of these restaurants are more than a century old! In no particular order, here are some of our favorites…
Established in 1840, Antoine’s is the oldest family-run restaurant in the country. The history behind the dining rooms is fascinating, and you can ask for a tour if you’d like. For example, the Mystery Room got its name due to Prohibition. During that time, you could walk through a door in the ladies’ restroom to a secret room and leave with a coffee cup full of alcohol. The standard response when asked where the cup came from was: "It’s a mystery to me" and the name stuck to this day. Located at 713 St. Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
Joe Casament opened the restaurant in 1919 and today it’s run by his son and grandson, Joseph and CJ. Make sure you check their hours of operation before you go! They are closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and all of June, July August. Located at 4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115.
3. Don’s Seafood
Don Landry opened his first restaurant in downtown Lafeyette in 1934 with $400 he borrowed from his uncle. Four generations and five locations later, the Landry family still owns and operates each restaurant. Don’s Seafood has locations in Lafayette, Dedham Springs, Gonzales, Hammons, Covington, and Metairie.
Shreveport’s oldest continually owned family restaurant has been around since 1927. John and Mary Fulco opened the business originally as a grocery in 1927. In 1949, the next generation took over. Sam and Florence Fertitta continued to run the business as a grocery until the 1960s when they expanded into the sandwich making business. They started selling muffulettas, and as they say, the rest is history. Today Fertitta’s is owned by Agatha Fertitta-McCall and the business is just as strong as ever. Their trademark "Muffy" sandwich is the most popular item on the menu, bringing both tourists and locals back again and again. Located at 1124 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101.
Founded in 1905 by Jean Galatoire, the historic New Orleans restaurant is now run by fifth generation Galatoire’s who continue to carry on the tradition that began over a century ago. Located at 209 Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA 70130.
When Herbert Johnn Busi Jr. opened Herby K’s back in 1936, he had no idea it would become a Shreveport institution. In 1945 he introduced the infamous Shrimp Buster (and the secret Shrimp Buster sauce) to the menu and people are still enjoying it over 70 years later! Herby-K’s has stayed in the family and is currently run by Janet Bean and her daughter and son-in-law, Angela and David Doe. Located at 1833 Pierre Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71103.
7. Judice Inn
Alcide and Marc Judice opened this Lafayette tradition in 1947. The brothers physically build the original building themselves, working only at night after their shifts at their primary jobs were completed. This delicious burger joint has kept it in the family all these years later, and a whole new generation of Judice’s are committed to bringing the same level of excellence that Al and Marc did. Located at 3134 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503.
8. Lea’s Lunchroom
Lea’s has been a favorite pitstop among locals since 1928. Lea Johnson was bored with his life as a mechanic, so he traded a car for two countertops, five barstools, one stove and a coffee pot. He hired a recent high school graduate to manage the café, and wouldn’t you know it they got married in 1939. Lea’s is known for their delicious homemade pies, which are a family recipe. Located at 1810 Hwy 71, Lecompte, LA 71346.
Opened in 1962 and still going strong! Poche’s is known for their specialty meats like tasso, bousin, smoked sausages and more. They know how to serve up authentic, delicious Cajun dishes that you’re sure to love. Currently operated by second generation owner Floyd Poche and his wife Karen. Located at 3015 Main Hwy, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517.
Owen Brennan opened the original Brennan’s Vieux Career Restaurant in 1946. It over from Bourbon Street to it’s current location on Royal Street, in that infamous pink building. Today Ralph Brennan and Terry White continue to run the restaurant, serving up those elegant Louisiana dishes you know and love. Located at 417 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
This New Orleans staple has been serving up delicious treats for over a hundred years. Angelo Brocato opened up the Ice Cream parlor in 1905 and today his grandchildren run the business, keeping all of the same traditions and recipes that it began with over a century ago. Located at 214 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119.