I'm working on getting the listings up, at least ... further reviews will come in time. Many addresses will be nebulous; just drive in the vicinity until you find it.
If you're going to head out to Cajun country, you simply pmust go to a local dancehall ... there's nothing like it. With a few exceptions, you'll be in a place frequented by locals more so than tourists, and you'll get a taste of the real thing. Bring comfortable dancing shoes, leave room for lots of beer, and prepare to dance until the wee hours!
- Angelle's Whiskey River Landing, Henderson.
- One of the best places to hear Cajun music and dance in Acadiana. Located right of the levee on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp Basin. Exit I-10 at Henderson, exit 121. Go right, then the first left at Highway 352. Continue all the way through Henderson to the levee road, then take a right on the levee road. Continue a little under 3 miles, and look for the sign. Cross the levee to the left, and you're there!
- Cuz's Blue Goose, Eunice
- El Sid-O's, St. Antoine & Martin Luther King Dr., Lafayette.
- Owned by Sid Williams, and featuring as the house band Sid's brother, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas
- Fred's Lounge, 420 6th Street, Mamou. (318) 468-5411
- World-famous site of beer, boudin, Cajun music and dancing every Saturday morning, broadcast live on local radio. Doors open at 7am Saturdays, music from 9am to noon. Legendary.
- Grant Street Dance Hall, Lafayette
- Open sporadically, but there are great shows to be seen here.
- Kaiser's Place, Breaux Bridge
- Kootsie's, Rayne
- Mulate's Cajun Restaurant, Breaux Bridge. (318) 332-4648, (800) 634-9880 in LA, (800) 42-CAJUN outside LA. (Locations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, too)
- Live Cajun music and dancing, 7 nights a week. Good food.
- La Poussière, Breaux Bridge
- From Lafayette, take I-10 east to Breaux Bridge exit #109. Go right on Rees St. and continue until the T -- go left at the T onto Bridge St. Go right at the first red light (Poydras St.), then go left at the next one (Grand Point Hwy.) La Poussière is on the left after Hebert's Grocery Store.
- Prejean's, Lafayette
- Besides live music and dancing, this is one of the best and most innovative restaurants in Acadiana. Great food. Just north of the I-10, on the east side of I-49.
- Randol's, Lafayette
- "The absolute best dance hall in Lafayette", say Lafayette residents and Gumbo Pages readers Suzanne and Richard. "They have a free band 7 nights a week with a large dance floor." Allons danser!
- Richard's Club, Hwy. 190 between Lawtell and Opelousas.
- Proprietor Kelvin Richard. (318) 543-6596, home tel. Richard's is on Hwy. 190 about 3-4 miles west of Opelousas. Renowned for epic zydeco dances.
- Slim's Y-Ki-Ki, Hwy. 182/167, Opelousas. (318) 942-9980.
- Legendary zydeco club.
- Smiley's Bayou Club, Erath
- Snook's Bar, Ville Platte
- Tipitina's, Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans
- Okay, so it's not in Acadiana ... BUT! If you're heading to or through New Orleans, don't miss Sunday evenings at this venerable old Uptown New Orleans club, for a fais-do-do with Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band, who play most Sundays from 5pm to 9pm. And the red beans 'n rice is always free, so how can you miss it?
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)