Here's a list of places that come recommended by me, my family, friends and various Gumbo Pages readers. We're still building this listing. Contributions welcome!
- Black's Oyster Bar, 319 Pere Megret (Across from St. Mary Magdalene Church), Abbeville. (337) 893-4266.
- Owned by Bryan Bourque. Casual dining, great pricing. Raw Oysters and Fried Seafood are specialties. Best fried catfish anywhere. Open seasonally; call first. Usually closed during the summer. [CB]
- Café des Amis, 140 E. Bridge Street, Breaux Bridge. (337) 332-5273.
- My favorite restaurant in Acadiana (at least at the moment!). Casual yet still elegant, extremely friendly service, and fantastic food. Last time I was there I began with a fabulous appetizer of boudin baked in puff pastry, drizzled with Louisiana cane syrup, and garnished with diced scallions, red and green peppers and pepper jelly. It was the most elegant and beautifully presented piece of boudin I'd ever had, and pretty far removed from hot boudin at the grocery store! (Which I still wouldn't miss for the world, incidentally.) Their seafood dishes are out of this world, and you get a choice of toppings for each dish that range from crawfish or shrimp étouffée to smothered onions and tasso, marinara, crawfish au gratin or barbecue shrimp sauce. They have live music on Wednesdays, and a bed and breakfast to boot. You can't go wrong here. [Chuck]
- Café Vermilionville, 1304 W. Pinhook, Lafayette. (337) 237-0100.
- Specializing in fresh Louisiana seafood and Cajun cuisine, Caf´ Vermilionville serves some of the freshest seafood in Lafayette and some of the best veal and beef dishes as well. Their menu is innovative, fresh and lively, and are consistently one of the highest rated restaurants in Acadiana (AAA, Louisiana Life, The Mobil Guide, etc.). The service staff is the finest around and the ambiance i romantic and intimate. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Michael Richard, Executive Chef.
- Edie's, 1895 W. Pinhook Road, Lafayette.
- All it takes is a little lunch house in Lafayette to get me to weep tears of gustatory joy.
Edie's is open every day except Saturday, and only from 11am to 2pm. The day to go is Sunday (although I think they have it on Wednesdays too), so you can get the pork roast with sweet potatoes. It's spicy pork roast that's so tender you can cut it with a fork, and it melts in your mouth, with a spectacular gravy. The baked sweet potato is perfect, slightly caramelized around the edges, split open and squirted full of what my sister Melissa calls "goo", a thick sauce that seems to be made of (among other things) cane syrup, butter and lots of cinnamon.
Unbelievably inexpensive, and unbelievably good. Go to Edie's!
- Charley G's Seafood Grill and Bar, 3809 Ambassador Caffery, Lafayette. (337) 981-0108.
- Upscale Nouveau Cajun, atmospheric. Wonderful smoked duck and andouille gumbo. [SW]
- Comeaux's Café, 104 S. State Street (across from courthouse), Abbeville. (337) 898-9218.
- Owned by Russell Comeaux. Cajun home cooking at its finest. If you had a cajun grandmother, this is how she cooked. Plate lunches to die for. Throw away your calorie counter! [CB]
- Creole's Lunch House, 713 12th Street, Lafayette, (337) 232-9929.
- This is the home of the fabulous Creole's Stuffed Bread, as served every year at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and is located in a small, unpretentious house. It's a family-run enterprise, and they sure seem to have fun working there! They serve great home cooking, and the ladies dish it up from a steam table. There are some formica topped tables, and no ambience! They are very friendly and do want you to try things you've never had before. It is off the beaten path, and is not a place tourists know about ... which is the best reason to go.
The Creole's stuffed bread served here is almost twice as large as the little ones they sell at Jazzfest, so one of these with a couple of side dishes like smothered greens or black-eyed peas makes for a fantastic and extremely inexpensive meal. They have another location in the Northgate Mall as well. Creole's stuffed bread is one of the very great and very underappreciated dishes of Acadiana, so get in on the secret and go whenever you can. [Chuck]
- D.I.'s Cajun Restaurant, Highway 97, Basile, LA (between Basile and Evangeline). (337) 432-5141.
- Owned by Daniel and Sherry Frugé. Live Cajun music on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; Cajun jam session on Wednesdays. Gumbo pages correspondent Lynette Aderhold of Jennings,LA says, "It is our favorite resturant and has great food. Our favorites are boiled crawfish and barbeque crabs when in season, seafood platters and steak smothered with crawfish étouffée. Some nights they have Cajun bands playing and a big dance floor. Good food and a good time! We always bring friends from out of state here."
- Don's Seafood Hut, 4309 Johnston St., Lafayette
- Great steaks, seafood and atmosphere. Try the Rib Eye Étouffée, you might never want to grill another rib eye again! [KH]
- Hub City Diner, 1412 S. College Road, Lafayette.
- This diner (founded by Chef Patrick Mould, who's no longer with them) doesn't just serve your usual diner food, but fare such as catfish topped with shrimp étouffée, fried shrimp fettuccine and other local favorites like red beans and rice. Recommended.
- Lafitte's Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation, 404 Claiborne Avenue, Donaldsonville.
- One of Louisiana's great restaurants, located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Chef John Folse's original Lafitte's was destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1998, but was reborn in a new location that includes a superb bed and breakfast as well. Chef Folse is still the owner and CEO, but has handed the reins of the kitchen to Chef Steve Zucker, a Louisiana native who's been doing wonderful things in their kitchen. I can't wait to have the opportunity to dine there one evening, stay the night and enjoy Chef Zucker's breakfast fare as well.
- Lagniappe Too, 204 East Main Street, New Iberia, LA (337) 365-9419.
- "This intimate, appealing cafe is located in historic New Iberia, just down the street from Shadows on the Teche and owned by Al and Elaine Landry, offers delightful, reasonably priced lunches and dinners. The chef's imaginative recipes combine classical French cooking and Cajun cuisine. Her chicken and sausage gumbo, seafood gumbo, and the crawfish etouffee with either rice or pasta are uncommonly good. The banana-mango cake is a world-class dessert and is not to be missed if it's on the menu when you visit." [HLCR]
- Lynn G's Seafood and Steakhouse, 301 White Dr., Abbeville, LA 70510.
- Open Monday thru Friday 10:30 till 2:00 and 5:00 till 9:00 and Saturday 5:00 till 9:00. Gumbo Pages reader (and, I presume, restaurant owner) Lynn Goutierrez invites our readers, describing the restaurant as "casual New Orleans atmosphere with authentic Cajun dining. Daily Cajun lunch buffet and an excellent full service menu featuring seafood, steaks, poultry, pastas, po-boys, loaves and full service oyster bar available."
- Mulate's Cajun Restaurant, Breaux Bridge. (337) 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; the bands are usually quite good. Open for breakfast at 7am. Good seafood; try the signature dish, Catfish Mulate. World-famous, and the first Cajun restaurant to offer live music and dancing.
- New Palace Cafe, 167 West Landry Street (Hwy. 190 W), Opelousas, LA
- "This local favorite is a "plate and three" lunch and dinner delight. They have reasonably priced daily luncheon menus for the businessman, including "Pete's fried chicken salad" (a heaping portion) for just over $4. Surprisingly, along with the excellent, hearty specials the Palace serves a variety of extremely tasty, well-cooked seafood dishes. The grilled catfish with crawfish etouffee and the stuffed eggplant with crabmeat dressing topped with crawfish sauce would be proudly served by the finest restaurants in New Orleans." [HLCR]
- The Pig Stand, 318 E. Main Street, Ville Platte. (337) 363-2883. [map]
- It doesn't get any more down home than this. If you think that a Cajun restaurant has lots of blackened this and blackened that, and lots of food too hot for you to eat ... think about the fact that what a Cajun restaurant really is is a place where Cajuns go to eat local food, and this epitomizes that definition.
A simple little place with great food served in enormous quantities for staggerginly low prices is what you'll get here. Tasso and rice, shrimp étouffée, smothered sausage, even extremely rustic dishes like paunce (stuffed pig's stomach) are on the ever-changing menu, and if you're lucky and go at the right time (like Sunday), you'll get their superb roast duck with gravy. It comes with sides of potato salad, rice dressing (like boudin) and red beans, and most dishes include all of this for about $5, believe it or not. They also have sandwiches, fried pickles and more, and you'll have to be wheeled out of this place when you're done. In case you were wondering, this is a good thing. Have them wheel you a few doors down to Floyd's Record Shop, where you can buy the latest and most classic Cajun, zydeco and swamp pop hits. [Chuck]
- Poorboy's Riverside Inn, U.S. 90 East on Tubing Road, Lafayette. (337) 837-4011.
- This is not an easy place to find. It is always crowded and very much worth the hunt. All of their seafood dishes are good, and their seafood salad is a local legend. Fairly noisy. No reservations. You may be faced with a long wait, but it is in pleasant surroundings. [SW]
- Poché's Market, Restaurant, and Smokehouse, 3015-A Main Highway, Breaux Bridge. (800) 3-POCHES.
- "Boiled crawfish in season and daily plate lunches (usually four different entrees). The menu varies with the day of the week; of special interest are smothered rabbit (Tuesdays) and stuffed pork chops (Wednesdays & Saturdays). They also serve dinner Monday through Sunday. The clientele is mostly local and always satisfied." [HLCR]
- Préjean's Restaurant, 3480 U.S. Highway 167 North, Lafayette. (337) 896-7964.
- Chef James Graham has converted this from a standard fried seafood and steak restaurant into one of Acadiana's finest and most innovative restaurants, while still maintaining its homey interior. Stunning food, beautifully presented. Live Cajun music and dancing nightly. Located just south of the Evangeline Downs race track.
- Randol's, 2320 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508. Tel. (337) 981-7080, 1-800-YO-CAJUN. Fax (337) 981-7083.
- Good food, and live Cajun music and dancing - hear bands like Jambalaya, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys, and Blackie Forestier play every night of the week.
- Richard's Seafood Patio 1516 S. Henry Street, Abbeville. (337) 893-1693
- Owned by Calvin (Red) Richard. Great Boiled crawfish, crabs and shrimp in season. Don't wear anything you are afraid to ruin. Pricing is excellent. Open seasonally, usually from October toay or June. [CB]
- Robin's, 1409 Henderson Highway, Route 352 between I-10 and the levee, Henderson. [map]
- Located near the western edge of the Atchafalaya, Robin's serves excellent seafood and a wonderful crawfish bisque. Informal, family-style atmosphere. They sell and ship frozen gumbos, bisques, etc. Oh, and it's pronounced <RO-bahNs>, in the French manner, not <ROB-bins>
- Le Rosier, across from Shadows-On-The-Têche, New Iberia.
- Le Rosier is a great restaurant in an old home across from the beautiful plantation home Shadows-On-The Teche. The chef is a relative of Weeks Hall, who once lived in Shadows. It's also a bed and breakfast. Absolutely no smoking on the premises -- even in the gardens. [SW]
- Shuck's Oyster House, 701 W. Port Street, Abbeville. (337) 898-3311.
- Owned by Jack Phares and Linda Hebert. Best raw oysters. Fried and broiled seafood also excellent. Casual dining, great prices. Open seasonally; call first. Usually closed summers. [CB]
- The Steamboat, Main Street, Washington. (337) 826-7227.
- Located in a historical setting of the steamboat and cotton era, The Steamboat offers traditional Cajun cuisine, specializing in The Gangplank, a ribeye steak topped with crawfish étouffée. Gumbo Pages contributor Jimmy Landry says, "Great food at reasonable rates -- I eat there every opportunity I get!"
Special thanks to my contributors from Acadiana, including: [CB] Charlie Beckett (Abbeville, LA), [KH] Kenneth Hébert (Broussard, LA), [HLCR] Harry, Leslie & Cracker Runnels and [SW] Sandra Wheeler (University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA).
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)