Top 13 Restaurants in Lafayette You Shouldn’t Miss Out On! (2023)
Lafayette, Louisiana, the “heart and soul” of Cajun country, is gradually catching up to its more populous relative, New Orleans, regarding the variety of gastronomic options it provides. Diners are spoiled for choice since there are both casual grills and sophisticated eateries in historically significant places. Take a stroll down West Pinhook Road or Johnston Street, and while you’re there, stop in at one of the many cafes or bistros that line either of those streets.
Lafayette is a tough city to beat when it comes to delivering the most authentic Cajun cuisine. This city, which can be found in the very center of Acadiana, has an amazing flavor characterized by the robust and rustic food that the Cajuns brought in the 18th century. This incredible eatery has a ton of scrumptious delicacies ready and waiting for you to try, like gumbo, jambalaya, and boiled crawfish to name just a few. Given its closeness to the Gulf of Mexico, Lafayette also has many restaurants that specialize in serving seafood.
Top 13 Restaurants in Lafayette You Shouldn’t Miss Out On!:
Enjoy the cuisine offered in the best restaurants in Lafayette, listed below, together with the folks who live there.
1. Bon Temps Grill
The name “Bon Temps Grill” literally means “good time grill,” It is a laid-back restaurant specializing in traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine. The “Swamp Edge” menu emphasizes grilled fish and meats as its primary offerings. There is a wide variety of options available.
All of this is served in an unpretentious setting at affordable prices. Come to Bon Temps with an open mind, order one of the classic favorites, and wash it down with a large glass of chilled, local craft beer. The atmosphere at Bon Temps is all about simplicity, so venture here with an open mind.
2. Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro
The fact that the menu at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro, which is only a short distance from the Blue Dog Café, adapts seasonally and is updated every week is evidence of the restaurant’s commitment to using only the most recent and highest-quality foods available locally. Traditional dishes such as Jolie’s world-famous New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp and mouth-watering soft beignets served with a coffee dipping sauce are always available on the menu, making for the ideal marriage of time-honored customs with forward-thinking creativity.
The paintings of local artist George Rodriguez, which decorate the walls with their images of early Cajun life, are an artistic bonus that provides a very local vibe to Jolie’s and improves the restaurant’s modest yet lovely décor. These paintings are a part of the restaurant’s overall design.
3. The French Press
The French Press is, without a doubt, the hippest place to eat in all of Lafayette. It has a chic industrial atmosphere with decrepit walls, which are rounded off with crisp white tables and the occasional eccentric accessory. The French Press has become one of the most sought-after dining destinations in the surrounding area thanks to the nomination of Chef Justin Girouard for a James Beard Foundation Award.
Girouard draws inspiration from Cajun and new American influences inside the kitchen to create contemporary dishes while remaining strongly rooted in their respective regional tradition.
4. Taco Sisters
When Molly and Katy Richard, the eponymous Taco Sisters, founded their restaurant, they decided to reimagine the traditional taco by giving it a form and flavor that went beyond the boundaries of what is generally associated with fast food. You may sit at one of the outdoor tables and enjoy their delectable tacos, served in a quaint and colorful hut on Johnston Street, or you can take them to go.
These tacos are as straightforward as one can make them without sacrificing any of the quality. Try the beef brisket taco if you’re in the mood for something traditional, but if you’re looking for something a little more daring, the smoked shrimp filling with chopped apples and spicy churri sauce is not to be missed.
5. Johnsons Boucaniere
It is most known for its “world-famous hot boudin,” and it has been there for a long time. In addition, in keeping with the essence of the establishment, this unpretentious eatery is located in a shack practically devoid of any ornamentation, with the interior decor focusing more on functionality than aesthetics.
This is an excellent place for a big lunch that won’t break the bank, and it’s only a couple of blocks from the universities in the area.
6. Social Southern Table & Bar
Dim lighting, wood-paneled walls, and simple yet stylish furnishings define the slightly modest environment of Social. This restaurant combines the traditional allure of Southern cooking with a distinctively modern vibe. The food continues to be the focus of attention at this establishment, even though the venue’s excellent service and cozy atmosphere attract consumers.
7. Blue Dog Café
Visit the Blue Dog Café if you’re looking for a lively setting and authentic Cajun cuisine. This eatery is closely associated with the history and culture of Lafayette’s food scene. The establishment was founded by Steve Santillo, who was formerly an attorney. Since its inception, the venue’s primary focus has been on combining delicious food with captivating art. This is more than evident in the Blue Dog’s décor, which features numerous paintings (often with a blue theme) covering its walls.
Try the restaurant’s signature dish, the Treasures of the Bayou, which is a luxurious combination of crab, shrimp, and oysters, as well as a seafood wonton, and is served in white wine and cream-based bisque that is garnished with herbs. This dish is a rich and delectable affair. A musical brunch is held at the Blue Dog Café every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where guests can choose from a variety of their favorite meals while listening to live performances by local bands.
8. Café Vermilionville
The establishment’s defining characteristic is the historical setting of Café Vermilionville in a villa from the 19th century, complete with ornate antique furnishings that evoke the spirit of Louisiana in the years before the Civil War. The presentation of the food is just as exquisite as the cuisine itself, with different textures and colors coming together to provide dishes that are feasts not only for the stomach but also for the eyes. Even though regional, time-honored recipes predominate the menu, each one is prepared with a contemporary twist commensurate with the local cuisine scene.
9. Old Tyme Grocery
Despite its humble beginnings, the Old Tyme Grocery has become Lafayette’s most popular eatery serving po’boys since Glenn Murphree purchased it in 1982. Because of Murphree’s devotion to this straightforward meal from the South, any of the “poor guys” (as they are referred to here) that are available embrace traditional, regional recipes with the generous spirit of Cajun culture.
This restaurant offers a magnificent and classic exhibition of Louisiana’s most popular form of a sandwich, from the standard ham or shrimp filling to one of the specialized varieties, such as the Old Tyme Special, which features ham, turkey, roast beef, and Swiss cheese and is exceptionally luxurious. To get a taste of Murphree’s culinary knowledge and po’boy prowess, select the half-portion option and sample two distinct flavors.
10. Artmosphere Bistro
As its name suggests, Artmosphere is a restaurant dedicated to the concept that an artistic ambiance is a crucial component of any eating experience that would leave the diner satisfied. The restaurant is defined by its music and art events, which take place Wednesday through Sunday at Artmosphere and feature live performances by local bands. Diners can choose to enjoy their food while listening to songwriters perform (on Tuesdays) or participate in a karaoke session on days without live music (Mondays).
11. Half Shell Oyster House of Lafayette
The menu of here has a variety of dishes that are influenced by the cuisine of New Orleans. After opening its first site in Gulfport in 2009, it has since expanded to 13 different areas across the states of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. This restaurant will present you with the distinct elegance of the South while maintaining an elegant yet informal atmosphere. As indicated by the numerous distinctions, it has received over the past few years, it is also considered one of the best restaurants in the Lafayette area. This location has a classic indoor ambiance reminiscent of the French Quarter neighborhood in New Orleans, another feature that will endear it to you. The presence of this jazzy environment will enhance the dining experience.
Your taste buds are in for a treat with these creole cornbread oysters topped with hollandaise sauce made with Tasso ham. The bronzed cobia is another traditional Creole dish that you can get. This dish consists of oysters, shrimp, and crawfish and is topped with Tasso ham. It also includes a complimentary additional side dish. Every gourmand who enjoys unique foods or great deals is strongly encouraged not to pass up the opportunities presented here. If you visit on a Monday, get the all-you-can-eat royal reds so you can eat as many shrimp as you like to enjoy your meal!
12. Zea Rotisserie & Bar
The upscale Zea Rotisserie and Bar is a restaurant with an American twist that takes design cues from European food markets. It is only a few blocks from one of the most well-known movie theaters in the area, The Grand 16 – Lafayette. When visiting a new city or town, it is almost always a wonderful experience to sample the local food of that location. This objective can be accomplished here at Zea Rotisserie and Bar because the restaurant also serves dishes from various regions, from Asia to the Mediterranean. Because of the low prices of the meal packages, this restaurant with a more relaxed atmosphere can provide you with the most delicious lunch in all of Lafayette. In addition, Zea offers a happy hour during which customers can receive special pricing on alcoholic beverages.
In France, the traditional method of cooking chicken on a rotisserie over an open flame is sure to tantalize your taste buds. House rub, backyard BBQ, sweet chili glaze are some of the tasty sauces that go well with it, but you can choose any of them. If you prefer cheese, you might also enjoy their rotisserie chicken quesadilla. It comes with melted cheese. Get a flavorful taste of Asia with their distinctive Thai ribs, cooked low and slow to get the desired texture and flavor. A bonus of two sides is included as well.
13. Dean-O’s Pizza
Since Dean-Pizza O’s has been in business in Lafayette for the past fifty years, it is considered one of the most iconic restaurants in the Acadiana region. It is a well-known pit break for visitors on their way to Cajun Field to watch football games. Do you have an appetite before the game? The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s football stadium is only one mile away from this pizzeria. Hence, it would help if you were concerned about finding somewhere to eat because it is one of the restaurants in the area.
You’ll like this business since it still employs brick ovens to bake its goods, which ensures that they are both fresh and crisp when you eat them. In addition, it uses sauces produced from scratch, which will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. If you want to sample one of the most popular things on the menu, choose the ragin’ cajun pizza. This dish combines pepperoni, chicken sausage, buffalo sauce, and cheese.
Check out the Tyrannosaurus Rex pizza; it might be just what the doctor ordered. For those concerned with their health, there is also the choice of whole wheat. It’s one of the most fun things you can do in Lafayette, so if you’re up for it, take advantage of the opportunity to build your pizza and let your imagination run wild.
You’ll be able to indulge in fish, scallops, shrimp, and all of your other favorite undersea foods here. Convenience stores serving quick meals like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches won’t be left out of the equation. There is no need to be surprised that Lafayette is quickly becoming one of the most popular food destinations in Louisiana, given all of these factors.