Great Easts in Cajun Country
Right in the heart of Cajun Country is Lafayette, Louisiana. With all there is to see and do, and eat, it’s easy to understand why Lafayette is considered one of the happiest cities in the country. Annita recently visited the area to take in the Mardi Gras festivities and to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine. It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to dining in Lafayette, but here are some restaurants among the best of the best.
Olde Tyme Grocery
One classic Cajun meal is the poor-boy sandwich. Perfect in its simplicity, the sandwich has been crafted with expertise and care at Olde Tyme Grocery. Owner Glenn Murphree bought the store in 1982 and has been dedicated to making the best poor-boy sandwiches ever since. Thirty-six years later the Grocery is a favorite among locals and tourists, still offering a wide variety of poor-boys as well as salads and sides. Website: http://www.oldetymegrocery.com/
The French Press
Nationally recognized as one of the best breakfast spots, The French Press offers an exciting spin on Cajun classics. Chef Justin Girouard ability to blend tradition with modernization earned him a James Beard nomination. Dishes range from chicken fried steak and eggs to a blackened shrimp wrap, and of course the staple French toast and pancakes are available too. Website: http://www.thefrenchpresslafayette.com/
TABASCO Pepper Sauce Factory
No Cajun meal is complete without some spice. On the nearby Avery Island, you can go straight to the source. The TABASCO Pepper Sauce Factory is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Factory grounds are open to visitors for tours on the growing and aging process all the way to when the product is packaged and labeled. Pick up souvenirs, including a wide variety of TABASCO sauces, in the country store. Website: https://www.tabasco.com/
Barrels of peppers in the process of becoming the Tabasco pepper sauce loved around the world.
Blue Dog Cafe
Surround yourself with delicious food and signature artwork at the Blue Dog Cafe. Known for his blue dog artwork, George Rodrigue’s pieces are on display all throughout the cafe. The menu includes classic seafood plates like marinated crab claws and pork fat fried catfish chips as well as burgers and BBQ. Visit the Blue Dog Bar for specialty cocktails. Website: http://bluedogcafe.com/
Set in an elegant reception hall, the brunch buffet at Abacus offers home-cooked Cajun dishes using only fresh ingredients. The buffet menu offers something different for every day of the week, ranging from crawfish etouffee to the best fried pork chops in town – and you can’t miss their famous bread pudding. On Sundays, Abacus hosts Teddy and the Zydeco Bad Boys for live music all brunch long. Website: https://grandcoteauhouse.com/abacus-lunch/
There’s a lot more to the world of hot dogs than one might think. At Dat Dog, hot dogs are an art form. Many of their signature dogs offer a combination of Cajun tradition with European flair. Guests can customize it to their liking with a wide range of choices in sausages, over 30 toppings and fries on the side. It’s a fun, colorful environment that encourages you to get creative with your meal. Website: http://www.datdog.com
One of Lafayette’s original Cajun restaurants, Don’s Downtown dates back to 1934. Since then, Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse has expanded into multiple restaurants. They all operate under a long tradition of using fresh, expertly selected ingredients. Menu items include a seafood bouquet of catfish, fried crab fingers, shrimp and oyster, and gumbos and bisques. Website: http://donsdowntown.com/