When you visit Lake Charles, Louisiana you can be guaranteed of two things. You are going to eat well and you are going to have a great time! I’m sharing the restaurants and distilleries that you will want to add to your list the next time that you visit.
Enjoy fresh cajun seafood at a favorite of Lake Charles locals. If you visit during crawfish season, you will be in for a treat!
Palace is in the name, but you will feel comfortable coming in as you are. No need to dress fancy, especially if you plan on eating crawfish that evening.
A few menu item musts are the boudin balls, shrimp gumbo, duck tenders, and of course the crawfish. Order a side of potato salad to combine with your gumbo and you will be eating like a local.
The perfect spot for drinks or dessert…or drinks that could also double as dessert. The Charleston Bistro is perfect for a date night or evening out with friends with a wonderful selection of wine and dessert cocktails surrounded by the beautiful ambiance and great music inside the historic Charleston Hotel.
Two words. Crawfish Enchiladas.
They will have you dreaming of your next visit. Seriously. The atmosphere at the Blue Dog Cafe is fun and colorful surrounded by a private collection of incredible art from iconic Blue Dog creator, George Rodrigue.
The Cajun fusion restaurant deserves two visits, one during regular hours and also for brunch featuring live music, popular dishes, and bottomless mimosas. Make sure that you also try the seasonal favorite, Corn and Crab Bisque. Trust me, Louisiana crabmeat combined with a creamy, sweet & spicy corn bisque, need I say more?
I’m pretty much convinced that whatever Chef Lyle Broussard touches turns into edible art. I’ve witnessed his magic turning my catches of the day into delicious dishes as part of the Catch and Cook program and I was once again impressed by what he presented to our table to taste….you know it’s good when you have absolutely NO ROOM for dessert no matter how enticing that sounds.
He describes each dish with such detail and passion that it’s pointless to even try to take notes, which allows you to just enjoy each savory bite. We sampled dishes ranging from seafood to bbq and had to keep reminding ourselves to slow down because each bite kept getting better.
The environment at Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill is definitely laid back but the food quality still hits a high standard. BBQ fans will have lots of options with entrees made with Jack’s own sauces and glazes. Kids can enjoy sitting by the semi-truck and playing a round of foosball or cornhole while they are waiting for their food. Parents and kids can watch a game on one of the 35 flatscreens. Parents will also find plenty of drink options including over 25 beers on tap from around the world.
Offering lots of comfort food options with a southern twist. The Cajun Benedict was recommended to me during a visit and I have to agree that it’s a must, especially if you enjoy fresh seafood….which is normally not my typical breakfast choice. The Cajun Benedict is made with Andouille sausage, avocado, crawfish tails, fried green tomato, southern style cornbread, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.
Boudin (pronounced bü-dan) is a Cajun rice sausage that is very popular in Southern Louisiana. Boudin is made with ground pork, liver, rice, parsley, onions, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and other seasonings that vary from cook to cook.
The sausage can be steamed or smoked and there is even a Southwest Boudin Trail so that you can sample the variations in the area.
At the Sausage Link, you can watch Boudin being made through the window and then you can enjoy a great meal next door at LeBleu’s Landing located a short drive from Adventure Point. If you want to sample a little bit of everything, I suggest opting for the buffet.
You can also order straight from the menu and I highly recommend trying two unique appetizers while you are there. The Boudin Ball (signature boudin coated with special seasoned breading that is fried crispy) and the Crawfish Pistolette (French roll lightly fried and stuffed with creamy crawfish cheese sauce) are flavors you need to experience!
Pops and Rockets
A sweet treat without the guilt. Pops & Rockets is a nearby downtown shop that not only makes amazing handmade gourmet pops and ice cream, but they also have clever flavor names inspired by 80’s songs and band names. You will also notice a few classic arcade games that will make adults and kids happy.
I recommend trying a few samples if you are unsure of what to order. I ended up with the “Pulling Peanuts”(from a shell) Thai Peanut flavor that was unique and delicious. With names like Raz DMC, Rock The Casabanana, Blister In The Sun, Pop You Like A Hurricane, and Sweet Child-O-Lime, the struggle is whether you will choose your selection based on the clever name or the interesting flavors.
First, let’s get this out of the way.
Why Crying Eagle? And Why’s It Crying?
“Crying Eagle is a rough translation of the Atakapa Indian word Quelqueshue, the name of a legendary chief with a unique battle cry. Later, it was the name given to the mighty river that feeds our parish (or county to the rest of y’all). Today, it’s spelled Calcasieu (KAL-ka-shoo), and it’s their home.
… So basically, it’s named for a parish, named for a river, named for a chief, named for a battle cry. Ca-CAWWWW!“
I live in a beer city…but I don’t like beer. Every brewery has tried to convert me and I’m always willing to sample…but the outcome is usually still the same….I don’t like beer…BUT Crying Eagle Brewing Co. found a beer for me that went from a tasting to a request for glass.
That is big for me to say. “Ready to Mingle” is my recommendation for those of you with similar preferences. If you enjoy beer you will have plenty of craft brew options that will put a smile on your face.
On top of the great beer, they also serve fantastic wood fire pizzas. I highly recommend ordering a few so that you get to sample a little bit of everything.
The House pizza, “Crying Eagle” was definitely my favorite made with Bacon, Shredded Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Fuji Apple, Local Honey, & Fresh Rosemary. Unique combo of ingredients but trust me, it comes together beautifully!
Another stop you will want to make is at Louisiana Spirits. It’s the largest private rum distillery in the United States and about a 25-minute drive from Lake Charles…but close enough. The facility offers free tours and tastings.
Bayou Rum uses 100% natural unrefined Louisiana cane sugar and molasses and the results are delicious. Once you discover your favorite flavor, you can find lots of options in the gift shop.
I will warn you that once you visit these local favorites you will be dreaming of when you can make your next visit to Lake Charles….but that’s definitely not a bad thing.
You can find more ideas of things to do for the whole family here.
Thanks again to Visit Lake Charles for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.
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