When you visit Lake Charles, Louisiana you can be guaranteed of two things. You’re going to eat VERY well and you’re going to have a great time!
I’m sharing the best restaurants and distilleries that you’ll want to add to your list the next time that you visit.
Start at a Local Favorite for Seafood – Seafood Palace
2218 Enterprise Blvd, Lake Charles, LA
Enjoy fresh seafood at a restaurant that’s one of the local staples in Lake Charles.
Seafood Palace is a great place to start as an introduction to Cajun food and local Lake Charles cuisine.
If you visit Seafood Palace during crawfish season, you’ll be in for an extra treat!
Prime crawfish season goes from February – May and the average serving amount is typically 3 pounds per person.
“Palace” is in the name, but you’ll feel comfortable coming in just 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, po boy sandwich, and of course, the crawfish.
Order a side of potato salad to combine with your chicken or seafood gumbo and you’ll really be eating like a local.
Pro tip: use the lemon slices on the table to help clean your hands when you’re finished with your crawfish.
2550 Golden Nugget Blvd, Lake Charles, LA 70601
Enjoy brunch with scenic views of the golf course at The Chart House at Golden Nugget.
Pictured above are the Pomegranate martini and Bourbon blueberry maple cocktail.
Looking for some recommendations on the brunch menu?
Try the Crawfish cake minis made with crawfish and cajun lemon shallot butter.
You also can’t go wrong with the Bacon-wrapped shrimp made with jalapeno jack cheese, maple glaze, and cheesy grits.
For an entree on the savory side, try the seared crawfish cakes eggs benedict made with crawfish, poached egg, and hollandaise.
If you’re craving something sweet try the Bananas foster pancakes topped with candied bacon.
Another great option is the french toast made with a grilled cinnamon custard baguette, whipped sweet butter, and maple syrup.
777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles, Louisiana is the sixth location of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant. After you try their food you’ll understand why it’s become a popular local chain in Louisiana.
The original Drago’s Seafood Restaurant opened in Metairie, Louisiana near New Orleans.
For an appetizer, we started with the “Fleur de lis shrimp” made with fried shrimp sautéed with peanuts and a spicy red pepper aioli.
We also shared the Crawfish meatball made with crawfish and crabmeat stuffing topped with a spicy marinara and cream sauce followed by charbroiled oysters.
Make sure that you try Drago’s Original Charbroiled Oysters!
After you try Drago’s Original charbroiled oysters you’ll understand why they are known for them…and fair warning… you might not want to share.
I would strongly recommend getting your own or ordering a generous amount to share for the table.
The flavor combinations of the charbroiled oysters with butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese will have you soaking up any ounce of extra with your bread.
If you typically don’t like raw oysters you’ll find the charred version to be a totally different experience.
I don’t care for raw oysters but I changed my mind about charbroiled ones after experiencing them for the first time in Daytona Beach.
A few other menu recommendations – Boudin stuffed shrimp made Jumbo Gulf shrimp baked with a spicy Cajun sausage, served with corn maque choux.
Seafood pasta made with shrimp and crabmeat in a delicate cream sauce served over angel hair pasta, topped with cheese.
Shrimp n’ grits made with Gulf shrimp in a spicy tomato cream sauce, served with grits on top.
Find Out Why Locals Love Luna Bar & Grill
719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA
Luna Bar & Grill is located in downtown Lake Charles and it’s another local favorite.
After your visit to this music-inspired restaurant, you’ll understand why!
It checks all the boxes with a great ambiance, customer service, and fantastic food!
For an appetizer, we started with the “Crawfish Bread” made with cheddar jack cheese, parmesan, and Louisiana crawfish.
The spinach and artichoke dip served with fried flour tortillas is also a great option if you want a break from seafood.
Need some entree recommendations?
Our table shared the following delicious menu items so that we could experience more of the entrees.
Luna Tuna made with yellowfin tuna steak, lemon butter cream sauce house temperature served medium rare.
Orion Salmon entree made with Atlantic salmon and a sweet & spicy pecan glaze.
Redfish Apollo entree made with Redfish, crabmeat au gratin sauce, fried shrimp, and avocado.
Nannette entree made with Hangar steak with Louisiana crawfish, Apollo cream sauce, and red wine sauce.
For sides, we tried Creamed spinach, Garlic Cheddar Mash, Grilled Mixed Vegetables, and Sweet Potato Fries.
Save space for a few bites of dessert. You can’t go wrong with Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake, Philadelphia cheesecake, or chocolate fudge cake.
Luna Bar & Grill is also a popular spot for live music. Check out the events on their Facebook page for upcoming events with live entertainment including their Sunday brunch.
Owner, Dave Evans is also a founder of Chuck Fest, a free annual music, art, and food festival that takes place in Lake Charles.
(Two locations- 127 W College Street, Lake Charles, LA & 4720 Nelson Road, Suite 110, Lake Charles, LA)
Start your morning right with great coffee and an assortment of sweet and savory breakfast menu items at Coffee: 30.
Anytime you can combine coffee and beignets for breakfast it’s gonna be a great day!
If you happen to visit Lake Charles around the Mardi Gras season you’ll be treated to special seasonal King Cake flavors and Mardi Gras decor.
Make sure that you try the beignets and the Sundial breakfast sandwich which is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.
The Sundial Breakfast sandwich is made with breakfast sausage, fried egg, and Vermont Sharp Cheddar on Authentic Pearl Sugar Belgian waffles that are lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. The sandwich is served with a side of country potatoes.
Another savory option is the Chicken Lake Charles. The dish is made with breaded chicken served over a buttermilk biscuit, topped with an egg, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, covered with Cajun Hollandaise, and garnished with chives, served with a side of country potatoes.
Wine and Dine at Bodega Wine Dive
3505 Country Club Rd., Lake Charles, LA
This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine over dinner.
In addition to wine, you’ll find creative cocktails, cheese and charcuterie boards, pizzas, and more.
We tried several different types of specialty brick oven pizza during our visit.
The Blackberry pizza is definitely worth straying from a traditional pizza for. It’s made with salted Ricotta, mozzarella, fetta, blackberries, and Prosciutto, topped with Basil.
I also have to note that they have AMAZING grilled cheese sandwiches that are really creative combinations.
Make sure that you also try the G.O.A.T., a grilled cheese made with goat cheese, roasted red bell pepper, pepper jelly, and zesty arugula.
If you’re in Louisiana you need to try boudin!
What is Boudin?
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. It’s also fun to try variations of boudin including boudin balls that are deep-fried.
Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail
The following businesses are in or near Lake Charles on the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail:
- In-Laws Cajun Specialities – 1121 Lowe-Grout Road, LA-383, Iowa, LA
- Rabideaux Sausage Kitchen – 105 US-165, Iowa, LA
- Roy’s Meat Market – 401 S Thompson Ave B, Iowa, LA
- Glenn’s Market Grill and Deli – 1312 Gum Cove Rd, Vinton, LA
- Insane Sausages – 2255 LA-109, Vinton, LA
- Market Basket #26 – 1717 Hwy 90 E Vinton, LA
- B & O Kitchen and Grocery – 3011 E Burton St, Sulphur, LA
- The Boiling Point – 1730 Beglis Pkwy, Sulphur, LA
- Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen – 1709 Ruth St, Sulphur, LA
- Market Basket #41 – 2227 Maplewood Dr., Sulphur, LA
- Richard’s Boudin & Seafood – 2250 E Napoleon St, Sulphur, LA
Lake Charles, LA
- Gillis Grocery and Cafe – 4151 N Highway 171. Lake Charles, LA
- Gillis Meat Market – 4151 N. Hwy 171, Lake Charles, LA
- Market Basket #27 – 362 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, Moss Bluff, LA
- Market Basket #39 – 2013 Sampson St., Westlake, LA
- Brown’s Food Center – 620 Main St., Hackberry, LA
- Brown’s Neighborhood Market – 10051 Gulf Hwy, Lake Charles, LA
- BeauxDines’ – 3013 Ryan St., Lake Charles, LA
- Famous Foods -1475 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles, LA
- Herbert’s Speciality Meats – 1140 Country Club Rd., Lake Charles, LA
- Homsi’s Deli – 2124 Broad St., Lake Charles, LA
- Homsi’s Tobacco and Beer – 2612 Kirkman St., Lake Charles, LA
- Leonard’s Food Quarters – 1708 Hwy 14, Lake Charles, LA
- Market Basket #18 – 4431 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles, LA
- Market Basket #36 – 4950 Lake St., Lake Charles, LA
- Mr. Smoke Meat – 529 W 28th St., Lake Charles, LA
2255 LA-109, Vinton, LA
(30 minutes from Lake Charles)
Insane Sausages takes both boudin and specialty sausage to the next level with both traditional and creative twists.
This one is definitely worth the drive!
Insane Sausages owner, Derek Gaspard, comes up with combinations that you have most likely never tried before.
Here are a few examples of the creative flavors you’ll find at Insane Sausages:
- Unsmoked jalapeno boudin
- Smoked pork enchilada
- Smoked buffalo chicken mac and cheese
- Bourbon brown sugar chicken sausage
- Hawaiian Chicken
During our visit, we tried the crawfish boil sausage, Steen’s syrup sausage, boudin, and boudin balls.
1165 E McNeese St, Lake Charles, LA
The craft beer scene has continued to expand in Louisiana.
In fact, the Louisiana Brewery Trail has evolved into the Louisinana Libations Trail including breweries, wineries, and distilleries throughout the state.
The name “Crying Eagle” comes from a rough translation of the Atakapa Indian word “Quelqueshue.”
Quelqueshue was the name of a legendary chief with a unique battle cry. That name was also given to the river that feeds the parish.
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 a glass.
That’s big for me to say. “Ready to Mingle” is my recommendation for those of you with similar preferences.
If you enjoy beer, you’ll have plenty of craft brew options that will put a smile on your face.
Crying Eagle Brewing Co also offers brewery tours for an additional fee.
On top of the great beer, they also serve fantastic wood-fired 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.
It’s a unique combo of ingredients, but trust me, it comes together beautifully!
Enjoy Daiquiris & Dogs Inside L’Auberge Casino Resort
L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles – 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles, LA
This is a fun stop after enjoying time by the pool at L’Auberge Casino…or can take your drink to go and head back out to the pool.
The name says it all featuring a variety of Daiquiris and New Orleans’ famous Lucky Dogs.
The food menu has hot dogs, sausages, nachos, taquitos, and more.
If you are a daiquiri purest you’ll find plenty of frozen classic flavors to choose from.
There are also virgin options on the menu available in three different sizes too.
If you want to mix things up try an option with an ice cream base.
Pictured above is the turtle cheesecake. The turtle cheesecake is made with a cheesecake-flavored daiquiri topped with whipped cream, graham crackers, cheesecake, pecans, chocolate chips, chocolate, and caramel drizzle.
20909 Frontage Rd, Lacassine, LA
Another stop you’ll want to make during your visit is Bayou Rum Distillery for Louisiana Spirits.
Bayou Rum Distillery is the largest private rum distillery in the United States and it’s only a 25-minute drive from Lake Charles.
The facility offers free tours and tastings for guests 21 and up.
Make sure that you book a distillery tour online for your desired day and time.
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 to take home.
Additional Lake Charles Restaurants to Check Out
- Barstool Sportsbook L’Auberge Lake Charles – 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles, LA – Formerly Jack Daniel’s Bar inside L’Auberge Casino Resort – you still find great food on the menu by Chef Lyle Broussard
- Steamboat Bill’s – (Two Lake Charles Locations – 1004 North Lakeshore Dr and 732 South Martin Luther King)
- Rikenjaks Brewing Company – 3716 Ryan St, Lake Charles, LA – Craft beer and Louisiana comfort food
- Darrell’s – Known for their po boys and “Darrell’s special” a signature sandwich made with ham, turkey, or roast beer served with roast beef gravy.
- Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse – Inside Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel & Casino – 2550 Golden Nugget Blvd, Lake Charles, LA
Looking for More Things to Do in Lake Charles, LA?
You can find the best things to do in Lake Charles for the whole family here.
Thanks again to Visit Lake Charles for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.
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