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12 Must-Try Lafayette Restaurants | Best Restaurants in Lafayette LA, Updated April 2024

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Food is an intricate part of Cajun culture. Food in Louisiana is almost a religion. That’s why you hear onions, bell peppers and celery referred to as “The Trinity.” Here are a few of my favorite Lafayette restaurants. 

Hey, we’re the Foodie Flashpackers, experts at reviewing restaurants in the USA, and committed to trying out the best foods available to us! In this article, we’ll review the food scene in Lafayette, LA

The 12 Best Restaurants In Lafayette

Café Vermilionville

1304 West Pinhook Rd. //(337) 237-0100

Café Vermillionville was built around 1835 and it’s one of the oldest amongst the Lafayette Restaurants. It functioned as an inn for traveling salesmen in Vermillionville, Lafayette’s original name.

According to local legend, the building is haunted by a Civil War-era Union soldier shot by a local Cajun because he made a pass at the Cajun’s wife. There’s also a young female ghost.  

The building is a classic Cajun structure, built of 12-inch cypress lumber. It still has bousillage, a mixture of mud and Spanish moss used for insulation, in the walls.

There is a beautiful courtyard are for outside dining, as well as several rooms inside. Poncho Veron opened it as a restaurant in 1981. Today his son, Ken, and his wife, Andrea, are in charge. 

When we visited on Halloween, Ken and Andrea met us costumed as vampire versions of the 250-year-old original inn owners. The servers were all in costume. Our server was “Jean Lafitte.” We sampled some of the appetizers, including the Alligator Dijon, marinated, deep-fried alligator tenderloin served with dijon mustard aioli and fried pickles, and their Crawfish Beignets.

For my entrée, I choose Oysters Herbsaint consisting of crispy oysters, herbsaint cream, prosciutto, sautéed spinach, and parmesan, served over fettuccine. This is not only a great dining experience but a step back into Lafayette’s history.

Lafayette Restaurants: Café Vermilionville Crawfish Beignets

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Millie’s American Kitchen

1018 Oak Hill Rd, Lafayette, CA 94549, United States // +19253850352

Millie’s stands as a cherished neighborhood institution, known for its hearty breakfast, brunch, and lunch offerings. 

Set in a homey space that feels like a warm embrace, it’s the go-to spot for locals craving comfort food done right.

The restaurant itself perches on a steep hill, presenting a quaint picture of indoor dining. Yet, it’s the outdoor dining area, situated on a more accessible, flat terrain by the street, that often catches the eye. It’s equipped with plenty of sturdy, wooden high-chairs, welcoming families of all sizes.

Be warned, parking around Millie’s can be a bit of an adventure, with spots being a rare treasure on the busy streets of Lafayette. 

Metered street parking means you might find yourself circling the block a time or two before securing a spot.

The menu at Millie’s is a testament to classic comfort food with a twist. My choice, the pulled pork with truffle fries, was a revelation—each bite packed with tender meat and perfectly complemented by the rich, earthy flavor of the truffle fries. 

fried chicken

My companions ventured into the huevos rancheros, complete with succulent steak and creamy guac, and the fried chicken, both dishes earning high praise for their flavors and execution.

What truly set Millie’s apart was the kitchen’s openness to accommodate special requests, ensuring every dish was not just served but tailored to our liking. 

This attention to detail didn’t go unnoticed and speaks volumes of the owners’ dedication to their guests’ dining experience.

Service throughout was seamless, adding another layer of satisfaction to our meal. It’s clear that Millie’s isn’t just about serving food; it’s about creating an experience—a place where the community comes together over plates of lovingly prepared dishes.

A visit to Millie’s American Kitchen is well worth the effort. It’s more than a meal; it’s a taste of local hospitality and comfort food that stays with you long after you’ve left.

Laura’s II 

1904 W University Ave // (337) 593-8006

Laura’s II is famous for Creole food. Madonna Brussard and her mother opened Laura’s II in 2000. She was following in her grandmother, Laura Williams Broussard’s, footsteps.

Madonna’s mother, Miss Dot, passed away, but Madonna keeps the tradition unbroken. Laura’s II was featured on several Food Network shows and the Travel Channel

She told us how it began. “My grandmother was one of the first to open a soul-food restaurant out of one side of her house in 1968.

There was a fire in 1975, and she reopened in a trailer. In that little trailer is where we started serving almost everybody. My grandmother was cooking for you if your parents sent you to school in Lafayette in the 70s.

It still feels like my grandma’s kitchen. You know, your grandma cooked food on Sunday, and you ate. Well, every day was Sunday for my grandma.”

When her grandmother was cooking, many of the customers were on a rushed lunch hour and needed to grab their lunch and run, so they served the food in styrofoam boxes. You pick an entrée and two sides at the counter.

You can take it to go or sit in the restaurant. Madonna said the two most popular items are the Turkey Wings and the Fried Pork Chops. Rice and gravy are one of her grandmother’s recipes.

Laura’s II  Fried Pork Chops

I had the Fried Pork Chop with sides of creamed corn and mac and cheese, plus some of that rice and gravy. I have to say; Grandmother knew how to cook.

That was some of the most flavorful gravy ever. It brought life to normally bland rice. Definitely a must try amongst the Lafayette Restaurants.

The Hideout Kitchen & Cafe

32 Lafayette Cir, Lafayette, CA 94549, United States // +19254032160

At The Hideout Kitchen & Cafe in Lafayette, you’ll find a relaxed vibe that’s a bit country and a bit stylish, making it a cozy spot for grabbing some New American comfort food. 

Despite having a small parking lot, finding a spot on the street isn’t too much of a hassle.

This place feels like a hidden gem, with its cool mix of modern and farmhouse touches. The exposed brick and overall decor contribute to a pleasant dining atmosphere. 

Our meal choices were diverse, covering everything from a waffle sandwich and French toast with ube sauce to biscuit and brisket Benedict, as well as the classic Benedict. The guava mimosa was a hit for its refreshing taste.

Benedict

Getting there early worked out well for us, ensuring we were seated quickly, and we noticed it got busier as we were leaving. 

Both indoor and outdoor seating are available, catering to different preferences. The staff made our visit even better with their friendliness, and the food lived up to our expectations.

 It’s popular, so timing is everything, but it’s definitely a spot that combines good food with a welcoming atmosphere.

Wildcat Brothers Distilling

2601 SE Evangeline Thwy // (337) 703-3410

David Meaux began the company as Rank Wildcat Spirits, creating a unique French-style rum out of his home.

His Cajun ancestors settled in this area, and his father bought a piece of timberland that is still the source of wood used to create the aging barrels. They made the rum from local sugar cane. 

This was the second licensed distillery in Louisiana. As the business grew, David brought his old college friend, Tait Martin, on board as the company as President & CEO.

They changed the name to Wildcat Brothers Distilling and purchased a local, historical property called Gator Cove. It had been a restaurant and a popular place for crawfish boils. Today, it houses the new equipment, but they still give a place of honor to David’s early homemade still, Lulu. 

Wildcat Brothers Distilling Crawfish Boil

Their rum has won multiple awards. You can take a tour or a two-hour distilling class at the distillery.

La Crêperie Bistro

1921 Kaliste Saloom Rd #116, Lafayette, LA 70508, United States // +13374841010

At La Crêperie Bistro in Lafayette, the morning kicks off right with a menu that’s a crepe lover’s dream. The vibe here? Totally laid-back and welcoming, making it a standout spot for breakfast.

The place has a certain charm to it, cozy and inviting. My pick was the eggs Florentine with turkey, which was just the right blend of tasty and satisfying, and the lemon crepe added a sweet finish to the meal. 

Props to the staff too – they’re all about making sure you’re set up with something delicious, and they’re pretty quick about it too.

lemon crepe

Oh, and they serve this amazing homemade raspberry jam that’s good with basically everything. It’s a nice touch that adds to the whole experience. Plus, they’re using recyclable plates, so it’s a meal you can feel good about.

It’s surprising this place isn’t swamped all the time given how fast the service is and how good the food tastes. 

Definitely worth stopping by if you’re in Lafayette and looking for a breakfast spot that’ll make you want to plan a return visit.

Johnson’s Boucaniere 

1111 St. John Street // (337) 269-8878 

Boudin is a unique Louisiana find amongst the Lafayette Restaurants. The origins trace back to the early Greeks and possibly even earlier, but boudin, as we know it today, goes back over two centuries to the Acadians, who the English forced out of Nova Scotia. Many migrated to the bayou country of Louisiana.

Families adapted to the resources they had. Pigs were common, and early Cajuns used all but the squeal.

The original Johnson’s Grocery Store was a small grocery owned by Mr. Wallace Johnson that opened in 1937 in Eunice, LA. His wife, Louise, developed a recipe adapted from her family’s traditions for boudin. They closed their store in 2005.

The Johnson’s daughter- and son-in-law, Lori and Greg Walls, opened Johnson’s Boucaniere in Lafayette in 2008.

Greg told us they originally planned to use the old family recipes but couldn’t find them until they were remodeling and moving some of the old machinery from the original grocery store.

To get the machinery out, they had to remove a door. When they took the door off, they found a bundle of the old recipes hidden behind it. That culinary treasure is in use today at Johnson’s Boucaniere.

Greg told us about the tradition of boucaniere. “It’s a slaughtering of the hog. When there was no refrigeration, the entire community would get together, and each person would have one station. One would make boudin; one would smoke sausage.

They used the whole hog. They would share it among the entire community.”

Greg showed us where they smoke their meat in large smokers behind the restaurant. When he opened the doors to show us, the smell of the smoked chicken and pork drifted out. It smelled so good you could almost taste it.

Johnson’s Boucaniere  Smoked Pork

Johnson’s Boucaniere is small compared to the rest of Lafayette Restaurants and has only outdoor tables, but it’s a place you can get an authentic feel for what life for Cajuns was like in an earlier time. Try a delicious locally made soft drink called Swamp Pop with your boudin or smoked meat.

Bon Temps Grill

1211 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States // +13377068850

Bon Temps Grill in Lafayette offers a relaxed spot for enjoying Cajun cuisine. On our first visit, the quick and friendly service stood out right away. 

The place has a unique vibe, enhanced by live music, which makes dining here more than just a meal. Plus, finding a spot isn’t too hard with street parking available.

The menu’s full of great choices. I went for the Crawfish Etouffee and was not disappointed. It was flavorful, loaded with crawfish, and the portion was just right. 

The sides, Jalapeño cheese grits and Corn Maque Choux, complemented the main dish well, though I personally would’ve enjoyed a bit more spice in the grits.

Crawfish Etouffee

Throughout the meal, the service remained impeccable. Our waiter’s deep knowledge of the menu and his eagerness to share insights into the dishes added another layer of appreciation to our dining experience. 

Despite being tempted by the prospect of dessert, the generosity of the portions left us happily sated, with the promise of sweet treats as a lure for future visits.

I wholeheartedly recommend Bon Temps Grill for anyone seeking an authentic Cajun meal, and I look forward to returning the next time we’re in the area. 

With its combination of delightful cuisine, engaging atmosphere, and friendly service, Bon Temps Grill stands as a beacon of the rich, flavorful experiences that Lafayette has to offer.

Pampalona Tapas Bar 

631 Jefferson Street // (337) 232-0070

All dining in Lafayette is not Cajun food. Pampalona Tapas Bar moves away from typical Cajun food with its Spanish cuisine.

There’s a hint of Cajun in dishes like their Crawfish Croquettes served with smoked Gouda, panko, and almond sauce. After all, you are in Cajun County. 

Pampalona Tapas Bar  Crawfish Croquettes

Their most unusual menu item is Absinthe. This licorice-tasting green drink had been banned for many years because they once believed it to be hallucinogenic.

Dons Seafood – Lafayette

4309 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States // +13379811141

Dons Seafood treats you with their Southern seafood and grilled meats. It’s a top pick for special dinners, thanks to its varied seafood options and classy decor. 

This spot’s charm extends into its bar and dining area, where staying open late is just one of the perks.

The menu is a deep dive into Cajun flavors, offering everything from seafood gumbo to chef’s specials that highlight the best of Cajun and barbecue traditions.

Sitting at the bar, I got a firsthand look at the kitchen’s action and received a stellar dinner recommendation from my server: blackened red fish with a crab topping, paired with spiced-up green beans and a standout potato dish. 

bread pudding

For my main course, the catfish paired with garlic mashed potatoes was memorable, clearly some of the best I’ve had. Ending the meal with their bread pudding was the cherry on top.

The space feels welcoming, like dining in a well-appointed but comfortable home, enhanced by great service (thanks to Hunter) and an overall positive vibe. 

If you find yourself in Lafayette, Dons Seafood is worth a stop for an uncomplicated but thoroughly enjoyable meal.

The French Press 

214 E Vermilion St // (337) 233-9449

The French Press is one of those Lafayette Restaurants that earned a place in Urban Spoon’s “Top Breakfast Restaurants” a few years ago.

Chef Justin Girouard, who has been nominated for a James Beard award, creates some unique dishes. There’s Sweet Baby Breesus, consisting of buttermilk biscuit sliders with bacon, fried boudin and Steen’s Cane Syrup.

His grits are so cheesy and creamy that they’ll convert the most hard-nosed northerner who thinks they don’t like grits. I enjoyed his French Toast stuffed with cream cheese and banana and topped with a berry /champagne compote. 

The French Press  French Toast

The décor at The French Press is very New Orleans French Quarter. 

Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House 

215 E Convent St // (337) 234-2422

It’s a cross between a juke joint and a honky-tonk. You enter through an alley on the side of the Blue Moon Guesthouse, a modest frame home that was moved to this location in 1900 using mules and logs.

You’ll feel a Zydeco, County Cajun or other group blasting out from the stage. Some couples are dancing. Folks mill around the very-dark yard or sit on the back porch of the guest house, clutching a Bud or a mixed drink from the small bar.

Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House  Cocktail

Everybody is having a good time. It might be small, dark and in the backyard of the guesthouse, but Southern Living magazine named the Blue Moon Saloon as one of the 100 Best Bars in the South.

Spend an hour or so listening, dancing and sharing a few drinks, and you will agree. (Editor’s note: The acoustics are such that you will feel the music as well as hear it. Having been there twice, as Justin Wilson would say, “I gha-rawn-tee it.” “Passing a good time” is a common Cajun expression.)

10 Best Restaurants In Lafayette, LA: To Visit List

1. Elote Cafe

  1. Cuisine: Cajun
  2. Location: 1211 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.5 out of 2741 reviews.

2. Antoni’s Italian Cafe

  1. Cuisine: Italian
  2. Location: 1118 Coolidge St A, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.7 out of 480 reviews.

3. T-Coon’s Restaurant

  1. Cuisine: Cajun-Creole
  2. Location: 1900 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508, United States
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.4 out of 1345 reviews.

4. Dwyer’s Cafe

  1. Cuisine: Brunch
  2. Location: 323 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501, United States
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.6 out of 998 reviews.

5. Mel’s Diner

  1. Cuisine: Brunch
  2. Location: 2956 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.4 out of 1321 reviews.

6. Hub City Diner

  1. Cuisine: Southern
  2. Location: 1412 S College Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.6 out of 1543 reviews.

7. Zea Rotisserie & Bar

  1. Cuisine: American
  2. Location: 235 Doucet Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.7 out of 1656 reviews.

8. Edie’s Biscuits

  1. Cuisine: Breakfast
  2. Location: 1400 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.7 out of 635 reviews.

9. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

  1. Cuisine: American
  2. Location: 116 Alcide Dominique Dr, Lafayette, LA 70506, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 3.9 out of 3274 reviews.

9. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

  1. Cuisine: American
  2. Location: 116 Alcide Dominique Dr, Lafayette, LA 70506, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 3.9 out of 3274 reviews.

10. Social Southern Table & Bar

  1. Cuisine: Southern
  2. Location: 3901 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503, United States
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.6 out of 860 reviews.

Travelers Also Ask: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Unique About Lafayette’s Food Scene?

Lafayette stands out for its deep-rooted Cajun and Creole culinary traditions, offering an authentic taste of Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage. 

From spicy gumbo to fresh seafood and traditional boudin, the city’s restaurants and food festivals celebrate local flavors with recipes passed down through generations. 

It’s also home to innovative chefs who blend classic Southern cooking with modern twists, making Lafayette a dynamic food destination.

Can I Find Food Options from Different Cultures in Lafayette?

Yes, beyond its famous Cajun and Creole dishes, Lafayette boasts a diverse culinary scene that includes Mexican, Italian, Japanese, and more. 

This variety reflects the city’s growing multicultural community. Whether you’re craving sushi, pasta, or tacos, Lafayette’s eateries and food trucks have something to satisfy your global taste buds.

Are There Any Must-Visit Food Events in Lafayette?

Lafayette hosts several food events throughout the year that showcase its culinary diversity and talent. 

The Festival International de Louisiane offers a taste of international cuisine alongside local dishes, while the Acadiana Po-Boy Festival celebrates the iconic Louisiana sandwich. 

Don’t miss the Louisiana Seafood Cookoff for the best of local seafood. These events provide a perfect opportunity to dive into Lafayette’s vibrant food culture.

Lafayette Restaurants: Conclusion

In the early 20th century, they downplayed Cajun Culture. Thankfully, a resurgence of interest in the food and culture has turned that around. Lafayette Parish is the heart of Cajun Country and proud of it.

Visiting other destinations in Louisiana? Check out our other delicious guides:

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