Top 8 Lake Charles Casual Dining Restaurants Louisiana
Lake Charles is a city of mixtures. It combines Cajun culture with a touch of neighboring Texas. It is the fifth largest city in Louisiana, but it still has a small-town feel. It treasures it’s old French history and enjoys modern casino fun. The food there reflects this mixture.
2040 E Walnut St, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States //+13377614777
Start your day with breakfast at The Bekery. No, it’s not a typo. Owner Rebekah Hoffpauir blended her love for baking pastries, croissants, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cakes, and more with “bakery” to create her special concept. She bakes everything fresh.
She does some very creative pastries, like her “cronut,” a combination of a donut and crescent roll. I had her quiche. It is excellent. Plus, she served different varieties of tea.
Coffee drinkers will have their special beverage here as well. And now she stays open for lunch. A great way to start your day off is in this Lake Charles restaurant.
119 W College St, Lake Charles, LA 70605, United States //+13374743651
If you want to sample a perfect po’boy, Darrell’s is the place to go. It’s a bar and grill loved by locals and visitors alike. Susie and Darrell DeRouen opened Darrell’s in 1985, originally as a bar that served sandwiches.
Their popularity grew so fast that they are now ranked one of Lake Charles’ Top Ten. Their po’boy choices range from turkey, shrimp, and BBQ.
I had to try a Darrell’s Special, which combines a trio of ham, turkey, and roast beef, heavy on the roast beef gravy and topped with melting American, Swiss, and provolone cheeses. They also have a special jalapeno mayonnaise.
I used a ton of napkins because this sandwich is a messy masterpiece. I’m from Louisiana and can tell you if your Po’boy is not messy, it’s not good.
719 Ryan St, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States //+13374945862
Chef Dave Evans’ Luna Bar and Grill combine California and Louisiana food with music and art. He calls it “Cali-ana.” His love of music in all genres is obvious before you enter.
His restaurant sign is a guitar with Luna on it. When you walk in the door, he has filled the walls with musicians’ posters, ranging from Widespread Panic, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Beetles, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Louis, Tab Benoit, and probably any other musician you can think of.
There is music in the evenings at this Lake Charles bar.Chef Dave named the entrees for celestial bodies and family members.
Our group had an assortment of his appetizers, and I have to say, they were really out-of-this-world delicious.
We chose Crawfish Bread with cheddar jack cheese, Parmesan, and LA crawfish topping a half slice of French Bread; Petite Apollo, fried shrimp, apollo sauce, and sliced avocado; Spinach and Artichoke Dip with fried flour tortillas; and Galactic Crab Dip, made with lump crabmeat, Parmesan, and cream cheese served with fried flour tortillas.
All great and all worth making a trip to this Lake Charles, LA restaurant.
331 Broad St, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States //+13379905361
The Panorama Music House is another Lake Charles restaurant that combines music and food. The historic building has a long history with touches of food and music.
It’s over 100 years old and once housed The American Press printing operation and offices. Back in the 1940s, it became a trade school. It was a hub for music twenty years ago when it was Rikenjacks Brewery.
The last incarnation was Sloppy’s, which went out of business a few years back. When Jay Ecker, one of the owners of Panorama Music House, found it was for sale, he went for it.
He’s a music lover, so when they bought the old Panorama Burger House sign, he changed it from “burger” to “music” to create a perfect fit.
You’ll find bar food, pizza, sandwiches, a nice array of appetizers, and live music ranging from karaoke to live bands most nights. They serve a large variety of craft beers and cocktails.
I sampled the Spinach Dip with their house tortillas and the Fried Green Beans with a pepper ranch dressing. Both were great. Even if you think you don’t like green beans, give these a shot.
They bring green beans to a whole new dimension. You can bring your furry friend and sit on the patio.
2218 Enterprise Blvd, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States //+13374339293
It doesn’t look like a palace on the outside, but inside, you will dine royally. This is a very local place, a little off the beaten path. You will find some unusual (unless you’re from Louisiana) dishes here.
Besides the usual shrimp, crab, or fish dishes, you will find frog legs, crawfish, ‘gator tail bites, duck tenders, boudin balls, and some of the ultra-local dishes true Cajuns love.
My favorites are seafood boils, shrimp, crab, or crawfish. I went with the Crawfish Boil. I broke off a tail and peeled it, and I knew when it slid out of the shell easily, it was cooked just right.
They were spicy and flavorful. To wash down the spicy food, you can get beer, wine, or cocktails. This is a great place for seafood in Lake Charles.
1004 N Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States //+13374941070
In 1982, Kathi Bonamici came to Louisiana. With little money, she began selling shrimp on the side of the road. Her popularity grew, and she became known as “Kathi, the Shrimp Lady.”
With some help from her brother, Billy Bonamici, they purchased a shrimp dock. After her marriage to William “Bill” Vidrine, a local fisherman, they opened two locations for Steamboat Bill’s in Lake Charles.
Steamboat Bill’s serves a Cajun menu with an old riverboat atmosphere using only local shrimp and crawfish.
I visited the Lakeshore location, but she has become so successful there are several locations, and she now offers franchises.
There were so many dishes I loved there, like the Shrimp or Crawfish Étouffée, the Softshell Crab, and the boiled shellfish dishes. I finally chose the Boiled Shrimp cooked with potatoes and corn on the cob.
When I peeled the first shrimp and dipped it in the tangy remoulade sauce, I flavored it with a bit of fresh lemon. That spicy taste was pure heaven. I knew I had made the right choice; however, there are no wrong choices here.
For the perfect light dessert, head to Boombox. They serve frozen pops and ice cream named after 80’s songs and bands.
Nick Villaume, the owner, is a music fan and names his handmade, gourmet frozen pops and ice cream after 80s songs and bands. You can try a Choc Blobster, Sweet Child O’ Lime, Dough You Want Me, or a Grass Monkey.
I choose a Blue Moon On Mango, consisting of a fruity-tasting mango cream with a frozen blueberry pop. Literally melt-in-your-mouth good.
The decor is very pop culture. There is a Loup-garou, the Cajun version of a werewolf, and several other monsters. Tables are topped with a layer of 45 RPM records.
1165 E McNeese St, Lake Charles, LA 70607, United States //+13379904871
When you need some liquid refreshment, stop at Crying Eagle Brewery. The name comes from the local Native American tribe, Atakapa’s, translation of the county name, Calcasieu.
Crying Eagle gives free tours and serves craft beers both inside its two-story tap room or in its landscaped outdoor beer garden.
It also serves some of the best pizza ever. The cheese will burn your mouth if you grab a slice too fast, and it is so melty and stretchy.
Pepperoni is tangy, and the sauce tastes like pure, fresh tomatoes with just the right herbs. There are other choices if you don’t like pizza.
For cat lovers, the brewery has a resident cat, Tom Petty, who handles rodent control. He’s friendly and loves to mingle.
With this wonderful mixture, it is no surprise you find wonderful food of all kinds here. These are my favorites.
Visiting other destinations in Louisiana? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 15 Most Delicious And Popular Foods of Louisiana
- 10 Best New Orleans Cajun Seafood Restaurants
- 10 Best New Orleans Seafood Restaurants
- 10 Best Shreveport Restaurants
I’m Kathleen Walls, former reporter for Union Sentinel in Blairsville, GA, currently publisher/writer for American Roads and Global Highways. I live in Middleburg, FL but travel extensively, mainly in the U.S. I’m the author of travel books, Georgia’s Ghostly Getaways, Finding Florida’s Phantoms, Hosts With Ghosts, and Wild About Florida series, and several novels. All available at my site, katywalls.com/.
Publications I write for include Travel the South, Roadtrippers, Travel Awaits, World Footprints, Snowbirds and RV Travelers, Family RVing, Deep South, Florida Country, and more. My photographs appear in many publications. I also do videos. I’m a proud member of International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers (IFWTA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), and North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).