Food & Drink

The Essential Baton Rouge Dining Guide

Published On 09/29/2016 Published On 09/29/2016

Best patio vibes: Zippy’s Burritos, Tacos and More

Perkins Rd overpass
Stop in to grab a daiquiri to-go, or stay for hours, but know that Zippy’s is the neighborhood place to be. Late-night college hooligans and families alike can be found swarming the patio on the regular. With a tasty, mostly “build-your-own” Tex-Mex menu and a wall of frozen drink machines, Zippy's food can be as eclectic as its atmosphere. Always get queso.

Blair Loup/Thrillist

Seasonal, local, organic: Magpie Café

Perkins Rd overpass
Not just an amazing coffee shop (although it is an amazing coffee shop), Magpie Café has quickly earned its place in the hearts of locals. From a Shakerato to a patiently crafted pour-over, Magpie satisfies all your new-wave coffee shop needs and doesn’t stop there. A locally sourced, seasonally conscious, daily changing menu is comprised of morning pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches, and street bowls, with Paleo options available.

Blair Loup/Thrillist

Best Vietnamese: Dang's

Sherwood Forest
Besides the golden opportunity to say “Daaaannnng” after taking a slurp of the most delicious pho in town, you'll feel like a money-saving champion with bánh mí for under $4. Crispy duck with pillow-like steam buns, a velvety yellow curry, and fish sauce wings are a few of our favorite things. Branch out, or keep it 100 with your pho go-to... either way, Dang’s is the real deal.

Jay Ducote/Thrillist

Best 24-hour diner: Louie's Café

North Gates
Once you go to Louie’s, it sticks with you, literally. The smells of frying bacon, sausage gravy, and super hash browns clings to the fibers of your clothes and the fiber of your being. Feeding wired college students and Sunday church-goers alike is this cafe's specialty. Go for the three-egg Mitchell Omelet (made with mushrooms, hash browns, sausage, and colby cheese), and make sure to opt in for sprouts on the Big Cheesy Lou hamburger.

Courtesy of Chimes Restaurant & Taproom

Best place to bring someone from out of town: The Chimes

North Gates
Keeping a watchful eye over LSU’s North Gates for decades, The Chimes has become part of the university experience. With 80 brews on tap, you can also easily drink your way around the country. Plating up Louisiana staples like po-boys, red beans & rice, blackened alligator, and the infamous boudin omelet, this is the perfect spot for your out-of-towner to taste their way around the state without ever leaving the barstool.

Blalir Loup/Thrillist

Best fried chicken: Delpit's Chicken Shack

North Baton Rouge
An institution in Baton Rouge for the past 80 years, Chicken Shack fries up some “knuckle sucking good” chicken. The magic of Delpit’s slightly spicy, wet batter crisps up in a way that warms your cold, cold heart, and is a must-try if you make your way through Baton Rouge. This place is goin’ up on a Tuesday -- every Tuesday is Two-Piece Tuesday, with a leg and a thigh for $1.45!

Blair Loup/Thrillist

Best gastropub: The Overpass Merchant

Perkins Rd overpass
The hip new kid in town, The Merchant seems to be constantly buzzing with business. Dishes include the juiciest burger, meatball of the week, and other classic comfort foods reimagined. With a constantly rotating craft beer selection and popular Merchant Mules (Moscow mules with Jameson), The Merchant’s coolest offering may be wine on tap. Grab a tapped glass of rosé and get down with some fried chicken skins.

Jay Ducote/Thrillist

Best Louisiana breakfast: Coffee Call

College Dr
Breakfast in Louisiana = beignets. Fluffy fried dough squares invisible underneath copious amounts of powdered sugar is the wake up you never knew you needed. Slide down the line or drive through, but don’t forget to grab a café au lait or mix the hot chocolate and café au lait for an extra dose of awesome.

Best muffaletta: Anthony’s Italian Deli

Mid-City
A Red Stick staple for over 37 years, Anthony’s is a true Italian deli. Owner Marie Saia and her son Marco still work behind the counter every day, serving up classics like lasagna, meatball sandwiches, and spaghetti. Everything there is authentic and delicious, but what you absolutely have to try is the muffaletta. Hands down the best in Baton Rouge, this hot-pressed monster is loaded with fine meats, cheeses, and an olive salad you can’t walk away from.

Charles Pierce/Thrillist

Best new restaurant: Goûter Restaurant

Mid-City
Goûter means “to taste” in French, and this place boasts a menu that brings the state’s “Sportsman’s Paradise” slogan to the dining room. A large part of Louisiana’s culture stems from hunting, fishing, and outdoor cooking; chef/owner Chris Wadsworth takes those influences and translates them to a restaurant setting, sourcing as much as possible from local farms with a modern plating style in an up-and-coming neighborhood. It’s definitely worth a visit, and you can even book a special tasting menu at the chef’s table.

Best seafood market: Tony’s Seafood

North Baton Rouge
The second-best place to bring your friend from out of town, Tony’s is a fresh seafood powerhouse. A pool of live catfish catches visitors’ eyes upon walking in, while a large array of fried seafood awaits at the other side of the market. If you’re looking for some downright delectable boiled crawfish, some of the best boudin balls in town, or a fresh whole red snapper, Tony’s has the hookup.

Jay Ducote/Thrillist

Treat yo' self: Beausoleil Restaurant & Bar

Bocage
A well-curated wine menu, on-point cocktails, a local craft tap selection, and well-thought-out dishes await you at Beausoleil. Tucked away in an unassuming shopping center, chef Nathan Gresham's spot has created menus focused on respecting ingredients and works hard to cultivate a staff with which he can collaborate to further the Baton Rouge culinary scene. Grab a drink or three and split a bunch of small plates with friends and you won’t be disappointed... but be sure to save room for the chocolate pot de crème for dessert.

Best brunch: Mason's Grill

Old Jefferson
Brunch is synonymous with Mason’s, a family-owned and -operated joint and a go-to for visitors and locals alike. Come for the crazy Breakfast Burger and stay for the bottomless mimosas, but don’t miss out on the award-winning Bloody Mason. Voted best Bloody Mary in America by Absolut, this Louisiana beauty comes complete with a functional meat straw (yes, you read that right) -- a slightly spicy piece of beef jerky perfectly shaped for sucking up the ultimate breakfast cocktail. There’s not a better brunch in town.

Blair Loup/Thrillist

Best lasagna: Pinetta's European Restaurant

Perkins Rd overpass
Walls adorned with dusty Chiantibottles, porcelain beer steins, and other assorted knickknacks have held this iconic Baton Rouge establishment together since the 1950s. The menu is comprised of Old World Italian, German, and Turkish dishes, but there’s one item that will make you feel things: the lasagna. Customers may stray to the veal Parmigiana or the pesto ravioli from time to time, but sooner or later they find their way back home. Plated tableside out of a piping-hot cast-iron skillet, this most beautiful square of layered pasta and cheese sits in a pool of rich red sauce that’s so good it could be used as valid currency.

Courtesy of City Pork Brasserie & Bar

Best after-work hangout: City Pork Brasserie & Bar

Goodwood
What’s better than winding down after a long work day with house-cured charcuterie, choice cheeses, and half-off adult beverages? The City Pork family of restaurants has been a local obsession since its flagship restaurant opened under the overpass in 2013. The Brasserie & Bar is the ideal place to chill for happy hour and grab one of the famous charcuterie and cheese boards in a relaxed but modern atmosphere.

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1. Zippy's Burritos, Tacos, and More 3155 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

This Tex-Mex sports bar in Baton Rouge lures regulars with its wall of frozen drink machines and place-to-be patio. The menu features burritos, nachos, chimichangas, quesadillas, and more meat, cheese, and corn-based dishes. While Zippy’s gets bustling come late night, its frozen drinks are available to-go, so you can take the daiquiri on the road (as long as you aren’t driving, obviously).

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2. Magpie Cafe 3205 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Not just an amazing coffee shop (although it is an amazing coffee shop), Magpie Café has quickly earned its place in the hearts of locals. From a Shakerato to a patiently crafted pour-over, Magpie satisfies all your new-wave coffee shop needs and doesn’t stop there. A locally sourced, seasonally conscious, daily changing menu is comprised of morning pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches, and street bowls, with paleo options available.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Dang's 12385 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70815

For cheap, authentic Vietnamese food in Baton Rouge, look no further than Dang’s. The strip mall interior leaves something to be desired, but no matter, you’re here for the quality pho, banh mi sandwiches, crispy duck steamed buns, and fish sauce wings.

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4. Louie's Cafe 3322 Lake St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

This 24-hour diner smells of all things good and greasy: crispy bacon, sausage gravy, hash browns, you name it. Feeding wired college students and Sunday church-goers alike is Louie’s speciality. Go for the three-egg Mitchell Omelet (made with mushrooms, hash browns, sausage, and colby cheese), and make sure to opt in for sprouts on the Big Cheesy Lou hamburger.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. The Chimes Restaurant & Tap Room 3357 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Keeping a watchful eye over LSU’s North Gates for decades, The Chimes has become part of the university experience. With 80 brews on tap, you can also easily drink your way around the country. Plating up Louisiana staples like po-boys, red beans & rice, blackened alligator, and the infamous boudin omelet, this is the perfect spot for your out-of-towner to taste their way around the state without ever leaving the barstool.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Delpit's Chicken Shack Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA

Delpit’s has been making its self-proclaimed “knuckle suckin’ good” fried chicken since 1935. Aside from chicken, the all-day spot fries up fish, shrimp, and pork chops, and breakfast sandwiches. Your best bet is to order a po’ boy or one of the multi-piece fried chicken combos served with a roll and your choice of side from a daily changing roster.

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7. The Overpass Merchant 2904 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

The Overpass Merchant is a bustling gastropub that serves a sophisticated comfort food menu featuring a burger with a house-made blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib; chicken and beignets; and Tennessee-style hot chicken with buttermilk dressing. As for drinks, expect wine on tap, craft beer, and cocktails like a Moscow Mule made with Jameson.

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8. Coffee Call 3132 College Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

The important thing to know about Coffee Call is that it serves beignets. Amazing, fluffy, fried, and powdered beignets. The Baton Rouge coffee shop has a drive-thru window, so you can easily take your quintessential Louisiana breakfast -- complete with a café au lait -- to go.

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9. Anthony's Italian Deli 5575 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

A Red Stick staple for over 37 years, Anthony’s is a true Italian deli that serves up classics like lasagna, meatball sandwiches, and spaghetti. Everything there is authentic and delicious, but what you absolutely have to try is the muffaletta. Hands down the best in Baton Rouge, this hot-pressed monster is loaded with fine meats, cheeses, and an olive salad you can’t walk away from.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Goûter Restaurant 3897 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Goûter means “to taste” in French, and this place boasts a menu that brings the state’s “Sportsman’s Paradise” slogan to the dining room. A large part of Louisiana’s culture stems from hunting, fishing, and outdoor cooking; chef/owner Chris Wadsworth takes those influences and translates them to a restaurant setting, sourcing as much as possible from local farms with a modern plating style in an up-and-coming neighborhood. It’s definitely worth a visit, and you can even book a special tasting menu at the chef’s table.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Tony's Seafood Market & Deli 5215 Plank Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70805

Tony’s is a fresh seafood powerhouse in North Baton Rouge. A pool of live catfish catches visitors’ eyes upon walking in, while a large array of fried seafood awaits at the other side of the market. If you’re looking for some downright delectable boiled crawfish, some of the best boudin balls in town, or a fresh whole red snapper, Tony’s has the hookup.

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12. Beausoleil 7731 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Beausoleil is known for its quintessential Louisiana cuisine set in a classy and attentive dining room. The restaurant does great things for Baton Rouge’s culinary reputation with dishes like braised gulf fish with roasted eggplant pomodoro, fried catfish with dirty rice, and truffled fried oysters. The menu is varied and sophisticated, and the move is to order a selection of small plates to get a taste of everything.

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13. Mason's Grill 13556 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Mason’s Grill is known for its quintessential Southern brunch. The Baton Rouge restaurant is family-owned and operated, and attracts visitors and locals alike for knockout dishes like chicken and waffles, sweet potato pancakes, and crab cake Benedict. Perhaps the strongest lure is the mimosas and Bloody Marys, the latter of which are served with a functional meat straw.

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14. Pinetta's European Restaurant 3036 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Italian might not be the kind of cuisine you associate with Baton Rouge, but sometimes, you just need a plate of warm pasta that doesn't come from a box. That’s where Pinetta’s comes in, a romantic Old World restaurant that also counts German and Turkish cuisines as its culinary influences. The house lasagna, a neatly stacked square of pasta, cheese, and red sauce served in a piping hot cast-iron skillet, is a must-order.

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15. City Pork Brasserie & Bar 7327 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Of all the restaurants in the City Pork mini-empire, the Brasserie is the best place to unwind after work with a beer and cheese plate. The restaurant is known for its cheese and charcuterie boards, which feature items like pastrami, liver paté, sheep's milk cheese, five-year aged cheddar. The rest of the menu adheres to a Louisiana culinary theme, with plates like rabbit and dumplings, Cajun smoked brisket, and shrimp and boudin.