Eating excellent and delicious is essential no matter what city you are in! When I took a road trip down to Lake Charles, Louisiana, I was ready to find delicious food that tourists and locals would like. Let’s say I was satisfied.
Located a little over two hours from Houston, Texas, and an hour and some change from Lafayette, Louisiana – Lake Charles is a great place to find popular Louisiana dishes like boudin balls and poboys.
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What food is Lake Charles known for?
Lake Charles is known for fresh seafood, boudin, and local beers. While visiting Lake Charles, you will want to try many Louisiana classics like fried shrimp poboy, grits, and delicious cajun food. You can even travel along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trial to find the perfect place that sells Boudin.
What is the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail?
The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail travels along Interstate I-10 and allows you to stop at mom-and-pop shops, specialist meat shops, or grocery stores that sell fresh and packaged Boudin.
Need to know which places to stop on the boudin Trail? Make sure to stop by Richard’s Boudin, Seafood Mart, and Insane Sausages to stock up on Boudin and andouille sausage.
What to eat while In Lake Charles
Lake Charles, along with other areas in Louisiana and the south, has unique foods that tourists should try at least once while in Lake Charles. This small list
Boudin is a way of life down here. There is an entire boudin trail where you can discover some of the best and tastiest.
Boudin is made with pork, liver, rice, onions, parsley, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. Locals like to eat Boudin for any meal or snack. The casing is made from clean pig intestines.
Lake Charles is about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, so you know this city is bound to have a plethora of seafood! From fried seafood, boiled crawfish, and everything in between – you must try some seafood dishes while visiting Lake Charles.
There is nothing like a warm bowl of gumbo to warm you up on a brisk day. Gumbo is one of my favorite things to eat in Louisana. Gumbo can be either a seafood gumbo or a chicken and sausage gumbo. Gumbo isn’t a soup but more like a stew because it is served over rice or potato salad.
A dish that surprised me on my recently was the pistolette. In New Orleans, a pistolette is a small french bread baguette. But in Lake Charles and Lafayette, it is a fried bride roll that is typically stuffed with a dish like a crawfish etouffee.
There are so many different dishes that you need to try while visiting Lake Charles and Louisiana, but if you find the four above dishes at any of the restaurants you are dining at, you are on your way to eating your way through Lake Charles.
Brunch and Breakfast Restaurants in Lake Charles Louisiana
Did you know that Lake Charles is Louisiana’s Playground? With the reputation of Louisana’s playground, you know that brunch and breakfast have to be a favorite meal to keep your energy up. Check out some of these restaurants to complete your breakfast goals.
1. Stellar Coffee
319 Broad Street
Stellar Coffe is located in Downtown Lake Charles and is the perfect place to grab a coffee or breakfast while you are out Mural hunting. Voted as the place with the best beignets in the Lake Charles Area, Stellar Coffee is the place to grab a coffee and beignet.
What to Order: Get the Mayan Mocha Latte. A creamy espresso with steamed milk, Dark Chocolate, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Stellar also has some of the best sandwiches for breakfast, so you will not be disappointed.
2. Barstool Sportsbook
777 Avenue L’Auberge
The New barstool sportsbook is located inside the L’Auberge casino. L’aubuerge is the perfect spot for anyone who wants good service and great food. On special game days, you can get a sample of their favorite game-time menu items from the brunch menu.
Barstool has a great atmosphere with plenty of places where you can watch the game or tables to bet at. This is the perfect place to watch the Saints Game while you are in town.
What to Order: If you are in town during a game day Sunday brunch, you need to try the chicken and waffles for brunch. If brunch is not in your future, Barstool Sportsbook has some of the best hamburgers. When in doubt, order dessert first with the Dark side of the Moon Ice cream Chocolate cake.
3. Luna Bar & Grill
719 Ryan St
Located in the heart of downtown, Luna Bar & Grill is perfect for a Sunday Jazz brunch. With live entertainment and good food, Luna Bar and Grill was the perfect stop after biking all morning.
Luna Bar and Grill is such a local favorite that they opened another location down the road in Lafayette, Louisiana.
What to Order: I like nothing more than a sweet treat in the form of breakfast, and that comes as an order of French Toast. Other popular dishes at brunch include the Fats domino, fried chicken, jumbo biscuit, and fresh Boudin, topped with cream gravy.
4. Biscuits and Jamz
1620 N Simmons St Ste B
A little off the beaten path, but a must-stop for food lovers, is Biscuits and Jamz. Don’t let the parking lot deter you. Biscuits and Jamz is located next to a mini-mart, but once you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you are in someone’s kitchen waiting for a delicious homemade breakfast.
Biscuits and Jamz was my favorite place to eat breakfast – I am still dreaming about those grits, and I eat grits regularly at home.
What to Order: You must order the Sloppy Grits. This bowl of grits comes with sauteed jalapenos, onions, cheese, bacon, sausage, and a sunny-side-up egg. If you are looking for fried catfish for breakfast, the Catfish Breakfast is delicious. You must also try all the Jamz on your biscuits while you are here!
5. Helen Street Bakehouse
1736 Common Street
Helen Steet Bakehouse is Lake Charles’ first artisan Wholesale bakery with fresh, fantastic bread! You can get fresh bread daily, sandwiches, or sweet treats like croissants.
What to Order: Everything. Just Order Everything. I bought a few chocolate and almond croissants, and I wish I had bought more!
Restaurants in Lake Charles for Lunch and Dinner
While traveling, Lunch and Dinner and some of the most important meals. Whether you are looking for a friendly atmosphere, fine dining, or a fantastic happy hour Lake Charles Louisiana has it all!
If you are an oyster fan, you must go to Drago’s. You can get Drago’s Original Charbroiled Oysters, made famous in New Orleans, without much of a wait! I love the story behind Drago’s coming to Lake Charles. After Hurricane Laura in 2020, the company came down and fell in love with the people of Lake Charles and opened its sixth location!
What to Order: There are so many things on Drago’s Menu that is great. You can get seafood gumbo, fresh fish, and chargrilled oysters.
7. Bodega Wine Dive
3505 Country Club Road
Are you looking for one of the best restaurants to try out your taste buds on your drink order? Look no further than Bodega Wine Dive! With Happy hour every day – this is one of the best places to stop in and get a bite to eat.
If you want to expand your palette, try out some delicious wines with a charcuterie board at Bodega Wine Dive. You never know. You might find that perfect wine that will pair nicely with your next takeout order.
What to Order: The truffle popcorn is delicious, but the wine shines at this restaurant. Stop by for a happy hour or a couple of glasses of wine.
8. Steamboat Bill’s on the Lake
1004 N Lakeshore Dr
If you are looking for some of the best seafood in Southwest Louisiana, look no further than Steamboat Bill’s. The first time is stepping into the adorable restaurant. I was blown away by how cute it is!
With everything you could want on the menu, from boudin balls and fried alligator as appetizers to Poboys traditional Cajun Cooking for the main course – you need to add Steamboat Bill’s to your list of places to eat.
What to Order: I’ve grown up eating pistolettes, but nothing like the Pistolette appetizer at Steamboat bills. This appetizer is a lightly fried roll loaded with Crawfish etouffee. Followed by a popcorn fried shrimp po-boy, and this meal will be one of the best things you will eat during your time in Lake Charles. You can even get a baked potato smothered in crawfish etouffee if that is up your alley!
Drinks and Cocktails in Lake Charles
After a few days of eating, you may wonder where someone can grab a drink in Lake Charles. We visited a few places in Lake Charles while in town.
9. Panorama Music House
331 Broad St
Are you looking for live music, a full bar, and a great time? Head on over to Panorama Music house. With something going on every weekend, Panorama Music house is a great place to grab a cocktail and enjoy live music, Karaoke, or open mic night.
10. Crying Eagle Brewing Co
1165 E. McNeese Street
Crying Eagle Brewing Co is Lake Charles’ first brewery. If you get hungry, you can always grab some of the bar food from the Bistro ranging from Pizza to Burgers to Truffle Fries.
Crying Eagle has an impressive list of their beers but carries a few Louisiana and New Orleans brews for you to try.
What to Order: A flight! When a brewery isn’t super busy, I love to get a flight of beer, pick two and allow the server to determine the rest. At Crying Eagle, I had the best server who picked all of the darker brews for me!
11. Bayou Rum Distillery and Event Center
Either on your way in or out of Lake Charles, you need to stop by the Bayou Rum Distillery and do a rum tasting! The rum tasting and rum tour. Tours happen Tuesday-Saturday and last 30 minutes. After the time, taste all the Rum and bring one home. All purchases from Bayou Rum come in an adorable crawfish bag.
Bayou Rum is also the official Rum of the Saints team, so it is the perfect liquor to purchase when rooting for the Saints.
Additional places to eat in Lake Charles
With only three days to squeeze in as much delicious food as I could, I had a list a mile long of restaurants and places to eat in Lake Charles for a delightful meal. Check out the following restaurants for excellent food the next time you are in Lake Charles.
12. Chart House
The Chart House is located inside the Golden Nugget and is the perfect place to grab brunch or dinner while hanging out at the Nugget. Not a big brunch fan?
They have a section on the brunch menu where you can order lunch or dinner for breakfast. Either way, I focus on avocado toast, shrimp, and grits.
13. Seafood Palace
2218 Enterprise Boulevard
If you are hungry for boiled seafood, check out the Seafood Palace. This great hole-in-the-wall place is well-known by locals, and tourists are finding that this is the place to get a plate of great food.
If you are looking for a delicious crawfish boil, look no further than Seafood Palace. Just make sure you come during crawfish season for the best mudbugs around.
14. Royal Tandoor
4315 Common St
Lake Charles is not just about Creole restaurants and fresh seafood. There are small hidden gems all over the city, including Indian food from Royal Tandoor.
If you are looking for a mom-and-pop vibe with excellent quality food, Royal Tandoor needs to make your list.
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15. Rikenjaks Brewing Company
3716 Ryan St
Are you looking to taste more of Louisiana’s Craft Beer? Rikenjaks is a microbrewery housed in a fully-restored 70-year-old Midtown bungalow.
With something going on, every Rikenjaks has good food, beer, and a great atmosphere. You can get anything from a burger to mac and cheese or even a delicious pistolette.
16. Vic & Anthony’s
2550 Golden Nugget Blvd
Located inside the Golden Nugget Lake Charles, Vick & Anthony’s is a great place to take a break from the casinos and grab something delicious. Treat yourself to the Organic Lamb Chops or Szechuan Pepper Crusted Tuna.
17. Ember Wine Bar
777 Ave L’Auberge
Inside the L’auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, Ember Wine Bar is an excellent place to get a wine flight, hand-crafted cocktail, or a delicious meal. Opt for main entrees for Kurobuta Pork Chops or the American Wagyu NY Strip.
Things to do in Lake Charles
Eating, Drinking, and having a great time are some things to do in Lake Charles, but there is much more to do while exploring Louisiana’s play group.
Where to Stay in Lake Charles
Of course, you need a place to stay! There is no way you can do all of those things without a good night’s rest!
Staybridge Suites Lake Charles
When traveling, Staybridge suites is one of my favorite extended stay brands to stay at. My Favorite thing about Staybridge Suites is the ability to have a kitchenette, free parking, and complimentary breakfast. What more could you need from a hotel? Check out these photos of the hotel.
Holiday Inn Express Lake Charles
If you do not need a full Kitchenette for your stay, the Holiday Inn Express in Lake Charles may suit your needs. This hotel comes with Family rooms, non-smoking, and a refrigerator. Close to everything, this holiday Inn is a great location to mark off your things to do while in Lake Charles.
L’auberge Casino resort
You thought you would come to Lake Charles and not stay at one of their casinos? You thought wrong. I prefer L’auberge Casino Resort over the Golden Nugget Lake Charles because the Casino smells very mildly of smoke, and the rooms do not smell smoke.
Also, L’aburge Casino guests have free access to the pools and Lazy River (while the Golden Nugget has an upcharge). Loaded with restaurants, shops, and a golf course, you might never leave the Casino!
After you decide where you want to stay while in Lake Charles, now the fun beings, Lake Charles has a little something for everyone, so let’s dive into the Fun things to do in Lake Charles.
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