Cast Your Line for the Best Seafood in Louisiana
From high-end restaurants to local vendors that catch and sell to casual joints with amazing seafood, Louisiana offers world-class cuisine that will tempt the taste buds of any seafood lover. The mighty Mississippi spills into the Gulf of Mexico and brings forth an extraordinary array of freshly-caught delights.
There’s an unmistakable connection between fresh, daily-caught Louisiana seafood and restaurants throughout New Orleans, in particular. But when you visit NOLA, what isn’t so obvious is how close you are to this bountiful natural resource when dining out in the city.
Louisiana’s Catch & Cook Program
For those who prefer to get out into the water and grab their next meal, there are several high-end Catch & Cook restaurants that will happily whip up your freshly-caught seafood for you. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has partnered with a number of local restaurants to provide diners with the chance to have their prized catches professionally prepared, providing for a true one-of-a-kind dining experience.
High-end Catch & Cook restaurants in Louisiana include:
- Bourbon House, New Orleans
- Cuvee Wine and Bistro, Thibodaux
- Dickie Brennan’s Steak House, New Orleans
- La Petite Grocery, New Orleans
- Palace Café, New Orleans
- Red Fish Grill, New Orleans
- Restaurant 1796, St. Francisville
- Rouj Creole, Baton Rouge
- Tableau, New Orleans
- Tujague's, New Orleans
- Ye Olde College Inn, New Orleans
Southern Hospitality at Its Finest
If it’s an intimate and authentic Southern stay you’re looking for, you can kill two birds with one stone and stay at Mrs. Rose’s Bed and Breakfast. Immerse yourself in the full Creole experience with French-speaking staff (don’t worry, they speak English as well); they offer crawfish excursions for those who care to indulge in the catch of an upcoming meal. There’s just something about the hunt for crawfish that tends to bring out the foodie connoisseur in everyone. Once you bring back your bounty, the staff at the B&B will boil it for you while you sit down and enjoy the comradery of other guests and relish in your tales of the day’s catch.
The Perfect Pairing
Maison Madeleine Bed & Breakfast, Breaux Bridge
One of the hallmarks of Louisiana is its music scene, so it is only natural that the dining experience is paired with the best musicians on the planet. At Maison Madeleine B&B, guests are treated to their signature “secret suppers”; a dinner prepared by James Beard award-nominated chefs and entertainment provided by GRAMMY-nominated musicians. Set in the stunning landscape of the Atchafalaya Basin on the banks of the gorgeous Lake Martin, this 1840’s French Creole-style cottage is a premier Cajun destination – indeed, the B&B is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And if you find you have begun a love affair with your meal, you can learn how to recreate the food by opting for a private cooking class taught by the on-site chefs.
Just north of New Orleans, an hour’s drive will take you to a quiet respite from the exquisite madness that is NOLA, to Bienvenue Mon Ami Bed and Breakfast, named ‘Best Louisiana B&B’ in 2020 by the Louisiana Travel Association. Soak in the calm grandeur of their peaceful grounds sprinkled with charming sculptures found in the most unexpected of places. No need to seek out the latest jazz club here; the sunrises and sunsets provide their own entertainment directly to your private balcony. Completely unwind by booking an onsite massage session, then hang out by the fire pit with a good book. In keeping with the “catch and release” theme, there’s a large pond located on site for recreational fishing.
And if that wasn’t enough incentive to experience this Louisiana oasis, would-be guests are always encouraged to show off their cooking skills by applying to be a “guest chef.” In exchange for scoring a free stay, guests prepare the weekend’s breakfast with the on-site chef acting as sous-chef. RV campers will be happy to know that the property offers two RV slots, complete with hookups and access to all amenities.
Truly Unique Louisiana Restaurants
Herby-K’s Restaurant, Shreveport
Looking for perfectly prepared seafood with a side of atmosphere? Dining out in Louisiana is an experience no matter where you go. You’ll find that many restaurants around the state have their own personality that’s showcased in a number of ways; from the decor on the walls to the recipes that go into each and every dish on the menu. At Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, Southern fare and fresh seafood is served in stylish digs with a colorful history. The restaurant happens to be located in a building that dates back to 1893 and was once home to the first mail-order liquor dealership in downtown Monroe during Prohibition.
Described as a “classic hole-in-the-wall,” Herby-K’s in Shreveport is not to be missed. As one of the city’s longest running restaurants, the family-owned Herby-K’s has become famous for its overstuffed sandwiches, and specifically the “shrimp buster” po’ boy, since opening in 1936. While the mouthwatering menu is what brings in customers from all over, the restaurant’s charming decor makes a visit even more worthwhile.
“Come early and stay late” is just one of the mottos often repeated at Jacque-Imo’s Cafe, a New Orleans staple that’s been around since 1996. Twenty-five years later, locals and tourists still wait up to two hours nightly for a table and it’s plain to see why. Creole and soul food is the name of the game, and contradictory to the restaurant’s sign that reads, “warm beer, lousy food, and poor service,” the impeccable Southern hospitality—and Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake— is what keeps people coming back for more.
For a variety of comforting Creole dishes paired with a rich cultural history, Dooky Chase is a must. A storied Black-owned business that played a significant role during the Civil Rights movement, Dooky Chase was a safe place where people of all races could come together for meetings and a hot meal. It was here that members of the Black community discussed issues and strategies that would propel the movement. In fact, the restaurant was recently honored for its part with a Civil Rights Trail marker erected onsite. More recently, its reputation is based on the unforgettable soul food prepared by the late, legendary chef Leah Chase, also known as the Creole Queen. Today, people from all walks of life visit the restaurant for a real taste of New Orleans, which includes classics like Creole gumbo, fried catfish, red beans and more.
While it’s true that we have some of the finest cuisine in the world, you don’t need to be a foodie to experience the unique flavors of Louisiana—because down here, we’ve got something for everyone.