My Must-Have Lafayette Restaurants
After four popular Lafayette restaurants closed recently, all within the same week, it got me to thinking about which Lafayette restaurants I wouldn't want to live without.
This list is going to be tough to put together for a few reasons:
- I haven't experienced every restaurant in Lafayette.
- Not everyone's tastes are exactly alike, so many probably will not agree with my list.
- I like a lot of different types of food.
- I can tolerate poor service if the food is good (some won't put up with poor service for any quality of food).
- There are SO MANY good restaurants in Lafayette!
It's almost as if I need to break down this post into several different posts: one for the 10 Cajun restaurants I must have; one for the 10 Po-Boy shops, steak houses, sushi restaurants, pizza joints, etc.
But, let's just go with my favorite 10 for now (mind you, I didn't say the 10 BEST restaurants: I am going with the 10 I enjoy the most. I am certain that when people start saying "what about restaurant xyz??" I'll be able to add to this!).
1) Landry's Cafe (Cameron Street)
Though Landry's is only open for lunch, their down-home, good-for-the-soul plate lunches and burgers are my favorite. When I want to eat lite, I opt for the grilled chicken salad. The chicken is seasoned so well, the salad doesn't even need dressing!
2) Samurai Sushi (Albertson's Parkway)
I know that Albertson's Parkway isn't Lafayette "proper", but for the sake of this story, I'll let that slide.
Fresh sushi, great soups, delicious cooked dishes, a wait staff that remembers you and your preferences, moderately priced and an easy trek from my house, Samurai suits me fine!
3) Tsunami (Jefferson Street)
Fresh sushi, creative dishes, one of the best steaks in Lafayette, awesome atmosphere, a great place to catch the who's who of Acadiana. The bartenders (more like "mixologists"!) are creative, consistent and attentive. Tsunami has the coolest vibe of any Lafayette restaurant.
4) DeanO's Pizza (Bertrand Drive)
As their tag line reads, "Pizza Like No Other!", DeanO's Pizza is just that: creative pies that blend just the right amount of this with that to leave your mouth watering for days! The Tee Rex is my go-to pizza there, barely beating out the Marie Leveaux. Next on my list is the Rajun Cajun, then the Zuschlag Special. Couple any of those pies with a pitcher and an order of Crawfish Nachos and you have yourself a great meal!
5) Villager's Cafe' (Maurice)
Okay, here's another that's not in Lafayette "proper": Villager's Cafe'. The Villager, their signature po-boy, features roast beef, ham, pepper jack and au jus, dressed the way you like it, and it is fabulous. Served on Langlinais' French bread, get one with a side of their homemade fries and a bottle of Dr. Pepper! (The Rancher, the Meatball Po-Boy and the Pot Roast Po-Boy are next on my list!) With a staff that works hard to make you happy, Villagers is my favorite sandwich!
6) Shuck's (Abbeville)
Another restaurant that is not within the confines of Lafayette, Shucks is sure to please! With an authentic seafood patio feel, Shuck's has been preparing great meals for families for years. Their gumbo has been made the same way for over 40 years!
At Shuck's, the Fried Shrimp Platter is my go-to, but the Shuck's Stacker and the Seafood Pasta run a good 2nd and 3rd on my list!
7) Cafe' Habana City (Bertrand Drive)
Cafe' Habana City is Lafayette' first authentic Cuban restaurant. Rafael and his family (3 generations) emigrated from Cuba, bringing real Cuban food to Acadiana. From the simple, tasty Cuban Sandwich to the Pollo a la Barbacoa (my personal favorite), Cafe' Habana City shouldn't be overlooked!
8) Burgersmith (Camellia Blvd)
Order any burger from their menu and it will be good. My personal favorite is the Brisket Burger (I add fresh jalapenos, lettuce, smoked gouda and bbq sauce) with the Smith Style Fries. Add to that a few friends and a cold brew, and life is good!
9) Blue Apache (Pinhook)
Formerly known as Blue Agave until they were strong-armed into changing their name, Blue Apache serves some of the best Cajun-inspired Mexican food around. I am a sucker for enchiladas, and Blue Apache's Carnitas Enchiladas are my go-to when I am there. Dickie has to remind me to try something else on the menu when he sees me, as he knows I will always order the Carnitas unless he encourages me to try something different.
When he does, he reminds me that I also like the Vaca Rellena and the Tacos al Carbon! Their prices are reasonable, and they've got a good selection of tequila.
10) Hook & Boil (Broussard)
Here's another one that is not in Lafayette "proper", but I really enjoy the boiled seafood at Hook & Boil. The Cajun Combo, the Coastal Combo, and the Couillon Combo, in particular.
Their seasoning is not overpowering, the wait staff is attentive, the brews are cold and the burgers are tasty as well.
Of course, this list could never be complete: I had to wrestle with myself over which restaurants would be on the list and, knowing me, as I drive into work today I'll see a dozen more that I wish I had room for!
Is there a restaurant in Lafayette that isn't on this list that you think I should try?