Lafayette, Louisiana boasts a unique cultural blend of Cajun, Creole, French, and Southern hospitality. There is no better way to experience the vibrant culture of Lafayette than through its local restaurants that tie together food, music, art, and history.
Food and Music
Experience the Cajun “joie de vivre” while dining and dancing at Randol’s Seafood Restaurant. Here you can feast on local dishes like fried alligator, crawfish étouffée, and seafood gumbo. Randol’s raises its own crawfish and crabs on the property and serves fresh seafood from the Gulf.
Music, like food, is a major part of Lafayette’s culture and there is no better place to dance the two-step than at Randal’s. Acadiana’s finest Cajun and zydeco musicians perform nightly and the dance hall fills up as the fiddle, accordion, and triangle begin to play. Randal’s is located at 2320 Kaliste Saloom Rd. in Lafayette, LA.
Food and Art
At the Blue Dog Café, patrons are able to enjoy modern Cajun cuisine while surrounded by over 150 prints of the late local artist George Rodrigue. Rodrigue had great respect for his Cajun heritage and sought to preserve the Cajun culture through his paintings. The State of Louisiana appointed Rodrigue Artist Laureate in 2006 in recognition of his work. His most famous image, the Blue Dog, is inspired by the loup-garou – the Cajun legend of a werewolf.
Among the dishes offered at the Blue Dog Café includes shrimp and grits, seafood caught fresh from the Gulf, and fried shrimp po’boy. The restaurant also serves boudin balls, a local favorite of sausage, made up of ground pork, cooked rice, onions, peppers, and seasonings, fried in small balls. The Blue Dog Café is located at 1211 West Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503.
Food and Festivals
No matter the time of year, there is sure to be a festival happening in Lafayette. The festivals celebrate Lafayette’s vibrant culture, including its authentic cuisine. Some of the most popular food festivals include the Crawfish Festival, the Acadiana Po-Boy Festival, and the Scott Boudin Festival.
One of Lafayette’s largest festivals is the Festival International de Louisiane, a five-day event in downtown Lafayette that celebrates the connections between the Acadiana and the Francophone world. Each April thousands of visitors come to Lafayette to experience the Festival. It is the largest international and arts festival in the United States. The Festival International de Louisiane features art exhibits, workshops, and musical performances along with authentic Lafayette cuisine, like jambalaya, crawfish, boudin, and po’boys.
Food and History
In the late nineteenth century, plate lunches were popping up across the United States to serve the hungry working-class. Plate lunches feature large portions and consist of a meat, a gravy-covered starch, a pair of vegetable sides, and a piece of bread—often served together on one plate. They are the perfect marriage between rustic, homestyle cooking and cafeteria style convenience. Lafayette has held on to the tradition of plate lunches with many restaurants serving hearty and affordable plate lunches daily.
Among the restaurants where you can enjoy a classic plate lunch includes Laura’s II Next Generation, a third-generation owned Creole restaurant. No matter what you order—fried pork chops, fried catfish, or turkey wings—Laura’s famous gravy, a strong and flavorful molasses-colored sauce covers everything. Laura’s II is located at 1904 W. University Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70506.
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