Louisiana’s culinary culture is legendary, and it goes without saying that the food alone is a reason to visit. We asked locals in each city to share what they consider to be the signature dish of their hometown.
• Lake Charles: Locals claim that hundreds of napkins are involved in consuming the Darrell’s Special from Darrell’s, a restaurant that specializes in po’boys. This sandwich comes layered with ham, turkey and roast beef smothered in roast beef gravy.
• Lafayette: Louisiana painter George Rodrigue named his Blue Dog Café after his iconic blue dog paintings. The restaurant is known for its takes on modern Cajun cuisine, and locals love the BBQ Shrimp and Grits, made with New Orleans barbecue sauce, bacon, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
• Baton Rouge: Roberto’s River Road Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers a true bayou experience. Among the Southern specialties on the menu, local Gulf shrimp is what they’re known for — served at least five different ways.
• New Orleans: The Big Easy has dozens of historic restaurants; some have private dining rooms perfect for groups, among them Arnaud’s, Commander’s Palace, Brennan’s and Antoine’s. A New Orleans classic, Antoine’s has a distinctive space lined with historic ephemera and is the birthplace of oysters Rockefeller.