Cover Story

The Independent Weekly's Spring Restaurant Guide

Last October, The Independent Weekly published our debut Restaurant Guide, and now it’s time for the spring 2008 edition.

The mission for our Restaurant Guide is to provide you with a handy, informative and up-to-date reference you can keep and peruse when you’ve got a food craving — or when you’re hungry and stumped where to eat. We’ve called every restaurant included and confirmed their hours and whether they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also asked them if they had any recent changes on their menus, so even entries for local icons like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tsunami, for example, spotlight new menu items and current specials.

Space considerations prevent us from fast-food joints and national chain restaurants with beaucoup locations; we trust that if you’re a fan of Sonic or Chili’s, for example, you know where they are and are familiar with their menu staples. And if you’re wondering, the list is compiled by the Independent’s editorial staff and isn’t influenced by advertising considerations.

We will be publishing our Restaurant Guide twice a year, with our next edition coming out in the fall. So if you’ve got any suggestions on places we missed, don’t hesitate to e-mail us at [email protected]. We got a number of terrific suggestions after our Fall Restaurant Guide from readers on out-of-the way eateries, and we’ll be covering those spots in an upcoming issue.

Bon appetit.

2601 SE Evangeline Thrwy., Lafayette, 264-1263
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Bring your appetite to this buffet style restaurant specializing in pork ribs, brisket, pork loin and sausage. The expansive, casual dining hall is a prime choice during football tailgating season. Numerous side items complement the smoked meat bonanza.

2848 Verot School Rd., Lafayette, 856-2511
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner 
This popular lunch and dinner spot was first established in Henderson in 1992. The menu offers a hearty sampling of Cajun fare, including gator burgers, shrimp, oyster and catfish po-boys, Cajun-style burgers, and dinner plates of red beans and rice, crawfish étouffée and gumbo.

200 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, 289-0000,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Waste the afternoon away in the funky confines of Agave’s vast outdoor patio, accented with palm trees, retro seating and Christmas lights. More than 40 Agave tequilas are on hand at the bar, and the grill keeps cranking until late in the evening. Be sure to try the delicious fried oyster or fish tacos and the shrimp and scallop ceviche.

301 Heymann Blvd., Lafayette, 235-8493,
Monday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch
The classy oil center institution’s premium breakfast menu has favorites like Dickie’s Morning Call, a bacon-wrapped hamburger steak with eggs, grits or hashbrowns and toast or biscuits. A new summer lunch menu includes crab stuffed mushrooms, a Middle Eastern platter and a crab and avocado melt.

4110 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-1823
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Specializing in traditional home-style Italian cooking, Alesi’s is a great place to take a date or bring the family. The house pizzas, with a bountiful selection of toppings, are always popular, as are staples like spaghetti and meatballs and veal Parmesan, which comes topped with a generous amount of herb-infused red sauce.

1521 W Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 235-6111
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Located in the Hilton hotel, Alexander’s offers a large breakfast buffet in the morning. Try the Sante Fe chicken wrap at noontime. Pastas are the house favorites in the evening — Bayou Pasta simmers shrimp, andouille and chicken in a marinara sauce, or twirl your fork into crawfish, shrimp and mushroom fettucini.

1512 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 988-4556
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Whether you want to dine in, take out or drive thru, this is the place for homemade meat pies. Fillings include crawfish, shrimp, Ragin’ Cajun, a spicy ground beef and pork pie, chicken and spinach and cheese. If you want to eat your peas, the café serves a small salad and throws in a bag of Zapp’s chips. Those in the know go to American Meat Pie for the savory beef jerky. Whether they have it is hit or miss, but it never hurts to ask.

112 Rue Promenade, Lafayette, 504-3365,
Daily: Breakfast and Lunch
In the heart of River Ranch’s Main Street development, Another Broken Egg is your traditional breakfast diner with a Southern flair. The Mardi Gras omelette is filled with crawfish, onions, bellpeppers, tomatoes and melted cheese, while the Pontchartrain croissant comes with eggs, broccoli, tomatoes and mild green chilies. Another Broken Egg also offers a diverse lunch menu of sandwiches and salads, specialty coffees and desserts.

555 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 234-8877
Monday-Friday: Lunch
This downtown institution attracts a devoted clientele. Tables can be hard to come by, especially on Thursdays, when the daily lunch specials include Antler’s not-to-be-missed baked and smothered chicken plates. Other menu staples include shrimp penne pasta, soft-shell crab po-boys, iconic club sandwiches and seafood salads.
1118-A Coolidge St., Lafayette, 232-8384,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Choose between a casual bar, patio tables and the white tablecloth dining room when visiting this Sicilian café tucked in the corner of the Oil Center Gardens Shopping Center. With a fine wine list and fresh-baked Italian bread, Antoni’s menu offers a variety of delicious calzones,  authentic bolognese, pastas, salads and signature pizzas.

902 Johnston St., Lafayette, 233-3331,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Artmosphere is a live music venue, art gallery, hookah bar and Internet café all rolled into one. The kitchen, open late, also offers something for everyone, with soups, salads, gourmet pizzas and the house favorite — Up In Smoke, a tortilla wrap rolled with chicken, spinach, salsa, bean dip and cheese.

3551 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 988-7618
Daily: Lunch and Dinner (closes at 8 on Sunday)
2133 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 216-9975
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
Helmi and Ahmed Abdalla’s express lunch counter in the Kaliste Saloom Citgo station attracted such a following that last year the father-son team expanded with a full-fledged restaurant in the Ambassador Row shopping center. Try their homemade fried falafel or a sampler plate, which combines gyro and chicken shawarma with rice, hummus, salad and pita bread.

3535 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 769-1088,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
A Tex-Mex diner that takes pride in hospitable service and a family-friendly atmosphere. The kids menu includes tacos, hamburgers and chicken tenders. For bigger appetites, the El Presidente gets you a cheese enchilada and tamale topped with chile con carne, a beef taco and a chicken enchilada topped with sour cream. Wednesdays may offer the best bargain: $1 margaritas.

5520-A Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-6464
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
Owner Ema Haq has been honing classic French and Acadian dishes for Bailey’s menu. Try a crawfish burger for lunch. The nightly fish specials are also crowd pleasers, including the Trout Evangeline, a stuffed fillet with roasted pepper sauce. The Sunday brunch features prime rib, leg of lamb, crawfish cakes and eggs benedict.

519 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, 264-0411
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing very Caribbean about this UL sports bar and grill, conveniently located near Tigue Moore Field in the Bertrand Drive shopping center. A pre- and post-game hangout as well as a family friendly restaurant, the menu is all-American, with seasoned homestyle fries, burgers, overstuffed po-boys, salads and dinner specials.
100 Mills Ave., Breaux Bridge, 332-6158,
Tuesday-Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch
When you spend the night in one of the cabins overlooking Bayou Teche, owner Rocky Sonnier treats you to Bayou Boudin’s sampler plate: hot-from-the-fryer cracklins, freshly made boudin and a slice of hogs head cheese, which tastes even better when washed down with their homemade root beer. Rustic and deeply Cajun, tasty seafood boudin is another of the café’s specialties — along with plenty of pork.

1100 Camelia Blvd., Lafayette, 216-6660
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Dinner   
Located in the City Club at River Ranch, this favorite Italian bistro is well known for its pizzas, a great osso bucco and plenty of pasta, steak and seafood dishes. Outdoor patio dining makes Bella Figura a great spot for cool fall evenings, and the excellent wine list is a plus for special romantic occasions. If you’re feeling adventurous, try owner Jack Ainsworth’s ice-cold high-octane limoncella as an after-dinner drink.

212 Tubing Rd., Broussard, 837-4830
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Everything is made in house at this Broussard lunch stop. Cook Lonnie Creech says his homemade gravy is so good that customers sometimes order a cup of it a la carte. Hamburger steak and fried catfish plates, with cole slaw, hush puppies and french fries, are the biggest sellers.

1540 Johnston St., Lafayette, 233-0420
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
The dark cellar bar and patio, which features live music and a popular songwriters’ night, is a prime hangout for UL students and neighborhood night owls. Upstairs, Bisbano’s kitchen cranks out tasty thin crust pizzas, the most popular being the Shoot the Moon, which comes loaded with pepperoni, beef, Canadian bacon, sausage, mushrooms, olives, onion, green pepper and jalapenos. Soups, salads, sandwiches and pastas round out the menu.

2484 W. Congress St., Lafayette, 235-8332,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
BJ’s offers limited delivery and casual dine-in. Meat lovers need to try the Full House pizza or the Royal Flush sandwich, which is packed with ham, salami, roast beef, turkey and bacon. BJ’s also prides itself on its other specialty pizzas and puts its New Orleans hamburger po-boy up against any burger in town. Sides and salads complete the menu.

319 Pere Megret St., Abbeville, 740-4266
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Once you’re here, it’s hard to leave this Abbeville landmark. You’ll never run out of menu items to try. Fresh charbroiled oysters and oysters on the half shell are always popular, as is the half fried shrimp/half fried oyster po-boy. Bring a big appetite for the fried seafood platter — shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed shrimp, stuffed crab and frog legs.

3558 W Pinhook Rd., Lafayette,  837-7720
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
After managing Picante for the past 13 years, Roberto Cervantes struck out on his own this year with Blue Agave, located on Pinhood at Southpark. The Mexico City native has a dynamic menu that includes Milaneza Rellena, a breaded, fried chicken breast stuffed with ham, cheese and Spanish sauce and topped with chipotle, and Tabasco style tilapia, a seafood-stuffed fillet baked with herbs, wine sauce and cheese. Happy hour, featuring $3 signature house margaritas, runs from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays.
1211 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 237-0005,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
George Rodrigue’s iconic blue dog paintings line the walls of this classic Lafayette eatery. Seafood wontons, crawfish enchiladas and honey glazed duck breast are standards on a menu of spirited southern fare. At the Sunday brunch, some of Lafayette’s finest musicians are on hand to entertain patrons as they dig into prime rib, made-to-order omelettes and crab cakes benedict.

101 E. Main St., New Iberia, 369-5259
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
What was once a drinking and dancing hotspot in the Berry has been transformed into one of Acadiana’s finest sushi restaurants. Bojangles’ cobalt blue sushi bar and diverse menu feature lots of innovative sushi rolls, sashimi specials like a salmon rose and raw oysters on the half-shell. If the raw bar’s not your style, there’s fried or garlic and cheese grilled oysters, steaks and teriyaki dinners.

1409 East Saint Peter St., New Iberia, 367-6181
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
Bon Creole doesn’t know the meaning of restraint; its seafood po-boys so over-stuffed you’ll have trouble getting your mouth around them. Sandwiches made with shrimp, oyster, soft-shell crab and crawfish are joined by a homemade hamburger po-boy. The restaurant boils seafood at night, and the excellent seafood gumbo is New Orleans style, thick and redolent with shrimp and crabmeat. Sundays, the barbecue pit flames chicken, sausage, pork chops and ribs.
1912 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 981-0714,
Daily: Dinner
One of River Ranch’s most popular restaurants, known for its lively social scene well as well as its top-notch seafood and steaks. The fish is market fresh and cooked over a wood-burning grill. Specials include the Pistachio Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout; topped with artichoke hearts, fresh basil and lemon butter; and the tenderloin portabella pasta with piccata sauce.

407 Brook Ave., Lafayette, 234-6776
Monday-Friday: Lunch; Wednesday-Friday: Dinner;
Sunday: Lunch
Priding itself on fresh ingredients and health-conscious cooking, Bonnie Bell’s serves upscale fare in a casual home setting. Try the certified Angus flank steak wrap or the red chile-encrusted Gulf shrimp bistro pizza. Recently, Bonnie Bell’s began luring in a devoted Sunday congregation for its barbecue lunch, with brisket, ribs, chicken, pork steaks and sides.

4409 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 993-3330,
Monday-Saturday: Dinner
Soon to be expanding with a new downtown location, Bonsai is an established haven for sushi fans. Menu highlights include a stellar baked salmon wrapped around snow crab, and the Bonsai special, a roll packed with tempura shrimp, crab, fried crawfish and oysters, avocado and cucumber. Try dipping any sushi or sashimi into the restaurant’s original Bonsai sauce, a zesty, creamy blend of Asian spices.
1120-A Coolidge St., Lafayette, 264-1117,
Monday-Tuesday: Lunch; Wednesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Lunch
With a casual, laid-back atmosphere, Boulevard Grille specializes in Tex-Mex and American grill menu staples that rarely miss. House specials include the Cabernet burger, which bastes a freshly-ground 1/2 pound patty with a delectable red wine reduction sauce, and the flavor-packed burrito in a bowl.

411 W. Pershing St., New Iberia, 367-0868
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch
This tiny family-run breakfast and plate lunch restaurant has earned its share of big accolades, with coverage in The New York Times and Gourmet magazine. Owner Brenda Placide makes great standards like fried chicken, barbecue ribs and red beans and rice, but her smothered cabbage with sausage is the house specialty. Fridays, every kind of seafood winds up on her combo plate.
4415 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 984-7990,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Perhaps the highest ratio of TVs to tables among Lafayette sports bars. The game day menu is anchored by New York style traditional and boneless chicken wings, with more than a dozen sauces to choose from. Wraps, sandwiches, burgers and ribs are options for the non-fowl crowd. The kids menu includes chicken tenders, popcorn shrimp, and mac and cheese.

120 Curran Lane, Lafayette, 988-1288
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
You can eat your way around the world at Buffet City. The largest Chinese buffet in town is joined by a sushi bar, American-style barbecued chicken and steak, boiled hot and cold seafood, Mexican items, and a Mongolian grill.
105 St. Landry St., Lafayette, 232-3287
Monday-Friday: Lunch
There’s really only one way to order at this express lunch house, whose burgers rank among the best in town. But if you’re in the mood for something different, Buns also offers tasty grilled chicken sandwiches and hot dogs.

1013 E. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, 235-4199
Sunday-Saturday: Lunch and dinner
Coffee shop, bar, indie music club and genuine Bohemian haunt, Caffe Cottage’s food is as unpretentious as its clientele. The kitchen is open till 2 a.m., serving a variety of appetizers like fried chicken tenders and jalapeno poppers, sandwiches and salads.

140 E. Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, 332-5273,
Tuesday: Lunch; Wednesday-Thursday: Lunch and Dinner; Friday and Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch
Housed in a historic 1920s general store building renovated by owner Dickie Breaux, Café Des Amis is world renowned for its quintessential Cajun cooking and Saturday morning zydeco breakfast. Try the new fire-roasted oysters or stop by steak night on Thursdays for a black Angus ribeye, capped with any number of featured sauces and toppings.

911 Betrand Dr., Lafayette, 857-7527,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Owner Rafael Garcia has brought all of the staples from his native Cuba to Lafayette. Be sure to try the pollo a la barbacoa, a duo of dark meat pieces of chicken cooked slowly in soy sauce and butter until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender. The ropa vieja, shredded beef cooked in Spanish sauce, bell peppers, onions and herbs, and the Sandwich Cubano served with fried plantains or french fries are other can’t-miss menu items.

1008 Smede Hwy., Broussard, 365-9400,
Monday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch
Located across from Le Triomphe, Café Kimball starts each day with a hearty country breakfast complemented with fresh fruits and yogurt. At lunch, choose from a selection of down home daily specials like pork roast, smothered chicken and seafood fettuccini, or pick up a box lunch sandwich or salad. Classic sides include corn macque choux, white beans, yams and smothered cabbage.

1155 Coolidge St., Lafayette, 235-4566
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Tucked away in the Oil Center, Café Lola offers lunches that are as healthy as they are tasty. The baked potato soup on Wednesdays and Friday’s seafood bisque are both winners. A local fave is the Cobb salad. Crabcakes show up on salads and sandwiches, and new to the menu, a turkey, provolone and avocado sandwich with sprouts on squaw bread is already a hot item.

115 Stonemont Rd., Lafayette, 988-9790
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
In the heart of River Ranch, you can dine inside or enjoy fresh air while people-watching on the patio at Café Roma. Starters include the feta cheese rolls and Tuscan seared tuna. Popular pizzas like pesto chicken are one option, or try the avocado sandwich piled with tomato, tuna, mozzarella and garlic sauce.

1304 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette , 237-0100,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner;
Saturday: Dinner
Located in the original building of Lafayette’s first inn, established in 1818. This historic café has a refined atmosphere and menu that boasts both French and Cajun traditions. Its unique flair is evident in the Steak Louis XIII, a house favorite 6-ounce choice filet mignon stuffed with crawfish tails, and a delectable veal marsala. Side dishes like asparagus and buttered whipped potatoes are winning complements.

1805 North Parkerson Ave., Crowley, 788-2929
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
This small family restaurant offers great boudin and fried seafood. The seafood and chicken and sausage gumbos are delicious and are perfect with Cajun Way’s fresh potato salad. The very casual atmosphere is great for a quick meal or a small, Cajun-style family dinner.

3901 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-5306
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Choose from 15 daily lunch specials or prepare for a feast with the daily buffet. Hunan chicken, moo goo gai pan and sweet and sour pork or chicken are among the best sellers.

4321 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 988-7535,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
This Italian grill offers a selection of classic Italian dishes in a casual setting. Try the signature home baked lasagna handmade daily with Italian sausage and ground beef braised in garlic, fresh ricotta and other Italian cheeses, and Carino’s original hearty meat sauce.

2010 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 981-6669,
Daily: Dinner; Friday-Sunday: Lunch
Don’t leave Carrabba’s without trying the calamari, which is served with a fresh marinara sauce. And while pasta dishes dominate the menu, Carrabba’s has two classic steaks, an 8 oz. USDA Choice center-cut tenderloin and the Sirloin Marsala, topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and a wine reduction sauce. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, go for the Insalata Carrabba, mixed field greens tossed with mozzarella and Romano cheese, black olives, tomatoes, carrots, celery, red onions and vinaigrette and topped with grilled chicken.

2312 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 993-9900,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Casa Olé caters to the whole family with regular events and its own kids’ club. The affordable Mexican fare includes KXQuesadillas with crawfish and shrimp, Tex-Mex eggrolls and the Baja coconut shrimp. Casa Ole also offers its own line of Angus beef burgers and specialty margaritas.

234 Martin Luther King Dr.,  Hwy. 93, Grand Coteau, 662-2275,
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
530 West Pinhook Rd., 266-5332
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
One of Acadiana’s finest upscale restaurants, it’s little wonder Catahoula’s has seen rave reviews in food mags like Gourmet and Southern Living. Known for its exquisite Duck Roulade and unbeatable Fresh Fish Margarite, Catahoula’s in Sunset offers superb Louisiana cooking with a focus on seafood. Catahoula’s Lafayette location — in an art deco building on Pinhook near University Ave. — has a more meat-heavy menu with everything from great steaks to Beef Wellington and elk tenderloin.

1115 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 233-5460
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
Lafayette’s first ethnic grocery and deli. Opened in 1981, owner Nabil Loli has an all-star lineup of 16 original sandwiches on the menu, evolving from rotating daily specials he concocted. Classics include the fried haloumi po-boy; the Labani, layered with yogurt, kalamata olives, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil and mint; and Chicken Tandoori, which marries the smoky flavors of tandoori with tahini sauce. Meat pies, falafel sandwiches, hummus and lentil soup are other longtime favorites.

3809 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 981-0108,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Contemporary south Louisiana cuisine in an upscale, relaxed atmosphere. For starters try its original Louisiana crawfish flatbread topped with roasted garlic, broccolini, boursin cheese, and shiitake mushrooms. Entrees include an Allen Bros. bone-in ribeye and a crispy duck with blackberry BBQ glaze and roasted corn pudding. Charlie G’s also offers daily lunch specials and hosts a monthly wine dinner.
1131 Church Point Hwy., Rayne, 334-7913,
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
You can’t travel to the “Frog City” without sampling frog legs; try the café’s fried frog legs, marinated, seasoned and battered, served with a salad and your choice of french fries or a baked potato. Chef Benoit Morel has also been revising his menu and winning over crowds with a new signature creamy pasta with crab, bacon, tasso and a healthy topping of grilled shrimp.
114 E. Bridge St., Breaux Bridge, 507-3320
Sunday-Monday: Breakfast and Lunch; Wednesday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Enjoy authentic French food in a fine setting. This small café offers a variety of salads, po-boys and sandwiches for lunch as well as Cajun seafood dishes. The dinner menu includes flavorful French delicacies such as Coquille St. Jacques, scallops, shrimp and crab in a buttery creamy house sauce.

2942 Grand Point Hwy., Henderson, 667-6073
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
For the past 15 years, Chicken on the Bayou has prided itself on its purely Cajun menu. Boiled crawfish is always popular, or pick up the bountiful seafood basket, which comes with fried crawfish, catfish, alligator wings, shrimp, frog legs, oysters and fries. Gumbo, boudin and étouffée are other house favorites.

1901 NW Evangeline Thwy., Lafayette, 269-9898
Monday: Lunch; Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Lunch
Chopsticks is known as one of the only places to find fried broccoli. The daily lunch buffet, with classics like honey pork and sesame chicken, is always popular. Off the menu, the Four Seasons mixes shrimp, chicken, pork and beef.

1930 Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 234-6333,
1941 Moss St., Lafayette, 237-1095
3755 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., 981-1818
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
It’s hard to beat an old-fashioned New Orleans style po-boy served in a basket with chips and a pickle, Chris’ signature item. The hands-down most popular po-boys are the fried shrimp, fried oyster and Cajun pork roast. Chris’ also has a reputation for its stellar gumbo and pan-sauteed chicken salad.
5451 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-3486
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
With its own sushi, a varied menu of Chinese and Japanese favorites and a loaded buffet, Chung King offers something for everyone. Menu favorites include the Happy Family special, which pairs shrimp or beef with scallops and vegetables, and the Shanghai Shrimp, served in a zesty tomato sauce. 
327 Iberia St., Youngsville, 856-2222
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and dinner
Try any number of gourmet pizzas and bottomless pastas served up at this Italian eatery. It’s family-friendly, with plenty of salads and appetizers complementing the menu; you can build your own pizza with a topping selection that includes arugula, prosciutto, gorgonzola and scallions. The house burger is also not to be missed.
113 E. Main St., New Iberia, 560-1007,
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
A beautiful antique bar welcomes you into this award-winning restaurant. The local artwork and live music featured at Clementine on Friday and Saturday nights create a lively, Louisiana atmosphere that accents the traditional cuisine. New Orleans barbeque shrimp with crostini — jumbo shrimp in a tangy barbecue sauce served with rice and crispy herb bread — is great to share, and the Worcestershire beurre blanc-topped filet mignon medallions in a pastry crust are a meat-lover’s fantasy.
104 S. State St., Abbeville, 898-9218
Monday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch; Saturday: Breakfast
Comeaux’s Café serves a wide selection of Louisiana cuisine for both breakfast and lunch. While classic beignets are a prized item on the breakfast menu, hamburger steak is Comeaux’s lunchtime favorite. Comeaux’s weekday lunch buffet is always stocked with local favorites, and the Saturday breakfast buffet will give you plenty of fuel for the weekend.

3920 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 991-0320
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The late Al Copeland’s heritage lives on with his stylish flagship restaurant. Copeland’s offers a diverse drink menu, loads of appetizers and entrees that run the gamut from refreshingly simple to outrageously over the top. For something staggeringly rich, try the Eggplant Pirogue, which is fresh Cajun-fried eggplant slices stacked over angel hair pasta and smothered in a cheese sauce with crab claws and shrimp.

709 N. University Ave., Lafayette, 269-1653
Daily: Lunch
This local landmark was former President Bill Clinton’s choice stop during a recent swing through Lafayette. Owner Roy Williams picked up many of his savory soul food dishes from a young age, when he worked in the kitchen by his grandmother’s side on the family farm in Duson. Try the crawfish or shrimp étoufée, or drop in for Williams’ popular Sunday barbecue.
5741 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-3668
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Proprietor Braxton Moody feels he’s hit on a winning recipe with Coyote Blues: fresh Tex-Mex with a Louisiana fusion and mesquite-burning grills. This 5-year-old Lafayette restaurant is already spreading its wings, having recently announced plans to expand to Baton Rouge. Check out the pecan-crusted Coyote crab cakes, served with mango butter and salsa, or the smoked duck quesadilla with twin blueberry and rasberry chipotle sauce.

1000 Albertson Pkwy., Broussard, 839-2002
Sunday-Friday: Lunch
The daily lunch buffet offers home-style favorites like fried chicken, pork chops, spaghetti and hamburger steak. Shrimp po-boys and salads are the most popular menu items. Also, be sure to check out the Sunday barbecue, where $10 gets you ribs, chicken, brisket or pork steak piled onto a bed of rice dressing with two sides.

1227 N University Ave., Lafayette, 266-4648
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
A preferred pit stop for soul food plate lunch junkies, Creole Café’s country breakfast also attracts a crowd and its bargain prices can’t be beat. For the biggest bang for your buck, try the Mondo Burger.

713 Twelfth St., Lafayette, 232-9929
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Merline Hebert has built an industry on her famous meat-stuffed breads. Her quaint neighborhood restaurant operates out of a modest-sized house and is a quintessential stop for anyone in search of Lafayette’s best plate lunches. The killer chicken fricassee is criminally good, as are the silky butter beans and spicy stuffed pork chops.
1315 Camellia Blvd, Lafayette, 216-1590
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Dagwood is known for his sandwiches, and the classic comic strip character of Blondie fame lends his name and his likeness to Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppe. Sandwiches include a New York deli-style hot pastrami, corned beef, a pressed Cuban sandwich, roast beef po-boy, and the Dagwood — a pound and a half skyscraper of a sandwich.

102 Arnould Blvd., Lafayette, 989-0201
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Damascus offers Mediterranean Greek and Lebanese cuisine in a casual setting. Select from a variety of sandwich options including the vegetarian yogurt sandwich made with tart, homemade yogurt or the tried and true hummus or grape leaves.

1917 Ridge Rd., Duson, 989-2729
Monday-Friday: Lunch; Monday-Sunday: Dinner
For Debby Langley the restaurant business is a family affair. Her father, Dean Metcalf, own’s Deano’s. Langley’s Deaneaux’s specializes in boiled seafood that’s as local as the pizzas her father’s pizzeria bakes up. In addition to boiled seafood, Deaneaux’s serves spicy crabs, shrimp, crawfish and raw oysters (when in season), and seafood platters.
305 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, 233-5446,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The pie may be of Italian origin, but it’s been fine tuned to accommodate local tastes. The Tee Rex is loaded with meats, including smoked sausage and bacon. Marie LeVeaux features Blue Point crabs, sauteed mushrooms and onions. The Muffalata Pie is baked on an olive oil crust with ham, salami, mozzarella cheese and Italian relish. But the crowning achievement is the Cajun Executioner, praised far and wide for its generous toppings of pepperoni, hot sausage, spicy shrimp, fresh onions, bell peppers and a truckload of jalapenos. And Deano’s salads, sandwiches or pastas are every bit as tasty as the pizzas that have made them a Lafayette institution.

photo by Terri Fensel

301 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, 235-3551,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
What began in 1934 as Don’s Beer Parlor is now a downtown landmark. This family-owned restaurant is known the world over for its fresh seafood, top-rate dark roux gumbos and exquisite crawfish bisque. Don’t miss out on the cheese-packed crabmeat au gratin or the overflowing seafood platter featuring stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp, fried shrimp, fried catfish, fried oysters, crawfish fettucini and a choice of sides.

4309 Johnston St., Lafayette, 981-1141
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
If you’re looking for seafood, then look for the big sign on Johnston Street for Don’s Seafood Hut. Whether it’s boiled, grilled, baked or fried, Don’s serves up frog legs, fish and shrimp year around. And you would be remiss in passing up their seafood gumbo. Perennial favorites include frog legs, shrimp and oysters en brochette and crabmeat étoufée.

108 S. Main St., Abbeville, 893-2336
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
While the oysters on the half shell are their calling card, Dupuy’s offers a wide array of menu items — like seafood quesadillas, pan-broiled tuna, steaks, pasta dishes, Oysters Rockefeller, and crawfish fettucine.
4800 Johnston St., Lafayette, 981-1241
Sunday-Friday: Lunch; Dinner during crawfish season only
You can count on Dwight’s for at least two great things — boiled crawfish and barbecue. During crawfish season they’re open for dinner every night and are closed when it’s out of season. Every Sunday is a day for barbecue plate lunches, with generous helpings of chicken, ribs, sausage, brisket and pork steaks. Daily plate lunch specials like red beans and rice, chicken fried steak, hamburger steaks, and meatloaf are also wise choices, as well as the gumbo and po-boys.
323 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 235-9364
Daily: Breakfast and Lunch; Tuesday-Saturday: Dinner
This downtown institution known for its hearty breakfast and lunch also serves up a satisfying dinner. Not much changes at night, and if you’re hungry for a plate lunch long after the lunch rush, Dwight’s serving line is still open five nights a week, offering downhome fare like fried catfish, hamburger steak with grilled onions and gravy, meatloaf, baked turkey, roast beef and roast pork.

400 Guilbeau Rd., Lafayette, 989-9999,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Since 1991, Dynasty has offered both tasty and affordable Chinese cuisine. This no-frills establishment offers a wide selection of Chinese dishes, like its specialties, crispy sesame chicken, Kung Pao beef, and sweet & sour shrimp, pork and chicken. Orders are only for takeout, or delivery is available on orders of $12 or more.

1400 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 234-2485
Monday-Friday: Breakfast; Monday-Thursday: Lunch
Edie’s has moved the humble biscuit from the side of the plate and elevated it to an art form. Its massive specialty biscuits include honey, blueberry, cinnamon, as well as meat, egg and cheese. Edie’s also offers daily lunch specials, for dining in or carrying out, like fried chicken, fried pork chops, pork roast and hamburger steak, as well as daily menu items, including liver and onions, catfish, roasted turkey, sandwiches and salads.
4401 Johnston St., Lafayette, 993-8050
2307 North Parkerson Ave., Crowley, 785-0339
1902 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Abbeville, 898-9202
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
El Dorado offers two buffets throughout the week, one for lunch on the weekdays, and another at night on Friday and Saturdays. With its casual atmosphere, El Dorado serves up Mexican favorites, from hot enchiladas and combo fajitas of shrimp, beef and chicken to taco salad and tamales. And if your eyes are much bigger than your stomach, order the house specialty, the El Dorado dinner.

1934 Moss St., Lafayette, 237-1188
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
It’s hard to put a finger on the best thing about El Portillo. There’s its laid back atmosphere and savory Mexican favorites like tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and fajitas. And don’t forget its shrimp dishes packed with large Gulf shrimp. But we’re quite fond of its margaritas and the sweet deal on them every day of the week. On Tuesday through Saturday, El Portillo offers 2 for 1 margaritas, but on Sundays and Mondays, the happy hour specials runs all day long, making for very happy hours indeed.
415 Cameron St., Lafayette, 235-3297
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
When you think El Ranchito, think authentic Mexican cuisine; you won’t find Tex-Mex here. There are authentic soft corn tacos, hand patted and corn husk wrapped tamales, enchiladas with a green tomotillo sauce, and caldo — a Mexican version of beef and vegetable soup. In addition to the regular menu items, El Ranchito offers daily specials throughout the week, with fried chicken and stuffed poblano peppers on Wednesday, and on the weekends, your choice of a seafood soup or a hearty goat soup.

1809 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 234-0446
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
From the Flores family, the fine folks who brought El Portillo to Lafayette, comes El Tequila. With a menu loaded with options — from quesadillas, fajitas, vegetarian dishes and overwhelming combination dinners — El Tequila also offers smaller versions of its signature dishes daily for its lunch specials, like the Quesdilla Rellena and the wonderfully named Speedy Gonzales. If you’re feeling especially brave, try a Monster Margarita.

1895 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 233-0502
Sunday-Friday: Lunch
If you’re looking for comfort food — in the form of southern and Louisiana cuisine — look no further than Ema’s. Proprietor Ema Haq has been honored as a Louisiana Restaurateur of the Year, and it’s no wonder. The atmosphere’s casual, the food’s delicious and the staff’s hospitable. Menu items range from local favorites like liver and grilled onions and chicken fried steak to crab cakes and roast turkey.

2633 SE Evangeline Thwy., Lafayette, 233-2658
Monday: Lunch; Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Evangeline specializes in steaks, with mouth-watering ribeyes and sirloins, and local seafood. For a little bit of everything, try the Melting Pot appetizer that comes with fried shrimp, fried crawfish, boudin balls, cracklins, alligator and stuffed olives.

1322 Moss St., Lafayette, 234-4773
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
Founded in 1968 by Joe Petro, who named his restaurant after a fried chicken-loving partner who was fat and coincidentally named Albert, this corner restaurant’s motto is “Best Chicken in Town, Ask a Friend.” Owner Greg Petro turns out fried catfish plates, catfish, shrimp, and roast beef po-boys, baked chicken and red beans and rice plates in addition to his stellar fried chicken.

626 Verot School Rd., Lafayette, 504-4288
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Check out Fat Pat’s for burgers, seafood po-boys, hot dogs, fried pork tenderloin sandwiches, 2-for-1 draft beer and house margaritas. Pro football fans will be more than pleased with the Fat Pat’s NFL Superfan cable package, in high definition.
720 S. Frontage Rd., Scott, 261-2464,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
2111 N. Cherokee Dr., Crowley, 783-5515
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
It’s a pretty safe bet that there’s something for everyone at the family-friendly Fezzo’s restaurants. When in season, try the oyster bar or the charbroiled oysters or the boiled shrimp or crawfish. Staple menu items include gumbo, fried and grilled fish, po-boys, steaks and salads. Then there’s the house favorites, Phil’s Seafood Festival — seafood gumbo, oysters, shrimp, fish, frog leg, a crab cake, stuffed shrimp and seafood etouffée over rice — or Pat’s Ribeye Supreme — a 12 oz. ribeye steak flame-grilled and smothered in seafood etouffée.

900 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 291-9625
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
As the name implies, The Filling Station was a gas station years ago, but today the restaurant serves up affordable Mexican and American dishes, with a sprawling open-air patio and cozy bar inside. Burritos and taco salads are sure bets, as well as the grilled steaks and tuna.
228 North Ave. G, Crowley, 783-0917
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Not much has changed since Frosto opened in 1956, and that’s a good thing. The drive-in restaurant in historic downtown Crowley, still owned by the same family, serves up everything from scratch, like its homemade hamburgers, hot dog, daily plate lunches, fried shrimp and catfish, onion rings, tater tots and ice cream.

405 E. University Ave., Lafayette, 261-0493,
Sunday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch
This popular family-style cafeteria praised for its home-cooked plate lunches now serves breakfast. Daily plate lunches include red beans and rice, cabbage rolls, fried pork chops, shrimp stew, crawfish étouffée, stuffed bellpepers, smothered chicken and chicken fried steak. On Sundays, don’t miss out on the barbecue where you can feast on chicken, pork loin, ribs, pork steak, pork chops and brisket.

104 Lamar St., Lafayette, 235-2921
Monday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch
This comfortable plate lunch joint is known for it breakfast burger — a fried egg and bacon served with a fully dressed traditional hamburger, good enough for breakfast or lunch. Gary’s also serves up plate lunches, including an excellent chicken stew and crawfish fettuccini.

2601 SE Evangeline Thrwy., Lafayette, 264-1263,
Daily: Dinner
Gator Cove was built in 1980 and was supposed to be a garage for Aubrey Henderson’s Blue Bird Bus. But after construction and a collision when he tried to back the bus in, Henderson decided to covert the garage into a restaurant. With its checkered tablecloths and alligator farm behind the restaurant, the boiled crawfish is served at seven different levels of spice. Popcorn shrimp, fried alligator and seafood au gratin are also wise choices.
106 Merchants Blvd., Lafayette, 233-5943
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Tucked away in a small development a block past the intersection of Pinhook and Verot School Road, Gloria’s is worth seeking out for their half-pound bacon cheeseburger. “Miss Carol” mixes her special seasoning into the ground beef for a down home local flavor. Salads and chicken burgers round out the lunchtime menu.

523 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, 593-8222
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Choose from a seafood and Chinese buffet or sushi bar. Golden Wok boils fresh Louisiana crawfish and shrimp every night and adds snow crabs to its buffet on Fridays and Saturdays. While staples like fried rice, lo mein and sesame chicken are best sellers, the shrimp with garlic, ordered from the menu, is a winner. Another house special, Mapo Tofu is a classic Szechuan dish made with tofu, ground pork, black beans and spiked with fiery Szechuan pepper.

2441 W. Congress St., Lafayette, 234-0004
Daily: Lunch
Located in a modest building off Congress Street for the last 16 years, Green Olive Lebanese restaurant is still owned by George Merhej. The family-run business’ meatless baked eggplant is a favorite, and the restaurant also serves a variety of Lebanese dishes like hummus, cabbage rolls, kibbe, tabouli and grape leaves.

2303 Johnston St,, Lafayette, 234-5689
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The Johnston Street location has been a Lafayette institution since 1981. Individually owned, the menu has stayed rock steady, with burgers topping a simple menu that includes steak, fried catfish and fried chicken sandwiches, chef salads toped with grilled chicken or tuna, and a grilled catfish plate.
2512 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 704-0070
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Founded in New Orleans, now with 11 restaurants franchised only in Louisiana, the Ground Pat’i on Kaliste Saloom has a much larger menu. In addition to the famous burgers, lots of salads and sandwiches sprouted on this menu, as well as grilled salmon and mahi-mahi, steaks, ribs and pork chops. There’s no topping the Banana Caramel Cheesecake Xango, a signature dessert made by wrapping the cheesecake in a thin pastry crust, deep frying it, and serving it with ice-cream and whipped cream.

302 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 267-4242,
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch; Tuesday-Saturday: Dinner
This popular downtown Caribbean restaurant serves great food in a vibrant setting. Guamas offers a variety of Caribbean dishes like the seasonal ceviche, black bean soup, delicious yucca, plantains and black beans. Try the tasty Cuban sandwich, stuffed with ham and pork loin cooked in a garlic and lemon sauce, served with pickles, mustard, and swiss cheese, with a side of fried plantains. Or for bigger appetites, order the Cuban-style Seafood Paella, which feeds more than six and which you must order a day in advance.

1508 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 237-2860
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Offering a relaxed and casual atmosphere, Guidry’s Reef serves fried and grilled seafood options, as well as seafood gumbo and oysters on the half-shell. Don’t pass up on its seafood gumbo. And Guidry’s also serves boiled crawfish in season.
610 E. Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 234-4647
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Hog Heaven features daily plate lunches throughout the week, like its country fried steak on Wednesday. Try also the tuna steak, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, seafood entrees, and boiled shrimp and crawfish when in season. If you’re crunched for time during lunch, order from the poker run menu for a quick and tasty meal.

210 Production Drive # 100, Lafayette, 233-9488
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Running to get a movie at the Blockbuster on Pinhook near Verot? Pick-up a to-go order of mai fun at the same time — thin rice noodles that come with meat or shrimp in a light sauce. This small oriental take-out restaurant offers combo plates like sesame chicken or shrimp lo mein with sides of fried rice and an egg roll, vegetable and meat stir-frys and the ever popular chicken-on-a-stick.

1412 S. College Rd., Lafayette, 235-5683
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner;
Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch
2207 Kaliste Saloom Rd., 983-0428
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
This family-style diner is awash in ’50s decor and offers affordable homestyle cooking. Hub City’s three-way hamburger steak, a 9-ounce steak is served up the way you want it, with either cheese, gravy, or onions. Catfish Louisiana is a catfish fillet fried, either grilled or blackened, and served over crawfish étouffée. The Sunday brunch at the Kaliste Saloom location offers a buffet with special items not available on the regular menu, like smoked salmon, eggs benedict, croissants and mimosas.
4017 Johnston St., Lafayette, 989-9291
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
For Italian cooking with upscale dining, check out iMonelli. The sublime dishes are infused with both Italian and Louisiana influences and include shrimp scampi and soft shell crabs pan sauteed and served in a lemon butter sauce.

4533 Johnston St., Lafayette, 504-3491,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
With its four themed dining rooms — the gymnasium, the starlight lounge, the ’50s diner and the quiet family room — the Incredible Pizza Co. offers a daily all-you-can-eat buffet featuring pizza, pasta, soup, salad, and desserts. But the real thrill for the kids is the indoor go-kart track, bumper cars, miniature golf course, mini-bowling alley and game room where they play for tickets to trade for prizes.

4807 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-9969
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch; Wednesday-Saturday: Dinner
One of Lafayette’s best kept secrets is now offering wine with its Sicilian home-cooked dishes served family style. Salamis, prosciuttos and cheeses imported from Italy are among the ingredients you can choose from to construct the best panini in town. With seating for about 15 people, every meal tastes like it’s been made in a Sicilian kitchen. Choose from antipasta, stuffed meatloaf or lasagna. And for specialty items not listed on the menu, call ahead to secure your place at the table.

149 Arnould Blvd., Lafayette, 216-0194,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Jason’s Deli serves up overstuffed sandwiches, daily soup specials and a trans fat-free menu. The spacious and casual eatery offers special sandwiches like the panini and roast beef au jus. But for those calorie-conscious diners, there’s a sprawling and well-stocked salad bar. Top it all off with a complimentary cone of soft-serve ice cream.

1406 Surrey St., Lafayette, 593-1222
Monday-Friday: Lunch
This little lunch spot plays it straight up with traditional American classics such as chili cheese dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, hamburgers and po-boys.

615 Albertson Pkwy., Broussard, 837-3781
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Since October, JJ’s Pizza has been serving pizzas, po-boys, muffalettas, pasta and salads. Try one of its eight specials pizzas, like the bestselling JJ Special (a thin crust pizza served with pepperoni, hamburger, shrimp, pork sausage, onions and jalepenos), Gator Bait (chicken, pork sausage, onions and jalapenos), or the Rooster (chicken, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms). And the cheese bread’s so good, you just might have to give it up for Lent.

500 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 232-5040
Monday-Friday: Lunch
In the old bank building on the corner of Jefferson and Congress streets in downtown, Jefferson Street Pub serves daily plate lunches like hamburger steak, country fried steak, parsley garlic chicken breast, chicken tenders, and tilapia and shrimp either grilled, fried or blackened with a vegetable of the day. Regular menu items include chicken and sausage gumbo, shrimp and okra gumbo, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and wraps.

503 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, 237-3661,    
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
For the past 26 years, Joey’s has offered something for all tastes — whether it’s soup, salad and a sandwich, or a baked potato, fried shrimp po-boy or wrap. And the Reuben sandwich is just killer. The daily specials range from roasted Cornish hen and crawfish pie to stuffed bell peppers and the dangerously delicious fried pork ribs.

1111 St. John St., Lafayette, 269-8878
Tuesday-Saturday, Lunch
The recently opened Johnson’s Boucaniere’s daily lunch specials include smothered sausage and potatoes, red beans and rice, sausage and tasso sauce piquante, and smothered pork chops and sausage. Based on the recipes developed at Johnson’s Grocery in Eunice over the course of its 68-year history, Johnson’s also offers pulled pork sandwiches and sausage po-boys daily, as well as specialty smoked meats like tasso, sausage and beef jerky. This week, Johnson’s adds a new daily sandwich — the sauce piquante po-boy. Just imagine a meatball sandwich, but with sausage and tasso instead, served Cajun style.

830 S. Main St., St. Martinville, 394-8030
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Josephine Cormier knows Creole food. Her staple menu items include stuffed turkey wings over cornbread dressing, smothered pork over dirty rice, or the superb barbecued ribs from the pit out back. Cormier opens the doors early, and it’s not unusual for her to sell out the menu items by noon.

3134 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-5614,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
For more than 60 years, the family-owned Judice Inn has been serving up little hamburgers with just the right amount of spice and grease. One’s just not enough, and two is sometimes too much. The burgers are dressed with a top-secret sauce and can be topped off with a fried egg (but don’t even think about asking for it if they’re busy). They’ve never heard of French fries here, so just order a bag of Zapp’s potato chips and an ice-cold 8-ounce bottle of Coke to wash down your delicious Judice experience.
1900 W. University Ave., Lafayette, 232-5168,
4400 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 981-8162
1008-A Smede Hwy., Broussard, 367-8884
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
With three locations, two in Lafayette and one in Broussard, Julien’s serves up a wide range of south Louisiana cooking. Try the seafood like the fried or grilled shrimp, fried catfish, and grilled tuna, or the original po-boys like Julien’s own grilled alligator sausage po-boy.

1025 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 216-9024,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
Lafayette’s runs the gamut from bare-knuckles boiled crawfish to a haute items like cane glazed duck breast with blueberry demi-glace. Cajun-inspired favorites are stuffed red snapper smothered with crawfish étouffée and Seafood Eggplant Pirogue Louis, a fried eggplant boat filled with shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish with Parmesan cream sauce. Come Sunday, brunch is a cornucopia of fresh fruit and salads, soup, a carving station, omelets made to order, and the quintessential New Orleans brunch dish, eggs sardou.
3809 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-5630
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner   
La Fonda has sustained Lafayette’s thirst for margaritas, Tex-Mex and partying since the doors opened in 1957. But beyond Mexican calling cards like carne asada, the house favorite steak is an off-the-menu filet mignon or ribeye topped with sauteed onions and cheese dubbed the Don Briggs Special. One of the best kept secrets — La Fonda has some of the finest fried chicken in town.

445 Ridge Rd., Lafayette, 984-1415
Monday-Saturday: Dinner
Lagneaux’s meat and seafood market, open daily until 5, supplies the fresh ingredients for the restaurant’s huge buffet. Twenty-two variations on a seafood theme, from boiled crabs, shrimp and crawfish in season, to fried frog legs, gumbos, étouffée, fettucini, au gratin, and jambalaya are prepared daily. Landlubber specials are chicken and steaks, direct from the market next door.

204 E. Main St., New Iberia, 365-9419
Monday-Friday: Lunch; Friday-Saturday: Dinner
Real home cooking like stuffed mirliton or eggplant, silky chicken and sausage gumbo and a local lunch fave, avocado piled with shrimp salad keep Lagniappe Too bustling. Owner Elaine Landry makes cakes daily; try the banana mango with a cup of her rich dark coffee.

3701 Cameron St., Lafayette, 261-0581
Monday-Friday: Lunch
While Denise Landry is duly famous for her hamburger steak and chicken-fried steak plate lunches, her real claim to fame is her cornbread dressing. And that’s only one of eight side dishes, including corn macque choux and mac and cheese. Her lunch place gets so busy at noon time, regulars know to show up at 11 a.m., or wait till after 1 p.m.
I-10, Exit 115, Breaux Bridge, 667-6116,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner;
Saturday-Sunday: Dinner
Stuffed shrimp en brochette — jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon and stuffed with seafood, jack cheese and jalapeno — is a house favorite at this Gulf-coast style seafood restaurant. Landry’s Fresh Catch Pontchartrain is broiled and topped with mushrooms, jumbo lump crab meat and a creamy white sauce. From Alaskan King Crab legs and Maine Lobster to raw oysters and crawfish étouffée, Landry’s is a seafood smorgasbord.
816 W. Congress St., Lafayette, 235-4282
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch
Just adjacent to the Langlinais bakery, this small mom-and-pop grocery store bakes biscuits in the morning; by noon, look for po-boys made on fresh bread. Langlinais also serves plate lunches — a Monday favorite is meatloaf, but come again on Friday for the old-school shrimp stew. 
3809 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 989-4121
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
La Pizzeria offers a variety of stellar pizzas as well as other Italian treats such as calzones, pastas, soups and salads. Pizza toppings include grilled chicken, shrimp, and fresh herbs and vegetables, or try the Mirabella pasta, a vegetarian melange of zuchini, portabella mushrooms and roasted garlic in a sundried tomato pesto over angel hair. For a delectable detour, try the Middle East-inspired Low Carb Delight, a kibbe crust topped with ground meat, cheese, eggplant, and bell peppers.

1904 W. University Ave., Lafayette, 593-8006,
Daily: Lunch
No one’s ever left Laura’s II hungry. This soul food landmark is known for its superb home-style cooking, bargain prices and heaping portions. You can eat right around the week — Tuesday it’s smothered chicken, Wednesday look for hamburger steaks, Thursday go for barbecued ribs, Friday, fried catfish and shrimp and on Saturday don’t miss the fried pork chops.

215 Bertrand, Lafayette, 237-8765
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
3734 W. Pinhook, Lafayette, 837-2251
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Legends Annex, 110 Polk St., Lafayette 504-3252
Monday-Friday: Lunch, Wednesday-Saturday: Dinner
The original Legends at the Bertrand location started off serving homemade hamburgers cooked on a George Forman grill. They are so good that as the bar and grill expanded to Pinhook and then to a restaurant on Polk, those perfectly seasoned burgers became the center of every menu. The Bertrand and Pinhook Legends menu sticks to three burgers, original, cheese, and Hawaiian — which piles on Applewood bacon, Monterrey jack cheese and grilled pineapple. At the downtown Legends Annex, along with the burgers, you can get a salad, a sandwich or check out the popular grilled tuna or steak wraps.
314 E. Main St., New Iberia, 367-5306,
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch; Thursday-Saturday: Dinner
Set in a renovated 19th century cottage just across the street from New Iberia’s landmark National Register house museum Shadows-On-The-Teche, Le Rosier’s sunny dining rooms offer a serene escape from life’s daily pace. Crawfish star on the menu in a bisque, in addition to the half étouffée-half fried tails Cajun classic. Le Rosier also specializes in grilling prime steaks and veal chops, or choose the rack of lamb.

4510 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 981-9388
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The buffet at Little China is stocked with time-honored standards like fried wonton, eggrolls, sesame chicken and sweet and sour shrimp. Dig a little deeper into the menu though, and you’ll find savory dishes like Hunan beef, shrimp with garlic sauce and Kung Po chicken.
833 E. Main St., New Iberia, 367-7466,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner;
Saturday: Dinner
Little River Inn is the place to go for Maine lobster — boiled, broiled, stuffed, or surf and turf with your favorite steak. New to the menu, Bon Temps Poulet passes a good time as a dish of grilled chicken with pesto sauce on a bed of spinach Rockefeller. Seafood stuffed tilapia dazzles under an extravaganza of crabmeat, crawfish and mushrooms. Stroll off your dinner down historic Main Street and be sure not to miss the famous Trappey Oak, right outside the restaurant.

5445 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-4191,
Monday-Friday: Lunch, Dinner; S
aturday: Lunch
From fried shrimp, crawfish or oysters to hot sausage, Louisiana Po-Boys has got your lunchtime envie covered. The Louisiana Club is a house special, with ham, turkey, bacon, pepper jack cheese and a swipe of Cajun mayo. This southside eatery also offers seafood platters, salads with fried or grilled shrimp or chicken, sides of onion rings or hushpuppies and a shake on the side.
2817 Johnston St., Lafayette, 233-2493
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
Famous for their honey cured hams and turkeys, these prime meats make their way onto a list of 30 sandwiches that are some of the most savory offerings in town. Ham, turkey, roast beef, and roast beef, ham and swiss combo are all best sellers, but a well kept secret is Logan Farms makes, hands-down, the best muffaletta in town.

2865 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 981-0288
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Eating at Lotus Garden is like a trip to the Far East — with stops in China, Japan and Vietnam. The buffet offers dishes like ginger shrimp and hunan chicken, sushi is on the menu, and the national dish of Vietnam, Pho, a rich noodle soup, comes with chicken or beef.

108 E. Milton Ave., Milton, 856-6688
Sunday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch
Eggs any way including a Cajun omelette with sausage and cheese begins breakfast at this café in the heart of Milton, just across the river from Dockside Studios. Barbecue on Sundays starts the lunch week, which builds up to country classics like fresh sausage or round steak in brown gravy, meatball stew and a Friday seafood extravaganza of fried catfish, shimp fettucini and crab burgers.
3909 Moss St., Lafayette, 233-8298,
Daily: Lunch; Wednesday-Friday: Dinner
Don’t let the plate lunch, po-boy and gumbo daily menu lull you into thinking the Lunch Box is only for noon time. Thursday night is steak night, Friday evenings offer an ocean of seafood, and Sundays everything from pork roast to chickens is pulled off the barbecue grill.

4807 Johnston St., Lafayette, 406-0850
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
The noodle house introduced Pho, a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup to Lafayette, and has generated a loyal following of folks who now know how to eat soup with chopsticks. Lao, Thai and Vietnamese rice and noodle dishes offer a wide variety of southeastern Asian flavors. Try the Larb, a Lao beef salad, Thai eggplant in a rich brown sauce or the tender springrolls, dipped in a fiery garlic/chili sauce.

photo by Terri Fensel

340 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 235-1002
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Enter through the wine market, where you can choose your bottle at retail prices and pay a corkage fee. The standout appetizer is Bresaola, paper-thin slices of cured beef with a scattering of Parmesan and olive oil. House specials include Tuna con Gremolata, grilled tuna steaks with a zippy garlic/parsley/lemon topping, shrimp scampi in lemon butter, and butterfly-shaped pappardelle pasta with pancetta, a special Italian belly bacon that gives the dish its distinct flavor.

407 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 235-2004,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
With a long line of big-screen plasma TVs lining the wall over the bar, Marley’s is always a great place to watch any sporting event, without fear of going hungry. To keep you on your feet till the finish, the kitchen cranks out jumbo burgers (only $2 on Tuesdays).

2208 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 981-6373
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Masala installed a clay tandoori oven to capture the authentic flavor of meat roasted at high temperatures. Its mixed grill of chicken and lamb is a perfect entree to the world of Indian spices. Try the chili chicken which marries ginger, garlic and red and green chilis in a pungent sauce, or the smooth rich Saag, a sauce of creamed baby spinach and fenugreek over a choice of lamb, chicken or paneer, the restaurants homemade cheese. There are a wide range of vegetarian dishes, including a lunch-only special dubbed Street Food. Pani Puri and Papdi Chaat are two versions of Punjabi curbside finger food made of wheat wafers topped or filled with a tasty mixture of potatoes, onions and chick peas, served with spiced yoghurt.
105 Kaliste Saloom, Lafayette, 269-1123
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
This well-worn pool hall and bar on the corner of Kaliste Saloom and Pinhook roads is known for serving up some of the best sloppy homemade burgers in town. Get there early if you plan to watch a Saints or Tigers game (the banquette in the corner is the most comfortable seat in the house).

5818 Johnston St., Lafayette, 769-4440,
Monday-Saturday: Dinner
Continental cuisine meets Mediterranean specialties at this top-notch restaurant. New to the menu is McKrampe Surf and Turf, a beef and seafood combo that combines beef tenderloin in a wine reduction sauce with a fillet of the day’s catch in roasted bell pepper hollandaise, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat for a Louisiana twist on the classic. For heart-healthy eating, a fillet of fish is garnished with sauteed spinach, artichoke hearts, asparagus and cherry tomatoes in a sherry/white wine/tomato sauce. Baked to order chocolate and Grand Marnier souffles have been joined by a white chocolate crème brûlée for a glorious finish.

4409 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 988-3876
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
When you’ve got a yen for New York style deli sandwiches, McAlister’s fits the bill. Try the classic Reuben, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss and Thousand Island dressing on toasted rye bread, or the New Yorker, which doubles up corned beef with pastrami on rye. For a Thanksgiving twist, the Sweetberry Chicken sandwich teams up cranberry sauce with grilled chicken. Loaded spuds like the chicken fajita pile on chicken, onions, peppers, jalapenos, sour cream and a splash of salsa. Or new to the menu is their roasted herb chicken, half a bird with sides of veggies, mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.

1337 Henderson Levee Rd., Henderson, 228-2384,
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch; Friday-Sunday: Dinner
McGee’s Landing serves boiled crawfish in its natural environment — overlooking the waters of the Atchafalaya Basin. Other right-out-of-the-swamp specialties are grilled or fried alligator, stuffed shrimp, crawfish étouffée, or everything all on one plate in the Henderson Lake Platter. Live Cajun music on Sunday afternoons only adds to the allure of a bona fide southwest Louisiana hot spot.

2956 Johnston St., Lafayette, 235-6219,
1225 Evangeline Thrwy., Broussard, 267-6357
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Breakfast for dinner is an option at this 24-hour diner with a retro feel. Classic pancake stacks with a side of bacon, comforting BLTs, old home favorites like hamburger steak and mashed potatoes and bottomless cups of coffee will get you through the day or night.

200 Terminal Dr., Lafayette, 237-1717
Sunday-Friday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch
Food on the fly. The Mexicalli Grill is located inside the Acadiana Regional Airport. It has a basic short order menu of burgers, dogs, Philly cheese steaks and grilled chicken, as well as being open for early breakfast, at 5 a.m., for those making a pre-dawn get away. The adjacent bar, Janine’s, a separate operation, makes killer supersize Bloody Marys, a great dose of Dutch courage before taking off for parts unknown.

200 Lafayette St., Youngsville, 856-7469
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Lunch
603 E. 2nd St., Broussard, 837-1511
Monday-Friday: Lunch
The original Morvant’s in Youngsville is the ultimate hole-in-the-wall burger joint. Housed in an old wooden saloon where burgers have been sizzled on the flat grill for nearly half a century, Morvant’s is the burger destination in Acadiana. There’s also a salad topped with fried shrimp or grilled chicken. Both locations share the home-ground family seasoning secrets.

832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, 923-7284,
Monday-Sunday: Dinner
Mr. Lester’s is a classic steakhouse specializing in prime beef, filets, chateaubriand, lobster, salmon and garlic-broiled shrimp. Pair an earthy Cabernet Sauvignon from the extensive wine list with the popular pepper-crusted, bone-in ribeye. For dessert indulge in southern style bread pudding a la mode or Bananas Foster Buttercream Torte.

325 Mills Ave., Breaux Bridge, 332-4648,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Eat your down home Cajun food then dance it off, as Mulate’s offers live Cajun bands nightly. The house special is Catfish Mulate’s, a seasoned and lightly floured catfish fillet topped with shrimp étouffée and served with jambalaya. This rustic dance hall is a good place to sample gumbo, po-boys or chow down on the seafood platter.

1023 Neblett St., Arnaudville, 754-5064
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Myran’s porch overlooks Bayou Teche, and it’s the right place to settle in for boiled crawfish. There are eggs for breakfast and a stunningly good shrimp po-boy at lunch, but it’s boiled crawfish and shrimp that draw folks in the door, and Myran’s is one of the few places that offers boiled seafood at lunch time.

101 E. Second St., Broussard, 839-9333
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Located in a 19th century mansion in Broussard, Nash’s offers upscale Italian cooking, specializing in seafood. Try the signature Veal Orleans, sauteed baby veal topped by jumbo lump crabmeat in a cream sauce, or the shrimp and spinach lasagna. Nash’s stands by its steaks; a house fave is the pepper steak, a New York strip, grilled and served with a demiglasse.

2266 S. College Rd., Ste. A, Lafayette, 233-3131,
Monday-Friday: Lunch; Friday-Saturday: Dinner
Nimbeaux’s lays claim to “the best fried catfish in town.” Its laid-back, casual atmosphere is perfect for dining on the restaurant’s specialty seafood menu items, especially crawfish dishes and daily lunch specials like Friday’s catfish with a side of shrimp stew. Wrap your hands around one of their mouth-watering burgers, which weigh in at half a pound, or try a steak.

4650 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-2333,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
You can mix it up at Ninfa’s with the Mixta Diablo, a combo plate of its spicy Shrimp Diablo and two fajitas; or try the redfish tacos, grilled or fried quail with chile verde, or even a rack of barbecued baby back ribs. If you’re not going for the Prickly Pear margarita, a nice touch is the aqua fresca, a light, non-alcholic drink made with seasonal fruit.

2310 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 406-2440
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
Tucked away in a strip mall near Dulles Drive, Noah’s serves a set plate lunch menu. Try the Tuesday trifecta of smothered chicken, smothered steak and lasagna if you miss out on Monday’s smothered pork or meatball stew.

1116 F Coolidge Blvd., Lafayette 739-2379
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Tea
While Novici’s serves light sandwiches — Croque Monsieur and Madame — toasted ham or turkey and swiss, the star at this cozy little shop is High Tea. Start off with cucumber sandwiches and a pot of Earl Grey, then wade into the homemade scones with lemon curd and clotted cream, a slice of dazzling date nut bread, almond paste based bakewell tarts and a slice of decadent chocolate truffle cake.

1013 Neblet Rd., Arnaudville, 754-9898
Thursday-Sunday: Lunch; Friday-Saturday: Dinner
Nunu’s has grown from an experiment in building an arts community in the village of Arnaudville to a work-in-progress restaurant — with a menu designed mostly by the whims of painter and founder George Marks. There’s always paninis, but grilled frog legs, pork roast or crabmeat au gratin may pop up on the menu. Sunday brunch features a bloody Mary bar and frittatas, an Italian open face omelette, as well as grillades and grits, crawfish étouffée, and George’s mama’s biscuits.

2303 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 237-4181
Monday–Friday: Lunch
Spaghetti plate lunches are a hot item at Office Hours, selling out by noon most days. Fortunately, there’s also meatball stew and chicken fried steak on the menu, as well as seafood po-boys, clubs, burgers, homemade chili livening up cheese dogs, and salads topped with grilled shrimp or chicken for a healthy angle on lunch.

924 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Suite G, Lafayette, 262-0106,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
You can tell a sushi master by the quality of his rice, and at Oishi the rolls are beautifully, loosely rolled so you can taste each grain. Lots of the fresh fish rolls come with a soy paper and sesame seed wrapping instead of the standard seaweed, for a delicate change. The uni, highly perishable sea urchin much prized by the Japanese for its sweet briny flavor, is absolutely fresh and superb here. Most of the business is take-out, but there are three small tables for eat-in diners.

218 W. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, 235-8165,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
There’s a reason Olde Tyme Grocery celebrated 25 years in business in October: it makes some of the best po-boys in town. Known for its huge overstuffed New Orleans-style po-boys (fried shrimp, fried oyster and on Wednesdays, fried catfish), Olde Tyme’s seafood po-boys get stiff competition from the Olde Tyme Special, a meat-packed version filled with enough luncheon meat to make three po-boys. Monday nights, the meatball po-boy special begs to be taken home where you can let the red gravy from this gloriously messy sandwich run down your chin.

2811 Johnston St., Lafayette 264-9997
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Dinner
Located in the South College Shopping Center, Osaka rolls out all you can eat sushi weekdays. Friday and Saturday, go for the order three, get one free roll special. House specials include the Yami-Yami, a California roll topped with tuna, avocado and a sweet ginger sauce, Bento Boxes, and hibachi grilled lobster, filet, shrimp or chicken.

135 W. Landry St., Opelousas, 942-2142
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Three generations of the Doucas family have operated the Palace, across from the St. Landry Parish Courthouse, since 1927. The menu offers Cajun specialties like crawfish étouffée, bisque and crabmeat-stuffed eggplant in addition to steaks, fish and salads. A local fave is the smothered calves liver and onions. The Greek salad and deservedly famous baklava are nods to the family’s Greek heritage.

631 Jefferson St, Lafayette,  232-0070
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch; Saturday: Dinner
Small plates that run the gamut from traditional Spanish bar food like olives, cheeses, Serrano ham and garlic shrimp to sensational chargrilled oysters, diver clams, fresh grilled Portuguese sardines, duck confit, fois gras over grilled pears, roast baby pig, and the best french fries — spiked with chopped fresh garlic, parsley and sea salt — on the planet. The wine list pays homage to Spain as well. After lunch in this European outpost, the natural progression is a siesta.

2700 Moss St., Lafayette, 232-7371
Daily: Lunch
Fried chicken wings fly out the door at Papa’s. This hole-in-the-wall is all about Creole frying: fish, shrimp and chicken are served on sandwiches, po-boys and plates. For red meat eaters, there’s a homemade burger.

204 Park Ave., Abbeville, 893-9957
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner;
Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch
Tucked away on a side street off Hwy. 167, the Park starts off your day with the Cajun omelette, stuffed with tasso, andouille, onions, bell pepper and a little bit of cheese. The pancakes, sweetened with Abbeville-made Steen’s syrup, are so big most patrons can eat only one. Plate lunches like steak and gravy or pork roast spill over into dinner, or go for the seafood platter or one of the best burgers in town.

107 E. Main St., Lafayette, 289-5270,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch; Friday: Dinner
(during Downtown Alive!)
Pat’s Downtown offers a wide variety whether it’s a shrimp po-boy, a loaded baked potato, salads, a fried catfish plate lunch, a pork chop sandwich or even wraps. Try Pat’s Special, a pair of fried catfish fillets topped with crawfish étouffée and a slice of bread pudding for dessert. There are tables inside and outdoors, or Pat’s will deliver on call-in orders of 10 or more.

1008 Henderson Levee Road, Henderson, 228-7512,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Pat’s is the place to eat a heap of boiled crawfish on the porch overlooking Bayou Amy. The shrimp and lump crabmeat camp style étouffée can’t be beat and catfish come five to a platter, fried bone-in. To top it all off, under the same roof at Pat’s Atchafalaya Club the best bands in Acadiana will keep you dancing till the wee hours.

209 E. St. Peter ST., Carencro, 896-3788,
Monday-Friday: Lunch; Daily: Dinner
The shrimp are so fresh at Paul’s Pirogue you can still taste the sweet brine of the sea when you bite into its stellar po-boys and platters. Local faves are the signature Crab Pirogue, sauteed lump crab meat served over a bed of greens and andouille, the green gumbo, made with spinach, andouille, potatoes, white beans and if you ask, lavished with some of Paul’s jumbo lump crabmeat. You’ll also like the heaping platters of boiled seafood. Save some room for Gateaux Sirop, a Cajun country cake made with pecans and dark cane syrup.

4416 Johnston St., Lafayette, 984-1290
Daily: Dinner; Tuesday-Sunday: Lunch
Hibachi cooking turns out great grilled food while providing non-stop entertainment from a chef who can juggle eggs on his spatula while flaming strip steak. Peking Garden has been specializing in hibachi cooking for 30 years. Dinner is a set menu — choose from a selection of steak, filet mignon, chicken, scallops, shrimp and lobster; soup, salad, rice, ice cream and a glass of plum wine come with every meal.

3903 Johnston St., Lafayette, 981-4670,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Pete’s offers one of the best hamburgers in town. The traditional half-pound, flame-broiled burger comes dressed with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Personalize your burger with mushrooms and wine sauce, bacon, grilled onions, jalapenos, a fried egg, chili or an assortment of cheeses. Don’t miss out on the killer homemade potato chips, or if you prefer, fried dill pickles.

3502 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 504-3002,
Tuesday-Sunday: Dinner
A perfect dinner at Phares is a dozen raw oysters, a dozen of their fire roasted oysters sizzled with butter, garlic and Parmesan, then another dozen raw for dessert. When oysters are out of season, crabs are in. Go for the Softshell Crab Explosion that’s topped with lump crab meat and served with crabmeat stuffing, pan potatoes and grilled veggies.

3235 NW Evangeline Thwy., Carencro, 896-1200
3910 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 993-8810
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Both Mexican restaurants offer great southwestern cuisine such as the signature Chile Colorado, very hot tender chunks of beef tips in a Pasilla chile sauce. Don’t miss the fresh, chunky guacamole, made tableside. Chef specialty Camarones Surenos are jumbo shrimp stuffed with cheeses and chiles wrapped in bacon, coated with a spicy batter and fried until crispy. Or try the Rellado Des Res, chili and cheese stuffed steak.

3904 Johnston St., Lafayette, 993-8424,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
The newest addition to a very popular menu is Sriracha, a fried shrimp appetizer coated with a light sweet and hot sauce then dusted with cilantro. The ginger-garlic soup with rice has a magical healing quality both for body and spirit, or try the irrestable Sriracha, a yellow curry with potatoes (ask for shrimp). Pad poi zean adds clear noodles to a stir fry of meat and vegetables. Pad talay is a seafood combination stir-fry with lemon grass and galangal root sauce. Don’t skip the creamy rice pudding for dessert.

1935 Moss St., Lafayette, 232-1418
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
You won’t ever want to order Domino’s again after visiting this classic north side pizzeria, specializing in crispy thin crusts and fresh toppings. Be sure to try the Landry Special, which comes loaded with pepperoni, hamburger, shrimp, onions and jalapenos. The atmosphere is casual, there’s a giant dining room TV for sports, and the waiters are always quick to pour each round from your pitcher of beer into a fresh frozen mug. Pizza Village is also known for its homemade spaghetti and po-boys.

3015-A Main Hwy., Breaux Bridge, 332-2108,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Traditional Cajun and Creole plate lunches get top billing at this Breaux Bridge favorite. Pork backbone stew and crawfish étouffée have their share of devotees, and Poche’s also offers Cajun favorites such as boudin and cracklins. Visit Poche’s on Sunday to feast on old-fashioned Sunday barbecue and dirty rice, a Poche’s tradition for more than 30 years. And don’t walk out the door without one of their stand-out pralines for a rolling dessert.

240 Tubing Rd., Broussard, 235-8559,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
Windows overlooking the restaurant’s own private swamp are a clue to the strengths of this menu — where seafood is the star. Maine lobster boiled, broiled and stuffed, crabmeat stuffed fish topped with crawfish and mushrooms, or the simple delicacy of lump crab meat sauteed in butter are all winners here.

3822 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 988-0835,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Don’t let the gaudy exterior of Posado’s fool you; this Mexican restaurant has a lot more to offer than salsa and chips. Fajitas in six incarnations are the kitchen’s specialty: sausage, beef, quail, ribs, chicken and shrimp. But the house depth shows in the varieties of tequilas the bar carries, 42 in all. From platina to anjeo, tequilas of all tastes and vintages including some barrel-aged supremas that call to be sipped from a snifter.

103 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 235-9154,
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Mediterranean options abound at Poseidon’s. From a light gyros salad or gyro sandwich to hearty traditional moussaka, Poseidon’s offers a full experience in Greek cuisine. Try the taramasalata, a traditional dip made of fish roe and olive oil, stuffed grape leaves, and follow up with herb infused leg-of-lamb. Finish with baklava, the delicate syrup and pistachio-flavored traditional Middle Eastern dessert.

1902 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 232-7921,
Tuesday-Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch
Hand-shaped loaves of french baguettes, ciabatta, sourdough and buckwheat come out of the ovens at Poupart’s early in the morning. Its coffee is the best in town, and Poupart’s has a banquette where you can read the paper, butter your hot bread and sip to your heart’s content. Exquisite French pastries fill the counters, and at lunch time the bakery offers sandwiches and quiches.

3480 I-49 N., Lafayette, 896-3247,
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Preajean’s Napoleon, a crisp potato cake stacked with a lump crab cake, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and smoked tasso, is the hands-down winner on the breakfast menu, but be sure to order a side of its super creamy grits. The house favorite pepper jack shrimp is four large fried shrimp wrapped in smoked bacon, stuffed with tasso and pepper jack cheese and set over Crawfish Cardinale. Prejean’s also serves a fried oyster salad made with six fried oysters over fresh spinach, mixed baby lettuces, tomatoes, and red onions, tossed in Prejean’s tomato and tasso vinaigrette. If it’s fish you’re after, consider the mesquite-grilled tilapia served with baked oysters and steamed rice Creole.

7413 Hwy. 90 W., New Iberia, 365-7596
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday-Sunday: Dinner
The name’s the giveaway: Superb boiled crabs, crawfish and shrimp are the main attraction at the Boiling Point. If you’re not in a boiled-seafood mood, Boiling Point also has a wide selection of fresh seafood (grilled or fried) and po-boys, sandwiches and salads.
2320 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 981-7080,
Daily: Dinner
The live Cajun music kicks off every night at 6:30 p.m., providing the ambiance for Randol’s menu of Cajun and Creole classics and its fried seafood platters (shrimp, crawfish and oyster, of course, as well as soft shell crabs). Randol’s won a Gold Medal in the 2007 Culinary Classic for its White Lake Dreaming Crab Cake, made with lump crab meat and béchamel cream and served with a Parmesan cream reduction and basil garnish.

2015 N. Cherokee Dr., Crowley, 783-3001
Daily: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
This truck stop and restaurant attracts hungry drivers and in-the-know locals. Its seafood gumbo and crawfish étouffée are perennial favorites in the Rice Palace’s pantheon of American, Cajun and Creole dishes including a selection of fried seafood.

1516 S. Henry St., Abbeville, 893-1693
Monday-Sunday, Dinner
Since 1947, Abbeville’s oldest crawfish patio has packed ’em in with beer-boiled shrimp and steaks, and kids love Richard’s tank of live blue crawfish. Open seasonally, this is prime time for Richard’s, which is currently featuring a nightly seafood buffet.

832 Martin Luther King Rd., Cypress Bayou Casino, Charenton, 924-3334
Wednesday-Sunday: Dinner
For some fine dining to bring you luck at the slots, try Rikrak’s beef shitake, a prime 8 oz. filet mignon topped with butter poached lobster and shitake mushroom vinaigrette. Seafood lovers can opt for the grilled sea bass, a soy- and fresh herb-marinated sea bass that’s charbroiled and topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and pickled ginger saute. There’s a full sushi bar, too.

503 W. Port St., Abbeville, 893-3070
Sunday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Having a cocktail on the deck overlooking the Vermilion River is a perfect way to start a meal at the Riverfront, which is known for its decadent crab meat au gratin and creamy corn and crab bisque. Fried seafood platters are also popular, and the Riverfront’s currently grilling up 12-oz. ribeye steaks for $19.99.

1409 Henderson Hwy., Breaux Bridge, 228-7594
Tuesday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday: Dinner
Dessert gets a lot of attention at Robin’s, thanks to two signature ice creams: Tabasco and homemade fig flavors. The hard part is saving room for sweets after Robin’s Parmesan-dusted crabmeat au gratin, delicately seasoned and dusted with Parmesan. Boiled seafood options abound, and Robin’s superb wine list is one of Acadiana’s best-kept secrets.

1004 Coolidge Blvd, Lafayette 234-3289
3533 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, Lafayette 216-4434
Monday-Saturday: Lunch; Monday-Friday: Dinner
Healthy and tasty wraps and salads get things rolling at Roly Poly; a popular new addition to the menu is the Cider House Melt, a grilled wheat wrap filled with ham, turkey, swiss cheese, spinach, onions and mushrooms.

2418 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 233-6368
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Snow crabs, boiled shrimp and sushi are always in abundance at Royal Panda’s huge buffet, which also offers Chinese-food mainstays like lo mein, fried rice, and beef and broccoli. Royal Panda will also serve sushi a la carte by request. And the young ’uns are always happy with the soft-serve ice cream for dessert.

315 Rue Louis XIV, Lafayette, 989-0222
Sunday-Friday: Lunch
Overflowing Creole and Cajun plate lunches are cook Ruby Sharlow’s specialty. Fried catfish, stuffed pork chops, chicken fricasee are staples, and health-conscious diners can also get baked meats and brown rice.

620 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 237-6123,
Daily: Dinner; Friday: Lunch
Their steaks are like butta, of course, served sizzling hot straight from the broiler and begging for a hearty complementary red wine from Ruth’s Chris’ superb wine list. The iconic Lafayette landmark is currently offering a pair of specials: Garlic-crusted halibut, and a surf-and-turf featuring a petit filet mignon paired with king crab legs.

3545 Ambassador Caffery, Lafayette, 993-2433
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Before you dive into Samurai Sushi’s extensive sushi and roll selection, the salmon snow crab salad is a good place to start. On the roll front, Samurai’s rainbow roll, packed with various fish and no rice, has its share of devotees.

3217 Johnston St., Lafayette, 989-9698,
Monday-Saturday: Lunch; Daily: Dinner
Sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, tempura, katsu, nabemono and donburi all get ace treatment at Sakura. If you’re feeling adventurous, Sakura has two new rolls: the Big Katuna Roll, featuring fresh tuna, escolar, yellowtail, snow crab, masago, and chef sauce wrapped in soy paper; and the Big Daddy roll, which marries spicy tuna, snow crab, escolar, chef special sauce and masago wrapped in soy paper, all  lined with tuna on the outside.
3151 Johnston St., Lafayette, 704-0315,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner; Sunday: Brunch
You probably already know about Serrano’s six different salsas and its wide array of Latin American seafood and meat dishes. But maybe you haven’t heard about its new Sunday brunch, which includes dishes like Keegan’s Crabby Cakes: French toast with crab cakes and a sunny-side up egg topped with crawfish in a poblano cream sauce.

4702 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-4588
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Whether you’re in the mood for seafood or meat off the sizzling Hibachi grill or some imaginative sushi rolls, Shangri-La has options for every palate. Two of its sushi rolls are longtime favorites: Crouching Tiger includes baked seafood, cream cheese, jalapenos and crab paste, fried tempura style, while the Crunchy Lafayette roll includes crab paste, asparagus, avocado, tempura crunches and three chef sauces. For a nice sampler, Shangri-La offers a rotating selection of rolls at 50 precent off from 4-6 p.m. nightly.

3810 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 406-0024
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The hibachi grill and sushi bar are always hopping at this Japanese restaurant, and there are two new rolls on the menu. Tiger fans will want to check out the LSU Championship roll, which includes spicy scallop and snow crab, topped with whitefish, avocado and yellow roe; the Back for More roll packs shrimp tempura, cream cheese and crab stick and is topped with steak terriyaki and avocado.

701 W. Port St., Abbeville, 898-3311
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Everyone knows that Shucks is known for some of the best raw oysters in southwest Louisiana (get ’em pan-broiled, fried, or stuffed if you like), but new owners have also tweaked and expanded the menu a bit. There are crab cakes, fried alligator, shrimp remoulade, grilled shrimp with grilled vegetable salad, and a new oyster stew recipe that’s winning raves.

110 Production Dr., Lafayette, 234-1102
1214 E. Main St., Broussard, 839-2111
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Sicily’s puts out a stocked Italian buffet spread, including pizza, pasta, antipasta, salads, soups and desserts. Specialty pizza favorites include eggplant Italiano and Sicilian chicken, while sandwich devotees usually go for the Mona Lisa, which is piled high with pepperoni, salami, ham, and fully dressed.

920 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 233-7476
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
This lunch bistro offers regular bakery specials to complement a menu filled with quiches, stuffed croissants, salads and French onion soup. For a hearty appetite, check out the ham and chicken cordon bleu.

600 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 237-8575
Tuesday-Thursday: Lunch
Joe’s been gone for a year, but the barbecue hasn’t missed a beat with Miss Pat from River Oaks taking over. All that wood smoking produces chicken, ribs and pork steaks, with side dishes including rice dressing and potato salad.

8218 Maurice Ave., Maurice, 893-2462
Monday-Saturday: Lunch; Tuesday-Saturday: Dinner
Soop’s menu doesn’t stray too far from its name, keeping it simple with hamburger steaks and ribeyes. On the seafood front, the Chef’s Special overflows with seafood gumbo, shrimp étouffée, shrimp-stuffed bell pepper, crab meat au gratin, fried shrimp and french fries.

2801 Johnston St., Lafayette, 233-8636
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch
Southside’s hamburgers have inspired a cult-like following thanks to large patties freshly cooked and served up dressed on Southside’s freshly baked bread. There are beignets and muffins galore, and cookies and cakes sold by the slice. Chili dogs and turkey burgers are new additions to the menu.

116 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, 231-6901,
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Plate lunches like smothered chicken and traditional Monday red beans are Stan’s signature dishes, along with wraps like a shrimp Caesar and chicken ranch. The club sandwiches are always stacked, and Stan’s grilled tuna steak with a side of vegetables is prime fare for weight watchers.

5713 Johnston St., Lafayette, 988-0102,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Casual dining and a menu stocked with traditional Mexican fare make Tampico a favored family dining spot. Choose from quesadillas, chalupas, burritos and fajitas; the popular Fajita Chimichanga is stuffed with beef, pork or chicken and vegetables and topped with chili con queso.

740 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 232-3803
Monday-Friday: Lunch
1900 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 233-0422
Breakfast Monday-Sunday: Breakfast and Lunch Monday-Saturday
They have different ownership and the downtown location doesn’t serve breakfast, but both T-Coon’s boast some of the biggest and heartiest plate lunches in town. Fried chicken, fried catfish, smothered rabbit, stuffed pork chops, brisket, and red beans are entree heaven, complemented by equally satisfying sides ranging from cornbread dressing to macque choux. Breakfast at the Pinhook location is a true eye-opener, with mammoth omelettes and homemade biscuits.

607 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, 261-0000
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Thai Cuisine’s lunch buffet offers abundant choices of Thai and Chinese favorites, including phad thai, chicken curry, egg rolls, shrimp and vegetables and spicy soup. For the vegetable and chicken rolls, make your own dipping sauce from a wide range of options including garlic sauce, chili sauce, peanut sauce and a fiery jalapeno mix.

1601 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 236-6251
Sunday-Friday: Lunch; Daily: Dinner
Location, location, location is part of the draw here, as the Vermilion River’s the backdrop for Tokyo Live’s steaks, hibachi grill and extensive sushi selection. The Kanda Combo of steak and shrimp is a Hibachi grill specialty, while sushi lovers crave the Marilyn Monroe roll, a baked maki roll filled with crabmeat, avocado and dynamite sauce and topped with salmon.

605 Silverstone Rd., Lafayette, 412-6925
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
There’s obviously a wide selection of healthy fruit smoothies here, but the lunch fare is winning over converts. The Jamaican Jerk chicken wrap is loaded with spicy jerk and rice, while the roast beef and pepper jack cheese on foccacia bread is a tasty, imaginative pairing.

3564 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 981-3111
Tuesday-Sunday: Lunch and Dinner
Seared pork-stuffed dumplings are a good starter at Tsubaki Sushi, where the personable sushi and sashimi chefs will gladly invent a roll to suit your palate. The joint really jumps for ladies’ night on Wednesdays and Fun Day Sundays, where service-industry employees get 50 percent off beer, sake and appetizers.

412 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 234-3474,
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
The sushi bar that launched the sushi craze in Lafayette hasn’t slowed down. Besides perennial favorites like the John Breaux Roll (sauteed crawfish, avocado and spicy sauce) and the Michael Doumit Roll (tempura soft shell crab, masago and avocado with Tsunami sauce), Tsunami’s newest creation is Beef Ciso Taki, thin slices of seared tenderloin with ponzu and ciso sauce.

300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, 233-4077,
Daily: Lunch
The house specialty at Vermilionville is its thick chicken and sausage gumbo, which complements an array of traditional Cajun and Creole plate lunches.

109 W. Main St., New Iberia, 369-9924
Monday-Friday: Breakfast and Lunch; Saturday:
Breakfast; Sunday: Lunch
Dave Robicheaux eats at Victor’s as does his creator, Edgar-award winner James Lee Burke. Don’t let the cafeteria-style service fool you, because breakfast dishes like omelets and pancakes are made to order, and at lunch, some of the best gumbo in town is spooned up over rice. Or go for the crisp fried seafood, baked chicken and eggplant stuffing. Just don’t miss out on the homey desserts like banana creme or lemon meringue pie.

1020 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 233-7823
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Recently opened on the corner of Jefferson and Johnston streets, Victor’s offers a wide spectrum of local fare and seafood and meat dishes. For starters, the seafood delight appetizer is a trio of crab cakes, shrimp cakes and tilapia bites, while the spicy pork tenderloin entree — marinated in whiskey and soy sauce — is emerging as an early favorite.

1 DeGaulle Sq., Lafayette, 981-8085
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
Soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches are the cornerstones of this casual River Ranch eatery; for a filling vegetarian treat, try the portabello burger.

927 Harding St., Lafayette, 269-0144
Monday-Saturday: Lunch
538 Jefferson St. (inside Jefferson St. Market), 212-1446
Monday-Friday: Lunch
Both Whole Weatery locations pride themselves on a wide selection of health-conscious salads and sandwiches, including chicken salad and tuna salad dressed with sprouts and tomatoes on wheat bread, and a black bean vegetarian burger. The Oil Center location also features a rotating selection of hot lunches such as baked chicken, bean enchiladas and gumbo.
813 Foreman Drive, Lafayette, 988-0052
Tuesday through Friday: Lunch; Monday through Saturday: Dinner
There’s something fishy about this place, in a good way. Salmon burgers are a lunchtime favorite, while the fresh halibut entices dinner patrons. But it’s not all seafood, as the Wild Salmon also cooks up its own home made beef burgers.

photo by Terri Fensel

235 Doucet Rd., Lafayette, 406-0013,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
Zea is a meat lover’s dream, thanks to its always-cookin’ rotisserie and carved meats, prime rib and downright addictive Thai ribs. Fowl fans flock to Zea’s Twice Cooked Crispy Duck entree, slowly roasted and crisped with Asian herbs and honey soy sauce. Even the salads feel like grand full meals, with the seared tuna salad overflowing with gorgeous slices of fish. And it all goes down smoothly with Zea’s microbrewed beers.

3809 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette, 406-9387,
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
1103 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, 269-1434
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
4100 Johnston St., Lafayette, 704-0344
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
431 Jefferson St., Lafayette, 234-8955
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
You can measure the popularity of Nidal Balbeisi’s Zeus’ traditional Greek and Lebanese fare by his expansion to four locations, the downtown store now owned by Azzam Sobh. Lunch specials include overflowing gyro and chicken pita plates, served with hummus, feta salad and a healthy dose of garlic throughout. For dinner, go around the world with the Zeus Special Plate: a Mediterranean sampler of chicken shawarma, gyro, hummus, fried kibbe, meat grape leaves, mujadarah, and tabouli.

201 Settlers Trace Blvd., Lafayette, 408-3881
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
One of the newest additions to the River Ranch dining scene, word’s getting out about Zoës chicken kebabs, which are two full skewers rounded out with tomato, bell pepper and red onion served over rice, with a side salad. For lighter appetites, the chicken salad and fruit plate is just the ticket.