Baton Rouge – Dining Through the Decades
- December 2, 2022
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The history of Baton Rouge’s culinary scene stretches back as far as one can remember. From old-time treasures to new fusion restaurants, one thing is for sure – when good food comes to town, the locals know.
The Chicken Hut – 1935
Known locally as the home of the “perfect fried chicken,” The Chicken Shack opened its doors in 1935 and remains Baton Rouge’s oldest restaurant. With delicious fried chicken served alongside some of the best homemade side dishes you’ll ever eat, a lunchtime trip to the Chicken Shack is sure to satisfy your craving for crispy chicken.
Louie’s Cafe – 1941
Locals have flocked to Louie’s Cafe in search of legendary hash browns and hangover cures for 80 years. Located just outside LSU’s north gates, the familiar facade welcomes visitors 24 hours a day. Word to the wise, get there before 11am to ensure you get some of those legendary cookies.
At a time when fusion restaurants and recipe reinvention are more popular than ever, Dearman’s Soda Shop is charmingly transported to a bygone era. No frills, no fuzz, just a good old-fashioned diner burger. Complete with shakes, malts, floats and fresh, hand-cut fries, dining at Dearman’s is a delicious journey back in time to the decade when it first opened.
Pinettas – 1962
Located next door to a nearly contemporaneous bookstore, Pinetta’s European restaurant is an unassuming, often undiscovered hidden gem of the Baton Rouge food scene. Known for its magical, mysterious red sauce recipe, Pinetta’s has hosted romantic date nights and celebratory dinners in its intimate, warm atmosphere for more than 60 years.
Mike Anderson’s Seafood – 1975
There aren’t many more synonyms for Baton Rouge seafood than Mike Anderson’s. The once-famous LSU Tiger opened his kitchen and served the masses traditional, authentic Louisiana seafood with recipes loved by locals and visitors alike.
The Carillon – 1983
If you’re looking for great Southern food in Baton Rouge, look no further than The Chimes. This iconic restaurant has become one of the most popular stops for those making the pilgrimage to the Red Stick, with fresh seafood and Louisiana classics on the menu year-round. The Chimes also understands that good food and good beer go hand in hand, as craft beer from around the world flows through their 77 taps.
Raising Canes – 1996
No one knows if it’s the sauce, the chicken, or just the vibe, but the fact is, Raising Cane’s simply tastes better in Baton Rouge. The original Cane’s began slinging chicken fingers right off the LSU campus in 1996. Whatever you like in your box combo, your favorite chicken finger chain has never hit the nail on the head like it does in the capital.
A fast-casual Tex-Mex tradition since 2001, Zippy’s is known for its lively outdoor patio and frozen Margs rednecks or regular 2-for-1 meals. Zippy’s is a great place to grab a quick bite and a drink while they continue to serve the same margaritas and melted cheese as they have for the past 20 years.
Pizzeria Rocca – 2018
Rocca Pizzeria serves hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza that stays true to its Neapolitan tradition. A taste of authentic Naples, Italy, right in the heart of Baton Rouge, the old-fashioned techniques of Rocca cuisine reflect what you would find across the Atlantic – right down to the oven. With local, fresh ingredients on its iconic thin crust, your first night at Rocca is new and exciting, but also warm and familiar.
Government Taco – 2020
Rounding out 10 decades of fine dining, we end our journey at Government Taco. Originally conceived at a local food hall, this punny taco joint has been delighting every palate since it opened last year. Topped with everything from mac-and-cheese to cane-glazed carrots and more, Government Taco serves tacos on the tray that are as unique as they are delicious.