Baton Rouge – Dining Through the Decades
The history of Baton Rouge’s culinary scene goes back as far as anyone can recall. One thing is certain: when good food comes to town it’s known by the locals.
The Chicken Shack – 1935
Known around town as the home of “the perfect fried chicken”, The Chicken Shack opened its doors back in 1935 and remains Baton Rouge’s oldest restaurant. Chicken Shack’s lunchtime menu features delicious fried chicken and some of the best homestyle sides.
Louie’s Cafe – 1941
Locals have flocked to Louie’s Cafe for the last 80 years in search of legendary hash browns and hangover cures. The familiar facade sits just outside of LSU’s North gates, welcoming patrons 24 hours a day. A word to the wise, get there before 11 am to make sure you get some of those iconic biscuits.
Dearman’s – 1958
In a time when fusion restaurants are becoming more popular than ever, Dearman’s Soda Shop remains charmingly suspended in an era gone by. There are no frills or fluffs. Just a good old-fashioned diner burger. Dearman’s offers a decade-old experience with delicious shakes, malts and floats as well as fresh, hand-cut fries.
Pinetta’s – 1962
Pinetta’s European Restaurant is a hidden gem in the Baton Rouge food scene. It is located next to a bookstore that is nearly the same age as it. Known for its magical, mysterious red sauce recipe, Pinetta’s has housed romantic date nights and celebratory dinners in its intimate, warm atmosphere for more than 60 years.
Mike Anderson’s Seafood – 1975
Mike Anderson’s Baton Rouge seafood is synonymous with nothing more than his. The once-famous LSU Tiger opened his kitchen and served authentic Louisiana seafood to the masses, using recipes that were loved by both locals as well as visitors.
The Chimes – 1983
If you’re looking for great Southern food in Baton Rouge, look no further than The Chimes. The iconic restaurant has become a popular stop for pilgrims to the Red Stick. They offer fresh seafood and Louisiana classics all year. 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 Cane’s – 1996
No one knows if it is the sauce, chicken, or the vibe, but it’s a fact that Raising Cane’s tastes better in Baton Rouge. The original Cane’s started slingin’ chicken fingers back in 1996 right off of LSU’s campus. Your favorite chicken-finger chain in Capital City has never been as popular, no matter what you put in it.
A fast-casual, Tex-mex tradition since 2001, Zippy’s is known for their lively, open-air patio and 2-for-1 frozen margs-redneck or regular. Zippy’s is a great place to grab a quick bite and a drink as they continue to pour the same margaritas and melted cheese as they have for the last20 years.
Rocca Pizzeria – 2018
Rocca Pizzeria offers hand-tossed, wood-fired Pizza that is true to its Neapolitan heritage. The Rocca kitchen offers a taste of authentic Naples, Italy, right in the heart Baton Rouge. Rocca’s famous thin crust is topped with local, farm-fresh ingredients. It will make your first evening memorable, but also familiar.
Government Taco – 2020
Rounding out 10 decades worth of dining, we end our trip at Government Taco. This punny taco restaurant was originally created in a local food hall. It has been a hit with customers ever since it opened its doors last year. Government Taco offers tacos by the tray, which are as unique and delicious as they are delicious.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.