Baton Rouge: A Capital City of Cajun Cuisine
by Vange Tapia
On my recent visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I was impressed that not only is this capital city filled with historic architecture and friendly people, it’s also a regular jambalaya of extraordinary local cuisines. Most notably, Baton Rouge is an outstanding place to experience authentic Cajun cooking, a style of cuisine characterized by local ingredients, sausages, seafood, rice and, of course, a bit of spice! I stopped in a few of Baton Rouge’s most popular Cajun restaurants to immerse myself in the local cuisine.
Boudin and More at Tony’s Seafood Market
Tony's Seafood Market is a must for your introduction to Southern Cajun cooking. Here you can try boudin, a well-known Cajun dish that Tony’s prepares perfectly. A mix of pork, onion and spices, it was absolutely delicious. Tony’s also serves fresh seafood dishes, including their famous catfish and crawfish, and much more. I had a little bit of everything, but was enamored of the delicious flavor of their crawfish. Tony’s also has a wonderful market where you can purchase seasoning and sauces to enhance your homemade dishes with that unforgettable Cajun flavor.
Tony’s is as much a local institution and tourist attraction as it is a restaurant. Besides having loyal customers, I met loyal employees. Some have worked at Tony’s Seafood for nearly 50 years!
On the Bayou: Boutin’s Cajun Restaurant
Boutin's Cajun Restaurant prides itself on delivering an authentic Cajun experience, but most of all this is a restaurant about Southern ambience and great fun. I took advantage of the live music and decided to hit the dance floor. They also have a store with their products and murals all over the restaurant that enhance the culinary and musical immersion into Cajun culture. Good luck limiting yourself eating only one boudin and rice ball. They’re delicious!
To complete your Louisiana experience, head out to the back of the restaurant where there is an actual bayou. You can walk out onto their covered pier and feed the turtles.
Local Favorite: Sammy’s Grill
If you ask a local for a Cajun restaurant recommendation, you’re almost certain to hear mention of Sammy’s Grill. Sammy’s is a very popular restaurant, often with a wait, so I would recommend planning to arrive earlier than your desired meal time.
Even with a bit of a wait, Sammy’s is worth it! This restaurant is best known for its perfectly seasoned crawfish (can you tell that crawfish is a Louisiana staple?). On a recommendation, I ventured a taste of a po’ boy, another Louisiana food staple. It’s a sandwich filled with either meat or seafood, served on a crusty baguette. It was totally amazing!
Baton Rouge is truly a destination city for discovering the riches of Cajun cooking. From crawfish boils to delicious sauces and spices, Baton Rouge will entice true foodies – and anyone who likes good food!