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Baton Rouge: Where Culture Meets Cuisine

by JonPharr

Louisiana’s Capital City is home to some of the most memorable and beloved dining establishments in the state. From Louisiana classics to elevated fine dining institutions, Baton Rouge is a true foodie destination. When you’re not eating, go out and explore some of the most captivating arts and leisure activities around — for adventurers of any level. Wherever you go, a new experience is always on the menu in Baton Rouge.

For more than 40 years, Juban’s Restaurant has cultivated a reputation as one of Baton Rouge’s first (and most popular) fine dining establishments. Many celebratory dinners and events take place in this beautifully enhanced establishment, among the stunning decor and reimagined menu. The kitchen is led by Chef Chris Motto, a local culinary innovator and former competitor on Gordon Ramsay’s reality show, Hell’s Kitchen. Motto has worked to create a new Juban’s menu that reflects its classic-meets-contemporary vibe. For a classic South Louisiana experience with friends and family, join Juban’s for Jazz Brunch on the weekends.

With an upbeat, family-friendly atmosphere, visit The Chimes near the LSU campus for traditional Southern cuisine, Cajun/Creole dishes, and everyone’s gastropub favorites like po-boys, hamburgers, and more. From appetizers to desserts, every dish is an all-star — enjoyed in the bustling dining room or the rooftop patio. Pair your dish with a Louisiana libation from the full bar with 239 different spirits, 20+ different wines, 80 draft beers, and 126 beers on the bottle list. After your meal, take a stroll onto campus where you can meet the legendary Mike the Tiger.

Experience the ultimate sushi dining experience located on the Shaw Center for the Arts rooftop in Downtown Baton Rouge. Get an unparalleled panoramic view of the city while dining on the outdoor terrace and toasting sake to the sunset over the river. Tsunami’s menu has maintained its buzzy status since day one; with Eastern flare, Southern roots, and fresh seafood. Enjoy a full sushi menu as well as a popular grill menu — including the must-have sea bass or sumo ribeye. Tsunami is the perfect setting for milestone celebrations and date night.

Unwind after a long day with late-night bites and plucky jazz. The Main Lobby offers plenty of space to relax with your cocktail in hand and enjoy the company of your closest friends or romantic interest. Sink into the comfy lounge seating or get some fresh air on the rooftop bar. It’s a Downtown staple with French influence, Spanish Town flair, and laidback upscale lounge vibes.

Though its silhouette is a familiar part of the downtown skyline, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is a hidden gem of downtown Baton Rouge. Its facade is that of a historic railway station originally built in 1925. Inside of that iconic brick building, on the mighty Mississippi River itself, this hub of activity and creativity features constantly rotating exhibits and experiences. Planetarium shows, kids activities and fine art exhibits make this an exciting trip for people of all ages.

Witness real Louisiana iconography up-close at Bluebonnet Swamp; smack-dab in the middle of the city. Part of BREC’s park system, the Bluebonnet Swamp has more than a mile of boardwalks and pathways weaving between the trunks of cypress and magnolia trees. This nature preserve is brimming with natural wildlife, and the property also boasts an award-winning live-animal exhibit inside the nature center. You wouldn’t expect such a green, serene space just a stone’s throw away from the Mall of Louisiana, but it’s there that this beautiful property lies just waiting to be explored.

Even the highest quality recommendations are just the beginning in Baton Rouge. Exploration is infinite here; with an entire universe of restaurants, activities, landmarks, recreation destinations, history, and so much more. Until you’re able to get down here and experience them for yourself, head over to visitbatonrouge.com/thingstodo and find even more stops to add to your Baton Rouge bucket list. •

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