Lafayette has the Cajun & Creole flavors you crave, along with the freshest in Louisiana Gulf seafood. New generations of chefs are putting an inventive spin on time-honored recipes using the freshest local ingredients, making it an incredible place to eat. Whether your table is set with a white tablecloth or a white paper napkin, you can be sure your meal is going to be delicious. But don’t take their word for it. Lafayette has received many awards for their cuisine including being named the Tastiest Town of the South by Southern Living magazine, Best Food Town by Rand McNally and a Top 10 Foodie City by Livability.com. But there’s more to Lafayette than their cuisine.
Lafayette is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country, an area known for letting the good times roll, or as they say it, “laissez les bons temps rouler” – and people are starting to notice. The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com named Lafayette the ‘Happiest City in America’ and it’s nomystery why. With their distinctive blend of food, music and culture it’s no wonder people from all over are heading down south with a smile on their face. Plan your escape to the ‘Happiest City in America’ at LafayetteTravel.com/Happy.
If you’re interested in an authentic Cajun experience, then your next stop is St. Martin Parish, just a short drive from Lafayette! There’s no beating St. Martin Parish and their Cajun roots – it’s where Cajun began. Visitors to Arnaudville, Breaux Bridge, Henderson, and St. Martinville repeatedly say these cities are the “real thing.” Find out for yourself! Enjoy authentic Cajun/Creole cuisine from family recipes at our local restaurants. Taste test your way through the area finding out if you like crawfish boiled, fried or in an étouffée the best. This is where asking who has the best boudin or cracklin’ will give you 20 different answers. You’ll find Cajun and Zydeco music and dancing; nature at its wildest; and art at its most eclectic. St. Martin Parish is for the foodie, music lover, nature lover and the romantic getaway.
A step down south brings you to New Orleans. In a city of culinary delights, where the number of restaurants almost exceeds the number of residents, you’ll need an authentic, original and totally delightful hotel in the heart of the French Quarter to make your stay perfect. The New Orleans Hotel Collection offers you boutiques with saltwater courtyard pools, scrumptious breakfasts and welcome drinks included! See and select your hotel with a special Food & Travel magazine exclusive discount (better than you’ll find on Expedia) at NewOrleansHotelCollection.com/beverage or call 855-798-6642 and ask for the BEVERAGE rate! While you are here, be sure to visit the Bourbon O Bar at the corner of Bourbon and Orleans where you can have the first 6 minute shaken Ramos Gin Fizzes in the city in over 97 years!
Just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans is Louisiana’s Northshore, exciting flavors inspire menus in elegant dining spaces and mom-and-pop seafood emporiums. Celebrity chef John Besh operates the lovely La Provence in Lacombe, and combines French technique with Louisiana ingredients – some grown in the petite farm out back. Taste sophisticated fare in Covington at Ristorante Del Porto or Chef Jeffrey Hansell’s Oxlot 9, and at Christopher’s on Carey in Slidell.
Locals love joints like Liz’s Where Y’at Diner in Mandeville and LA Pines in Slidell (featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”). Visit a seafood market and find happiness in perfectly fried shrimp or a mountain of spicy boiled crawfish washed down with Abita Beer.
The Northshore’s culinary scene is not just about restaurants, though. It’s about the farmers, the shrimpers, the beekeepers and cheesemakers. It’s about tiny Chafunkta Brewing Company and award-winning Pontchartrain Vineyards. Come hungry. LouisianaNorthshore.com/f&t
There’s nothing like Louisiana when it comes to culture, food and fun!