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 fluff, just a good old-fashioned diner hamburger. 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 almost 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 began serving chicken fingers in 1996 just off the campus of LSU. No matter what you put in your box, your favorite chicken-finger chain has ever hit quite like it does here in the Capital City.
A fast-casual, Texmex restaurant that has been around since 2001, Zippy’s began serving up Tex-mex food. They are known for their open-air patio and 2-for-1 frozen margs, regular or redneck. 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 authentic Naples, Italy, right in Baton Rouge. Its old-world techniques mirror those you’d find across the Atlantic, down to the oven. 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.