Best of 225: Food & Drink

Photo of City Pork Deli & Charcuterie by Collin Richie

Here are the winners for the Best of 225 Food and Drink. Find the Best Entertainment winners here and Best Shopping and Services winners here.


Check out the winners of each individual category by clicking the link below, or scroll down to see all of the 2015 winners in food and drink.

BEST BAR
BEST BBQ
BEST BEER SELECTION
BEST BREAKFAST
BEST BRUNCH
BEST BURGER
BEST CAJUN/CREOLE
BEST CHARGRILLED OYSTERS
BEST COFFEE SHOP
BEST CRAFT COCKTAILS
BEST CRAWFISH
BEST DESSERTS
BEST DOUGHNUTS
BEST GUMBO
BEST ITALIAN
BEST LATE-NIGHT EATS
BEST MEDITERRANEAN
BEST MEXICAN
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
BEST PIZZA
BEST POBOYS
BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT
BEST RESTAURANT TO EAT HEALTHY
BEST RESTAURANT WORTH THE DRIVE
BEST SALADS
BEST SANDWICHES
BEST SEAFOOD
BEST SOUPS
BEST STEAK
BEST SUSHI


BEST BAR

The Chimes (17%)

With its upbeat atmosphere, the Chimes has been a favorite among Baton Rougeans and LSU students since opening more than a quarter century ago. Year after year, the restaurant is consistently voted “Best Bar” by 225 readers. Locals aren’t the only ones who have noticed—Thrillist recently named it one of the best bars in Louisiana, too. The Chimes offers a relaxed atmosphere for watching the game, after-work get-togethers or hanging out with friends old and new. Two locations. thechimes.com

Runners Up:
(12.4%) The Bulldog
(10.1%) Olive or Twist
(9.3%) Bin 77
(8.5%) The Radio Bar


BEST BBQ

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie (25.6%)

225 City Pork, Cuban, Pork Nachos, The Big Pig, The Club, Collin Richie Photo, 5.27.15
Photo by Collin Richie

When you think barbecue, you might think brisket and baby-back ribs. City Pork Deli & Charcuterie offers a bit of a different take, and our readers can’t get enough of it. Hearty sandwiches like the Big Pig (pictured)—17-hour smoked pork shoulder with Carolina-style barbecue sauce—and the Grits Bowl—smoked corn grits, pulled pork, barbecue butter, picked onions and fried egg—offer locals a twist on typical barbecue fare. cityporkdeli.com

Runners Up:
(19.3%) TJ Ribs
(15.7%) VooDoo BBQ & Grill
(8.9%) Jay’s Bar-B-Q
(8.2%) Cou-Yons Cajun Bar-B-Q


BEST BEER SELECTION

The Chimes (39.8%)

Photo by Erin Parker
Photo by Erin Parker

What’s better than 200 beers to choose from? How about 204 beers to serve alongside your favorite classic Louisiana dishes? The Chimes isn’t the place to go if you’re feeling indecisive—it rightfully owns the category of “Best Beer Selection” with 80 selections on tap, 117 different bottled choices and seven canned beers. This winner has everything from the popular national brands to locally brewed ales like Bayou Teche Biere Noire and NOLA Brown Ale. thechimes.com

Runners Up:
(20.6%) The Bulldog
(12.8%) The Pelican House
(8.1%) BJ’s Brewhouse
(7.5%) Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar


BEST BREAKFAST

Another Broken Egg Café (24.4%)

Photo courtesy Another Broken Egg Cafe
Photo courtesy Another Broken Egg Cafe

Sure, you could spend your mornings in your PJs eating bran flakes at home, but why would you when Another Broken Egg has two Baton Rouge locations? Another Broken Egg serves classic breakfast dishes alongside creative new concoctions. The breakfast menu is packed with dishes such as sweet potato pancakes, cinnamon roll French toast, the granola, fruit and quinoa bowl (pictured), crabcakes Carvallo, and a variety of eggs Benedict and omelets. anotherbrokenegg.com

Runners Up:
(17.4%) Louie’s Café
(17.3%) Mason’s Grill
(12.5%) Frank’s Restaurant & Smokehouse
(5.2%) Zeeland Street Market


BEST BRUNCH

Mason’s Grill (26.8%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Sleeping late on weekends won’t seem so tempting once you’ve tried the famous brunch at Mason’s Grill. Stick with traditional dishes, such as French toast or pancakes, or try familiar fare with a Gulf Coast twist, such as the crawfish omelet or the chicken and waffle. Perhaps you’ll prefer the house specialties, like the Cajun breakfast eggs prepared any style on a fried cheese- and jalapeno-stuffed grit cake, topped with seafood au gratin. Top it off with a build-your-own Bloody Mason or bottomless Champagne. masonsgrill.com

Runners Up:
(12.5%) Another Broken Egg Café
(11.6%) Bistro Byronz
(10.4%) The Chimes
(8.6%) Beausoleil Restaurant


BEST BURGER

Burgersmith (16.8%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

For Burgersmith, making hamburgers is an art. The Lafayette-based company tried 29 different blends of beef before deciding on its lean, juicy, flavorful recipe. Each burger is individually handcrafted and served on a fresh bakery bun, with an ample offering of toppings. The Smith Burger comes seasoned with Louisiana spices and Burgersmith’s own Smith sauce. The turkey burger, hand-pattied all-white turkey meat, comes topped with a house-made Cajun honey mustard. Whatever you choose, Burgersmith delivers a thing of beauty. Two locations. burgersmith.com

Runners Up:
(15%) Fat Cow
(12.2%) Dearman’s
(9.1%) Five Guys Burgers
(8%) MOOYAH Burgers


BEST CAJUN/CREOLE

Louisiana Lagniappe (22.6%)

Lagniappe: a little something extra. The chefs at this Southern favorite definitely aren’t stingy with the extra seasoning. Its focus is on locally caught seafood, and the taste is authentic southern Louisiana. From spicy appetizers to fish fillets to fried classics, Louisiana Lagniappe seasons every dish to Cajun and Creole perfection. louisianalagniapperestaurant.com

Runners Up:
(16.1%) Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant
(13.6%) Roberto’s River Road Restaurant
(8.4%) Sammy’s Grill
(8.2%) Mike Anderson’s


BEST CHARGRILLED OYSTERS

Acme Oyster House (28.7%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Serving more than 250,000 oysters per week at its Baton Rouge location, Acme Oyster House has developed quite a following. People travel from across the world to feast on Acme’s oysters. Served sizzling and with French bread, the chargrilled oysters are a fan favorite. Plucked from the Gulf of Mexico, these oysters are cooked on a grill and saturated in butter and seasonings, then topped with a special blend of cheeses. Hungry yet? acmeoyster.com

Runners Up:
(15%) Mansurs on the Boulevard
(12.7%) Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant
(10.9%) Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar
(10.8%) Mike Anderson’s


BEST COFFEE SHOP

CC’s Coffee House (31.3%)

Photo by Bianca Zaragoza
Photo by Bianca Zaragoza

CC’s Coffee House doesn’t serve corporate coffee. The south Louisiana-based company brews coffee that reflects its passion for being part of the community and local traditions. Whether you prefer coffee house mainstays, such as café au lait or iced latté, or seasonal offerings, like pumpkin white mocha or king cake latte, CC’s Coffee House will satisfy everyone from coffee snobs to ordinary Joes. Multiple locations. ccscoffee.com

Runners Up:
(13.7%) Starbucks
(11.3%) Magpie Café
(10.7%) Coffee Call
(8.8%) Highland Coffees


BEST CRAFT COCKTAILS

Olive or Twist (22.4%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Olive or Twist has raised the bar—literally. It stocks so many bottles, bartenders need a ladder to reach some of them. Its constantly evolving menu reads like a dictionary of liquors, which are mixed with ingredients such as house-made syrups, shrubs, seasonal fruit juices and innovative infusions. Weekly liquor tastings offer an educational experience for curious drinkers. And if it all seems too intimidating, play a game of “cocktail roulette”—choose a spirit and bartenders will create a drink they promise you’ll like. oliveortwistbr.com

Runners Up:
(14.7%) The Rum House
(12.9%) Sullivan’s
(9.5%) Tsunami
(7.8%) Beausoleil Restaurant


BEST CRAWFISH

Tony’s Seafood (37.8%)

You can always tell it’s crawfish season when the lines at Tony’s Seafood grow even longer. People come from near and far for Tony’s crawfish—boiled crawfish, crawfish pie, étouffée, head and tail meat and poboys. With many varieties of Tony’s crawfish available year-round, there’s always a good reason to stop in at the largest seafood market in the Gulf South. tonyseafood.com

Runners Up:
(37.6%) Sammy’s Grill
(6.7%) LA Boilers Seafood


BEST DESSERTS

Ambrosia Bakery (37.2%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

The word “ambrosia” means “the food of the gods,” and Ambrosia Bakery has been living up to that title since opening in 1993. The bakery is known for its Fresh Strawberry Cake, but also features cookies, brownies, cannolis, cream puffs, éclairs, king cakes, petits fours, cheesecake, pound cakes, cake balls and chocolates, among many other sweet and savory goods. Ambrosia offers tailgating packages for fans of local teams, too, and also ships baked goods around the country. How sweet it is. ambrosiabakery.com

Runners Up:
(21.8%) Nothing Bundt Cakes
(10.4%) Whole Foods Market
(10.2%) Baum’s
(8.6%) Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro


BEST DOUGHNUTS

Mary Lee Donuts (35.1%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Long before doughnuts became one of the hottest culinary trends, Mary Lee Donuts was busy opening nearly 20 locations in south Louisiana. The 40-year-old business is known for its classic, hot doughnuts and coffee but also serves kolaches, iced doughnuts, festive-sprinkled doughnuts, doughnut twists and holes and king cakes during Mardi Gras season. Most locations are open 4 a.m. to 11 a.m., so get your sweet breakfast treats as early or late as you choose. maryleedonuts.com

Runners Up:
(19.9%) Krispy Kreme
(12.5%) Coffee Call


BEST GUMBO

Dempsey’s (15.1%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Dempsey’s gumbo is made in batches as big as 30 gallons. And in the winter, the Dempsey’s crew cooks extra—a batch of roux every day at both locations. Enjoy seafood or chicken and andouille gumbo by the side, cup, bowl or jumbo container any day of the week. dempseysbr.com

Runners Up:
(13.6%) The Chimes
(10.7%) Mike Anderson’s
(10.4%) Don’s Seafood
(10.2%) Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant


BEST ITALIAN

Gino’s Italian Restaurant (20.6%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Gino’s Italian Restaurant has a quaint and cozy Italian feel with deep Baton Rouge roots. The nearly 50-year-old eatery on Bennington Avenue offers large portions of traditional Italian fare, smooth wine selections and rich desserts. The veal Parmesan and the Laurence bread are customer favorites. The restaurant was started by Grace “Mama” Marino, an Italian immigrant with a penchant for cooking, and has been the 225 reader favorite year after year for “Best Italian.” ginosrestaurant.com

Runners Up:
(17.4%) Little Village
(13.2%) DiGiulio Brothers Italian Café
(12.2%) Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant
(9.3%) Monjunis


BEST LATE-NIGHT EATS

Louie’s Café (33.5%)

Dining at Louie’s offers a taste of local history. This 24-hour diner is known as much for its people-watching as it is for its late-night eats. The classic restaurant opened near the LSU campus in 1941 and has been attracting a mix of students, young professionals and prominent Baton Rougeans ever since, even with a recent move just a block away. With several breakfast items to choose from, customers can enjoy fresh eggs made to order, hash browns, grits, bacon, sausage and a selection of omelets, pancakes and waffles. There’s also a full lunch and dinner menu that includes soups, salads, nachos, burgers, poboys, sandwiches and dinner specials such as the Catfish Louisianne. louiescafe.org

Runners Up:
(11.6%) Waffle House
(10.6%) The Chimes
(9.2%) Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
(7.6%) Schlittz & Giggles


BEST MEDITERRANEAN

Albasha (42.8%)

Photo by Amy Shutt
Photo by Amy Shutt

Louisiana prides itself on its melting pot of cultures—so of course that’s reflected in its food. Albasha celebrates authentic Greek and Lebanese cuisine. Customers can enjoy the restaurant’s meza, shawarma and gyros plates and house specialties, including mousaka, stuffed grape leaves, lamb shank, kabobs and broiled fish. Albasha has three Baton Rouge locations: on Bluebonnet, in Citiplace and on Sherwood Forest. albashabr.com

Runners Up:
(27.9%) Serop’s Café
(9.7%) Zorba’s Greek Bistro


BEST MEXICAN

Superior Grill (22.6%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

Spend an evening at Superior Grill, and you’ll hear the sizzling of fajitas, the clinking of glasses filled with fresh margaritas and—if it’s a Thursday, Friday or Saturday—the sounds of great live music. Superior Grill opened its Baton Rouge location in 1991 and has been a staple ever since. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner all week and also serves breakfast and brunch on the weekends. superiorgrill.com

Runners Up:
(13.4%) La Carreta
(13.2%) Ninfa’s
(10.7%) Mestizos
(9.6%) Coyote Blues


BEST NEW RESTAURANT

City Pork Brasserie & Bar (26.1%)

Photo by Amy Shutt
Photo by Amy Shutt

After the wild popularity of City Pork Deli & Charcuterie, the opening of the Brasserie & Bar on Jefferson Highway made headlines in early 2015. Rabbit debris spring rolls, cheek pastrami sandwiches, pork belly hoagies, rabbit and dumplings, shrimp and boudin, charcuterie boards and artisan cheese—City Pork Brasserie & Bar is upping the Southern food game. Customers can also enjoy a variety of specials, including tuna poke and pork chops, and happy hour every day from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. cityporkdeli.com

Runners Up:
(25%) The Rum House
(14.1%) The Velvet Cactus
(9.3%) Panera Bread
(7.7%) Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar


BEST PIZZA

Fleur de Lis Pizza (40.6%)

A restaurant with a French name, known for its Italian specialty: a “square” pizza. Fleur de Lis’ pizza, actually a rectangle shape cut into square pieces, has been made from the same recipe since the restaurant’s inception in 1946, and fans love it—225 readers have awarded the restaurant the “Best Pizza” honor for 10 years straight. Create a custom pie or enjoy a specialty, including the Round the World with anchovy, Italian sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, salami and onion. fleurdelispizza.com

Runners Up:
(9.4%) Red Zeppelin Pizza
(8.9%) Rotolo’s Pizzeria
(7.6%) Schlittz & Giggles
(7.4%) Pastime Restaurant


BEST POBOYS

George’s Restaurant (14.3%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

In a state known for its poboys, the battle for Best Poboy is always a tough one. This year, George’s takes the crown. If you’re in the mood for a poboy, you’ve got plenty of choices here: ham, hamburger, turkey and Swiss, grilled chicken filet, ham and Swiss/cheddar, pastrami and Swiss, roast beef, oyster, shrimp, catfish or a combination (ham, roast beef, Swiss and cheddar). georgesbr.com

Runners Up:
(13.1%) Po-Boy Express
(11.5%) Sammy’s Grill
(10.7%) Rocco’s
(10.6%) Dempsey’s


BEST OVERALL RESTAURANT

Louisiana Lagniappe (13.5%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

The Cajun-inspired restaurant is known for its Bayou State favorites, such as the Cocodrie (pictured): sautéed fish in a garlic beurre blanc, topped with fried softshell crawfish, fried artichoke hearts and bearnaise sauce. Its daily fresh fish, weekly specials and regional dishes have inspired a loyal following. Although Louisiana Lagniappe does not take reservations, its menu—including amazing appetizers and decadent desserts—will ensure the restaurant is always on your mind. louisianalagniapperestaurant.com

Runners Up:
(10.3%) Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant
(9%) Ruth’s Chris Steak House
(8.8%) The Little Village Restaurant
(8.5%) Sammy’s Grill


BEST RESTAURANT TO EAT HEALTHY

Whole Foods Market (19.1%)

Photo by Allie Appel
Photo by Allie Appel

Why regret eating pizza, gelato, sushi or sandwiches? At Whole Foods Market, you can chow down on comfort foods guilt-free. The items at the grocery store’s prepared-food stands are made with all-natural, organic and locally grown ingredients. And the food tastes pretty darn good, too. wholefoodsmarket.com

Runners Up:
(18.6%) Zoës Kitchen
(14.9%) Zea Rotisserie & Grill
(14.6%) Jason’s Deli
(7.6%) The Salad Shop


BEST RESTAURANT WORTH THE DRIVE

Roberto’s River Road Restaurant (33%)

Photo courtesy Roberto’s River Road Restaurant
Photo courtesy Roberto’s River Road Restaurant

Known for its fine Louisiana cuisine, Roberto’s River Road Restaurant in Sunshine is a hidden gem with a rustic atmosphere and a wide selection of tasty entrees. Enjoy eggplant crab cakes, fried alligator, salads and soups (including the cream of Brie with crab), crawfish and portobello pasta, fried seafood platters, steaks and other entrees such as the Roasted Duck St. Gabriel. Totally worth the 30-minute drive from Baton Rouge. robertosrestaurant.net

Runners Up:
(19.9%) Middendorf’s Seafood (Akers)
(9%) Sno’s Seafood & Steak (Gonzales)
(7.5%) Hymel’s Seafood (Convent)
(6.9%) Latil’s Landing at Houmas House (Darrow)


BEST SALADS

J. Alexander’s (17.4%)

J. Alexander’s is a national chain restaurant with its solo Louisiana location near the Mall of Louisiana. Known for its steaks, the restaurant’s salads are also popular. Priced between $10 and $19, they are eclectic and flavorful, like the Thai Kai Salad with chicken and Thai peanut sauce and the Cypress Salad, a customer favorite that is topped with chicken tenders, pecans and avocado. The homemade dressings complete a salad connoisseur’s entrée. jalexanders.com

Runners Up:
(12.9%) The Salad Shop
(11.4%) Bistro Byronz
(9.4%) Jason’s Deli
(9.2%) DeAngelo’s Casual Italian


BEST SANDWICHES

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie (14.1%)

Specializing in house-made meats, City Pork Deli & Charcuterie will change the way you think about sandwiches. The Cubano boasts 17-hour smoked pork shoulder and honey ham, while the City Club features house-smoked turkey breast and City Pork bacon. Other sandwiches include the BLT, Big Pig, New Yorker and Brisket. All sandwiches come with house pickles and truffle chips. cityporkdeli.com

Runners Up:
(12.8%) Anthony’s Italian Deli
(11.3%) Maxwell’s Market
(9.1%) Jimmy John’s
(8.9%) Jason’s Deli


BEST SEAFOOD

Louisiana Lagniappe (23.9%)

It’s not hard to believe the seafood at Louisiana Lagniappe is straight from the Gulf—the fresh flavors at the restaurant do the claim justice. Boasting delicacies like seafood-stuffed bell peppers (pictured), fish en papillote, oysters lagniappe and chipotle shrimp, this restaurant steals every seafood-lover’s heart. louisianalagniapperestaurant.com

Runners Up:
(21.5%) Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant
(16.4%) Mike Anderson’s
(10.6%) Sammy’s Grill
(8.3%) Roberto’s River Road Restaurant


BEST SOUPS

La Madeleine (22%)

Photo by Collin Richie
Photo by Collin Richie

La Madeleine’s homemade soups are so popular that the “Country French Café” sells the Tomato Basil Soupe (yes, with an extra “e”) in jars at the front of the eatery. The creamy soup was created by the first executive chef, who needed to use 10 cases of Roma tomatoes before they spoiled. The soup pairs perfectly with a crusty buttered roll. And if tomatoes aren’t your thing, check out the other homemade soups: White Bean and Vegetable, French Onion, Country Potato or Cream of Mushroom. lamadeleine.com

Runners Up:
(12.2%) Mansurs on the Boulevard
(10.7%) French Market Bistro
(10.3%) Panera Bread
(8.2%) Chelsea’s Café


BEST STEAK

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (35%)

Photo by Jenn Ocken
Photo by Jenn Ocken

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a political hotspot in Baton Rouge where judges, attorneys and state and local figureheads are often seen. With dark paneled walls, dimly lit tables and oversized chairs, it’s a great place to enjoy a night out and try one of the restaurant’s signature steaks. Before a meal, guests enjoy complimentary bread and butter. The flavorful butter melts into the warm, straight-from-the-oven bread. The butter is a key player in nearly every meal and creates a warm and crispy exterior for the juicy steaks. ruthschris.com

Runners Up:
(12.6%) Doe’s Eat Place
(10.4%) Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
(10.3%) Sullivan’s Steakhouse
(6.1%) Stroubes


BEST SUSHI

Ichiban (29.3%)

Photo by Amy Shutt
Photo by Amy Shutt

In recent years, Ichiban underwent a contemporary makeover complete with an outdoor patio dining area and etched bonsai tree on the façade of the building. But for locals who have always enjoyed the Essen Lane restaurant, it’s no secret that the sushi has always been up to par. Ichiban offers the traditional rolls, but it is known for its special rolls. The Ichiban Roll, Pink Lady Roll and Red Dragon Roll are some customer favorites. ichibanbr.com

Runners Up:
(23.2%) Tsunami
(16.5%) Sushi Yama
(7.9%) Rock-n-Sake Bar & Sushi
(7.1%) Hello Sushi

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