2023 Best of 225 Awards: Food & Drink

Best New Restaurant winner The Shed BBQ. Photo by Collin Richie

Best New Restaurant 

The Shed BBQ 17.8%

2022 was quite a year for new concepts, but edging out luxe global cuisine, inventive tacos and the Jubans reboot, is underdog (or under-hog) The Shed. The transplant from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is home to savory, smokey ’cue served in an indoor-outdoor setting that includes a volleyball court. theshedbbqbr.com


Supper Club 17.1%

Barracuda Taco Stand 16.4%

Jubans 16.2%

Spoke & Hub 12.7%

Best Overall Restaurant 

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 14.7%

Oh, Elsie’s. There you go again. The Mid City pie shop and restaurant once again sticks the landing with its pie-centric, Louisiana-inspired menu and impossibly flaky pastry that is still made by hand. elsiespies.com


Louisiana Lagniappe 12.1%

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 9.9%

The Chimes 9.2%

Mansurs on the Boulevard 7.9%

Best Bar 

Mid City Beer Garden 25.5%

Surrounded by plants in an open-air environment, local beers, wines and cocktails (not to mention generously portioned bar food) just taste better. Signature cocktails include a raspberry margarita, satsuma margarita, Briar Rose, French Blonde and the Garden Paloma. The beer menu is just as expansive. (More on that later.) midcitybeergarden.com


Bin 77 Bistro & Sidebar 16.8%

Hayride Scandal 10.7%

The Bulldog 9%

The Radio Bar 8.4%

Best Fine Dining

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 13%

High-quality beef broiled to order, famously served on a 500-degree plate and gilded with extras, is the bread-and-butter of this celebratory spot. Selecting which decadent sides to order is part of the ceremony. ruthschris.com


Louisiana Lagniappe 10.6%

Supper Club 10.2%

Mansurs on the Boulevard 9.3%

Stab’s Prime Steak and Seafood 8.4%

Best Brunch winner Elsie’s Plate & Pie. Photo by Collin Richie

Best Brunch

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 17.9%

Fill up your stomach and soul with brunch cocktails and hearty dishes like chicken and biscuits, a crawfish queso omelet, breakfast burger, boudin breakfast plate and a duck bacon BLT. Just come prepared to wait for a table—it seems the rest of Baton Rouge is often vying for the weekend spread at this Government Street favorite, too. elsiespies.com


Mason’s Grill 16.6%

SoLou 8.2%

The Chimes 7.5%

Another Broken Egg Cafe 7.4%

Best Breakfast

Frank’s Restaurant 18.5%

For the first meal of the day, have yourself a classic Southern breakfast. Dive into pancakes, beignet bites, eggs benedict, omelets, Fresh toast, sandwiches and breakfast platters. And don’t skip the famous biscuits. franksrestaurantla.com


Louie’s Cafe 12.2%

Another Broken Egg Cafe 10.9%

Simple Joe Cafe 10.3%

Mason’s Grill 8.9%

Best Coffee Menu

CC’s Coffee House 21.8%

Whether you’re a Mochasippi or a classic cafe au lait person, CC’s Coffee House probably has a location nearby—open morning to night. Snag a mango smoothie for breakfast, a cold brew for an afternoon pick-me-up or an herbal tea to wind down at night. ccscoffee.com


French Truck Coffee 13.6%

Starbucks 10%

Brew Ha-Ha! 9.2%

Rêve Coffee Lab 9.1%

Best Desserts at a Local Restaurant

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 45.9%

Dessert is in the name at this Mid City spot. After a good ol’ filling dinner, leave some room for an Elsie’s signature pie, like the coconut cream, chocolate cream, turtle, s’mores or blueberry.elsiespies.com


Mansurs on the Boulevard 9.2%

Ruffino’s 6.9%

BRQ Seafood and Barbeque 6.5%

Supper Club 6.4%

Best Bakery

Ambrosia Bakery 36.1%

The display case at this long-running local bakery is the stuff of dreams: cakes, pies, cupcakes, petit fours, cheesecakes, cookie cakes, breads and gluten-free desserts. Ambrosia also serves breakfast and lunch from its deli and makes elaborate wedding cakes. ambrosiabakery.com


Nothing Bundt Cakes 18.8%

Gambino’s Bakery 9.4%

CounterSpaceBR 9.2%

Les Amis Bake Shoppe 8.9%

Best Bread at a Local Restaurant winner The Little Village. File photo by Collin RIchie

Best Bread at a Local Restaurant

The Little Village 46.2%

What is an Italian restaurant without good garlic bread? This homey restaurant with two locations serves its wildly popular Village Bread in half and whole loaves, with options to add red sauce, roasted garlic or tapenade for dipping. Customers can also order the braided bread uncooked, ready to bake for an Italian-inspired night in. littlevillagebr.com


Gino’s Italian Restaurant 13.4%

Rocca Pizzeria 6.3%

Portobello’s Grill 5.3%

Ruffino’s 4.7%

Best Pizza winner Rocca Pizzeria. Photo by Sean Gasser

Best Pizza

Rocca Pizzeria 19.7%

Whether it’s the flavor of the wood-fire oven or the hand-tossed dough, you can taste the love and time put into a Rocca pizza. The first tough decision—red or white sauce—only becomes increasingly challenging when presented with a roster of pies like pesto, mushroom medley, smoked brisket and prosciutto di parma. Also on the menu are pastas, sandwiches, salads, desserts and stand-out sides like crispy potatoes, spaghetti squash and pull-apart garlic knots. roccapizzeria.com


Red Zeppelin Pizza 18.6%

Lit Pizza 16%

Pastime Restaurant 11.1%

Schlittz & Giggles  10.3%

Best Salads

J. Alexander’s Restaurant 19.6%

The flavors of J. Alexander’s salad menu are worldly and well-rounded: caesar, grilled chicken, Thai and Asian ahi tuna. Try the rich Cypress Salad, which comes with chopped crispy chicken tenders, pecans, avocado, bacon, cheese, croutons and ranch dressing. jalexanders.com


The Salad Station 18.4%

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux 10.3%

BLDG 5 10%

Bistro Byronz 7.5%

Best Sushi

Ichiban 20%

Stay in for the night and order take-out, or step out for an elevated sushi dinner at Ichiban. Get your favorites like a California Roll or Crunchy Roll; or mix things up with a Baton Rouge-inspired specialty dish like the Red Stick or Moscona rolls. ichibanbr.com


Tsunami 16.3%

Sushi Yama Japanese Restaurant 14%

Geisha, Sushi With a Flair 12.4%

Sushi Masa 9.8%

Best Tacos at a Local Restaurant

Gov’t Taco 16.9%

Exit your taco comfort zone for an out-of-the-box rendition at Gov’t Taco. The Mid City restaurant plays with ingredients not typically found on tortillas: think fried chicken strips, crawfish tails, smoked chicken thighs, boudin, pimento mac and cheese and cane-glazed carrots. govttaco.com


Superior Grill 14.6%

Barracuda Taco Stand 11.3%

Rock Paper Taco 10.6%

Mestizo Louisiana Méxican Cuisine 10.3%

Best Seafood Dishes winner Louisiana Lagniappe. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Seafood Dishes

Louisiana Lagniappe 25.3%

Founder and veteran restaurant owner Kevin Ortego fastidiously sources jumbo lump crab meat, top-grade fish, shrimp and more from the Gulf for this dinner-only eatery’s voluminous ode-to-seafood menu. louisianalagniapperestaurant.com


Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant  19.3%

Mike Anderson’s 13.6%

Mansurs on the Boulevard 8.5%

Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine 7.9%

Best Crawfish

Tony’s Seafood 25.9%

Springtime in Baton Rouge means queueing up at Tony’s, the Capital Region’s OG seafood market. For many, the 51-year-old establishment is the only spot for reliably big, expertly spiced crawfish. tonyseafood.com


Sammy’s Grill 13.6%

Willie’s Restaurant 11.9%

Crawfish on the Geaux 8.9%

Hole ‘N Da Wall Seafood 8.5%

Best Gumbo

Dempsey’s 15.2%

Elevating something as quotidian as gumbo is no small feat, but Dempsey’s does it with rich seafood or chicken and sausage versions that stand out for their detailed consistency and flavor. Find it on Facebook


Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant  12.6%

The Chimes 11.6%

Mike Anderson’s 10.1%

Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse 8.5%

Best Po-Boys 

Po-Boy Express 18.7%

Don’t be fooled by the humble exterior and drive-thru window. Po-Boy Express serves 16 different fully loaded po-boys, from layers of tender fried shrimp, to chin-dripping steak and onions. poboyexpress.com


Rocco’s New Orleans Po-Boys and Cafe 14.4%

JED’s Local Louisiana Po’boys 14.1%

Poor Boy Lloyd’s 11.1%

Dempsey’s 10.3%

Best Oysters winner Phil’s Oyster Bar & Seafood. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Oysters 

Phil’s Oyster Bar & Seafood 16.4%

Partner Peter Sclafani has spent the last couple years reframing fun and casual Phil’s from legacy dive to serious dining spot committed to locally sourced seafood. Dive into Gulf oysters in po-boy or platter form, raw on the halfshell or charbroiled with one of several sauces. philsoysterbar.com


Drago’s Seafood Restaurant 14.2%

Mansurs on the Boulevard 11.8%

Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar  11.3%

Acme Oyster House 10.3%

Best BBQ winner Hannah Q Smokehouse. Photo by Sean Gasser

Best BBQ 

Hannah Q Smokehouse 16.8%

With three locations, family-owned Hannah Q takes top honors in this pig-eat-pig category, which shows how seriously Baton Rouge now takes barbecue. Pick up smoked pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey and sausage, along with crazy good sides like smoked gouda mac and Southern corn pudding. hannahqsmokehouse.com


BRQ Seafood and Barbeque 16.4%

City Pork 14%

Cou-Yon’s BBQ 12.9%

The Shed BBQ 9.9%

Best Restaurant for Vegetarian or Vegan Options 

BLDG 5 24.3%

Shakshuka with naan; bread and cheese; and harvest boards loaded with colorful, curated grilled vegetables are just part of a grazeable menu steeped in choice. bldg5.com


MJ’s Cafe 20.7%

Cocha 15.8%

Mestizo Louisiana Méxican Cuisine 14.9%

Magpie Cafe 14.3%

Best Food Truck 

Cou-Yon’s BBQ 29.7%

Predictably planted at Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway Tuesday through Saturday, Cou-Yon’s BBQ’s truck serves a menu of signature smoked meats and sides, family packs, extra-large stuffed potatoes and more. couyons.com


The Big Cheezy 16.4%

Crawfish on the Geaux 13.9%

Pie Eyed 7.8%

Taqueria Don Beto 7.6%

Best Black-owned Restaurant winner Zeeland Street. Photo by Collin Richie

Best Black-owned Restaurant 

Zeeland Street 27.3%

Sometimes you just want to eat a hot plate that tastes like it was made at your mama’s house. At Zeeland Street, customers can dig into soul food dishes, like red beans and rice, pot roast, mashed potatoes, pecan-smoked brisket, sweet potatoes, mustard greens and po-boys. The family-owned restaurant is open Monday to Saturday and serves breakfast, lunch and brunch. zeelandstreet.com


Chicken Shack 13.2%

Empire Wingz 10.9%

Boil & Roux 10.5%

Pit-N-Peel BBQ and Seafood 8.6%

Best Italian

Gino’s Italian Restaurant 23.9%

Twirl up the old-school classics like spaghetti and meatballs, or venture into veal dishes or eggplant Parmesan. Don’t forget the arancini. ginosrestaurant.com


The Little Village 15.6%

DiGiulio Brothers Italian Cafe 14.8%

Randazzo’s Italian Market 11.6%

Monjunis 9.9%

Best Mediterranean

Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant 42.3%

Albasha Greek & Lebanese Restaurant knows how to make the meal of champions. Shawarma, gyros, pasta, kabobs, seafood or vegetarian dishes offer a taste of the Mediterranean at this long-time favorite, now with four locations in the Capital Region. albashabr.com


Serop’s Cafe 16.4%

Zorba’s Greek Bistro 15.7%

Cafe Phoenicia 11%

Roman’s Cafe 8%

Best Indian winner Bay Leaf Indian Cuisine. Photo by Collin Richie

Best Indian

Bay Leaf Indian Cuisine 26.7%

White tablecloths and numerous options spanning regional Indian cuisines set the mood for legit global dining. Pro tip: Bring friends who like to share, and work your way through tandooris, biryanis, curries, tikkas and many other mouthwatering specialities. bayleafindiancuisinela.com


Swagat Indian Cuisine 25.7%

India’s Restaurant 18.7%

Tap 65 14.7%

Curry N Kabab 9.1%

Best Thai 

Thai Kitchen 53.9%

This quirky and popular eatery reels in regulars with a broad menu of curries, noodle and rice dishes and more, as well as generous lunch specials and daytime dim sum. thaikitchenla.com


Thai Pepper 17.8%

Thai Chili Restaurant 11.6%

Duang Tawan 9.8%

Chai Thai-Lao 7%

Best Vietnamese  

Chow Yum Phat 29.9%

Specializing in ramen and inventive street food, this funky Overpass District treasure is one of the few places in town to serve Asian-spiced, Viet-Cajun crawfish. Sample six different types of bao, including a must-try with soft shell crab. chowyumphat.com


Bao Vietnamese Kitchen 13.2%

Ava Street Café 11.5%

Pho Café 10.9%

Drunken Fish 7.8%

Best Mexican

Superior Grill 25.5%

Here, diners can eat Tex-Mex for lunch, dinner and even breakfast. At two locations, Superior serves enchiladas, tacos, ceviche, nachos, chips and queso, quesadillas, chimichangas, tamales, sizzling fajitas and hand-cut steaks. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com


Mestizo Louisiana Méxican Cuisine 14.4%

La Carreta 12%

Tio Javi’s Mexican Grill 10.9%

Casa Maria 9.9%

Best Bar at a Local Restaurant

Superior Grill 17.9%

Pair your taco or quesadilla with a famous Superior Margarita made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Order a classic or flavored marg, or take it up a notch with top-shelf tequila. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com


The Chimes 13.7%

Olive or Twist 11.8%

BLDG 5 9%

Soji: Modern Asian 8.8%

Best Local Brewery

Tin Roof Brewing Co. 36.9%

Baton Rouge’s first craft brewery does it all: It brews creative beers, hosts community-focused events and boasts a lively tap room for locals to mingle, taste new beers and get a peek at where the magic happens off Nicholson Drive. Outside of the tap room, Tin Roof Brewing Co. beers can also be found in local groceries and bars all around town. tinroofbeer.com


Istrouma Brewing 20.1%

Le Chien Brewing Company 18.7%

Rally Cap Brewing Company 8.9%

Gilla Brewing Company 6.1%

Best Craft Beer Menu winner Mid City Beer Garden. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Craft Beer Menu

Mid City Beer Garden 38.8%

There’s always a new brew to try here. The bar’s changing menu is a beer lover’s playground. Enjoy everything from fruity sour beers and lagers to chocolatey milk stouts and ciders from this spot’s plant-filled patio. midcitybeergarden.com


The Chimes 21.6%

The Bulldog 14%

Tap 65 7.6%

Tap 5.2%

Best Craft Cocktail Menu winner Olive or Twist. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Craft Cocktail Menu

Olive or Twist 18%

Leave it to the bar known for cocktail roulette to shake up adventurous drinks. Try the Love Note, with lavender gin, crème de violette, lemon, butterfly pea tea and egg white. oliveortwistbr.com


Hayride Scandal 16.8%

BLDG 5 12.3%

SoLou 8.4%

Soji: Modern Asian 8.3%

Best happy hour winner Superior Grill. File photo by Collin Richie

Best Happy Hour

Superior Grill 26.3%

Chalk it up to the live music, the half-priced margs or the festive, take-me-away vibe, but this Mount Everest of local happy hours once again claims the crown. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com


Olive or Twist 11%

Rocca Pizzeria 6.8%

Rouj Creole 6.4%

Bistro Byronz 6.2%

Best Lunch Spot

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 18.6%

Pies, pies and more pies—plus salads, sandwiches, burgers and Louisiana plate lunches— make this Mid City spot a lively lunchtime draw. elsiespies.com


Bistro Byronz 12%

BLDG 5 11.6%

Superior Grill 9.3%

The Overpass Merchant 8.7%

Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining

Mid City Beer Garden 20%

The hum of cheerful chatter spills out onto the block surrounding this lush open-air bar, where patrons choose from ever-changing craft beers on tap. Look up from some seats and see the night sky. midcitybeergarden.com


BLDG 5 14.2%

SoLou 12.2%

Bin 77 Bistro & Sidecar 10.4%

Curbside 9.6%

Best Burger and Best Fries at a Local Restaurant winner Burgersmith. File photo by Camille Delaune

Best Burger 

Burgersmith 16.5%

Order a themed burger or mix-and-match your own with a dizzying list of toppings, condiments, cheeses, veggies and more. Probability experts would have a field day with the number of possible combos. burgersmith.com


Curbside Burgers 14.2%

Dearman’s 12.8%

Our Mom’s Restaurant & Bar 10%

Five Guys 6.8%

Best Fries at a  Local Restaurant

Burgersmith 23.3%

Crisp-tender and seasoned to lip-smacking perfection, Burgersmith’s thin-and-sturdy fries are the stuff of legend. Order them salted with Smith Seasoning or with butter and garlic. burgersmith.com


Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers 12.8%

The Overpass Merchant 11.4%

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux 11.2%

Curbside 9.7%

This article was originally published in the July 2023 issue of 225 magazine.