2024 Best of 225 Awards: Food & Drink

Best New Restaurant

Pizza Art Wine 24.23%

The brainchild of international model Yilena Hernández, Pizza Art Wine is a hip wellspring outfitted in local artwork, jewel-tone pops and boho-chic design. Wood-fired pizza curated with lavish toppings is the star, but don’t dismiss well-executed modern pasta dishes and shareable apps. Fine wines on tap served in elegant glassware scream to be posted, so freshen that mani and strike a pose. pizzartwine.com


Cork’s Cajun Fried Fish & Shrimp  17.73%

Library Wine & Provisions  16.50%

Chai Thai-Lao  13.39%

Sweet Rice Thai Cuisine  11.04%



Best Overall Restaurant

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 12.36%

Before opening Elsie’s in 2017, Paul Dupre managed The Chimes—so he’s no stranger to formulas that work. Elsie’s keeps packing ’em in, with its friendly charm and uber-flaky sweet and savory pies. The parking lot stays slammed, but hey, this is Mid City, so hop on your bike. elsiespies.com


Louisiana Lagniappe  11.48%

The Chimes  10.41%

Mansurs on the Boulevard  7.79%

Ruth’s Chris Steak House  7.70%

Best Local Fine Dining

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 10.97%

Blow the bank on dinner in the days of inflation, and you don’t want to risk the meal not meeting expectations. This New Orleans-born concept continues to shine with never-fail, last-meal dishes like the porterhouse for two, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and chocolate sin cake. ruthschris.com


Louisiana Lagniappe  10.32%

The Little Village  9.19%

Supper Club  8.63%

Mansurs on the Boulevard  8.57%


Best Restaurant – St. Francisville

The Francis Southern Tables & Bar 44.8%

One of America’s prettiest small towns is on the ascent, aided by a blossoming retail scene and convivial restaurants like The Francis. Lose yourself in live music on the patio, shaded by rapturous live oak boughs. It’s a scene-setting backdrop for its lively, accessible menu of salads, po-boys, sandwiches, pasta, steaks and seafood. francissouthertable.com



Restaurant 1796 16.29%

Magnolia Cafe 15.28%

The Saint Restaurant 12.11%

Sonny’s Pizza 4.18%

Best Restaurant – Ascension Parish

Mike Anderson’s – Gonzales

The seafood restaurant founded by former Tiger linebacker Mike Anderson has two locations in Ascension Parish. The stalwart menu of deftly fried seafood and detailed Cajun specialties spans from belt-loosening po-boys and gumbo to shrimp-and crab-bedecked fresh Gulf fish. mikeandersons.com



Franks Restaurant – Prairieville 15.51%

Sno’s Seafood & Steak 13.35%

Hot Tails – Prairieville 9.89%

On The Half Shell 9.17%

Best Restaurant – Livingston Parish

Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse26. 37%

Denham Springs’ and Watson’s beloved seafood and steakhouse is known for platters of fried catfish, butterflied shrimp and oysters, as well as juicy steaks, etouffee, bisque and other Cajun faves. Homemade bread pudding with rum sauce is the cherry on top. dukesseafoodandsteakhouse.com



Geisha, Sushi With a Flair  10.19%

Randazzo’s Italian Market  9.77%

Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill  7.94%

Don’s Seafood – Denham Springs  7.56%

Best Craft Cocktail Menu

Hayride Scandal 15.34%

Hayride Scandal’s moody interior delivers Hollywood noir vibes—rather impressive given its strip-mall locale. This immersive spot has long been known for expertise in brown liquors, but that’s just part of a spectacular exhibition of cocktail alchemy. The house menu’s Violet Cowgirl, with tequila, crème de violette, génépi, lime and soda, is a surefire way to combat summer (while also looking cool). hayridescandal.com



Olive or Twist  14.54%

Mid City Beer Garden  9.59%

SoLou  9.52%

Elsie’s Plate & Pie  6.62%

Best Local Bar – Mid City*

Beer Garden19.87%

There’s much to love about this popular spot on Government Street, flush with craft beers on draft, natural wines, and classic and original cocktails served in a building that feels more like a patio (because it is). Elevated pub grub makes it a place to linger beyond your pregame. midcitybeergarden.com



Bin 77 Bistro & Sidebar  14.67%

Hayride Scandal  10.54%

Brickyard South Bar + Patio  7.72%

Mother’s Lounge  7.17%


*Nominees in this category were limited to businesses with a Class A – General license.

Best Bar at a Local Restaurant*

Superior Grill – 21.47%

Eight different margs, including a build-your-own option, supply a wee glimpse of the many refreshments at this high-energy cantina. Numerous top-shelf tequilas, mezcals and a lineup of other spirits make for
a veritable playground of cocktail-y adventures. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com or highland.superiorgrill.com



Elsie’s Plate & Pie 12.79%

Olive or Twist  10.19%

Stab’s Prime Steak and Seafood  8.38%

SoLou  8.04%


*Nominees in this category were limited to businesses with a Class A – Restaurant license.

Best Black-owned Restaurant

Zeeland Street 28.91%

The friendly and hardworking Stephanie Phares first opened Zeeland Street in 1989, a come-as-you-are spot known for scratch-made breakfast and Southern plate lunches. The mashed potatoes start with real spuds, and the burger patties are freshly ground. Top sellers like pot roast, smoked brisket, Southern vegetable plates and breakfast combos have drawn devotees for decades. zeelandstreet.com



Chicken Shack  14.42%

Empire Wingz  12.66%

Boil & Roux  10.94%

Dorothy’s Soul Food Kitchen  8.01%

Best Mexican

Superior Grill21.87%

Mix a lively, see-and-be-seen vibe with mega margs and straightforward Tex-Mex, and you have the makings of a winner—literally. Once again, Red Stick residents consider Superior, well, superior. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com or highland.superiorgrill.com


Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine  14.72%

Casa Maria  12.92%

La Carreta  10.79%

Tio Javi’s Mexican Grill  9.59%


Best Italian

Gino’s Restaurant 21.89%

Staying power among restaurants is no small feat, but 58-year-old Gino’s still draws loyalists and newbies with old-school dishes made with Marino family recipes. Don’t look for foliage walls or neon proverbs—the vibe here is defiantly bygone. Anything else would be wrong, and the arancini is so right. ginosrestaurant.com



The Little Village  15.22%

DiGiulio Brothers Italian Cafe  14.16%

Monjunis  11.72%

Randazzo’s Italian Market  9.83%

Best Mediterranean

Albasha Greek & Lebanese 42.85%

Put money on whether a random Baton Rougean has ever dined at Albasha, and you could make a quick buck. The full-service, nine-location restaurant wins hearts and minds with garlicky shawarma, gyros, moussaka and other assertive Greek and Lebanese dishes. albashabr.com



Serop’s Café  13.80%

Cafe Phoenicia  13.67%

Zorba’s Greek Bistro  13.13%

Roman’s Cafe  8.61%

Best Indian

Bay Leaf Indian Cuisine 25.21%

Experience tandoor oven dishes from northern India, vegetarian dosa crepes from its southern region, and everything in between. Study the weighty menu before you go, or conduct firsthand research at the lunch buffet. Warm, earthy flavors and homey textures abound. bayleafindiancuisinela.com



Swagat Indian Cuisine  24.73%

Tap 65  17.99%

India’s Restaurant  16.85%

Curry N Kabab  9.21%

Best Thai

Thai Kitchen 40.55%

Just thinking about a bowl of red curry gives the jaw a little jingle, but curries are only part of a lineup that roams from pad thai to papaya salad. Can we just call this enduring spot Pan-Asian? Its Sears catalog of a menu also features a healthy roundup of sushi and dim sum. thaikitchenla.com



Chai Thai-Lao  14.98%

Thai Pepper  14.10%

Sweet Rice Thai Cuisine  11.94%

Thai Chili Restaurant  10.46%

Best Vietnamese

Chow Yum 25.49%

Rebranded last year as Chow Yum, this street food hamlet follows a no-rules playbook that grooves on crossing culinary borders. Its Viet-style crawfish is a springtime wonder, but so are its many types of bao, ramen and Tuesday birria tacos. chowyumbr.com



Bao Vietnamese Kitchen  17.04%

Ava Street Café  13.84%

Pho Cafe  11.79%

Drunken Fish  8.73%

Best Local Cookies

Caroline’s Cookies 34.69%

Born in Lafayette during the pandemic lockdown, Caroline Merryman’s cookie company debuted in Perkins Rowe in December. It’s been routinely selling out of its decorative, cake-like, preservative-free cookies ever since. Rotating flavors from this pastry imaginarium might include options like banana pudding, churro or blueberry lemon. eatcarolinescookies.com



CounterspaceBR  18.06%

Paige’s Pantry  16.63%

Les Amis Bake Shoppe  9.05%

Eloise Market and Cakery 6.33%

Best Desserts at a Local Restaurant

Elsie’s Plate & Pie  38.24%

Seven regular-menu pie flavors are joined by rotating daily specials with infinite possibilities—Elsie’s has served around 200 different sweet pies since 2017. The case up front stashes whole pies that will make you a dinner party icon. Oh, and the crust is still made by hand. elsiespies.com



Ruth’s Chris Steak House  8.73%

The Little Village  6.93%

Randazzo’s Italian Market  6.41%

Ruffino’s  6.27%

Best Local Breakfast Spot

Frank’s Restaurant​  26.34%

Paneled walls, Coke signs and red-checkered plastic tablecloths give time-machine vibes at this diner and smokehouse, known by its biscuit-centric identity. Families and friends pour in on weekends, while regulars meet up on weekdays for unfussy interpretations of the most important meal of the day. franksrestaurantla.com



Simple Joe Cafe  ​13.12%

Louie’s Cafe​  12.97%

Another Broken Egg Cafe​  12.47%

Ruby Slipper Cafe​  9.11%

Best Local Brunch

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 17.06%

Served on Saturdays and Sundays, Elsie’s knocks brunch out of the park with goodies like Bayou Fry Bread with peach maple butter, and poached eggs over crawfish cakes with satsuma hollandaise. Wash it down with a cold brew zhuzhed with prosecco and St. Germain. elsiespies.com



Mason’s Grill  16.59%

Another Broken Egg Cafe  7.37%

Leola’s Cafe & Coffee House  7.01%

SoLou  6.93%

Best Local Coffee Shops

CC’s Coffee 16.81%

Multiple regional locations, most with drive-thrus, make this Baton Rouge-born concept a must for a morning jolt or afternoon bracer. Lavender white chocolate Mochasippi, perhaps? How ‘bout a crème brulee cold brew with sugar-free caramel? ccscoffee.com



Coffee Call  12.74%

French Truck Coffee  11.37%

Brew Ha-Ha!  7.93%

Rêve Coffee Lab BTR  7.65%

Best Food Truck

Cou-Yon’s  30.40%

Cou-Yon’s permanent truck at Perkins and Acadian is a satellite location for its Port Allen HQ, which smokes all manner of meats using a house dry rub and Pointe Coupee Parish pecan wood. Fun fact: The food truck sells 3,000 smoked stuffed potatoes each month, one of the restaurant’s signature items. cou-yons.com



The Big Cheezy  18.51%

Soulshine Food Truck  15.66%

Elisa’s Cuban Coffee and Kitchen  9.72%

Aztecas  9.51%

Best Lunch Spot

Elsie’s Plate & Pie 15.44%

Situated in a historic Mid City post office, Elsie’s fuses comfort and cool with a lunch menu built on savory and dessert pies, Cajun specials, melts, salads, burgers and more. Take home a jar of the homemade pepper jelly present in several of the dishes. elsiespies.com



BLDG 5  13.99%

Bistro Byronz  12.46%

Big Jake’s BBQ  11.35%

Superior Grill  9.42%

Best Restaurant for Outdoor Dining

Mid City Beer Garden  16.97%

Mid City Beer Garden reshaped definitions of outdoor dining in Baton Rouge with its stylish, flexible, all-patio floor plan. It is ground zero for 20-somethings, but no matter your vintage, time spent here reminds us we’re lucky to live in the Gulf South, where cheese fries and pretzel twists taste better in fresh air. midcitybeergarden.com



BLDG 5  15.25%

Barracuda Taco Stand  13.81%

SoLou  10.64%

The Chimes – Highland  10.64%


Best Local Tacos

Barracuda Taco Stand 24.18%

Those who questioned the wisdom of Barracuda’s outdoor-only seating have since been silenced by its success—mouths likely full of Sonoran-style street tacos. The stand’s small but excellent menu, along with its fresh fruit margs and plant-draped patio, have clinched it as a Mid City draw. Protein fillings are joined by broccoli or mushroom options, while chips with queso or guac topped with pepitas and pomegranate seeds show how the basic can become next level. eatbarracuda.com



Superior Grill  13.84%

Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine  12.73%

Uno Dos Tacos  9.49%

La Carreta  8.43%

Best Local Barbecue

Hannah Q Smokehouse 18.11%

Smoked low and slow over hickory, Hannah Q’s ribs, brisket, pulled pork and other proteins are known for their impossibly tender texture. The Mid City eatery’s sprawling menu includes sides like corn pudding, smoked gouda mac and cheese, and pork-studded baked beans, as well as four homemade sauces. hannahqsmokehouse.com



BRQ Seafood and Barbeque  15.94%

City Pork  15.89%

Cou-Yon’s  15.19%

Big Jake’s BBQ  11.36%

Best Steak

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 33.61%

In the bucket of “things that never go out of style,” there are Chanel suits, Broadway plays, Christmas stockings—and steaks from Ruth’s Chris. Even snooty home grillers enjoy being served a prime cut here, expertly cooked to order. ruthschris.com



Doe’s Eat Place  16.75%

Stab’s Prime Steak and Seafood  14.39%

Texas Roadhouse  10.98%

Sullivan’s Steakhouse  6.82%

Best Pizza

Lit Pizza 20.55% + Red Zeppelin Pizza 20.55%

Baton Rouge is possessed of a great love for—and strong opinions about—pizza, proven by this year’s perfect tie between homegrown concepts Lit Pizza and Red Zeppelin. Lit is a leader in the DIY space, allowing diners to self-style pies, while Red Zeppelin lures crowds with a thin crust that’s firm enough to support a pantry of toppings. Rocca—the gourmet wood-fired pizzeria in Mid City that took the crown last year—placed a close second in this squeaker.
lit.pizza and redzeppelinpizza.com



Rocca Pizzeria 20.38%

Schlittz & Giggles  13.02%

Pastime Restaurant  12.35%

Best Burger

Burgersmith 17.34%

Well-organized toppings, succulent patties and buns that stand up mean it’s bad burger o’clock at Burgersmith. The Lafayette-born concept features ground brisket, filet or beef and accoutrements like smoked gouda, chipotle lime mayo, roasted red peppers and cage-free organic eggs. burgersmith.com




Dearman’s Diner  16.80%

Curbside  14.72%

Our Mom’s Restaurant & Bar  11.96%

Roul’s Deli  11.35%

Best Fries at a Local Restaurant

Burgersmith  22.14%

Burgersmith understood the assignment with a tableau of fried potatoes like the Cajun-dusted “Smith-style,” butter and garlic, sweet potato tots and cheese fries blanketed in shredded cheddar, bacon and fresh jalepeño. Or, go for straightforward regular. Choices, choices. burgersmith.com



Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers  18.26%

Smalls Sliders  11.33%

Overpass Merchant  11.26%

Curbside  9.54%

Best Oysters

Phil’s Oyster Bar 14.97%

Gulf oysters come in many forms here, including raw on the half-shell, chargrilled with a variety of sauces and deep fried. The fried oyster po-boy and oyster platter both showcase serious frying skills, walking the line between crisp exterior and jiggly middle. philsoysterbar.com



Drago’s Seafood Restaurant  14.27%

Mike Anderson’s  11.62%

Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant  10.47%

Acme Oyster House  9.49%

Best Crawfish

Tony’s Seafood 24.73%

The megamart of boiled and fresh seafood in north Baton Rouge serves thousands of pounds of steaming, fragrant mudbugs every spring, along with live ones that draw lines of DIY-ers. Exiting Tony’s with a plastic bag of hot boiled crawfish, nubs of corn and spice-gripping potatoes means happy times cometh. tonyseafood.com



Sammy’s Grill  12.76%

Hole ‘N Da Wall Seafood  11.82%

Willie’s Restaurant 11.57%

Crawfish on the Geaux  7.70%

Best Seafood Dishes

Louisiana Lagniappe 22.75%

Bliss out on seafood-centric fine dining at this 40-year-old institution, first founded in Destin, Florida, by local restaurateur Kevin Ortego before relocating to Baton Rouge in the late ‘90s. All those decades in the business ensure a deep bench of suppliers, resulting in ultra-fresh crab, fish, shrimp and oysters. louisianalagniapperestaurant.com



Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant  18.92%

Mike Anderson’s  16.38%

Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse  10.27%

Mansurs on the Boulevard  8.45%

Best Gumbo

Dempsey’s 15.19%

If year-round gumbo is gospel in Baton Rouge, then Dempsey’s is one of its high altars. Serving both chicken and sausage, as well as seafood, the gumbo here starts with scratch-made roux. Find it on Facebook



The Chimes 14.01%

Mike Anderson’s  10.73%

Duke’s Seafood & Steakhouse  10.32%

The Jambalaya Shoppe  7.88%


Best Po-boys

Po-Boy Express 20.84%

Six locations of this 32-year-old institution have helped establish a life-changing local advancement: the drive-thru po-boy. Choose from 16 options, including fried Gulf shrimp and oyster, farm-raised catfish and gravy-drenched roast beef. poboyexpress.com



Rocco’s New Orleans Po-Boys and Cafe  16.07%

Poor Boy Lloyd’s 12.04%

Dempsey’s 10.67%

George’s Restaurants  9.81%

Best King Cakes

Oak Point Fresh Market  40.53%

The annual phenomenon that is Oak Point king cake season starts with its bakers turning out sweet rings at dawn, then blinging them with indulgent fillings like orange dreamsicle and creme brulee to satisfy greater Baton Rouge’s incorrigible sweet tooth. Late in the day, tables are depleted by rabid fans. But that’s OK, because the process starts anew tomorrow. Find locations in Central and Watson. oakpointmarket.com



The Ambrosia Bakery  11.84%

Calandro’s Supermarket  9.94%

Rouses Markets  7.97%

Joe Gambino’s Bakery  7.42%

Best Martinis

Duvic’s 22.49%

Behind Duvic’s nondescript exterior is a haunt that’s equal parts stylish speakeasy and grizzled dive, which, of course, makes it a must try. Opt for classic or modern interpretations of the mother-of-all-cocktails as you channel your favorite martini poster child. James Bond? Let’s go with Lucille Bluth. duvicsbar.com



Stab’s Prime Steak and Seafood  18.27%

Hayride Scandal  14.58%

Jubans Restaurant and Bar  13.17%

Mansurs on the Boulevard  13.17%

Best Local Happy Hour

Superior Grill 37.23%

Superior’s happy hour deals on margs, beer and wine take the sting out of inflation-era dining. A $4 wine pour? Yes, please, along with biggie margs and draft beer for the price of smalls. batonrouge.superiorgrill.com or highland.superiorgrill.com



Rocca Pizzeria  10.66%

La Carreta  9.40%

SoLou  8.10%

Rouj Creole  8.00%

Best Local Brewery

Tin Roof Brewing Co. 31.04%

The local brewery scene has changed considerably in recent years, but Tin Roof is a favorite among enthusiasts, thanks to regular happy hours, weekly yoga on the lawn and live music. In the taproom, sample tried-and-true varieties on draft along with small-batch runs you won’t find anywhere else. tinroofbeer.com



Istrouma Eatery + Brewery  21.94%

Le Chien Brewing Company  21.63%

Rally Cap Brewing Company  6.64%

Agile Brewing  6.60%

Best Restaurant for Vegetarian or Vegan Options

BLDG 5 26.66%

BLDG 5’s menu is perfectly flexitarian, featuring mix-and-match options and lots of plant-based ingredients. Many dishes start off vegetarian with the option of adding proteins. Dive into veggies as main courses, in salads or on sharable boards paired with lively global sauces. To the delight of pescatarians, salmon, tuna and shrimp are standard add-ons. bldg5.com



MJ’s Cafe  22.15%

Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine  15.67%

Magpie Cafe  13.21%

Cocha  10.99%

Best Salads

J. Alexander’s 20.27%

The promise of a big ol’ bowl full of greens topped with fun stuff continues to satisfy salad cravings. Protein additions like ahi tuna and grilled chicken round out crisp veggies and punchy dressings. jalexanders.com



Salad Station  17.59%

BLDG 5  13.77%

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux  10.09%

Bistro Byronz  9.38%

Best Sushi

Ichiban Sushi Bar & Grill 16.51%

Expertly carved fresh fish are served nigiri- or sashimi-style, or wound with other ingredients in myriad sushi rolls, like The Bayou with softshell crab and avocado. Watch the action at the expansive sushi bar, or settle in at a table. The large and lively space also includes hibachi seating. ichibanbr.com



Geisha, Sushi With a Flair  15.24%

Tsunami  13.85%

Sushi Yama  13.49%

Sushi Masa  9.39%

This article was originally published in the July 2024 issue of 225 Magazine.