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A look at 25+ new restaurants and bars that have opened in greater Baton Rouge so far this year

Here it is, folks: Our mid-year round-up of bars and eateries that have opened in greater Baton Rouge since January. From competition-style barbecue to Japanese rice balls, there’s plenty to get excited about.

A few patterns emerged in this biannual compilation, including a surge of smaller concepts, along with lots of new locations for existing brands. We also noticed a few brick-and-mortar upgrades for former food trucks. And we saw plenty of restaurants undertake expansions and renovations to stay relevant in a competitive market.

Despite challenges in the current climate, the good news is, there’s plenty of innovation and energy happening in the Baton Rouge dining scene. Check out the latest. Note: This list represents restaurant openings reported in 225 Daily before July 8.


Passé All Day Café (inside the Origin Hotel)

Opened in January

101 St. Ferdinand St.

Passé All Day Café. File photo by Ariana Allison

Set in a stylish new downtown hotel, Passé’s menu features dishes like grilled Porkchop Tchoupitoulas, topped with New Orleans barbecue shrimp, and finger-lickin’ Crawfish Bread made with loaves from famed Leidenheimer.


Toasted Comfort Food & Cocktails

Opened in January; Temporarily closed

5201 Nicholson Drive, Suite F

Creamy Fire Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons and Crab Rangoon at Toasted. File photo by Ariana Allison

Boozy milkshakes and grilled cheese sammies are among the offerings at Toasted, a former pop-up concept at Pelican to Mars that developed a large following before opening permanent digs on Nicholson. Don’t miss the brunch-time Belgian waffles.


Oni Onigiri

Opened in February

Locations vary

Oni Onigiri’s Snowkrab Onigiri photographed at Okki Tokki in downtown Baton Rouge. File photo by Ariana Allison

Friends and former Chow Yum line cooks created a pop-up concept specializing in onigiri, Japanese rice balls stuffed with various fillings. The mobile business has appeared at festivals, bars and breweries in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.


The Pink Agave

Opened in March

4001 Nicholson Drive, Suite B

Pink Agave. File photo by Ariana Allison

Zany colorful cocktails served in a wide variety of novelty glasses are a must-try at this Ponchatoula-born concept, known for a trendy, high-energy vibe and Taco Tuesday specials.


Somewhere Neighborhood Bar

Opened in March

214 Third St., Suite 1B

Somewhere Neighborhood Bar. File photo by Ariana Allison

Shoot pool and raise a glass at this new Third Street bar, located in the spot previously occupied Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s, now in a new location on Third Street. Somewhere’s moody-but-chill vibe is accented by lighted signs, graffiti-inspired art, dark furniture and industrial details.


Big River Pizza Co.

Opened in April

5725 Commerce St., St. Francisville

Big River Pizza Co. File photo by Ariana Allison

Enjoy wood-fired Italian pies and sharable apps at this casual eatery situated in a newly revitalized stretch of downtown St. Francisville. The rear of the family-friendly restaurant features the contemporary speakeasy, Proud Mary’s.


Milkshake Mack

Opened in April

437 Hearthstone Drive

Milkshake Mack. File photo by Ariana Allison

Creamy treats made with nearly three dozen syrups in the heart of Mid City.


Okki Tokki

Opened in April

549 Main St.

Okki Tokki’s garlic fried rice with Korean Fried Chicken bites. File photo by Ariana Allison

Build your own bowl with customizable Korean ingredients at this downtown eatery, located in the storefront once occupied by The Jambalaya Shoppe.


Arceneaux’s on the River

Opened in April

9438 Highway 75, Geismar

Arceneaux’s on the River’s Shrimp & Grits. File photo by Ariana Allison

Opened by husband-and-wife-duo Brett and Suzanne Areceneaux who got their start in catering, this breakfast and lunch spot is serving up rich breakfast plates and daily lunch specials.


1808

Opened in May

1808 Perkins Road

1808. File photo by Ariana Allison

One of the city’s newest snoball stands revived an abandoned corner in the Garden District, where more than 30 flavors of snoballs are served from a repurposed horse trailer.


Chicken Wagon

Opened in May

1955 Staring Lane, Suite A

Chicken Wagon. File photo by Ariana Allison

Sink your teeth into Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches and tenders in this Baton Rouge-born fast-food concept that’s sure to spread.


Chicky Sandos

Opened in May

7930 Jefferson Highway

Chicky Sandos. File photo by Collin Richie

The popular food truck specializing in hot chicken sandwiches with scratch-made sauce leapfrogged to a permanent location in the Jefferson Highway spot once occupied by Kolache Kitchen.


Big Cheezy

Opened in May

144 W. Chimes St.

The Big Cheezy. File photo by Ariana Allison

Impossibly gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, made famous by the brand’s still operational food trucks, are now available at a permanent location on Chimes Street.


Offset Smoker BBQ

Opened in June

5335 Government St.

Offset Smoker BBQ. File photo by Ariana Allison

Order Texas-style barbecue while it lasts at this authentic barbecue shop on Government Street, the first permanent location for the former food truck.


The Patio Tex-Mex Fusion

Opened in June

7655 Old Hammond Highway

The Patio Tex-Mex Fusion. File photo by Ariana Allison.

The latest concept by Magnolia Restaurant Group (behind Geisha, Sushi With a Flair and Umami Japanese Bistro) brings Asian inspiration to Tex-Mex fare in the old Velvet Cactus digs.


Mustard Seed Creamery

Opened in July

111 N. Range Ave., Denham Springs 

Mustard Seed Creamery. File photo by Ariana Allison

New eatery and retailer in the Denham Springs Antique District featuring ice cream, Southern small plates, wine, coffee and socially conscious retail items from brands that benefit vulnerable women.


Second Story

Opened in July

214 Third St., Suite 2A

Second Story. File photo by Ariana Allison

Sophisticated second-floor bar on Third Street featuring terrace views, craft cocktails and exposed brick walls.


Var’s Pizza

Opening in July

3030 Perkins Road

Var’s Boudin & Cracklin’ Pizza. File photo by Ariana Allison

New York-style pizza made with dough from St. Bruno Bread Co. in the location once occupied by Unleaded BBQ.


New locations and expansions


CounterspaceBR Mid City

New location opened in January

5621 Government St.

King cake and cookies from CounterspaceBR in Mid City

Offering dine-in seating, the new Mid City store features breakfast, coffee and the same peanut-free baked goods menu found at its Jefferson location, including famed salted chocolate chip cookies.


Mid Tap

Renovation completed in February

660 Arlington Creek Centre Drive, Suite D

Mid Tap. File photo by Ariana Allison

Outfitted with a swanky new design, the Arlington Creek tap room now features full-service dining and drinking rather its former self-pull taps.


Sammy’s Grill

New location opened in February

37306 Perkins Road, Prairieville

Sammy’s Grill in Prairieville. File photo by Ariana Allison

Known for boiled crawfish, heaping piles of fried seafood and juicy burgers, Sammy’s spread its wings in Prairieville this spring.


Basel’s Market 

Reopened in St. Francisville in March

5951 Commerce St., St. Francisville

Basel’s Market in St. Francisville. File photo by Ariana Allison

The former Highland Road sandwich shop and market reopened this year in St. Francisville in a larger location.


Curbside Burgers

Patio renovation completed in March

4158 Government St.

Curbside’s new patio. File photo by Ariana Allison

The popular Mid City burger establishment now features an improved patio with additional shade features, fans and TVs, making it even better for outside dining and live music.


New York Bagel

New location opened in March

4350 Highland Road

New York Bagel’s Club New York on an asiago bagel with regular bagel chips and garden dip. File photo by Ariana Allison

After closing its Lee Drive location, New York Bagel welcomed new digs on Highland Road featuring a fresh design and adult bevs on the menu.


Rally Cap Brewing Company

New pizza kitchen opened in March

11212 Pennywood Ave.

Rally Cap Brewing’s Margherita Pizza. File photo by Ariana Allison

A new pizza oven at the local brewery now means hot pies, calzones, Italian subs and more to satisfy thirsty customers looking for a nosh.


Zippy’s

Renovation completed in April

3155 Perkins Road

Zippy’s. File photo by Ariana Allison

Now with double the bar space, Zippy’s new design is intended to be a fusion of an Irish pub and your favorite beach town watering hole.


Tsunami Highland

New location opened in April

1 Smart Way 

Tsunami Highland. File photo by Ariana Allison

Fans of the popular sushi concept now have a splashy option at Highland and Bluebonnet featuring a wave-inspired contemporary design by Tiek Byday.


Street Food Munchies

New location opened in June

Inside the Mall of Louisiana 

Street Food Munchies. File photo by Ariana Allison

This Zachary-born concept now features a kiosk inside the Mall of Louisiana with signature dishes like seafood-draped flatbreads and nachos.


Chris’ Specialty Foods 

New location and cafe opened in June

18135 E. Petroleum Drive

Chris’s Specialty Foods. File photo by Ariana Allison

The fourth location of the popular Louisiana meat market features a fresh amenity: a fast-casual lunch cafe serving generous plate lunches.