Baton Rouge’s top culinary trends in a year that keeps changing


Gastronomic trends change seasonally and annually, but lately, the culinary scene is evolving across the country and in Baton Rouge in ways that keep surprising us. It’s not just individual ingredients and preparation methods that are shifting. It’s the dining scene writ large, thanks to the long wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants have made countless operational adjustments over the last year and a half, from significantly expanding their to-go businesses, to managing dramatic labor shortages and supply chain delays on new equipment.

To combat these new challenges, many have responded by digitizing their ordering and reservation systems to save time and prevent errors.

This year also brought about a steep rise in protein prices, coaxing more restaurants and consumers to explore plant-based options.

There have been big changes in the routines of home cooks, who are cooking and eating more adventurously after experimenting in the kitchen more throughout the pandemic.

But as their routines normalize, they’re also taking advantage of a much bigger variety of prepared meals sold by supermarkets, caterers and restaurants.

The pandemic hasn’t kept the development of new concepts down. We’ve seen a flurry of new or planned openings, not all of them within the traditional brick-and-mortar context. More mobile carts and food trucks are hitting the scene, and new concepts are being born within existing concepts.

Even in the midst of continuing social and economic challenges, there’s been no shortage of culinary innovation in Baton Rouge. Home cooks, chefs, caterers and food artisans are influencing how we eat and drink in exciting new ways.

These concepts are poppin’

Dinner—and drinks—to-go is the new normal

Food and drink as a mobile expression

Slowing down during the pandemic helped pique our culinary curiosity, starting in our own kitchens

It’s the dawn of a digital era at Baton Rouge restaurants, but staff and diners are still adjusting to the changes

Local women food professionals share their thoughts on working in the industry today

Rain or shine, summer or winter—diners have more options than ever for dining outside


Plant-based dining continues to grow

This article was originally published in the November 2021 issue of 225 magazine.