It’s time, Baton Rouge. After years of watching our local dining scene evolve, we felt it deserved its own year-end retrospective, immortalized forever in print.
Yes, we still have plenty of (great) Cajun and Creole options. Yes, we have become a magnet for trendy poke and bubble tea spots. And yeah, we’re overrun by chains—and residents who flock to them.
But we’re so much more than that. We’re worthy of a stunning, open-air beer garden with 50-plus craft beers on tap—and the best grilled cheese ever to pair them with. Our skyline might not be as recognizable as other metropolitan cities, but it’s still worthy of a great rooftop bar—in fact, we have room for several. We’re worthy of international, authentic flavors, of Asian street food and Spanish tapas and Mexican nopales and mezcal. We’re worthy of Louisiana fare that’s not just brown and fried, but proves our cuisine can be elegant and innovative and still downright delicious.
We have all of that now not because we finally caught up with the trends—but because we proved to local business owners we were ready for it. And as we sit on the cusp of 2020, the next decade looks more delicious than ever.
So here it is: your year in review. Or, if you haven’t been to these spots yet, think of it as the first chapter of your 2020 bucket list.
How we narrowed the restaurants
We placed the most emphasis on first-time, full-service openings that launched between October 2018 and October 2019. From there, we let reader feedback do the work. The restaurants you’ll read about in these pages were pulled from our most-read 225 Dine features of the year. These were the spots you and your friends were all buzzing about.
We’re admittedly a little biased, but there’s really no better source for local food news than our e-newsletter, 225 Dine. Subscribe for exclusive first looks inside new restaurants, chef interviews, restaurant reviews, event previews and more at 225batonrouge.com/food.
This cover story was originally published in the December 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.