Jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp, crawfish étouffée, boudin, bread pudding — these are just a few examples of Southwest Louisiana's famous Cajun, French, and Creole cuisine that you can sample when you visit Lake Charles.
If you're already there experiencing the wonders of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, exploring the wildlife refuges, living it up in the thriving downtown, or trying your luck at the gaming resort properties, be sure to make room for some culinary adventures.
So first, boudin. What is it? The beloved snack is made of varying amounts of pork meat, liver, rice, onions, parsley, and dry seasonings like salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. Bought by the pound, boudin is Southwest Louisiana's favorite finger food and is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime in between.
On the Brews & Spirits Trail, you'll find Crying Eagle Brewing Company, YellowFin Vodka, Bayou Rum, and Acadian Coffee Roasters. In addition to serving innovative beers that haven't yet hit the market (and the tried-and-true ones that have), Crying Eagle's bustling tap room also plays host to live music, games, and events such as barre and yoga.
Bayou Rum offers tours and tastings, while next door visitors can experience Acadian Coffee Roasters' brews at Café du Bayou. Yellow Fin Vodka in Sulphur also offers tours of the distillery, and many of these brews and spirits are served throughout Southwest Louisiana in local restaurants and nightspots.
Locals in the Bayou State take their food so seriously that there is an annual restaurant competition. The stakes are high and the votes are cast online — this year's winner is Luna Bar & Grill, with Steamboat Bill's and Pat's of Henderson rounding out the top three. Hungry for more? You can see the entire list of eateries here.
And we can't forget about brunch! Luna Bar & Grill has one of the most popular jazz brunches around, with a menu that features "Galactic Crab Crepes" (delectable crab dip-stuffed crepes covered in a divine crab cream and sprinkled with bacon). L'Auberge Casino Resort, Golden Nugget Lake Charles, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel, Pujo Street Café, 1910, and many other local restaurants also have brunch menus that dazzle everyone's tastebuds.
Learn more about Lake Charles' incredible edible options and more here.