Louisiana’s food is one of its defining elements. The thought of being in Baton Rouge, New Orleans or a rural parish probably conjures up the flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking. While it can be hard to trace the exact origins of a single dish, gumbo’s first documented appearance took place in 1803. Gumbo is now synonymous with Louisiana cooking and some of the best gumbo can be found in Baton Rouge. If you’re in the mood for gumbo, you will want to have the best — especially if you’re in the south. We’ve picked out 17 different restaurants with some of the best gumbo in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which are:
Today, seafood gumbo and chicken and sausage gumbo are the two most popular and easily recognizable variations. But, did you know gumbo will be slightly different depending on whether it’s made in a Cajun style or a Creole style? Cajun-style dishes tend to be fairly straightforward when it comes to ingredients and cooking, while Creole food is slightly more complicated. Both methods use roux as the gumbo base, but each style takes a somewhat different approach. Creole roux is usually made of flour and butter, while Cajun roux is made of flour and oil or fat. You can also expect to find tomatoes in Creole dishes, but not in Cajun dishes. While these cooking styles might be slightly different, they both have the classic spice and flavor of Louisiana cooking.
Take a bite out of our delicious guide to the best of Baton Rouge gumbo — soon you’ll be wondering how to choose between these 17 eateries.
Dempsey’s, a well-known Louisiana restaurant started by a husband and wife team, knows its gumbo. Located on Coursey Boulevard, cooks up a big batch of roux every day — that means the gumbo is fresh. Take your pick of seafood gumbo or the chicken and andouille, a traditional spicy, Cajun sausage. Either way, you will not be disappointed.
If you have a taste for something to go with your gumbo, Dempsey’s has a big menu of other Louisiana favorites. Choose from nearly 20 different times of po’ boys, a mouthwatering selection of fried seafood and a list of delicious house specialties.
2. Drusilla Seafood Restaurant
Drusilla is one of the best gumbo restaurants in Baton Rouge. The restaurant has been open for more than 30 years, and it serves up some genuine southern hospitality. Sit down in the spacious dining room while the staff takes care of you.
The seafood gumbo is, of course, a favorite. If you want to try something else off of the menu, you should still order a cup to start. If gumbo is all you have on your mind, get a whole bowl of the seafood gumbo. Drusilla’s menu also has all manner of Cajun fried seafood, au gratins, seafood platters and meat dishes. Be sure to come armed with a big appetite when you dine here.
3. The Chimes
The Chimes has grown to have three locations, two in Baton Rouge and one in Covington, but it still serves up dishes made from scratch. Take your pick of seafood gumbo or duck and sausage gumbo that comes in either small or large.
The big lunch and dinner menu offers much more than gumbo. Order from the oyster bar or straight off the grill. Plus, you can try another Deep South classic. The Chimes has a big selection of po’ boys that come with a heaping side of french fries. They’re also known for their wide selection of beers.
4. Mike Anderson’s Seafood
Mike Anderson’s has some of the best seafood gumbo in Baton Rouge. Mike Anderson, an All-American football player with LSU, first opened Mike Anderson’s College Town Seafood & Oyster Bar in 1975. It started with a small menu but quickly grew to offer more food and outgrow its space. Now, the restaurant is located on West Lee Drive and bears its current name.
You’ll obviously have to try the seafood gumbo, but Mike Anderson’s also offers traditional chicken and sausage gumbo. Sink your teeth into other classic Louisiana seafood dishes like hushpuppies, fried catfish fingers, fried alligator, boiled shrimp and Oysters Bienville. Like our other recommendations, Mike Anderson’s is best experienced when you’re ready for a big meal.
5. Parrain’s Seafood
Parrain’s first opened in 2001. You can grab gumbo off the lunch or dinner menu, or sit down for brunch if you’re in the mood for something a little earlier. This place is all about seafood — you won’t even see chicken and sausage on the menu.
Order up a cup or bowl of the seafood gumbo. For the indecisive diner, go with the Whole Shebang. This dish includes stuffed shrimp, catfish, shrimp, oysters, alligator and a cup of the gumbo. For those with a decadent sweet tooth, be sure to save room for white chocolate bread pudding, chocolate chip pecan pie or the cheesecake of the day. Parrain’s always holds the promise of a heavenly dining experience.
6. The Jambalaya Shoppe
The Jambalaya Shoppe is a household name in Baton Rouge — in fact, there are 13 different downtown locations. Cheryl Fontenot, a mother of five, opened the first shop in the early 1990s, and the regional chain has been growing ever since.
The Jambalaya Shoppe prides itself on “Louisiana Home Cookin,'” so naturally, the gumbo is made from scratch. Order the chicken and sausage gumbo for yourself or share an order of gumbo for two. The restaurant also has plenty of its namesake dish on the menu. Try jambalaya with a side of crawfish pies, green salad and a roll, or keep it simple with just jambalaya and a roll.
7. Rice and Roux
Stop by Rice and Roux for gumbo on the go. This eatery is designed to be “fast, casual and certified Cajun.” You can order piping hot gumbo in a cup, a small bowl or a large bowl. Rice and Roux serves up seafood gumbo made with shrimp and crab or chicken and sausage gumbo.
If you want to dine family style, this eatery has a tailgate menu with buckets of gumbo, either seafood or chicken and sausage. A small bucket will feed five to seven people. A group of eight to 11 diners can share a medium bucket, while a large will serve 12 to 15 people. If you’re expecting a big crowd, an extra-large bucket will take care of 16 to 18 people. Groups of diners can also get an order of gumbo to share with two sides.
The menu at Rice and Roux is full of other Cajun classics like jambalaya, beans and rice and crawfish.
8. Pot & Paddle Jambalaya Kitchen
On your hunt for the best gumbo in Baton Rouge, you won’t want to skip over Pot & Paddle Jambalaya Kitchen. This Louisiana franchise started out in Baton Rouge, but its delicious flavors have led to other locations in Denham Springs, Gonzales and Lafayette. The restaurant’s mission is simple: to cook authentic Cajun cuisine.
That means Pot & Paddle has a straightforward, no-frills menu that will get your belly grumbling. You’ll only find chicken and sausage gumbo here, but it will not disappoint. Get yourself a meal with gumbo, two sides and a roll, or place a large order to take home and eat family-style. Pot & Paddle has gumbo buckets, which come with rice, ranging from small to extra-large. You can feed between five and 15 people, depending on the bucket size.
Pot & Paddle’s menu also offers jambalaya and classic southern sides like green salad, beans, corn, coleslaw and potato salad.
9. City Cafe
City Cafe is a family-owned restaurant that dates back to 1919. Come for the delicious food and the welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner and brunch. Plus, you’ll find live music there every Friday. But, of course, you’re here for the gumbo. City Cafe’s recipe uses a classic dark roux, and the results are as tasty as you’d expect.
For the lunch crowd, you can get seafood gumbo as a part of the po’ boy, either shrimp or catfish, and soup combo. The dinner menu also includes seafood gumbo, but the brunch menu skips it in favor of hearty dishes like chicken and waffles or eggs benedict and sweet dishes like French toast and pancakes. Look for other Deep South traditions like grits, catfish atchafalaya, fried oysters and stuffed crabs.
10. Jasmines on the Bayou
Whether you sit out on the patio or inside, grab your food to go or have it delivered, the Baton-Rouge style gumbo from Jasmines on the Bayou will be mouthwatering no matter where you eat. The hearty gumbo is made with generous chunks of chicken and sausage. Get just the gumbo, or enjoy a cup with a shrimp or catfish po’ boy.
The menu at Jasmines on the Bayou includes a lot more than gumbo, too. Browse the selection of tasty appetizers — think crawfish, stuffed beignets and loaded french fries. The restaurant also offers salads, seafood platters, pasta dinners, chicken dishes, burgers, lagniappe, desserts and sides. Jasmines even has a kids menu and gluten-free menu. You’ll leave this Baton Rouge restaurant with a warm and full belly.
11. Bistro Byronz
Bistro Byronz started as an idea in the 1980s and grew to four locations throughout Louisiana: two in Baton Rouge, one in Mandeville and one in Shreveport. The restaurant was inspired by the cafes of Paris and the bistros of New York, but it has its own Southern twist.
The restaurant has made its name on signature dishes and foods like its Bryronz bread, carrot souffle and cassoulet. The gumbo is, of course, also delicious.Bistro Byronz only does chicken and sausage gumbo, which is available on the lunch, brunch and dinner menus. The gumbo is made in the classic Creole style with hearty chunks of chicken and sausage.
The extensive menus at this Lousiana restaurant also include sandwiches, salads, burgers, plenty of seafood and Southern entrees.
Pit-N-Peel is the result of generations of family recipes. All of the produce, seafood and seasonings that go into the delicious dishes at this restaurant are sourced from Lousiana fishers and farmers. When you eat at Pit-N-Peel, you are eating locally.
The restaurant’s chicken and sausage gumbo is a must-have for your tasting tour of the best gumbo in Baton Rouge. Pit-N-Peel’s menu also includes mouthwatering options like golden fried catfish, slow-smoked beef brisket, boiled shrimp and meat pies. If you want to enjoy some wine with your gumbo, the restaurant is BYOB.
13. Louisiana Lagniappe Restaurant
Unlike most of the restaurants on our list, Louisiana Lagniappe Restaurant started outside of Louisiana. The restaurant originally opened in Florida in the 1980s but made the move to Louisiana in the late 1990s. “Lagniappe” means a small gift or something extra. The restaurant strives to live by its name by going the extra mile with its food, which is made with fresh ingredients taken right from the gulf.
When it comes to seafood gumbo in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lagniappe’s is a top choice. Savor fresh crabmeat, shrimp and oysters simmering in a seafood stock base. The restaurant also has plenty of surf and turf entrees and tasty appetizers.
Juban’s is an upscale restaurant that focuses on contemporary Creole flavors. Not only will you experience exceptional food, but you will also be treated to dishes with a beautiful presentation. Get your gumbo as a side during brunch or lunch at Juban’s.
Whether you’re enjoying bottomless mimosas and seafood with brunch or smoked salmon and seared scallops with dinner, Juban’s will not disappoint. If you’re celebrating something special, try the restaurant’s four-course prix fixe menu that comes with an appetizer — you can get the chicken, duck and andouille sausage gumbo — a salad, an entree and a dessert.
15. Poor Boy Lloyd’s
Poor Boy Llyod’s, dedicated to Cajun, Creole and Southern cuisine, has been open in downtown Baton Rouge since the 1960s. You can enjoy a cup of seafood gumbo and crackers along with another Southern favorite.
Poor Boy Lloyd’s serves a ton of different po’ boys, sandwiches, salads, classic plates — think fried shrimp or red beans — and a full breakfast menu. This eatery has a casual vibe. You can sit down for a quick meal or call ahead for takeout. If you’re craving something sweet, Poor Boy Lloyd’s dessert menu has classic Deep South options like Mississippi mud pie, bread pudding and lemon icebox pie.
16. Sammy’s Grill
Sammy’s Grill is another must-try casual spot for gumbo and Southern favorites. Sammy’s opened as a neighborhood spot in the late 1980s, and now it has locations in Baton Rouge, Central, Prairieville and Zachary.
Sammy’s has a decent selection of soups, including tasty seafood gumbo, crab bisque, shrimp and corn soup and crawfish etouffee. Be sure to check the daily special when you stop at this Louisiana spot. Red beans and rice, barbecue brisket, pork tenderloin, meatloaf and catfish all make it onto the special’s board.
17. The Gregory
Last but certainly not least, The Gregory offers various types of gumbo that all keep traditional, southern flavors in mind. In fact, it’s always smart to save the best for last. As one of the newest southern-style restaurants located in downtown Baton Rouge, The Gregory serves up Southern food with a twist. If you’ve been searching for familiar southern dishes like gumbo in a romantic, upscale setting, look no further. Stop by The Gregory for undeniably delicious Cajun and Creole gumbo options!