Lafayette Area Restaurant Bucket List

Here in Acadiana, I would say that eating and eating out is definitely a favorite past time. Or at least it is for me! I love the variety of foods and different atmospheres you can find in our city; however, with kids, I always like a heads up so I can know what to expect before entering a new restaurant. So I’ve made a “bucket list” of a dozen great places to check out this year and tips to go with them! It includes fine dining, lunch spots, brunch favorites and a few hole in the wall surprises suggestions for every budget and palate.

Lafayette Area Restaurant Bucket List

The Lafayette, Louisiana Restaurant Bucket List 

Adopted Dog Brewing 

Craft brewery located in Lafayette, LA offering in house brewed craft beer and American fare. With yard games and a dog-friendly atmosphere, this restaurant often hosts events which make this such a fun place to visit, especially with kids!

Antoni’s Italian Cafe

I will scream it from the rooftops, but if you want delicious food, a quaint atmosphere, and superb service, don’t miss this local spot in the Oil Center. It is a long time favorite and I could die and go to heaven with their basil chicken salad. Their pizza is also one of my favorites in town – try the Shrimp Sophia for something different or the Ave Antoni! You won’t regret it!

Cafe Josephine

Located in the small town of Sunset, this fine dining cafe is unlike any other. They serve fresh Louisiana seafood, fish and prime beef in a laid back atmosphere. They offer simple yet innovative dishes and rumor has it the chef is even known to wander out into the dining room and chat with the guests.

Charley G’s 

A Lafayette favorite known for grilling aged beef & fresh Louisiana seafood over southern hardwoods in a casual yet upscale atmosphere.

Five Mile Eatery, Market and Co-Op 

Welcome to Five Mile Eatery, Market & Co-op, co-founded by Chef Kelsey Leger and Sarah Trotter. We bring you farm-fresh, seasonally evolving menus within a curated retail space. Nestled in the Oil Center, we embrace sustainability and support our local community, celebrating the flavors of our region and its values through organic, wholesome fare.

Hot Food Express

Ahhhh! I’ve just newly discovered this place and I’m serious when I say I was blown away by my first meal here. This counter-serve Asian-fusion joint with patio seating has been all the talk and now I know why! The bang bang shrimp fried rice was delicious and the meal was easily enough to share. If you’re looking for a great spot for something new and cool, I’d highly recommend them.

La Carreta

With a central location in Lafayette’s vibrant downtown area, La Carreta Lafayette is amongst many culinary titans in the small yet bustling Cajun city. Visit our restaurant location after a trip to the Lafayette Science Museum, Parc International, or the Acadiana Center for the Arts. We can’t wait to chill with you!

La Fonda 

A Tex-Mex inspired restaurants known for its fabulous steaks and adult beverages.

La Pagua Mexican Restaurant

This unassuming from the outside restaurant has never really interested me if we’re being honest, but La Pagua is the closest thing to authentic Tex-Mex food you’ll find in Acadiana. The enchiladas suiza is my go-to dish along with a big bowl of their fresh made salsa. Quick service, delicious food and great prices make this my first choice for Mexican food.

Marcello’s Wine Market Cafe

I was told that Marcello’s is hands down the best Italian food in Lafayette. According to our own Anne Elise, it’s lovely for an intimate date night. Their wine selection is by far the best in town, and their eggplant parmesan is to die for. Italian food is my comfort food so Marcello’s is being moved to the top of my list to try soon.

Market Eatz 

Market Eatz is your local neighborhood eatery and bar that offers original, from scratch, chef driven creations. We source locally when possible and many of our recipes and dishes were created by owner Bryan McLain. Market Eatz has a great bar environment mixed as well with specialty craft cocktails and frozen drinks!

Mercy Kitchen

Lawd Hammercy – or so they say! A brand new Americana restaurant on Verot School Road, the decor in and of itself will help you retreat from your daily woes. Throw in some hand muddled cocktails and modern American bites that appease every pallet and you are are in for a real metamorphosis.

Pamplona’s Tapas Bar

Tucked away in downtown Lafayette, this restaurant is like stepping into an old Spanish bistro-style restaurant. With a complete bar specializing in pre-prohibition drinks and a wide collection of Spanish wine, this is a serious date night out. The waitstaff is highly knowledgable and can help you choose a meal that will wow your palate.

Pete’s Family Sports Grill

A Lafayette classic that has recently been remodeled, Pete’s is a hidden gem when you’re looking for a fun, easy night out with the kids. They serve top notch burgers, creative milkshakes and have a full arcade to entertain the kids. What more could you want?

Pop’s Poboys

Another fun concept located in downtown Lafayette, this “poboy” shop is known for its classic interpretations and exciting twists on this Louisiana staple. Perfect for a quick lunch or a casual night out, we don’t feel you’ll be disappointed with your stop here.

Scratch Farm Kitchen 

Farm to table restaurant with a street food flair. Scratch Farm Kitchen supports local growers. With a local focus and fresh vision, you’ll enjoy clean, whole food and drinks.

Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant

A popular spot on the corner of Jefferson, spoonbill gives me the best vibe of Downtown Lafayette while enjoying a patio dining experience! May I dare to say their burger is one of the best in Lafayette? There I said it! Don’t skimp on the apps either – Awesome Rolls were really fantastic!

Social Southern Table and Bar

This farm to table restaurant is know for its fresh ingredients and family atmosphere. They are also known as one of America’s best Bourbon bars according to The Bourbon Review. This restaurant is one of my personal favorites. The staff is always amazing and the food on point, including my favorite salad in town, the Social Wedge.

Sundays Soda Fountain

A fun twist of old-school classics, Sunday’s Soda Fountain bring fun to food, desserts, house-made sodas and libations. Treat yourself or enjoy a whole meal! Located in the heart of Downtown Lafayette!

Tchoup’s MidCity Restaurant and Bar

This restaurant features steaks, seafood and smoked meats in a boutique setting, with elevated bar and lounge. A beautifully decorated interior as well as upscale outdoor seating provides the perfect place to relax with friends and family.

The Chimes Lafayette 

A relaxed, family friendly experience while serving the best made-from-scratch menu possible. They take pride in having one of the most extensive beer and liquor selections available. With beautiful outdoor seating and lots of indoor options as well, this is the perfect place to meet with loved ones.

The Little Big Cup

If you’re looking for a little more quaint and relaxing brunch, make the drive out to Arnaudville where you’ll find an entire experience that is described as one part bar and one part Cajun eatery. Their Sunday Boucherie Brunch holds a special place in local brunch folklore. It is said to the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday afternoon where you can enjoy endless good food on beautiful deck overlooking the Bayou Teche. Sounds about perfect to me!


A staple on the Downtown scene for many years now, their sushi is both memorable and delicious every time. I have a special place in my heart for the lava and sea bass roll (both cooked options) and on the raw list sign me up for a Father Calais and Dynamite roll. Don’t forget some eggplant miso and if you are in the mood for dessert, how about a chocolate martini – they make them like no one else!


This summer’s hot spot for date night, girl’s night out, anniversaries, birthdays and more – reservations were weeks out to try this new addition in downtown Lafayette. Perhaps known as an upscale steakhouse on paper, but the seafood dishes are a close rival to its steak counterparts. I have yet to venture out here, but according to The Vintage Fork, a local food blogger and #recipedeveloper, the best bite of the night was the tuna crudo.

Zea Rotisserie & Grill 

With food and drink inspired by flavors and cultures from around the world. At Zea, you can do 10 cities in 10 meals. You get all the adventure, all the authenticity, none of the jet lag.

Zorba’s Gyros, Burgers and More

A mix of Greek and American fare served with a smile and friendly conversation sets this eatery apart from other places in town. The owner is usually on hand to chat with you and the food is exceptional. Easy and fast we’d highly recommend this for a quick lunch or dinner with the kids.

Any other restaurants you think we should have added? Is there a local restaurant that you think we should try out? Let us know! 



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