In our less-than-humble opinion, Louisiana is unrivaled when it comes to preparing excellent seafood. Whether its finfish or shellfish, Louisianans have mastered the art of frying, boiling, baking, broiling, and grilling seafood to the utmost perfection without compromising good and honest flavor.
These 10 restaurants represent some of the best seafood that Louisiana’s waterways have to offer. From the coast to the bayous and the northernmost parts of the state, you are guaranteed to find a place to grab a delicious bite or two. In fact, you just might discover your new favorite meal at one of these local haunts.
Dupuy’s Restaurant served the Abbeville community for more than 30 years until it was converted it to SHUCKS! in 1995. Current owners Bert Istre and David Bertrand carry on Dupuy’s legacy with a dedication to the finest local seafood available. Nothing beats freshly shucked raw oysters, but SHUCKS! also offers tasty chargrilled oysters in a variety of ways. When it comes to chargrilled, the Oyster Supreme reigns supreme: Charbroiled oysters roasted in a red bell pepper and sherry cream sauce and topped with shrimp, crabmeat, and a sprinkling of bread crumbs.
Louis and Josie Middendorf launched this Louisiana seafood staple in 1934. Today, it and the fishing village of Manchac are nearly synonymous. Current owners Horst and Karen Pfeifer will open a second location in Slidell this summer. Since acquiring Middendorf’s, the Pfeifers haven’t strayed from what makes the eatery so famous: Josie’s recipe for Thin Fried Catfish.
In 1968, Bill Spahr founded his namesake restaurant in Des Allemands. From the start, its claim to fame has been The Original Catfish Chips, small bites of catfish expertly fried to perfection. Spahr’s later expanded with two additional locations in downtown Thibodaux and Galliano. In addition to Catfish Chips, regulars rave about Spahr’s Seafood Gumbo and Soft-Shell Crab Po Boys.
4 SEAFOOD PALACE
Seafood Palace has been a recognizable staple in Lake Charles for nearly half a century. When in season, boiled crawfish or crabs arrive at tables with trays and towelettes. Louisiana blue crabs are equally well-liked fried as they are boiled. The restaurant also receives high praise for its thick, dark roux in the Shrimp & Crab Gumbo—which sells out more often than not.
5 CASAMENTO’S RESTAURANT
This century-old establishment is popular for its oyster dishes, especially its Oyster Loaf. Though similar to a po’ boy, this sandwich is served on thick slices of toast instead of French bread. The Big Easy Platter makes dining with a group easy—it’s enough delicious fried seafood to feed a small crowd! Keep in mind Casamento’s holds a pre-refrigeration tradition of closing for June, July, and August.
6 PECK’S SEAFOOD
Peck’s opened in 2004 as a seafood market, but Matt and Michelle Pecoraro were so driven by their passion for fresh, locally produced seafood that eventually it became a full-service restaurant. Now locals and tourists alike visit the Slidell restaurant for delicious Boiled Shrimp Remoulade Poboys, Seafood Gumbo, and Crab Cake Pasta. Peck’s also offers fresh boiled shrimp or crawfish by the pound when in season, and live crawfish can be ordered by the sack for an at-home boil.
One of West Monroe’s most frequented places for seafood is high on the banks of the Ouachita River. Trapp’s opened in 2015 with a play on the Trappey name, of Trappey’s Hot Sauce fame. There’s a bottle of the hot pepper sauce on every table, ready to add a little heat to any one of the Ouachita River Seafood Platters, be it fried, grilled, blackened, or boiled. Try adding fresh Louisiana lump crabmeat tossed in a lemon butter sauce to your entrée at dinner.
8 CRAWFISH TOWN USA
Henderson is home to the very first commercial crawfish pond in Louisiana, so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to Crawfish Town USA. The menu is full of recipes featuring our favorite crustacean, including Crawfish Enchiladas and Boiled Louisiana Crawfish when in season. But Crawfish Town is more than just crawfish, with a variety of seafood dishes, like La Bam Breme: a stack of fried eggplant, grilled catfish, crab cakes, and fried shrimp topped with an andouille crème sauce.
9 THE CABIN RESTAURANT
At The Cabin, Chef Joshua Hebert prioritizes fresh ingredients that both elevate his menu and uphold the Mississippi River Road traditions of the 46-year-old restaurant. Enjoy seafood starters like Crab Cakes with spicy tomato jam and entrées like The Pirogue: shrimp, oysters, and catfish stuffed in a buttery French bread boat. Josh also creates limited-time dishes to shake things up, like Seafood Eggplant Napoleon.
Located on the water in Lake Arthur, Regatta serves up delicious seafood and picture-perfect sunsets. Regatta boasts a great selection of seafood po’ boys, from the Fried Catfish Po Boy to the Grand Lake Special with fried oysters and fried or grilled shrimp. The Alligator Sausage a La Roberts Cove is a must-have; it’s grilled and served with sauerkraut and Creole mustard for a bit of spice.