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Lake Charles Food Guide | The Best Lake Charles Restaurants

Check out our suggestions for some of the best Lake Charles food options including boudin, gumbo and some of the freshest seafood in the world. We also share awesome Lake Charles restaurants where you can eat all this food and more.

Blue Crabs - What to Eat in Lake Charles Louisiana - A Lake Charles Food Guide
Fresh blue crabs are just one of the culinary delights to enjoy in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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What’s the best food in Lake Charles Louisiana? That was the question swirling in my head as my tiny plane gently landed at the equally tiny airport.

Since I was visiting Lake Charles with the explicit goal of eating local food, I hoped that the dishes would be dominated by Cajun flavors and seafood. I wanted to visit the best places to eat in Lake Charles Louisiana and eat it all.

Lake Charles Food Guide

Lake Charles is located in Southwest Louisiana, close to the Gulf of Mexico and dotted with rice fields, piney woods and prairie lands. A three-hour drive from New Orleans, this location provides the city with easy access to fresh fish and seafood along with the usual array of Louisiana pork products.

Even better, Lake Charles benefits from Southwest Louisiana’s melting pot of Cajuns and Cajun food. Spicy favorites like jambalaya and gumbo are readily available in the best Lake Charles restaurants and in kitchens throughout the area. Without a doubt, eating local food is one of the best things to do in Lake Charles LA.


Boudin Balls at Rabideaux's Sausage Kitchen in Lake Charles Louisiana
Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen is a must visit on the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail for their crispy, addictive boudin balls. Sausage Link Specialty Meats is another great stop on the trail for smoked artisan boudin.

Boudin is a Cajun sausage treat made with pork, liver, rice, green peppers and seasonings. Since Lake Charles is the epicenter of boudin production, and there’s no better place to eat boudin than on the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. This trail has 27 stops, each serving its variation of boudin plus other local delicacies like cracklins, hog head cheese and Cajun quail eggs.

Boudin can be grilled or smoked. Sometimes, adventurous cooks fry it into boudin balls, little crispy goblets that can be eaten as a meal or a snack.

Pro Tip

Plan to spend a full day or two on the trail so that you can taste as many boudin varieties as possible. Rent a car and check out as many eclectic Lake Charles restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations as you can.

Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen is located at 105 US-165, Iowa, LA 70647, United States.
The Sausage Link is located at 2400 E Napoleon Street, Sulphur, LA 70663, United States.


Fried Crab Claws and Fried Gator at Seafood Palace in Lake Charles Louisiana
Two Appetizers at Seafood Palace – Fried Crab Claws with Tomato Sauce and Fried Gator with Red Chili Sauce.

Thanks to the nearby Gulf of Mexico, the availability of fresh seafood like shrimp, crabs and crawfish is ridiculous with lots of good places to eat in Lake Charles LA. It’s easy to eat seafood at every meal and at every price point.

Shrimp at Seafood Palace in Lake Charles Louisiana
The shrimp salad at Seafood Palace is loaded with fresh grilled shrimp.

The unpretentious Seafood Palace is a popular spot where locals and food lovers share long tables topped with red vinyl tablecloths. The Seafood Palace Lake Charles LA menu features all of the expected seafood served boiled, grilled and fried, plus some more exotic choices like alligator and blue crabs.

Crab Salad at Mazen's Mediterranean Restaurant in Lake Charles Louisiana
The crab and avocado salad at Mazen’s Mediterranean Restaurant is loaded with crab.

You don’t have to eat at the city’s many seafood restaurants in Lake Charles LA to score good seafood. Mazen’s Mediterranean Restaurant, known for its Grand Marnier Soufflé dessert, serves a delightful avocado salad loaded with fresh crab meat.

Seafood Palace is located at 2218 Enterprise Boulevard, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.
Mazen’s Mediterranean Restaurant is located at 217 W College St, Lake Charles, LA 70605, United States.


Gumbo at Seafood Palace in Lake Charles Louisiana
This chicken and sausage gumbo at the Seafood Palace is loaded with meat. However, the deep, dark roux is what makes this gumbo so special.

Just like you have to eat crawfish in Lake Charles, it would be a crime to visit Southwest Louisiana and not eat gumbo. Gumbo was invented in this area in the 1700s by Cajun settlers who cooked with their cultural penchant toward spices and local foods like seafood, rice and pork.

A good gumbo starts with a dark roux that is cooked for hours to a chocolate brown. Key ingredients are onions, celery and bell pepper, though okra is often included as well. Although seafood gumbo is popular in the area, variations include chicken, duck and/or sausage.

My only question: Why isn’t there a gumbo trail in Lake Charles yet?

Sophisticated Food

Blue Crab Beignets at Calla in Lake Charles Louisiana
The appetizers and cocktails at Calla are stellar. Here are the blue crab beignets with avocado, mint and almonds.

As Lake Charles continues to grow and benefit from the influx of casino visitors, it’s not surprising that the culinary scene is evolving and thriving. As tempting as it is to eat gumbo and other Cajun foods at every single meal, there are other good restaurants in Lake Charles LA that should not be missed.

Wondering where to eat in Lake Charles? Start at Calla, one of the modern new restaurants in Lake Charles, where Chef David Sorrells takes full advantage of the bounty of local ingredients.

Calla’s menu features some fun twists like chicken-fried eggs, blue crab beignets and shrimp & corn fritters. More adventurous eaters will want to try the bone marrow, antelope and veal sweetbread nuggets.

Pro Tip

Don’t skip Calla’s seasonal cocktails menu that offers more than typical daiquiris and mojitos.

Calla is located at 1400 Market Street, Lake Charles LA 70601, United States.

Fine Dining

Chevre Chaud at La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles Louisiana
My Favorite dish at La Truffe Sauvage was the Chevre Chaud atop Roasted Red and Yellow Beets. The goat cheese was fried to perfection.

One of the top restaurants in Lake Charles, the stately La Truffe Sauvage has offered a fine dining experience featuring a plethora of local ingredients and classic French dishes since 1998.

The five-course tasting menu with globally sourced wine is a worthy splurge. Most of the dishes are rich and complicated like the Sunchoke Velouté en Croute with Duck Confit and the Filet Mignon topped with Foie Gras. However, my favorite dish was the simple Chèvre Chaud with Roasted Red and Yellow Beets.

La Truffe Sauvage is located at 815 W Bayou Pines Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch at Jack Daniel's in Lake Charles Louisiana
The Sunday brunch at Jack Daniel’s is a decadent meal. Featured clockwise here are the Bread, Brie and Bacon, the Crawfish Cakes, the French Toast and the Andouille and Crawfish Benedict.

Good food in Lake Charles is celebrated at every meal, and Sunday brunch is no exception. The best brunches always involve big plates of comfort food and generously poured drinks.

During my visit, I enjoyed Sunday brunch at the surprising Jack Daniels’ Bar and Grill – a loaded experience involving al fresco dining, a two-piece jazz ensemble, great drinks and a front row view of the Calcasieu River. And then there’s the food.

Chef Lyle Broussard has put his own spin on traditional brunch fare while incorporating the region’s great seafood. The result is innovative, exciting food that is a pure pleasure to eat.

The ultimate dish is the Benedict, which is made with grilled French bread, poached eggs and spicy crawfish hollandaise sauce. Another stunner is the French Toast made with Jack Daniels, Creole mustard, cane syrup, caramelized onions, candied pecans and bacon.

Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grill is located at 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles, LA 70601, United States.

Things to Do in Lake Charles

Check out our recommended seven fun things to do in Lake Charles.

Research Lake Charles Hotels

Are you ready to visit Lake Charles and hit the boudin trail? Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Lake Charles.

If you want access to a kitchen, click here to find an Airbnb apartment.


Combine work and pleasure while you enjoy southern hospitality in Lake Charles. Options are to access your Windows desktop in the Cloud with and your file-sharing site with

Hungry for More?

Check out tasty cheap eats in New Orleans while you’re in Louisiana.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


You’ll get periodic email updates as well as our FREE guide to eating like a local when you travel. We won’t send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Thanks to Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau for sponsoring my visit to facilitate this article.

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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V Hogan

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Darrell’s and Buffi’s for poboys! Both offer messy and delicious sandwiches.


Wednesday 29th of March 2017

nice post shared


Thursday 13th of October 2016

Wow, the pictures you shared are so tempting. I had my dinner few minutes ago. But I still wish to have something else. My hunger increased. lol


Monday 7th of December 2015

Your photos are so beautiful and scrumptious! I feel like ordering something for myself now after seeing these yummy pictures.

Ron B

Monday 16th of November 2015

I'm a Louisiana native and I lived in Lake Charles for 18 years. Lake Charles is a great town, and you did a pretty good job in selecting the eateries that you did (although th omission of Darrel's Poor Boys is a huge sin). To call Lake Charles the epicenter of Boudin however shows a serious lack of research. The "epicenter" of boudin and Cajun food in general lies further east in the parishes that comprise the area known as Acadiana. Honestly, one of my biggest dissapointments while living in Lake Charles was th inability to find boudin that really fit the traditional Cajun flavor profile.