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The seafood gumbo at Herby K’s
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These 14 Restaurants Are Worth a Drive From Metro New Orleans

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The seafood gumbo at Herby K’s
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When it comes to Louisiana restaurants, conversation usually centers around the metropolitan New Orleans, often considered the country’s gold star for restaurants and cuisine. It’s best not to forget the restaurants that glitter on the outskirts of the Crescent City and beyond, many worth a day trip of their own. From authentic Vietnamese on the West Bank to a Cajun grocer that is making its own deer sausage, boudin, and stuffed chickens, here are some of Eater’s favorite spots worth the drive.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Herby K's

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1833 Pierre Ave
Shreveport, LA 71103
(318) 424-2724
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This cozy, memorabilia-filled hole-in-the-wall in Shreveport has been serving the community for about 80 years. The most popular item, the “shrimp buster,” was added to the menu in the 1940s, after a family member returned from war in the South Pacific and described the butterfly shrimp he had there. The Herby K’s version is butterfly shrimp pounded thin and fried, served with a “secret” dipping sauce. The shrimp étouffée, gumbo, onion rings, and a giant crab cake are all worthy of stomach real estate too.

Catfish under étouffée at Herby K’s
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2. Hawk's Restaurant

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415 Hawks Rd
Rayne, LA 70578
(337) 788-3266
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The upside is also the downside of this communal-style restaurant: It’s only open during crawfish season. Those lucky enough to make the trip during that season are met with impossibly sweet (due to a purging process developed at Texas A&M) and peppery boiled crawfish. It’s also listed as one of Eater’s 38 best restaurants in the South.

Boiled seafood at Hawk’s
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3. Suire's Grocery & Restaurant

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13923 LA-35
Kaplan, LA 70548
(337) 643-8911
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No frills Suire’s brings Cajun comfort food to the table. A favorite among the region’s duck hunters, it’s a hospitable restaurant run by sisters who have been working there since they were teenagers. It’s known for a long-simmered turtle sauce piquant, but be sure to save some space for pecan pie and sweet tarts.

4. SHUCKS! THE Louisiana Seafood House!!!

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701 Port St
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 898-3311
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Shucks! in Abbeville, Louisiana is always packed and co-owner David Bertrand chats with diners like they’re old friends. To be honest, many of them are. Beyond the locals that flock here, duck hunters and other visitors come back year after year. The secret to the divine char-broiled oysters lies in the brief time the oysters spend cooking, keeping them plump and nearly raw beneath a lightly browned blanket of cheese and butter. Plus, it was a favorite haunt of Paul McIlhenny’s when he was heading out to his duck club.

5. Prejean's Restaurant

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3480 NE Evangeline Throughway
Lafayette, LA 70507
(337) 896-3247
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The faux Acadian, swamp decor and shopping area may say tourist trap, but the dark roux gumbo says quite the opposite. Other menu stunners include red beans and rice topped with blackened shrimp, eggplant pirogue Louis, as well as award-winning crawfish étouffée. Bonus: There’s a little dog run outside under a shade tree, so it’s perfect for folks traveling with their pooches. Ask the waitstaff for the key and fresh water for the bowls.

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6. Kartchner's Grocery

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24562 US-190
Krotz Springs, LA 70750
(337) 566-0529
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This specialty grocery in Krotz Springs is a one-stop shop for deer sausage, alligator, rabbits stuffed with green onion pork sausage, and boudin (smoked, pork, crawfish, alligator) to take home and stock the freezer. Ready-to-eat delicacies include smoked boudin, cracklins, beef jerky, hog’s head cheese, crawfish boudin balls, pork boudin balls, and a boudin ball stuffed with jalapeño and cream cheese. Tidy and tiny T-Boo’s shares the parking lot with Kartchner’s, bringing freshly baked crawfish bread, sno-balls, pistolettes, and shrimp burgers to the table.

7. Middendorf's Seafood

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30160 US-51
Akers, LA 70421
(985) 386-6666
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Located between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, Middendorf’s restaurant put thin-fried catfish on the map. It opened in 1934, but the building has been rebuilt over and over again after being knocked down by hurricanes. Outside seating means gorgeous views of the lake.

8. Mosca's

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4137 US-90
Westwego, LA 70094
(504) 436-8950
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A Louisiana-style Italian restaurant in a white clapboard building with real ties to the mafia, this unassuming institution once inspired an entire story in the New Yorker. The jukebox offers a solid side of Louis Prima to go with specialties like chicken a la grande, oysters Mosca, and perfectly al dente pasta. It’s like entering the Italian heart of New Orleans.

9. OXLOT 9

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428 E Boston St
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 400-5663
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Housed within the elegant Southern Hotel, Oxlot 9 takes a simple and sophisticated approach to food. The menu changes often, but sometimes includes Royal Red shrimp ceviche, pork belly “yakamein,” and soft shell crawfish caprese. Also, check out the Sunday brunch, which features a “knife and fork” chicken biscuit, grillades and grits, and other items to get the a.m. fun started.

The interior of Oxlot 9
BRASTED

10. Del Porto

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501 E Boston St
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 875-1006
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The menu changes often at this intimate, high hospitality North Shore gem situated in the heart of downtown Covington. Husband-and-wife chef team David and Torre Solazzo build creative and elegant Italian cuisine from local products, building off their shared experience working at legendary Napa Italian restaurant, Tra Vigne (where they met). Plus, there’s an award-winning wine list and great happy hour.

The interior of Del Porto.
Brasted

11. Tan Dinh Restaurant

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1705 Lafayette St
Gretna, LA 70053
(504) 361-8008
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With many exciting and modern Vietnamese restaurants opened by the children of the Vietnamese immigrants who came to New Orleans in the 1970s, this traditional Vietnamese Westbank favorite is still well worth the trip. Often filled with generations of Vietnamese families, the large restaurant takes strip shopping center dining to an unheard of level with frog legs tossed in garlic butter, roasted quail, and warming pho in both meat and vegetarian varieties. Also of note, the children from the Tan Dinh family run the edgier Ba Chi Canteen on Maple Street in metro New Orleans.

12. Nine Roses

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1100 Stephens St
Gretna, LA 70053
(504) 366-7665
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There’s an outpost of this beloved Gretna Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant on Conti in the French Quarter, but the original has a much larger menu and is worth a trip. Try the house specialty: grilled beef, chicken, squid, and shrimp, prepared fondue-style at the table and wrapped in lettuce with herbs. Closed Wednesdays.

Exterior of Nine Roses
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13. La Provence

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25020 US-190
Lacombe, LA 70445
(985) 626-7662
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Chef Eric Hunter and Jennifer Pittman Hunter run this country style French dining destination on picturesque grounds with several acres of kitchen garden and space for the pigs and bees that are raised onsite. The menu is as thoughtful and precise as it gets. Plus the restaurant forgoes traditional bread and butter service in lieu of toast points and pâté. Look out for some cool wine tastings (some from the Hunters’ native Texas) and maybe a retail side of the restaurant in the future.

La Provence owners, Eric Hunter and Jennifer Pittman Hunter
Brasted

14. Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery

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14207 Chef Menteur Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70129
(504) 254-0214
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Located on the outskirts of New Orleans in da East, this 30 year-old bakery reflects perfectly traditional Vietnamese cooking and baking, which includes a heavy influence from the French occupation of Vietnam. The Banh Mi is served on freshly baked French bread. Diners get to choose from 17 different fillings for the sandwich, from cold cuts to Chinese sausage or toasted fish patty.

1. Herby K's

1833 Pierre Ave, Shreveport, LA 71103
Catfish under étouffée at Herby K’s
FACEBOOK

This cozy, memorabilia-filled hole-in-the-wall in Shreveport has been serving the community for about 80 years. The most popular item, the “shrimp buster,” was added to the menu in the 1940s, after a family member returned from war in the South Pacific and described the butterfly shrimp he had there. The Herby K’s version is butterfly shrimp pounded thin and fried, served with a “secret” dipping sauce. The shrimp étouffée, gumbo, onion rings, and a giant crab cake are all worthy of stomach real estate too.

1833 Pierre Ave
Shreveport, LA 71103

2. Hawk's Restaurant

415 Hawks Rd, Rayne, LA 70578
Boiled seafood at Hawk’s
FACEBOOK

The upside is also the downside of this communal-style restaurant: It’s only open during crawfish season. Those lucky enough to make the trip during that season are met with impossibly sweet (due to a purging process developed at Texas A&M) and peppery boiled crawfish. It’s also listed as one of Eater’s 38 best restaurants in the South.

415 Hawks Rd
Rayne, LA 70578

3. Suire's Grocery & Restaurant

13923 LA-35, Kaplan, LA 70548

No frills Suire’s brings Cajun comfort food to the table. A favorite among the region’s duck hunters, it’s a hospitable restaurant run by sisters who have been working there since they were teenagers. It’s known for a long-simmered turtle sauce piquant, but be sure to save some space for pecan pie and sweet tarts.

13923 LA-35
Kaplan, LA 70548

4. SHUCKS! THE Louisiana Seafood House!!!

701 Port St, Abbeville, LA 70510

Shucks! in Abbeville, Louisiana is always packed and co-owner David Bertrand chats with diners like they’re old friends. To be honest, many of them are. Beyond the locals that flock here, duck hunters and other visitors come back year after year. The secret to the divine char-broiled oysters lies in the brief time the oysters spend cooking, keeping them plump and nearly raw beneath a lightly browned blanket of cheese and butter. Plus, it was a favorite haunt of Paul McIlhenny’s when he was heading out to his duck club.

701 Port St
Abbeville, LA 70510

5. Prejean's Restaurant

3480 NE Evangeline Throughway, Lafayette, LA 70507
FACEBOOK

The faux Acadian, swamp decor and shopping area may say tourist trap, but the dark roux gumbo says quite the opposite. Other menu stunners include red beans and rice topped with blackened shrimp, eggplant pirogue Louis, as well as award-winning crawfish étouffée. Bonus: There’s a little dog run outside under a shade tree, so it’s perfect for folks traveling with their pooches. Ask the waitstaff for the key and fresh water for the bowls.

3480 NE Evangeline Throughway
Lafayette, LA 70507

6. Kartchner's Grocery

24562 US-190, Krotz Springs, LA 70750

This specialty grocery in Krotz Springs is a one-stop shop for deer sausage, alligator, rabbits stuffed with green onion pork sausage, and boudin (smoked, pork, crawfish, alligator) to take home and stock the freezer. Ready-to-eat delicacies include smoked boudin, cracklins, beef jerky, hog’s head cheese, crawfish boudin balls, pork boudin balls, and a boudin ball stuffed with jalapeño and cream cheese. Tidy and tiny T-Boo’s shares the parking lot with Kartchner’s, bringing freshly baked crawfish bread, sno-balls, pistolettes, and shrimp burgers to the table.

24562 US-190
Krotz Springs, LA 70750

7. Middendorf's Seafood

30160 US-51, Akers, LA 70421

Located between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, Middendorf’s restaurant put thin-fried catfish on the map. It opened in 1934, but the building has been rebuilt over and over again after being knocked down by hurricanes. Outside seating means gorgeous views of the lake.

30160 US-51
Akers, LA 70421

8. Mosca's

4137 US-90, Westwego, LA 70094

A Louisiana-style Italian restaurant in a white clapboard building with real ties to the mafia, this unassuming institution once inspired an entire story in the New Yorker. The jukebox offers a solid side of Louis Prima to go with specialties like chicken a la grande, oysters Mosca, and perfectly al dente pasta. It’s like entering the Italian heart of New Orleans.

4137 US-90
Westwego, LA 70094

9. OXLOT 9

428 E Boston St, Covington, LA 70433
The interior of Oxlot 9
BRASTED

Housed within the elegant Southern Hotel, Oxlot 9 takes a simple and sophisticated approach to food. The menu changes often, but sometimes includes Royal Red shrimp ceviche, pork belly “yakamein,” and soft shell crawfish caprese. Also, check out the Sunday brunch, which features a “knife and fork” chicken biscuit, grillades and grits, and other items to get the a.m. fun started.

428 E Boston St
Covington, LA 70433

10. Del Porto

501 E Boston St, Covington, LA 70433
The interior of Del Porto.
Brasted

The menu changes often at this intimate, high hospitality North Shore gem situated in the heart of downtown Covington. Husband-and-wife chef team David and Torre Solazzo build creative and elegant Italian cuisine from local products, building off their shared experience working at legendary Napa Italian restaurant, Tra Vigne (where they met). Plus, there’s an award-winning wine list and great happy hour.

501 E Boston St
Covington, LA 70433

11. Tan Dinh Restaurant

1705 Lafayette St, Gretna, LA 70053

With many exciting and modern Vietnamese restaurants opened by the children of the Vietnamese immigrants who came to New Orleans in the 1970s, this traditional Vietnamese Westbank favorite is still well worth the trip. Often filled with generations of Vietnamese families, the large restaurant takes strip shopping center dining to an unheard of level with frog legs tossed in garlic butter, roasted quail, and warming pho in both meat and vegetarian varieties. Also of note, the children from the Tan Dinh family run the edgier Ba Chi Canteen on Maple Street in metro New Orleans.

1705 Lafayette St
Gretna, LA 70053

12. Nine Roses

1100 Stephens St, Gretna, LA 70053
Exterior of Nine Roses
FACEBOOK

There’s an outpost of this beloved Gretna Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant on Conti in the French Quarter, but the original has a much larger menu and is worth a trip. Try the house specialty: grilled beef, chicken, squid, and shrimp, prepared fondue-style at the table and wrapped in lettuce with herbs. Closed Wednesdays.

1100 Stephens St
Gretna, LA 70053

13. La Provence

25020 US-190, Lacombe, LA 70445
La Provence owners, Eric Hunter and Jennifer Pittman Hunter
Brasted

Chef Eric Hunter and Jennifer Pittman Hunter run this country style French dining destination on picturesque grounds with several acres of kitchen garden and space for the pigs and bees that are raised onsite. The menu is as thoughtful and precise as it gets. Plus the restaurant forgoes traditional bread and butter service in lieu of toast points and pâté. Look out for some cool wine tastings (some from the Hunters’ native Texas) and maybe a retail side of the restaurant in the future.

25020 US-190
Lacombe, LA 70445

14. Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70129

Located on the outskirts of New Orleans in da East, this 30 year-old bakery reflects perfectly traditional Vietnamese cooking and baking, which includes a heavy influence from the French occupation of Vietnam. The Banh Mi is served on freshly baked French bread. Diners get to choose from 17 different fillings for the sandwich, from cold cuts to Chinese sausage or toasted fish patty.

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy
New Orleans, LA 70129

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