"People don't really come to Lafayette to eat. They come here to get to all the places outside of Lafayette." Eater heard this sentiment repeated a number of time on a recent trip to Lafayette, suggesting that, since Lafayette is the cultural capital of Acadiana (or, Cajun Country), the city is usually just one stop on a tour of the area. The thing is, though, that this is changing. Lafayette is a really cool town, with a growing community that is young, energetic and really proud of Lafayette and the surrounding areas.
That pride is apparent in the city's dining scene. More and more restaurants are focusing on using local, seasonal ingredients and distinctly Southeast Louisianian flavors to remain true to Acadiana's culinary traditions while doing something completely new. In other words, places like the French Press and Cochon Lafayette are to Cajun food what the Lost Bayou Ramblers are to Cajun music. The rest of the country's starting to notice, too: Southern Living called it the South's Tastiest Town, French Press chef/owner Justin Girouard made the long list for this year's James Beard Awards and Jolie's Louisiana Bistro chef Manny Augello was invited to cook at the James Beard House this year.
Recognizing how awesome the city is, Eater spent a couple days out that way last month, "doing research" to help build the Lafayette 15, our map of the best eats, both old and new, in Lafayette. Special thanks to Lorraine, Seth and all the other Lafayette natives whose suggestions and advice helped build this map.Read More