SAIGON NOODLES www.saigonnoodleslafayette.com
2865 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette (Map) - 456-3317
Tuesday-Sunday: Lunch and Dinner
This restaurant is like the best kept secret that everyone knows about. For a departure from everyday spring rolls, try the autumn or winter rolls. The autumn wraps chives, mint leaves, fried wonton paper and pork patty in rice paper with Saigon pineapple dipping sauce; winter is a mint leaves, cilantro and fried tofu with peanut dipping sauce. Try one of our favorite dishes, the Grilled Pork, Shrimp and Vermicelli Noodles (Bun Tom, Thit, Nuong, Cha Gio), which is served in a pedestal bowl. Locals love the pho, and on Saturdays and Sundays those in the know get the crab noodle soup offered only on those days.
SAKURA SUSHI BAR AND GRILLwww.sakuralafayette.com
3217 Johnston St., Lafayette (Map) - 989-9698
Monday-Saturday: Lunch; Dinner Daily
Sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, tempura, katsu, nabemono and donburi all get ace treatment at Sakura. If sushi starvation has you in its claw, Sakura has two huge rolls: the Big Katuna Roll, featuring fresh tuna, escolar, yellowtail, snow crab, masago and chef sauce wrapped in soy paper; and the Big Daddy roll, which marries spicy tuna, snow crab, escolar, chef special sauce and masago wrapped in soy paper, all lined with tuna on the outside. Sakura just keeps getting better with its new menu additions. Take a bite out of a sushi apple with the Golden Apple, a combination of toasted eel, snow crab, cucumber, avocado and tempura flakes all cut in the shape of an apple, or a different kind of zing in the Dynamite Roll, which showcases chili spices.
SAMURAI SUSHI BAR
3545 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette (Map) - 993-2433
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
4702 Johnston St., Lafayette (Map) - 988-4588
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner; Saturday-Sunday: Dinner
Whether you're in the mood for seafood or meat off the sizzling hibachi grill or some imaginative sushi rolls, Shangri-La has options for every palate. For starters, try the Ragin' Cajun, which includes crab paste, crab stick and avocado topped with baked chili crawfish, and the Shangri-La, made with tuna, salmon, crab, avocado and bonito flakes. Shangri-La has dreamed up some dessert rolls as well. The Sweet Summer is made with crab paste, shrimp tempura and cream cheese, topped with mango and sweet mayo, while the Hawaiian Beach rolls shrimp tempura and crab paste under a fruity blanket of strawberry, banana and coconut sauce.
3810 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy., Lafayette (Map) - 406-0024
Daily: Lunch and Dinner
The hibachi grill and sushi bar are always hopping at this Japanese restaurant, and there's an abundance of special rolls on the menu. Two local faves are the Rock Star: fresh yellow tail tuna and salmon, wrapped in soy paper and topped with snow crab, crunchy spicy mayo and eel sauce; and the Lafayette Hot Roll: fresh salmon, tuna, whitefish, crab stick, snow crab, avocado and cream cheese, wrapped and deep fried then topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce and chili sauce.
701 W. Port St., Abbeville (Map) - 898-3311
Monday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Everyone knows that Shucks! is renowned for some of the best raw oysters in southwest Louisiana (get 'em pan-broiled, fried or stuffed if you like), but owners David Bertrand and Bert Istre have also tweaked and expanded the menu a bit. There are crab cakes, fried alligator, shrimp remoulade, duck and andouille gumbo and an oyster stew recipe that's winning raves. Don't forget to grab a Shucks Bloody Mary, which is famous in its own right!
8218 Maurice Ave, Maurice (Map) - 893-2462
Monday: Lunch; Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Soop's menu doesn't stray too far from its name, keeping it simple with hamburger steaks and ribeyes. On the seafood front, the Chef's Special overflows with seafood gumbo, shrimp EtouffEe, shrimp-stuffed bell pepper, crabmeat au gratin, fried shrimp and french fries.
525 N. Main St., Washington (Map) - 826-7227
Tuesday-Saturday: Dinner; Sunday: Lunch
The town of Washington, settled in 1720, is a quick and pleasant drive from the Hub City. The restaurant has been around since 1977 after being restored from the riverboat warehouse it once was and overlooks Bayou Courtableau. Chef and owner Jason Huguet has a traditional menu with lots of flair and flavor. The setting is gorgeous with the restaurant opening up to a large patio that spills toward the river. There are cottages to rent nearby, making it ideal for receptions.
SULTAN'S CAFE AND GRILLwww.sultanscafeandgrill.com
1503 N. Bertrand Drive, Lafayette (Map) - 456-6020
Monday-Friday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Owner Mustafa Ozen is Turkish. His partner, Ramzi Nassour is Lebanese. The running joke between the two men involves a disagreement about whether the kibbe and kefta, the baba ganoush and chicken shawarma, the Lebanese tea and Turkish coffee, hail from Beirut or Istanbul. For customers who want an all-American menu, there's baked potatoes and steak sandwiches, but for those with a taste for the Mediterranean, go for the tang of yogurty tzatziki.
SOPHI P. CAKES www.sophipcakes.com
3209 Johnston St., Lafayette (Map) - 456-5582
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and early dinner
Sophi P. was the first to bring attention to gourmet cupcakes in Lafayette, and executive chef Jennifer Melancon has crafted unique cupcakes that no one in town has been able to duplicate. Seasonal and holiday specialty flavors join the famous mainstays like Red Velvet Deluxe, Atomic Chocolate and 20 unique cupcake flavors. Stop in for a dozen or just a single, sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk for a pick-me-up. You can also get inventive savory breakfast items like the boudin quiche and kolache muffins - order a bunch to treat your coworkers as you head to the office.
4519 W. Congress St., Lafayette (Map) - 233-8636
Monday-Saturday: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Southside Bakery's burgers are legendary, as are the cases full of sweets and fresh breads. Breakfast biscuits, kolaches and cinnamon rolls are on the menu to start your day or grab a crawfish or crab burgers along with a salad for lunch.
920 W. Pinhook Road, Lafayette (Map) - 233-7476
This cozy lunch bistro in the Oil Center offers paninis, wraps, fresh baked quiche specials, stuffed croissants and soups served in bread bowls. Or go light with the huge shrimp salad, chicken pesto pasta salad or the ham and chicken cordon bleu.
SOCIAL SOUTHERN TABLE AND BAR www.socialsouthern.com
3901 Johnston St., Lafayette (Map) - 456-3274
Tuesday-Saturday: Lunch and Dinner
Social offers a uniquely modern gastropub setting centered around classic comfort foods, craft cocktails and Southern hospitality. The menu rotates seasonal offerings by chef Marc Krampe. From their Krab Nachos to the smoke fried chicken and over 60 craft beers to choose from, you are guaranteed to find something to satisfy your appetite and quench your thirst. The desserts change monthly, but pastry chef Amy Stilts is always creating sweet treats to satisfy. Look for special events at Social on their website and don't miss wine down Wednesdays where guests are treated to a complimentary wine tasting starting at 5:30 p.m.
STEVEN'S FINE FOOD RESTAURANT
208 S. Pierce St., Lafayette (Map) - 261-1102
Monday-Friday: Lunch and Dinner
Located in the blossoming gentrify of Pierce and Buchanan, Steven's is too small to eat in and too good to ignore. For less than $5 you can get three chicken fingers that are the size of adult hands. Pork chop sandwiches, the best fried shrimp, poboys and fried rice round out the menu. Your best bet is to call ahead once you get a menu - when we say it's small inside, it really is.