Prairie Home Cooking

Find down-home hospitality and good food without pretense in Louisiana’s Cajun prairie.

For an authentic Louisiana experience, don’t overlook this off-the-beaten-path region. Opelousas and the entire St. Landry Parish are filled with hidden gems and boast a heritage influenced by the French, Germans, Spanish, and American Indians who settled here. In Opelousas, stop by Savoie's Sausage for a taste of their Cajun smoked sausage, and grab a table at Back in Time for their Pearl Harbor salad—a longtime favorite. Hear charming Cajun and Creole French still spoken by the locals. Dance to accordion-fueled zydeco tunes, and shop for local art and antiques.

When it comes to cuisine, menus feature old family recipes. Smoked meats reign supreme, and hearty plate lunches are popular. Don’t be surprised to find the best meals in the most unassuming of spots, like a gas station. That's right, you can fill your tank while you fill your tank! Pull into Billy's Mini Mart in Krotz Springs and try the cracklins to see just what we're talking about. Speaking of cracklins, those delicious fried pieces of pork fat, try to time a visit during the Cracklin Festival held in Port Barre each November.

Other must-stops along this trail include Red River Grill, where the seafood and steaks earn high marks, and Fresh Catch Bistreaux. Both are in Marksville.

As you go, take in the beauty of the remaining prairie. Some two million acres were once covered with prairie land, hosting hundreds of species of native grasses and wildflowers. Much was destroyed because of agricultural practices, but there is an effort to preserve and restore the habitat. A good example exists in Eunice.

Prairie Home Cooking

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Prairie Home Cooking

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    City: Leonville
    3802 Highway 31 Leonville, LA 70551
    Champagne's is known for their homemade plate lunches and fresh boudin (call for deli hours). King cakes are available during Mardi Gras season.
    City: Grand Coteau
    1828 I-49 North Service Road Grand Coteau, LA 70541
    Full Service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buffet offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
    City: Arnaudville
    1002 Noth Lane Arnaudville, LA 70512
    Bayou Teche Brewing was founded on this simple dream – to craft beers that compliment the cuisine and lifestyle of Cajuns and Creoles. With that mission, the Knott brothers decided on St. Patrick's...
    City: Washington
    123 Church Street Washington, LA 70589
    A 50s style cafe that offers home cooked meals, homemade desserts, coffee, and beverages.
    City: Cankton
    613 Main Street Cankton, LA 70584
    The Cankton Drive Inn serves up great BBQ lunches on Sundays. Hamburgers and po-boys too.
    City: Krotz Springs
    24467 Highway 190 Krotz Springs, LA 70750
    Short-order menu with burgers, salads and po-boys is available. Step in next door, where locals frequent, to order boudin balls and cracklins.
    City: Opelousas
    1633 West Vine Street Opelousas, LA 70570
    Relax in downtown with a variety of coffee specialties. Mingle with locals at the old Parish & Trust bank building that was built in 1927 across the street from the historic St. Landry Courthouse...
    City: Opelousas
    135 West Landry Street Opelousas, LA 70570
    Open since 1927, this popular diner is still operated by members of the Doucas family, serving down home Cajun cooking. Try the daily lunch special and the most popular fried chicken salad.
    City: Grand Coteau
    106 St. Joseph Street Grand Coteau, LA 70541
    Pauline and Donna are bakers with 20 years of experience. Their local homegrown bakery specializes in professionally made cakes decorated for weddings and any other occasion. Pastries and cake sold...
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