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: Opelousas
    1214 South Union Street Opelousas, LA 70570
    Daily plate lunches, variety of seafood dishes, hamburgers & sandwiches. Boiled crawfish and shrimp in season
    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...
    City: Port Barre
    581 Saizan Avenue Port Barre, LA 70577
    Cracklins, boudin and hot home-made plate lunches served daily. Don't forget Bourque's own jalapeno, sausage and cheese bread, which can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.!
    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: Eunice
    123 South 2nd Street Eunice, LA 70535
    Ruby's offers wonderful Cajun and Creole dishes, steaks, seafood, po-boys, burgers and a children's menu. Boiled crawfish in season. Groups welcome in private space.
    City: Opelousas
    840 Highway 167 Opelousas, LA 70570
    Smoked meats, canned preserves, boudin, cracklins, plate lunches, burgers **Cajun Swiss Twist**, and **BBQ Dinners on Sundays**
    City: Grand Coteau
    284 Martin Luther King Drive Grand Coteau, LA 70541
    A unique and homey café. Food is prepared fresh daily, including soups, salads and sandwiches, homemade desserts and daily specials.
    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
    525 North Main Street Washington, LA 70589
    This is the last of the old steamboat warehouses on Bayou Courtableau, this brick building was built in the 1820s and restored in 1977. Enjoy cocktails on the deck overlooking the bayou, then feast...
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