Foodie itinerary: Capital Cravings Trail
Enjoy a food lover’s three-day weekend along our Capital Cravings Trail and explore Baton Rouge and River Road.
Friday: West Baton Rouge/Baton Rouge
Breakfast: For many Baton Rouge locals, each morning starts with a cup of the local brew: Community Coffee. This family-owned brand started out in nearby Dixie, Louisiana, in 1919, and today offers a variety of traditional roasts and gourmet blends. Make your way to one of their CC’s Community Coffee Houses for a hot cup of coffee and a yummy pastry before setting out for the day.
Work up an appetite: Once you’ve perked up with some coffee, it’s time for some free fun—that’s right, free. The Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge is the perfect spot for learning more about the state’s history and culture, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Explore the customs of Mardi Gras, view a Civil War submarine, inspect a krewe of lawnmowers and check out musical artifacts from the one-and-only Fats Domino.
Lunch: Satisfy your mid-day hunger with lunch at Bellue’s Cajun Cuisine. They dish up yummy plate lunches like crawfish étouffée, smoked baby back ribs and fried fish, and Friday’s special is shrimp fettuccine. You can even pick up a few of their homemade desserts, boudin and other Cajun specialties to take back home.
Work up an appetite: Take a trip back in time to 19th-century Louisiana at the Rural Life Museum. The outdoor museum features a barn displaying hundreds of artifacts; the Plantation Quarters, which consists of several buildings including an overseer’s house, kitchen, blacksmith’s shop, sugarhouse and gristmill; and a collection of buildings showcasing the house type of Louisiana.
Dinner: Make reservations in advance for dinner at Tsunami, a sushi restaurant atop the impressive Shaw Center for the Arts. Their prime location offers amazing views of the Mississippi River. If sushi doesn’t suit you, consider dinner at Ruffino’s, an Italian-Creole fusion restaurant that’s a favorite of ESPN personalities and former Louisiana State University athletes during football season. Try the cedar plank baked redfish.
Saturday: Baton Rouge/River Road
Breakfast: The Red Stick Farmers Market, a producer-only market, is a great spot to begin your Saturday. Enjoy samples from the weekly cooking demonstrations; feast on fresh fruits, such as locally grown blueberries and melons; or pick up a homemade teacake or other sweet treat.
Work up an appetite: Test your culinary skills and pick up a few new ones too at the Viking Cooking School Outdoors. With a focus on grilling, the school is the first of its kind. Classes are held at the Hilton Capitol Center on the pool deck overlooking the Mississippi River. Class subjects run the gamut from gumbo to sushi, steaks to pizza. Watch chef demonstrations and enjoy hands-on classes.
Take a drive and dine: Bring back the adventure of a weekend drive and tour Louisiana’s River Road. Running south of Baton Rouge along the serpentine Mississippi River, this famous stretch of road leads you through Plantation Country. Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to tour historic homes and learn about agrarian life and old-time cooking methods. Three plantations to consider are Nottoway, the South’s largest remaining antebellum home, in White Castle; Houmas House, a former sugar plantation with beautiful gardens, in Darrow; and Destrehan Plantation, the oldest documented plantation in the Mississippi River Valley, in Destrehan. For dinner, take advantage of the delicious offerings at Nottoway and Houmas House. Both offer cafes and full-service restaurants.
Sunday: Baton Rouge
Breakfast: It’s time for a casual, leisurely breakfast at Louie’s Café, an always-open diner at the North Gates of LSU. This Baton Rouge institution offers traditional breakfast items, such as hash browns, steak and eggs, and omelets. Their pancakes and waffles are also popular.
Stretch your legs before the trip home: Since you’re so close by, take a stroll through the LSU campus. Then head over for an afternoon at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, which houses a permanent collection of more than 3,000 artworks and artifacts.