If you’re a fan of Louisiana fare, including Cajun, Creole, and comfort foods, you probably already know that the great flavors, recipes, and dishes are not limited to New Orleans. Every Louisiana city I’ve visited has delivered a solid and mighty food scene, but one was a stand-out. Shreveport and Bossier City have so many places to “feed your soul,” a tagline that the state uses and whole-heartedly endorses. In this area, you will need some help weeding through the choices. Let me help. Here are 11 fantastic restaurants to try in Shreveport.
1. Mabry House
Mabry House is the place you go to celebrate a special occasion, have a memorable date night, or just treat yourself to a phenomenal meal. The Victorian house is charming and has a romantic vibe, complete with candlelight. My husband and I met some local friends, and wow, we were in for a memorable night.
We started our meal with crawfish cheesecake, topped with a red and green tomato relish. If you’ve never had a savory cheesecake, it is heavenly. Mabry House also has fantastic roasted tomato and gouda soup. All four of us had that and Caesar salads. You won’t go wrong with any of Mabry’s entrées, and they change often. I had a beef filet that absolutely melted in my mouth with a green peppercorn sauce; my husband chose pistachio-crusted salmon. Both were winners. The food at Mabry House is complemented with an extensive list of wine and cocktails.
Pro Tip: Reservations are required as space is limited.
2. Marilynn’s Place
Marilynn’s Place is a local favorite with a fun, laid-back vibe. The menu has your favorite Cajun-Creole meals, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and Etoufée. The red beans and rice at Marilynn’s are spectacular but come for Sunday brunch — served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — for a real treat. Beignets and chicory coffee are served all day, plus you can bring your pets to the outdoor dining area.
Marilynn’s bloody mary bar is to be admired, while the shrimp and grits are to die for. I loved every bite, doused with hot sauce, of course. Save room for bread pudding or bananas Foster for dessert and “laissez le bon temps rouler.”
Pro Tip: Try the strawberry sauce with your beignets.
3. Real BBQ And More
Cooking and serving barbecue since 1968, Harvey Clay has mastered his skills. Real BBQ and More is a testament to his low-and-slow-cooking ribs and arsenal of other barbecue meats. The food served here is casual-delicious, meaning you will get your hands dirty, maybe even your face, but you are going to have your eyes rolling in the back of your head from how delicious everything is along the way.
Try the smoked turkey, which was my top pick, or splurge on a sinfully delicious meal of Now and Later specialty potatoes, topped with literally everything but the kitchen sink. Mac and cheese is included. I tasted the chicken, beef tips, brisket, sausages, and ribs, and there wasn’t a single bite that wasn’t 10 out of 10 fantastic.
4. Herby K’S
A Shreveport “hole-in-the-wall” eatery that’s a must-visit is Herby K’s, known for putting an authentically-local spin on a traditional Po’Boy. This small family-run bar has been a Shreveport landmark since 1936. You will be amazed by the fried shrimp platters, gumbo, and bounty of Louisiana seafood dishes.
The Shrimp Buster is the iconic dish, with butterflied fried shrimp, toasted buttered bread, fries, and coleslaw. The secret sauce is so good; you’ll probably ask for seconds. If you aren’t starving, there is a baby-sized portion, too. A few things on Herby K’s menu you don’t see every day are the crab salad, oyster sandwich, and frog leg dinner.
5. Strawn’s Eat Shop
Do you love a good diner? Me too, and Strawn’s Eat Shop has been a fixture in Shreveport since 1944. Are you seeing the trend of long-lasting dining establishments in this area? Strawn’s has colorful murals painted on the walls, long before they were trendy, and coolers full of their signature item — world-famous icebox pies. There is nothing you can do with a strawberry that I don’t love, but they also have butterscotch, coconut, chocolate, banana, and peach (seasonally).
I’ve been to Strawn’s Eat Shop a few times for breakfast, which is so good that I don’t even mind getting up early to beat the crowds. The biscuits are billowy and fluffy, while the eggs are perfectly cooked. My husband swears by the pancakes, but no matter what time of day it is, strawberry icebox pie needs to be on your radar.
Pro Tip: When the biscuits are gone at breakfast time, they are gone, which could be by 10–11 a.m. I’d hate for you to be heart broken. There is also excellent shopping in this part of town.
6. Another Broken Egg Cafe
Another Broken Egg Cafe is a regional chain with really good food. They, too, are open only for breakfast and lunch, while the breakfast menu is available through both. My favorite omelette dishes at ABEC (though they are all excellent) are the Hey Lucy! (chorizo, onions, green chilies) and bacquezo (cream cheese, bacon, and garlic butter-sautéed chorizo). I’m not counting calories, by the way. If you are craving something sweet, the lemon blueberry goat cheese or cinnamon roll French toast will surely please your palate.
Pro Tip: Hand-crafted cocktails, juices, spiked coffees, and mimosas are popular here.
7. Lucky Palace
Chances are you will be wowed when you enter Lucky Palace, located in a motel setting near the casinos in Bossier City. Transporting you to China through authentic dishes, white-tablecloths, and perhaps the best wine menu in Louisiana, Lucky Palace is a force to be reckoned with.
I love the appetizers at Lucky Palace because they are all so good, hence, leaving no room for the main course. Appetizers you may want to consider are beef on the stick, crab rangoon, shrimp tempura, pan-fried (or steamed) dumplings, scallion pancakes (delicious!), and spring rolls. If you must have a real meal, the northern-style duck with steamed buns is what locals eat.
Fun Fact: Lucky Palace was named one of the top 100 Chinese restaurants in the country.
8. Saltgrass Steak House
Another popular chain restaurant in Shreveport is Saltgrass Steak House, offering every steak cut you could want, hearty appetizers, and really good cocktails. There are now over 80 locations around the country, so you know they are doing something right. My husband and I like to sit at the bar to eat. We may share fried mushrooms and queso fresco or split the chicken laredo with feta and jack cheeses, avocado, grilled onions, and poblano peppers.
Another tasty dish is the chicken fried chicken, with the best cream gravy, just like your grandma used to make.
9. Parish Taceaux
Parish Taceaux is a fun spot with a creative menu, lots of tequila and mescal choices, and cool artwork, if you venture to downtown Shreveport. It was here that I tried my first avocado fries, and wow, I can’t get enough of them. Of course, the yummy trifecta — tortilla chips, queso dip, and guacamole — cannot be ignored. Parish Taceaux has great taco selections, including Bama barbecue chicken, Louisiana catfish, Nashville hot chicken, and brisket (with Alabama white barbecue sauce and house-made kimchi pickles).
Pair your foods with a handcrafted margarita, Mexican Coca-Cola, or a Parish peach tea.
Pro Tip: Parish Taceaux is closed on Sunday and Monday.
10. Cush’s Grocer & Market
Don’t think that Cush’s Grocery & Market is just an upscale quick stop; you can actually dine there and see the specialty foods in the coolers. Think gourmet sandwiches, piled-high salads, and many quintessential southern meals, in addition to being able to pick up fresh seafood, wine, and grab-and-go foods to take home.
The Bouquet of Salads is an attractive pick, with your choice of any three selections from tuna, fruit, chicken, shrimp, and pasta salads. Other menu options include a hot ham and cheese (on jalapeño cheddar bread), muffaleta, 11 kinds of Po’ Boys, and even spaghetti and meatballs.
11. Ki’ Mexico
Though the restaurants above are excellent (or I would not have shared them with you), my favorite place to nibble, graze, drink, or hang with friends is Ki’ Mexico in the Madison Park Business Center. This hip cantina specializes in hardcore taco recipes, excellent margaritas, and tortugas — Mexican sandwiches.
You may want to start with dessert first at Ki’ Mexico because the flan is the best I’ve ever tasted. My top pick is the flan with apple bourbon sauce and crunchy, candied pecans. For a great day in the morning, this is good stuff. But if you have to eat the healthier options first, start with the guacamole made with sunflower seeds. Then maybe try the Chileaux Envuelto, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with crawfish, shrimp, cheese, and herb wrapped in puff pastry. Yum!
Pro Tips: Ki’ Mexico is closed on Monday. Take a jar of the zesty salsa home with you.
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