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6 Louisiana dining treats in Lake Charles

Dining in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is a crossroad of Cajun, Creole, and Texas flavors. From fine dining to get-your-hands-dirty local favorites, your taste buds will go on a culinary adventure without going far.

Drago’s at L’Auberge Resort

Famous in the area for local seafood like nowhere else, the local catch is top shelf. Start with the oysters – caught locally and then char-broiled with butter. Bite down on the wild side with Gator Tacos, featuring tail meat with Cajun aioli. Go from the boat to your plate with Crawfish Etouffee sporting Louisiana crawfish in a slightly spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and a dark roux over spiced rice.

Pat’s of Henderson

This eatery has been the upscale staple in Lake Charles for over 50 years. Yes, you can get Po’boys here as well, but the culinary table stars are the refined, southern creations. Stuffed redfish with crab and shrimp and broiled catfish topped with crawfish etouffee make this a unique dining treat with Louisiana flavor.

The Max at National Golf Club

Louisiana is a hotbed of college sports teams. The Max takes full advantage of enthusiastic fans with a bevy of brews, unexpected dishes, and more sports televisions than you can count. While this is at the National Golf Club, people come from all over to this eatery that sits high on the second floor of the clubhouse. The impressive bar area with high-top tables is separated from more traditional dining, a patio with sunset views. There is no average golf course food here, just upscale Cajun treats like crab cakes, fried alligator, and an amazing pecan bread pudding.

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Crying Eagle Brewing Company

For a relatively small town, the Crying Eagle has brews, atmosphere, and food that could compete in any big city. For something different, the Guilty Pleasures is a Belgian-style brew with a blood orange infusion. Rival that well-known stout with a Timothy Patrick Irish brew. Food gets equal creativity and attention with the Crying Eagle Smash Patty: two meat slabs, cheese, caramelized onions on a brioche bun.


You have not been to the Gulf Coast in Louisiana without munching on a Po’boy sandwich. Crafted initially to feed hungry construction and railroad workers, this sandwich is a must-try on any travels around Lake Charles. The most unique is the surf & turf: roast beef and shrimp with jalapeno mayonnaise, mustard, and three kinds of cheese.


One needs a prime meat diversion in Lake Charles with all that seafood. Embers at L’auberge Resort provides an elegant meat-centric option. A fantastic meat entrée combines with over-the-top, upscale service. The star here is just about any steak or meat paired with mashed potatoes. The largest wine list in the area compliments any meal. For something different in the drink category, the chocolate frappe is exceptional.

Neil Wolkodoff

Neil Wolkodoff is a golf and travel writer from Denver, Colorado. He covers golf, dining, activities and accommodations from the luxury and unique perspective. He has even been golfing with goats.

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  1. We have great memories of the food from our visit to New Orleans and the surrounding area. We’re both fans of foods with big bold flavours and would be up for another dose.

    We had a lot of Cajun and Creole on that trip but can’t really remember anything specifically Texan. Nor have we ever been to Texas. Trying some Texan influences could be a whole new culinary adventure for us.

    1. Yes, you will find many of the restaurants put in a little Texas with their proximity to Houston.

    1. Ross, I thought the portions on even the finer dishes were above average. With something like oysters, it is definitely better to have more!

  2. The first time I ever had alligator I nibbled very cautiously and then found out that it was a lot more tender than I had expected. I’m always up for some tasty fried alligator.

  3. What’s going on in that picture with The Crying Eagle Brewery stuff?

    There are four drinks lined up. Are you meant to drink them left to right?

    As they look lighter from the left I’m guessing that’s the order.

    1. That was a beer sampler they put together to match the sandwich. One of the nice things about Crying Eagle. Not sure why they ordered them like that, I just sampled each one actually going right to left!

  4. My grandparents on my mother’s side were from the south and this is the sort of food they gave the family when we stayed with them. It brings back some memories and reminds me that I ought to take my own children down that way so they can learn about their roots.

  5. All these dishes remind me of my friend Monica’s cooking. Over 30 years ago they moved up here to the north for her husband’s job and whenever we go around for dinner she feels that she needs to educate us northerners on what real food is. I’ve got to admit that we really enjoy going round whenever we get an invite.

  6. My doctor certainly does not approve. And my dietician has a fit. Every now and then I have to get my fix on some good old Louisiana dishes. You’re talking about some of my favourites here. I just keep it secret from the two of them whenever I can.

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