As Southwest Louisiana continues to recover from the storms of 2020/2021, it seems a new dining experience comes onto the Lake Area restaurant scene every minute. Hyperbole aside, it’s true that numerous new eateries have opened over the past year. In this annual special section, we share several of these newer establishments that offer some unique flavors. You’ll also find a feature on the best kid-friendly restaurants, and an exciting announcement on an upcoming restaurant at L’Auberge.
New flavors in SWLA
by Matt Dye
When it comes to good eats, one thing we all can agree on is that Southwest Louisiana has some of the best food going, and as the economy continues to come back, there’s more than a few new places popping up over the past year with some exciting new flavors! Here are just a few of the new restaurants in the area worth checking out.
For breakfast and brunch, Biscuits & Jamz in North Lake Charles is ready to become your new go to spot. With items that range from a usual country breakfast to the decadent Crab Benedict, there’s flavors to hit every one of your taste buds. One of the stars might be the F Biscuit, which combines biscuit dipped in French toast batter with sausage and egg and a nice Bourbon onion bacon jam, which right there covers all your bases.
1620 North Simmons Street, Lake Charles. Open Wednesday-Monday, 8: 00 a.m. to 1:00 .pm. Closed Tuesday.
Over in Sulphur you’ll find Chic Frys, a little, red food truck located in the Napa Auto Parts parking lot. They offer some of the best Indian food in the area. The menu isn’t over-expansive, but it has all the flavors you’re looking for, from beef curry to chicken stir fry. The star of the show might be the butter chicken, which will have you making Chic Frys a regular place to visit. While there is some shaded seating provided, if you’re in a hurry, it’s probably best to call in your order first as everything is made fresh.
1013 Beglis Parkway, Sulphur. Open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 337-607-5642.
For the newest in Mediterranean cuisine, Nawal’s Kebab House & Grill recently opened where the old Zeus used to be on Prien Lake Road, and already, they’re ready to give the rest of the Lebanese restaurants in town a run for their money. Their menu contains all the favorites you’d expect from grape leaves to gyros, but there’s also a variety within their flavors, such as offering five different types of hummus to enjoy. The falafel is a fan favorite. And check out their stews, such as the Eggplant Moussaka. Divine!
409 West Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles. Monday-Saturday, 4:00 p.m. – 900 p.m.
If tacos are the key to your heart, Mi Tierra is the newest restaurant opened in the Market Basket Shopping Center on Nelson Road in Lake Charles. While not reinventing the wheel, Mi Tierra serves some downright authentic Mexican cuisine with one of the highlights being the Mole con Pollo that comes with a side of plantains. They’ve also got Taco Tuesday specials both on tacos and drinks, as well as a Thursday special on their mini quesabirrias.
4447 Nelson Road, Lake Charles. Open Monday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday until 6:00 p.m.
SushiBoxx on Nelson Road might be the oldest of the new on this list, but most of SWLA is still discovering the delicious sushi being served in this strip mall just north of Kroger. While part of the appeal of SushiBoxx is the ability to grab ‘n go, you can also sit down and enjoy both freshly made sushi rolls as well as poke bowls or a Vietnamese classic such as bahn mi. While the menu isn’t as extensive as some other sushi places, what SushiBoxx does do it does well, and it’s nice to have grab ‘n go sushi you can trust.
4720 Nelson Road Suite 130. Open Monday-Saturday 10:00 am. – 8:00 p.m.
Finally, if you’re looking for some dessert, Le Macaron has recently expanded from a kiosk in the mall to a brick and mortar on Country Club Road in front of Kroger. They offer more than just its namesake – there are also gourmet chocolates, gelato, cakes, cheesecakes, other French pastries, and coffee. Or check out their savory items such as chicken salad croissants and quiche. If you’re looking for a lite lunch and a round of desserts to bring back to the office, you’ve found your new favorite shop.
2020 Country Club Road Suite 120. Open Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m , and Sunday Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Kid Friendly Dining Options in SWLA
by Taylor Trahan Henry
When you think of the perfect place to celebrate a family occasion or grab a bite to eat after finishing up a ball game or dance class, white linen dining and a la carte menus don’t exactly check the boxes. No worries! In Southwest Louisiana, there’s no shortage of kid friendly options. Many area restaurants offer discounted or free nights for kids, coloring pages, great spaces and delicious kids’ menus.
Mr. Gatti’s Pizzas
A fan favorite with three locations in Southwest Louisiana, Mr. Gatti’s has easily earned its spot on this listing. Buffet style dining and the famous game room are the top two attractions that make this eatery a go-to for families. It’s also a great space to host birthday parties, with packages that include food, drink, and game tokens.
Sulphur (1811 Ruth St.), Lake Charles (3522 Ryan St.), and Jennings (1320 Elton Rd.).
Crying Eagle Brewery
A brewery may not be top of mind when deciding on a family dinner, but Crying Eagle isn’t your ordinary brewery. Their Bistro serves some incredible eats to be enjoyed in their spacious dining area or on the sprawling patio. With plenty of room to move around, kid favorites like pizza and fries, and outdoor games, it’s an ideal spot for adults and kids alike.
1165 E. McNeese St. in Lake Charles.
Crust Pizza Co.
Relatively new to the SWLA restaurant scene, Crust Pizza Co. has three locations to choose from. Kid’s eat free on Tuesdays (two kids per one adult entrée) and their kids’ menu is a little different than most. Of course, favorites like mac n’ cheese and pizza are there but Crust also offers smaller portions of Italian favorites like spaghetti and alfredo!
Sulphur (206 S. Cities Service Hwy.), Lake Charles (3479 Nelson Rd.) and Moss Bluff (1355 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy.)
Rikenjaks Brewing Company
Rikenjaks offers an incredible outdoor space, complete with games, live music, and a menu full of delicious family favorites. It’s a great place to celebrate a family birthday or enjoy Sunday brunch together! You can even bring your four-legged family member along if you plan to sit on the patio.
3716 Ryan St. in Lake Charles.
Nothing says “kid friendly” like a giant Transformer on the patio, and that’s just the beginning at this artisan pizza spot. The outdoor dining space is eclectic and super fun, and it’s sure to have the kids asking to go back. Menu choices are endless with build-your-own options as well as perfectly crafted flavors. Kids eat free with the purchase of any pizza on Monday evenings.
3420 Ryan St. in Lake Charles.
K’s Frozen Delights and More
K’s Frozen Delights & More is sure to be a favorite for the whole crew. Its menu boasts dozens of options for dessert and even a few salty, savory dishes like sandwiches, hot dogs and nachos. More popular items like rolled ice cream and stuffed snow cones catch your eye immediately. The classic 50s diner motif will make you feel like you stepped back in time!
1842 Ruth St. in Sulphur.
The culinary scene in Southwest Louisiana is abundant and accommodates many different dining styles. Whether you’re looking for a quick meal with the kids on a busy weeknight or a go-to place for family dinners, you’re sure to find it!