When you think “college town,” you mostly likely think of a couple streets stacked high with apartments, fast food joints, bars, and the like. LSU is no different. In fact, we thrive off it.
However, when it comes time for a special occasion, AKA, graduation, sitting down with your fam at the luxurious Taco Bell on the corner or jammin’ to 80’s rock at Raisin’ Cane’s might not exactly fit the bill. Nah, it’s a special day. Don’t resort to eating out of a take-out box.
Luckily, Baton Rouge has some secret spots that fit the occasion, and are not too far from campus. Plus, being that this is the south, amazing food is our middle name. You can hang with the ‘rents somewhere nice for your graduation dinner and not have to worry about the smoky, boozy college scene getting in the way of a good time. Check them out.
Oddly enough, this Louisiana fave originated in Destin, Florida in the 80’s, and made its way over to our home state after becoming a smash-hit.
This is one of those places you go and you just feel fancy. It’s definitely the perfect spot to celebrate your graduation in style while digging into the best seafood dishes in the state.
If you decide to drop by they’ll serve you up some fresh-from-the-Gulf LA favorites that are certainly worth every penny. Don’t let the price discourage you…it’s your graduation! Treat yo’ self.
Interested in some good ol’ fashioned Creole cookin’? Look no further, my friend. Juban’s, while startlingly salmon-colored on the outside, prides itself on being able to cater to any occasion, and boy can they. Famous for catering weddings, hosting private corporate lunches, and even an extensive bar, Juban’s rises to any occasion.
And of course, your graduation is included in that.
Like most Louisiana restaurants, they serve the finest seafood, as well as steak and chicken entrees that are to die for. There’s something on the menu for both grandma and your kid-brother. The service you’ll receive is incredibly professional, and although the menu is a tad pricey, Juban’s definitely delivers.
If you’re looking to spice up your graduation dinner, definitely check out Mestizo for some unique Mexican-inspired cuisine. Mestizo thrives off authenticity that most chain restaurants cannot achieve. With an owner that boasts his Mexican-Cajun heritage and a desire to introduce Baton Rouge to something they’ve never had before, it’s safe to say that you’re in for a treat.
Besides, this is your graduation, your step into full adulthood, and how better to celebrate while eating food that is anything but the same ol’-same ol’?
Plus, for the quality of food you can expect to enjoy at Mestizo, the prices are incredibly good. Everyone wins.
Two words: wine bar.
Fleming’s is probably the place to celebrate any major life-happening. If the mouth watering menu wasn’t enough, simply sitting in a room decorated as lavishly as Fleming’s will make you feel like royalty. And technically you are, because it’s not every day that you graduate from college. Congrats, champ, you earned it.
I highly suggest making a reservation for you and your crew, and you can do it oh-so-conveniently on their website. They also offer a private dining option customized to your group size, so if everyone and their mother is showing up to see you getting that diploma, check that out.
Fleming’s prides itself on catering to your every need, and if that’s giving your and your family the best and most extravagant dining experience out there, then you’re golden.
As can be expected, the prices here are a bit steep, but considering there’s an entire section of their menu dedicated to steak alone, I’d say it’s completely worth it.
I say that any occasion calls for a pizza party. And I’m not talking about the frozen pizzas you stick in your oven or the pies you get delivered to your doorstep on a Friday night, I’m talking about fancy, mouth-watering, California-inspired pizza.
On top of the tons of pizza-licious choices you and the fam have to choose from, they offer some other healthy options to please even the pickiest of eaters. And unlike other pizza joints, those other options are just as good as the pizza.
The inside of the restaurant bleeds upscale-chic, and while a pizza place might not sound like the fanciest of options for a graduation dinner, CPK (as it’s known around here), definitely breaks that stereotype. It’s located right in the middle of Perkins Rowe, a ritzy little area that will fit right in with your graduation-wear and your grandma’s pearl earrings.
I recommend reservations, as the wait time can get pretty lengthy in the evenings.
Ruth’s Chris, another steakhouse fave, has a warm atmosphere (or maybe that’s the giant fire place in the lounge), and a timeless elegance perfect for a private graduation party.
They offer the finest, mouth-watering steaks as well as shrimp and lobster dishes full of fresh, Louisiana flavor. You definitely can’t go wrong there. Excellent service at Ruth’s Chris will make your experience as classy as can be. I mean, their tagline is “This is how it’s done.” And boy do they deliver.
The prices, again, are steep, but go ahead and splurge on a nice dinner. It’ll be so worth your while.
Interested in something a little different? Definitely hit up The Rum House to spend an evening an a Caribbean island (okay not really, but it’ll feel like you’re there).
Without the classroom worries on your mind any longer, the “hakuna matata” attitude The Rum House is famous for sets the perfect vibe for a post-college celebration. So sit back, enjoy some rum from their extensive list, and try out some of the best and most unique food you’ll probably ever have in your entire life. (And for a great price too!)
Also, most of their plates are gluten-free, as if you needed another excuse to go try out the new Baton Rouge hit.
Tsunami is a rather new Baton Rouge fave, and it’s rather hidden. Situated on the 6th floor of The Shaw Center, you’ll be treated not only to fantastic sushi, but to an amazing view of the Mississippi River. You can’t find that anywhere else.
The inside of Tsunami is sleek and upscale, making for an ultra-classy night with the fam. A flavorful menu awaits you and your tastebuds, with everything from soup to salad to sushi for a really good price.
The cool thing about Tsunami is the variety of cultures that influence their food, besides the obvious Japanese flair. They have a rare Chinese white tea, Vietnamese ice cream, and their award-winning Pacific Bread Pudding that includes mango and Hawaiian bread topped with a Polynesian praline glaze which you absolutely must get no matter what. It’s definitely a good way to spend the night.
If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back and closer to campus, go to The Chimes on Highland Road. It’s walking distance from anywhere on campus, and a crowd favorite.
Louisiana comfort food is the best food, and that’s The Chimes’s specialty. Seafood gumbo, oysters, fried shrimp, crawfish etouffée, and red beans and rice are some of the most popular picks, and definitely the best. The Chimes is good for dressin’ up or dressin’ down, and is perfect for kicking back and relaxing while enjoying your soul food.
It comes pricey enough to keep the entire campus away, but you won’t be breaking the bank for a bowl of hot gumbo.
Looking for a way to spice up your night? Texas de Brazil, a newbie in Perkins Rowe, will give you just that. A Brazilian-style cuisine with a Texas spirit might be the kick you need to celebrate grad night, and Texas de Brazil will be sure to give it to ya.
An enormous seasonal salad bar that offers appetizers, veggies, soups, and of course, salads, is what you prepare yourself with. When you’re ready, you’ll be doted on by numerous servers who will carve you generous servings of beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and Brazilian sausage on command, and definitely don’t forget to order the house-baked Brazilian cheese bread to go with it.
Prices are a bit high here, but for the amount of food you’re getting and the quality (there’s no other place in Baton Rouge quite like it), it’s so worth it to dish out a couple extra bucks.
Are you one of those people who can never pick what to eat? You’re always the last one to order, because you’re scanning the menu for the fifth time trying to find something that jumps out at you, right? Me too. Luckily, at Restaurant IPO, there’s a little bit of everything to choose from.
They refuse to be grouped into one particular category, instead offering the usual worldwide favorites with a southern Louisiana flare. The menu includes everything from bacon caramel popcorn to filet mignon, and if that won’t please every single member of your party, then what will? And don’t worry about breaking the bank. The prices are actually pretty fantastic.
IPO is definitely one for the books and the one for the ultimate graduation dinner.
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