Having spent my college years in Shreveport, Louisiana, I am no stranger to the restaurant scene there. I mean, one can only live off cafeteria food for so long before venturing out in search of other options. For anyone in the area, here are a few of the best local restaurants to try while you’re there:
10. If you’re a hipster… Marilynn’s Place ($$) This is a gas-station turned into a restaurant, which makes it so unique. The food is pretty good, but if you’re from New Orleans don’t expect to be too impressed…North Louisiana isn’t exactly known for its seafood or po-boys. You’ll love the atmosphere though, especially nights when they have live music.
9. If you want homestyle southern cooking… Cotton Boll Grill ($) This is a hole-in-the-wall place that’s only open for lunch on weekdays. If you can get away from work or school, it’s worth the trip out. The food is great and the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re in your momma’s kitchen.
8. For a classy night out… Wine Country Bistro ($$$) This is a fancy restaurant that’s fun for a special occasion. Expect to spend about $50 a person (unless you just order soup). If you want to dress up, eat something different, drink wine, and dance on the patio to live music, this is the perfect spot!
7. If you’re in the mood for chips and salsa… Tacomania ($) This is a less-expensive and more charming local alternative to Superior’s Grill. The chips and salsa rock, the service is great, and the food is cheap.
6. If you want pasta… Monjuni’s ($$) The marinara sauce is amazing. Order spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmesan, or lasagna. Or just buy a jar of sauce from the kitchen and go home and boil your own noodles (I do this all the time–I eat spaghetti like five nights a week).
5. If you want pizza… Pieworks ($$) The most popular pizza joint in town–what more can I say?
4. If you like Indian food… India’s Restaurant ($$) This too is a hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop kind of place (all the best restaurants are). It’s run by a family from India, so you know it’s authentic. From the statues of Buddah to the Bollywood music playing in the background, this is the perfect place to have an intimate discussion and immerse yourself in Indian culture.
3. If you want a quiet, romantic dinner… Sushi Gen ($$) I love the atmosphere here. It’s so refreshing to find a quiet, low-key sushi and hibachi place. You know what I mean–don’t you hate those big, noisy places where groups of middle-aged women sit around the grill singing the happy birthday song, drinking too much sake, and laughing hysterically when the chef sculpts the fried rice into obscene shapes? You won’t have that at Sushi Gen.
2. If you want Greek food… Athena’s ($$) Practically across the street from Sushi Gen and Wine Country, you’ll find this awesome Greek restaurant holding its own against the competition. They offer hookah if you’re into that sort of thing. I just go for the great food.
1. If you want GOOD Chinese food… Imperial Cathay ($$) This is not a buffet. This is not some strip-mall China King. This is epic Chinese food. Which is why Imperial is #1 on my list. The service is friendly and efficient, the menu is extensive, and you’ll never have anything there you won’t like (speaking from experience). Seriously, I ate here on a weekly basis (perhaps more frequently) in college. I highly recommend!
**$=entrees under $10, $$=entrees $10-20, $$$=entrees over $20