Here are six destination restaurants that are worth the drive from New Orleans. Although there is no shortage of great food in New Orleans, sometimes you have a special craving, want a new experience, or just feel the need for a road trip. No problem. Enjoyable dining experiences with great food and unique atmospheres can be found nearby in Louisiana and Mississippi, sometimes just off the highway.
If you want more than just a food destination, check out these additional ideas for day trips from New Orleans.
1. Des Families
The awesome swamp view is worth the trip alone. A huge glass wall is a window into the swamp and you may well see an alligator while dining. Try to get a table by the windows. The food is mostly upscale Cajun including a variety of seafood and other dishs, as well as decadent desserts.
Des Families is a favorite place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. And this is one fine dining restaurant that kids love, for the swamp and the old time wooden swing on the front porch. It's about a half hour drive from New Orleans west bank. Open Tuesday - Sunday.
- 7163 Barataria Blvd.
- Crown Point, LA
New Orleanians have long been making the drive to Manchac for Middendorf's catfish. Its website includes a quote from Southern Living that this destination restaurant offers what may well be the best catfish in the WORLD.
There are other options, but most everyone gets the fried catfish. Although thick filets are available, the place is known for those thin filets that are both crunchy and melt in your mouth. The restaurant is right off the elevated interstate 55 (exit 15) and right on the water. It's a pleasant highway drive along the wetlands Open 10:30 am - 9 pm, Wednesday - Sundays; The deck and sunset room are open on weekends.
- 30160 Hwy. 51 South
- Akers, LA (Everyone knows it as Manchac, but the official address is Akers.)
3. Trey Yen
Trey Yen has long been a favorite for Chinese food and a favorite stop for New Orleanians when they drive across the Causeway to the North Shore. It is just minutes away from the Causeway Bridge in Mandeville. Open 7 days a week.
- 600 N. Causeway Blvd.
- Mandeville, LA
Chef John Folse reopened his restaurant, Lafitte's Landing inside of the Bittersweet Plantation, his former home, in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. You couldn't have a finer meal in a finer atmosphere. This is a popular spot for special occasion dinner celebration. You can also make a weekend out of your visit since Bed and Breakfast options are also available. Check the website for the most direct route and a scenic route option.
- 404 Claiborne
- Donaldsonville, LA
5. La Provence
Chef John Besh took over this rural French countryside restaurant. It's founder was his mentor. Much of what's served in the French country style restaurant is grown or raised on the premises. Wed - Sat, 5-9 pm; Sun. 11 am - 9 pm.
- 25020 Highway 190
- Lacomb, LA
It's a self-described Family Food Drinkery. Two of the Mississippi spots are right off the I-10. The closest, easiest, and self-proclaimed 'purtiest" Shed is a right off the Interestate in Scott, Mississippi. Other nearby Gulf Coast Sheds are in Gulfport and Ocean Springs. There are also Sheds in Destin, Mobile, and Hattiesburg.
The Shed does look like a huge pieced-together Shed with a funky & fun atmosphere. Besides the great food, it a place where the Blues are celebrated. Check each Shed's schedule for live music, comedy and more.
- 100 yards off Exit 97 of I-10 North (308 Hwy. 93 North)
- Scott, MS
- Closed Mondays
- 15094 Mills Road
- Gulfport, MS
- Open 7 Days a Week
- 1000 yards off Exit 57 off I-10 North (7501 Hwy.57)
- Ocean Springs, MS
- Open 7 Days a Week