225 Things to Do in a Pandemic - [225] Magazine

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Plan OUT

Your Adventure

with BREC Baton Rouge Zoo

Baton Rouge Gallery Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center Blueway Trails/ Boat Launches: Highland + Greenwood

Cohn Arboretum Conservation Trails:

Blackwater + Frenchtown + Kendalwood Manchac + Forest + Hooper + Comite

Dog Parks:

Burbank + City Park + Forest + Greenwood + Zachary

Extreme Sports Park Farr Park Equestrian Center & RV Campground Golf Courses:

Dumas + Santa Maria + Beaver Creek JS Clark + Webb + City Park

Highland Road Park Observatory Magnolia Mound Mountain Bike Trails: Hooper + Comite

Tennis Centers:

City Park + Independence Greenwood + Forest + Highland



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Explore all BREC has to offer The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to find new ways to have fun, celebrate milestones and remain active. While it forced the closure of some BREC facilities, our beautiful green spaces and trails have been utilized more than ever before. As you search for new things to do during this pandemic, I invite you to visit brec.org and explore the parks, conservation areas, trails, waterways, golf courses, Zoo, Swamp, splash pads, botanic gardens, dog parks and much more. These spaces are yours. Visit them and reap the physical and mental health benefits that we all need right now.

Corey Wilson Superintendent, BREC

There’s no reason to ever be bored in area code 225. Whatever you’re interested in exploring, your East Baton Rouge Parish Library offers something fun and engaging, either in person or online. In addition to millions of books, movies, music, and more, plus access to e-book downloads and streaming media, we offer FREE virtual leisure and enrichment classes for all ages. Everything from computer programming, to cooking light, to home brewing, to playing the piano! There’s help for students, too. All you need to get started is your East Baton Rouge Parish Library card. Check it out at ebrpl.com!

Spencer Watts Director, East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Proud to be part of the 225 community At Window World, we are passionate about our premium quality products, attention to detail, and dedication to customer satisfaction. Our company was established in Baton Rouge by Jim Roland, an LSU graduate and enthusiastic supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in our capital city. We are fortunate to be celebrating our 25th anniversary and to be recognized again as the number one installer of energy efficient windows in the U.S. Today our company operates in three states and services major markets such as New Orleans, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Tampa. Our journey started in Baton Rouge, and we are proud to be part of the 225 community.

Dear 225 Readers: While 2020 will be known as one of the most challenging years, I’m proud of how our community has worked together and adapted. From the entrepreneurial spirit of our local businesses to the commitment of our healthcare community, I have been inspired by so many this year. At Raising Cane’s, we’ve worked hard to keep our Crew and Customers safe and even found new ways to serve our Customers faster. While we can’t wait to see your smiling faces inside our restaurants again, we are grateful for your continued support. ONE LOVE,

Todd Graves Founder, Chairman, CEO, Fry Cook and Cashier Raising Cane’s

Jerell Thomas President

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Here's your definitive guide to getting out during a pandemic. BACK IN MARCH, Baton Rouge and the rest of Louisiana were subject to a condition wholly unfamiliar to us: a stayat-home order. As the terrible COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, isolation seemed the only way to slow it. The lifestyle that defines our very culture came to a sudden, unprecedented halt. No Friday nights out on the town. No concerts in the park. No festivals. No big backyard crawfish boils with family, friends and neighbors. No longtime friends gathered carefree around a big table in a restaurant, enjoying wine, laughter and fine dining. And our fave boutiques were closed until further notice. Fifty-five days later we emerged—cautiously. Unsure. Still limited in what we could do. Still staying six feet away from everyone else and close to home. Though the stay-at-home order has ended, our health remains at the forefront of everything we do. It has changed how we work. How our children are schooled. Our dining, shopping and travel habits. And from


Publisher: Julio Melara


Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Staff writer: Cynthea Corfah Digital content editor: Mark Clements Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Julia-Claire Evans, Maria Marsh, April Capochino Myers, Tracey Koch, Elle Marie, Kayla Randall, Maggie Heyn Richardson, Stephanie Riegel Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Catrice Coleman, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt, Haskell Whittington


handshakes to hugs, it has made us cautious about how we greet one another. But we’ve made it through Phase 1 and Phase 2. Now in Phase 3, we’re starting to see glimpses of a new normal version of the life we know and love. For those who are ready to get going (safely!) 225 offers this digital exclusive guide to outdoors and recreation, food and drink, activities, shopping and services and events—both live and virtual—that await your company, with extra cleaning and disinfecting, sanitizer and masks, social distancing and other pandemic protocols in place. Enjoy!

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Brooke Motto Advertising coordinator: Devyn MacDonald


Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles


Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Floyd Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil


CONTENTS To Have Fun 8 How & Stay Safe in a Pandemic 10 Outdoors 16 Food + Drink 29 Activities 36 Shopping + Services 42 Events 46 Readers Recommend RESEARCH: Kaylee Poche PHOTOGRAPHY: Adam Alvarez, Allie Appel, Miriam Buckner, Chloe Enos, Gabrielle Feld, Sean Gasser, Charlene Guilliams, Jordan Hefler, Raegan Labat, Andrea Matherne, Miguel Megevand, Roberto Michel, Taylor Moran, Tim Mueller, Erin Parker, Collin Richie, Kristin Selle, Amy Shutt, Brandi Simmons, Jennifer Tormo, Malarie Zaunbrecher

Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Digital manager: James Hume Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Brown


Production director: Melanie Samaha Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt


Audience development director: Katelyn Oglesby Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. President and CEO: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Kathleen Wray

Above: Frenchtown Road Conservation Area. Above right: A bowl of pho

9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225  •  FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com ©Copyright 2020 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 214-5225. 225 Magazine cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs—with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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The first rule of having fun: BE SAFE AS BATON ROUGE restaurants, entertainment venues and attractions gradually reopen, we’re eager to resume the activities and experiences we love, but also do all we can to ensure our own health and safety. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and adopt critical prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. The Centers for Disease Control offer the following tips as you venture out.

Don’t forget • The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

• If you decide to engage in public activities, protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.

• Keep these items on hand when venturing out: a mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.


Should I venture out?

Answering these questions can help determine and mitigate your level of risk. Am I sick? Yes No If you have COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people. When you can leave home and be around others depends on different factors for different situations. Will my activity put me in close contact with others?



COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with others. • Call ahead and ask what extra prevention strategies are in place, such as requiring staff to wear masks. • Make sure you and the people around you wear a mask in public. • Choose outdoor activities and places where it’s easy to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Seating arrangements, markings on the floor or arrows can guide you.

If you go out

• Look for plexiglass screens, modified layouts or other physical barriers that help you keep your distance.

• Carry these items with you: A mask, tissues, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Am I or those with whom I live at risk for severe illness?

• Monitor yourself for symptoms. • Wash your hands often. • Disinfect surfaces. • Wear a mask. • Stay home if you are sick.



If you have underlying medical conditions or if you live with someone who does, you and all family members should take extra precautions to minimize risk.

• Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands. • Social distance.


If you go out in public, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

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Will I have to share items with others? Yes


Choose places where there is limited sharing of items and where any items that are shared are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.


If you go to … A checklist for additional precautions



• Check the restaurant’s website and social media for COVID-19 safety measures and guidelines. Call ahead to ask if all staff are wearing masks while at work.

• Visit parks that are close to your home.

• Wear a mask when not eating and maintain a proper social distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.

• Check with the park or recreation area in advance to learn which areas or services are open and prepare safely.

• Maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more in any entryway or waiting area.

• Do not go into a crowded area or trail.

• When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart.

• Do not visit parks where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.

• Choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.



• Prioritize attending outdoor activities over indoor activities and stay within your local area as much as possible.

• Use options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment.

• Use social distancing and limit physical contact.

• Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby.

• Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people who don’t live in your household. Be particularly mindful of check-in areas, parking lots, and routes of entry and exit. • Select seating or determine where to stand based on the ability to keep 6 feet of space from others. • Arrive early or at off-peak times to avoid crowding and congested areas. • Avoid using restroom facilities or concession areas at high traffic times, such as intermission, halftime, or immediately at the end of the event. • Masks are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voices, such as shouting, chanting, or singing. • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items. • Avoid self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use grab-and-go meal options, if available. • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer immediately before eating food or after touching any common surfaces like hand railings, payment kiosks, door handles, and toilets.

• Ask if the hotel has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items, such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, business center computers and printers, ice/vending machines, and remote controls. • Minimize use of areas that may lead to close contact with other people as much as possible, like break rooms, lounge areas, dining areas, game rooms, salons, and fitness centers. • Use the elevator only when you can ride alone or with people from your household, or consider taking the stairs. • Request contactless delivery for any room service order.

AMUSEMENTS OR ATTRACTIONS • Only visit those that require all staff and guests to wear masks and allow for social distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals or household groups. • Seat yourself on rides without assistance if possible and only on those where seating arrangements are modified to allow for social distancing between riders. • Look for cleaning and disinfection or replacement of frequently touched surfaces and shared objects between uses. • Look for hand sanitizer at entry and exit points, key thoroughfares, attractions, rides, games, food and beverage concessions, and outside restrooms.

This information was provided by the Centers for Disease Control. For more information from the agency about safe practices when you go out, click here.

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Jump to page 12 for Greenwood Community Park, No. 8 on our list.

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Coronavirus particles spread less easily outdoors, giving us a reason to enjoy the many spaces in the region to hike, bike, run and play.

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Head to Scott’s Bluff at Southern University for the best sunsets. Drive through Southern to the west side of campus, and you’ll get to a bluff overlooking the river known as “the Bluff.” Legend has it this is where the famous “red stick”—from which Baton Rouge got its name—was found. Everyone entering the campus must have their temperatures checked and wear a mask.





Get a taste of extreme sports at Perkins Road Community Park. Catch some air in the BREC park’s skate park or the BMX raceway (or just watch as the fearless bikers and skaters soar overhead). The skate park is open from sunrise to sunset daily, and the raceway is open Tuesday and Thursday, 4-9 p.m., Saturday, 4-9 p.m., and Sunday: 3-6 p.m. brec.org Bird watch at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. Grab a pair of binoculars and try to spot barred owls and red-bellied woodpeckers. Just watch out for water snakes. The center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will have their temperature taken and fill out a COVID-19 related questionnaire before entering. brec.org

Take a swing at one of BREC’s 80+ tennis courts or take a lesson at one of its five Tennis Centers. The sport already naturally incorporates social distancing, so now is the perfect opportunity to perfect your tennis grunt. brec.org/tennis Go fish. Conservationists with BREC regularly stock lakes at places like the Burbank Soccer Complex and Greenwood Community Park with catfish, rainbow trout and other types of fish, so you can cast a line. When visiting the Burbank complex, enter through the east gate.


Learn all about Louisiana’s native trees and shrubs at the LSU Hilltop Arboretum. The Highland Road facility—perfect for a stroll among shady trees you may not realize call Louisiana home—is free and open seven days a week. Bathrooms and water fountains are closed, but the nursery is open for contactless plant sales Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Enjoy 144 acres of rolling greenery at Highland Road Community Park. Play everything from rugby to disc golf, or head to the observatory to look at the stars. brec.org


Soak up the sun on a day beach trip to one of the local beaches. Frenchtown Road Conservation Area in Central and Blackwater Conservation Area in Baker both have beaches open to the public. You can hike on the trails and then pop in the water to cool off. brec.org


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Check out the new renovations at Skate Galaxy. While the facility was closed earlier in the pandemic, it is back open with a new skate floor, DJ booth, carpet and set of paint. Members of the public can skate Thursday through Sunday—those 8 years old and older must be masked up. Capacity is limited, and reservations are available over phone and online. skategalaxy.com




Paddle your arms off with BREC’s Blueways paddle launching project. Take your kayak, canoe or paddle board down to the Highland Road Park launch, open sunset to sundown for no fee. brec.org

Snap a photo with the “Sing the River” Rotary Club sculpture on the Mississippi River levee. The large metallic sculpture, designed by artist Po Shu Wang, is both a sight and a sound to behold: It plays music that correlates with the tides of the river. Check it out downtown at the intersection of River Road and Florida Street. visitbatonrouge.com


Take a scenic bike trail through woods and over bluffs at Hooper Road Park and Comite River Park. The parks are just 3 miles apart along Hooper Road.


Go 18 holes at Webb Memorial Golf Course. It’s an idyllic south Louisiana setting, with huge oak trees lining the fairways. You can also go a few rounds at City Park Golf Course, Santa Maria Golf Course, Dumas Memorial Golf Course and J.S. Clark Park.


Cool down at a splash pad. Pads at City-Brooks Community Park, Forest Community Park, Greenwood Community Park, Highland Road Community Park and Zachary Community Park are open for two sessions between noon and 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m. Employees will sanitize in between sessions.


Pretend you’re an Olympian and get on the ice. With the closing of Leo’s, there’s no longer a place to ice skate year-round in Baton Rouge. So get your fill during the holidays at the River Center’s Skating on The River event currently scheduled for Dec. 18 through Jan. 3 this year. Dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions. raisingcanesrivercenter.com



Play disc golf at Greenwood Park in Baker. Players throw a disc at a target instead of using a ball and clubs, and a BREC employee says the sport has increased in popularity during the pandemic. brec.org



Challenge your household to a croquet tournament at City-Brooks Community Park’s croquet court. Who will strike the center peg first? brec.org


Work on perfecting your serve at a sand volleyball court. Play for free at The Oasis Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. or join a walk-up tournament on Friday. You can also play on courts at BREC facilities, like the ones at Kathy Drive Park and Jefferson Highway Park.


Take a ride on a horse at Farr Park Equestrian Center. Enjoy guided trail rides and lessons through the sprawling BREC park on River Road. brec.org


Discover the splendor of science and nature at the free and public Botanic Garden at Independence Park. Take a walk among flowers and plants and see how many you can identify. brec.org

Climb to the top at Uptown Climbing. With a mantra like “Don’t just sit there—Get UP,” it is the cream of the indoor rock-climbing crop, and it accommodates all different experience levels. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, climbing is currently only open to members in threehour intervals and punch card holders. (Get a punch card when you buy five- or 10-day passes in bulk.) uptownclimbing.com


Cycle or stroll through the Downtown Greenway. The completed North Boulevard Promenade section is one of the most picturesque paths downtown, and the path along North Boulevard Expressway was recently extended. The full 2.75-mile trail-in-progress provides Baton Rougeans with a safe option to get around the city. downtownbatonrouge.org 225batonrouge.com  |  225 Things to Do in a Pandemic  |  Exclusive Digital Edition




Jump around at trampoline park DEFY Baton Rouge. The park has regular hours but has a limited capacity of 50 people and jumpers age 8 and over must wear masks as per statewide Phase 2 restrictions. Employees will sanitize the facility throughout the day.

Seek thrills by mountain biking at Comite River Park or Hooper Road Park. Local mountain bike enthusiasts swear the Comite trail along Comite River and Cypress Bayou is the city’s best-kept secret. Keep an eye out for upcoming races at brec.org.



Cycle down the Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path. Not only is it great for cycling, it’s also accessible to all your favorite downtown attractions, from the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to the Old State Capitol.


Work out at North Sherwood Community Park or Independence Community Park. Both have outdoor fitness equipment free and available to the public.


Take your stir-crazy pup to a local dog park. Forest, Greenwood and Zachary Community Parks are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Plus Burbank Dog Park, which even offers a wash station, is open for limited hours Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. brec.org


Curl up with a good book as you hammock in one of the area’s more than 180 parks. Pick a park and hunt for two good trees to set up shop. Find a list of BREC parks here.


Get your heart pumping at a distanced fitness class. Visit the websites of fitness companies GymFit, Iron Tribe and others to find the right workout that’s right for you.



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Make yourself feel a little less like you’re in the Sahara Desert and a little more like you’re in a tropical getaway by visiting your local pool. Luckily, there are tons to cool off in, like the ones at City-Brooks Community Park and Anna T. Jordan Community Park—open TuesdaySunday at 50% capacity from noon-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m., with employees sanitizing in between sessions.


Watch a performance by Bayou Cirque, a local circus troupe complete with aerialists, acrobats, flow artists, stilt walkers and fire spinners. They are tentatively planning several events in the region in the next several months, including performances at a “reverse” Halloween Parade, Renaissance Festival in Hammond and Baton Rouge’s Festival of Lights.



Go for a nightly bike ride on a bike that glows in the dark. Geaux Ride hosts group bike rides downtown each Thursday at 7 p.m. at 521 N. Third St., but colorful lighted bike rentals and portable speaker rentals are also available all nights of the week from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. geauxridebikes.com


Take in the view at LSU and City Park lakes. They are perfect for jogging, biking or a socially distanced beach picnic at Milford Wampold Memorial Park.


Tag, you’re it! Round up your friends for a game of laser tag at Skate Galaxy or Cajun Laser Tag. Capacity is limited, so you may want to call ahead of time to make reservations.


Take some time to breathe with an outdoor yoga class. Times are stressful right now, and yoga classes from Leela Yoga Lifestyle or the Yoga Noir Project may help you clear your mind. Just don’t forget your mat—or your mask.


Soar through the sky like a bird. Take a trip to Abita Springs so that you can cross skydiving off your bucket list with the help of Gold Coast Sky Divers.


Race go-karts at Celebration Station. With go-karts, bumper cars and miniature golf, the kids are sure to have the time of their lives at this entertainment venue. celebrationstation.com


Tube down the Tickfaw River. Rent a tube over the weekend from Tiki Tubing rentals in Denham Springs, which includes parking and transportation to the river which you’ll be able to float down at your leisure. Floating ice chests are also available to rent, and masks required for the bus ride to the river. tikitubing.com


Go chase waterfalls at Tunica Hills. Drive north of St. Francisville for miles of hiking and to experience 15- to 20-foot southern waterfalls for a scenic getaway that won’t require you to be in the car all day. world-of-waterfalls.com


Pretend you’re in the Hunger Games as you hone your archery skills at Gotham Archery. Not only can shoot arrows at this Central facility spanning 9,000 square feet, but you can also try your hand at throwing axes at targets. gothamarcherybr.com


Host a cornhole tournament in your backyard. Put your bean bag tossing skills to the ultimate test for a little friendly competition among housemates. Rent a cornhole set from Red Stick Entertainment, draw up your bracket and let the games commence!


Hunt for hidden treasures by geocaching. Baton Rougeans have hidden 36 objects around the city. Can you find them using just the GPS coordinates? You can hunt for objects that have been previously discovered or tackle being the first to find one. Once you find a few, add to the fun by burying something of your own. 225batonrouge.com  |  225 Things to Do in a Pandemic  |  Exclusive Digital Edition






Jump to page 27 for Superior Grill, No. 120 on our list.

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OLD SCHOOL If you haven’t had these classic Baton Rouge experiences, have you really lived in Baton Rouge? Now is a great time to support these Capital City staples, whether it’s by dining in where there’s limited seating to ensure diner safety, or ordering pick-up or takeout.


Sip a tried-and-true classic root beer float from Frostop. The root beer float in a frosted mug has been iconic for decades, so much so that you can see the giant mold of it out front from a ways away. frostoprestaurant.com


Switch up your lunch break plans and head to American Market. Get the pressed Cajun turkey sandwich at this Nicholson Drive convenience store long known for its inexpensive pressed sandwiches. Find it on Facebook.


Eat biscuits for breakfast, lunch and dessert. With a smokehouse and a broad Southern menu that includes fruit-topped hotcakes, Frank’s feels like diner heaven. But what you really come for are the self-described world-famous biscuits. Order them with breakfast, doozied up with grilled shrimp and Creole sauce or chicken fried steak, or stuffed with fruit filling and topped with whipped cream. franksrestaurantla.com


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Earn your rite of passage at the Pastime Restaurant. It has been a staple for more than 70 years, thanks to its easy vibe, thin-crust pizza, po-boys and more. Indoor seating and curbside pickup available. pastimerestaurant.com


Order like a president at Poor Boy Lloyd’s. When President Barack Obama visited Baton Rouge, he stopped at downtown’s po-boy HQ, Poor Boy Lloyd’s. He ordered two oyster poboys, a shrimp po-boy, red beans and rice, and boudin balls. Indoor and outdoor seating available, as well as takeout and delivery. poorboylloyds.com


Feel the love at Zeeland Street Market. Slow-cooked for hours, Mama’s pot roast is an anchor item at the family-run restaurant in the heart of the Garden District/Perkins Road area. While it was closed temporarily earlier in the pandemic, owner Stephanie Phares and her team made food for elderly residents in the community. zeelandstreet.squarespace.com


Go Old World at Pinetta’s. Open on and off since 1962, this European restaurant has charmed diners with a dimly lit interior that’s straight out of The Godfather. Chianti bottle garlands and Old World figurines grace the walls, while Italian opera plays. Its red gravy recipe takes several days to complete. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday varying hours. Find it on Facebook.


Stop and smell the shawarma. The Baton Rouge food experience isn’t complete without a fix of chicken shawarma, feta salad, baba ghanoush, rosewater-spiked iced tea and other Lebanese mainstays. Since


the ’80s, Mediterranean restaurants have taken root in the community, and their momentum hasn’t faded. Try spots like Albasha, Akasha, Arzi’s, Serop’s and others.



Brave the inevitable sugar-dusting that will happen to your clothes at Coffee Call. Its bustling vibe and friendly menu make it a perfect spot for those late-night cravings for beignets and café au lait. Find it on Facebook.


Enjoy sports and seafood at Mike Anderson’s. Its founder was an LSU All-American, and its seafood-filled menu has been charming diners for decades. Get half-off six chargrilled oysters with the purchase of an entree every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. mikeandersons.com


Embrace the rectangular pizza at Fleur de Lis Pizza. The restaurant has its quirks, but that’s why we love it. For one: Don’t even think about substitutions. They don’t exist here, and neither do credit cards. One of its most popular items is the Round the World pizza, a thin-crust Roman pie with anchovies, Italian sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, salami and onions. fleurdelispizza.com


Experience the chicken parmigiana at Gino’s Restaurant. The family owned eatery has been serving up southern Italian eats in the Capital City since 1966, and its warm fireplace and candlelight make it a romantic spot for a date night. ginosrestaurant. com


Up your tolerance at Duvic’s. From Pink Devils to French Kisses, the martini menu screams “game on.” The bartenders at this Perkins overpass area dive will grant your wishes, whether they’re shaken, stirred, on the rocks or straight. Or just check out the eats on the menu. duvicsbar.com


Shop the independents. Most American cities are overrun with supermarket chains, but the Capital Region is flush in independent grocers. Shop Calandro’s, Matherne’s, Alexander’s, Calvin’s, Bet-R, Ralphs, Rouses and others to find the latest local products, fresh prepared meals, seafood, experienced meat cutters and first-name-basis service.


Get a Fresh Strawberry Cake at Ambrosia Bakery. It makes specialty cakes and sweets but is best known for its trademarked Fresh Strawberry Cake: four yellow layers with a creamy filling and frosting made with chunks of Louisiana’s favorite fresh fruit. Dine-in seating is limited. ambrosiabakery.com


Take advantage of our drive-thru daiquiri culture. South Louisiana didn’t invent the Styrofoam “go cup,” but we’ve perfected its application, especially when it holds a daiquiri. Local tradition demands stopping at spots like Zippy’s or Spanky’s to procure one (or more) on warm summer or cool fall nights. Combine it with a sack of boiled crawfish outdoors for total bliss. Just don’t drink and drive.


Pick your produce at the Red Stick Farmers Market. You’ll know your produce and products are coming from regional farms and companies. Two weekly locations make it easy to stock up on our year-round bounty of fruits, vegetables, breads, eggs and dairy, meats and seafood, and more. Keep an eye out for the Baton Rouge Arts Market on the first Saturday of the month. breada.org


Taste the difference that handmade, small-batch pasta makes. D’Agostino Pasta Company’s high-quality, dried pasta comes in all sorts of fun shapes, including LSU-themed for tailgate pasta salads. Order online or pick some up at your local grocery. dagostinopasta.com


Return to The Chimes. There’s something about this hot spot that never goes out of style. Belly up to the bar and sample one of hundreds of craft and global beers, nosh on oysters, and sink your teeth into Cajun staples. Be sure to check out the new rooftop overlooking Highland Road just off LSU’s campus. thechimes.com


Tour Tony’s Seafood. An absolute must for outof-town visitors and locals alike, Tony’s has everything from fresh local seafood to live catfish to plate lunches. Pick up a medley of fried seafood, boudin balls, boiled crawfish and the best priced jumbo lump crabmeat. tonyseafood.com


Soak in the charm of DiGiulio Brothers. Low lights and the cheery murmur of happy regulars define this Perkins overpass area anchor with an outdoor dining option. Order from the lineup of reliable Italian specialties and don’t miss the signature jaw-puckering house salad or the veal piccata with a side of pasta with garlic, olive oil and parsley. digiulios.com

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Get Monjunis sweet red sauce. Monjunis Italian Café & Grocery routinely gets high marks for its sweet and tangy red gravy, with 225 readers voting it Best Red Sauce in 2016 and 2017. The Louisiana Italian restaurant has used the same recipe for decades. Savor it for dinner over tender meatballs or in lasagna, then take home a jar for your own creations. Open Monday through Saturday. monjunis.com


Treat yourself to some alcoholic ice cream at Spiked Scoops. With a selection of ice cream, gelato and sorbet flavors that include carrot cake with spiced rum and bananas foster with Bacardi, the sound of this new ice cream truck will have the adults rushing to line up. Find it on Facebook.


Enjoy Cane’s from the first location. The 500plus bright and shiny Raising Cane’s locations in the U.S. and Middle East all spring from the original Cane’s at Highland Road and State Street. Charmingly worn and forever young, the “Mothership” turns out box after perfect box that you can pick up at the drive thru. raisingcanes.com

set off by shredded lettuce and creamy mayo, is plenty satisfying. georgesbr.com


Pick up fresh links, hogshead cheese and cracklins at Jerry Lee’s. This Greenwell Springs outpost is famous for its freshly made boudin, crafted on site. jerryleescajunfoods.com


Keep the glass on Wednesday pint nights at the Bulldog. Draft freaks know the Bulldog is the place to be for pulls of your favorite beer. Get 50 cents off pints on weekday happy hours. The bar is currently operating as a restaurant, so you must order food to drink here. The Bulldog opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. daily, but 10:30 p.m. is the last chance to order food. bulldogbatonrouge.draftfreak.com


Feel the brews at a local coffee shop. No need to go to Starbucks when we have so many locally owned places. Highland Coffees and Teas coffee shop by LSU has long been known for its quality coffee roasted on site and a peaceful vibe and is open for reduced hours daily. Order a dark roast, or head to a CC’s Coffee House, Brew Ha-Ha, Garden District Coffee, Lighthouse Coffee or City Roots to also buy local.


Savor the vinegary barbecue sauce at Jay’s BarB-Q. It’s like mother’s milk to native Baton Rougeans, and if they’re living elsewhere, a stop at this longtime eatery is essential when home. Get the chopped beef sandwich and a side of slaw. jaysbbq.com


Order your doberge half-and-half at Baum’s Fine Pastries. Open since 1934, a must-try at Baum’s is the doberge cake, the south Louisiana version of a Hungarian pastry in which thin layers of cake are stacked with either chocolate or lemon filling and frosting. Try both in a half-andhalf cake. baumspastries.com


Get your fix of Mexican— with a Louisiana twist—at Mestizo. The restaurant has pushed the boundaries of traditional Tex-Mex into fresh territory. Order yummy dishes like crawfish enchiladas, or go healthier with veggie-centric items. mestizorestaurant.com


Count the dollar bills on the ceiling while you wait for an old-school burger at George’s. Fans of this Perkins overpass area anchor know that to order, you walk up to the bar and scribble down your preferences. The straightforward burger,



Get your fill of the city’s richest comfort food. Getting out for adventures, admiring art and basking in nature all have their place on a Baton Rougean’s agenda, but sometimes it’s just about that warm and happy feeling in your stomach. Some days, all you want to do is order up a plate (or paper carton or styrofoam to-go box) of your favorite comfort food. Here are some recommendations of food to feed your soul. F Fried Chicken at Delpit’s Chicken Shack: The longest continuous purveyor of fried chicken in Baton Rouge, the kitchen at Delpit’s Chicken Shack has been practicing a top-secret “knuckle-suckin’ good” recipe for 82 years. F Three-cheese crawfish mac at The Chimes: This creamy, spicy mac with a Cajun twist is the menu’s hidden gem. A blend of crawfish tails and cheddar, Gouda and pepper jack cheeses under a broiled crust make it one of the most decadent macs in town. thechimes.com

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Delpit's Chicken Shack chicken

F Grilled cheese and tomato soup at The Smiling Dog: Inside the walls of this British pub formerly known as The Londoner is a little slice of heaven in the form of a comforting Swiss, cheddar and Monterey Jack grilled cheese on thick rosemary focaccia. There’s also a menu exclusively for pups. Guests must stay seated unless playing pool. smilingdogbr.com F Soul food at Dorothy’s Soul Food Kitchen: From turkey smothered in brown gravy to cornbread and stewed greens, it doesn’t get much

more home-cooked than stickto-your-ribs, slow-cooked soul food from Dorothy’s. Find them on Facebook. F Bread pudding at City Pork: There are about a million ways to make bread pudding, but City Pork’s is unique: soaked in creme brûlée custard and topped with pecan pralines, homemade bacon caramel ice cream, and crispy, house-cured bacon. Available for catering only. citypork.com More comfort food: Read our full comfort food story online for even more dishes to try.



Brave the line for a taste of Triplet’s Blue Store fried chicken. Sold in convenience store splendor on Plank and Highland roads and Mills Avenue, this hidden gem attracts followers from throughout the region. Find them on Facebook.


Take your out-of-town friends to Parrain’s to gorge on Cajun food. Heaping fried seafood platters, po-boys heavy with shrimp, oysters and catfish, cold oysters on the half shell, gumbo and other Cajun specialties make this rustic eatery a winning spot for locals and visitors. parrains.com


Have your sandwich dressed and pressed at Inga’s. Drop into the cozy, classic campus spot for your favorite combination sub. Note Inga’s signature touch: a shake of oregano and slivers of onion. Find them on Facebook.


Order up chargrilled oysters at Mansurs on the Boulevard. The romantic bar is a great place to stop off for a glass of wine and a dozen fresh Gulf bivalves shellacked with buttery, cheesy and herby toppings. mansursontheboulevard.com


Try to stop eating Village Bread. There’s lots to choose from on Little Village’s menu, but a must try is the buttery, garlicky, pull-apart Village Bread, a wickedly delicious loaf. littlevillagebr.com


Unwind with sunset cocktails at Tsunami. There’s no better restaurant to watch the sunset than on the rooftop of this downtown spot. Order a drink, and watch life unfold on the majestic Mississippi River. servingsushi.com


Taste the new menu at Portobello’s Grill. There are three locations of this restaurant serving up southern and Italian food, but the one on Bocage is now open after renovations and a revamped menu by Chef Peter Sclafani. Additions include crawfish cheesecake and a butter steak, which is soaked for several days before it’s cooked. portobellos.net


People watch over animal pancakes at Louie’s. The diner is the stuff of Baton Rouge late nights, from its Big Cheesy Lou to its veggie omelet available after the watering holes close. It’s equally busy for lunch or breakfast. Hours are shortened due to the pandemic but a special late night menu is available 24/7 via the pickup window. louiescafe.org


Go back in time at Doe’s. First launched in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1941, Doe’s has a deep, rich history. Savor Delta-style beef tamales, fresh-cut steaks and classic cocktails like the expertly prepared Ramos Gin Fizz. doesbatonrouge.com


Sharpen your skills at The Louisiana Culinary Institute. The school turns out talented new chefs, but it also helps regular folks hone their chops through weekend leisure courses. Learn about knife skills, bread-making and more. Employees will be checking attendees’ temperatures at the door. lci.edu


Read your way through local cookbooks. For inspiration on what to cook next, or for some historical context about Louisiana’s emblematic food culture, pick up a book by a local chef, blogger or food journalist. Start with Chef John Folse and Holly Clegg, and work your way through many titles published by LSU Press. lsupress. org


Get the fresh Gulf fish at Ruffino’s. It’s prepared on a cedar plank, giving it a woodsy note that’s complemented by fresh pesto, a shingle of tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, served with roasted potatoes. ruffinosbatonrouge.com


Get rustic at Roberto’s. Located just far enough from the center of town to feel like you’re getting away, Roberto’s is a great place to enjoy a leisurely dinner. The eatery, situated in a former mercantile, delivers reliable Cajun comfort. robertosrestaurant.net


Savor homemade pasta at Nino’s. The pappardelle used in the pasta Lombardia is made fresh. So is the spaghetti in the chicken puttanesca. Such is the commitment of Chef Elton Hyndman to scratchmade items and locally sourced ingredients at his cozy Italian eatery. ninos-italian.com


Try as many snoballs as you can. Oh, the possibilities. Each menu offers hundreds of combos of flavors and toppings. There’s ice cream stuffed between layers of syrup-drenched shaved ice. Condensed milk or morsels of cheesecake contribute creaminess. Slices of fruit add freshness. Add Nerds and sprinkles to really turn your snoball into a party.

CHECK THESE OFF AS YOU GO: The Sno-berge, a lemon- or chocolate cream-flavored snoball stuffed with lemon or chocolate Gambino’s Bakery doberge cake and ice cream, topped with whipped cream by new colorful—and Instagrammable—stand: The Sno House. Read more here. Strawberry-pineapple topped with fresh fruit by Cool Tiger Ice Snoballs. Find it on Facebook. Pink lemonade topped with gummy bears by Cool Delights. Find it on Facebook. Dippin Dots stuffed snowball by Snoman Snoballs (Burbank and Tiger Bend locations). Find it on Facebook. Even more snoballs to try

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Expand your palate with international food. If you’ve exhausted Baton Rouge’s offerings of po-boys, fried seafood platters, burgers and fries, there’s still plenty of food to try—just venture beyond your borders. Take an aroundthe-world food tour of the city’s most vibrant and horizon-broadening flavors.

Four local eateries serving up some mouth-watering international food: COCHA: With roots in South America and western Europe, the team behind Cocha approaches cuisine from an international perspective, infusing fresh and locally sourced ingredients with global flavors that blend traditions. cochabr.com EL RIO GRANDE: If you want to get into the roots of Mexican cuisine in Baton Rouge, it doesn’t go much deeper than El Rio Grande, the oldest still-operating Mexican restaurant in town. Here the tamales are fresh, the margaritas are strong and the family-run vibe still hasn’t faded since the 1960s. Find it on Facebook. ZORBA’S GREEK BISTRO: Straight outta Cyprus, the team at Zorba’s brings authentic Greek food to Baton Rouge, with Old World recipes made with modern attention to detail and presentation. Try the lamb. zorbasbistro.com BAY LEAF INDIAN CUISINE: East Asian cuisine, from sushi to sesame chicken, is a little more familiar to most of us, but South Asian curries, paneer, biryani and beyond can be elusive. Test the waters of rich, fragrant spices here. bayleafbr.com



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Elsie's Plate & Pie

NEW SCHOOL Baton Rouge’s culinary scene has had to adapt to several obstacles due to the pandemic, but its more recent additions are still serving up some delicious eats, from craft cocktails to food trucks to cupcakes and doughnuts galore.


Try the new Smokin’ Aces. The barbecue shack permanently closed its Government Street location, but the brand got a revival with the opening of a four-room Denham Springs location in January. As with its original location, the new restaurant offers up an outstanding pulled pork, barbecue brisket and barbecue sauce-topped Crazy Fries, but it also adds boudin egg rolls and fried okra to its repertoire. Find it on Facebook.


See what all the hype is about at the new Torchy’s Tacos. The long-awaited Baton Rouge location of the buzzed-about Austin taco shop opened up across from Tiger Stadium in July, serving up breakfast tacos all day long as well as tons of other creative TexMex concoctions. It’s the only place you can get the Bayou Pirate, a flour tortilla filled with fried crawfish tails, andouille sausage, cabbage slaw, chow-chow pickled relish, chipotle sauce, Diablo sauce and chopped cilantro. Read our First Look here. torchytacos.com


Order custom cookies so gorgeous you almost won’t want to eat them. The cookies from Sugar Kettle Cookie Co, Cookie Deaux Company, Cookie Rouge and Rem & Bee

Bakery are a work of art in themselves and a fun (and scrumptious way) to celebrate special occasions. Plus, they make for a great shot for the ‘gram.


Order a late-night pie at Elsie’s. Open ‘til 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Elsie’s in Mid City is a great spot for a dessert and drinks. S’mores and chocolate cream are top sellers, but for you fruit lovers, try the cherry hand pie, or pie shop apple pie. Online ordering is also available. elsiespies.com


Play Cocktail Roulette at Olive or Twist. Offer up your flavor preferences, and the bartenders convert the data into something fitting for you. Since originally opening as a bar, the space has expanded into a full-service restaurant serving lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch. oliveortwistbr.com


Take the oyster tour at Jolie Pearl. East coast, West coast or Gulf Coast—oysters from all over the country and sometimes the world—are accounted for on the menu. Sample them raw to experience their particular terroir, or taste them dressed up with hot and cold toppings. jolieoysterbar.com


Make your own bowl at Southfin Southern Poke. Poke is hot all over the country, and one of the reasons why is that it’s fun to design your own. At Southfin Poke, pick your base, protein, toppings and sauce of choice. Come back for the same, or something completely different. southfinpoke.com


See who’s who in Phil’s backroom. Fried seafood, casual Italian eats and, of course, fresh Gulf oysters are reasons to eat at Phil’s, but the spot is also known for an enigmatic backroom reserved for Baton Rouge’s movers and shakers. Peer in, and maybe take a seat. philsoysterbar.com

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CHECK THESE OFF AS YOU GO: Napa Burger at Fat Cow: Sourdough bread, sliced D’Anjou pear, red onion marmalade, arugula, charcoal-grilled beef patty. fatcowburgers.com


Get your fill of food and entertainment at Millennial Park. Cameron Jackson, 24, had a vision to bring an outdoor food court to Baton Rouge, with vendors operating out of shipping containers, and that vision came to fruition in July. The park is currently home to food concepts Jive Turkey, Memphis Mac BBQ and Royal Taste of Jamaica, with more to come. millennialparkbr.com


Start your morning at Magpie Café. Order one of the ever-changing daily specials—sweet or savory—and appreciate how the restaurant fuses aesthetic beauty and great flavors. While you’re there, peruse the shop, which is stocked with cool jars and pastries. magpiebrla.com


Satisfy your sweet tooth with a cupcake from a local cupcake shop. Local bakeries like Cupcake Junkie and Smallcakes are luring sweets lovers with their tiny wonders. Sample these mini-pastries in all sorts of traditional and experimental flavors.


Cross your fingers that the ghosts don’t crash your dinner at The Myrtles in St. Francisville. Restaurant 1796 opened


last year after a fire destroyed the previous restaurant in 2017. The new restaurant focuses on open-fire cooking with a large hearth in the center of the restaurant, where meats are smoked and seared in front of guests. myrtlesplantation.com


Take a virtual cooking class at Red Stick Spice Company. Live interactive classes are available via Zoom with themes ranging from Breakfast for Dinner to plant-based eats. redstickspice.com


Grab a prepared meal or dine in at BLDG 5 Market + Kitchen + Patio. The stylish Perkins Road overpass eatery opened last fall out of a converted shed and now serves a fast casual lunch and a full service dinner. Its sandwich selection includes grilled cheese, porchetta and caprese. Prepared meals alternate daily. bldg5.com


Conduct a burger tasting tour, starting with our handy checklist. Around here, it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve a burger. Prepare your palate with the classic cheeseburger at beloved diner Dearman’s, and branch out from there. Email your favorites to editor@225batonrouge.com.

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Maui Burger at The Cove Hawaiian Grill: Toasted bun, teriyaki-glazed pineapple, American cheese, house dressing, grilled onion, lettuce, half-pound black Angus beef patty. the-cove.wixsite.com Smokehouse Burger at Pimanyoli’s Sidewalk Café and Catering: Texas toast, Gouda cheese, smoked mushrooms and bell peppers, grilled tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, half-pound ground chuck patty. pimanyolisbbq.com Breakfast Burger at Mason’s Grill: Sweet sourdough bun, a fried egg, American cheese, homemade sausage patty, another fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, ground beef patty. masonsgrill.com Avocado Cheese Burger at City Café: Sweet sourdough bun, avocado, pico de gallo, melted mozzarella cheese, romaine lettuce, half-pound ground-chuck patty. citycafebr.net Turkey Burger at Burgersmith: Cracked wheat bun, Swiss cheese, homemade Cajun honey mustard, lettuce, grilled onion, char-grilled turkey patty. burgersmith.com Even more burger ideas



Experience Baton Rouge’s growing pizza scene. From Red Zeppelin, Schlittz and Giggles and Reginelli’s, to newcomers like Pizza Byronz, City Slice, Lit Pizza and Rocca Pizzeria, great pies abound in Baton Rouge. Taste your way through traditional and gourmet options.

District Donuts



Take your grocery shopping global. Shop at Vinh Phat Market for nicely priced Asian staples, Ideal Market for Latin American produce, fajita meat and goods, Kased’s Market for Halal meats and many others for your favorite global flavors.


Catch a game while chowing down at a sports bar. Home to both LSU and Southern, there is no shortage of sports fans in Baton Rouge—nor is there a shortage of sports bars. Bengal Tap Room and Walk-On’s are both open for dine-in.


Cure your hangover at Umami. After a wild night out, let “The Hangover” soup be your ramen remedy, followed by the pillowy green tea crepe cake. No more than six people may be seated at a table, and no one will be seated at the sushi bar. umamibr.com

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Savor one (or several) of Sweet Society’s colorful Asian dessert concoctions. The Electric Depot dessert shop just opened its doors in August and is already offering a ton of drinks and sweets to help you beat the heat, like its multicolored lemonade drinks and taiyaki pockets—waffle cakes shaped like fish that hold custard. Plus, the shop’s swing set and neon sign display makes the perfect photo op to pose with your cold treat. electricdepotbr.com


Check out the centerpiece food truck inside Curbside. The burger-and-boozy-shakes restaurant started as a wildly popular food truck. Remnants of a truck displayed in the restaurant pay homage to that. curbside-burgers.com


Get jazzy at The Vintage. The new downtown spot functions as both a café offering beignet varieties and a place

for late night cocktails, including one named for Joe Burrow. It effortlessly mixes old and new school decor for a chic setting and warm ambience worth seeing and experiencing yourself. thevintagebr.com


Order the house-made charcuterie spread at City Pork Brasserie & Bar. Pulled pork and delectable smoked and cured meats form the basis of a dynamic menu that packs in Baton Rougeans and previously, actor Tom Hanks. cityporkbr.com


Try not to get a brain freeze while eating a popsicle from PoPaletas. The summertime sweets at the authentic Mexican frozen treat shop are made with natural ingredients, whether it's the sweet guava or the spicy mango flavors. Find the Sherwood Forest location on Facebook.


Get your hands on some fare from food trucks popping up throughout the city. Whether you want a mini crawfish pie from Basel’s Market Food Truck, a loaded baked potato from CouYon’s or pulled pork tacos from Geaux Cuban, there’s something for everyone.


Dig into some flavorful ramen at Chow Yum Phat. The casual eatery serving Asian street food opened its first brick-and-mortar last year under the Perkins overpass, complete with colorful outdoor murals. Its menu includes four ramen options—chicken, beef, pork and vegetable—which our food reviewer called “top-notch” on a recent visit. chowyumphat.com


Take a day—or a month—for a local doughnut tour. This town takes sugary fried dough seriously. Experience the gossamer lightness of Mary Lee, and try the crazy range of doughnut-centric menu items at District Donuts. Come Carnival time, pick up a doughnut batter king cake from Thee Heavenly Donut.


Make the rounds at Bistro Byronz. This Louisiana-meets-France familyowned eatery has a little-somethin’-somethin’ for everybody. Start with the tangy, creamy blue cheese dip with homemade chips, then move onto Gulf fish amandine, chicken and Parmesan dumplings.

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Try something new at Soji. A trip to the picturesque modern Asian restaurant is an experience in itself, with the ambiance set by its pink neon signage and mural of palm leaves. Start with the mouth-watering Szechuan chicken wings and dumplings, or check out the new Vietnamese dishes, like shrimp tempura bao, that executive chef Thien Nguyen is bringing to the table with his recent arrival to the Soji team. eatsoji.com


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Snap some Instagram shots at Superior Grill. The restaurant on Highland Road has plenty of material to work with, from neon and marquee lights to patterned tile floors. The margaritas and music are just as good here as the original location on Government Street, too.


Tap and taste. Baton Rouge’s burgeoning craft beer and spirits sector is happy to show you how they do things. While distillery tours are on hold, you can still grab a drink from Tin Roof, Rally Cap or Gilla Brewing Co.

Plus, keep an eye out for Cypress Coast—open now for to-go orders —and Le Chien, which is expected to debut later this year after delays due to the pandemic.


Geaux vegan at MJ’s Cafe. Known for its soups, salads, quiches, sandwiches and rotating daily specials, MJ’s proves how delicious clean eating can be. Owner Mary-Brennan Faucheux makes soups from scratch using homemade stocks that are so good—and good for you—you’ll want to grab a take-home pint for dinner. mjscafebr.com


Get your soup and sandwich, Saigon style. Vietnamese eateries are on the rise in Baton Rouge. There are old guards like Dang’s and Little Saigon, but recent years have brought a variety of new options like Ava Street Cafe, Pho Cafe and Bao Vietnamese Kitchen. Multiple options allow you to experience one of the best lunches in the Capital City, a banh mi sandwich and a bowl of pho, each made with your protein of choice.


Eat a slice of cake bigger than your head at BRQ. The carrot cake alone could feed a small town, but going big is what it’s generally about here. The servings of local seafood, bright salads and serious barbecue are all generous enough you’ll have leftovers for later. brqrestaurant.com


Try a “bonut.” New York has cronuts. In true Southern tradition, Baton Rouge has “bonuts”—a cross between the biscuit and the doughnut, with a little beignet thrown in for good measure. Try them at Batch 13, Copeland’s modern take on biscuits and bowls. eatbatch13.com


Indulge in a wine flight at Blend. Pick any three wines on the menu, and your server will bring you 3-ounce pours of each. @blendbr on Instagram.


Bring your pup to happy hour at Mid City Beer Garden. The patio is dog-friendly, so your four-legged friend can keep you company as you have drinks and/or a grilled cheese paired with tomato soup. midcitybeergarden.com


Order a gorgeous custom cake from Gourmet Girls. A big party may be out of the question, but a colorful masterpiece from the catering company should guarantee you a happy birthday immediately. Whether you want a traditional tiered floral cake or a chocolate-and-bourbon themed cake, Katia Mangham and her team will take good care of you. gourmetgirlsbr.com


Make a meal out of appetizers at Solera. Order a slew of tapas from the nine menu options—including a range of seafood, pork and ham snacks—for the whole table to share and enjoy. Not to mention they’ll pair nicely with a frozen beverage. solerabr.com

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Art, science, animals, history — this city really does have it all.


Jump to page 33 to explore wall and mural art in Baton Rouge, No. 158 on our list.

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Snap a photo at the new River Center Branch Library’s picture-perfect rooftop terrace. This four-story downtown library has large windows overlooking not only the Mississippi River but also the rest of the skyline. The library just opened its doors in June—complete with ample seating, a second story designed for kids and conference rooms—and its fourth story boasts a rooftop terrace and a greenery wall for a pop of green among the skyrises. Library locations are open to the public with modified services from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Check out the InfoGuide for information on safety steps the library is taking and what you can do to mitigate adverse effects of the virus. ebrpl.com


Get your game on at Topgolf. The multilevel entertainment center has 72 bays from which to tee off and aim at a target. The golf balls have sensors inside to track speed and accuracy. Masks are required for everyone ages 3 and older while moving through the venue. topgolf.com


Explore Louisiana’s history at the Capitol Park Museum. Size up a 42-foot wooden shrimp trawler and a Civil War submarine, and learn about famous Louisianans.


Destroy the competition at your next game night. Game nights are a great solution for at-home boredom. Whether it’s Charades, word games or role playing, there’s a game for everyone. Purchase games from local store Little Wars, and take them home to play with a small group of friends or family. littlewars.com


Check out the current exhibitions at the LSU Museum of Art. The museum’s newest exhibition by Letitia Huckaby debuted on Sept. 17 and features photos printed on quilts as a way to illustrate Huckaby’s ties to Louisiana. The museum returned to its regular hours



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in September and also offers virtual programming on its website and social media accounts, with a series of artist talks on its YouTube channel. lsumoa.org


V isit a real mummy from the Ptolemaic Period at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. Then take a selfie with Jason, a 65-million-year-old Triceratops skull, and tour the universe at the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium. Both “Cosmos: Imagining the Universe” and an exhibition of landscape paintings by Will Henry Stevens will be on display through next summer, and you can still view Frank Hayden’s sculptures through January. Hands-on children’s galleries are closed due to the pandemic. lasm.org


Chill with kangaroos and sloths at Barn Hill Preserve. Located not too far north of Baton Rouge in Ethel, it offers various animal encounter events—like Sips with Sloths, a tasting of wines from around the world with animals from around the world, and Kangaroo Yoga. Buy tickets online. barnhillpreserve. com




View the work of the current monthly artist members at Baton Rouge Gallery. The regular exhibitions are back with a bang, and September’s collection runs the gamut from photographs, abstract prints, mixed media pieces and sculptures. The gallery has no shortage of online programming either, with Facebook videos of local artists giving tours of their studios. batonrougegallery.org




Climb the steps outside the tallest capitol building in the United States. There’s a statue of Gov. Huey P. Long facing the Capitol. Long was shot at the Capitol and the bullet holes still remain in the wall today. crt.state.la.us


Gaze up at Jupiter at the Highland Road Park Observatory. The observatory is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. Check its monthly calendar for specific times and events. bro.lsu.ed

Make some animal friends at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo. The zoo has tons of animals to learn about and observe, like the pygmy hippopotamus and the bongo, the largest type of forest antelope. While the train isn’t running yet, the KidsZoo barn and otter cabin are back open. brzoo.org




Tour the USS Kidd and the Louisiana Veterans Museum. The World War II-era destroyer sits on the river’s edge downtown and is known as “the Pirate of the Pacific.” Those not comfortable venturing out can take a virtual tour of the attraction or work multiple online puzzles featuring images of the vessel. usskidd.com


View footage of classic shows from Playmakers of Baton Rouge. A staple of the city’s theater community, Playmakers has been putting shows on for decades. The theater company has already started fundraising for its next season and will begin offering the option to purchase tickets to view archival footage of its past shows. playmakersbr.org

Look through the State Archives’ collection of rare documents and artifacts, including World War I posters and works from The Baton Rouge Art League dating back to the 1930s. Call ahead to schedule an appointment to access the research room. sos.la.gov




Make your voice heard at a Metropolitan Council meeting. Meetings are currently being held via video conference, but you can fill out a form online for public comment. Held the second and fourth Wednesdays each month. Stream them at brla.gov.



Walk through Louisiana’s White House. That’s what the Old Governor’s Mansion is fondly known as, and it’s where nine Louisiana governors and their families once lived from 19301962. The mansion is now home to Preserve Louisiana’s lectures and exhibits. Guests can tour in person guided by their handheld device, and virtual tours are also available for a fee. nps.gov


Take advantage of the $1.50 admission for all ages to the Baton Rouge Zoo every Wednesday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Make a hole in one at one of our six golf courses: Beaver Creek in Zachary, J.S. Clark Golf Course, Webb Memorial Golf Course, City Park Golf Course, Dumas Memorial Golf Course or Santa Maria Golf Course. Hike Frenchtown, Kendalwood or Blackwater conservation areas or go on a guided nature hike with one of our experts. Visit brec.org/conservation for details. Visit Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center and take a trek along the gravel paths and boardwalks to see the cypress-tupelo swamp and beech-magnolia and hardwood forests. Tour BREC’s Magnolia Mound Historic House and Education Center to learn about the lifestyle of French Creoles.


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See if you can get a tugboat on the Mississippi River to blow his horn as it passes by on the downtown riverfront. Trust us, the kids will love this one.


Check out toys and games from the 18th and 19th centuries at West Baton Rouge Museum. Look through an extensive research collection of books, maps, photographs and more, or tour the historic buildings on the museum grounds. westbatonrougemuseum.org


Visit Mike the Tiger in his multimillion-dollar habitat. Drop by and say hi to the beloved Mike VII. The Siberian-Bengal tiger arrived on campus in August 2017, when he was just 11 months old. Now, he’s four years old. You can visit Mike all day, but keep in mind that he is kept in his night house on Thursday mornings during weekly maintenance. lsu.edu


Campus. The large campus focuses on coastal restoration and sustainability and is also home to the LSU Center for River Studies. Take a walk around the outside of the Center for Coastal and Deltaic Solutions to get up close and personal with the river. coastal.la.gov


Find your way out of a World War II-era bunker or an abandoned asylum at one of 13th Gate’s escape rooms. It’s a perfect way to add adrenaline to a lazy Saturday with a small group of family or friends—a minimum of 4 players is required per game. Hurry, the clock is ticking. The attraction is only accepting private bookings, and staggering them to limit the number of people in the building at one time. All surfaces are sanitized before and after every game, and all staff are required to wear masks. 13thgateescape.com

Get your film fix at the Manship Theatre. Many performances have been rescheduled for 2021, but you can still attend a film showing. Buy a ticket and then either visit the theater in person or stream it online from the comfort of your home. Upcoming shows are listed at manshiptheatre.org.

Be in the loop for all the live music performances around the city. While large concerts are currently on hold, local musicians are still playing at restaurants and cafés. Check Red Stick Music’s calendars for both in-person and virtual performances to come.



Get a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River from the Water


Witness the results of the fantasy opera draft. In August, Opera

Louisiane asked the public to cast its next opera, a virtual production of “The Barber of Seville” that’s scheduled to take place Oct. 16. Buy tickets to watch the show come to life. Plus, past performances are available online for free through the opera’s Sofa Series, as are its virtual shows with singers from across the U.S. Stay tuned for details on the opera’s planned performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors in December. operalouisiane.com


Watch New Venture Theatre’s Sunday open mic nights on Instagram. The African-American theater company’s shows are canceled until February 2021, but its online programming includes video chats with artists discussing the importance of supporting Black theater. Online master classes to come. newventuretheatre.org


Listen to master musicians from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has several events planned for the upcoming months with its Lamar Family Chamber Series s, which started in mid-September at First Presbyterian Church, Bachtoberfest on Oct. 16, the String Quartet on Nov. 12 and Holiday Brass on Dec. 16, plus a holiday concert Dec. 6 at Houmas House & Gardens. In the meantime, you can watch nearly 40 BRSO performances free online. brso.org



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Show your support for children in the arts. Volunteer or become a mentor with organizations like The Futures Fund and Kids’ Orchestra. The Futures Fund will have both in-person and virtual programming this year, while Kids’ Orchestra is going totally virtual.


Spend an afternoon tracking down all the Little Free Libraries in town. They look like miniature houses—or in some cases, barns and schoolhouses. But these small structures are full of donated books and magazines. The publications are free for the taking, and you never know what you’ll find inside. We’ve seen it all: cookbooks, children’s novels, fashion magazines, poetry compilations, dictionaries. There are more than 30 registered in the Baton Rouge area. Pull up the map on your phone, and be sure to disinfect the handle before opening. littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap.


Hit the streets for some amazing art. Baton Rouge has gone from shades of concrete gray to full-on technicolor in recent years. Several organizations, artists and businesses have beautified drab buildings in all corners of the city. The Walls Project, for example, has added color to the sides of office buildings downtown with the help of local and regional artists. The Museum of Public Art put Old South Baton Rouge on the international map by bringing in top-notch street artists from across the globe to paint colorful murals on dilapidated structures. From trendy, Instagrammable designs to sobering depictions of African-American history to vibrant temporary murals, there’s plenty of street art to see in Baton Rouge. Hop in the car and take a tour! You’ll be viewing works by some of the most talented street artists in the world right here in the Capital City.


Step into a 19th century Louisiana plantation at the LSU Rural Life Museum. Explore the grounds’ country church and a pioneer’s cabin, as well as hundreds of artifacts in the Exhibit Barn and 32 buildings across the sprawling 25acre campus. lsu.edu/rurallife


Say hello to former governors whose pictures line the walls at the Old State Capitol. The ghost that haunts

the place is also quite a welcoming tour guide. Online programming is available, too. From the safety of your home, you can visit the Portal to the Past, which brings the museum, exhibits and programs to your home. You can find various activities for kids of all ages designed to be done at home with everyday items. You can also find the latest exhibits formatted in a 360° view with accompanying lesson plans and activities. All future programming will be virtual and can be found in this portal. louisianaoldstatecapitol.org


Learn some Louisiana history at Magnolia Mound Plantation. Originally constructed by settlers from France and the West Indies circa 1791, Magnolia Mound teaches visitors about the painful history of slavery and allows them to view artifacts, furniture and decor from the colonial and early statehood eras of Louisiana. brec.org


Keep an eye out for the next Swine Palace production. With an assembled team of talented professional actors and LSU music and dramatic arts students, Swine Palace productions are not your average student shows. Cast and crew are currently working on an online performance of Small Mouth Sounds, the tale of six individuals who escape from the city to embark on a silent retreat and are forced to confront their innermost demons. swinepalace.org

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Take a selfie at the Main Library at Goodwood’s rooftop garden. It’s the perfect setting for curling up with a good read or photo shoot. ebrpl.com


Virtually attend one of Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s classical ballet productions. You can watch the summer ballet performance of “She Moves,” featuring pieces inspired by women who fought for their right to vote. You’ll also be able to watch future shows online, like “Midnight Magic” and children’s Zoom series “The Nutcracker Sweets.” batonrougeballet.org


Volunteer to help out people without homes. Before the pandemic, Baton Rouge residents faced high eviction rates, and now many more in the city have been left without jobs, making now a good time to give back if you can. It Takes A Village serves free food to the community on Sundays at 130 St. Vincent DePaul Drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and donations to The Purple Cow thrift stores also help support homeless people.


Go on a sculpture tour of the city. Baton Rouge has tons of interesting sculptures that you won’t want to overlook. After seeing the classics downtown, venture to Government Street to see House of Jamba sculptures, which include robots, elephants and seahorses made from scrap metal. Then end the tour at City Brooks-Community Park where two sculptures light up at night. Get more ideas here.


Practice your French-speaking skills monthly at the West Baton Rouge Museum. The museum hosts its conversational French event, Café Français, in its museum’s classroom on the first Friday of every month from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. for guided conversations at all levels. westbatonrouge.net


Send a postcard to your loved one. The pandemic has separated us from many of our friends and family, but snail mail can be a safe way to show them you care. Pick up a unique card they’ll appreciate from Blackbird Letterpress’ shop—or order one online from a local artist like Aline Prints + Design—and then get to writing!


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Cheer on the Tigers and the Jaguars from home. LSU kicked off its football season in September, with just 10 conference-only games scheduled, while Southern has opted instead for a spring schedule that at press time was kicking off Feb. 27, 2021. Stadium access is limited, but you can always watch at home and have a family cookout in your backyard to cheer on your favorite teams.



Scour an estate sale for some unique finds. Estate sales can be a great way to find discounted furniture and other bargain knick-knacks for your home. One reader recommends attending those at the mansions along Highland Road. Find a list of some in the area online.


Schedule a playdate at Cheeky Monkey. The indoor gymnasium—complete with an inflatable slide and toys galore—is now open for your little ones for private events and playdates. Walk-in play is also available. Temperature checks and COVID questionnaires are required before play. cheekymonkeysbr.com


Try your hand at fencing. Red Stick Fencing is offering free onehour private lessons to introduce the community to the sport of fencing. Lessons can be one-onone or with a small group. Everyone entering the school must have their temperatures checked and be masked up. redstickfencing.com


Celebrate Black history at the Baton Rouge African American Museum. Learn about notable African-American achievements, artwork and inventions, handle early 20th century rural life artifacts, and take the art and history walking trail under the I-10 overpass. The museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. and also by appointment at (225) 244-9474.


Make a DIY mask chain to wear around your neck. Choose from an assortment of beads at Cajun Bead Crafts and pull up Pinterest to make your own original version of the latest trending mask accessory.


Organize your closet—perhaps with a little help. Now is as good a time as any to channel Marie Kondo and get rid of anything in your closet that doesn’t spark joy. The team at Chaos Organizing or South Coast Organizers can provide an assist if the job is too overwhelming to tackle on your own.

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SHOPPING SERVICES Whether you prefer to order online or stop by the store in person, here are plenty of reasons to shop local


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Mask up in style. We know that wearing face masks in public helps mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, so we might as well have a little fun with it. Grab a sequined tiger mask from HerringStone’s, show off your flower power with a floral mask set from Hemline, or try a face-mask tank from Bella Bella.




Find a firstedition book at Cottonwood Books. The Perkins Road institution has amassed a collection of more than 40,000 new, used and rare books during its more than 30 years of existence. Find the store on Facebook.


Sip and shop at 1010 Nic. A run-down produce warehouse was transformed into nearly 20,000 square feet of hip retail space with tenants like Denicola’s upholstery and restoration shop. You can also sip on whiskey at barbershop and salon Mercer Supply Co.


Peruse sustainable and ethically made goods at The Hope Shop’s new brick and mortar. The beautiful boho goods you’ve seen in the shop at Lighthouse Coffee now have an additional and more permanent home at the former location of Sweet Leather Goods. Profits go toward the shop’s nonprofit, Hands Producing Hope, which employs refugees and workers in low-income communities in Costa Rica and Rwanda to make jewelry and home goods. handsproducinghope.org


Track down the ultimate statement earrings to elevate any look. Big, bold earrings are in, and many local makers are embracing the trend, like those behind Always Afternoon, Southern Clay Co., Modern Lulu and Okoye Couture. You can find them at pop-ups, select stores or online.


Trace your family tree at the library. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s genealogy department can help you research your ancestry in person if you make an appointment. Access the archives in person or research from home now with access to the free library edition of ancestry.com with an EBRPL card available at least through the end of the year. Online guides are available to assist you with the process. ebrpl.com


Buy a hat or seersucker suit at Bates & Thigpen. The dapper menswear store has been downtown for nearly a century.


Rock a Louisiana-themed T-shirt for a spirited yet comfortable stay-home look. Local boutiques like Hey, Penelope, Sweet Baton Rouge and HerringStone’s are stocked full of ways to show your love for the Tigers, crawfish and all things Louisiana.


Put your holiday shopping toward a good cause with Hollydays. The October holiday market supports the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s outreach programs. This year, the event will take place virtually Oct. 9-18. juniorleaguebr.org


Hit up Cabela’s, a mecca for outdoor gear. This Gonzales store also houses an aquarium, animal displays, an indoor archery test area, a boat shop, and an in-store restaurant that sells fresh fudge. cabelas.com


Shop for cool eyewear at Smarter Eyewear or the Optical Shoppe. Both businesses carry a selection of high-end designers. They’ll have you looking good and, most importantly, seeing clearly.


Shop designer. You don’t have to travel to a big mall in Houston to find high-end brands. Kiki stocks covetable pieces by Chloe, Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs. Find on-trend separates from Nanette Lapore and Tom Ford at NK Boutique. Make the trip over to Edit by LBP for pieces by Vince, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone. For men, head to Harper’s Haberdashery for Lucchese and Robert Talbott. Or pop into men’s stores along Jefferson Highway for classic styles from Peter Millar, Billy Reid and local brand Southern Marsh.


Embrace your nostalgia with a trip to the Mall of Louisiana, whether it’s via a bite of a soft pretzel from Auntie Anne’s or a visit to your favorite stores. Find a list of open stores and eateries here. malloflouisiana.com


Decorate for birthdays and special occasions with celebration supplies from Party Time. While there won’t be parties to host anytime soon, there’s no harm in making your special days a little brighter. partytimebr.com

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Hunt for vinyls. Record shops have come and gone, but you can still browse for some cool finds at Capital City Records, The Exchange and Pop Shop Records.



Adopt a fluffy friend from a local animal shelter. Now that we’re all spending more time at home, you may be looking for a little—or big—furry cutie to welcome as a new member of the family. Call Capital Area Animal Welfare Society, Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge, Companion Animal Alliance or Cat Haven to ask about adoption.

Grab the perfect gift for the youngster in your life at Giggles. Its popular make-your-own-candy-bag station is out of commission due to the pandemic, but there’s still a wide selection of specialty toys to choose from. From the pumpkin spice latte plush to Frozen II Aquabeads and a night-sky themed AirFort, you never know what you’ll find next. gigglesbr.com



Shop at a thrift store that gives back. Check out shops like Here Today Gone Tomorrow, where you can donate to the charity of your choosing, and Connections for Life, where sales support women in need.


Send all your budding Picassos to Mo’s Art Supply and Framing. The shop offers books, brushes, easels and more. mosartsupply.com

Express yourself at London’s Fashion Boutique. The Blackowned business is full of trendy and colorful pieces—both casual and formal—that wow. shoplondonsboutique.com


Take in the charm of the Denham Springs Antique Village. The area has tons of cute local restoration and antique shops, like Rescued Revisions—which Rivers Dupree opened just months after graduating high school—and the Rusty Rooster. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even pick up a new piece for your home. denhamspringsantiquedistrict.net

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7474 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 301 Floaty materials and flirty, feminine silhouettes make this women’s boutique fit its dreamy name. Come in for a sweet look that’s a little bit boho and a little bit chic. Find them on Facebook.



Go on a shopping spree in the Jefferson Highway area. From Government Street to Essen Lane, the stretch of road is basically its own built-in local boutique crawl. You can find dozens of shops to browse, but here are 14 to get you started. Don’t stop here—keep expanding that map, and shop ‘til you drop.


7474 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 305 It’s all about bright colors and having fun with what you’re wearing at Frock Candy, which carries women’s fashion from rompers and jumpsuits to tailgate wear to Sunday best. frockcandy.com


7425 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 835 Head into Towne Center for a slew of shopping options, including Eros, a women’s boutique bridging the gap between adult and young adult. Ideal if you’re looking for classic pieces with a modern twist. erosbatonrouge.com


7519 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 310 Founded out of New Orleans in the 1990s, Hemline is a powerhouse in local fashion retail offering quality pieces at medium to high price points. Add it to your Towne Center to-do list. shophemline.com




7543 Jefferson Highway Youthful women’s fashion in bold prints, affordable heels and myriad accessories line the racks and shelves at Blu Spero. This location of the regional boutique is inside the Jefferson Plaza shopping center. bluspero.com


8366 Jefferson Highway For menswear on the dressier side, check out Perlis’ selection of suits, dress shoes, hats, waistcoats and ties. It’s not all fancy, though—you can also pick up a simple polo or casual accessories while you’re browsing the finery. perlis.com


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8210 Jefferson Highway, Ste. B Because you can never have too many cute, tiny shoes, there’s Oh Baby for your mini fashion plates. Pick up bows, bandanas and beyond for the little ones in your life—as well as a little something to spruce up their room or nursery. The store sells patterned kids' masks, too! ohbabychildren.com



7651 Jefferson Highway A trend-conscious boutique with a vibrant palette of colors, cuts and materials, Bella Bella’s Bocage Village location carries women’s wear from head to toe, starting with earrings and hats and dressing you all the way down to your shoes. bellabellashop.com



7665 Jefferson Highway Also inside Bocage Village, Baton Rouge’s oldest locally owned men’s clothing retailer carries big name brands and offers custom tailoring to keep you (or the man in your life) looking sharp. mclavyltd.net



7656 Jefferson Highway Baton Rouge’s biggest locally owned retailer of outdoor apparel and gear, the team at The Backpacker will set you up with whatever you need, whether it’s hiking boots and weatherproof socks or just a new rain jacket. backpackeroutdoors.com



7620 Old Hammond Highway Time to venture into the Bocage Village shopping center. The 2020 winner of our Best of 225 award for Best Local Men’s Clothing Store, Carriages carries preppy and sophisticated menswear from dressy to casual to swimwear with the accessories to match. carriagesbr.com

7445 Corporate Blvd., Ste. 510 It’s all about simplicity at Currie, where designer swimwear, athleisure and versatile separates come in durable fabrics designed to be reliable staples in your closet. shopcurrie.com


8210 Jefferson Highway, Ste. D This boutique brings women’s fashion on the mature side, with comfortable fabrics, sensible cuts and maximum wearability. Find it on Facebook.


Antique and vintage shop along Government Street. Restock your closet or redecorate your home with vintage and antique goods found along the city’s most popular stretch of road. Stroll through Time Warp, The Market at Circa 1857, Aladdin’s Lamp Antiques, The Pink Elephant and more.


Make a day of it at Perkins Rowe. Seriously, what can’t you do here? Start with some shopping at The Impeccable Pig, grab dinner at Bin 77, and end with a movie at Cinemark, which recently reopened with extensive new safety measures and is now streaming both new movies and classics. perkinsrowe.com


Head to Prairieville for the Flea Market of Louisiana. The open-air weekend market has a variety of booths and bills itself as “a modern old-fashioned flea market.” Look for deals. fleamarketoflouisiana.com


Give yourself a little “me time” at a local spa. Get a facial, mani-pedi or massage at Bumble Lane, or get yourself to The Retreat, which does all of that and will even whiten your teeth.

Shop Wanderlust by Abby’s cool selection of local and regional designers. The boutique sells a killer selection of tops, bottoms, outerwear and accessories. It has also outdone itself with a series of fashion-forward masks ranging from sequined floral patterns to LSUthemed. wanderlustbyabby.com




Test your green thumb by picking out some house plants. For those not ready to commit to a pet, taking care of a houseplant might be a good place to start. Talk to the experts at places like Baton Rouge Succulent Co., Louisiana Nursery and Clegg’s Nursery to see what plants are right for you.



Get that snappy suit you’ve always wanted at Martinez Custom Clothier. It has been dressing men in custom-tailored suits for more than 30 years. Plus, the tie selection is a collector’s dream. Showroom by appointment only. martinezcustom.com

Brighten your day with a fresh bouquet of flowers. There are plenty of ways to get florals in the Capital City, whether it’s at a Lovebuds by Dustin pop-up, an order from Hunt’s Flowers or one of the regular vendors at the Red Stick Farmers Market like Happy Hills Farm and Fullness Farm.




Take an online art and craft class with Creativebug.


Research your family tree with Ancestry Library Edition.


Learn a foreign language using online tools such as Mango Languages and Pronunciator, plus Muzzy Online for kids.


Flip through popular magazines with RBdigital and Flipster … we’ve even got The Vogue Archive dated back to the first issue in 1892, in digital format!


Turn your living room into a dance floor when you watch over 1,500 full-length concerts through Qello Concerts!

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Most of the fairs and festivals we know and love are canceled this year. We’re not yet sure what 2021 holds, but these happenings have found a way to adapt in the meantime. As with most things right now, details and events are subject to change.



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Watch a film from the comfort of your car at a drive-in movie. Drive-ins are nothing new, but they have certainly seen a resurgence in the COVID era as a safe way to go to the movies during a global pandemic. Shipping container Millennial Park has hosted several movie nights in its open parking lot and is planning more, and Mongo’s Movies in Prairieville is doing the same in a parking lot off Airline Highway. Check their social media pages for future events.


See Baton Rouge like a tourist this fall with a Baton Rouge Tour or Red Stick Adventure. The touring company is offering a limited schedule of microbus tours with limited seating and private tours, both with strict guidelines for distancing and sanitation in place. Try out the varieties of the Baton Rouge City Tour, the Baton Rouge Walking Tour, the Baton Rouge Haunted Adventure or the Area Plantation Tour. Check the online calendar for availability. redstickadventures.com


Pick out some fresh produce and local goods at Baton Rouge’s newest farmers market, Market at the Oasis. Harb’s Oasis shut its doors this past winter, but Charbel Harb converted the Shenandoah property into an indoor/outdoor market space, where you can shop for fruit, vegetables, meats, sweets and art, jewelry, patio adornments and lots more. The market takes place 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 4:30-8:30 p.m. Friday nights through December.



Hear from fascinating artists and educators at the virtual 2020 Arts Council Summit. The Arts Council of Baton Rouge will be hosting a multiday Zoom event from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 that will include timely discussions on emergency disaster planning and diversity and inclusion, among other topics. Tickets may be purchased online. artsbr.org


Get spooked at the 13th Gate. The popular haunted house reopens for weekends in October and early November, complete with a pirate ship, a zombie-infested graveyard and hidden passages with live snakes. Expect the unexpected. Buying tickets online is strongly encouraged, and a virtual line will be implemented to avoid crowding. Face masks required. 13thgate.com

Welcome the Mid City Makers Market back. This monthly arts market keeps growing and growing, and after going virtual this summer, it now has a new home at Electric Depot for in-person markets. Pick up a handpainted ceramic mug, Southern-themed jewelry or vintage clothing. Capacity will be limited, and the market will take place from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. typically on the third Saturday of each month. midcitymakersmarket.com

Dive into fall at a pumpkin patch or corn maze. The LSU Botanic Gardens will have both on each Saturday in October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as a sunflower field, petting farm, hayride, satsuma picking and more. Admission is $15, and masks must be worn in line and in any other area where social distancing is not possible. Both Cajun Country Corn Maze in Pinegrove and Mrs. Heather’s Pumpkin Patch are planning to also open this fall but have not finalized dates yet.



See all that north Baton Rouge has to offer at Scotland Saturdays. The open market showcases the creations of artisans, makers and businesses on the last Saturday of the month from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at 8418 Scotland Ave. Find it on Facebook.


The annual Denham Springs Fall Festival has been cancelled, but many shops in the Antique District are offering shoppers great deals in October. Most stores require masks, and many still offer online shopping and curbside service. denhamspringsantiquedistrict.net 225batonrouge.com  |  225 Things to Do in a Pandemic  |  Exclusive Digital Edition





Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the West Baton Rouge Museum’s SugarFest virtually. The festival celebrating sugarcane harvest will take place Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 via the museum’s Facebook page. Expect musical performances, interviews with Louisiana folk artists and musicians, good recipes and a behind-thescenes look at the sugar industry. wbrparish.org


Welcome back in-person theater by viewing a performance of American Son (scheduled through Oct. 4) at Theatre Baton Rouge. We’ve missed live theater, and after its Zoom productions over the summer, the city’s largest theater company is bringing back in-person performances—pandemic protocols in place—with a timely show about an estranged biracial couple whose son is detained by police after a traffic stop. theatrebr.org


Dress your dog in costume for a Friday night at the park. This BREC event dubbed Trick & Treat: Art Unleashed Revamped will have live music, art, food, and dog adoptions at City-Brooks Community Park on Oct. 16 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Find the event on Facebook.


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Come face to face with a rhino at the Baton Rouge Zoo—while you’re in costume. The zoo is hosting its annual Boo at the Zoo event (Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25). The zoo will be decorated with fall- and Halloween-themed structures that will provide plenty of photo opps. Kids under 13 can grab a pre-packaged treat bag this year on their way out. Zoolights, a lighted holiday display throughout the zoo, is also still planned for Nov. 29-Dec. 30.


Run a virtual 5K in costume. The annual 10/31 Consortium Pumpkin Pi Race is the Fifolet 5K this year, and the perk of it being virtual is that you can do it however you want, wherever you want and whenever you want—as long as it’s in October. Register online to receive a T-shirt and medal, and to be considered for awards. 1031consortium.com


Reunite with your favorite parade krewes virtually. 10/31 Consortium is hosting Fifolet Cabaret where its parade krewes will brew up some video entertainment that ticket holders will be able to watch Oct. 29-31. But beware, the show expires at midnight on Halloween. Dinner is included in the delivery price and will be brought to your doorstep to enjoy during the show. 1031consortium.com



Experience a reversed, pandemic-friendly version of the annual Baton Rouge Halloween Parade. At the Fifolet Flip Flop on Oct. 31 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., costumed attendees will stay in their cars and drive past Halloween displays and costumed characters at 6615 Florida Blvd. The first 500 children in line will receive a bag of candy and a complimentary face mask, and organizers are requesting non-perishable food for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. 1031consortium.com


Tired of reading that same favorite book over and over and over to your little one? The Livingston Parish Library will read to children under the age of 11 virtually during its 10 a.m. Read to Me Monday and its 6 p.m. Bedtime Stories sessions. The library also offers virtual Wacky Wiggle on Wednesdays for the same age group and STEAM Saturday for ages 5-18, as well as Arts and Crafts

for all ages and Trivia Night LIVE with prizes for those ages 12 and older. Check out the library’s events calendar for times and dates, and visit LPL on Facebook or YouTube to watch.


Familiarize yourself with the sculptures of Frank Hayden. The late Black sculptor is one of Louisiana’s most prominent, and you can be guided through three of his powerful works at one of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s downtown walking tours on Oct. 10 and 24 and Nov. 7 starting at 10:30 a.m. Masks are required and will be provided to anyone who arrives without one. lasm.org


Celebrate music and art with virtual performances of Ebb & Flow Festival. The fest is currently scheduled for April 9-11, 2021, but these shows should tide you over in the meantime. ebbandflowbr.org



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Visit a Raising Cane’s Dog Park. Locations in Baton Rouge, Zachary and Baker. Visit Jason the Triceratops at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, now open with special hours. Drive through “The Mothership”—the original Raising Cane’s on Highland @ State Street. Order it the Todd Graves way: No slaw/extra toast, or the Coach O way: with an extra slaw. Take a drive to visit all of Baton Rouge’s murals. Take in a sunset on the levee across from the Raising Cane’s River Center.


Be a part of the conversation. We may not have had room for every single event, activity or restaurant in Baton Rouge, but that’s where you come in. Email us at editor@225batonrouge.com to share your 225th thing to do!

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Readers share their best experiences during the pandemic. “My 22-year-old son used his COVID downtime to learn how to fly small planes. He will be fully licensed. I’ve spent a good bit of time exploring family land north of here, just outside of Clinton.” —TRICIA P.

“Pack a dinner, grab a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses, and head to the levee for a sunset dinner! Sit on the steps of the levee or one of the many benches available. A children’s version would have soft or fruit drinks.” —JOANNE C.

“Yelp has offered some amazing virtual experiences that I may never have had a chance to otherwise explore. I have had the opportunity to take interactive cooking classes with a chef in Chicago, a cocktail course from a mixologist in Los Angeles, participate in a murder mystery in Albuquerque, and I learned to make the famous Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes from Ruby Slipper Cafe! I also really loved cooking the Creole Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits with Chef Ciara. They were incredible!”

“We have taken our 8- and 9-yearold grandchildren to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Planetarium shows. There were four different ones we saw, each enjoyed as much by adults as kids. The COVID-19 safeguards were well administered, and we all (having been diligent in following guidelines) were satisfied with our safety: temperature taken at the door, masks required, available seats far apart and no crowd.”



225 MAG


225 Things to Do in a Pandemic  |  Exclusive Digital Edition  |  225batonrouge.com

“I have been spending a lot of time at Highland Road Park enjoying the newly renovated disc golf course. It is first-class and both amateurand pro-friendly. You can remain socially distant with friends and also enjoy the beautiful park.”


We did the $85 Sushi date night with sushi catering from Ichiban. Mega deal!


We enjoyed hiking in Tunica Hills. It doesn’t feel like you are in Louisiana. —ALLISON D.

Baton Rouge


From our start at the North Gates of LSU, to now over 500 restaurants in 28 states and 5 countries, with over 30,000 Crewmembers worldwide. Raising Cane’s is proud to be founded and headquartered here in Baton Rouge. Thank you for your support and helping us grow!

19 Baton Rouge Area Restaurants

Follow Us on Instagram: @RaisingCanes | @ToddGraves | @RaisingCane3

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