Indulge Your Cravings at these Delicious Places to Eat in Natchitoches, Louisiana

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Meat Pie, places to eat in Natchitoches la
Meat Pie – A Louisiana Staple Photo Courtesy of Natchitoches Tourism

Anyone who has ever been to Louisiana knows this is the land of crawfish, shrimp creole, gumbo and cajun cuisine. You will not go home hungry. Located in Northwest Louisiana, the small but mighty town of Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-A-Tish) serves up some of the best cuisine in the state. I recently had the good fortune to sample the tasty treasures on the menus of several of Natchitoches’ best restaurants. And there is even more to try. Here’s a peek at some of the most delicious places to eat in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Cornbread Etouffee at Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant, places to eat in Natchitoches la
Cornbread Etouffee at Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant

A family-owned eatery located on the picturesque waterfront of the Cane River, Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant should be on everyone’s dining itinerary when visiting Natchitoches. In this charmer, Creole cuisine meets Italian classics serving up a varied menu sure to please everyone in your dining party.

It’s all about freshly made cuisine at Maglieaux’s which – along with indoor and outdoor seating and friendly folks – make this iconic Natchitoches eatery a local favorite.

On the menu you’ll find Louisiana classics including oyster, shrimp and catfish po’boys. You’ll also find Italian classics including spaghetti and meatballs. And, for diehard burger fans, the Betty Jean Burger will satisfy your meaty appetite. With so many delicious options, it’s not easy to choose. But whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the Crawfish Cornbread from the appetizer menu. This decadent treat features housemade cornbread topped with crawfish etouffee. It’s definitely large enough to share – but you may not want to!

Things to Know:

  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Reservations Accepted
  • Takeout Available
  • Live Music on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
  • Outdoor seating available with views of the Cane River

Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant
805 Washington Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
(318) 354-7767


Live Music at Maulieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant, places to eat in Natchitoches la
Live Music at Maulieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant. Photo credit: Natchitoches Tourism

Merci Beaucoup Restaurant

Idyllically situated to absorb the charm of Historic Downtown Natchitoches, Merci Beaucoup expertly blends Cajun and American cuisine offering a diverse and delicious menu. Made from scratch quality dishes derived from family recipes provide tasty midday dining. Southern hospitality matters here and you can expect fast, friendly service.

On the menu you’ll find po’boys, catfish, burgers, sandwiches and more. But, the Cajun Potato is a showstopper at Merci Beaucoup Restaurant. This decadent delight features a stuffed potato topped with crawfish etouffee and jumbo fried shrimp. Generous in size, the Cajun Potato is ideal for sharing.

If you prefer something on the lighter side, the Church Street Salad features a garden salad served with homemade orange dressing and topped with roasted pecans. Church Street Salad also includes a side of fresh fruit and fried or grilled chicken strips. It ranks as the #1 favorite of regular customers.

Things to Know:

  • Open 10:30 am until 3:00 pm Monday through Saturday, Open 10:30 am until 2:30 pm Sunday
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Outdoor patio available
  • Takeout available
  • Accepts Reservations

Merci Beaucoup Restaurant
127 Church Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 352-6634


The Cajun Potato, places to eat in natchitoches la
The Cajun Potato! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Mayeaux’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant

Located in the Historic District of Natchitoches on Front Street, Mayeaux’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant features perfectly aged steaks and innovative seafood dishes with a touch of Louisiana style. If you’re craving a steak, you can’t go wrong with the house ribeye available in a hefty 16 ounce portion or an even bigger 20 ounce portion and served with two sides. The menu also features several po’boys, burgers and seafood classics. Creole and Cajun dishes rise to the top of the house favorites list. Here you’ll discover Red Beans & Rice, Crawfish Etouffee and Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. For an innovative twist on fish, order the Catfish Acadiana comprised of farm-raised catfish fried golden brown and topped with crawfish etouffee – YUM! 

Things to Know:

  • Hours 10:00 am until 10:00 pm Monday through Saturday, Closed Sunday
  • Full Bar available
  • Dine-in and takeout available
  • Street Parking

Mayeaux’s Steak & Seafood
512 Front St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457


Shrimp & Grits at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, places to eat in natchitoches la
Shrimp & Grits at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant

A nationally recognized leader in the restaurant industry, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant serves up an authentic soulful Creole cuisine experience. With a back story as delicious as its cuisine, Lasyone’s has been a favorite among Natchitoches restaurants since 1967.

Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant is most famous for its namesake meat pies which originated from a recipe created by James Lasyone. After working as a butcher for the nearby Live Oak Grocery for 25 years, Mr. Lasyone began developing his own Natchitoches meat pie recipe in the 1950s. He started his meat pie kitchen in 1967 when he rented out the bottom floor of the local Mason’s building. Today his daughters, Chef Angela Lasyone and Tina Lasyone Smith. run the kitchen and restaurant.

The roots of every dish emerge from old fashioned family recipes. And while you can find meat pies in many locations around Louisiana from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and beyond, everyone who knows about Lasyone’s meat pies will attest – these are the real deal. Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down to breakfast with Chef Angela and sampling the meat pies and the equally delicious crawfish pies which were introduced in 2008. The dough is hand rolled every morning then stuffed with either perfectly seasoned meat or crawfish and deep fried to a light flaky crispy crust. Perfection! I can also tell you that her shrimp and grits are the best I’ve ever tasted – and I’ve been around for a long time!

Other popular offerings include Red Beans and Sausage, Dirty Rice,  Southern Fried Catfish and Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. Hungry yet?

Things to Know:

  • Open Monday and Tuesday from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm and Wednesday through Saturday from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm. Closed Sundays.
  • Takeout Available
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Highchairs Available
  • Casual, neighborly atmosphere

Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant
622 2nd St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 352-3353


Cane River Commissary

Often referred to as the hidden gem of Natchitoches Parish, Cane River Commissary warrants the short drive outside of downtown Natchitoches. Housed in a former schoolhouse, Cane River Commissary is located near the historic Magnolia and Oakland Plantations which are part of the Cane River Heritage Trail.

This delightful restaurant seamlessly blends Creole and Cajun classics with favorite American cuisine and creative cocktails. On the menu you’ll find crowd pleasing dishes like a Shrimp Trio of Shrimp Etouffee, Stuffed Shrimp & Fried Shrimp alongside Creamy Creole Pasta, Jambalaya and Pork Tenderloins. If you’re looking for a unique twist on the traditional shrimp po’boy, order the Alligator Po’Boy featuring alligator sausage smothered in peppers and onions. I opted to keep things a bit lighter with the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo served over rice – so good!

Held the first Saturday of every month, The Cane Commissary’s Zydeco Breakfast features live music and dancing along with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. Now that’s a good time!

Things to Know:

  • Hours 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Monday.
  • Dine-in and Takeout Available
  • Full bar with plenty of creative cocktails
  • Children’s Menu
  • Themed specials: Taco Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Cane River Commissary
4191 LA-494
Natchez, LA 71456
(318) 238-6361


Mardi Gras Inspired Shot at Cane River Commissary, places to eat in natchitoches la
Mardi Gras Inspired Shot at Cane River Commissary. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Mariner’s Restaurant

Husband and wife team Ben and Keri Fidelak purchased Mariner’s in September 2020. Braving the pandemic, the couple and their adult children completely renovated the interior and exterior of the building by day and developed an enticing menu and wine list by night. As a result, the Natchitoches restaurant scene received a new treasure.

Mariner’s Restaurant pays tribute to the Fidelak family’s 20 years of domestic and international travel adventures. The menu and wine list reflect the global influences of their travels with a touch of some of their favorite destinations including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, South Africa and more.

Located on Sibley Lake, Mariner’s Restaurant serves up sunsets as lovely as its menu offerings. Focusing on contemporary Louisiana cuisine, the offerings include steaks, seafood, pasta and more. My dining companions suggested we try the Seafood Nachos. This decadent appetizer elevates nachos to an entirely new level with shrimp, crawfish, crabmeat, ahi tuna, cheesy bechamel and pickled jalapeno peppers. And that was just the starter!

Whiskey lovers will appreciate the Mariner’s extensive bourbon selection. And cocktail enthusiasts will be spoiled by the expansive selection of signature cocktails to choose from.

Things to Know:

  • Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm; Friday and Saturday, 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Closed Sunday.
  • Live music featured in The Cove
  • Takeout and Delivery Available
  • Reservations accepted by not required for parties of less than 10
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Did I mention explosive sunsets?

Mariner’s Restaurant
5948 LA-1
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 228-8056


Seafood Nachos at Mariner’s, places to eat in natchitoches la
Seafood Nachos at Mariner’s. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

French Market Express

Before visiting Natchitoches, Louisiana, if anyone had told me I would be including a gas station convenience store in my where to eat round-up – I would have assumed they had been drinking far too many daiquiris from Lousiana’s drive-through daiquiri bars. Yes, it’s a thing – and so are tasty gas station eateries.

At the French Market Express you’ll find everything from meat pies to shrimp po’boys to boudin sausage, Louisiana Yam Cakes, American fast food and more. Nearby you’ll also find souvenirs, gifts, an expansive wine and beer selection and probably some motor oil. The French Market Express serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch – yes, brunch. Who knew?

What to Know:

  • Open 24/7
  • Takeout Available – of course
  • Some seating available
  • Don’t miss the Louisiana Yam Cakes!

French Market Express
5109 University Pkwy
Natchitoches, LA 71457
(318) 357-9002


French Market Express, places to eat in natchitoches la
Convenience Store Dining at French Market Express! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

More Places to Eat in Natchitoches, Louisiana

It would be impossible to sample all the delicious cuisine at every Natchitoches restaurant during my visit. But even though I haven’t tried the following eateries, these deserve a mention as local favorites.

Classic Mexican and Homemade Pizza

For more than 20 years, El Patio Mexican Grill has served authentic Mexican food based on family recipes. The restaurant now has six locations throughout Northwest and Central Louisiana. In Natchitoches, you’ll find El Patio at 5412 University Parkway.

Sometimes you just want pizza. When that craving strikes in Natchitoches, head to Peggy’s Homemade Pizza located at 4116 University Parkway. A Natchitoches favorite since 1996, Peggy’s offers appetizers, pizza, pasta, salads, calzones and desserts.

Seafood, Steaks, Burgers and More

Mama’s Oyster House and Papa’s Bar & Grill are located in the same building at 608 Front Street in Natchitoches. While Mama’s Oyster House’s menu concentrates on seafood dishes and fresh Louisiana oysters, Papa’s Bar & Grill offers a wide-variety of sandwiches including hamburgers and po’boys. Also on the menu is fried seafood and USDA choice steaks.  

Located in the original 1830 Pioneer Land Office and Bank Building, Pioneer Pub features over 19 draft beers along with a full bar. On the menu, your favorite pub grub is available including seafood, steaks, burgers, nachos and pizza.

Asian Favorites

For Asian cuisine, Hana Steakhouse Seafood & Sushi on Keyser Ave in Natchitoches is the place to go. Serving lunch and dinner, Hana Steakhouse Seafood & Sushi is known for its tasty tempura rolls and fresh delicious sushi offerings.

For Chinese favorites, try Chef Wok. Voted one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA (out of over 43,000!) Chef Wok focuses on signature dishes by Chef Larry who has been in the business of creating delicious traditional Chinese cuisine for more than 40 years.

More Cajun Favorites

Family owned and operated since 1989, Crawfish Hole serves up old fashioned Louisiana-style crawfish along with other seafood favorites in a casual outdoor dining atmosphere.

At Fontenot’s Cajun Cafe two worlds collide in a delicious way. This BBQ and seafood restaurant serves regional favorites like gumbo, po’boys and fried seafood platters alongside BBQ plates. For something unique, try the Grilled Cheese Boudin. How could you go wrong?

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Based in New York City, Terri Marshall is an award-winning writer covering cultural travel, multi-generational travel, road trips, soft-adventure, camping, cars and characters. From hanging out with penguins in Antarctica to fishing for piranhas in Peru to road-tripping through the jungles of Belize, Terri’s always up for an adventure. Drop her into a landscape filled with mountains, towering evergreens, waterfalls and a glacier or two and she’ll be in heaven. But what thrills her most of all is traveling with her teenage grandkids. Terri serves on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee for the North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA). She also serves as the First Vice-Chair of the Eastern Chapter for the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). In addition to writing for SheBuysTravel, Terri’s publication credits include AARP, Island Soul, Girl Camper Magazine, A Girls Guide to Cars, CHILLED, World Footprints, North Hills Monthly, Alaska Business Monthly, Alaska Contractor and more. Follow her on Instagram at TrippingWithTerri.
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