Whether you’re a student who’s new to Baton Rouge or have been a Baton Rougean for all or most of your life, there’s a plethora of “to-do’s” for everyone that’ll make the Capital City feel more like home.
With so many neighborhoods to explore, each filled with unique experiences, we’re here to show you the ins and outs of the city and unveil all the hot spots that make Baton Rouge one of a kind. From delectable homemade desserts to activities that test your strength to a spectrum of entertainment shows and concerts, the Red Stick has it all, and you too can live like a local.
Welcome to Baton Rouge, y’all!
Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, Mid City, and its surrounding areas like Goodwood and Corporate, has flourished into a community full of shops and good eats, luring people of all ages.
If you’re a foodie, you’ve picked the right part of town to visit. Your first stop to this neighborhood should include a trip to Elsie’s Plate and Pie for delicious Southern style cuisine and a slice of award-winning pie. If you’re looking to host a girls’ night out or a modern date night spot, just down the street is Soji Modern Asian, where the blend of Asian flavors on your plate is just as Instagrammable as the restaurant’s chic atmosphere. And no Mid City food tour is complete until you’ve “unionized” your flavorful contemporary-style tacos at Gov’t Taco. For festive coffee flavors and the tastiest cake balls in town, you can’t miss out on local favorite, Brew Ha-Ha!. It’s also the perfect study spot for midterms or finals, second best only to the newly renovated Goodwood Library.
But a slew of local favorite eateries is not all you’ll find in Mid City. This neighborhood is also home to some of Baton Rouge’s most frequented shops! Upcyclers and vintage lovers will feel right at home at Time-Warp Boutique, a thrift store with an eclectic collection of authentic clothing through the decades—it’s the perfect place to add a statement piece to your wardrobe or curate your next themed costume! And if you’re staying up to date on all the newest fashion trends and accessories, be sure to stop by the boutiques in the area like Bella Bella and their new store Baubles by Bella Bella.
Complete your trip with a couple rounds of bowling and bites at Red Stick Social, located in Mid City’s newest attraction, The Electric Depot. Here, you can get a little bit of everything that Baton Rouge has to offer from fish-shaped Taiyaki pockets and Japanese treats at Sweet Society, to specialty coffee at City Roots and Louisiana-inspired apparel at Sweet Baton Rouge and so much more!
Downtown Baton Rouge is your hub for all things art, culture, history and more! Even locals need to live like a tourist sometimes and pay a visit to this area to get the classic Capital City experience. On top of great Mississippi River views and a wide collection of attractions within walking distance, Downtown is your spot to get the ultimate museum experience.
Seek to learn more about scientific discoveries and art at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum (LASM), where you can view a meteorite older than any other rock known on Earth or engage in an interactive presentation on the stars and constellations in our local night sky! You may notice a castle in the sky by the river—that’s Louisiana's Old State Capitol, which offers exhibits on Louisiana history and a beautiful stained glass cathedral dome. To travel back in time, climb aboard Baton Rouge’s WWII Fletcher Class Destroyer at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum, or visit the Capitol Park Museum a few blocks away to learn all about the history of Mardi Gras and see a 48-foot wooden shrimp trawler in person.
For those looking for a more involved experience, a few streets away from the museum scene you can find The 13th Gate escape rooms. But this place is not for the faint of heart—with eight escape rooms to choose from and one of the top haunted houses in the country open every October, this place is the ultimate scene for thrillseekers or those who like to think outside of the box! If adrenaline rushes aren’t your thing, step away from the scaries and kick back with the downtown music and shopping scene. Discover new sounds at Live After Five, a free concert series held in the spring and fall, or walk over to The Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts to attend a short film, concert or comedy show! To grow your horizons in shopping local, be sure to visit the Red Stick Farmers Market on Saturdays and indulge in the sweet taste of locally grown fruits and vegetables, artisan breads, meats, honey and more!
Of course, a trip to any neighborhood in Baton Rouge is not complete without a meal, and Downtown is no exception. For authentic Italian cuisine, grab a seat at The Little Village—you’ll be calling the waiter over for more of their signature bread! Sushi lovers will be delighted by Tsunami Sushi, where you can wine and dine while taking in sweeping views of the Mississippi River on their roof-top terrace. For oyster enthusiasts or those looking to test the waters with new flavors, visit Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar for raw, baked, seasoned and grilled oysters from the West, Gulf and East coasts! Located a few blocks away, check out Cecelia's Creole Bistro for more authentic Louisiana food like Sweet & Spicy Alligator! Night owls will savor the taste of Pastime Restaurant for pizzas, poboys and platters served until 10 pm.
NORTH BATON ROUGE
Home to the Southern University Jaguars, North Baton Rouge and Scotlandville are best known for their friendly community, a local art scene and homestyle cooking that can’t be beat.
For the best—and we mean best—fried chicken in Baton Rouge, go straight to the original Triplet’s Blue Store. Breakfast lovers must dine at Sharon’s Kitchen, but the lunch menu is equally as delicious. For a classic sweet treat, visit one of the only Krispy Kreme stores in south Louisiana, at its Scotlandville location just down Plank Road!
For a walk on the wild side and getting in touch with nature, visit the Baton Rouge Zoo, right down the road from the heart of Scotlandville. The zoo features over 150 different species and hosts many fun events throughout the year, such as their halloween party—Boo at the Zoo. And word on the street is that Scotts Bluff just near Southern’s campus offers the best sunset views in Baton Rouge.
To get the full experience, be sure to check out Scotlandville Saturdays on the last Saturday of every month. This open market brings the community together and hosts vendors and local makers from all over offering up everything from handmade goods, food, sweets, fresh produce, live music and art, and even a health center.
BEYOND BATON ROUGE
You’ll be surprised to learn that just beyond Baton Rouge, there’s still plenty to do. For some of the greatest deals on name brands, shop for all your needs in Gonzales at the Tanger Outlet Mall, or even head across the intersection to Cabela’s if you’re a fan of the outdoors! Willing to make the drive a little longer for more shopping? Head to Denham Springs to stroll through the Juban Crossing Shopping Center, or find all the gear you need at Bass Pro Shop for a weekend out in the Gulf.
And for more delicious restaurants, a stop in Prairieville is a must on your list! For Louisiana specialties and a Mississippi Mud pie you could never regret, dine in at Sno’s Seafood & Steak. But the real plate that will have you driving back for more is the one filled with hot and fresh biscuits from Frank’s Restaurant. If you want to avoid traffic but stay in city limits, Ruffino’s is located right at the edge of Baton Rouge. Serving up their delicious “Fish Katie” complete with cotton candy after every meal.
As a more familiar part of the city to newcomers, the Southdowns area and its surrounding districts offer a collection of thriving local businesses for all walks of life in Baton Rouge! Outside of LSU staples such as The Chimes, Walk-Ons, Baton Rouge-born Raising Cane's and Louie's Cafe, there are quite a few other stops you’ll want to visit to get a real, local experience.
Just down the street from LSU’s campus lies the Overpass District—a foodie’s paradise filled with local flavors, each one worth a taste. But for a fine dining experience like no other complete with live music nights, try Kalurah Street Grill for your next date night or celebration! And when the season’s just right, head just down the street to the Acadian Perkins Place for steaming crawfish from the beloved Crawfish On The Geaux truck. For something closer to home and pho worth raving about, treat yourself to Drunken Fish’s Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine that’s sure to satisfy your tummy and budget.
Our locals love confections, so you’re never at a loss once you get a sweet tooth. Head over to CounterSpaceBR for drool-worthy homemade cookies, delicious tahini whoopie pies, gourmet cakes and more. Or visit BOOMBOX Frozen Pops & Ice Cream for a Louisiana-made, flavor-packed frozen treat!
Ready to walk off all those delicious eats? Gather some friends and head to The Oasis Patio Bar & Grill to compete in a sand volleyball tournament—it’s also a great place to cheer on the Tigers or Jaguars! If sports aren’t your thing, take a stroll around the LSU Lakes at Milford Wampold Memorial Park, or head over to the Raising Cane's Dog Park to spend the day with your furry friend.
If you love the aroma of fresh coffee beans, Southdowns is the perfect place for coffee dates. For peaceful outdoor seating, in-house roasted coffee and tasty granitas, pay a visit to Garden District Coffee. Get an extra boost for nutrition with a superfood latté and devour homemade bakery items with vegan options from Magpie Cafe. Or snag a seat at the inviting Lighthouse Coffee, where you can try fun filled signature flavors, like Cereal Lattés, and enjoy their wide selection of ethically sourced ingredients. If you need somewhere to switch up your study scene, posting up at any one of Southdowns’ quaint coffee shops is always a win.
Apart from its many restaurants and study spots, this area is also known for having some of the best shopping for students! Known for its stylish selections, Rodeo Boutique offers a variety of the newest styles in season for all college girls! Find your next gameday outfit there or at Bella Bella, where they have an outfit for every occasion. If you’re a part of sorority Greek life, then Sanctuary Home and Gifts is the place for you! With a variety of customizable makeup bags, water bottles, storage bins, t-shirts, tank tops, pajamas and more to choose from, show off your letters proudly!
The St. George area, including Bluebonnet, Essen, and Siegen, is filled with activities, always has something new to do around every corner, and is a shopper’s delight!
Spend a few hours strolling through the Mall of Louisiana, which happens to be the biggest mall in the state with two levels of stores to shop from, a massive food court and a carousel! And just down the road you can shop til you drop at the Perkins Rowe outdoor mall complete with restaurants and a movie theater.
Looking for more entertainment? Thrill seekers will love hanging out in this neighborhood. With over 35 trampolines to bounce on and different obstacle runs to complete, DEFY Baton Rouge is the ultimate adventure for people of any age. Show off your inner athlete at Top Golf where you can play a high tech game of golf with friends in your own personal bay. Or head over to Main Event for bowling, laser tag, arcade games and their gravity ropes with an attached zip line!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, immerse yourself in the flavorful food culture that makes Louisiana so unique. For a colorful atmosphere full of blue hues and good vibes, head over to SoLou, and discover experimental Southern flavors like crawfish beignets and alligator hot dogs. Other restaurant staples in the area include Rouj Creole for worldly fare with a Baton Rouge twist and Louisiana Lagniappe for timeless classics like the Louisianne, a sautéed filet of fresh fish topped with jumbo lump crabmeat sautéed in lemon butter—mouthwatering! Just nearby, you can find a Parisian atmosphere with a Southern spin at Bistro Byronz. For more casual dining, try the Bistro’s sister pizzeria, Pizza Byronz with delectable lunch specials and classic Louisiana dishes turned pizzas.
Nothing completes a meal like dessert! If you’re more of a “coffee over cake” kinda dessert person then Rêve Coffee Lab will be your new favorite stop in town. With seasonal signature drinks—some of which have included a horchata cold brew, ube latte and coffee soda—paired with similarly outrageous flavors of rotating confections, Rêve is your one-stop-shop for all things tasty!
For those who are all about toppings, Bonjour is the place for you. Customize all the warm crepes and waffles you desire, filling or covering them in chocolate or drizzling in a variety of toppings to your heart’s content! For a true Baton Rouge bakery experience, The Ambrosia Bakery will satisfy your sweet tooth with their Fresh Strawberry Cake—trademarked for good reason. You haven’t eaten frozen yogurt the right way until you’ve tried Counter Culture’s famous Humphrey, complete with fruit, granola, and honey! And if you’re looking to pair a tasty dessert with a fun experience, head over to The Creamistry for premium liquid nitrogen ice cream, or stop by Freezing Cow Rolling Ice Cream to watch your frozen treat get made right in front of your eyes.
Tucked away a few minutes down I-12 lies Shenandoah, a little-known side of Baton Rouge filled with exciting adventures worth exploring with friends or even solo.
Adventure-seekers, you’ll love trying your hand at some indoor rock climbing at Uptown Climbing. Or for a more familiar but equally exciting activity, skate the day away at Skate Galaxy. Get the best of both worlds at Celebrity Theaters, offering an upscale arcade and a fantastic, yet affordable, movie experience to wind down. (Pro Tip: Plan your visit on a Tuesday, when movies are only $5.)
After working up an appetite be sure to stop by one of the delicious eateries in the Shenandoah area. Head to Hunan Chinese Food for their all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, or stop by George’s Bar & Grill for the juiciest homestyle burgers. Brunch fanatics can’t skip the opportunity to dine at Mason’s Grill, renowned for its hearty breakfast burger.
On the sweeter side of things, stop by some of the tastiest snowball stands in Baton Rouge to help you cool off in the Louisiana heat. A must try every snowball season is The Sno House with its variety of natural flavors. But for a showstopper, go to the Waycool stand, and order a Chantilly snowball—served with fresh berries and a slice of Chantilly cake—yum! This side of Baton Rouge offers some hang out spots perfect for killing time with friends or lounging with a good read. One to check out is the new Cedar House Roasting Co, whose cold brew floats pair perfectly with a study session!