[caption id="attachment_2725" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Patrons enjoy a flight of beers at Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville, LA on November 29, 2019. Photo by Paul Kieu.[/caption]
Craft Cocktails, Bayou Brews, and Specialty Spirits
Cajuns are known to work hard and play harder, hence the widely-known Louisiana French proclamation Laissez les bon temps rouler, or “let the good times roll.” Our way of life embraces the joie de vivre, or “joy of living,” meaning we don’t shy away from a good drink, especially in times of celebration or sorrow. From a bayouside beer to an old-fashioned go-cup to a specialty craft cocktail you won’t find anywhere else, you’re sure to find a new favorite at these St. Martin Parish establishments. Of course, please enjoy responsibly, or as we like to say, don’t try to outdrink a Cajun!
Café Sydnie Mae
140 East Bridge St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517 (337) 909-2377
Aside from a menu of mouth-watering steaks and seafood, each week Café Sydnie Mae presents a fresh lineup of specialty craft cocktails. Better still, they’re made with natural, locally sourced ingredients, and often creatively named after longtime loyal customers such as “Adam's Apple Martini,” which has Absolut Vodka, Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Amaretto and fresh apple juice, and comes garnished with a cinnamon stick. Since the downtown Breaux Bridge restaurant is helmed by Lafayette native and new executive chef Kimberly Nuzum, reservations are recommended. For the newest drink specials, call (337) 909-2377 or check the cafe’s Facebook page.
The Little BIG Cup
149 Fuselier Road Arnaudville, LA 70512 (337) 754-7147
There are many reasons for this Arnaudville eatery’s popularity, but its boucherie brunch buffet, southern hospitality, and picturesque patio on the banks of Bayou Fuselier have to top the list. The Little Big Bar menu includes a selection of delicious craft cocktails whose strength seems to be all but guaranteed by name alone, such as the “Bayou Planters Punch,” “Tiger’s Pride,” or “The Little Big Hurricane.” A word to the wise—call ahead to make a reservation. Once you see the overflowing parking lot and crowded entryway, you’ll be glad you did.
Bayou Teche Brewing
1094 Bushville Highway Arnaudville, LA 70512 (337) 754-5122
With a slogan like “What happens in the swamp ought to be in your cooler!” you’d be hard-pressed to find a brewery with stronger Cajun roots than Arnaudville’s own Bayou Teche Brewing. Founded by the Knott family in 2009 with the dream of crafting beers that complement the lifestyle of Cajun and Creole people, Bayou Teche Brewing has amassed a large, loyal following with their creative, offbeat Louisiana-inspired releases (Their latest, Tartside of the Teche Cherry Sour Ale, promises puckered lips and a tart, fruity, notes and a slightly sweet finish.) If you’re a fan of old sci-fi or horror flicks—or just want to make the most of the long-awaited cooler fall weather—head out to the brewery’s beer garden on a Thursday night for the Arnaudville Theater weekly movie night, complete with popcorn and Cajun Saucer pizza.
Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant
1008 Henderson Levee Road Henderson, LA 70517 (337) 228-7512
Pat’s is a Henderson institution that offers more than the catch of the day served atop red-checkered tablecloths. On weekends Pat’s neighboring venue, the historic Atchafalaya Club, keeps the dancehall culture of Cajun Country alive with live music from zydeco and swamp pop bands like the Foret Tradition and Louisiana Red. Whether your order is a frothy Abita beer or an icy sweet daiquiri, the bartenders here will ensure you’ve got a cold drink in hand all night long to fuel those dance moves.
107 North Main St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517 (337) 442-6354
A coffee shop by day and a bar by night, Tante Marie’s serves exquisite cocktails alongside a beer list chock full of Louisiana brews in historic downtown Breaux Bridge. Stop by for the weekend Cajun jams and weekly French roundtable for a window into the locals’ culture.
219 South Main St. St Martinville, LA 70582 (337) 394-1117
Named for original owner Robert Romero Sr., who opened the St. Martinville lounge over 70 years ago, Robert’s Lounge is one of the oldest neighborhood bars in the parish. While the original 1947 brick interior may be newly renovated, the lounge still holds on to the same classic character.
Buck & Johnny’s
100 Berard St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517 (337) 442-6630
Known far and wide for its weekly Zydeco Breakfast—a Cajun tradition Buck & Johnny’s picked up after longtime host Café des Amis ceased operations in 2017—locals and visitors alike flock to the Main Street restaurant to start their Saturday off right on the dancefloor. If you’re on the shy side, the $15 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s will take good care of you.
1377 Henderson Levee Road Henderson, LA 70517 (337) 228-7880
Located on the Atchafalaya Basin levee and boat launch, Turtle’s Bar is practically on the water. This no-frills watering hole is owned by the Friedman family, who also operate Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours, so you can grab a drink before your basin excursion or watch the sunset over the swamp from a front-row seat on the bar’s back deck.
Kajun King Restaurant
108 South Main St. St. Martinville, LA 70582 (337) 342-2160
From its historic storefront on St. Martinville’s Main Street, Kajun King exudes small-town charm. Try a homemade fried shrimp po-boy or crawfish potato paired with one of the eatery’s signature frozen daiquiris, served by the cup and gallon in-house and to-go. Every flavor of the dozen-plus options is a must-try, but you certainly can’t go wrong with the new Moscato Blue Margarita, or the classic Cajun Beachin’.