Cajun food is a rustic, French-inspired cuisine that hails from Louisiana, and it has become very popular all around the country. In D.C., there are several restaurants that serve Cajun fare, which is known to be a spicy, aromatic type of food that uses a lot of rice, peppers, seafood and spices. Find out below where the best Cajun food is in the District so you can indulge in this wonderful cuisine. All of these restaurants serve authentic food in a fun atmosphere, perfect for groups of families and groups of friends.
901 New York Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Acadiana is one of D.C.’s premier Cajun restaurants, as indicated by the name of the restaurant, which refers to the areas in Louisiana where the French descendants resettled after being displaced from their colony in northeastern North America. The menu includes classic Cajun dishes such as fried green tomatoes, gumbo and red beans and rice. Acadiana also features a great Cajun brunch on the weekend, with treats such as eggs sardu and New Orleans French toast. Be sure to take advantage of its $2 Cajun bloody mary deal that is offered throughout brunch service.
1515 N. Courthouse Road
Arlington, VA 22201
The Bayou Bakery is a cozy, popular local spot where you can sample Cajun food that is relatively inexpensive. Try its pickled black-eyed pea spread, which is an earthy, creamy dip, or its Creole cream cheese, served with classic Cajun pepper jelly and flaky buttermilk biscuits. Bayou Bakery also has a fantastic weekend brunch with homemade beignets and the opportunity to build your own biscuit sandwich. See its website for details regarding special events, recipes and daily specials.
2121 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
This 14th Street restaurant has a great menu that showcases the best of Cajun flavors. It also offers a plethora of vegetarian and vegan Cajun dishes, which is something that sets it apart from other Cajun restaurants in the area. One of the restaurant’s best items is its vegan gumbo. Loaded with fresh vegetables that are heavily used in Cajun cooking, such as okra and corn, dishes here are hearty and delicious. Lovely cornbread muffins, po’ boy sliders, Cajun fries and jalapeno grits are some of the other tasty items on the menu. Remember to check out the cocktail list which features some great Southern-influenced beverages.
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4907 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Louisiana Kitchen is a casual, relaxed venue that is ideal for enjoying Cajun specialties such as fried oysters, crawfish, catfish and jambalaya, as well as Cajun-inspired cocktails such as a Cajun martini, complete with pickled okra. One of the best aspects of Louisiana Kitchen is its fabulous dessert menu, which includes decadent sweet potato pie, classic New Orleans pralines and bread pudding doused in a heady whiskey topping. Louisiana Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch, so you have ample opportunities to try the food.
9110 Center St.
Manassas, VA 20110
Fun and fabulous is the best way to describe Okra’s, one of the most authentic Cajun and Creole restaurants in the DC area. All of its starters are discounted during happy hour so you can sample dishes such as Cajun deviled eggs, crunchy fried okra, and black-eyed pea hummus. To go with your snacks is a variety of cocktails such as the classic New Orleans rye whiskey drink, the Sazerac, and a Mardi Gras martini. Okra’s also serves Louisiana beers that pair perfectly with its spicy Cajun dishes.
Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.