Top Restaurants and Culinary Experiences on Louisiana's Northshore
Louisiana’s Northshore is home to a booming culinary scene.
Louisiana’s Northshore is the name given to the region north of Lake Pontchartrain, and its most populous parish, St. Tammany, is where you’ll find cities such as Covington, Mandeville, Lacombe and Slidell — home to restaurants boasting some of the best Gulf seafood and Creole dishes found anywhere in the Pelican State.
Top Restaurants in St. Tammany Parish
Liz’s Where Y’at
Liz’s is one of the most popular eateries in the Northshore area. In fact, Yelp has rated it the best diner in Louisiana! Owner, Liz Munson, is always in the building working hard, greeting customers and treating everyone like family. And the food? It’s top-notch. Breakfast is served all day – with classic Benedicts, New Orleans-style Shrimp & Grits, Chicken & Waffles, fluffy French Toast (Bananas Foster is a must-try) and lunch options like loaded po’boys, juicy burgers and more. There’s truly something on the menu for everyone.
Keith and Nealy Frentz, the 2012 King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood, share their Louisiana comfort food at LOLA, a unique contemporary restaurant in Covington. LOLA is located in an old train depot where the food is prepared in a repurposed caboose. They have great sandwiches and salads for lunch, then transform into a more upscale dinner menu.
Pat’s Rest Awhile
The Rest Awhile is the name given to a 2-acre parcel of land on the Mandeville Lakefront that has a long history, with the Frapart Hotel (1880s) the Sophie Wright Cottage (1916) calling the land home. Now, Pat Gallagher has transformed the historic spot into a lively and casual restaurant. Dine on delectable seafood dishes in the Frapart Main Dining area, or outside on the patio with pristine views of Lake Pontchartrain. Sip wine and old-fashioned cocktails in the Sophie Cottage Tavern. This is a family destination.
Del Porto Ristorante
Chef/owners of Del Porto, David and Torre Solazzo, are three-time James Beard Award nominees for their modern take on Italian fare made with Louisiana ingredients. Del Porto, located in a prime spot in downtown Covington, is a great spot for a candle-lit dinner and a delicious cocktail.
Sal & Judy's
Locals love the Creole Italian fare, pasta and seafood at Sal & Judy's in Lacombe. This local favorite has been in business since 1974 and is owned by Sicilian native Chef Sal Impastato - so you know it's the real deal! Loyal patrons enjoy the Brucioloni stuffed with cheese, Italian sausage and ground beef. Sal & Judy's also sells homemade pasta sauces, dressings and more.
Tchefuncte’s offers an upscale dining experience right on the Tchefuncte River that will lead you on a gastronomic journey through Louisiana and southern America that will leave you speechless. With local ingredients like Louisiana blue crab and oysters, #1 Gulf Yellowfin Tuna, you will taste the freshness of the local seafood bounty. Carnivores will appreciate the A5 Wagyu Striploin, Delmonico-Ribeye, and dry-aged meats including the Kansas City Strip and Porter House. This is true Louisiana fine dining.
Trey Yuen Cuisine of China
At Trey Yuen in Mandeville, enjoy the Wong Brothers’ extensive menu full of traditional Chinese dishes, plus menu items with a Louisiana twist like Tong Cho Crawfish or Szechuan Spicy Alligator at this local hot spot. The koi ponds out front and ornate decor transport you to another world, and the large serving sizes will make you full for days.
KY's Olde Towne Bicycle Shop Restaurant
If you're looking for a family-friendly spot with casual Louisiana fare, this combination bike shop and eatery in Slidell is your place. A favorite at KY's Olde Towne is the fried oyster po'boy with a side of sweet potato fries. The roast beef also gets rave reviews.
Don’t-Miss Culinary Experiences
Abita Brewing Company & Abita Brewpub
Abita Brewing Company is the largest brewery in Louisiana. Visit the taproom or take a tour to learn about their history, brewing process, and beers. Plus, there are always fun events like trivia nights, Karaoke, Food Truck Fridays and more. Nearby, the Abita Brewpub (where the beers were brewed & bottled until April 1994) is serving up salads, sandwiches, pastas and more – with exclusive Abita beer selections. Be sure to pop in on a weekend, where you’ll always find live music.
Louisiana Food Truck Festival
The Louisiana Food Truck Festival takes place in Slidell every spring and fall – rounding up the area’s best food trucks and vendors for a day of good food and shopping. Outside, browse the many cuisines on location and get a taste of as many as you can. Inside, shop for local products like pantry items or home goods. Live entertainment brings the whole event together for a dang good time!
Palmettos on the Bayou
Slidell-based Palmettos on the Bayou is a Sunday brunch favorite for many. Find live music on the Cajun-style restaurant’s decks and take in the view of historic Bayou Bonfouca. The shrimp and grits and catfish atop perfectly seasoned garlic mashed potatoes are just two of Palmettos’ great fare. The Sunday brunch here isn’t just a typical meal – it’s a real occasion.
A Taste of Covington
A Taste of Covington is an annual food, wine, music and art event in Historic Downtown Covington. There’s a full schedule of Vintner's Dinner (a series of special themed meals that feature items not generally found on the restaurant's menu) at the area’s best restaurants, plus special Sunday Brunch offerings, the Festa del Vino Wine Tasting at the renovated Covington Firehouse Event Center, and the Grand Toga Tasting at the stunning Southern Hotel complete with specialty foods, drinks and live music. Get your tickets early – this is a popular one!
Covington Farmers Market
The Covington Farmers Market is a welcoming environment with a community of producers of homegrown fresh produce and prepared foods. The market gathers every Wednesday and Saturday morning and you can always expect free samples from a local chef and great live music.
Red Beans ‘N’ Rice Cookoffs
Each year, St. Tammany Parish features two Red Beans ‘N’ Rice Cook-Off events – one in Covington and one in Slidell – both held on Mondays, of course. Everyone in Louisiana has their own special recipe, and this is a great way for patrons to taste them all. Beware – you may find some crazy ingredients (ahem, chocolate?!). There are two separate competitions (on Mondays of course), and it’s serious business. There is a competition between the police and fire departments on both sides of the parish to see which group can raise the most money and make the best-tasting beans. The funds raised at these annual events support suicide prevention, mental health services, and other United Way programs in St. Tammany Parish.
To explore more of St. Tammany's culinary scene, see the Tammany Taste Culinary Trail.