When it comes to restaurant recommendations, I feel like the Northshore gets no love. I get it. There are SO MANY great places to eat in the city, and that drive across the lake is just. so. long. (My own child calls it the forever bridge.) But there are a lot of hidden gems on this side of the lake, too.
Every month or so, I go out to dinner with a group of girlfriends. It’s our time to get together and just enjoy each other’s company. We are always on the hunt for someplace new and willing to try anything. We also try to spread the love and not stick to just one area. These are some of my favorite spots because they have amazing food and a great atmosphere for sitting and chatting without feeling rushed out the door.
If you’re looking for your next date night or girls night on the Northshore, I think you should give one of these places a try. I’ll attempt to describe each one beyond “you’ll love pretty much everything on the menu.”
Abita Brew Pub, Abita Springs
Located in the heart of Abita Springs, this is the perfect place to grab a beer and eat a burger. Pretty much any Abita Beer you want, you can order. I’ve tried their sandwiches, po-boys, and wraps, but the Brew Burgers are my favorite.
The Chimes, Covington
The first time I went to The Chimes was in Baton Rouge before an LSU football game. In my opinion, the one in Covington is even better. If the weather is nice, definitely sit on the back patio. And always, always order the Blackened Louisiana Alligator.
Coffee Rani, Mandeville & Covington
The running joke is that any time I’m asked where I want to go eat, I suggest Coffee Rani. This place is perfect for ladies who lunch and for a casual dinner, too. My new obsession is their Vietnamese Coffee, and my usual Turkey with Cranberry sandwich. Don’t even get me started on their desserts (slice of wedding cake, anyone?).
Dakota Restaurant, Covington
I will forever associate this restaurant as a place for special occasions. Here we celebrated my completion of Grad School. I recommend coming here when you feel a little adventurous because their menu is NOT traditional. Their Lamb Nachos and Crabmeat Gratin-Puppy Drum is A-MAZ-ING! Don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Del Porto Ristorante, Covington
Confession: I’ve only been here for Antipasti and Cocktails. However, I was not disappointed! Their Antipasto, Italian Salumi Board, and Crispy Polenta Fries were perfect for sharing. They have an impressive wine list, but I opted for their Mulo Romano (so good!)
Palmettos on the Bayou, Slidell
This Acadian style restaurant is tucked away on Bayou Bonfouca in Slidell. It’s such a pretty place! For the appetizer, I have two words–Crawfish Beignets. Their Jazz Brunch is currently on my culinary bucket list.
Pat Gallagher’s 527 Restaurant & Bar, Mandeville
Start with a French 75 and Eggplant Orleans appetizer. If you’re a steak enthusiast, definitely order the filet. My husband still dreams about the steak he ordered from here. I prefer seafood, so I recommend their Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Pepper Jelly.
Rusty Pelican, Mandeville
When I tell you my family goes here at least every other week, I am not kidding. This is my favorite burger place, but pretty much anything you order from here you’ll love. If you want a burger, order the Pontchartrain Pickle Burger. If you want seafood, try their Lakeshore Tour (Crabcakes and Fried Shrimp Basket).
Sal & Judy’s, Lacombe
If you’re craving authentic Italian food, this is your place. Driving through Lacombe, you can’t miss this iconic pink restaurant! They have one of the best crab claw appetizers I’ve ever had. I also recommend their Canneloni or Eggplant Parmesan.
Southside Cafe, Slidell
This is such a fun spot! Southside Cafe accommodates large groups and is pretty casual, so no worries if you’ve got a loud, chatty group of gal pals. I always order the String Rings appetizer and the Patty Melt.