If you have spent any amount of time on the LSU campus, you have undoubtedly been baptized by the engulfing smell of Louie’s Café, the classic black-and-white-tiled 24/7 Tigertown diner. As its legions of fans can attest, Louie’s is famed for its breakfast, but it also serves up everything from classic burgers and poboys to steak dinners. Louie’s recently moved from its former location on State Street to its new home at 3322 Lake Street, the former location of Wendy’s. The new location meant a fresh coat of paint, more seating, and (finally) a large parking lot to accommodate its loyal fan base; but the famous fluorescent sign reminds patrons that the menu and atmosphere remains classically Louie’s. With so many new campus eateries popping up over the past few years, Louie’s has remained a campus staple and one of the primary spots for late night studiers, revelers, and insomniacs looking for a cheap and filling meal. In fact, if you manage to have an exceptionally late night and arrive at Louie’s around 6:00 a.m., you’ll be first in line to grab one of their freshly made biscuits, the perfect end to your night or beginning of your day.
This 40-year-old institution is as much a socializing space as it is a place to settle in for some of the best beignets and café au lait around. The buzzing, bright dining room, blue and white arched centerpieces, and the camaraderie between the patrons and employees invokes a playful atmosphere that begs one to slow down. However, there’s always the drive-thru if you find yourself in a rush. Coffee Call has always been popular among the late night crowd because of its late night hours. It is open until 2 a.m. seven days a week and patrons can pick between a traditional order of three rectangular, pillowy beignets or a small or large order of the beignet fingers. The question of which of the two is the better option can be likened to the debate between the corner-piece vs. center piece brownie debate. Regardless of which style you pick, you can be sure that your order will come piled with mounds of sweet powdered sugar on top. Pair that with one a hot chocolate or a café au lait (or a mixture of the two if you’re in the know) and you have a late-night feast that is tough to top and, at the same time, quintessentially Baton Rouge.
“We even still have a dollar bill with our names on it yellowing somewhere up on that ceiling,” a Yelp! reviewer says. They’re talking about the copious dollar bills flaking off the ceiling at George’s. If you want no-nonsense food, George’s is the place to go. The restaurant isn’t fancy by any means — it’s your neighborhood spot that serves hamburgers and has daily specials, but there’s something really comforting about that, right? Maybe it’s the dollar bills on the ceiling that makes this place seem low-key, but whatever the reason, this place will make you feel right at home. The restaurant has three locations around Baton Rouge, so no matter what part of the city you reside in, George’s grub is available for that late night hunger. George’s stays open until 10:30 p.m.
The late night options at Pelican House are great, and possibly necessary, offering for a bar that boasts one of the largest whiskey and beer selections in the entire state of Louisiana. Pelican House’s menu was expanded in early 2015 and now offers a menu boasting over a dozen entrees, sides, and a dessert capable of feeding the masses in the large, bright space. While the entire menu is available from 2:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., the Pelican House made certain to take care of its late night crew with offerings sure to help soak up all that craft beer and whiskey: the duck gravy poutine amps up the Canadian dish with the addition of duck debris gravy, crispy duck “quacklin”, sour cream, and green onions; the pineapple habanero wings offer a revitalization of hop-deadened taste-buds by its sweet and spicy sauce; and the pork shoulder grilled cheese improves the classic sandwich with beer-braised pork shoulder, a combination of the required Kraft singles and gouda cheese, and pepper jelly. The Pelican House’s late night offerings are available every night until close.
Photo by Nicholas Martino.