Coffee Call has been in Baton Rouge for a long time, but has recently moved to a new location. They serve up great cafe au lait (hot coffee with milk) that is second only to the Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter (which is famous for it!) and they serve up THE BEST biegnets (pronounced like ben - yeas, and actually out does the Cafe Du Monde!). They also have great hot chocolate. They serve lunch during the day, but I have never eaten there. It stays open till 2 AM weekday, stays open all the time from Friday through Sunday then closes at 11pm on Sunday. Since it moved, they no longer allow smoking inside, which has attracted a lot (perhaps too many) preteens and old people to hang out there. If you go late enough (like past 11pm) you should be fine. Great place to hang out with friends and talk.
boudreaux & thibodeaux is an interesting bar and restaurant located on third street in downtown baton rouge. a great place to eat and drink after work. they offer cajun food and a good beer selection. later they offer bands that play blues, jazz, and rock. a fun bar to visit when in downtown.
Dress Code: casual.
The wine loft is pretty chill and laid back... go there on Wednesday for a wine tasting, or any day to hang out and chill. It is a good place to catch up with friends in the evening and chat (i.e., different from a regular bar) and you can catch a bite to eat.
Dress Code: No LSU ballcaps allowed... I guess they are trying to class it up a bit (but come on people, we are in Baton Rouge).
One is called The Argosy Casino and the other is Hollywood Casino (old Casino Rouge). They are both pretty easy to find (big signs) and since they are boats, they dock by the River. Docking is really a misnomer... when Edwin Edwards was governor, he really laid the path for gambling in Louisiana. In trying to look like he was pleasing everyone while lining his own pockets, Baton Rouge ended up with the non-land based casinos, that were supposed to sail on the river, but after a short time, everyone just gave up on the whole sailing thing. Too bad, because I think that would be the best part of going.
I'm not really a good judge of which one to go to (lack of gambling experience) although I can say that The Argosy has live music in its Pavillion (before you enter the boat). Casino Rouge has live music too... in the "Rythems Lounge". They've got a pretty decent dance area too, perfect for when Stormy (my favorite dance band in Baton Rouge) plays there - usually once per month.
Dress Code: Wear whatever you want.
The Chimes is a great spot to go get a beer with some friends. They have a ton of beers on tap, and the food is also good. You will see a mix of students and an older crowd as well. Definately a must if you are in town to see LSU.
Chelsea's is BR's foremost club for live music. Great sound system, great bands, reasonable covers. All-in-all - a good place to hang and meet new friends.
The food is pretty good too!
Parking can be a problem -- too many people and not enough spaces!!!
Dress Code: College casual.
This is a mexican restraunt/bar that is one of the most popular after-work spots. Thursday's are slammin' around here. The crowd is normally the "young professional." Descent food, but nothing spectacular. However, the margaritas are REALLY good. Try to make the happy hour, becaus ethey are a little expensive too. It can get really crowded at times, and could offically be labeled a meat market on the aforementioned Thursdays.
Dress Code: Lots of business attire is still on, but everyone who wasn't working will come in jeans or reserved club wear.
This place hosts good live music by all the best local bands. It is a 2 story bar, with pool tables, foosball table, and some video games on the second level. You can look at the stage from up there as well with a cool overhang. It is still a young crowd, but I would say it is an "older young" crowd.
Dress Code: Wear what you like. Jeans is the norm.
Recently remodeled into 2 dance clubs in one. One room has a dance/hip-hop mix while the second room features all techno, They've still got a comedy club, thats normally open until the club gets going around 11 or so. The crowd is younger, mainly 18-23 girls and all ages of guys trying to hook up. Drinks have always been a good size.
Dress Code: Once again, its been a few years, but it was jeans/club wear the last time I was in the place.
The Varsity is right at the north gates of LSU. It can be cheesy, just like all the other clubs on the planet, but you can always expect a packed house. Different nights have different music. The best night is normally the retro night. Many costumes, many good looking people. The building itself is really old with a cool history, which you can read about right as you walk inside. It has recently been "connected" to the Chimes restaurant through a side door.
Dress Code: Semi-nice is the norm, but you'll see shorts also.
Tabby's is the only Blues bar that I've ever visited, and I've only been once. I can't compare it to other places, but I enjoyed it a great deal. Tabby Brown is a well-known Blues singer in the area, and his place attracts some good Blues talent.
Tabby's Blues Box proudly bills itself as a little "hole-in-the-wall" Blues joint. The entrance leads to a small area where customers pay the cover charge. Tinsel streamers block the view of the room beyond. Two steps lead down to the rest of the place. A bar is on the right roughly in the middle of the room. The stage is on the left. Small tables and diner chairs are arranged on each side of the stage and in a little alcove to the far side of the bar. The area in front of the stage is left open for those who want to dance. At the far end of the place is an unused fireplace on one side. A hall in the back leads to two restrooms. Nothing is very fancy, but things are clean. The appeal of the place is in the music.
From what a friend has told me, the crowd is usually about equally mixed racially between black and white and ranges in age from 30ish to 60ish. The exception is on Thursday nights when free draft beer brings a big crowd of young folks (largely white) from LSU. The big nights are supposed to be Thursday and Saturday. I was there on a Friday, and it wasn't crowded.
Dress Code: I don't recall seeing any notices about special dress requirements. I saw a great variety in dress when I was there. Two younger women were dressed fairly well in party style. Other young people wore jeans and T-shirts. Other people dressed more formally but still in more of a party style.
Baton Rouge always has a great band playing somewhere, but the trouble is that you've got to know WHERE!!! My favorite local bands that play great WCS music include: Stormy, Nightshift, and Coffee. I keep tabs of who is playing where with my dance calender, on a Yahoo groop. Feel free to check it out or e-mail me if you want to go dance. Or if you want to go check out a spot, try Sullivans, or Rick-n-Robins. They always have live music on the weekends.
Dress Code: Put on your boogie shoes!!!
A good Baton Rouge hang out. Easily has the best pool tables in town. Big screen TVs all around, a small bowling alley and other games like darts. They do serve food, but I don't know how good it is.
Dress Code: A little more "upper-class" than most of this college town's bars. Lots of businessmen frequent this place. Still jeans are acceptable, but not the norm.
The Texas club is a large, country/dance musical mesh of a place. Cowboy hats and baggy jeans are side-by-side. Can't we all just get along? Not really. Many big fights break out necessitating their own private SWAT team. Good drinks that are a little on the expensive side. This place does host some of the biggest names in country music.
Dress Code: Whatever your musical taste proclaims is "cool."
The Casino is just across from the State Capitol. It is an authentic turn of the century paddle wheeler which now has 30,000 sqft of gaming facilities. It also has an International Marketplace Buffet and live music in Jesters Bar.