The Cajun Boudin Trail puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to discovering Louisiana’s best boudin and other regional specialty items, be it a pork chop sandwich, beef jerky, cheesy boudin balls, specialty sausages, cracklin, smoked meats, plate lunches, stuffed chickens or chili dogs.
The area in and around Lafayette, Louisiana is the indisputable center of all things boudin. Lafayette even holds the annual Boudin Cookoff in October, where the top boudiniers come together to show off their skills. As you venture through the area seeking to sample the many varieties and unique recipes, the award-winning boudin masters of Cajun Country are happy to present you with the fruits of their culinary prowess. Of course, folks in Cajun Country don’t just hang their hats on boudin, and you should eagerly sample some of the other traditional and creative regional foods they’re baking, smoking, frying, or pouring. After all, when you head a little off the beaten path in search of authentic food, there’s no reason to stop for just one item.
Great question! Boudin is one of the most unique, tasty and distinctly uncorrupted regional specialties in America. Basically, boudin is a combination of cooked rice, pork, onions, green peppers and seasonings. The mixture is pulverized (to some degree) in a meat grinder before being stuffed into a sausage casing. It is then steamed—or otherwise heated—for on-the-spot snacking. Ahh, but these are truly just the basics. Folks around here are passionate about their boudin and each recipe is a variation on the foundational ingredients. The devotion to boudin results in innumerable other uses, recipe tweaks or preparations for the meat and rice mixture. Boudin balls, smoked boudin or seafood are just a few of the variations you’re likely to find.
Boudin: You say “Boodin” or “Bowdin,” We say “Boodan” – We know the pronunciation is a bit awkward.
Ask for a “Link” – If you’re having trouble with the pronunciation, just ask for a “Link.” Most locals use that colloquial term.
Homemade Is Best – There are some decent commercial brands of boudin available at chain grocery stores, but the best is always homemade. Our meat shops, butcher blocks, lunch places, and independent grocers are the places where you can find the good stuff. When in doubt, ask if they make it themselves.
Take it Home – Don’t hesitate to bring some boudin back home with you. Whether you’re making a short drive or a long flight, frozen boudin travels well and will be ready to be re-heated. Many of the places in this guide sell frozen packs of boudin along with little coolers to help you get their boudin home.
Steam it, Simmer it, Grill it, Oven it – If you’ve got some cold boudin you can steam it, simmer it, grill it, or throw it in the oven or the microwave. Just remember you only need to heat it through; it is already cooked.
1019 Babineaux Rd., Breaux Bridge
Mon- Fri 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sat 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
As you turn off of the Anse Broussard Highway and down Babineaux Road, you might think you’ve taken a wrong turn. Fear not. You’re about to arrive at a true classic. The Babineaux’s slaughterhouse is a generations-old family business. Back in the cutting room, you’ll see the Babineaux brothers processing deer for local hunters or pigs for custom orders of all kinds. Babineaux’s is also one of the last places around where you can sample both boudin blanc (white)—the standard— and boudin rouge (red)-(pictured), which was once prevalent. Boudin rouge takes on a dark, nearly black, color from the use of pig blood. Don’t be shy. This is the way past generations loved their Cajun boudin. Your pallet is certain to realize that the links at Babineaux’s are special treats. The red is rich and rustic while the white represents a timehonored recipe.
Bayou Boudin & Cracklin
100 W. Mills Ave., Breaux Bridge
Wed-Sat 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sun 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Expect to be greeted by royalty when you step inside Rocky (pictured) and Lisa Sonnier’s 141-year-old Cajun cabin. The proprietor, Rocky, is, after all, the Cracklin King! There are those who claim that the small cabins along the river they offer for rent are the best places to stay in all of Acadiana. But you don’t have to stay here to sample some of the best homemade goodies served with real Cajun hospitality. The Hog’s Head Cheese (a sort of Cajun pork meat paté) is sublime, smooth, and satisfying, and there aren’t many other places where a cup of homemade root beer is at the waiting. Rocky’s link of boudin (a smooth blend) is as legendary as his cracklin, so you should certainly try each.
Don’s Specialty Meats
730 I-10 S Frontage Rd., Scott
Mon-Sat 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sun 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
104 Highway 1252, Carencro
Mon-Sat 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sun 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Don’s two locations offer phenomenal choices. In Scott, the large, bright store is a focal point for travelers on I-10. Don’s sells upwards of 364 tons of boudin in a given year so you know they are a fan favorite. The meaty link packs flavor and zest in each bite. However, the secret that locals plan their day around comes in the form of a huge, bone-in pork chop sandwich served only on Saturday mornings (until they are gone). Your life will not be as rewarding as it might otherwise be if you miss this sandwich. It is meaty, tender and served with homemade bbq sauce that leaves you craving more (ask for extra if you want). You’ll also be remiss if you fail to try the beef jerky (pictured); thick cut pieces of beef that pack all the flavor of a fine steak into a juicy (yes, juicy) slice of jerky. There is none better.
Early’s Food Store
1410 Saint Mary St., Scott, LA
Sun-Sat 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The folks in Scott know that their home-town store with the “Now It’s Cajun” seasoning blend is apt The to turn out some great food. link is enchanting; with just the right amount of porky richness and the delicious Sunday bbq includes some of the best tasting Drop by potato salad around. around lunchtime for a chicken burger of momentous potential (truly fantastic!) and top if off with a couple of servings of their famous peach bread pudding (to die for!).
Guidroz’s Food Center
1301 E Simcoe St, Lafayette, LA
Mon. 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Thurs-Fri 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sat 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
At Guidroz’s you’ll find two generations working side by side as the next generation prepares to take the reins of this north They’ve Lafayette institution. been in business for over 50 years and tout that they sell “Boudin With an Attitude.” Attitude aside, the red hued link provides an explosion of porky goodness. Guidroz also makes their own jars of “chow chow” (a spicy pepper and onion relish) and their recipe is a coveted On Thursdays and Saturdays, the secret. more adventurous eaters in your group can come here for a bowl of Cajun “Cowboy Stew,” which competes with the best we’ve ever tasted.
147 Oak Tree Park Dr., Sunset
Sun-Sat 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Head up Interstate 49 to the little town of Sunset for a first-rate link of boudin (pictured) and one of the best places around to try the famous Louisiana culinary icon: the meat pie. This independent grocery store harkens back to a day before the corporate giants took over your everyday shopping needs. Here they still do things the old-fashioned way. Their meat pies, along with a fine selection of other hot items, can be located in the deli. They are somewhat like a calzone or a Cornish pasty, but here the crust is more like a true pie crust and whole thing is fried to golden perfection. The finely minced meat filling is juicy and delicious—perfect as a snack or a meal. The link is one of the top-rated boudins north of Interstate 10, and it is so good that it draws folks (famous, infamous and common) from as far away as New Orleans seeking to satisfy their boudin cravings.
1111 Saint John St., Lafayette
Closed on Mondays, Tue-Fri 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sat 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Cajun French word boucaniere means “smoke house.” In Eunice, Louisiana in the 1940s, the Johnson family became famous for their smoked sausages and boudin. Luckily, the family brought their skill and devotion to the time-honored smokehouse arts from the Cajun Prairie to Lafayette. At their bustling establishment in the center of the city, the Johnson’s mouthwatering boudin exudes tradition. Be sure to try their smoked pulled pork (pictured) or brisket sandwich. You’d be hard pressed to find one better in either Texas or Tennessee. And, for a real treat, show up around lunch and add a link of boudin to your plate lunch (a regional term for a lunch offering that consists of a main entrée and two or three sides). Their lunch menu varies from day to day, but each bite promises the best in Cajun home cooking.
Mike’s Country Corner
7499 Cameron St., Duson
Mon-Sat 5:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Sun 5:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Many consider the boudin balls (pictured) at Mike’s Country Corner to be among the best in the state. Inside the crisp shell of these giant spheres is Mike’s closely guarded boudin recipe. These days, Mike’s culinary innovations have folks all over Duson talking. Mike makes a boudin pie . . . yes, you heard right—a pastry pie crust with boudin filling topped with creamy sweet potatoes and crunchy pecans. He’s won awards for this one and after tasting it you’ll understand why. When it comes to the link, you can be sure that the same care that goes into the boudin pie and the boudin ball are present. It is a smooth-textured boudin with plenty of pork and just the right amount of rice.
509 Lafayette St., Youngsville
Mon-Sat 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
What started 60 years ago as a bar selling sandwich fixings is now a fullfledged store in Youngsville. Here, the third generation of Broussards have mastered the art of blending traditional and modern culinary innovations. Their award winning boudin is based on a closely guarded 50-year-old family recipe. In order to maintain consistency, only one member of the family is charged with making the boudin. The link is a complex flavor of pork, rice and seasonings with just the right peppery zing. But don’t stop with the boudin. They make over 15 varieties of fresh sausage, including apple, bacon, and fresh pork. Their chili dogs (pictured) are legendary and their boudin master is always coming up with new products, such as their cheesy boudin balls or boudin wontons.
Richard’s Meat Market
117 Park Ave., Abbeville
Tue-Fri 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sat 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Just outside of the historic downtown of Abbeville, Richard’s Meat Market is a relic from a time when things were simpler and always done right. You’re likely to find the owner behind the counter overseeing a meat case stocked with traditional Cajun recipe sausages and the link you’ll get here is among the best in the region. Just the place to satisfy that boudin anhvee (craving) you’ve been feeling. Replete with murals on the outside of this cinderblock building, Richard’s is a quaint meat shop serving a variety of needs.
Shawn’s Cajun Meats Too
210 W Hwy. 14, Delcambre
Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sat 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Sun 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The little village of Delcambre is known mostly for the fleets of shrimping vessels that depart to Vermilion Bay to fish. It has also become known for Shawn’s Chicken Boudin. A rarity, this non-pork boudin truly shines. It provides all the meaty goodness of a more traditional link, without the pork. Some consider it an inspired recipe. Shawn’s other brilliant recipe is for Syrup Sausage (pictured)! Yep, he infuses a fresh pork sausage with Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup. The syrup is made just down the road in Abbeville and it comes straight out of the sugarcane fields of South Louisiana. Sweet and delicious: You’ll love it. His many other specialty meat creations are also drawing raves from folks across the region and his bacon wrapped and cheese stuffed pork tenderloin is one for the ages.
In addition to the 12 highlighted stores and their unique culinary contributions, the immediate region affords dozens of other places to sample homemade boudin. As you look to expand your boudin horizons, also consider:
Hebert’s Specialty Meats – 8212 Maurice Ave., Maurice
Kirk’s You-Needa-Butcher – 713 Surrey St., Lafayette
M&S Grocery – 2720 Louisiana Ave., Lafayette
Don’s Country Mart – 701 Veterans Dr., Carencro
Charlie T’s Specialty Meats – 530 Berard St., Breaux Bridge
Poche’s – 3015-A Main Hwy., Breaux Bridge
Billeaud’s Meat & Grocery – 111 E. Main St., Broussard
Trahan Foods – 601 N. Arenas St., Rayne
The Best Stop Supermarket – 615 Hwy 93 North, Scott
Earl’s Supermarket – 510 Verot School Rd., Lafayette
Ray’s Grocery – 904 Short Vine, Opelousas
Bourque’s Supermarket – 581 Saizan St., Port Barre
Webster’s Meat Market – 2685 Grand Point Hwy., Cecilia
Kelly’s Country Meat Block – 1531 South Union, Opelousas
LeBlanc’s Specialty Meats – 111 Hollywood Drive, Lafayette
Billy’s Boudin and Cracklin – 523 Apollo Rd., Scott
www.cajunboudintrail.com is the companion website to this guide. It offers more in-depth suggestions on sampling the specialties found on and beyond the boudin trail. You’ll find more photos of the places and foods, recipes from the highlighted businesses, detailed mapping of the locations in the guide, and more.
www.boudinlink.com – This brochure was created by the folks behind this website, which provides a comprehensive guide to boudin of Louisiana and beyond. You can find reviews, suggestions and a map to each of the listed locations and more. There are over 130 individual reviews.
www.boudincookoff.com – Each October the top boudin makers from across the region show up in Lafayette, Louisiana at a Boudin Cook-off. This event provides a unique and fun opportunity to sample boudin from up to 25 different places. You can find information about past and future boudin cookoffs at the web page and make plans to attend.