Callihan’s, a Louisiana soul food restaurant, is the perfect place if you’re seeking good Southern cooking and elegant yet casual dining.

Upon entry, I was greeted with big, bright smiles and seated at a table of my choice. A pleasant vanilla aroma filled the air. The ambiance was very cozy and family-oriented, and the mood was relaxed with the décor consisting of various hues of grey, black and white. The dining tables are a great distance apart, giving diners privacy while not feeling isolated from others. 

Callihan’s offers an extensive menu of flavorful soul food dishes. You can order from an exclusive range of appetizers, salads, entrées, sides, specialty burgers, poboys and desserts. Daily special dishes are also offered.  The dishes are reasonably priced with the appetizers ranging between $6–$9, main dishes between $12–$15, and desserts and drinks at $3. There are so many dishes worth trying that it’s quite an adventure just selecting an appetizer.

When I visited Callihan’s, I started off my meal with the daily special of swamp fries, which are cheesy fries served with mini shrimp and queso. I then ordered the crawfish nachos, which were amazing. The warm, crunchy tortilla chips were topped with fried crawfish tails, jalapeños and queso as well. When ordering appetizers, be mindful that the portion size is generous.

For entrées, I highly recommend the famous chicken and waffles. The chicken wings were served hot and crispy. The waffles were so fluffy, and topped with strawberries, blueberries and powdered sugar. I love that the syrup was served in a separate container, allowing the diner to use their desired amount. This dish was so rich, mouthwatering, and a great choice for first-time diners. 

The Creole shrimp pasta is another must have. This dish is a delicious linguini pasta topped with a creamy Creole sauce, and served with a choice of blackened, grilled, or fried shrimp. What I really enjoyed about the fried shrimp was that it wasn’t overly-breaded, and very well-seasoned. One downside about this dish is that I feel that there could have been more shrimp added in the pasta, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

For dessert, I had a caramel bread pudding. The caramel bread pudding was served warm and had a moist texture. There were tiny pecan bits that gave a light crunchiness throughout the bread. I hesitated to try this dish, as I felt it might have been too sweet. To my surprise, it was not overly sweet and very enjoyable.

My overall experience at Callihan’s was incredible. The customer service was exceptional. The waitress who served me was very polite and informative throughout my visit. The menu was simple and easy to read. Every part of the restaurant, even the restrooms, were immaculate. 

While there are three restaurant locations in Louisiana, I visited the Lafayette location. The address is: 2011 W Pinhook Rd in Lafayette. If you’re in the mood for some authentic Southern soul food, Callihan’s is the spot for you.

Photo by Malik Jones