When one thinks of Louisiana, one tends to think New Orleans. But did you know there’s much to see, do, and eat on Louisiana’s other side? The sister cities of Shreveport and Bossier City make for a tasty and entertaining trip. The food in Shreveport-Bossier is top notch and spans all styles. The burgeoning arts scene is delightful, from museums to installations. The people are welcoming and wonderful. It’s southern hospitality at its best.
What to Do
The Agora Borealis– Featuring local artists in downtown Shreveport, the Agora Borealis has something for everyone: paintings, jewelry, clothing, decor items, handmade crafts, and so much more. They also offer classes. 421 Lake Street, Shreveport
Shreveport Aquarium – Shreveport’s newly opened aquarium rests alongside the red river that creates the border between Shreveport and Bossier. Coral reefs, shipwrecks, ocean caves, and tropical lagoons await you. Touch tanks feature rays, sharks, and jellyfish. Admission is $8-$12, with timed admission tickets available for purchase in advance. Free parking is available at Shreveport Aquarium. On-site riverside restaurant SALT serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport
Louisiana State Exhibit Museum– Created as a New Deal program, this museum features dioramas on life in 1940s Louisiana, exhibits on natural history, original artwork, and panels on Native American traditions. 3015 Greenwood Rd, Shreveport
American Rose Society– Visit the gardens of the society, which offers tours of the grounds year-round. Visit during the spring for peak blooming season or in the winter for their holiday lights display. 8877 Jefferson Paige Rd, Shreveport
Shreveport Municipal Auditorium– See the 1920s Art Deco performance space where the phrase “Elvis has left the building” was uttered. He’s honored with a statue in the front. His contemporaries like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams performed there through the Louisiana Hayride program. The venue still hosts performances today and has public tours. 705 Grand Ave, Shreveport
Gators and Friends– Just down the road from Shreveport, Gators & Friends offers the unique experience of zip lining over gators! Yes, that’s right, you can dangle over real live gators if you’re into that kind of thing. If you’re looking for something more tame, there’s an arcade and game area, go karts, and a petting zoo – something for everyone. 11441 US-80, Greenwood
Meadows Museum Of Art– Located at the Centenary College of Louisiana is free to visit and has galleries of works from Africa, Mexico, and Asia, as well as the United States. 2911 Centenary Boulevard, Shreveport
Marlene Yu Museum– Inspired by the work of the namesake artist, this museum features has some of her large-scale nature-inspired canvases that she’s created over the years. 710 Travis St, Shreveport
Us Up North offers tours of four local eateries, but also offers cooking demonstrations and classes led by Chef Hardette Harris. Taste the unique flavors of North Louisiana with that the chef had recognized by the state.
Spirit of the Red River Cruise operates an hour-long boat trip that showcases Shreveport and Bossier City’s waterways.
Where to Eat
Lucky Palace– This place has hands-down the best Chinese food I have ever put in my mouth. The Ginger Jalapeno T-Bone was superb. The Duck on Scallion Pancake is not to be missed. The wine, well you hit the jackpot- Mr. Lim is a wine connoisseur. There’s no such thing as a bad wine at Lucky Palace as the food and wines are fit for a king. When top chefs venture to Shreveport-Bossier, they hit up this gem of a joint. Don’t miss it. 750 Diamond Jacks Blvd, Bossier City, (318) 752-1888
Marilynn’s Place – If you want a fabulous brunch while visiting Louisiana’s other side, look no further than Marilynn’s. Locals swarm here for southern dishes, NOLA style Po Boys, and beignets. Oh, the beignets! Bozz’s beignets rival those of Café Du Monde and they are a must have. I sampled a few dishes while indulging in brunch and all of them were delicious. My favorites were the pepper jack mac and cheese under zesty brisket and the Nola Biscuits, which are open faced biscuits covered in juicy NOLA roast beef. Also, dranks – so many bottomless boozy brunch drinks. I could spend all day on their patio mingling with locals while noshing on tasty southern fare. 4041 Fern Avenue, Shreveport, (318) 868-3004
Real BBQ and More – I want to stay here forever. I wish I had more room in my belly for all the delicious food that Papa Harvey and his family serve up. Many times you find a place with great BBQ and mediocre sides or tasty sides and not so great BBQ. That is not the case at Real BBQ and More. Every single thing is delicious. I highly recommend the Now & Later Loaded Potato. The meats are smoked to perfection, the mac and cheese is on point, and the potato salad is fit for the finest church picnic. 5863 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, (318) 670-3730
Ki’ Mexico– Along with their family, brothers Rodrigo and Eleazar Mondragon create delicioso craft tacos and more at this hip Mexican eatery. Eleazar is the winner of the 2017 Golden Fork Award at the Louisiana Food Prize. Saturday nights feature live music from local artists like blues legend Buddy Flett making this place a great place to start your Saturday night shenanigans. 3839 Gilbert Drive, Shreveport, (318) 861-5941
Well Fed Louisiana– The Vegans on Egan Street serve up organic cold-pressed juice & vegan/gluten-free bites. Their smoothie bowls are a great way to start your day. The assortment of baked goods from Scratch House Kitchen is simply scrumptious. I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian, but everything here is good and good for you. Well+Fed is a must stop, especially if you have hit up all of my other recommendations. 678 Egan Street, Shreveport, (318) 779-0030
Whisk Dessert Bar – The sweet smell of heavenly confections fills your nose upon entering this decadent dessert bar. The 2016 Louisiana Food Prize Winner Chef Blake Jackson whips up the sweetest treats. The Whisk Sink gelato was a favorite for me, made of creamy vanilla gelato with all kinds of baked good yumminess swirled in. The Doma is a chocolate lover’s dream featuring the perfect pairing of decadent chocolate, crunchy caramel, and luscious mousse. 724 Azalea Drive, Shreveport, (318) 459-8771
Fertitta’s Delicatessen– Part grocery store and part deli, Fertitta’s has been in operation for over 50 years. What sets them apart is their “Muffy,” a take on the classic Louisiana muffaletta. Pick up your cold cuts and other essentials here. 1124 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, (318) 424-5508
Kim’s Seafood– Operated by a Vietnamese-American family that moved to Shreveport after Hurricane Katrina, this is the best place to nosh on crawfish and other Louisiana-raised seafood. 901 Benton Rd, Bossier City, (318) 752-2425
El Cabo Verde– Upscale Mexican cocina serving farm to fork dishes. Using authentic, traditional cooking methods such as grinding the corn for the masa mix used in the hand-pressed tortillas makes for a difference you can taste in every bite. The ceviche, mole enchiladas, and the margarita flight were superb. 1023 Provenance Place, Suite 210, Shreveport, (318) 603-3167
Where to Drink
Drive thru Daiquiris – Just throw a rock and you will hit a drive thru daquiri joint, they sit on just about any corner in the area. Daiquiris have unique names like Motel Bound and Red Ferrari to name only a few among the many options. Various locations
Fatty Arbuckles Pub – Featuring 130 different whiskeys, Fatty’s is a whiskey lover’s dream. Fatty’s wall o’ whiskey makes me want to swoon. It’s the best place to grab a seat at the bar and sample some high end, hard to find whiskeys at a good price among good company. 450 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport, (318) 459-1448
Great Raft Brewing– Owners Lindsay and Andrew Nations know what they are doing when it comes to beer. They have a solid selection with something for everyone. My favorite was Creature of Habit, a perfectly blended coffee brew with just the right amount of coffee bean flavor (with beans from local coffee maker Rhino). All the brews were tasty and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them. There’s no gimmicks here, no trendy flavor infusions – just mighty fine beer done right by folks who love beer and want to share their love of beer. 1251 Dalzell Street, Shreveport
Herby K’s– Herby K’s famous Pink Flamingo is smooth, not too sweet, and surprisingly boozy. One of these beverages will have you feeling fine in no time but two may have you down for the count. The Pink Flamingo consists of coconut rum, amaretto, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice. Served up in a giant frosty goblet, it requires two hands. I’d come here just for the Pink Flamingo, but you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to stay longer to partake in their delicious gumbo, etouffee, or po boys. 1833 Pierre Avenue, Shreveport, (318) 424-2724
SALT Restaurant– Located at the newly opened Aquarium, SALT serves up some of the most exquisite cocktails I have ever sipped on. I was fortunate enough to sample just about every cocktail on their menu during my visit. These next level craft cocktails are expertly crafted to perfection marrying flavor combinations that will blow your mind. Cocktails rotate seasonally, but rest assured, there is something for everyone. 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport, (318) 383-0602
Where to Stay
Hilton Garden Inn Shreveport Bossier City – This budget-friendly chain hotel has all the amenities you need for your stay, including free WiFi and flatscreen televisions. 2015 Old Minden Road, Bossier City
Margaritaville Resort Casino– Shreveport is a gaming town and Margaritaville is the most unique casino around. You’ll find colorful rooms and multiple food and drink options inspired by Jimmy Buffet’s famous tunes. 777 Margaritaville Way, Bossier City
The Remington Suite Hotel & Spa– Shreveport has a boutique hotel for those looking for something different. It has an in-house massage therapist, daily social hour, and they’re even pet friendly. The space is a historic apothecary. 220 Travis Street, Shreveport
2439 Fairfield Ave– This cozy bed and breakfast is a great place to spend your evening if not just for the hand pies served at breakfast. 2439 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport
Airbnb– Another option is renting one of the cozy homes in Shreveport and Bossier. Airbnb Host Kathy offers beautifully decorated rooms in her historic home located in a charming, quiet neighborhood in this rental. Get a discount on your first stay by using our booking link.
About the Author
This southern belle has an affinity for baking, biscuits, bourbon, barbecue, shaved ice, and the great outdoors. When she’s not scrambling to pack for adventure, she’s renovating her 1930s bungalow in Atlanta. She’s a fan of Couchsurfing and a former Airbnb host. She speaks Spanish well enough to get into and out of trouble, impress native speakers, and eavesdrop effectively. She enjoys camping, hiking, porch sittin’, stirring up craft cocktails, and volunteering in her community. She plays a mean game of skee-ball and pool. She loves dive bars, dancing, and listening to live music. You can follow her adventures at Jeannine on the Go.
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The author traveled to Shreveport on behalf of Visit Shreveport-Bossier City. Additional details have been provided from the editor’s trips to the area. Photos are property of the author unless otherwise noted.