Lafayette, Louisiana and its surrounding communities are known as the capital of Cajun and Zydeco music, the traditional style of the Acadian people that originally traveled down from Canada. The unique sound features accordions, guitars, and pianos, totally different from the music you might hear in New Orleans.
Many of these music venues are also restaurants and play music every week. Lafayette also boasts a Dance Hall Trail, which features the Cajun dance halls of the region, and hosts annual music festivals like Festival International, bringing in thousands for a week of shows around town.
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Blue Moon Saloon
As one of the South’s best music venues, Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse is also a guesthouse, with funky rooms inspired by the region’s music. Set in a 1900s home, Blue Moon first opened in 2001 and hosts acts from all sorts of genres but excels in zydeco, blues, roots, and honky-tonk. The interior is decorated with bric-a-brac from around the region.
By day, Artmosphere is a relaxed bistro serving American cuisine and coffee, covered in local artwork. By night, it’s a lively spot for live music, including French-language zydeco. It’s been open for over 17 years and has a full bar with specialty cocktails and local beer. There’s also a large patio if you need to sit for a while.
Buck + Johnny’s
Buck & Johnny’s is set in an abandoned motors building in downtown Breaux Bridge since 2010. The restaurant is known for Italian dishes and the lively Zydeco brunch on weekends, where they host bands. A balcony overlooks the dance floor where attendees can watch the music or get in on the action.
Randol’s is known for its crawfish, served by the pound, and also operates as a dance hall with live zydeco music every night of the week. Open for over 40 years, you’ll see the regulars swinging their partners around the dance floor, but don’t be intimidated. It’s easy to find someone to show you the ropes.
Rock n Bowl
This is more than your average bowling alley. Rock n Bowl sets up an impromptu dance floor in the middle of the lanes for music fans to dance to live bands. They also host concerts for touring bands like Louisiana native Marc Broussard. They also have a restaurant and full bar as well as an additional location in New Orleans, which opened in 1993.
Feed N Seed
Modeled after the “feed and seed” stores from around the South that sell the essentials for rural life, the Feed N Seed in Lafayette is a rustic music venue. Antique window shades line the back wall where the bands play with large open space for dancing the fais do do, a traditional Cajun dance, and a patio.
Looking for a place to stay while in Lafayette? Bayou Cabins in Breaux Bridge has 14 rustic cabins on the banks of the Bayou Teche. It’s a short walk from the Cajun dance halls and accommodations include WiFi and breakfast.