Northwest Louisiana’s Shreveport-Bossier City has a long-standing tradition of Black-owned businesses highlighted by a variety of bustling restaurants like the inimitable Eddie’s Seafood & Soulfood and Orlandeaux’s Café, both progenies of the historic Freeman and Harris Café. We encourage you to find your own local favorites, but here are a few to explore.
Founded by Eddie Hughes in 1978, Eddie’s Seafood & Soulfood began as one of the Black-owned cafés, diners and plate lunch houses in Shreveport offering the local delicacy of stuffed shrimp. The delectable dish features butterflied shrimp stuffed with crabmeat dressing, rolled in flour and deep-fried.
Looking to enjoy the dish at home? Eddie’s Seafood & Soulfood also operates the Louisiana Stuffed Shrimp Company, which sells stuffed shrimp online and offers shipping nationwide; the product is also stocked in select grocery stores.
Just a stone’s throw from the Shreveport Regional Airport along Interstate 20, chef Damien “Chapeaux” Chapman, a fifth-generation restaurateur, re-christened Orlandeaux’s Café (formerly Brother’s Seafood) in 2018. It’s recognized as the oldest continuously operating African American family–owned restaurant in the United States. First opened as Freeman and Harris Café in 1921, it evolved into the Pete Harris Café and then Brother’s Seafood, which was operated by Chapeaux’s father. Freeman and Harris Café was the first Black-owned restaurant in Shreveport and has always been a popular spot for the community.
Although part of the same tradition, Orlandeaux’s Café has a modern twist with craft beer on tap, a completely new floor plan and flat-screen televisions behind the bar. But the menu has remained largely the same as Brother’s, full of classic Bayou State dishes like red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish étouffée. Credited as one of the first establishments to offer the local-favorite stuffed shrimp, the dish remains popular on Orlandeaux’s menu.
Located in Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood, C&C Café serves up daily plate lunch specials that include smothered pork chops, red beans and rice, Shreveport-style stuffed shrimp, and more. The casual eatery only has five tables, and lines form quickly, so be sure to show up early! Reviewers call it “the best soul food in the city.
At RNL’s Cookery Corner food truck, Niematulai DiGrazia has blended West African (and some Caribbean) flair with American styles. RNL recently announced that it will open under the name Niema’s Cookery Corner inside Sunshine Health Market in Shreveport. Chef Niema specializes in everything from African-spiced chicken wings and goat bites with an African dry rub to tender oxtail on a bed of grits and jumbo shrimp over jollof rice. Like so many of the delicious eateries around town, each dish encourages you to step out of your comfort zone.