12 Spots for a Girls {& Date} Night on the Northshore

When it comes to restaurant recommendations, I feel like the Northshore gets no love. I get it. There are SO MANY great places to eat in the city, and that drive across the lake is just. so. long. (My own child calls it the forever bridge.) But there are a lot of hidden gems on this side of the lake, too.

12 Must Visit Spots on the Northshore

Every month or so, I go out to dinner with a group of girlfriends. It’s our time to get together and just enjoy each other’s company. We are always on the hunt for someplace new and willing to try anything. We also try to spread the love and not stick to just one area. These are some of my favorite spots because they have amazing food and a great atmosphere for sitting and chatting without feeling rushed out the door.

If you’re looking for your next date night or girls’ night on the Northshore, I think you should give one of these places a try. I’ll attempt to describe each one beyond “you’ll love pretty much everything on the menu.”

Abita Brew Pub, Abita Springs

Located in the heart of Abita Springs, this is the perfect place to grab a beer and eat a burger. Pretty much any Abita Beer you want, you can order. I’ve tried their sandwiches, po-boys, and wraps, but the Brew Burgers are my favorite.

The Chimes, Covington

The first time I went to The Chimes was in Baton Rouge before an LSU football game. In my opinion, the one in Covington is even better. If the weather is nice, definitely sit on the back patio. And always, always order the Blackened Louisiana Alligator.

Coffee Rani, Mandeville & Covington

The running joke is that any time I’m asked where I want to go eat, I suggest Coffee Rani. This place is perfect for ladies who lunch and for a casual dinner, too. My new obsession is their Vietnamese Coffee, and my usual Turkey with Cranberry sandwich. Don’t even get me started on their desserts (slice of wedding cake, anyone?).

Eight60, Slidell 

I’ve been here several times with girlfriends. Last time we ordered sliders and nachos off their Shareables menu. They’ve got seating inside and on a back patio; this place has always been hoppin’.

Dakota Restaurant, Covington

I will forever associate this restaurant as a place for special occasions. Here we celebrated my completion of Grad School. I recommend coming here when you feel a little adventurous because their menu is NOT traditional. Their Lamb Nachos and Crabmeat Gratin-Puppy Drum is A-MAZ-ING! Don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Del Porto Ristorante, Covington

Confession: I’ve only been here for Antipasti and Cocktails. However, I was not disappointed! Their Antipasto, Italian Salumi Board, and Crispy Polenta Fries were perfect for sharing. They have an impressive wine list, but I opted for their Mulo Romano (so good!)

Palmettos on the Bayou, Slidell

This Acadian-style restaurant is tucked away on Bayou Bonfouca in Slidell. It’s such a pretty place! For the appetizer, I have two words–Crawfish Beignets. Their Jazz Brunch is currently on my culinary bucket list.

Pat Gallagher’s 527 Restaurant & Bar, Mandeville

Start with a French 75 and Eggplant Orleans appetizer. If you’re a steak enthusiast, definitely order the filet. My husband still dreams about the steak he ordered from here. I prefer seafood, so I recommend their Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Pepper Jelly.

Pat’s Rest Awhile, Mandeville

This place has plenty of outdoor seating on the lakefront! They always have great Daily Specials and Drink Specials on rotation. I ordered the BBQ Chicken Sandwich off the Daily Specials menu, and others ordered a salad, oysters, and seafood platters.

Rusty Pelican, Mandeville

When I tell you my family goes here at least every other week, I am not kidding. This is my favorite burger place, but pretty much anything you order from here you’ll love. If you want a burger, order the Pontchartrain Pickle Burger. If you want seafood, try their Lakeshore Tour (Crabcakes and Fried Shrimp Basket).

Sal & Judy’s, Lacombe

If you’re craving authentic Italian food, this is your place. Driving through Lacombe, you can’t miss this iconic pink restaurant! They have one of the best crab claw appetizers I’ve ever had. I also recommend their Canneloni or Eggplant Parmesan.

Southside Cafe, Slidell

This is such a fun spot! Southside Cafe accommodates large groups and is pretty casual, so no worries if you’ve got a loud, chatty group of gal pals. I always order the String Rings appetizer and the Patty Melt.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


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