Scientists calculate that dressing up a crayfish in beads and teaching it to play the trumpet only succeeds once every 800 attempts. Opt for an easier taste of the Big Easy with today’s Groupon: for $14, you get $30 worth of dinner cuisine, or for $7, you get $17 worth of lunch fare, at Broadway Oyster Bar in downtown St. Louis.
Broadway Oyster Bar is a bona fide bayou destination for Mardi Gras and beyond. Sauce Magazine readers named the laid-back NOLA fare their favorite Cajun/Creole and third-favorite seafood in 2009. Boasting the most authentic Louisiana dining this far up the Mississippi, Broadway’s menu offers up French Quarter staples including the beloved crayfish, a spicy bucket of the delicious crustaceans performing synchronized swimming routines in lemon garlic butter ($13.95), and fried catfish platters served with traditional rice and beans ($10.95). Tickle your spice tooth with a heap of jambalaya packed with savory andouille, chicken, shrimp, and ham ($9.95), or dig into other N'awlins favorites such as classic po’ boy sandwiches ($8.95 with catfish, $10.95 for shrimp or crayfish tail) and creamy crawfish étouffée ($13.95). Broadway also offers daily fresh-fish specials as well as half-shell slups at the oyster bar.
With a party atmosphere modeled after the French Quarter, Broadway Oyster Bar's historical, 150-year-old building houses an old-fashioned dining room and a heated outdoor patio that plays host to nightly entertainment. Catch nationally touring bands and local favorites, including New Orleans funk, blues, and roots rockers who blast Mardi Gras–inspired tunes that inspire saints and catfish to march together while guzzling celebratory libations.
Sauce Magazine and Gayot both applaud Broadway Oyster Bar's alluring ambience. Citysearchers give Broadway Oyster Bar an average rating of four stars, while more than 90 Yelpers give it a 4.5-star average. TripAdvisors give it an average of 3.5 owl eyes.
- You can't fake atmosphere like this. In a building that dates to the 1820s, there's a fireplace, a drafty door and vigorously uneven floors. The side patio is in the oeuvre of the House of Blues. Still, the kitchen puts out food that will satiate that itch to head for New Orleans. – Gayot
- Also, go for the oysters. Any kind of oysters will do. You won't regret it! – Abby S., Yelp
Broadway Oyster Bar
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers’ poll every year since 2003. Chefs Brad Hagen and Josh Chartrand's acclaimed recipes include Louisiana Fried Alligator, Po' Boys served on fresh-baked Gambino's bread, Alligator Sausage & Shrimp Cheesecake, Crawfish Enchiladas, Naked Gator Tacos, and 11 types of oysters including Rockefeller, NOLA, Chargrilled, and BBQ. Feasts unfold inside the cozy dining room and bar warmed by the fireplace or one of the two open-air patios enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week.