On the Line / Full Service / What is a Cajun Restaurant?

What is a Cajun Restaurant?

Learn more about what a Cajun restaurant serves on the menu, the history of this restaurant style, and how to start your own.

Opening a Restaurant Checklist

Opening a Restaurant Checklist

So many things go into opening a restaurant. Use this free PDF checklist to set your new restaurant up for success.

Get free download
You must have Javascript enabled in order to submit forms on our website. If you'd like to contact Toast please call us at:

(857) 301-6002
First and last name* is required
Phone number* is required
Restaurant Name is required
What best describes your restaurant type? is required
What is your estimated opening date? is required

We’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

Built for Restaurants

A Cajun restaurant specializes in Cajun-style cuisine. Learn more about what a Cajun restaurant serves on the menu, the history of this restaurant style, and how to start your own.

What is a Cajun restaurant?

A Cajun restaurant is a restaurant that specializes in Cajun-style cuisine and usually offers traditional and authentic cajun food. A Cajun restaurant serves Cajun-style food, which is a cooking style originating from the Cajun-Acadians and is influenced by West African, French, and Spanish cooking techniques.

What is the history of Cajun restaurants?

Cajun ancestors are the Acadians, people who were originally from West Central France and colonized in Acadie (which is now known as Nova Scotia) in 1604. They lived there until, in 1755, the British removed the Acadians and many of them fled south and settled in southwestern Louisiana, along the bayous. This led to a blend of cultures and cooking techniques from the American Indians, West Africans, and other immigrants from various parts of Europe, Asia, and South America, which, combined, created Cajun food as we know it today. 

A well-known element of Cajun cuisine is the French cooking style known as “mirepoix,” which is a blend of onion, celery, and carrots mixed with that is called “the trinity,” referring to a mix of onion, celery, and bell peppers. A true Cajun dish contains these elements.

What is typically on the menu at Cajun restaurants?

A typical Cajun restaurant will host a variety of the most popular Cajun-style foods on its menu, with the three, most popular and common items being: boudin sausage, gumbo, and jambalaya. 

Some other popular menu items you will find at a Cajun restaurant are the muffuletta sandwich, “Po’boy” sandwiches, blackened salmon, and “dirty rice,” which gets its name due to the brown color of the rice when cooked with meat and spices. Don’t be surprised if you see other interesting meats on the menu, such as alligator, and a variety of other fish, like crawfish and catfish.

How do you start a Cajun restaurant?

To help you get started with your own restaurant, we put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to open a restaurant. 

The first step to opening a restaurant is creating a business plan. Other steps include finding a good location (and maybe conducting market research to determine where a Cajun restaurant would perform well) and obtaining licenses, including a health department permit, a food handler’s license, and a food sales permit. 

Moreover, opening a true Cajun-style restaurant will require you to know how to cook Cajun-style cuisine, so if you are not familiar with these cooking methods, you may want to consider partnering with a Cajun chef or someone experienced in Cajun cooking to open your restaurant with.

How much does it cost to start a Cajun restaurant?

Opening a Cajun restaurant will require an adequate-sized location, good commercial equipment, and sourcing a variety of different ingredients, from vegetables to fish and different meats. This means you will need to make a sizable investment in starting a Cajun restaurant. Restaurant startup costs can vary based on location, local rent prices, whether you have furniture and seating, renovation needs, and more. The average cost to open a restaurant can range from $100,000 to $2 million.

Is this article helpful?

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.