Day Trips: Roberto's River Road Restaurant

Baton Rouge cafe serves Cajun food on the Mississippi River

Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

Roberto's River Road Restaurant is the kind of place that locals brag about and visitors have trouble finding. Hidden away on the banks of the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, the food here is legendary.

In a classic old building with a rusted tin roof facing the river levee, the restaurant is part of a long history.

The LaPlace family ran a general store here for decades until it came to an end in 1990 with the murder of the proprietor. J.J. LaPlace was behind the counter when an assailant shot him for the $38 in the cash register.

Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

In 2000, Roberto Sandoval was looking for a place to hold a catered dinner. He approached the family about using the vacant store for the evening and ended up staying for 19 years, buying the building and expanding.

The Guatemala-born chef came to Baton Rouge to study at Louisiana State University. He married a local gal and turned his love of cooking into a career. He learned Cajun cooking working for the top chefs of Baton Rouge.

The menu covers everything from crawfish to burgers. There is usually a fish special, the po'boys are generous, and the catfish comes topped with étouffée. The specialty of the house is Shrimp Roberto – bacon-wrapped stuffed shrimp.

Photo by Gerald E. McLeod

Roberto's River Road Restaurant is at 1985 LA 75 (River Road) in Sunshine, La., about 15 miles south of downtown Baton Rouge. The most direct route takes the Nicholson Street exit off I-10 just east of the Mississippi Bridge to LA 30 S., then a right on LA 74 and another right on LA 75 N. for about a mile to the restaurant. For directions, call 225/642-5999 or go to

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Roberto's River Road Restaurant, LaPlace family, J.J. LaPlace, Roberto Sandoval, Cajun food, Baton Rouge

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