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George Motz’ Southern Burger Odyssey: Lafayette

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Photo by George Motz
Photo by George Motz, Hamburger America

In a part of America dominated by gumbos, crawfish and other Acadian/Cajun goodies, there is an old-time burger joint that is about as authentic as it gets. The Judice Inn was hand built and opened by brothers Alcide and Marc Judice in 1947 and is one of the oldest restaurants in the Lafayette, Louisiana area. And today it is still owned and operated by the Judice family.

There’s really not much to the simple menu, and very little has changed at the Judice since the day it opened.

 Photo by George Motz
Double Cheeseburger from Judice Inn / Photo by George Motz

Cheeseburgers are king here, and the double cheeseburger is the call. The Judice grinds beef every morning and uses a proprietary seasoning on the burger that is adjusted to the tastes of the locals (peppery without being hot). They also have a tomato-based “special sauce” that goes on every burger, as well as lettuce and a mustard/mayo mixture. Ask for grilled onions to take this already flavor-packed burger to the next level. All burgers are served on soft, white squishy buns on waxed paper (no plates), and unlike many tiny burgers-only joints in America, beer is available, as well as the local favorite potato chip brand Zapps.

Ham and egg sandwiches are also available, but don’t try to order one on Saturday. Gerald Judice, the son of founder Marc, explained, “We are so busy on Saturday at lunch, there’s no room for eggs.” Ahh, tradition. It’s why we love these places and pray they never change.

Judice Inn
3134 Johnston Street
Lafayette, LA 70503
337-984-5614