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Casian Seafood Gains ‘Best Restaurant’ Nod from James Beard Foundation

New family-owned and operated restaurant in Old Town recognized among James Beard semifinalists.

What happens when you mix a Cajun upbringing with Hmong heritage? Just award-winning flavors served family-style in Old Town Lafayette. 

We could only be talking about Casian Seafood, a current 2022 James Beard Award semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant,” and a true testament of the resiliency and strength of our Old Town businesses. 

Opened in December 2020, amid a global pandemic, there’s no question this family-run restaurant has faced uncertainty and like many local businesses, they depended on the support and encouragement of the Lafayette community to endure it all. Throughout the ups and downs, their vision never waivered. 

“There is no Hmong restaurant. Nobody knows anything about the Hmong culture and Hmong food, and he wanted to portray that,” says Maria Nguyen of husband and co-owner Dau Xiong to 5280 Magazine

It’s this passion that inspired Xiong and Nguyen to leave their fast-casual franchise and invest in their own dining concept on North Public Road, serving their own food and introducing the Lafayette community to traditional, beloved dishes with a twist.

Generously portioned seafood boils, made-to-order teas, and cajun fried rice are just some of the Asian-Cajun options to indulge in. (Photos provided by Casian Seafood)

A true marriage of two cultures, Casian’s menu blends Thai chile peppers and spicy papaya with Louisiana-sourced crayfish and shrimp to create a culinary experience like no other. While their seafood boils remain a popular choice, the menu is perfectly built to mix-and-match regional dishes and get a taste of why Casian Seafood was recognized among thirteen other Colorado restaurants and chefs for this year’s awards. 

“We are thrilled to see the diverse and extensive representation of talented Colorado restaurants and chefs on the James Beard Foundation’s list of semifinalists,” Colorado Restaurant Association President and CEO Sonia Riggs said in a statement. “This prestigious recognition is huge as Colorado continues to establish itself as a national culinary destination.”

Here in Old Town Lafayette, we are counting down the days until June 13th when the 2022 winners are announced, but regardless of the outcome, this recognition is an enormous honor and points to the wander-ful, diverse experiences possible when you visit our downtown district open for discovery. 

Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 3pm-9pm, Friday-Sunday 11am-9pm

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