Sure, New Orleans is famous for Jazz, Mardi Gras, and the Saints. But no one can argue that the city’s real draw is its food. Here is a look at the region’s specialties, and the most popular places to test them out.
As the name suggests, this is THE place to get Gumbo in New Orleans. Choose from a few varieties that include Seafood Okra and Chicken Andouille and Sausage. Be sure to save room for the epic bread pudding.
Crawfish Etouffee at Chartres House Café
Etouffee is a thicker version of crawfish stew made with onions, celery and peppers, seasoned with Cajun seasonings and served with rice. If you can’t stomach this traditional meal, try Chartres’ Crab & Corn Chowder, perfectly creamy and flavored to perfection. Grab a table on the balcony and watch the local color pass by.
If you go, you must try the Rabbit and Sausage Jambalaya, a delicate mix of flavors the blend together nicely. This place is also known for its tender Cajun fried chicken, its smoked duck quesadillas, and its candy-like green beans cooked with bacon and copious amounts of garlic.
Red Beans and Rice at Joey K.’s
Red beans in New Orleans originate from an old-time custom when ham was a Sunday meal and Monday was washday and a pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes. At Joey’s, you can get Red Beans and Rice (with smoked sausage on top) any day of the week. Try them as an accompaniment to the all you can eat catfish, with an ice cold beer, served generously in an 18 oz. frosted schooner.
Muffulettas at Central Grocery Co.
The Muffaletta’s here enormously delicious – order a half sandwich unless you are a truly BIG eater. It comes adorned with tons of meat, cheese and the most delectable olive spread on the planet. Go during the week to avoid the long lines on the weekend and get your food to go with a bag of chips and a drink to enjoy as you watch the Mississippi River roll on by.
Beignets at Café Du Monde
Café Du Monde is probably the most famous eatery in New Orleans. They do one thing, and they do it right – Beignets! The coffee is also out of this world. There is no order to this establishment – just grab a seat as one opens up and get ready to enjoy the ride.
Bananas Foster at Brennan’s
Brennan’s invented Bananas Foster, a rich dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a buttery, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur sauce, all cooked together in a fiery dream. Try the three course brunch that starts with Turtle Soup and ends with the tasty treat the place is known for. Wash it all down with Brandy milk punch, a glorious cure for a hangover.
King Cakes appear in full force across New Orleans around Mardi Gras. Sucre’s King Cakes are famous across the country not only for their creamy flavor, but for their lovely design. The bakery also serves up unforgettable ice cream sundaes and a huge selection of gelato.
Po’ Boys at Parkway Bakery & Tavern
All of the Po’ Boys at this joint are worth trying, but the roast beef – full of messy gravy – and the Shrimp varieties are each perfectly amounted with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. The bold should try the Surf N’ Turf with a side of sweet potato fries and a slice of rum cake to boot. It’s all good. Even Obama agrees.