What to Eat in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans food is among the most famous in the country. When traveling to New Orleans make sure to try some old classics like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Oysters. Also, stop by culinary master making some of the new best food in New Orleans. 

We’ve got ten savory stops worth your while when planning a vacation to Creole country.

Oysters Rockefeller

New Orleans is famous for its oysters whether you pop them raw, baked, fried, or grilled.

The Rockefeller Oyster is a classic New Orleans dish dating back to 1899 where oysters on the half shell were bathed in a buttery sauce and breadcrumbs and then torched to perfection.

Drago’s take on the Rockefeller Oyster is unlike any other. They douse the oysters with butter, garlic, cheese, and secret seasoning and grill them over an open fire. 

Shrimp and Grits

For New Orleans, this is the bagel to their New York, or the Green Juice to their Cali. While it’s omnipresent, no one does shrimp and grits better than Lüke. 

The seafood is freshly procured daily right from the Gulf of Mexico. Chef John Besh and his team bring out the best in the classic dish by accompanying the fresh creole spiced gulf shrimp with rich mascarpone grits. It’s the ultimate comfort food. 

Lüke is located in New Orleans’ most famous food district, the French Quarter. Trust us when we say you don’t want to skip past this spot.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

The barbequed shrimp at Pascal’s Manale is responsible for their rise to fame. The Uptown restaurant uses a sweet and spicy barbecue blend on the shrimp and not much else. Paired with the freshness of the shrimp and the smoky barbie, the flavors balance, and your mouth will sing with just one bite.

Fried Oyster Sandwich

This historic spot has been around since 1919. Yet it still surpasses all new players in the seafood scene, taking home the prize of New Orlean’s Best Seafood spot for 2021. 

It’s hard to compete with a Casamento’s oyster or their fried oyster sandwich which is decked tall with plump juicy fried oysters. A favorite of Guy Fieri and Emeril Lagasse (who is actually a New Orleans native) this is the place for fried New Orleans seafood whether on a platter or grilled loaf.

Crispy Fried Chicken

Willie Mae’s Scotch House is frequently referred to as “America’s best-fried chicken.” 

People flock from all corners of the nation to eat this chicken. The family-run joint served the crispy juicy chicken since 1957. They also serve famous New Orleans fried catfish if you prefer to stick to the seafood theme.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya itself is a French Provencal term that translates to mishmash. Which is the perfect way to describe the dish. It’s a mishmash of ingredients that harmonize brilliantly.

Onion, celery, bell pepper, creole base, rice, stock, meat, seafood, or both mix in this dish which is comparable to Spanish Paella. An emblem of New Orleans, you don’t want to skip this comfort dish.

Gumbo

Gumbo is the official state cuisine of New Orleans’ home, Louisiana. So obviously, you need to try some.

Gumbo is really similar to Jambalaya. The main difference is that Jambalaya has the rice mixed into the dish whereas Gumbo is prepared as a stew with rice served on the side. Gumbo also has an additional star ingredient- okra.

The Creole flavors of The Gumbo Shop will have your mouth watering if it’s not already. 

Étouffée

Étouffée (eh-TOO-fay) originates from the Bayou backwaters of Louisiana. The dish consists of a rice pilaf base that is tastefully flavored with seasonings and broth rather than just water. 

Then the base is smothered in a creamy roux and topped with shrimp or crawfish. Étouffée translates as “to smother,” so it just makes sense. 

Shrimp Po-Boy

The po-boy is so popular it has traveled far beyond the borders of Louisiana. But still, nobody knows how to po-boy like New Orleans. 

It’s a french bread sandwich with fried seafood (shrimp or oysters are supreme), lettuce, tomato, and aioli. It hits all the right flavors and textures. 

Whole Grilled Fish

Peche is a relatively new kid on the block. But that didn’t stop them from being titled “America’s Best Restaurant.” If you want to balance out the amount of fried food you’ll indulge in, the grilled fish at Peche will do the trick.

What to Eat in New Orleans Sweet Edition

When planning a vacation to New Orleans it is essential that you save room for dessert. Because if you don’t eat some Cafe du Monde beignets, did you really go to New Orleans? 

Check out these three mouthwatering desserts when visiting New Orleans. 

Beignets

Make this your first stop in New Orleans. Pretty much every guide on what to eat in New Orleans features Cafe du Monde’s beignets. 

Beignets are small square French-style donuts. Although to call them donuts is a disservice. They are more like pillowy clouds of bliss. 

Beignets are fried and then either left plain or filled with custard, curd, or cream. They’re then topped with powdered sugar and sometimes served with a side of fruit. 

Cafe du Monde continues serving the best beignets maybe in the world, since 1862. Consider this stop an assignment. 

Baked Alaska

Regis Philbin notoriously featured this dessert on national TV. The one drawback of Antoine’s baked Alaska is that it will ruin all other desserts for you.

Imagine a pound cake, topped with ice cream, encased in torched meringue. Well, that is exactly how Antoine’s serves their baked Alaska and its deliciousness can’t be expressed in words.

Pralines

Pralines are the star candy of New Orleans. They are caramelized nuts, usually almonds or pecans, coming in various flavors. 

Chocolate and vanilla are the most popular at Aunt Sally’s which is right nearby Cafe du Monde. Dessert tour?

Hungry For More?

Maybe the question isn’t what to eat in New Orleans, but what not to eat in New Orleans. This list could have easily contained over 100 recommendations, but for the sake of time we’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop.

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