New Orleans cuisine encompasses its diverse cultural history, with Creole, French, and Cajun influence. From beignets to crawfish, there are several traditional dishes that you cannot tour the city without trying!
The top of my New Orleans bucket list was to eat beignets! They are powder-sugar covered fried doughnut-y goodness! This delicacy was actually introduced to the city in the 18th century by French-Creole colonists. Pro-tip: these are best to eat when they are hot!
Café du Monde in the French Quarter was founded in 1862 and is one of the most well-known stands/restaurants to buy a beignet. Whether it’s there, or another Cafe around the city – a great way to start the day in New Orleans is to grab a beignet and a café au lait!
Po-Boys are iconic New Orleans sandwiches on French bread, stuffed with your choice of protein and fixins. Usually po-boys have some type of fried seafood, but you can also get them with roast beef and other meats. I highly recommend fried shrimp po’boy! A fully “dressed” po’boy has lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, and hot sauce.
Po’boys are said to have been invented in 1929 during a streetcar strike. At the time, a local restaurant vowed to serve the striking drivers and motormen for free. When strikers came to get a sandwich, the kitchen took the orders by yelling “Here comes another poor boy!”
Jambalaya is like the paella of New Orleans. This local culinary staple is made of a mix of meat, peppers, onions, rice, and plenty of spice. You can choose between chicken, seafood, sausage, or all three! I got jambalaya with andaouille sausage, chicken, and shrimp.
This classic Creole dish has both French and West African roots. This thick stew is usually served with seafood and/or sausage. This is the definition of New Orleans comfort food! There is much debate over the best way to make gumbo, but regardless it is delicious and offers a punch of flavor!
Crawfish are one of the most popular seafood in New Orleans! Boiled crawfish, crawfish étouffée, fried crawfish – you can eat them in many different types of dishes! Crawfish are in season in the Spring.
Our swamp tour guide told us that he could eat frog legs all day! Served somewhat similar to chicken wings, these are definitely worth a try when in New Orleans.
It might sound weird, but alligator is a pretty common meat served in Creole dishes! With the surrounding swampland, alligator are easy to find. Fried alligator is probably the best option for first-timers. We tried buffalo bites with alligator and it was pretty dang tasty!
New Orleans Muffuletta
This hearty italian sandwich was invented in New Orleans is made with a round loaf stuffed with meats, cheese, and marinated olive salad. The name comes from the type of bread from Sicily. These flavorful sandwiches are premade and great for on-the-go lunches!
Which is your favorite dish from New Orleans?! Share below!