What to Eat in New Orleans

New Orleans, best-known for Mardi Gras, French architecture, and as the birthplace of jazz, is also known as a foodie destination. As one of the most visited cities in the U.S., The Big Easy doesn’t disappoint in its culinary offerings, especially in its distinctive and original Creole and Cajun dishes.

If you get a chance to visit New Orleans, make sure to have a taste of these highly-recommended local delicacies.

Enjoy Delicious Sandwiches

Even the sandwiches in New Orleans are absolutely delicious. The muffuletta, for example, is a meaty combination of several cured meats like ham, salami, and pepperoni, with lots of cheese, olives, and pickled vegetables. Best to buy one at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter; this yummy offering started there.

Another classic is the po’boy, a crusty hero sandwich on fresh French baguette that’s usually crammed with fried seafood like oysters, shrimp, or crawfish and slathered with mayonnaise. Once you have a taste for it, you may love it so much that you’ll go back to New Orleans every November for the annual Oak Street Po’Boy Festival. With 30 sandwich-makers and over 40,000 celebrants, it’s a virtual haven for po’boy lovers!

Have Some Crawfish…

When in New Orleans, you have to try some crawfish, because crawfish is very big in Louisiana. You can eat crawfish a lot of ways, boiled being the most common. Head over to the French Quarter and look for Deanie’s Seafood for a serving of this. You can also just buy it from a street vendor and eat off the curb, as people-watching can also be a good pastime in New Orleans.

Want rice with it? Order the crawfish etouffee, a spicy stew served over rice.

…Or Fill Up With Some Gumbo

Gumbo should definitely be in your list of food to eat in the city. It’s a thick stew with chicken, duck, or seafood and served over rice with a side of potato salad. Although it’s best eaten when the weather is cool, it’s available year-round, with some restaurants changing the ingredients depending on the season.

Like crawfish, you can find gumbo anywhere in The Big Easy, although any local will tell you that the best one can be found in their own kitchen. Sans locals to feed you, head over to the Herbsaint for a fancy gumbo. If you want one with seafood, Liuzza’s By The Track in Mid City comes highly recommended. The Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter, on the other hand, is best known for its dish with sausage and chicken.

Sweets for the Sweet Tooth

If you don’t feel like eating meat, consider the many sweet offerings that can be found in New Orleans. Beignets, for example, are excellent for breakfast, although you can have it any time of the day. These are tasty, deep-fried dough balls sprinkled in sugar that’s usually served with a cup of coffee. Known as “French doughnuts,” you can have the best ones either in Café du Monde (Jackson Square) or in Morning Call (City Park).

Pralines are another tasty treat in New Orleans. They’re made with pecans covered in caramelized sugar and cream and have the consistency of a brownie, just without the chocolate. You can find the best shops selling pralines in the French Quarter.

From having a beignet for breakfast, boiled crawfish for lunch, po’boy for midday snacks, gumbo for dinner, and pralines for dessert, there is always something tasty to eat in New Orleans. Eating may just be your main activity when you’re visiting The Big Easy.

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