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Top 10 New Orleans Foods (& Where to Find Them)

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Tessa ZuluagaAuthor

New Orleans is known worldwide for its vibrant music scene, colorful Mardi Gras celebrations, and distinct Creole and Cajun cultures. But perhaps one of the most beloved aspects of the city is its food. From jambalaya to gumbo to po'boys, the cuisine of New Orleans is a melting pot of flavors and influences that have been passed down through generations. In this article, we'll be exploring the top 10 must-try foods in New Orleans and where you can find them. 

So grab a napkin and prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey through the “Big Easy”.

Here are the top 10 New Orleans foods and where to find them: 

  1. Gumbo from The Munch Factory

  2. Crawfish Étouffée from Jacques-Imo's Cafe

  3. Po-boys from Mahony’s

  4. Jambalaya from Napoleon House

  5. Red Beans and Rice from Dooky Chase's Restaurant

  6. Muffuletta from Central Grocery & Deli

  7. Barbequed Shrimp from Mr. B’s Bistro

  8. Beignets from Café Beignet

  9. Bananas Foster from Brennan’s

  10. King Cakes from Manny Randazzo King Cakes


Let’s dive in. 

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Gumbo from The Munch Factory

Gumbo is a mixture of seafood and sausage mixed in a dark roux and best served at The Munch Factory. The Munch Factory has been proud to be a New Orleans establishment for over 10 years. They make fresh and fun Creole-inspired dishes with the hope that their food can be enjoyed on-premise or at home. Get your munch on!


Crawfish Étouffée from Jacques-Imo's Cafe

Étouffée is the French word for "smothered”, and Jacques-Imo’s Cafe certainly smothers their crawfish étouffée in a flavorful roux. Since 1996, Jacques-Imo's Cafe has been one of the hottest tickets in New Orleans for anyone looking for “real Nawlins' food”. This mural-lined restaurant is always busy because it consistently serves the best food around town.

 

Po-boys from Mahony’s

A Po-boy is a Louisiana traditional sandwich served on submarine-style French bread stuffed with meat, seafood, or both. Mahony’s Po-Boys & Seafood pays tribute to the classic neighborhood po-boy shops of New Orleans that have started to disappear. Mahony’s combines fresh local ingredients and family recipes to re-create the standard Po-boy classics, while also offering new and creative versions of New Orleans’ favorite sandwich.


Jambalaya from Napoleon House

If you want to enjoy the American Creole and Cajun rice dish while basking in an ambiance that could only be New Orleans, Napoleon House is an essential stop for jambalaya. The Napoleon House is a 200-year-old landmark that's as casual and unique as its French Quarter surroundings.


Red Beans and Rice from Dooky Chase's Restaurant

Dooky’s Chase Restaurant started as a sandwich shop in 1941 and today stands as a respected family restaurant in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, Dooky’s closed for two years to rebuild, but with the assistance of many, Dooky Chase’s remains the premier restaurant for authentic Creole Cuisine. Stop in for lunch and try their red beans and rice, served with fried chicken and your choice of a side.


Muffuletta from Central Grocery & Deli

It doesn’t get more authentic than Central Grocery & Deli! Located on Decatur Street in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter, this third-generation, old-fashioned grocery store was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who is famous for creating the muffuletta. Beyond the amazing muffuletta sandwiches, the shop is stocked with imported pasta, olive oil, and many other delicious groceries.


Barbequed Shrimp from Mr. B’s Bistro

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Mr. B’s Bistro is known for its barbequed shrimp, made with a Worcestershire spiked butter sauce with garlic and black pepper. The mission of Mr. B’s has always been that all guests that pass through their doors will be welcomed with warm Southern hospitality and classic Louisiana-inspired food. A must-try!


Beignets from Café Beignet

Beignets are delicious deep-fried dough that are covered in powdered sugar, and they have been Café Beignet’s specialty since 1990. There are four locations in the French Quarter with another on the way. Each of their locations offers something unique to its visitors, including live jazz, cocktails, outdoor seating, and classic New Orleans dishes to complement our beignets.


Bananas Foster from Brennan’s

If you’re craving bananas foster, you might as well make a stop at the place it was created, Brennan’s. The dish was originally invented at Brennan's Vieux Carré Restaurant on Bourbon Street, across from The Old Absinthe House. The dessert didn’t fully take off until Brennan's began "Breakfast At Brennans'” with world-famous bananas foster as their signature dessert.


King Cakes from Manny Randazzo King Cakes

This business not only grew from local demand, but has spread all over the country with overnight delivery to share this Mardi Gras season tradition. Manny's King Cakes have become so popular that in the 2012 Mardi Gras Season, his Pecan Praline King Cake was crowned the "King Cake" after a series of taste tests at several local bakeries. Try the best King Cake to find out what all the hype is about!

 

New Orleans is truly a food lover's paradise, and these top 10 must-try dishes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the city's culinary offerings. From iconic dishes like gumbo to lesser-known delicacies like crawfish étouffée and muffuletta sandwiches, New Orleans cuisine is a testament to the city's diverse cultural influences. Exploring the vibrant food scene of New Orleans is an essential part of any trip to the city. So be sure to grab a bite (or ten) from the spots we've highlighted and discover your own favorite New Orleans flavors along the way

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