After living in New Orleans for about a year and a half now, I’ve finally gotten a pretty good grasp on the food that this culture-rich city has to offer. When I arrived, I assumed that beignets and gumbo were the only foods worth trying, but I have managed to uncover some of the less well-known but equally delicious dishes that have roots in this wonderful city. Trust me, you will love them all just as much as beignets –and maybe even more.
Crawfish season is officially upon us. If you’ve never had this New Orleans staple, there’s no better time to it try than now. Pick some up from a local seafood restaurant such as Bevi Seafood Co., Cajun Brothers Seafood and Po-boys, or Cajun Seafood while they’re in season. A community crawfish boil brings us together here in NOLA like no other.
2. Vietnamese Cuisine
Who would have thought that New Orleans would be home to some of the best Vietnamese food in the country? From living in NOLA, I’ve acquired a taste for pho, spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and so much more. If this is gibberish to you, check out descriptions of these dishes on the menus from Lilly’s Cafe, Mint Modern Vietnamese, Jazmine Cafe, and PhoBistreaux.
3. Po’ Boys
This Louisiana-originated delicacy consists of fried seafood, chicken, roast beef, or ham, along with other sandwich toppings stuffed in between French bread; it’s a must try in the Big Easy. Because seafood here is so fresh the shrimp and oyster po’ boys are NOLA favorites, but at the end of the day they’re all good options. Be sure to try them at Mahony’s Po-Boys and Seafood or Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar.
Throughout Louisiana, you can find oysters served raw on the half-shell, chargrilled, fried Rockefeller style, and even stuffed into po’ boys. Squeeze some lemon on them, add a little cocktail sauce, and eat away. Find some of New Orleans’ best oysters at Peche Seafood Grill, Casamento’s, Superior Seafood, or Royal House Oyster Bar.
This iconic Louisiana stew features ingredients such as shrimp, sausage, chicken, or duck, which creates a divine combination of savory and smokey flavors. Galatoire’s, Dooky Chase Restaurant, and Cochon Butcher offer some of New Orleans’ best.
This traditional rice dish is a New Orleans favorite. The spicy and bold flavors in the rice are accompanied by a mix of of chicken, sausage, and seafood. This is one NOLA dish that you absolutely cannot miss out on. Try it at Coop’s Place or The Gumbo Shop.
This sweet treat consists of sugar and nuts. What could be better? Pralines can be found all over the city and certainly at every corner in the French Quarter. Pick some up at Aunt Sally’s, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, and The Praline Connection.