Top Ten Must Eat Foods In New Orleans - Best Southern Dishes To Try
Top Ten Must Eat Foods In New Orleans - Best Southern Dishes To Try

Top Ten Must Eat Foods In New Orleans:

While the sightseeing and partying on Bourbon Street are what draws most visitors to New Orleans, the amazing diversity and uniqueness of the local cuisine are equally as powerful.  You could easily spend an entire week in New Orleans just tracking down the best food and we are here to help your gourmet scavenger hunt.  We have come up with a list of the top ten must eats in New Orleans including authentic dishes, items of Southern pride, can’t miss bayou flare, and combinations of signature flavors you won’t find better in any other city.  You and your belly can thank us later.

Also Read:
 Top 10 New Orleans Signature Cocktails

Must Eat Foods In New Orleans:

1. Beignets (Cafe de Monde):

About Beignets: Any time you go to New Orleans one of the first questions your friends will ask is, “Did you get a beignet at Cafe De Monde?”  Beignets are square French-style doughnuts, lavishly covered with powdered sugar, and they are delicious.  While there are much more hearty dishes on our top ten must eats in New Orleans, having a beignet is almost a right of passage in the Big Easy.

By far the most iconic place to get a beignet in New Orleans is at Cafe Du Monde.  Established in 1826, Cafe Du Monde is a staple of any foodie itinerary and is also known for its strong coffee served either Black and Au Lait.  Au Lait coffee means that it is mixed half and half with hot milk.  If the line is too long at Cafe Du Monde when you arrive consider popping over to the nearby Café Beignet with locations at 334 Royal Street and 311 Bourbon Street.

Cafe de Monde Hours: Daily, 24 Hours.  Cafe Address: 800 Decatur Street.  Cafe Website: (HERE).

2. Gumbo (The Gumbo Shop):

About Gumbo: Whether you consider gumbo to be Cajun or Creole, one this that we can all agree on is that it hits the spot when you are hungry.  This hearty stew is the official state cuisine of Louisana and is a must try meal while you are in New Orleans.  The dish is made with a thickened meat or shellfish stock along with the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables including celery, bell peppers, and onions.

Located just a half block from Jackson Square in the French Quarter, this The Gumbo Shop will help you get your fill of Creole cooking with its mouth-watering gumbo.  Our personal favorite at this restaurant is the chicken and sausage gumbo, truly amazing.

Gumbo Shop Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-10pm; Friday & Saturday 11am-10:30pm; Closed Sundays.  Restaurant Address: 800 Decatur Street.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

3. Crawfish (Daisy Dukes):

About Crawfish: Known as Crawdads and Crawlers, Crawfish (cray-fish) are one of the coolest things to eat in New Orleans.  They are only in season from February-June otherwise they would be higher on our list.  These mini-lobsters are delicious and you can literately buy them by the bucket full.  Our favorite place to go is Daisy Dukes near the French Quarter is serves crawfish in all sorts of forms including Crawdad Bloody Marys with a chill one peaking over the rim of your glass.  Just remember to pinch the tail, suck the head, and don’t call them Crayfish.

Another great place to go is the Big Fisherman just West of the Garden District which is known for its fresh takeout seafood.  KJean’s Restaurant just south of City Park is also a favorite among locals for its take out seafood.

Daisy Dukes Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10am-6pm; Friday 10am-6:30pm; Closed on Saturdays.  Restaurant Address: 121 Chartres Street.   Restaurant Website: (HERE).

4. Po’boy Sandwich (Mothers Restaurant):

About Po’boy Sandwiches: As you’ll come to find, almost everything in New Orleans has its own twist, even sub sandwiches.  In the Big Easy they are called Po’Boys which are served on French bread and heavy on the meat.  The best place to get one is Mothers Restaurant at the corner of Poydras Street and Tchoupitoulas Street (Chop-a-TOO-lis).  It is one of the best-recognized landmarks in New Orleans and only two blocks from the French Quarter.  Their top-selling sandwich is the Debris po’boy, which is covered in tons of shreds and leftover meat.  Mother’s Restaurant is also well known for its gumbo and homemade biscuits.

Mother’s Restaurant Hours: Monday-Saturday 630am-10pm; Sunday 7am-10pm.  Restaurant Address: 401 Poydras Street.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

5. Etouffee (Galatoire’s):

About Etouffee: Often made with shrimp or crawfish over rice, Etouffee (eh-TOO-fay) is a hit with both Cajun and Creole homes.  While Bon Ton Cafe is one of the places servicing the dish the longest we like to order it at Galatoire’s.  It may be a little fancy but this is a great place to eat and THE place to be for lunch on Friday.

Galatoire’s Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-10pm; Sunday Noon-10pm; Closed Mondays.  Restaurant Address: 209 Bourbon Street.  Restaurant Website(HERE).

6. Muffaletta (Central Grocery & Deli):

About Muffaletta: Our next must eat food is truly at a historic location near the French Market.  The 6 block long strip was step up as a Native American trading post before European arrived and was turned into a full-on market in 1791.  Later, in 1906, the Central Grocery & Deli opened and introduced the Muffaletta to New Orleans.  It is a huge sandwich with layers of cold cuts and cheese piled on Sicilian bread, and topped with an olive salad.  It is probably the most filling sandwich in the French Quarter.

Central Grocery Address: 923 Decatur Street.   Hours:Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm; Mondays Closed.

7. Jambalaya (Old Coffeepot Restaurant):

About Jambalaya: Just the word Jambalaya brings up images of New Orleans to us.  Jambalaya is a spicy Creole stew made with chicken, sausage, shrimp, vegetables and rice.  It is our favorite New Orleans dish.

Old Coffeepot Restaurant Address: 714 Saint Peter Street.   Hours: Thursday-Monday 8am-10pm; Tuesday & Wednesday 8am-2:30pm.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

8. Oysters (Acme Oyster House):

About Oysters: Opened in 1910, the Acme Oyster House is the place for shucking oysters in New Orleans.  Everything is fresh and eating here is fun as oysters are all they do.  Felix’s Oyster House gives Acme a run for its money and Drago’s is a good back up spot to eat on really busy days.

Acme Oyster House Hours: Daily 11am-10pm; open until 11pm on Friday & Saturday.  Restaurant Address: 724 Iberville Street.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

9. Pralines (Southern Candymakers):

About Pralines: New Orleans isn’t known for many sweets, but we love Pralines (praw-leens).  These pecan filled caramels are melted down and worked over until they almost look like chocolates. They are a refreshing twisting on the standard chocolate pecans found elsewhere in the United States.  In the French Quarter there are tons of places to buy Pralines, but we like Southern Candymakers and Laures Candies the best.

Southern Candymakers Hours: Daily 10am-7pm.  Restaurant Address: 334 Decatur Sreet.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

10. BBQ Shrimp (Pascal Manale):

About BBQ Shrimp: Pascal’s Manale s known for its amazing take out BBQ since 1913 and is home to New Orleans’ original BBQ Shrimp.  With Cajun spices and fresh shrimp, you’ll truly feel like you are in the South.

Pascal Manale Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-10pm.  Restaurant Address: 1838 Napoleon Ave.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

Honorable Mention Must Eat Dishes In New Orleans:

11. Bananas Foster (Palace Cafe):

About Bananas Foster: Ever have fried ice cream tableside?  Try Bananas Foster which is ice cream and sliced bananas turned into a flambe right in front of your eyes.  We especially love this dessert served with a helping of sweet bread pudding.

Palace Cafe Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-10pm; Saturday & Sunday 10:30am-10pm.  Restaurant Address: 605 Canal Street.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

12. Fried Chicken (Dooky Chase):

About Fried Chicken: Since 1941 Dooky Chase has been serving up some of New Orleans’ best gumbo, however, they may be best known for their fried chicken lunch buffet.  While more of a statewide thing than just New Orleans, fried chicken is truly Louisianan.  There is a reason the fast food chains like Popeye’s push their Louisiana roots.  Dooky Chase is more of a classy place but next door is a more casual place called Willie Mae’s Scotch House which also has great food.

Dookie Chase Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-3pm; Friday also 5pm-9pm.  Restaurant Address: 401 Poydras Street.  Restaurant Website: (HERE).

13. Best of the Rest:

About Other Your Options: This list of the top ten must eats in New Orleans easily could have had 25 amazing food options included in it.  Here are ten of the other local dishes that are worth a try but didn’t quite make the top cut for us: red beans & rice, grits, collard greens, black-eyed peas, chicken fried steak, blacken fish, boudin sausage, dirty rice, bread pudding, king cake, and turtle soup.  We could literally eat chicken fried steak with a side of red beans & rice plus bread pudding for dessert every day and be totally happy with it, but you can also get them cooked equally as well in other Southern cities.