While in New Orleans, eat your way through the city. That is what I did! Take time to indulge in the Southern and Creole food that people travel from all over the world to taste for themselves.
Expect to come back a few pounds heavier but that is OK! It wouldn’t be right if it were any other way!
Here are a few of my favorite eats in New Orleans.
Bread Pudding – Yes I am starting with desert! You haven’t had bread pudding until you have tried it in Nola (New Orleans). Bread soaked in creamy, sweet, sugary goodness. Each restaurant makes it differently – some adding fruit, nuts, chocolate, bourbon and other renditions. It is made by soaking french bread in special ingredients and locals say the secret is using slightly stale bread!
The desert can be rich, especially after eating a heavy dinner, so order one for the table and share. Don’t pass up the bread pudding no matter how full you are! Each place will make it differently so it is fun to try them all. I passed up one bread pudding at Commanders Restaurant where it is made with White Chocolate and I regret it! Some friends said it was the best desert they ever had. Oh well, next time!
King Cake – This is a fun desert with a tradition. During the Mardi Gras Carnival season, hundreds of thousands of these are eaten in New Orleans. It is similar to a coffee cake or puff pastry with fruit fillings and inside is a hidden figurine or baby.
The tradition goes, that whomever gets the figurine in their piece of cake will buy the next King Cake or host the next party. It is coated with Purple, Green and Gold decorations.
Each color has a meaning – purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. There is an interesting history of the King Cake worth reading more about…. By the way, I can’t remember who found the baby in their cake at our table. I think someone owes me a party or another cake!
Crawfish Etouffe – This dish includes crawfish and other shell fish in a sauce or “roux” with creole seasonings. It is served over rice. This is a very popular dish. I tried this dish a few times at different restaurants to taste the variances at each place.
Gumbo and Jumbalya are also two Creole dishes with some similarities in taste and are both worth trying. In regards to gumbo, I have to be honest, the gumbo dishes I tried were not all that great as maybe the restaurants didn’t put enough effort into it. I think the best gumbo was hiding in grandma’s kitchen somewhere so I suggest making friends quickly to get invited over for some good ol Gumbo. (Half kidding) We did get one invite from a friend we made in New Orleans, but unfortunately we ran out of time and had to go back home. Sad, I know.
Red Beans and Rice – This was my favorite thing to eat while there. I know it sounds so simple, but the way it is seasoned down south is absolutely delicious. This can be eaten as a side dish.
The restaurant that made it best was on Bourbon Street and called Oceana. The other dishes at Oceana were just okay, but they got the red beans and rice sooo right! No other place in NOLA made red beans and rice as good as they did!
(Left – Red Beans and Rice and Fried Chicken. To the right is the Étouffée.)
There are tons of other popular dishes and grubs to eat in New Orleans, but the above are just a few I enjoyed most. Seafood was my favorite thing to eat while in New Orleans and I wrote a bit about that in a previous post (link below). If you travel to New Orleans or have in the past, please share some of your favorite culinary experiences in the comments. I would love to hear about it!
Read More “Love For New Orleans Cuisine”