The thing I was looking forward to the most during my trip to New Orleans was definitely the food. The cuisine of New Orleans is one of the most unique in the world due to its heavy influence from Creole cuisine, Cajun cuisine, and Southern soul food. Seafood is also important to the cuisine as the city is located between the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, meaning that residents have access to a wide variety of both saltwater and freshwater sea creatures. In this list, I will go over my top 5 eats in New Orleans!
Prah-lins are a form of sweets containing nuts, sugar, butter and cream (basically everything that is not good for you!). I didn’t consider myself having a sweet tooth, but after practically eating the whole bag myself, I probably have to re consider that. They are so sweet and creamy and melts in your mouth!
I was able to try pralines at both Leah’s Pralines and Southern Candymakers. Upon entering either stores, you can sample pieces of the different kinds of pralines they have! The price of these treats do not come cheap at $10 USD for this bag of pralettes below, which were small bags of bite-size pralines, but they are so worth it!
2. Fried Chicken
Just let me start with a disclaimer that fried chicken is probably my favourite food in the world! So note some bias adding this to my list. My favourite fast food restaurant is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which originated in New Orleans, so I had high hopes for fried chicken in NOLA. Let me tell you that it did not disappoint. I don’t think there is such thing as a dry piece of fried chicken in the city.
Here are the spots I was able to try:
- Mother’s Restaurant
- Coop’s Place
- Cafe 615 Home of Da Wabbi
- Willie Mae’s Scotch House
- Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
I had such a good time eating fried chicken in New Orleans that I have made a guide of the fried chicken in New Orleans.
3. Shrimp Po’ Boy
This traditional sandwich from Louisiana consists of meat which is usually roast beef or fried seafood in a French baguette. Back in 1930’s in New Orleans, these sandwiches were given to feed striking streetcar drivers. These strikers were jokingly referred to as “poor boys”, and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name.
The best in NOLA that I had was at Parasol’s Bar & Restaurant. Located outside the French Quarter, this dive bar has the Firecracker shrimp Po’ Boy, which is a spicy take on the classic fried shrimp Po’ Boy. The shrimp are breaded, fried and dipped in of spicy buffalo like sauce, which created a good kick. The French Bread and the accompaniments such as the lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sauce were spot on in terms of ratio and quality. The sandwich comes in two sizes, the regular (pictured below) comes to $10.50 USD and the large which is $13 USD.
4. Bread Pudding
A surprise entry to my list as I was never huge fan of bread pudding. But this dessert overshadowed all the other dishes I had in ACME Oyster House. The bread pudding had juicy raisins inside and was accompanied with whiskey sauce and vanilla ice cream. The warm bread pudding with its caramel-y taste goes so well with the cool vanilla ice cream. This sweet treat will cost you a reasonable $5.99 USD.
Probably the most iconic Louisiana dish on this list, the jambalaya is a dish consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. It has roots from the Spanish, when they introduced paella into the new region. However it evolved when the locals used more popular ingredients such as celery, onions, bell peppers (or the Holy Trinity). I went to Johnny’s Po-Boys to get the their Po’ Boys. They also had a special for the day for their shrimp and alligator sausage jambalaya which cause my eye. It might not look too appetizing, served in a styrofoam cup, but the jambalaya packs a good amount of flavour and heat. The rice was cooked perfectly as texture was just right. The big chunks of alligator sausage and shrimp were juicy and tender. All in all, pretty good for $7.95 USD.
Other Nawlins foods I tried
- Raw and charbroiled oysters at Acme Oyster House
- Crawfish from Cajun Seafood
- Fried Seafood Platter
- Turtle Soup from Mothers
- Shrimp Po Boy from Johnny Po Boys
- Coconut Cream Snoball from Ike’s Snoballs
- Banana Foster Ice Cream Cake
- Seafood Gumbo from Coops and Mothers
- Muffuletta at Central Grocery and Deli
- Beignets from Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignets
- Étouffée from Coops