With French, Spanish, West African, Native American, and Arcadian influences, New Orleans cuisine is like no other in the world. We heavily researched restaurants before going so we could have the culinary experience of a lifetime. So, here is our list starting with more casual to a little fancier. We hope this will help you with your New Orleans food quest. Plus, here's a handy dandy map!
Cajun Seafood- Bag of Seafood
A nothing-fancy local spot with no fuss, deli-type of service, Cajun Seafood is the spot for your perfectly seasoned bag of treasures. You line up (we waited about 10 minutes), order at the counter then take a seat in a cafeteria like setting. Since it’s bare-bones, this might just be the best value in town. We ordered a pound of fresh Louisiana crawfish ($4.99), a pound of shrimp ($8.99), and half pound of snow crab legs ($7.99) and none of which was in the least bit disappointing. The flavors were spot on with the ultimate blend of spices and over-cooking was not a problem. But, be ready to get down and dirty as this will be a messy good time. Hint, ask for some lemons to cleanse your hands afterwards so you’re not smelling shellfish all day.
Verti Marte- PoBoy
This deli had one of the best Po Boys in town. We got the All That Jazz which had grilled ham, turkey, shrimp, Swiss and American cheese, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes on grilled French bread with some sort of awesome sauce. Yes, it’s a lot of sandwich, but that magic sauce made it all come together. We grabbed a sandwich and sat outside of Jackson Square to enjoy it.
The Market Cafe- Muffulettas
We had planned on going somewhere else for a muffuletta sandwich, but found that they were closed. However, we stumbled across the street to find Market Cafe and we couldn’t have been happier. There was a very charismatic live band that played classic tunes while you chomp down on a delicious sandwich. Wouldn’t you want to hear some lively jazz with awesome food? If you said no, don’t come to New Orleans.
Blind Pelican- Oysters
We came for to enjoy the happy hour sine they had $10 Oysters. The raw oysters were good, but the broiled oysters is where it’s at. They’re smothered in salty butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese. I think I could have eaten a hundred of these they were so good.
Mandina’s Resturaunt- Gumbo
After some researching, we made the trip to Mandina’s especially for their gumbo. It’s a low-key local spot located outside of the French Quarter but the gumbo was worth the trek. We made a half day of it and stopped by on the way back from the New Orleans Museum via street car. We had gumbo in several other places and none of which even came close to Mandina’s. The crab, shrimp, and okra were married in the perfectly seasoned and textured dark caramelized roux. After being disappointed at other establishments, I was so happy I finally got my fix.
Felix’s- Creole Classics
We stumbled into Felix’s on our first day after taking a stroll down Bourbon Street. It’s making the list because everything was surprisingly tasty (for not being planned beforehand). The first place winner was the peppery dark roux Shrimp and Grits. I had the Bayou Combo of which the Crawfish Etouffee was the standout. We also ordered a plate of the Fried Crab Fingers (Claws) which were pretty tasty.
The Original Maspero’s-
We were pretty excited to come here because of the history of this place but we were blown away by the food. Built in 1788, this establishment was originally a coffee house where slaves were sold. With arched brick walls and candle lit lanterns, stepping inside was like stepping back in time. Matter of fact, this was the vey same spot where the 7th U.S.A president Andrew Jackson planned the epic battle of New Orleans. Now Maspero’s is serving up contemporary style creole cuisine. There was a dead tie between the slow-simmered Crawfish Étouffée and the white wine Shrimp and Grits with local ham, gruyer cheese, and a dash of red pepper. Seriously, both dishes totally knocked our socks off.
Have you been to New Orleans and feel we left something out? Let us know! Planning a trip and have questions? Don't be shy, ask us!