Did I tell yawl how much I love New Orleans? The Big Easy has always been on my bucket list and I recently had the opportunity to stay in a New Orleans hotel for a few days and I fell in love! I’ve always heard how amazing the city was but experiencing it first hand was simply maj-i-cal (major +magical).
While there is so much to do and see in Nawlins your first priority should be the food! My favorite thing to do was eat; I ate my way through the city and I am not ashamed! Like the famous Mark Twain said, ‘New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.’ What I loved most about NOLA were the bold and rich flavors of the cuisine. Louisiana cuisine is a melting pot of flavors which is influenced by its rich colonial history; from French, Creole, Cajun, Spanish, African, Native American to Italian, it is an explosion of flavor. It was heaven on a plate.
If you ever find yourself in NOLA, which you should, here are “6 Major Dishes You Must Try”:
- Jambalaya – A Spanish and French influenced traditional dish. Jambalaya, like its name, sounds a bit mixed up! It is rice mixed with different meat; chicken, smoked sausage, seafood, or all three with vegetables doused with lots of seasoning. Can you say feast?!
- Gumbo – A quintessential New Orleans dish, gumbo is an African and Native American influenced dish. Its name is believed to have been derived from the West African name for okra, kimgombo. It is a flavorful dish and if you don’t eat anything else, the gumbo is a must. I would describe gumbo as a soup or a thick sauce which is served with rice. There are many different varieties of gumbo, from seafood to chicken, sausage or ham. Whichever you choose, it is sure to be a party in your mouth.
- Crawfish Étouffée – If you’re a sea-foodie, Nawlins serves up the best helpings of seafood. One dish that you can’t skip out on is the crawfish eh-too-fey, yet another traditional NOLA meal. Étouffée is a thick stew made with a roux (flour + butter) and a generous helping of Creole seasonings and crawfish, served over white rice.
- Alligator – Yes, alligator! It is soooo delicious. The first time I had alligator, I didn’t know what to expect, but guess what, it takes like chicken! I loved the fried alligator, but you can also have it blackened. Don’t be shy!
- Po-Boy – Moment of truth. I didn’t try any of the Po-Boys. To be honest, it wasn’t high enough on my list of things to eat, and I simply didn’t have enough time. But, with that said, if you’re a sandwich lover, try the Poor Boy. A po-boy is a traditional oversized sandwich made with french bread served with shrimp, chicken, crawfish, or crab in between.
- Beignets – Pastry lovers this is for you. Top off your trip to New Orleans with a famous deep friend French pastry, akin to donuts, sprinkled with powdered sugar. I am ashamed to say I was not able to stop for a beignet but word on the street is that you should!
Major Must Visit Restaurants
- Court Of Two Sisters – An amazing Jazz Brunch Breakfast awaits!
Address: 613 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
- Oceana Grill – The gumbo, seafood platter, and alligator is ahhhhmazing!
Address: 739 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130
- Cafe Du Monde – Iconic beignets!
Address: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
- Ruby Slipper Cafe – Listen, you will never look at breakfast the same again!
Address: 200 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
- GW Fins – I heard the food is amazing. It must be because the wait was 2 hours!
Address: 808 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
- ACME – New Orleans Oysters at it’s finest. The line wraps around the block.
Address: 724 Iberville St New Orleans, LA 70130
If you are looking to experience the heart and soul of the city of New Orleans, there is no better place to start than with food; food you can’t find anywhere else in the world. These dishes are decadent, over indulgent, soulful, hearty and introduces you to the real NOLA.
Have yawl ever visited New Orleans? What is your all-time favorite, must-have dish?