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10 Local Foods To Try In New Orleans


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Leese Brauer


New Orleans, the vibrant and culturally rich city nestled in Louisiana, is a haven for food lovers. With its unique blend of Creole, Cajun, and French influences, the local cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. From spicy seafood dishes to mouthwatering desserts, New Orleans offers a diverse array of local foods that are worth exploring. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just someone looking to try something new, this article will introduce you to 10 must-try local foods in New Orleans. So, get your appetite ready and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure through the heart of the Big Easy.


Gumbo is a quintessential New Orleans dish that showcases the city’s rich culinary heritage. This hearty stew is made with a flavorful combination of meat or seafood, vegetables, and spices, served over rice. The key to a good gumbo lies in its roux, a mixture of flour and fat that adds thickness and depth of flavor to the dish.


Jambalaya is another iconic New Orleans dish that combines influences from Spanish and French cuisines. This one-pot meal features a medley of rice, meat (such as sausage or chicken), and vegetables, cooked in a flavorful broth seasoned with spices like paprika, cayenne, and thyme. The result is a delicious and satisfying dish that showcases the city’s love for bold flavors.

Po’ Boy Sandwich

The Po’ Boy sandwich is a New Orleans classic, perfect for satisfying your hunger on the go. It typically consists of a crispy French bread roll stuffed with fillings such as fried shrimp, oysters, or roast beef, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and a generous slathering of mayonnaise or remoulade sauce. It’s a messy yet flavorful sandwich that encapsulates the spirit of New Orleans.

Crawfish Etouffee

For seafood lovers, Crawfish Etouffee is a must-try dish in New Orleans. This rich and savory dish features crawfish (or sometimes shrimp) smothered in a luscious sauce made from a roux, onions, bell peppers, and celery. Served over rice, this dish is a true taste of the Gulf Coast.


A trip to New Orleans is incomplete without indulging in the famous beignets. These fluffy, square-shaped pastries are deep-fried until golden brown and generously dusted with powdered sugar. Enjoy them hot and fresh at a local coffee shop, paired with a steaming cup of café au lait for the ultimate New Orleans breakfast experience.

Red Beans and Rice

A staple of New Orleans cuisine, Red Beans and Rice is a comforting and flavorful dish that is traditionally enjoyed on Mondays. The dish consists of slow-cooked red beans seasoned with spices like thyme, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper, served over a bed of fluffy white rice. It’s a simple yet satisfying dish that has been a favorite amongst locals for generations.


The Muffuletta is a hearty and flavorful Italian-inspired sandwich that has become a beloved staple of New Orleans cuisine. It features a large round loaf of Sicilian bread filled with layers of deli meats, such as ham, salami, and mortadella, along with provolone cheese and a tangy olive salad. Each bite is a perfect blend of savory and tangy flavors.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits is a dish that beautifully combines the flavors of the Gulf Coast with southern comfort food. This savory dish features plump and juicy shrimp served over a bed of creamy, buttery grits, often flavored with spices and smoky bacon. It’s a true indulgence for seafood and comfort food enthusiasts.

Oyster Rockefeller

If you’re a fan of oysters, you can’t miss trying Oyster Rockefeller. Named after the famous Rockefeller family, this New Orleans classic takes freshly shucked oysters, tops them with a rich and flavorful blend of butter, parsley, spinach, and other seasonings, and bakes them to perfection. The result is a decadent and unforgettable seafood dish.

Bread Pudding

For a sweet ending to your culinary journey in New Orleans, indulge in a slice of Bread Pudding. This traditional dessert is made with day-old French bread soaked in a rich custard mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, and spices, then baked until golden and served warm. It’s often drizzled with a sweet sauce, such as caramel or whiskey, for an extra indulgent touch.

Now that you have a list of the 10 Local Foods to Try in New Orleans, it’s time to embark on a culinary adventure and savor all the flavors that this vibrant city has to offer. From hearty stews to delectable desserts, New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise that will leave you craving for more.


In conclusion, New Orleans is a city known for its vibrant culture and incredible cuisine. Exploring the local foods is an essential part of the New Orleans experience, and there are plenty of delicious options to try. From gumbo and jambalaya to beignets and po’boys, the city’s culinary scene is rich and diverse.Make sure to sample some of the iconic dishes like crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, and muffulettas. Don’t forget to indulge in the famous seafood delights, like boiled crawfish and oysters Rockefeller. And for those with a sweet tooth, be sure to savor the heavenly pralines and bananas Foster.Whether you’re a foodie or just someone who appreciates good food, New Orleans offers a gastronomic adventure like no other. So, go ahead and immerse yourself in the flavors, aromas, and traditions of this incredible city and discover why its local foods are so beloved.


Q: What are some must-try local foods in New Orleans?

A: Some must-try local foods in New Orleans include gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, beignets, po’boys, red beans and rice, and muffulettas.

Q: Where can I find the best seafood in New Orleans?

A: The best seafood in New Orleans can be found in iconic establishments like Acme Oyster House, Commander’s Palace, and Galatoire’s. Don’t forget to try boiled crawfish and oysters Rockefeller!

Q: Are there any vegetarian or vegan options available in New Orleans?

A: Yes, New Orleans has plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. You can enjoy dishes like vegetarian gumbo, tofu po’boys, and vegan-friendly beignets.

Q: What is the best time to visit New Orleans for food lovers?

A: Food lovers can visit New Orleans throughout the year, but the city’s food festivals, such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the New Orleans Food & Wine Experience, are held during the spring and offer a fantastic opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine.

Q: Can I find gluten-free options in New Orleans?

A: Yes, New Orleans has a growing number of restaurants and cafes that offer gluten-free options. From gluten-free po’boys to gluten-free beignets, you can enjoy the city’s culinary offerings without worrying about gluten.