The people of New Orleans are so intrigued with foods that even at lunch they will almost certainly be discussing what they will have for dinner. Just check with some locals where you could get the most excellent gumbo, and you very likely are going to experience a pretty amazing discussion between the city’s residents about the finest place to and enjoy the city’s finest specialty food.
New Orleans really is a city for food enthusiasts and connoisseurs with a great history in fine dining and historical bars throughout the city, from the hectic French Quarter to the beautiful uptown Garden District. New Orleans traditional food combines elegant French cuisine with native cooking trends to produce unique Creole and Cajun plates and bowls that are authentic to the Big Easy. Here we will show you something of the great food this city has to offer.
Cajun and Creole
Although Cajun and Creole cuisine are very often used for the same cuisine specialties, there is a distinction. Both directions start with the same basic ingredients, green peppers, onions and celery, but after that, each style takes its own slightly different direction:
Cajun food was created down the bayou of Louisiana. The cooking is country-style and begins with a dark roux and fuses French and typical Southern flavors in homely, stuffing food like gumbo and boudin, a hot and spicy traditional Cajun sausage.
Creole food, on the other hand, likewise includes French influences along with European and African origins, but creole dishes are more subtle with superb sauces and fresh seafood such as Shrimp Creole and Turtle Soup. Jambalaya is a well known delicious recipe packed with chicken, hot andouille sausage and vegetables. It could very well be made in both the Creole and Cajun styles. The Creole style uses tomatoes, the Cajun style does not.
Typical New Orleans Foodstuffs and Drinks:
Muffuletta – the well known New Orleans Muffuletta is really a favorite lunchtime combo of olive spread, ham, salami and provolone cheese.
Po’boy – this is the classic sandwich generally dished up using a French baguette. A Po’boy could be packed with deep-fried seafood such as oysters, shrimp, crawfish or soft shell crab.
Typical New Orleans Beignets can be eaten all day. Beignets, often served in combination with a cup of coffee in one of the many city’s cafes, are actually deep-fried dough balls that are sprinkled with powder sugar. For desserts, there are plenty of choices, but very typical for New Orleans are Bread Pudding, Bananas Foster and, for the period of Mardi Gras, King Cake that holds a hidden trinket.
When you are thirsty, sweet tea is, of course, an option, but the city of New Orleans is best-known for its wonderful cocktail culture. Take the Sazerac, which actually only is a combination of cognac and bitters. This cocktail is considered to be the very first cocktail in American and ‘s first cocktail and goes back all the way to the city’s pre-Civil War days. The famous Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail includes gin, lemon and lime juice, sugar, egg white, orange water and cream, and a little soda water adds to the drink’s freshness.
Classic Creole and Cajun Cuisine
One of the finest Creole Cuisine experiences is offered by The Palace Cafe. Here they reinvent classic Creole cuisine in an exciting cafe environment. The restaurant is situated on historic Canal Street, and their happy-hour deals are a real treat: every weekday from 5 to 7 p.m. they serve $5 dishes of alligator sausage pistolette, crab claws remoulade and duck spring rolls.
Mr. B’s is located in the French Quarter and is a local’s favorite lunchtime place. The restaurant’s Creole specialty dishes include Gumbo Ya Ya (with chicken and andouille), catfish fingers and crawfish etouffee.
Near the Riverbend, you can find Brigtsen’s Restaurant. Here they serve Creole dishes in a relaxing Victorian cottage, and Chef Frank Brigtsen is famous for his one of a kind specialties based on southern Louisiana cooking. The restaurant includes dishes like grilled drum fish with crawfish and pistachio lime sauce and rabbit tenderloin with andouille parmesan-grits.
Visit Cochon if you would like to enjoy great typical Cajun cuisine. This restaurant will surprise you with dishes like fried alligator, crawfish pie, and roasted Gulf fish. The restaurant houses a butcher shop, or boucherie, that produces roasted suckling pig with cracklings, fried pig’s ears and fried boudin.
A real New Orleans institution is The Commander’s Palace. This restaurant is situated in the Garden District, and the Haute Cuisine of Creole cooking has been developing ever since the opening in 1880. The restaurant is well-known for its 7-course tasting menu including the world-famous Foie Gras ‘Du Monde,’ a fine dish of pan-roasted foie gras over apple, pecan, and foie gras beignets. Some other signature dishes are Cracklin’ Crusted Duck and Crispy Wild Gulf Fish.
Another great place is Antoine’s. This restaurant has been influencing the local cuisine ever since 1840 with French-Creole influences offered in a fantastic setting. The restaurant has 15 dining rooms loaded with collectibles from well-known guests such as former presidents and film industry celebrities. Even Pope John Paul II visited the restaurant during his historic visit. In 1889, this great classic restaurant was actually the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller.
Bacco is famous for the use of local ingredients in Italian dishes. The restaurant is famous for its combination of Italian southern bayou cooking and Maine Lobster and Gulf Shrimp Ravioli with champagne butter sauce. Here you can enjoy pasta dishes such as fried oysters with fettuccine, and Louisiana crawfish tails served over fresh pappardelle.
Emeril Lagasse was the executive chef at Commander’s Palace, and nowadays he is the owner of three classy restaurants in New Orleans. The restaurant where he started out, Emeril’s, is well known for his signature dishes such as roasted quail stuffed with mushrooms and crabmeat, Creole-marinated calamari and andouille-crusted redfish.
One of the sweetest places in New Orleans is Cafe Du Monde, where they serve their world-famous beignets and dark roasted coffee around the clock, all through the year, except on Christmas. The place is situated in the French Market and is a perfect place to enjoy sugary fried beignets.
At Coop’s Place on Decatur Street, you won’t need to worry about any dress code. The restaurant is famous for their Seafood Gumbo containing dark roux and lots of shrimp, okra crab claws, and oysters over rice. The place is known for their jambalaya, a slow cooking pot of tomatoes, onions and peppers with smoked pork sausage, rabbit, shrimp and tasso ham.
ooter Brown’s is a casual bar where you should try a plate of briny oysters, and in case you don’t like raw seafood, you can always go for a classic Muffuletta sandwich or alligator sausage po’boy. The place has over 45 beers on tap, unique even for the Big Easy.