It is hard to limit a list of great New Orleans dishes to just 12, but for the sake of space, we’re doing just that. These tasty plates are wide-ranging, but one thing they all share is a delicious nod to our mixed heritage and culinary culture. Happy eating!
Beignets. Let them eat donuts. Here in the Crescent City, we prefer our dough in little squares that are lightly fried and wonderfully fluffy. A dusting of powdered sugar makes them perfection.
Try them at: Café du Monde, Café Beignet, Morning Call Coffee Stand, and next door to our Inn at New Orleans Beignet and Coffee Shop
Po-Boys. A notable sandwich that starts with a crunchy outside-pillowy-inside French bread and just gets better from there. Stuffed with fillings as diverse as this great city, it’s a sandwich to be savored.
Try these: Parkway Bakery and Tavern, Killer PoBoys, Johnny’s Po-Boys, and Mahoney’s, not far from the Avenue Inn
Mufalettas. The linebacker of sandwiches. Folks try and make it at other cities, but it is never as good as it is in NOLA. Olive salad relish is a key ingredient—that and a mother lode of meat and cheese.
Try it here: Central Grocery, creators of this local treasure
Rice and Beans. A Monday specialty in the Big Easy. Humble, yes, but when done right, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish more deeply satisfying.
Try it here: Joey K’s, Mother’s, Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Gumbo. A French-based stew that stars with a savory roux and includes an assorted mix of New Orleans’ flavors and ingredients such as shellfish and sausage. Versions of it show up on nearly every restaurant serving NOLA specialties.
Try it here: Gumbo Shop, Liuzza’s on the Track
Jambalaya. A Spanish-based dish that gets a touch of French and a whallop of Creole. The result is a flavor-filled rice melange dotted with veggies and adapted to what you have in the fridge. Delicious.
Try it here: Jacques-Imo’s Café, Pontalba Cafe on Jackson Square, Ignatius Restaurant on Magazine Street
Oysters Rockefeller. Created by Antoine’s Restaurant more than 100 years ago and, rumor has it, so named because of how rich they are. An elegant appetizer that stars Gulf Coast oysters.
Savor it at: Antoine’s, of course
Barbecue shrimp. Despite the name, there’s not a whit of hickory, mesquite or tomatoey sauce involved. Just a sublime peppery butter sauce and succulent fresh Gulf shrimp, with plenty of bread for sopping.
Try it: Pascal’s Manale, Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar, Mr. B’s Bistro
Banana’s Foster. What to do with an overabundance of bananas? We can’t think of anything better than this extravaganza that’s flambéed tableside, with a sweet sugar-butter-rum sauce that’s served over vanilla ice cream.
Try it here: Brennan’s Restaurant, the creators of this masterpiece.
King Cake. No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without this traditional sweet Danish bread that is braided and decorated in purple, gold, and green. The key element is a small plastic baby hidden inside—whoever gets it in their slice is honored with paying for the next party.
Find them here: Gambino’s Bakery, Cannata’s, Maurice French Pastries, Haydel’s Bakery
Sno-Ball. An ice and cane syrup mixture seems simple enough, but when the temp is soaring and the humidity is chasing it, this combo is brilliant. The wilder the flavor, the better.
Must try: Hansen’s, the cool leader for more than 75 years
With so many great dishes to check off your dining list, a multi-day stay at Avenue Inn is definitely required! Call today to book your reservation.