Headed to New Orleans? Get ready. From crawfish etouffee to jambalaya to filet gumbo, New Orleans has got the best and most distinctive food in the whole U.S. It doesn’t matter if you’re not familiar with Creole or Cajun cooking, either. Part of the South’s charm is its distinct ability to make guests feel like family, and there’s no better expression of that hospitality than in good southern cooking. Here’s a quick rundown of the best and most distinctive southern food available.
New Orleans has a rich cultural history beyond the boundaries of most American cities. New Orleans is a hearty mélange of people which has made the city a gumbo of good food, if you’ll pardon the expression. Creole and Cajun cuisine blend French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Native American and African influences and the two cooking traditions are nigh impossible to differentiate save for the fact that Creole cuisine is a bit more in the Old World European style – a fact that is owed to the Creole forefathers, the Arcadians. Either way you slice it, these dishes make for some of the best eating you’ll have during your time in New Orleans.
So, what to eat, where to go? Well, on any trip to the Big Easy, you’re likely to run into numerous restaurants all boasting the best Creole or Cajun eats in the town – and there will probably be many who agree with them. Thing is, random acts of good food are found all over the city, and this makes for one of the singular pleasures of being in New Orleans – the near inescapability of good eating. Most dishes are made with a healthy serving of spice, so be forewarned if you’re not a spicy food lover. That being said, the food here may make you change your ways. If you’re looking for the best of the best, consider these good points to look out for:
Crawfish Monica – a buttery pasta and crawfish dish made with spice – Jazz Fest favorite
Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee – this spicy seafood dish is based on a tomato roux with fresh vegetables.
Seafood Gumbo – a hearty mix of flavorful local seafood made into a thick soup – served with and without okra.