A Self-Guided New Orleans Food Crawl

I had two main motivators to visit New Orleans.

1. Kayak in a swamp
2. Eat all the food

Well, I'm here to say the Big Easy did not disappoint, especially when it came to cuisine.

Although we weren't head over heels for everything we ate, there was at least one dish at each restaurant that blew us away.

You can pay for a food tour, or with a little research, you can plan your own NOLA food crawl.

We had so much fun exploring the restaurants of New Orleans that I want to share my own suggestions with you.

Writing about these culinary experiences has made me feel like I am reliving it, and I hope you will feel inspired to plan your own food-cation in NOLA.

If you're planning a trip to New Orleans you can hit the name of any of these restaurants and a link will take you to Google Maps. Once there, you can save this place in a private list. 

This is how I plan all of my vacations so that when we suddenly realize we are hungry, we can instantly see what is good and close by. 

Now without further ado, the food ...


I really liked the atmosphere in this place. And it was fun to try three different kinds of gumbo: chicken andouille, shrimp, and duck.

I liked the chicken andouille best and the duck  second best.

We also ordered a crab cake with shrimp sauce and blackened fish.

These were good but not amazing. It was the dessert that made this meal for me.

The praline sundae was heaven! French vanilla ice cream smothered in some of the best caramel I have ever tasted with plenty of pecans.

My mom loves caramel and pecans, and with each bite I took, I wished I could magically transfer the experience to her.

Praline Sundae. This is possibly the best caramel I have ever tasted.


This is the bar where the Hurricane cocktail was born. But neither of us drink, so we ordered the non-alcoholic version which was fun to try and it paired well with our lunch.

We shared a shrimp po'boy with fries and it was delightful. The French bread was perfectly flaky, the fried shrimp was tender and crispy, and some Crystal hot sauce was the cherry on top.


This is New Orleans' most famous spot for beignets and they are wonderful. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is entitled to their opinion, and they are also wrong.

Pillowy fried dough dusted with clouds of confectioner's sugar... Oh, I love beignets.

Café Du Monde (pronounced maughn) is open 24/7 and they only take cash. The service is fast and the beignets are served hot and fresh. They are also famous for their chicory Café Au Lait.

I could eat beignets everyday while in NOLA

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As much as I enjoyed beignets from Café Du Monde, we liked them even better at Café Beignet.

I couldn't quite put my finger on the reason why. I think it might be because these beignets are lighter in density than at Du Monde.

These two cafés are only a 4 minute walk from each other, so try both and tell me which you prefer!


Oh, dinner here was so fun. While exploring the Garden District, you need to stop here.

First, I'll tell you about the good but not favorite foods we tried:

The fried green tomatoes were tasty but not incredible. And we wouldn't recommend the Catfish Po-boy. It was okay but the French bread wasn't crisp and the fried fish was nothing special.

But the one thing you need to eat here is the Redfish Atchafalaya!

I'm just going to quote the menu description directly:

"Pan seared red fish, smothered with crawfish ètouffèe, and served with Louisiana popcorn rice and corn maque choux"

It was so perfect, we wished we had gotten two orders instead of one to share.

The fish was so fresh and flaky, the etoufee had the perfect flavor. Even the popcorn rice was phenomenal.

And never in my life did I expect to say, without humor, "This corn is like an angel." (IYKYK) The corn maque choux was just as hard to share as the rest of the meal.

Redfish Atchafalaya with corn maque choux 

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You'll find this place just off Bourbon St and it is busy. Get there early for dinner, around 5:00 or 5:30, to avoid a long wait.

This is where we found my our favorite crawfish ètouffèe from the whole trip.

We ordered it in a trio with creole jambalaya, and red beans and rice. We have eaten better versions of both these dishes. The jambalaya was very similar to the Zatarain's boxed mix that I make at home.

The one food we loved at this restaurant was Oceana's Famous Oysters. This is a spin on the traditional oysters Rockefeller, which you can also order at Oceana.

I'll just quote directly from the menu again:

"Freshly shucked Louisiana oysters on the half-shell, chargrilled over an open flame, smothered with our unique, zesty Cajun garlic herb cream sauce, and finished with a fresh blend of Parmesan and Romano cheeses."

These were amazing! We made a mistake in ordering a half dozen when we should have asked for twelve! Or eighteen, actually.

I love these so much, that I ordered a side of fried oysters to dip in the rest of the cream sauce.

If I were to eat at Oceana again, this is what I would order:

• A dozen Oceana's Famous Oysters
• A dozen (or maybe half) Oysters Rockefeller to compare
• And the Blackened Bayou Duck. It's served with a creamy crawfish mushroom sauce.

Oceana's Famous Oysters: their spin on Oysters Rockefeller


I had read that this is a local favorite, but I wasn't convinced to eat here until it was recommended to us by two locals on two seperate occasions.

This place is a little bougie and totally worth it.

We chose the fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise, the fried boudin, and the louisiana cochon.

The alligator had a sweet and spicy flavor and a nice crunch. It was tender but not quite as  than the alligator bites we tried in Georgia.

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The boudin was great, especially with a little whole grain mustard.

The lousiana cochon was the favorite. The pork is slow-cooked and then flash fried for tenderness and crispness. It's served with a pork jus, green beans, and pickled peaches.

I thought the pickled peaches would be a weird but it was the perfect combination with the pork.

fried alligator with a spicy aioli 


These are restaurants on my wishlist that we didn't get to. I would still love to eat at these places if we ever go back so I'm including them here.

If you go to any of these restaurants, tell me all about the food!


This was another recommendation from more than one local. And I had seen it mentioned multiple times while researching for our trip. 

The menu didn't look special to us, but I'm still curious.


I read that this place has amazing po'boys. I would get the fried oyster one, and the shrimp one... and the catfish one too. Can you tell I like seafood a lot?


The birthplace of Bananas Foster. They also have a rabbit and andouille gumbo that I wanted to try.

And the restaurant looks beautiful based on photos I have seen.


Mint Julep Donut, Strawberry Champagne Donut... Ah, I wish we had gone here.

louisiana cochon


Below are some foods unique to Louisiana that everyone needs to try.

Plan your own food crawl by choosing which foods you want to try from this list and make a note of where you can find them.

Then find these restaurants on Google maps and save them in a private list. Use this personalized list/map as a reference while you are in New Orleans.

This is a quick way to find food you are guaranteed to like when you are already starving from sightseeing.

Save a lot of restaurants so you can readily find something close to wherever you may be when you get hungry. Make a note on each about what foods you want to order there.

If food is your sole purpose of visit New Orleans, you can have yourself a legit food crawl and map out where you want to go and when.

Plan how you will travel from each restaurant and give yourself some time between each meal. If possible, walk to a few restaurants.

It's fun to travel with a partner because you can share food and try multiple things in one sitting without getting too full.

Now, get ready to feel some hunger pangs as you read this list.

• Shrimp Po'boy: There are many variations of the po'boy sandwich but we love it with fried shrimp. It's served on a French bread roll with the option to have it "fully dressed" with lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Douse it in hot sauce before eating. Most restaurants serve large po'boys and one is often enough to feed two. - Try one at Pat O'Brien's or Parkway Bakery & Tavern.

• Atchafalaya: blackened catfish or redfish smothered in ètouffèe and served over rice. - Order it at Mahony's Seafood and Po-boys.

• Corn Maque Choux: "It's cone!" And it's actually very delicious. - Also at Mahony's.

• Crawfish Ètouffèe: a tomato based seafood stew. - Get it at Oceana Grill.

• Gumbo: a rich stew, sometimes served over rice, and made with various types of meat or seafood such as andouille, chicken, rabbit, duck, shrimp, etc. - Try three cups of different gumbo at Gumbo Shop.

• Jambalaya: a rice dish made with tomatoes, Cajun spices, and andouille sausage or other meat.

• Shrimp Creole: a shrimp stew with a mirepoix base consisting of onions, celery, and bellpeppers.

• Red Beans & Rice: traditionally made on Monday with the leftover pork or ham from Sunday dinner. Other than that, it's simply saucy beans and rice with some spices.

• Andouille Sausage: smoked pork sausage with a little but of spiciness, and used in many Creole dishes

• Boudin Balls: sausage made with pork and rice topped with remoulade sauce. - Find it at Cochon.

• Fried Alligator: if it's well prepared it tastes a lot like chicken, but sometimes a little tougher. Top it with a little remoulade sauce or Crystal hot sauce and it's great! - Also at Cochon.

• Oysters Rockefeller: Charbroiled Oysters smothered in a sauce made with butter, herbs, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. - Get it at Antoine's if you want to go all out. Or go to Oceana Grill and order their Oceana's Famous Oysters.

• Muffuletta Sandwich: a Sicilian inspired sandwich made on a special bread with ham, salami, provolone, and olives. - At Central Grocery Store and Deli.

• Beignets: Voodoo donuts. Just kidding, but I do think they are magical. They are essentially donuts dusted in powdered sugar, but you really do have to try one. - Get them at both Café Du Monde and Café Beignet.

• Pralines: Caramel, pecans, what's not to love? - Get a praline sundae at Gumbo Shop.

• Bananas Foster: sliced or halved bananas sautéed in butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon, doused in dark rum and ignited to caramelize the whole thing. It's sometimes served with vanilla ice cream. - Try the original at Brennan's.

• King Cake: brioche dough with a cinnamon filling, frosted and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar. This is a traditional Mardi Gras dessert. If you find the tiny plastic baby in your cake, you are the king or queen of the party. - I honestly don't know where to find great king cake but I would like to try it.


I did not get my fill of Louisiana foods on our three day trip. There are just so many good things to eat!

I guess I could have fit in more restaurants, but then I might have made myself sick.

I don't think you can say you love food if you don't at least appreciate New Orleans cuisine.

What is something you would like to eat in New Orleans? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Hi! My name is Kait. Follow this link to learn more about me and my blog.


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