The culinary capital of the Deep South with a gourmet scene all of its own, this city whisks its Creole, French and Cajun roots effortlessly together.
- Regional delights
“Our Creole Louisiana snapping turtle soup is one of a kind, done in a more Creole versus French style and made with 100% snapping turtle, garnished with devilled quail eggs, and flavoured with Madeira.
You must also try the BBQ shrimp at Mr. B’s Bistro, my favourite barbecued shrimp in the city.” — Jana Billiot, Chef de cuisine at Restaurant R’evolution
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New Orleans is a culinary gem with so many historical enclaves. Start at the storied Commander’s Palace and ask for the chef’s table — in the kitchen, right behind the grill line, you’ll be in the middle of the action.
Next, take Elizabeth Pearce’s Drink & Learn tour and allow the historian to show you around the city, using famous drinks and ingredients to tell its rich history.
Expect tales of rebellion, prohibition and more. Catch a cooking demo at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum to see how the many ethnicities of the Big Easy have combined to create a unique cuisine.
A must-do is dinner at Brigtsen’s, where you can tuck into award-winning Creole cuisine at this benchmark of South Louisiana eats. You can see the region’s culinary scene come alive at Mosquito Supper Club — every night is a celebration of the shrimpers, oyster fishermen, crabbers and farmers behind New Orleans food.
And don’t miss the Friday or Saturday night Shrimp Boil at Mister Gregory’s.
– Melinda McSpadden, Head concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Kick-start your taste extravaganza at Café du Monde, the original French Market coffee stand, dating back to 1862. Open 24 hours a day, it’s world renowned for its beignets.
These tasty fried pastries were first brought to Louisiana by the Acadians and come drenched in powdered sugar, typically served in threes. The iced coffee is also well worth a try.
You can’t leave this city without having tried at least one tasty po-boy and at Johnny’s Po-Boys in the French Quarter, you can take your pick from nearly 50 varieties.
First opened in 1950, it dishes up these sandwiches with flair — despite the fact that they were originally invented to feed striking, poverty-stricken streetcar workers.
We recommend the Gulf oyster po-boy, stuffed with NOLO fried oysters.
For incredible soul food surrounded by local art, Dooky Chase’s is a must. Led by world-famous chef Leah Chase — awarded the 2016 James Beard accolade for Lifetime Achievement — this place has been filling hungry stomachs since 1942, when it started out as a sandwich shop.
Formerly owned by charismatic politician and jazz musician Edgar `Dooky’ Chase Jr, who sadly passed away in November, a meal here is as good as a history lesson, having played host to President Obama, Quincy Jones and many others. Go for the shrimp Clemenceau.
Stuffed with character, in the shadow of the Mississippi River, Elizabeth’s prides itself on crafting everything from scratch, hence its slogan:
‘Real Food, Done Real Good.’ Low-key with plenty of neighbourhood funk, chef Bryon Peck’s weekend brunch is something of an establishment — tuck into biscuits with gravy, duck waffles and bananas foster French toast.
One of the best places to try the Big Easy’s smoked meat platters, The Joint serves up all varieties of delicious, beautiful barbecue.
You’ll be lucky to score a seat in this tiny space but if you do, you may get to chow down with a professional US football player, as it’s a favourite with the Saints team.
Order the Cajun meat, smoked right out back and paired with a side of tasty mac and cheese.
You simply can’t skip Commander’s Palace, the original upscale New Orleans eatery founded by Miss Ella — a culinary icon whose story was recently made into a movie by Oscar-nominated director Leslie Iwerks.
Under the attentive care of award-wining chef Tory McPhail, this pretty turquoise and white candy-striped restaurant continues to offer some of the city’s finest fare.
Pecan-crusted Gulf fish served with poached Louisiana blue crab is a must-try, as is the queen of Creole desserts, the bread-pudding soufflé.