New Orleans is my favorite foodie travel destination. From savory muffaletta sandwiches to sugary sweet beignets, New Orleans’ food scene has something for everyone.
Here are 15 classic New Orleans food and drink you just have to try!
Best bananas foster in New Orleans
If ice cream is your thing, Bananas Foster is what you want. This yummy ice cream sundae includes vanilla ice cream covered with warm bananas and a brown sugar-rum sauce. Way better than a banana split!
Best beignets in New Orleans
OK, so not exactly donuts, but frankly, beignets are better! The texture and consistency is closer to fried dough, but beignets are enjoyed best like a donut: with a hot cup of coffee or a café au lait.
It should be a crime to not have beignets, mini fried dough covered in powdered sugar, when you visit New Orleans. Just don’t wear black when you do!!
This is one of my favorite New Orleans food to have as a snack or sweet breakfast.
Best café au lait in New Orleans
A café au lait is typically just coffee mixed with hot milk, but in New Orleans, they also add chicory root.
It’s an acquired taste in my opinion, but admittedly pairs well with something sweet, like beignets.
Best crawfish étoufée in New Orleans
Crawfish étoufée is a classic Cajun and Creole dish. It includes crawfish smothered with a roux (a combination of flour, fat, and love) and served over rice.
Best gumbo in New Orleans
Gumbo is a thick stew of meat or shrimp with veggies, spices, and stock flavored with secret Creole or Cajun ingredients.
You’ll probably only want to taste this dish during the cooler months, given its hearty consistency.
A hurricane cocktail is fruit punch mixed with rum and some kind of sweetener, like grenadine. So basically, kool-aid for adults.
Best jambalaya in New Orleans
Jambalaya is a delicious rice dish that includes veggies, Creole spices, and typically andouille sausage and/or shrimp.
Starting January 6 through Mardi Gras season, King Cake is served at parties to celebrate the time before Lent begins.
A small plastic baby (or bean) is hidden in or underneath a slice of the cake. Whoever finds the baby (or bean) is said to have good luck. It’s like finding a prize in a cereal or Cracker Jack box.
King Cake is so popular, you can even find King Cake flavored vodka in liquor stores in New Orleans and the surrounding area.
Best muffaletta sandwiches in New Orleans
Muffalettas are similar to classic Italian subs. Muffalettas combine ham, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, provolone, and olive spread on top of muffaletta bread. YUM! This is one of my favorite New Orleans food to try.
Oysters overall are a great bet if you can’t decide on what to eat, especially since they are usually freshly caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
Oysters Rockefeller, one of many popular oyster dishes in New Orleans, was created at Antoine’s in New Orleans. It combines herbs, butter and bread crumbs in a half oyster, then baked or broiled to perfection.
Best Po Boy sandwiches in New Orleans
There are a variety of po’ boy combinations, but perhaps the most popular combination is fried seafood, such as shrimp, combined with melted butter, pickles and a sliced French baguette.
Other common ingredients in this classic New Orleans style sandwich include roast beef, creole mustard, gravy, and french fries. Yep, french fries.
Best pralines in New Orleans
Nuts + caramelized sugar + cream = one tasty sweet treat called pralines. Pralines are great paired with a cup of tea or a café au lait.
Ramos gin fizz
A ramos gin fizz is a refreshing, citrusy cocktail invented in New Orleans. It’s like a boozy citrus shake that is extra refreshing in warm weather.
Red beans & rice
This simple dish, which includes red beans, veggies, spices, and pork bone, can be thrown in a pot and left to simmer on the stove all day. After all of the delicious flavors have melded, serve over rice.
This classic New Orleans cocktail features rye whiskey or cognac with a splash of bitters and a bit of absinthe.