New Orleans history of French, Spanish, and Caribbean influences is best summed up in its food. Bold Cajun and Creole flavors have made New Orleans one of the best foodie destinations in the USA and many of its best dishes can be sampled in and around the historic French Quarter. With that in mind here is my self-guided food French Quarter food tour.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have to stress that this itinerary should be spread out over a few days. There is a lot of brown in these dishes and many are fried or covered in butter. You have been warned.
Johnny’s Po’ Boys – Po’ Boy Sandwich
First up on this self-guided French Quarter food tour is Johnny’s Po’ Boys. This no-frills sandwich shop serves up New Orleans favorite handheld meal in a seemingly endless way. What is a Po’ Boy exactly? French bread traditionally packed with sloppy roast beef or fried seafood, topped with shredded lettuce and sauce. Blackened chicken and catfish are personal favorites but you can get them in pretty much any variation.
Jonny’s Po’ Boys Good to Know
Cost: $6 – $10 per sandwich.
Tip: Split one sandwich if you are heading to other stops on this Frech Quarter Food Tour!
Also Try: Aligator sausage!
Coop’s Place – Jambalaya
Although you can find jambalaya on almost every menu In the French Quarter, finding proper jambalaya can be a challenge. Most are touristy goop with tiny shrimp and sausage that may or may not be andouille. Not at Coop’s Place. Their jambalaya is perfect – spicy, smoky, and chock full of flavorful bits of New Orleans best. I’m talking rabbit, andouille sausage, and proper sized shrimp. I recommend tossing in a few dollars more for the supreme version. This gets you some crawfish and house smoked tasso.
Coop’s Place Good to Know
Cost: $7.75 for a bowl. $11.95 for Supreme
Also Try: Fried chicken and duck quesadillas!
Antoine’s – Oysters Rockefeller
Known as the home of the Oysters Rockefeller, Antoine’s also holds claim as the oldest family-run restaurant in the United States. Established in 1840, this iconic French Quarter restaurant has been credited with creating some New Orleans favorites including Oysters Rockefeller, baked oysters topped with herbs, butter, and breadcrumbs.
Antoine’s Good to Know
Also Try: Crawfish Cardinal
Café du Monde – Beignets
Beignets is where New Orleans cuisine loses me. Fried dough swimming in icing sugar? Still, people flock to Café du Monde and wait for just that. This historic coffee shop is also known for its café au laits. If you head to the bathroom you can peek behind velvet curtain to find vats of coffee pushed out in assembly like fashion. That said, digging your way through pile of icing sugar to your beignet is an experience.
Café du Monde Good to Know
Tip: split an order of three and don’t wear black anything!
Central Grocery & Deli – Muffuletta
The Central Grocery Store and Deli on Decatur street is home of the muffuletta, an Italian sandwich served on Sesame bread and swimming in an olive tapenade sauce. As their motto states, the muffulata is often replicated but never replaced. Even though you can find variations around town, the original muffuletta shop pushes thousands a year because of this statement. Although expensive, grabbing a muffuletta to go and enjoying it in nearby Jackson Square is an experience.
Central Grocery & Deli Good to Know
Cost: $9.50 for half. $18.00 for full.
Tip: Again, split a half sandwich if you are heading to other stops on this Frech Quarter Food Tour!
Café Amelie – Shrimp & Grits
Café Amelie is a great little spot tucked away in a quiet courtyard and offers a true New Orleans dining experience. Although dinner service is great and they do cocktails right, it’s the shrimp and grits that has me coming back. Rich, creamy, and full of well seasoned shrimp this is a must on any self-guided French Quarter food tour.
Café Amelie Good to Know
Also Try: If you have room stick around for their bread pudding. They rotate flavours daily and offer some of the best in the city!
The Grill – Pecan Pie
Speaking of dessert, last up on the self-guided French Quarter food tour is the homey diner The Grill for its amazing pecan pie. This classic French Quarter stop is an outpost of the original Camellia Grill and is often full of locals making the experience that much better. What makes the pie so good? The Grill will warm it up for you (on the grill) and serve it with an Amuricasized scoop of ice cream. Chocolate fans can also order a chocolate version.
The Grill Good to Know
Also Try: Diner coffee or house omelets for a hung over breakfast.
If your buttons haven’t abandoned you yet, you still have plenty of options. Fried pickle chips, gumbo, and in season crawfish are must try dishes in New Orleans. Then there is pralines and hot sauces. Head to Magnolia Sugar & Spice Praline Kitchen & Hot Sauce Bar to sample the best of those. New Orleans truly is a foodie destination and that includes plenty of great spots beyond the French Quarter. Doing so you will be rewarded with local prices and hidden gems!
What say you?
Thoughts on this Self-guided French Quarter Food Tour?
Let’s hear it!