Traditional Foods

Upcoming Events


America, Illustrated:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Art on the Spot

Nov 28 - 28, 2015

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 28 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
The 42nd Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Double Dose

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

Educator Appreciation…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Teachers get in FREE to NOMA on this day with a valid school ID. Bring your… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 28 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 28 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Meet the artists…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Some of the most talented artists behind Mardi Gras will be present at local… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 28, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

Saturday Farmers…

Nov 28 - Dec 26, 2015
We are excited to announce the Saturday Farmers Market at the French Market!… more


Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Spark imagination, creativity, and a love of reading. Professional authors,… more

Taylor Scholars…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
On Taylor Family Day at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Taylor Scholars and… more

The Historic New…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Nov 28, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 28, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Traditional New Orleans Foods

If you end up at some boring chain restaurant eating bland hamburgers while you're in New Orleans, we'll simply never forgive you. More importantly, you'll never forgive yourself. Avoid such shame by familiarizing yourself with the dishes below and be well prepared to savor forkfuls of the culture, tradition and recipe perfection that have earned New Orleans its culinary legacy.


GumboA trip to New Orleans is not complete without a steamy helping of gumbo. Treat yourself to a culinary carnival created with a mix of West European, African, Caribbean and Native American influences.

Classic gumbo recipes call for okra simmered for hours in a roux, a dark stock made from either butter or oil and flour, with a variety of meats, onions, celery and bell peppers. Served over rice, variations include seafood gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat or chicken gumbo with andouille sausage.


A meal in itself, this classic New Orleans dish consists of sausage, vegetables and a variety of meats and/or seafood. The final touch - adding raw long-grain rice to absorb flavors from the stock - is what sets this one-pot wonder apart from similar ethnic dishes. Variations can include chicken, turkey shrimp, alligator meat and more. Consider it a New Orleans version of paella.


This spiced, heavily smoked pork sausage is a key flavor in many New Orleans dishes. Originally brought to Louisiana by French colonists, today's Cajun andouille is the best-known variety in the U.S. - and the spiciest. The sausage is seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and garlic and is smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane for up to eight hours. Andouille can be found in gumbo, jambalaya, on a po boy and served along side red beans and rice.

Crawfish Étouffée

A local favorite, crawfish étouffée could be called gumbo's spiced-up cousin. Stemming from the French word for "smothered," this thick Cajun creation employs hot spices including cayenne pepper, a mélange of onion and green pepper and hints of garlic. With loads of fresh crawfish, this tantalizing Southern treat is typically enjoyed over rice.

Shrimp Creole

As time-honored as shrimping is to Louisiana, this coveted culinary delight offers fresh peeled shrimp, chopped onion, green pepper, green onion and chopped tomato. Satisfy your Southern spice craving while keeping the calorie factor low - this tomato-based favorite is a healthy, light and flavorful Creole dish.

Muffuletta Muffaletta

Stuffed with classically Italian flavors such as salami, ham, provolone and the piquant olive spread that gives it its distinctive taste, this famous sandwich was born in New Orleans. Restaurants all over the city have their own versions, but for a taste of the original, visit Central Grocery, which invented the sandwich in 1903.


There are many variations of this classic New Orleans sandwich, as well as a few different stories about its origins. A couple of commonalities across all interpretations: long, baguette-style French bread and an affordable price. Po-boys usually are piled high with meat such as roast beef and debris (a tasty version of gravy), turkey or smoked sausage. They can also be filled with fried seafood such as shrimp, catfish or oysters mixed with a specialty white sauce that is a more flavorful version of tartar sauce. If your waitress asks if you want your poboy "dressed," say yes - po-boys are always better with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise.

Red Beans and RiceRed Beans and Rice

This Creole classic is a staple on menus across the city, and many restaurants feature it on Mondays - that's because New Orleanians traditionally made the dish with leftover pork from Sunday dinner and could leave the beans to cook all day while they tended to their washing. Red beans can be served with a side of sausage, pork chops or fried chicken.

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller can be ordered all over the city, but the New Orleans institution Antoine's holds the title of creator, serving the original dish since 1899. Though the exact recipe remains a secret, chefs describe the dish as oysters on the half shell topped with a combination of capers, parsley and parmesan cheese and topped with a rich white sauce of butter, flour and milk - all broiled to perfection.

Bread Pudding

What began as a creative way to use stale French bread has progressed into a popular closing course and New Orleans menu mainstay. Soaked in milk, eggs and sugar, the bread is baked and topped with a sweet, typically bourbon-based sauce. Local chefs put their own spin on the rich dish, adding white chocolate, candied pecans or chantilly cream with lemon.

Bananas FosterBananas Foster Brennans

This distinctive dessert - made with bananas, ice cream, dark rum, sugar and spices - was famously invented at Brennan's Restaurant right here in New Orleans. The flambeed treat remains Brennan's most popular item, requiring 35,000 pounds of bananas each year!


Sometimes called a "French doughnut," these decadent treats were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. A beignet is a square piece of dough that, upon being deep fried, forms a crispy pillow with a doughy interior. Most often, they are covered with powdered sugar, but savory versions with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp are also seen on New Orleans menus and are served as appetizers.

Creole Pralines

These sweet confections date back to 17th century France. The chef of a French diplomat created a recipe for sugar coating almonds that is said to have been used a digestive aid. When the sweet treat made its way to the states, the singular almond was replaced by a handful of the local nut, pecans. Today, variations on the praline can be found in a variety of flavors, with hot Tabasco sauce or added cream for a chewier treat.

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