Traditional Foods

Upcoming Events


7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… more

A Louisiana Parlor:…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival… more

Ariana Grande Concert

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Ariana Grande is bringing The Honeymoon Tour to New Orleans! Few artists are… more

City Park Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 25, 2015
Get ready for some nonstop fall fun at New Orleans' City Park! Located at City… more

Collective Media…

Oct 9 - 25, 2015
Join Longue Vue for the first opening of its three-part "Collective… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Oct 9 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Foundation for…

Oct 9 - 10, 2015
The International Organization, Foundation Languages, will hold its 19th Annual… more

Friday Nights at NOMA

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment.… more

Gentilly Fest

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
Free to the public, Gentilly Fest celebrates all things … more

Hell Yes Fest

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
HUKA Entertainment and The New Movement are proud to announce the 4th Annual… more

James Beard Taste of…

Oct 9 - 9, 2015
Enjoy a tasting reception featuring an exciting lineup of New Orleans' finest… more

Longue Vue House and…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
For the 10th Anniversary of the storm, Longue Vue will commemorate the revival… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Oct 09, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Southern Rep presents…

Oct 9 - 10, 2015
Does art imitate life or vice versa? In this effervescent romantic comedy by… more

The Cinderella…

Oct 9 - 27, 2015
Donations of costume jewelry, girls' princess dresses and teen prom dresses… more

The Foundation…

Oct 9 - 30, 2015
Join us at the Foundation Gallery for  House: Group Exhibition with Andrew… more

The Historic New…

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

The Photography of…

Oct 09, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

The Roosevelt New…

Oct 9 - 11, 2015
The Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience returns to the streets of New Orleans… more

The Sweat Social…

Oct 9 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

7th Annual Pumpkin…

Oct 9 - 31, 2015
The Lutcher/Gramercy Lions Club presents its 7th Annual Pumpkin Patch at the… 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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