New Orleans Dishes – Our Guide to the Best Foods in the Big Easy

New Orleans is famous for its cuisine and the food here is like nowhere else in the world. If you take a holiday to New Orleans, forget about your healthy diet for a few days and simply indulge in the delicious smorgasbord of stick-to-your-ribs Southern cooking that this amazing city has to offer. We had such a blast trying as many different New Orleans dishes as we could and here are a few of our favorite foods that we gobbled up during our stay in the Big Easy:

Our Favorite New Orleans Dishes

Po Boys

Submarine sandwiches are wonderful, so how could you possibly improve on them? How about making the meat juicer, the bread softer and the whole experience much more indulgent? A Po Boy is served on a warm and supple French baguette, with a crisp crust and a fluffy center perfect for soaking up the meaty juices dripping from the hot sausage or roast beef. Po Boys are one of the most well-loved New Orleans dishes and there is even a festival dedicated to them every year.

A roast beef po boy sandwich.


Jambalaya was probably one of our favorite New Orleans dishes. It consists of rice, sausage, chicken, sometimes seafood, vegetables and lots of fantastic Creole spices. This dish is similar to the Spanish rice concoction Paella and it is thought that it originated when the Spanish tried to make Paella in the New World and couldn’t get any saffron so they used tomatoes and Caribbean spices instead. This was smart thinking of them, because their cooking improvisation works and Jambalaya is so good that we couldn’t get enough of it!

From Top, Clockwise; Jambalaya, Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, and Red Beans and Rice


This is another one of the very traditional New Orleans dishes that we sampled on our trip. It is a rich dark stew or soup with celery, bell peppers, onions and perhaps some seafood, served over rice. Gumbo is thought to have originated in Louisiana in the early 18th century and the theories are divided as to whether it came from West African or French origin. No matter what it’s history, it is hearty, comforting and has a strong and savory flavor.

A Muffalette Sandwich


When we ordered our first Muffuletta we were shocked when it came to the table. We thought that sharing one sandwich would be a nice small snack, not realizing that this Italian-American immigrant creation is made with a full round loaf of Sicilian sesame bread. One Muffuletta is the size of two sandwiches and with plenty of salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone, swiss cheese and marinated olive salad we definitely got more than we bargained for.


There is a famous eatery right in the heart of the French Quarter called Cafe du Monde which seems to only sell two items, coffee and French-style donuts with powdered sugar called Beignets. What it lacks in selection it makes up in quality because these donuts are absolute melt-in-your-mouth sweet heavenly perfection. They are served warm and the powdered sugar gets absolutely everywhere as you try to get them in your mouth and they are totally worth standing in line (and there is almost always a line!).

These are just a few of our top favorite New Orleans dishes that we enjoyed during our visit to this amazing city. Have you been to New Orleans? Let us know what your favorite New Orleans dishes were in the comments below!

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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  1. This all sounds and looks fantastic- it made me really hungry. I’m always really impressed by how accurately your pictures capture the setting. Not only have I never had Muffuletta, I had never even heard of it- it’s definitely now on my list of foods to try. Is it around in places other than New Orleans? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it!

  2. Those Po boys looks amazing!! Where about’s in New Orleans did you go? The Muffelletta looks like a desert rather then a burger! Good stuff.

  3. I was afraid that you wouldn’t do a review on Beignets! But then I saw it last. LOL, you simply cannot go to New Orleans without having a delicious serving of beignets! They are absolutely delicious and I’m so glad you two had a chance to try it out.

  4. wow! all of it looked good. as of right now im hungry lol.. im suprised you didnt try the frog legs eek!

  5. New Orleans is one of my “must visit” places and how happy I am to see that the food is so enticing with good hearty portions. That muffuletta is just crying out for a “doggy bag” so that you have something to tide you over later.

  6. I’m a huge fan of Po Boys and Gumbo. I plan to visit a friend in Slidell soon, and we will be touring New Orleans. I plan to sample the Beignets, they look delicious!

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  8. Thanks for the article, but every writer lists the same items on their NOLA FOOD LIST. They also have fantastic traditional southern food as well! I’m always disappointed when people omit that from articles. I do not enjoy spicy food whatsoever, so couldn’t eat Creole, HOWEVER, I went to some amazing places known for traditional soul food! Fried chicken, collard greens, sweet potatoes, Mac & cheese, pies, etc. Even during the second line (their ‘parades’), guys on trucks with BBQ pits and southern sides, or ladies selling sweet potato and pecan pies… All of this food was EXCEPTIONAL ( my family is Southern so I know!) Most flavorful I’ve had in 26 states!

    A more glaring omission would be shrimp & grits! And crawfish bake! And Popeye’s! Popeyes IN Louisiana is spectacular , and I don’t even ENJOY fast food! You must go back!

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