New Orleans is undoubtedly one of my favorite cities to visit in the United States. With its rich culture, hospitable residents, gorgeous sites and live music, I can’t say there’s ever been a time I have not enjoyed what the Big Easy has to offer.

As an avid cook and self-proclaimed foodie, however, I’d be remiss to not share why I believe my fellow food lovers should add New Orleans to their list of vacation destinations.

Deemed a “culinary capital”, New Orleans offers dishes that heavily borrow from its French, Creole and Cajun roots. Read on to discover 10 delicious reasons why I believe New Orleans is a foodie paradise.

alligator sausage

10. Alligator Sausage: It’s a rarity to see alligator on the menu at any restaurant, however, due to the abundance of alligators in bordering waters, there’s no shortage of alligator offerings at eateries in the French Quarter. While eating this reptile may sound intimidating, it actually has a very unique, tasty flavor!

 Where to Get It: Oceana Grill


9. Gumbo: Gumbo is a certainly Creole classic. The staple stew is full of spicy flavor, made with chicken, pork or seafood and served with rice.

Where to Get It: Royal House

shrimp po boy
8. Po’ Boys
: I tend to believe Po’ Boys are a perfect marriage of ingredients for the carb enthusiast and the meat lover! Served on crusty, buttery French bread, popular fillings for these sandwiches are fried shrimp, fried catfish, pulled pork or roast beef.

Where to Get Them: Johnny’s Po Boys


7. Pralines: When French settlers brought the recipe for pralines to Louisiana, there was an abundance of sugarcane and pecan trees. Over time, however, cooks in New Orleans began to substitute the pecans for almonds and added cream for a richer texture, giving us the delicious dessert we know and love today!

Where to Get Them: Leah’s Pralines

bananas foster

  1. Bananas Foster: A timeless New Orleans dessert, bananas foster blends a fiery combination of butter, brown sugar, bananas, cinnamon, rum and ice cream!

Where to Get It: Brennan’s


5. Grilled Oysters: New Orleans is famous for their chargrilled oysters, and for good reason: A mixture of cheese, herbs, butter and breadcrumbs gives these oysters undeniably great flavor!

Where to Get Them: Acme Oyster Bar

bbq shrimp

  1. BBQ Shrimp: In North Carolina, when we think of barbecue, it’s often sweet and sticky or vinegar based. In Louisiana, however, BBQ shrimp are Creole-style! This dish actually gets its name due to the spices used, rather than the method used to cook the shrimp.

Where to Get Them: Diamond Street Bar & Grill


  1. Crab Cakes: While crab cakes tend to be on the pricier side of a dinner menu, in New Orleans, they’re inexpensive and filled with sumptuous lump blue crab meat. Definitely a must-try item in the Big Easy!

Where to Get Them: Oceana Grill


2. Crawfish Étouffée: Étouffée is a Cajun staple! This dish smothers crawfish in a thick, spicy sauce served over rice. An added bonus? Étouffée is often served with

Where to Get It: Mother’s Restaurant


1. Beignets: You can’t pay a visit to New Orleans without trying a beignet, the city’s signature pastry! These light, puffy pieces of fried dough are dusted with powered sugar and best served with cup of coffee.

Where to Get Them: Café du Monde

Tell Me: What’s your favorite thing to eat in New Orleans?