New Orleans or Nola as locals love to call it is the place where good food and good times go hand in hand. With its distinct cuisine, soul music, and annual celebration of Mardi Gras, New Orleans has become one of the most visited cities in the United States. The city is spread across both sides of the Mississippi River with its famous French Quarter on the river’s north side. The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré ( translates from French as ‘Old Square’ ) was founded in 1718 and is considered the oldest section of the City of New Orleans. Congregation of restaurants, bars, and historic monuments make the Quarter a number one tourist destination in Nola. The most popular time to visit the city is the long weekend before Mardi Gras aka ‘Fat Tuesday’. Mardi Gras is celebrated on the last day of the Carnival Season before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Parades with flamboyant floats, masquerades, plenty of delicious food and drink fuel the excitement of the crowds, not to mention the beads thrown at the crowds from the floats.
Nolas’s location at the confluence of Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico provides its residents with abundant supply of both freshwater and saltwater fish and crayfish hence the popularity of seafood dishes in the area. Cajun and Creole cuisines with their palette tantalizing dishes play a significant role in Nola’s gastronomy, making the city a foodie magnet.
For an authentic Nola experience, savor local favorites and enjoy heart warming jazz and soul music at the following restaurants:
Award Winning Gumbo Shop
Bloody Mary – vodka, tomato juice, spices, and hot sauce.
Sazerac – absinthe, rye whiskey, sugar and lemon peal.
Shrimp Remoulade – cooked shrimp tossed in Remoulade dressing and served on a bed of lettuce.
Fresh Fish Creole – grilled catfish fillet topped with Shrimp Creole.
Macque Choux Corn – stewed corn, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
Seafood Okra Gumbo – okra, onion, bell pepper, celery, and tomato sauteed and blended
with shrimp and crab into a thick brown Creole soup and served with rice.
Grilled Boudin Sausage served with Creole mustard.
Mulate’s – Original Cajun Restaurant
Grilled Alligator – grilled farm raised alligator meat served with a side of homemade coleslaw, twice baked potato, and wild rice.
Augratin Crabe au Gratin – baked Jumbo Lump Crab-meat filled with a spicy blend of cheese and cream and served with homemade coleslaw and a twice baked potato.
House of Blues
Blackberry Shandy – Ole Smoky blackberry moonshine, Sam Adams Boston lager, and lemonade served in a souvenir mason jar.
Voodoo Shrimp – jumbo shrimp first sauteed then simmered in a beer reduction and served with jalapeno corn bread.
Loretta’s Meat Loaf – 100% ground Angus beef meat loaf topped with house-made sweet bell pepper mushroom sauce and crispy fried onion strings served with seasoned vegetables and butter crushed Yukon Gold potatoes.
When it comes to beer, House of Beer is a must. This tavern’s menu features an impressive selection of over 550 beers from around the world, including local craft beers on draft. Enjoy their beer flights with tasty tavern food offerings in a sport’s bar setting.
For a hearty breakfast and brunch, beautifully handcrafted pastries and confections, stop at the cozy local bakery Bittersweet Confections.
Egg and Cheese Sandwich – butter croissant, egg, sausage, and cheese.
When in Nola make sure to try beignets, the official doughnut of Louisiana since 1986. Beignets are square deep-fried donuts dusted with powdered sugar.
Popular not only for their beighnets, but also for showcasing popular local bands that draw crowds, Cafe Beighnet is a place that captures Nola’ s spirit and makes you feel at home. Sip on a cocktail while soaking in the unparalleled atmosphere of the French Quarter.
Hurricane – New Orleans Tradition with rum and tropical fruit juices.
As the famous Louisiana expression goes ‘laissez les bons temps rouler’ – let the good times roll. Happy travels!