Whether you indulge in the deep-fried dough of a beignet, a hearty gumbo or a rich, buttery platter of oysters Rockefeller, your taste buds will thank you on a trip to New Orleans. With so many dishes original or famous to the city, food lovers will enjoy eating in New Orleans for days.
Both Creole influences of colonial French dishes and rustic Cajun influences of the Acadians still exist in the Crescent City today. Soul food from West African descendants and seafood from local salt-water and freshwater sources further created one of the most distinctive regional cuisines in the country.
Groups hungry to explore the city should start with this bucket list of some of the most famous New Orleans dishes and where to try them.
A fried fritter of yeasted dough dusted with powdered sugar seems simple enough. However, the heavenly taste has kept the item on New Orleans menus since the French-Creole colonists introduced it in the 18th century. The puffy treat has become an iconic fixture of New Orleans cuisine.
“Beignets are like fried doughnuts,” said Kristian Sonnier, vice president of communications and public relations for New Orleans and Company. “They are the New Orleans style of doughnut. You usually get them with cafe au lait, which is coffee and milk.”
Unlike typical doughnuts, beignets are square, have no hole and are always served warm.
Recommended Restaurant: Café du Monde
The most famous locale for beignets is the renowned Café du Monde. The open-air coffee shop in the French Quarter is frequented by many tourists in search of their beignets and cafe au lait.
The French developed chicory-blended coffee during a coffee shortage during the Civil War. Founded in 1862, the cafe keeps its menu simple by serving only dark-roasted coffee with chicory, beignets, milk, hot chocolate and orange juice.