Five Traditional New Orleans Dishes to Try

June 11, 2019 by Vanessa Claude

What makes the traditional New Orleans food so special? The flair and broad history of these dishes unite the city in its love for seafood, Creole, Cajun, and many other types of food options. We’ve picked five famous New Orleans dishes that you should try while you attend CHEST 2019.


As one of Louisiana’s quintessential dishes, you can find gumbo in restaurants, at events, and homes all over the state. Claiming both French and West African roots, there’s no one way to make gumbo, but it is usually served over rice and with a wide variety of other ingredients. With so many different recipes that each family and cook has perfected to be the “best,” most cooks tend to guard their recipes closely.


The word étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fey) comes from the French word “to smother.” This dish is a very thick stew full of crawfish (or shrimp) served over rice. It is also similar in some way to gumbo – same types of Creole seasonings, served over rice, and made with a roux – but it is often made with a “blonde” roux, which is lighter in color and gives an almost sweet flavor. It’s a taste that’s worth trying and claimed you won’t forget.


Another famous and traditional New Orleans dish is jambalaya. This is a rice dish that is a culinary staple of the city with a history from the time when colonial Spanish settlers tried reconstructing their native paella from locally sourced ingredients. It typically contains a mix of meat, vegetables, spices, and rice, combined in a variety of ways.


This classic French bread sandwich is stuffed and slathered with sauce. Filled with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, it’s usually whatever filled with whatever meat you choose–roast beef, fried shrimp, oysters. This allows for many types of po-boy sandwiches. You tend to see very creative po-boys at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival each year.


These pastries are more than just a doughnut and are famous for being a doughnut without the hole. As the city’s most popular sweet treat and staple, locals and visitors can enjoy beignets all year long, available 24-hours a day in New Orleans at more than one coffee hotspot.

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