Savoring Louisiana: The Essential 5 Dining Destinations in New Orleans

New Orleans Cuisine | Introduction

New Orleans represents Southern American cuisine. Due to its rich colonial history, New Orleans cuisine has been influenced by French, Spanish, and African culinary traditions. Cajun and Creole are two distinctive cuisines in New Orleans. Cajun refers to the French-speaking ethnic group of Canadian immigrants who settled in the southern United States, particularly Louisiana. The culinary culture of Cajun cuisine is characterized by its rustic nature. It heavily utilizes Southern spices and seafood, resulting in flavorful and often spicy dishes.

Creole refers to the descendants of French, Spanish, and African immigrants. Their culinary habits are most influenced by French cuisine, but they also draw from Caribbean and African cuisines. Although similar to Cajun cuisine in appearance, Creole dishes typically have thicker sauces and are generally less spicy.

Must Eat | Cafe Beignet

Beignet (French-style doughnuts) is one of the most famous foods in New Orleans. Most tourists visiting New Orleans will definitely go to the most famous Café Du Monde. However, Café Du Monde can get extremely crowded, so we went to Café Beignet, which locals claim serves the best beignets.

Café Beignet has four locations, and since we arrived early due to our flight, we went to the branch on Royal St., which opens earliest. We ordered a serving of three beignets, a crawfish omelette, and a cup of coffee. The beignets were delicious, with a crispy exterior and soft interior, and the coffee was also very good. Although the omelette was simple, what made it special was the addition of crawfish inside.

Oceana Grill

Located in one of the liveliest areas of the French Quarter, Oceana Grill is a popular restaurant known for serving specialties from both Cajun and Creole cuisines. We ordered the Redfish Oceana, crawfish étouffée, and an additional plate of fried seafood. The Redfish Oceana consisted of pan-seared fish with a sauce made from crawfish and mushrooms, while the fried seafood included fried fish, oysters, and shrimp. The portions were quite generous, and the flavors were balanced, albeit somewhat standard.

Must Eat | Felix's restaurant and oyster bar

Also located in the French Quarter, Felix's has received excellent reviews online, although it might not be as popular as some other establishments. However, after dining there, we found it to be the best restaurant we visited during our trip, and we ended up going back a second time.

Oysters are a major highlight of this restaurant, and they are served with the distinctive spicy sauce of New Orleans, which enhances their flavor tremendously. Additionally, there are two different cooking methods available: grilled and chargrilled. The chargrilled oysters, in particular, are exceptionally delicious, but they do take quite a while to prepare. During our first visit, we ordered half a dozen and had to wait until we were almost leaving to enjoy them. On our second visit, we opted for a full dozen straight away.

The other dishes are also delicious. One worth trying is the turtle soup, which might sound unusual, but turtle meat was considered a delicacy during the American Revolutionary War era. Additionally, after enjoying the fried seafood, we also tried the soft-shell crab here, and it was quite tasty as well.

Creole house restaurant and oyster bar

Also located in the French Quarter, the Creole House Restaurant and Oyster Bar offers dishes similar to Felix's, and the flavors are good as well. However, I personally prefer Felix's. Here, we tried fried alligator, gumbo, crab cake, and Gulf shrimp's ya-ya, most of which were seafood dishes.

Joey K's restaurant and bar

Joey K's is a restaurant located on Magazine Street in the Garden District, and it's best known for its Southern-style fried chicken. The fried chicken is indeed delicious, and the portion size is much larger than expected. Initially, I thought I was ordering a half chicken due to the price, but it turned out to be six large pieces, including two large chicken breasts, which seemed to be the portion of a whole chicken. It was so tasty that I quietly finished it all. The beer was also very enjoyable.

Further reading

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