Louisiana is known for several things, from music, culture, and, most importantly, its cuisine! Louisiana cuisine is often on the spicier side and recognized worldwide as “Cajun Cuisine.”
Louisiana has a fascinating history of recipes and foods. There are influences from France, Spain, Africa, and India in Louisiana food. However, there are parts of Louisiana that give a more soul food-like experience.
While the Southern parts of Louisiana enjoy Cajun and seafood dishes, Northern Louisianans prefer smothered meats and greens. Many people associate the foods of Louisiana with low-country food but they are in fact different! Read on to find out how.
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Best Restaurants To Visit In Louisiana
Unsure about where to go in Louisiana? Here I list six of my favorite places to get some delicious food and drinks!
800 Decatur St. In Front of Jackson Square, New Orleans, // 504-525-4544
The most popular place to eat in New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde, is recognized by people for its beignets, pillowy fried dough squares covered in powdered sugar, and New Orleans-style chicory coffee.
If you are in a mood for beignets, make sure you get them in Cafe Du Monde, and if you arrive there before 9:30 am, you shouldn’t have to wait to be seated. The beignets are tasty, and the coffee is surprisingly good.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian and Vegan Options
- Cuisines: Bakery, Cafe
2 Poydras St. At the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans // 504-584-3911
Charbroiled oysters are the most popular item on the menu at Drago’s. They invented them. The charbroiled oysters are just incredible, packed with cheese, garlic, butter, and spices, then grilled in their shells.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian-Friendly
- Cuisines: Bar, Seafood, Cajun, Creole, Pub
713 12th St., Lafayette // 337-232-9929
This modest local spot, recognized as Creole Lunch House, may not look like much, and the menu may be simple, but it is cooked to perfection and full of flavor.
They offer soul food plates for lunch, with a couple of meat choices each day and a few sides. Creole Lunch House is one of Lafayette’s most popular local food places, and when you visit, you’ll see why.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian-Friendly
- Cuisines: American, Home Cooking
3001 Magazine St., New Orleans, // 504-891-0997
Featured on the Food Network show, Joey K’s is a famous Creole restaurant in the Garden District of New Orleans. When you visit, you should try the Trout Tchoupitoulas and the grilled chicken that comes with vegetables and potatoes. Both plates are very delicious!
Joey K’s is an excellent choice to explore the historic homes and Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian-Friendly and Vegan Options
- Cuisines: American, Cajun, Creole, Contemporary
1211 W. Pinhook Rd, Lafayette // 337-706-8850
Located on a well-known street on the outskirts of Lafayette, Bon Temps Grill may look quiet from the outside. Still, it is cozy and welcoming inside and offers some of the best Cajun food in Lafayette.
I would recommend trying the seafood stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer, packed with crawfish and shrimp.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian-Friendly, Gluten-Free Options
- Cuisines: Cajun, Creole, Bar, Seafood
5435 Government St., Baton Rouge // 225-927-2022
Superior Grill has been ranked as one of Louisiana’s best Mexican restaurants since 1983, when their first establishment opened in Shreveport.
They’re famous for their delicious, sizzling fajitas and the best margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Their food is made out of fresh ingredients and from scratch every day. For added flavor, all of the meats are prepared over a mesquite grill.
- Special Diets: Vegetarian-Friendly
- Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Bar
15 Most Delicious and Popular Louisiana Foods
Whether you are going to Louisiana for the first time or just looking for some new meals to taste, check out my favorite fifteen foods you should try when you visit Louisiana!
Turducken is an American-Canadian meal consisting of turkey, duck, and chicken rolled into one and filled with three sorts of stuffings layered within the three types of meat.
It is believed that the dish originated from the French word called galantine, which was modified into turducken by the Acadian people that originated in French Canada and who migrated to Louisiana, transforming Acadia into Cajun.
This meal is served sliced crosswise so that every piece contains all three types of meat and the three different fillings.
Grillades And Grits
Grillades and grits is a traditional Creole dish originating from New Orleans. The main component of the plate, grillades, refers to thinly sliced pieces of pork or veal that are pan-fried and slowly cooked with sliced peppers, celery, onions, and tomatoes.
This simple dish was once a dinner staple for the Cajuns. The mixture of wet yellow cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and water is typically fried and steamed until dry. The dish is traditionally served with milk, cane syrup, figs, or even pork cracklings.
To get the right taste of couche couche, many believe that one must use a heavy cast-iron skillet.
Oysters Mosca is a famous oyster recipe named after the New Orleans restaurant that made it famous. It’s created with a blend of butter, breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, freshly shucked oysters, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and grated Parmesan cheese.
The oysters are arranged in a baking dish, then topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and grated cheese. The mixture is then baked in an oven until the sauce starts bubbling and the breadcrumbs on top begin to brown.
This food is usually served as an appetizer or a main dish with crusty bread, fresh salads, or spaghetti Bordelaise on the side.
Blackened alligator is a specialty recognized from Louisiana, made with pan-seared slices of seasoned alligator meat as the star ingredient.
The dish is typically prepared by rubbing bite-sized parts of alligator meat with a mixture of seasonings and herbs before the meat is seared or blackened in a smoking hot cast-iron skillet with only a tiny amount of oil.
Typical seasonings include paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, ground oregano, salt, and Cajun seasoning. Blackened alligator bites are usually enjoyed with a type of sour mayonnaise-based dip.
Crawfish Monica is an American meal made from pasta, crawfish tails, garlic, Creole seasoning, butter, and cream.
The dish originated from Louisiana and was first made by Pierre Hilzim, named after his wife, Monica Davidson. The recipe is a well-kept secret, and the name of the plate is trademarked.
Shrimp remoulade is a famous American dish originating from Louisiana. The plate features fresh shrimp served with a creamy remoulade sauce over crispy iceberg lettuce.
The ingredients for Creole remoulade are scallions, celery, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, ketchup, and wine vinegar.
The sauce is chilled, then combined with the shrimp, and then the dish is usually served as an appetizer in many Louisiana restaurants.
Crawfish pie is a famous delicious American pie originating from Louisiana. These pies are regularly made of a pie shell filled with a combination of crawfish tails, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, stock, parsley, milk, butter, cornstarch, and spices.
The components are cooked until the mix thickens, and the filling is then poured into the pie crust. The pie is cooked in the oven until the outside becomes golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Boudin balls are a specialty made in Louisiana. These delicious balls typically consist of boudin sausage meat shaped into balls, battered, tossed in breadcrumbs, then fried in oil.
Boudin sausage is prepared with cooked rice, onions, green peppers, ground pork, and many herbs.
Although some Louisiana restaurants serve them for breakfast, it is recommended to serve boudin balls as an appetizer. At the same time, they are still hot and crispy, optionally with a dipping sauce on the side.
Pecan pralines are a traditional Cajun dessert originating from Louisiana. The first pralines were brought to New Orleans from France in 1727. Because almonds were rare here, cooks began using pecans from local Louisiana trees.
They were first made as individual pecans covered in a sugary coating. Nowadays, they are made with a combination of pecans, butter, vanilla, milk, and sugar. The ingredients then are baked until the mix thickens, and the pecans stay suspended in it.
Once set, pecan pralines are ready to be tasted and enjoyed.
Turtle soup is a traditional American dish famous in Louisiana. This soup is so robust that it borders on a stew. It is usually cooked with turtle meat, butter and dark flour, sherry, tomatoes, stock, diced hard-boiled eggs, lemon juice, and various spices such as parsley, paprika, cumin, coriander, and allspice.
The soup is served in bowls, often with sherry, lemon wedges, or crusty bread on the side when it’s done. The turtles cooked for the soup are alligator snapping turtles, but now, they come from farms, not the wild as they used to.
Bananas Foster is an iconic dessert invented in New Orleans in the 1950s. It consists of bananas sautéed in rum, brown sugar, banana liqueur, butter, and seasonings. When the bananas are slightly tender and brown, chefs set the alcohol on fire with an excellent flambé technique.
Bananas are usually paired with a scoop of delicious vanilla ice cream. But, because the process is so visually beautiful, the dessert is often prepared alongside tables in most restaurants.
New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp
BBQ shrimp is a traditional dish from New Orleans. Despite the name, it has nothing to do with barbecue. Alternatively, it’s either cooked on the stove or in the oven.
The dish consists of large fresh shrimp, butter, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce.
The mixture is cooked on the stove, and it’s then traditionally served as an appetizer. Finally, BBQ shrimp are typically paired with crusty French bread on the side to soak up all the juices.
This beautiful, cinnamon-flavored cake hailing from Louisiana takes its name from the Biblical Magi, additionally recognized as the Three Kings or Wise Men. In addition, King cake is connected with the Epiphany, the Twelfth Night, and the pre-Lenten celebrations of Carnival or Mardi Gras.
The purple, green, and gold colors often found on King cakes represent justice, faith, and power, individually. Beginning on the 6th of January, the people of New Orleans throw King cake gatherings that bring their community and families together.
These pieces of deep-fried pastry dough are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are traditionally served hot. The dish comes from France, and French immigrants brought it to the Acadia region of Canada in the 17th century.
Many of the Acadians later traveled to Louisiana, and they brought their culinary traditions with them. These delicious treats are typically served alongside chocolate milk or café au lait.
Have you been to Louisiana? What are your favorite dishes? Be sure to tell me in the comments!
Visiting other destinations in Louisiana? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 10 Best New Orleans Cajun Seafood Restaurants
- 10 Best New Orleans Seafood Restaurants
- 10 Best Shreveport Restaurants
- The 8 Best Lake Charles Casual Dining Restaurants
Which of these Louisiana foods do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever