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Best Louisiana State Food | 15 Must-Try Louisiana Dishes

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Louisiana is a great tourist attraction and home of the best Louisiana state food. The whole country breathes in the spirit of summer, and behind every alley is hidden some treasure that the curious eyes of the tourist would like to see. New Orleans’s French Quarter is a paradise for all French culture lovers. 

The National WWII Museum is a must-visit for all history connoisseurs and those who want to see and learn something new. For all those who like outdoor activities and find it more important to visit the natural beauties, here are the lovely Lake Charles and the bayous and swamplands. 

Besides all the tourist attractions, they say Louisiana’s best things to offer are its music and cuisine. Like the culture, the cuisine is also a mixture of French, Dominican Creole, Spanish, French Canadian, Acadian, Native American, and West African traditions. 

The two most well-known types of state foods in Louisiana are Creole and Cajun cuisine. Most of the time, there are both Creole and Cajon types of the same dish, so it is difficult for tourists and locals to tell them apart. Creole is a fusion of European, African, and Caribbean cooking techniques. At the same time, Cajun is the cooking style of 18th-century French-Acadian exiles who settled in the swamps and prairies of southwest Louisiana. 

You can tell them apart because tomatoes are often used in Creole and rarely used in Cajun. What unites all the dishes in Louisiana is seafood. Louisiana is number one for catfish, crab, and lobster fishing in North America and is also known for turtle, reptile, and alligator delicacies.

Since all these dishes will tempt you with the unique combination of ingredients and flavors and the irresistible aroma, we will make your choice easier by offering you the best.

Most Famous Louisiana State Foods


These are one of the tastiest but also the most caloric snacks that you will ever have the opportunity to try. They are made of crispy fried pork skin, fat, and a little meat, usually seasoned with Cajun spices. 

Louisiana State Food: Cracklins

The cracklins are usually eaten as a snack, used in the yeasted dough for bread, or even stirred into sweet batters for dessert. Cracklings are used to fulfill a wide variety of foods, from soups to desserts and many more.

They are high in fat and protein, which makes them especially edible for people who are on low-carbohydrate diets. They are a Cajun specialty that is mostly prepared in the southern part of the state, and you have to try it at least one time in your life!


They are small squares of dough fried and covered with sugar. This wonderful pastry can be loaded with savory or mild depending on whether you want them as an appetizer, snack, or dessert. 


You can find them in a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants in Louisiana, but Café Du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans is their unofficial capital. Café Du Monde even organizes an annual Beignet Festival, which is worth seeing. Make sure that you try one of the iconic tastes of the state of Louisiana.


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This is a delicious sandwich with French bread. The bread is traditionally stuffed with fried seafood like oysters, shrimp, and catfish, or meats like roasted beef or hot sausage. 

Homemade Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich with French Fries

You can order it dressed in mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and pickled cucumbers if you wish. Restaurants across Louisiana serve a number of variations on this sandwich, but you can also find it at the gas station and markets. 

The King Cake

This cake does not get its name for nothing; it is so delicious and looks so good that it could easily appear before the king. It is round, made of dough, and filled with cinnamon with colored icing and sugar. 

The King Cake

The three colors that are represented symbolize justice – purple, faith – green, and power – gold. It can be made with several types of filling, with cream cheese or fruit jam. The flavor is absolutely amazing, making this one of the best foods in Louisiana. 


Louisiana’s people are obviously sandwich lovers! Here is one more of their delicious sandwiches. Muffulettas are made with round Sicilian sesame bread, Italian salami, Italian ham, minced garlic, olive salad, and cheese. 


This sandwich is great for those who are very hungry because it is quite big, and it is usually served in halves or quarters. This delicacy can be found at Italian restaurants, gas stations, and even at the airport. 


Gumbo is one of the best foods in Louisiana and is deservedly named its official dish. It is prepared with sausage and also contains onions, peppers, and celery (known as the trinity), and okra. Sometimes seafood or chicken is used as the main ingredient instead of sausage. 


The secret ingredient in this recipe is the roux! They make the roux with two ingredients, flour and oil, and it’s the key to any excellent gumbo recipe. The flour and oil have to be cooked and stirred together for about half an hour until it becomes dark brown and the consistency of dough.

Many of the restaurants make excellent gumbo, which rules as the official state food of Louisiana. You can find it anywhere, and we guarantee you that no restaurant will disappoint you with this delicacy.


This may not be the favorite dish of the young, but you won’t regret it if you give it a chance. 

It is a sausage, basically prepared from pork butt, shank, and fat, which makes it a bit heavy, so we would recommend it only for lunch and not for dinner because there would be no way to use up all those calories. 


The meat is seasoned with salt, garlic, and black pepper. Today you will find it in several variations, but the real Andouille is prepared on pecan wood and sugar cane, which give the meat a sweet but, at the same time, dark taste. True to its name, you will find the best Andouille along the Andouille Trail. 


When it comes to true Louisiana comfort food, you cannot go wrong with Louisiana Jambalaya. This is like Spanish paella but is prepared Creole-style with chicken, sausage, long grain rice, the trinity of onion, pepper, and celery, and lots and lots of spices. 


The original sausage for Jambalaya is the andouille sausage, but some people who do not prefer spicy food make their own variations. For spices, they use salt and pepper, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, basil, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

You may find it prepared in several ways, but it is traditionally made and served in a black pot and is one of those dishes that you can easily make at home with a little effort. The best place for Jambalaya is the city of Gonzales, with all its restaurants, and it also holds a jambalaya festival every year. Make sure to try one of the best Louisiana state foods.


Pralines are a beautiful Creole dessert believed to be created by nuns in the 1700s. Praline is a candied buttery candy made from butter, brown sugar, and pecans. It is cooked in a kettle and dried on wax paper.


They are a signature sweet of New Orleans and unique candied treats adored by locals and visitors alike. They simply melt in your mouth! The pralines come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, and each of them has its charm.

The most famous pralines can be found in the French Market. The advantage of this dessert is that it is prepared simply, so you can find many recipes on the internet that will help you enjoy these pralines at any time.


This Louisiana state food is a wonderful dish that is prepared in a very interesting way, with rice and pork as the main ingredients. They are put in a smoked sausage casing. You will find it served in links or as boudin balls. 

Unlike many sausages made with uncooked meat stuffed into a casing, the boudin is made from cooked meat. The boudin is excellent for lunch and dinner, but, in my opinion, I love it for breakfast because it pairs perfectly with eggs. 


Boudin is traditionally a blend of cooked pork, onions, rice, peppers, seasonings, and spices stuffed into a sausage casing. However, these days boudin makers sometimes get creative with unusual fillings like seafood, which is also a tasty option. 

Shreveport-Style Stuffed Shrimp

These large fried shrimp are stuffed with Creole dressing and served with spicy tartar sauce and were first prepared in 1950 at the Freeman & Harris restaurant. The legendary restaurant was opened in 1921, and its frequent guests were the inimitable pastor Martin Luther King Jr. and B.B. King. 

The restaurant worked successfully for many years but was closed in 1994. Today, most restaurants in the Shreveport area carry on the tradition of Shreveport-Style Stuffed Shrimp.

Fish rolls of dorado fillet stuffed shrimp and spinach with onion sauce of leek and wine

To recreate this magnificent dish, you need the freshest and fattest shrimp and any kind of crab meat. For the stuffing, they use shallot, celery, red bell peppers, garlic, and panko. After that, in a bowl of mayo, they whisk the egg and add the crab meat. 

The secret ingredient here is the “Beer Batter” with wheat and rice flours, one used for structure and the other for crunch. After that, they stuff the shrimp and serve it with salad and, as we mentioned before, the spicy tartar sauce. Simply gorgeous!

Meat Pie

The perfect Louisiana state food for all gourmets and meat lovers. They are excellent for breakfast and dinner and are one of my personal favorite combinations of meat and bread. 

This delicious pie is filled with beef, pork, and spices, stuffed in a pie shell, and fried. It is similar to an empanada. These meat pies are usually fried in peanut oil because that oil has a high smoking temperature. 

Meat Pie

Meat pies are very famous in Natchitoches and are definitely a must-try Louisiana state food!

Grilled Shrimp

This is surely one of the most unique grills you will ever see. It is made from shrimp poached in Worcestershire spiked butter sauce with spices. 

Grilled Shrimp

Lemon juice or wine is often added to enrich the aroma. BBQ shrimp have been famous in New Orleans since 1953 when they were first prepared at the Pascal & Manale restaurant. Today you can find them almost at any restaurant in Louisiana.


This Asian-inspired dish comes with a little bit of everything. It is a salty and rich broth filled with spaghetti noodles, beef, or sometimes shrimp, chicken, or pork. It is always topped with a hard-boiled egg and chopped green onions. 


Ya-ka-mein has a deep history behind it. There are several tales of how this soup became a staple in the African American community. 

Some say that Chinese immigrants began arriving around 1815 to build the railroads between Houston and New Orleans, bringing with them aromatic flavors, cooking techniques, and unfamiliar ingredients.

People often say it is a great cure for a hangover, and you can find it in almost all the restaurants in New Orleans.


As we have introduced you to the best Louisiana dishes, let’s finish with an equally good drink worthy of them. Sazerac is a unique cocktail made from the finest ingredients, rye whiskey, bitters, herbs, and lemon peel. 

Sazerac, classic alcoholic cocktail with cognac, bourbon, absinthe, bitters, sugar and lemon zest. Old wooden background with copy space

The cocktail was first made somewhere in New Orleans, so, of course, the bars there, especially the Sazerac Bar in The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel, are the best place to try it. In The Sazerac House, there are even interactive exhibitions where you can taste the cocktail and learn more about its composition and history.

Louisiana State Food: Conclusion

I hope we successfully presented Louisiana to you as a place with a rich tradition, cultural heritage, and excellent cuisine. Make this summer special by taking a vacation in this beautiful country and sampling the best tastes of Louisiana state food at the best prices.

Visiting other destinations in Louisiana? Check out our other delicious guides:

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Saturday 25th of February 2023

Pascal's Manale is known for Bar-B-Q shrimp not grilled shrimp.

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