The BEST Places to Eat In and Around New Orleans

Headed to New Orleans? Your appetite is in luck! Check out our list of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans before your next trip to the Big Easy!

We recently returned from our maiden voyage in our new RV! We found the perfect RV in south Texas. This gave us the perfect opportunity fly down and road trip back to Wisconsin, making key stops in New Orleans and Memphis. New Orleans is known as a “foodie” town, and being a pregnant woman–this was great news for me! I may not have been able to drink a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s, but believe me, we took advantage of all of the good eats in the New Orleans area! Check out our list of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans below!

Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers–Breaux Bridge, LA

Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers is one of the BEST places to eat in and around New Orleans.
Seafood nachos at Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers

If you are outside of the New Orleans area and looking for a great place to eat, be sure to check out this gem. We were looking for somewhere to try crawfish and struck gold with this place! Approximately 2.5 hours outside of New Orleans, Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers is where the locals go to eat. We ate here around 7:30 on Monday night in April, and the place was packed! We started out with the seafood nachos, which were AMAZING! They featured mostly crawfish and shrimp smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. They were a steal at only $10.99 and offered large portions.

We also decided to try a crawfish and shrimp boil because well….when in Rome (or Louisiana!). The boiled combos are available in 3 or 5 lb. portions. We opted for the 5 lb. and could have definitely gotten away with the 3 lb. since we had the nachos earlier. We were stuffed and had a ton leftover! You know it’s bad when even your yoga pants feel tight after a meal! The good news is that crawfish tastes delicious reheated so no worries there.

A crawfish and shrimp boil is one of the BEST things to eat in and around New Orleans.
Crawfish and shrimp boil

The boilers were listed as “market price”, which ended up being about $50 for the 5 lb. crawfish and shrimp. It isn’t exactly a cheap dinner, but it is well-worth it for the delicious food and the experience.

Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins–Scott, LA

Billy's Boudin and Cracklin is one of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans!
Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins

What the heck is boudin and cracklins?! That’s what we were thinking when we first heard of these delicious foods. For those who are wondering, boudin is a type of cooked sausage made from pork and rice. Cracklin is basically little bits of fried pork fat and skin. Both are served at Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins, which is a butcher shop offering food to-go. This appeared to be another local favorite as we had to wait in line at 10:00 on a Tueday morning.

We didn’t try the cracklins as my parents had strongly recommended we get the boudin balls. Boudin balls are essentially fried balls of boudin sausage. We had both the regular and the pepperjack, which was filled with pepperjack cheese. We preferred the pepperjack balls but you really can’t go wrong either way. The prices were super affordable–$2.49 for both regular and pepperjack boudin balls, and $2.99 for a pepperjack roll, which was basically boudin and cheese in an egg roll wrapper. If you only have room for one thing, stick with the boudin balls for a unique treat.

Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde is one of the bet places to eat in New Orleans.
Beignets at Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde is pretty much a must-do on the list of places to eat in New Orleans. There are several locations in New Orleans, so there is bound to be one near one of your stops. There were two very long lines when we were there at around 10:00 on a Wednesday. Please note that they take CASH ONLY. We rarely carry cash, so we had to head to an ATM in a shopping center down the street.

After making the trek back, we waiting in another long line and ordered a cafe au lait for $4.50 and two orders of beignets for $3.40 each. Each order contained three balls of powdery goodness. Our order was ready quickly and we took a seat in the outdoor covered seating, which are the only seats available. The beignets were delicious, as was the cafe au lait. We don’t recommend wearing anything black as you will almost certainly be covered in powdered sugar when you are done!

Central Grocery

Another necessary thing to eat when you are in and around New Orleans is a muffaletta from the Central Grocery. A muffaletta is a type of sandwich on a Sicilian sesame seed bun, topped with olive spread, ham, salami, mortadella, and provolone and swiss cheeses. I am practically drooing just thinking about it. There was a line almost out the door when we visited, but it moved very quickly as the sandwiches were pre-made and ready to go. Make a note–the sandwiches here are HUGE! A large sandwich cut into four pieces is $20.95, but it was well worth it. If you are looking for a picturesque place to enjoy your meal, head across the street and down towards the water. There are park benches to sit on with a great view of passing boats.

Muffalettas and Central Grocery are a must-have when eating in New Orleans.
Central Grocery Muffalettas

Cafe Maspero

If you are looking for a casual dining spot near Decatur St. with an open air setting, check out Cafe Maspero. We stumbled upon this place after our swamp tour when we were exhausted and looking for comfortable place to sit and stuff our faces. They have some unique offerings (for us Northerners anyway), such as alligator bites and a wide variety of po’ boy sandwiches.

We tried the alligator bites for $13.50. They were deep fried and dipped in ranch–how could you go wrong?! The were delicious and not to sound cliche, but they tasted a lot like chicken. We split a shrimp po’ boy entree and were both reasonably full afterwards. This was my first po’ boy experience and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed! One thing to note with this restaurant is that you may not want to dine here if you are in a hurry as service was verrrrry slow. Otherwise, if you have the time and are looking for a little ambiance, give it a try!

Cafe Beignet

One of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans that we found was Cafe Beignet. One of our Uber drivers suggested to us that we try both Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet to compare the two. Challenge accepted! Like many other places we saw in New Orleans, the location on Decatur St. was closed early in the week, so we had to wait until later in our trip to give this place a try.

Cafe Beignet is one of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans.
Delicious breakfast at Cafe Beignet

We are glad we made time for it, as it was super cute and had a retro-y feel along with open air dining. We ordered a crawfish omlet with grits, which was definitely unique, but delicious. I highly recommend getting crawfish whenever you can when eating in New Orleans! We also had to try to beignets and a white chocolate cafe au lait. Our total was $26.99. We slightly favored the beignets here over Cafe du Monde, but may have been swayed by the cute atmosphere and tasty drink.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

While not technically a place to eat, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is worth a stop for a drink because of the unique surroundings. Located a 941 Bourbon St., the blacksmith shop has been around since the early 1700s! It is rumored that the Lafitte brothers used the building as a place to run their smuggling business back in the day. The bar is reported to be the oldest bar in the United States. While here, we ordered a virgin Hurricane for me and a Purple drink for Jason. Our total was $12 and Jason’s drink was quite large. We sat inside and admired the original bricks and fireplace still inside the building. Add this stop to your list for a bit of history with a buzz.

Drinks at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop!

Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar and Fish House

Recommended to us by a local, we would have to agree that Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar and Fish House is one of the best places to eat in and around New Orleans. Mr. Ed’s has a laid-back atmosphere and we felt like we fit in wearing our jeans. We hadn’t had any gumbo while in the area, so we decided to get it here and cross it off of our New Orleans food list. We also went with the seafood nachos, since we loved them so much at Cajun Claws Seafood Boilers. The gumbo was so-so, I didn’t anything to compare it to so I just might not be a gumbo fan. The seafood nachos, however, were amazing! They included plenty of seafood and were soaked in cheese, making for an amazing combo. For our two items plus a Diet Coke, we paid $30, which seemed reasonable for the area.

What places did we miss??? Feel free to share your favorite places to eat in and around New Orleans below!

Prefer to cook for yourself while traveling? Check out our article on easy road trip meals here!


One thought on “The BEST Places to Eat In and Around New Orleans

  1. Pingback: Things to Do in the New Orleans Area - Traveling with Pennies

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