New Orleans is a unique place. It is a place full of culture, food, music, and experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. New Orleans is a place full of color, life, and opportunities for moments and memories that will be remembered your entire life. As your Westwego hotel, we want to help you have the best time while visiting New Orleans.
One of the best ways to experience New Orleans is through the food. Though many of these dishes are very different from those in other places, even the smallest and pickiest eaters can find something to enjoy.
These delectable pastries are one of the most popular treats of New Orleans and a favorite for many. Beignets are square pastries that are fried and then doused in powdered sugar. Originally brought to the city by French colonists from Canada, beignets have become a staple of New Orleans cuisine. Cafe Du Monde is one of the chosen places to enjoy a delicious beignet. Though you may have to wait in line, it is well worth the stay. Try your beignet with a coffee! Cafe Du Monde is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so if you don’t want to wait in line in the morning, you can enjoy a Cafe Du Monde beignet any time of day. If you’ve already had a traditional beignet, try some of the variations offered throughout the city. Read more here!
When you get your beignet, grab a cup of chicory coffee! Chicory coffee goes back to the time of the French Civil War when coffee was difficult to find and expensive when found. Due to this, the Acadians (the same people who brought us the delightful beignet) added chicory, a root to their coffee to extend the use and preserve the life of the coffee they did have. Though times have changed and the ability to get coffee became easy, the Acadians continued to add chicory to their coffee. Today, chicory costs more than coffee, but has become a staple in many’s drink of choice. If you want to try chicory coffee, here’s what to expect: Chicory coffee is darker, richer, and adds a bit of sweetness. Grab a cup at Cafe Du Monde when you’re enjoying a beignet, or at a variety of coffee shops throughout the city.
Most likely if you’ve heard of New Orleans, you’ve heard of the traditional dish called Gumbo. Though you can get gumbo around the country and can even make it at home, nothing beats eating a dish where it originated. Gumbo is a stew with meat, sometimes various seafood, such as shrimp, prawns, crawfish, oysters, and snapper or catfish, vegetables that is served with or over rice, and is usually spicy. Other ingredients include okra, and in the case of Andouille gumbo, Cajun Andouille sausage and chicken. Traditional gumbo is thick and hearty and can be enjoyed at a variety of places in New Orleans, but Gumbo Shop is said by many to have the best recipe in the city. Other places to try this delectable dish are Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop, Brigtsen’s, Hickory Cafe & Grill, and Avery’s on Tulane. Stop in for lunch or end the night with this traditional dish!
When you come to New Orleans you must try muffaletta. Muffaletta is a circular shaped bread sliced and stuffed with olive salad with meats and cheeses. The muffaletta originated from Italian and more specifically Sicilian immigrants who came to New Orleans in the 1880s. Central Grocery in New Orleans is where this unique sandwich originated in 1906 and you can still grab a muffaletta there. This delicious sandwich is sure to please many in your vacation party, but if you’re not sure, this sandwich is big enough and actually recommended to be shared between two people or more. If you love a salty hearty sandwich, the muffaletta is a meal not to miss!
Though many turn up their noses at crawfish, crawfish is a popular dish in Louisiana and beyond, with crawfish boils being events much like traditional barbeques. Crawfish taste much like lobster by themselves, but will take on the flavor of what they are prepared in. Try crawfish by themselves, boiled and ready to eat, or in the crawfish etoufee. If you aren’t prepared to figure out how to eat these small yummy creatures by themselves, get the experience of crawfish in crawfish etoufee. Crawfish etouffee is a traditional New Orleans dish; a delicious stew much like gumbo, made with crawfish or shrimp and is also served over rice. Crawfish Etouffee is different in flavor with a lighter roux than gumbo. If crawfish just isn’t something you want to try, you can get etoufee with seafood instead.
Oysters are another popular seafood that is a must try for those who are visiting New Orleans. Even if you don’t like oysters that you’ve had in the past, you should definitely try New Orleans’ oysters. Oysters here are prepared traditionally and in Oyster Rockefeller style, topped with bread crumbs, butter, and herbs or charbroiled to perfection with the same breadcrumb mixture. You can also experience Oysters Bienville: Oysters served on the half-shell with shrimp, mushrooms, green onions, herbs, and other seasonings, topped with white wine sauce. Get your oyster fix and try a New Orleans specialty at Antoine’s and Arnaud’s!
The Po’boy is another New Orleans specialty and a delicious sandwich that you have to try. The creation of the po’boy originated in 1929 during the conductor strike. The Martin Brothers saw the striking conductors and asked, “What are we going to feed these po’boys?” Soon Parkway Bakery answered the call with sandwiches stuffed with potatoes and roast beef gravy. Soon, these delectable sandwiches became a New Orleans staple. Though the original po’boy isn’t eaten anymore, there are many ways to try the modern variations of this yummy sandwich! Try yours filled with a variety of meats such as roast beef, shrimp, or fried oysters and try it at its originator, Parkway Bakery & Tavern!
Red Beans and Rice
As you can see seafood is very popular in New Orleans due to its close proximity to the ocean. If you are not a lover of seafood, have no fear! There is still much to eat in New Orleans that isn’t seafood, such as red beans and rice. If you happen to be in New Orleans on a Monday, you must try red beans and rice. As tradition states, red beans and rice were always served on Mondays because Monday was always wash day and red beans and rice were a dinner meal that could be left alone to cook all day. Usually prepared with leftover ham bone, red beans and rice are usually serviced with sausage cut up in the dish or on the side.
Come Stay with us in Westwego!
New Orleans is truly a place to surprise and wow the taste buds. We at Best Western in Westwego would love for you to try the best eats of New Orleans through experiencing first hand while away exploring the city, but also when you stay with us! We serve traditional New Orleans’ breakfast every day in addition to all of our other amenities. Come stay with us!