Just up the Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans knows a thing or two about seafood, with shrimp, crab, crawfish, oysters and fish all key tenets of the city’s culinary repertoire. Local chefs craft their menus according to seasons, working closely with fishermen from the region to secure the best supplies. The result? Prawn-loaded po’boy baguettes, innovative seafood salads and flavor-loaded gumbos. Here, we check out the best places to eat fresh fish and seafood in the Big Easy.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Seafood Dock at the French Market
Close to the French Quarter, the river and many of the best bars in the city, this is a right-in-the-action choice if you’re on a flying visit. It’s a stripped-back street-food counter frying up signature NOLA dishes – from boiled crawfish to jambalaya – and the shellfish is so fresh you’ll see it on ice minutes before it’s transformed into your lunch. Take your paper plates lined with greaseproof paper to pavement-side tables beside the market. Don’t miss the smoothie-thick bloody marys stuffed with olives and jalapenos.
This 20-year-old success story is an elegant, old-fashioned dining room with wooden posts and beams – reminiscent of a ship’s masts. It has lashings of sea-blue and metallic, marine-inspired art. The menu is a mix of trad southern hospitality (lobster bisque, red snapper with okra) and international (lionfish ceviche, tuna tacos); co-founder chef Tenney Finn is so knowledgeable about the fruits of the sea that he’s known as the fishmonger of the South. There’s a sustainable ethos here: the menu is led by what’s most plentiful in the Gulf of Mexico, with chefs aiming to use every scrap of the fish.
Boil Seafood House
This down-to-earth family hangout, all wooden booths and cartoonish menus, comes into its own every crawfish season (early March to mid-June). When the crawfish pots start simmering, locals dash across town to rip off heads and suck out juices – this is the sort of place you order buckets by the pound, with the simply seasoned critters served alongside boiled potatoes and corn cobs. Po’boys, seafood salads and the Cajun-spiced Voodoo Rice offer a more comprehensive picture of Louisiana cuisine.
Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans
If you want to get away from the weekend crowds in the French Quarter and dig into how the locals dine, a night out in the Warehouse District is just the ticket. Head there for this industrial-chic joint, all raw, unpolished woods and intact fish heads – the professionals pour in each night for big, ice-packed metal trays of oysters served with saltine crackers, whole grilled drum fish or big slabs of swordfish. Notably cheery and informative staff will talk you through the menu and their personal favorites. Not that you can really go wrong whatever your choose.
For a razor-sharp modern option, head to this slick number at the Ace Hotel. Sit on inky-blue leather banquettes or at the marble countertop to work your way through the menu of craft cocktails and freshly shucked oysters – we’re talking dozens of options from the Gulf, East and West Coasts, so ask your server for flavor and texture notes. After your raw-bar fix, dip into lobster rolls and dressed scallops with a tequila-and-prickly-pear cocktail. Take a look at the building before you head in – it’s a preserved Creole cottage that dates back to 1832.
Most famous for its po’boys – hefty baguettes stuffed with fried shrimp or other fishy fillings – this diner on the eastern side of town is worth a detour. Cajun-spiced seafood platters feature catfish, oysters and grilled Gulf fish, complemented by no-frills sides of coleslaw, potato salad and onion rings. This is a beer-from-the-bottle kind of place, dishing up comfort food just the way Louisianan grandmas make it. It’s a bit of a trek if you don’t have a car, but a breeze for those road-tripping onwards through the south.
Acme Oyster House
The party-central French Quarter has a handful of great oyster and raw bars, but neon-lit Acme is the local favorite. Always busy, it doesn’t take reservations, so expect a wait to experience the garlic-buttery chargrilled oysters, served on checked tablecloths under a fizzing ‘Waitress Available Sometimes’ sign. Sit up at the counter for the best atmosphere and watch the team in action – most of the staff have been shucking oysters for around 40 years.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Ann Marshall.
Why not make a weekend of it? Book a stay with Culture Trip at one of these quirky boutique hotels in the French Quarter or stick to a tighter budget at one of these budget hotels and hostels in Mid-City. There’s plenty to keep you busy too, from ticking off the best things to do in New Orleans off your bucket list to exploring the best museums around or trying local specialties such as a po’ boy at these top spots.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.