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.
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.
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.
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.