Forget the night life, New Orleans is about the food

Forget the night life, New Orleans is about the food

Everyone comes to New Orleans for a different reason. Whether it’s the architecture, the rich history or the nightlife, I’d wager it’s the food that keeps people coming back year after year.

Our exploration of The Big Easy’s rich culinary history began our first night in the city when Niecie led us to a little open air restaurant in the French Quarter called the Gumbo Shop.

Before we’d even left the hotel she’d already picked out our meal, three-course meal consisting of gumbo, jambalaya and red beans and rice.

We weren’t disappointed. I’ve always enjoyed “Cajun” cooking back home, but this was something else entirely. The food tantalized our taste buds and left us wanting more. It was a perfect meal to split on a hot August day. The portions were small and it never felt heavy.


The Gumbo Shop was our favorite restaurant in the French Quarter. Thanks to Google Street View we were able to grab this pic.

Unfortunately, the thing about big cultural centers like New Orleans is it’s often hard to find the diamonds in the ruff.

That’s where a lot of research and plenty of luck comes in. Sadly, our stomachs aren’t the bottomless pits we wanted them to be and neither were our wallets. This meant we had to make the most of our experiences during our short stay.

Beignets? Yes please!

It was a tiny hole in the wall café on Royal Street called Café Beignet that captured our hearts. These sweet deep fried and powdered sugar coated doughnuts had us coming back for seconds every morning.

Niecie actually fantasized about ordering 20 and pigging out as we explored the city. I would have let this happen if she hadn’t snapped out of it.

It’s hard to describe these simple, yet delectable pastries. At a glance, they look like a piece of bread covered in sugar, but they’re so much more than that. If you are ever in New Orleans, get yourself a dozen of them. You won’t have any regrets.

The hospitality

On a long walk to explore the Garden District and find Magazine Street, we ducked into a little coffee shop called The French Truck Coffee to seek shelter from the heat and get something cold to drink.

We ordered a hibiscus iced tea with sparkling water and a little sugar. It was just what we needed, though I’ll be the first to admit anything cold would have made me happy at the moment.

We finished that after just a few minutes and ordered a refill. As we were leaving the barista asked us where we were from and how long we would be staying. We explained that it was our last day in town and that we were walking down to Magazine Street. Before we could say another word she punched out a free drink card and handed it to us. A free drink for the walk back.

What kindness. I’d heard of southern hospitality, but this took me by surprise. It’s not like this kind of thing doesn’t happen back home, but normally it’s with people you’ve built a rapport with, not a complete stranger from a town soaked in tourism.

If you’re ever in New Orleans in the Garden District, grab yourself something cold at the French Truck Coffee. I can’t speak to the quality of their coffee, but the iced tea is good and they’ll make sure you’re well taken care of.

Here’s a little of what we’ve discovered

  1. Beignets are amazing, I can never have enough beignets.
  2. Po’ Boys are overrated.
  3. You have not had red beans and rice until you’ve been to New Orleans.
  4. Jambalaya is kind of like Cajun fried rice, so delicious.

Sadly, on this trip, we spent more time stuffing our faces than photographing our food. So no mouth water gallery of delectable eats here.

More to come

Check back tomorrow to learn more about our trip to The Big Easy.

Further Reading

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Please comment and share

  • Do you have a Cajun favorite?
  • What are your thoughts on New Orlean’s culunary history
  • Do you have a favorite place to grab a bite to eat in the big easy?

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