In NOLA, there is one sandwich to rule them all, one sandwich to bind them. And while the muffuletta is a beloved local favorite, there’s no doubt that the po-boy is THE sandwich of the Crescent City. Whether you’re piling your French bread with roast beef, fried seafood, or even French fries, everyone seems to have one that holds a special place in their heart/belly. We asked eight prominent local chefs about their favorites in the 504, and they said...
The fried oyster from Domilise’s
Picked by: Chef James Scott Cullen of Press Street Station
"My favorite po-boy is a fried oyster, dressed, from Domilise's. It was the first thing I ever ate in New Orleans. The backstory to this is I met my wife over an argument about French bread in Hoboken, NJ. I always thought French bread was a baguette. She taught me by taking me to Domilise's on my first trip here in 2010. So for sentimental reasons this is my answer. I probably like the shrimp at Zimmer's as my absolute fave as far as quality goes, or maybe the roast beef at R & O's. They both use Gendusa bread which I love."
The fried shrimp from St. Roch Seafood
Picked by: Chef Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's
"My favorite po-boy shop is St. Roch on Louisa. The fried shrimp is the bomb! It used to be in the old St. Roch market, back in the day, and they moved to a new location in a gas station, basically. It’s hot, crispy, with fresh bread, and there’s a ton of shrimp on it. I actually have no idea exactly what they do to it to make it so fantastic, but when I want a fried shrimp po-boy, this is where I’m headed. It’s also near my house, which doesn’t hurt. I just love the fact that it’s a gas station. It reminds me of Cajun country, where they have all the boudin and cracklins at these roadside places."
The BBQ shrimp at Boucherie
Picked by: Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Balise
"The BBQ shrimp po-boy at Boucherie. They take a new classic and apply the Nathanial Zimet treatment of high-quality and explosive flavor. The Dong Phuong bread is hollowed out and filled (a la Liuzza's by the Track) for extra containment of the sauce and ease of consumption. Needs a daiquiri to wash it down."
Patton’s hot sausage at Banks Meat Market
Picked by: Chef Matthew Kopfler of L'enfant Terrible at Molly’s at the Market
"There are so many favorites: the roast beef at Verti Marte, the chicken livers at Mahony’s, a classic shrimp po-boy from Domilise’s, oysters at Cooter Brown's. But the one I can’t find any flaws with at all is the Patton’s hot sausage at Banks Meat Market. Arguments for the amazingness of the sandwich: a hot sausage po-boy from this gas station can feed one person for three meals, or three people one meal for around $9; it is New Orleans' answer to scrapple, and the tangy, spicy, chemical-laden umami bomb of a 3ft hot sausage po-boy, add American cheese and roast beef gravy, dressed for around $12 delivers at any time of the day; a very much unhealthy food that satisfies the brain, similar to Taco Bell and crack, this is often a late-night decision allowing you to meet the spectrum of people that hang out and live near a neighborhood bodega-type place."
The fried shrimp at Liuzza's by the Track
Picked by: Chef Alex Harrell of Angeline
"My favorite po-boy in town is the fried shrimp at Liuzza's by the Track. The shrimp are lightly battered, seasoned well, and crispy. I always get mine dressed and add some Crystal. I think that Liuzza's is a quintessential New Orleans neighborhood restaurant. And it holds a special place for me. A local friend of mine took me to eat there when I first moved to town. The fried shrimp was my first experience with a po-boy and I've been going back ever since."
The Ferdie at Bear's
Picked by: Chef Slade Rushing of Brennan’s
"My favorite po-boy is called The Ferdie at Bear's in Covington. When we had The Longbranch in Abita Springs, a construction worker shared one with me -- it’s grilled ham, turkey, roast beef with gravy, Swiss cheese, and dressed all the way."
The Peacemaker at Bevi Seafood
Picked by: Chef Adam Biderman of The Company Burger
"The Peacemaker [Editor's Note: fried shrimp with brown gravy and cheese] at Bevi Seafood is the best in town. Justin is a friend since we were 17 and he’s a great cook. The roast beef gravy is delicious and the shrimp are fried perfectly. I’m also a sucker for sesame seeds on the French bread."
The fried oyster at Guy’s Po-Boys
Picked by: Chef Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery
"When I go for a po-boy, I always get the same thing at the same place. I think my go-to is the fried oyster at Guy’s Po-Boys, because it’s been the same for a really long time. It’s really the only thing I go there to get, and I get it when I have a hard craving. I always order it dressed, and always spike it with a good couple chucks of Tabasco. I found it probably 15 years ago when I moved to NOLA, just a little neighborhood shop, super traditional. It’s a no-frills po-boy, but it doesn’t really need any frills. Its beauty is its simplicity: really great oysters on really great bread, good pickles, and local Blue Plate mayonnaise. Actually, I want one right now, come to think of it."
The bánh minh at Hong Kong Market
Picked by: Chef Ryan Hughes of Purloo
"I have lived in NOLA as a chef for 17 years. I have tried and done the numerous choices of all the usual suspects. And for some reason the bánh minh at Hong Kong Market always hits the spot. [Editor's Note: This is considered here to be the "Vietnamese po-boy."] The one with the "pate" is just ridiculously good/ fresh counterparts with the pickled slaw/fresh cilantro, and I guess one of the important aspects is it is frickin' cheap! I think they are three bucks now!? It seems like with all the other po-boy places that are decent to get a po-boy and a Barq's with a side of Zapp's you are looking at a minimum of $15 which I do not think is worth it anymore. From a chef's standpoint, we know what the costs are, which in my mind is a big consideration and what a po-boy is supposed to be: super quick, affordable, easily transported. I mean, have you ever picked up a bánh mì at Hong Kong and had the ability to not eat it on your lap while driving it across the bridge? I know I can't do it."
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1. Domilise's Po-Boys5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans
2. St. Roch Seafood4039 Louisa St, New Orleans
3. Boucherie1506 South Carrollton Ave, New Orleans
4. Banks Meat Market325 S Broad St, New Orleans
5. Liuzza's By The Track1518 N Lopez St, New Orleans
6. Bear's Poboys3206 Metairie Rd, Metairie
7. Bevi Seafood Co.4701 Airline Dr, Metairie
8. Guy's Po-Boys5259 Magazine St, New Orleans
9. Hong Kong Food Market925 Behrman Hwy, Gretna
No one does po-boys like Domilise's. The Uptown spot has been owned by the same family for over 100 years, which accounts for the consistently good eats and veritable Southern hospitality that has brings regulars back time and time again. While you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, we suggest you stick to the seafood and opt for a fried oyster or catfish po-boy. If the handpainted sign overhead isn't enough of an indication that you've arrived at this cozy, yellow house on the corner, the steady line of regulars waiting for a table likely will.
Formerly located in the old St Roch Market, this roadside seafood stop now has it's home in a gas station on Louisa, where it's hiding some authentic New Orleans cuisine at breakfast and lunch, including incredibly (and perhaps surprisingly) fresh po-boys. A fan-favorite is the fried shrimp po-boy, on which an abundance of crispy shrimp spills out of a hot and fresh piece of French bread.
All of the meats at this buzzy Southern restaurant are smoked, cured, and aged in-house before being used in classic New Orleans dishes with an upscale twist, such as the 12-hour roasted wagyu beef po-boy with pickled red onions and horseradish cream. There's not enough room inside this cozy Uptown house to throw a customary South Louisiana boucherie (in the old days, families would come together and consume mass amounts of Cajun meats and hard liquor, and take home leftovers of the celebration's slaughtered hogs to last them the winter), but the atmosphere is plenty upbeat, as diners are thrilled to have nabbed a seat at this popular, stylish spot. Like those traditional and festive family affairs, they gather to indulge in meat-centric meals of seared pork cakes, BBQ shrimp po-boys, and brined & smoked half-chickens alongside classic cocktails (Sazerac, Pimm's Cup).
This unassuming 24-hour grocery store and butcher shop in Mid-City serves sandwiches and po-boys to-go that are unexpectedly sensational -- and the latter come in a few sizes, including a jumbo 32in variation that fans practically worship. The three-fot hot sausage po-boy is big enough to last you at least three meals, and strikes an ideal balance of tangy and spicy. Pro tip: add American cheese and roast beef gravy to this sandwich-bomb for an extra blast of flavor.
Situated inside a shabby corner house in Fairgrounds, this homey neighborhood joint is serving up classic New Orleans dishes like gumbo, fried catfish, oysters, and po-boys, specializing in a BBQ fried shrimp po-boy that's a local favorite. The fresh, crispy shrimp are lightly battered and well-seasoned before being stuffed into a homemade French-bread pistolette.
A classic lunch spot neighboring an overpass in Old Metairie, this unassuming restaurant specializes in po-boys and burgers, including what's considered one of the best roast beef po-boys in town. Why? The beef is roasted and chilled before it's sliced against the grain, marinated in Bear's special gravy for extra flavor and juiciness, and served on fresh, locally baked Leidenheimer French bread. It all results in a supremely succulent sandwich that, frankly, isn't complete without some crispy hand-battered onion rings on the side.
Part seafood market and part restaurant, bare-bones, family-run Bevi features, well, a bevy of locally sourced seafood that focuses on four seasonal New Orleans specialties: crawfish, crab, shrimp, and oysters. In addition to these boiled Gulf Coast treats that reign supreme in NOLA, there's exceptional hot food, like from-scratch po-boys with fresh, homemade ingredients like smoked ham and slow-roasted beef (the fried shrimp with brown gravy and cheese is a favorite too), as well as platters of BBQ gulf shrimp, gumbo, and fried green tomatoes.
This cash-only, counter-service hole-in-the-wall may not look like much, but the po-boys at this neighborhood joint have more than won the hearts of locals over the years -- both for their cheap price and for their no-nonsense style. A couple of suggestions? The crispy, not-too-greasy fried shrimp po-boy, and the fried oyster po-boy, which combines top-notch local oysters with juicy pickles and local Blue Plate mayonnaise on fresh French bread.