Food & Drink

Where to find the best Cajun food in New Orleans

Published On 10/29/2014 Published On 10/29/2014
Mulate's
Zydeco's Cajun Restaurant
Toups' Meatery
Flickr/Travis
Cochon Butcher
K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
Flickr/Navin75
Kingfish
Boucherie
Vacherie
The Original Pierre Maspero’s
Mosquito Supper Club
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1. Mulate's 201 Julia St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

This CBD spot bills itself as the "Original Cajun Restaurant", and it has a menu to back up the claim, with fried gator, stuffed fish, jambalaya, and more.

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2. Zydeco's Cajun Restaurant 7010 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037

Sometimes you need to go a little far away to satisfy your Cajun cravings, and Zydeco’s is worth a trip across the river. Its fried fare is great, but make sure not to overlook the seasonal boiled seafood platters, especially when crawfish are in season (think late spring).

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3. Toups' Meatery 845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Toups, this Mid-City spot serves a carnivore-centric menu with bold Cajun flavor. Large entrees like the grilled Georgia quail with farm-fresh seasonal vegetables and saba satiate and surprise; light bites range from addictive cracklins and deviled eggs with smoked trout roe. Minimalist metal chairs and refurbished wood surfaces give Toups a cabin-like feel that enhances the relaxed, convivial vibe.

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4. Bon Ton Cafe 401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Established in 1953, BTC offers a number of Cajun/Creole favorites, but they're most well known for their etouffees, which can be made with shrimp or crawfish.

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5. Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Cochon's generalist meat offshoot, Cochon Butcher, is a hybrid butcher shop, deli counter, and wine bar in the same warehouse building as its pork-centric sibling. There are house-cured meats, sausages, and terrines to take home, but you're really here for the sandwiches, precisely the Muffuletta, stacked with nearly an inch of pink-hued, salty meats (pastrami, mortadella, Genoa salami), creamy provolone, and olive salad. You can order it to-go, but if you're staying, make sure to pair with a side of pancetta mac & cheese.

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6. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen 416 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Located in the French Quarter, K-Paul's is a legendary establishment from the late renowned chef Paul Prudhomme, and is considered the birthplace of the NOLA delicacy blackened redfish, which is served alongside a host of other traditional, elevated Cajun dishes. Prudhomme's Cajun jambalaya (culturally different from French Creole) features tasso sausage, chicken, and a jalapeño kick, and is a must-try when dining at this iconic restaurant with exposed brick and white tablecloths.

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7. Brigtsen's Restaurant 723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

Run by James Beard Award-winning chef James Brigtsen, Brigtsen's is proof that old-school ambiance and adherence to a rotation of classic dishes can trump the trendy and constantly evolving. Regulars here dress for the occasion, sitting down to meals of oysters, soft-shell crabs, and pulled pork, all in a victorian cottage setting that evokes your wealthiest friend's summer lakeside retreat.

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8. Kingfish 337 Chartres, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Thibodaux native, Chef Nathan Richard, created a menu at the casual Kingfish restaurant that combines the Cajun reverence for honoring ingredients and culinary history with a sophisticated, often playful take on modern trends that excite visitors and natives alike. The plateau de fruits des mer is this spots take on a traditional meat charcuterie board, using local seafood to create all manner of fresh and cured sausages, terrines, and smoked items.

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9. Boucherie 8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

This Crescent City butcher and bistro serves up savory mains like smoked Wagyu beef brisket with Garlicky Parmesan fries and St. Louis-style Niman Ranch ribs with spicy boiled peanuts & crispy fried shallots.

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10. Vacherie 827 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Vacherie gets its name from the Cajun practice of butchering and cooking an entire animal in a single day, in this case a cow, instead of a pig. But you’ll find both on Vacherie’s menu, especially the Gritcake and collards, made with a pan-fried pimento cheese grit cake over fresh collard greens smothered with smoked pork belly. Yes, please.

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11. The Original Pierre Maspero's 440 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Maspero’s talks a good game about being an “authentic Cajun experience”, and for the most part, that's true. The building itself is impressive, dating back to 1788, and the menu is also a big hit, with options like the Natchitoches Meat Pies, as well as the Seafood Pistolettes -- French rolls filled with a creamy cheese sauce with Gulf shrimp, bell peppers, and onions -- which are messy as hell and well worth it.