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1. Mulate's201 Julia St, New Orleans
2. Zydeco's Cajun Restaurant7010 Highway 23, Belle Chasse
3. Toups' Meatery845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans
4. Bon Ton Cafe401 Magazine St, New Orleans
5. Cochon Butcher930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
6. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen416 Chartres St, New Orleans
7. Brigtsen's Restaurant723 Dante St, New Orleans
8. Kingfish337 Chartres, New Orleans
9. Boucherie8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans
10. Vacherie827 Toulouse St, New Orleans
11. The Original Pierre Maspero's440 Chartres St, New Orleans
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.