This post is about where to find some of the best gumbo in New Orleans, including a map with places both within the French Quarter and outside as well as descriptions of and links to each recommended establishment.
- What is Gumbo
- 10 Top Places for Gumbo
- French Quarter Food Tour
- 13 NOLA Foods You Must Try
- Free Tours by Foot
WHAT IS GUMBO?
New Orleans is known for many things – our music, parades, history, and culture, just to name a few – but perhaps one of our most defining characteristics is our food. More aptly, our LOVE of food. The Big Easy is a cornucopia of some of the best dishes and restaurants in the world.
And no other dish sums up the flavor of our Cajun heritage better than gumbo. While there are many variations on the dish itself, the base of gumbo, which is believed to come from the West African Bantu language for “okra,” always has a few things in common – a dark roux, okra, and filé powder.
From there, a combination of game meat, shellfish, chicken, and sausage can be added, depending on the chef, as can tomatoes, giving it a more “creole” taste. Gumbo is traditionally served over (or on the side of) rice.
All of this can obviously leave a visitor to New Orleans feeling a bit overwhelmed. And while locals will invariably argue over who has the best gumbo (keep in mind, it's usually their mom's!), we have listed a few places throughout the Crescent City for you to try this unique dish.
Just remember – if it doesn't have okra, it is just soup!
TEN TOP PLACES TO EAT GUMBO IN NEW ORLEANS
A - Galatoire's Restaurant, 209 Bourbon St New Orleans, LA 70130
Perhaps one of the best known and well-loved fine dining establishments in the French Quarter is Galatoire's Restaurant, found in 1905 by Jean Galatoire. With an extensive menu that reflects upon its French roots, Galatoire's offers two sumptuous gumbo offerings – Seafood Okra Gumbo and Duck and Andouille Gumbo.
Reservations are required and, according to their website, “Galatoire's dress code is business casual for lunch. No shorts or t-shirts. Jackets are required for gentlemen starting at 5 p.m. nightly and all day Sunday.”
B - Royal House Oyster Bar, 441 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130
Also found in the French Quarter on Royal Street is the Royal House Oyster Bar, opened in 2008. While they are famous for their oyster specialties, they also have a superb Chicken and Andouille Gumbo that has received rave reviews from locals and visitors. Open for Lunch and Dinner, with reservations recommended.
C - New Orleans School of Cooking, 524 St Louis St New Orleans, LA 70130
Why just eat while visiting New Orleans, when you can learn the basics and history behind Louisiana cuisine AND eat?! The New Orleans School of Cooking, located in the French Quarter, offers cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes 7 days a week.
While the menu varies daily, their Creole Gumbo is quite arguably one of the best in the French Quarter – and the added bonus of a cooking lesson and recipes to take home make a perfect souvenir!
D - Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant, 701 St Charles Ave New Orleans, LA 70130
Just a short streetcar ride down St. Charles Ave, this quaint bistro offers up French and Italian-style cuisine with a definite Southern flair. Open for Lunch, Bistro, and Dinner Monday – Saturday (closed on Sundays).
Herbsaint has won numerous accolades, including “America's Top 50 Restaurants” (2006) and the James Beard Award in 2007 for Best Chef South. While their offerings change daily, be sure to try their Gumbo of the Day – you won't be disappointed!
E - K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, 416 Chartres St New Orleans, LA 70130
Founded by Chef Paul Prudhomme, who passed away in 2015, this French Quarter Restaurant is a favorite among food critics and is often touted as having some of the best food in New Orleans.
While the menu changes, based on what is in season, chances are good that you will find their Chicken and Andouille Gumbo available. Make sure to make a reservation and show up on time.
F - La Provence, 25020 Highway 190 Lacombe, Louisiana 70445
If you are looking for a unique twist on gumbo and have a car (or are staying with friends who do!), take a short 30-minute drive over Lake Pontchartrain to Lacombe, where La Provence is located.
This French – inspired restaurant boasts a mouthwatering Quail Gumbo, stuffed with dirty rice that is not to be missed! Open for Dinner and Brunch, with reservations recommended.
G - Dooky Chase Restaurant, 2301 Orleans Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
Located behind the French Quarter, in the Treme neighborhood, Dooky Chase is a stopping place for many musicians, politicians, celebrities, and visitors in the Crescent City.
With a lunch buffet available Tuesday – Friday and dinner served on Fridays, guests are sure to discover great dishes, such as their Creole Gumbo, cooked with crab, shrimp, chicken, two kinds of sausage, ham, and veal.
If you will be heading to this neighborhood, be sure to read our post on things to do in the Treme.
H - Cochon Butcher, 930 Tchoupitoulas St. New Orleans, LA 70130
In the Warehouse District, off Tchoupitoulas St, is the Cochon Butcher – one part Butcher Shop, the other part sandwich shop and wine bar. Winner of the James Beard Foundation Best New Restaurant (2007), Cochon Butcher makes a mean Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, among other things.
Reservations are not accepted, and take-out orders must be ordered in advance. Open for Lunch and Dinner.
I - Jaeger's Seafood and Oyster House, 901 S Clearview Pkwy, New Orleans, LA 70121
A short 20-min cab drive from the French Quarter, in Metairie, is Jaeger's Seafood and Oyster House, where heaping plates of fresh seafood and sides are served Wednesday – Sunday,
The menu, which boasts almost every type of seafood known to man, offers three gumbo specials – Seafood Gumbo, Chicken Sausage Gumbo, and Chicken Sausage Gumbo with Jambalaya. Reservations are accepted.
J - Praline Connection, 542 Frenchmen St New Orleans, LA 70116
Located on Frenchmen Street, in the heart of the Faubourg Marigny, the Praline Connection was started by two men, Cecil and Curtis, as a meal delivery service for busy career women and their families.
Today, Praline Connection is known for its' “down-home cajun-creole style soul food”, including Filé Gumbo and Gumbo Zaire, a mixture of leafy greens, vegetables, and seafood. Open for Lunch and Dinner.
K - Cajun Cafe at the French Market, 1100 N Peters Rd Bay 23 New Orleans, LA 70116
Located along "Cuisine Market" in the historic French Market, America's oldest public market, is Cajun Cafe, which specializes in authentic New Orleans Cajun/Creole, American, and Vegetarian dishes.
They offer a wonderful File Gumbo in a casual outdoor atmosphere, just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. Open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Sunday.
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