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  • Nothing beats a world-class Parkway Bakery & Tavern po’boy
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    New Orleans: Authentic Louisiana Flavors for Every Budget

  • Music and laid-back fun can always be found in Lafayette
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    Lafayette: The Heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country

  • Offshore fishing yields a great catch in Houma, Louisiana
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    Houma: Savory Seafood in Louisiana’s Bayou Country

Dining in an outdoor café in a quaint New Orleans courtyard
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Road Tripping Louisiana’s Foodie Hubs

By Idoia Gkikas

  • Route distance:
    478.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    4 days

Sightseeing is great, but you can also get to know the history, culture and personality of a place through its food.

For travelers passionate about flavor, Louisiana is a dream come true. Blending its French, Cajun, Caribbean and Spanish heritage, Louisiana’s food is a delicious reflection of its cultural past. Sure, you’ll find traditional dishes, but you’ll also discover locally sourced ingredients along with tasty modern updates. This road trip introduces you to some of Louisiana’s most famous food towns: world-famous New Orleans, Cajun-inspired Lafayette and seafood-loving Houma.

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Nothing beats a world-class Parkway Bakery & Tavern po’boy
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New Orleans: Authentic Louisiana Flavors for Every Budget

Fly into Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY), and get ready to taste your way through legendary New Orleans. Admire the French, Cajun and Spanish influence that has shaped everything from its architecture, neighborhoods, local accent and, of course, its cuisine. Start at Parkway Bakery & Tavern and treat yourself to a po’ boy – a flavorful French bread sandwich stuffed with a variety of proteins, often fried seafood; available “dressed” with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise; and served with remoulade. (Parkway Bakery & Tavern was voted “best po’ boys” in the state by USA Today readers.) Order one to-go for a beautiful waterfront picnic at New Orleans City Park, an urban getaway with a children’s museum, amusement park and more. The New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden also offers a peaceful place to soak up nature.

Later on, explore the historic and artsy Bywater and Faubourg Marigny neighborhoods near the French Quarter for incredible cuisine. Bacchanal Wine is a wonderful spot with an extensive selection of wine and tapas. For casual dining, head to Dat Dog, where you can create your own specialty hot dog – Alligator, crawfish and duck sausages also appear on the menu; this is New Orleans, after all.  Now, onto Cajun Country…

217 km
2.5 hours by car
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Music and laid-back fun can always be found in Lafayette
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Lafayette: The Heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country

Enjoy the lush rural Louisiana beauty on your way to Lafayette. Southern Living once named Lafayette the Tastiest Town in the South and the Wall Street Journal ranked it the Happiest City in America, so your mood and palate are in for a treat. Surf-and-turf fans will love the grilled oysters, fried catfish and juicy steaks at Fezzo’s Seafood, Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. Try the gator legs covered in Thai sauce at Bon Temps Grill. Sit down to sumptuous smoked turkey and andouille sausage gumbo at Café Vermilionville, an elegant 18th century inn. Top off savory indulgences with something sweet. Stop by Poupart’s Bakery and Bistro for dessert – don’t miss their classic king cake during Carnival season. Not sure where to start? Book a Cajun Food Tour to sample some of the city’s fresh Gulf seafood and traditional Cajun and Creole flavors. From June through September, take advantage of special deals at more than 100 local restaurants during EatLafayette. If you can believe it, there’s still more to eat up next in Houma.

167 km
2 hours by car
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Offshore fishing yields a great catch in Houma, Louisiana
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Houma: Savory Seafood in Louisiana’s Bayou Country

Highway 56 to Houma is dotted with scenic views of bayous and shrimp boats that bring ultra-fresh seafood to local restaurants. With the ecologically rich bayous and the Gulf of Mexico at its doorstep, the town of Houma (pronounced Home-uh) is a can’t-be-beat spot to catch fish and sample some of Louisiana’s best seafood. Start at the source – David Chauvin’s Seafood Company sells its just-caught shrimp right from the docks daily. If you call ahead, you can arrange for a guided tour on one of their boats. Ready for a taste test? After a day of fishing (and catching!) with Pelagic Charters, head over to Cristiano Ristorante for fine Italian dining and fresh local seafood. Bring your catch to Chef Lindsey Mason, and prepare for one of the best meals of your life. Round out your visit with an unforgettable swamp tour, then spend some time on scenic Highway 56 lined with bayou waters and shrimp boats, before driving back north to New Orleans for your return flight home.