The Crescent City is known for its Creole cuisine, but we also excel at classic American “comfort” foods. In honor of Independence Day, here is a round-up of some of our country’s favorite dishes.
Though there’s speculation about who invented fried chicken – some say Scottish settlers started frying the yard bird while others credit enslaved Africans – at least we know the following statements to be true: fried chicken originated in the South, and it is delicious. While most New Orleanians will say Popeyes is dear to their hearts (yes, this fast-food chain tastes better in Louisiana), there are also a few other local places we love. In the Quarter on Decatur, you’ll find the highly sought after Cajun fried chicken at Coop’s Place, which comes with a rabbit and sausage jambalaya and coleslaw. Over on Oak Street the famous Jacques-Imo’s continues to impress with Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken, which has been on the menu since they opened in 1996. The only problem is Jacques-Imo’s is only open for dinner, so what if you want their fried chicken for lunch? Fear not! Their sister restaurant, Crabby Jack’s on Jefferson Highway serves lunch until 3pm and a whole chicken with 2 sides, like jalapeno mac and cheese and jambalaya, is only $18.00.
We’ve all heard the saying, “As American as apple pie,” so in celebration of America’s 245th birthday, why not get your hands on some? Gracious Bakery’s Dutch Apple Crumble Pie fits the bill. If apple is not your thing, they offer other options including lemon ice box, chocolate cream, pecan, and key lime. Make sure to place orders 48 hours in advance! And for anyone who doesn’t want to commit to an entire pie, Bratz, Y’all! in the Bywater on Piety Street has individual-sized apple strudels with nuts, raisins, and whipped cream and is served with vanilla ice cream.
Temperatures continue to rise this summer, which turns up our cravings for things that are cold and sweet. Sno-balls are iconic here in New Orleans --don’t call them snow cones or people will look at you funny. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz on Tchoupitoulas has been dominating the sno biz since 1939. Known for their homemade syrups, like satsuma and cardamom, and their method of layering ice, then syrup, then ice, then more syrup, their sno-balls are some of the best in the city. Be prepared to wait for this icy treat, as it’s construction takes time and there’s usually a long line. Piccola Gelateria on Freret can also satisfy any craving for an icy treat. This gelato shop has been serving a range of flavors (including dairy-free sorbettos) to loyal customers of all ages since 2016. Some personal favorites are the dairy-free chocolate (you’d never believe how rich and decadent it is!), pistachio, and goat cheese with fig. Many of their flavors are seasonal, so there’s always a new flavor to try! And lastly, if booze is what you’re after, Bourree on Carrollton has seasonal daiquiris made with fresh fruit that never disappoint!
Finally, it’s impossible to talk about American fare without mentioning a cheeseburger and fries. We’ve got a lot of great burger options in this city, ranging from diner-style to white tablecloth, but here’s two worth trying, if you haven’t already: Bub’s, which started in 2020 as a pop-up at local breweries, has just recently opened their first brick and mortar in Mid-City. This is your classic greasy, diner-style burger with American cheese, griddled onions, bread and butter pickles, and a signature sauce. Lettuce and tomato are optional toppings. They also serve the popular plant-based Impossible Burger. If you want something fancier, Peacock Room’s signature burger with bacon-boursin cheese, crispy shallots, and tomato jam will hit the mark.
With so many delicious, quintessentially American treats to enjoy this July in New Orleans, the only downside will be deciding which ones to try!