Nearly everyone knows that if you want the best gumbo you will ever taste in your life, you have to go to New Orleans. After all, it was the folks of southern Louisiana who originated the dish back in the 18th century. Gumbo combines culinary practices of native tribes, African slaves, and French, Spanish, Italian, and German immigrants. All of these cultures living in this area created a unique melting pot, resulting in new cuisine and traditions. Finding a place to order gumbo is never a problem; it is available nearly everywhere. However, there are a few venues that are known for their phenomenal recipes.
- Coop’s Place – Don’t be deterred by the appearance of this place. It looks like nothing more than another dive bar on the strip. If you peak in, you will notice that it is dark, and there will probably be loud music playing. Do yourself a favor and just get a table. You won’t be disappointed. The gumbo is seasoned perfectly and it is cheap. The bartenders here will make you the best spicy Bloody Mary around, which is the perfect cure for a hangover. Don’t try to get in here with children; you have to be 21 or older to enter.
- Gumbo Shop – If a venue is going to use the word “gumbo” in their name then they better make sure they get it right. Without a doubt, this place has mastered the dish. It is located in the heart of the French Quarter and it is pretty much packed all the time. Although they do offer a seafood variety, it is their Chicken Andouille Gumbo that has people lined up outside the door. The Gumbo Shop also offers vegetarian dishes, which is not all that easy to find in New Orleans.
- Mr. B’s Bistro – The prices here are a little high, but the food and service are worth every penny. If you are looking for a place to enjoy brunch on the weekend, this is where you go. They often even have a jazz band playing to start your day right. The gumbo is amazing, but you absolutely must save room for their Whiskey Bread Pudding. Also, although creole food is the main attraction, there is plenty of non-Cajun options on the menu too, in case someone in your party can’t handle the spices. For a main course, the Crawfish Ravioli and Grilled Gulf Swordfish are both recommended.
- Commander’s Palace Restaurant – If you want to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of the French Quarter for a bit, you will find this venue in the Garden District. This is an upscale restaurant, so make reservations, bring your platinum card, and dress appropriately. Although the gumbo here is phenomenal, this restaurant is also known for their turtle soup that is served table-side and finished with aged Spanish sherry. The menu is extravagant, but you can’t go wrong with the Candy Apple Lacquered Quail or the Grilled Wild Texas Antelope.
- K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen – This restaurant is practically considered a landmark. Although the menu is not as extensive as what Chef Paul has offered in the past, it is every bit as satisfying. Your server starts you out with a massive basket filled with at least five different types of piping hot bread, so leave you diet at the door. After you enjoy your gumbo, you will want to order the Blackened Drum. This is a dish K-Paul’s is known for, and it is caught locally. There is a dress code, and reservations are strongly encouraged.
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