There’s not one city in America; I would say the world but, there’s no place other than New Orleans that dishes up some of the best food. My city is a big ole flavorful pot of gumbo infused by different cultures such as African American, Native American, Caribbean, French, Spaniard, and Italians. But in my eyes, Everything began with a group of American Indians who welcomed the French shortly after 1700; American Indians contributed corn and local shellfish, while Spaniards brought larger fish and the first European food preservation and preparation methods. In 1767, Spaniards adding their cuisine, which was influenced by the Moors’ incursions to Spain during the Crusades.
Spaniards brought Islenos Africans from the Canary Islands who settled in St Bernard District. Other African slaves arrived from the Caribbean, who further developed okra, kale, rice, sugar, and peanut growing methods on nearby plantations. Some became slave cooks or earned their freedom as independent caterers. This activity led to Gumbo and Jambalaya, among others. The French returned to control the land by 1800 before selling it in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase to the United States. If only briefly, the French reasserted their preference for the aristocratic presentation of excellent food and a taste for desserts. Those delightful pralines sure taste like an African cook’s response to a French sweet tooth.
Many free African cooks lived in the backyards of French Quarter homeowners, while slave cooks and independent caterers tended to many Garden District aristocrats of the 1800s and early 1900s. Italians arrived in the 1890s, bringing their gastronomic culture and imported sausage, fruit & vegetables to the mix. The tasty Muffaletta cold-cut sandwich of lettuce, tomato, sausage, and spices is a welcome result.
As the African American presence grew in the 1900s, their influence played a more significant role in Creole cuisine and the emerging hybrid known today as Creole-Soul Food. And today, I’m showcasing some New Orleans Restaurants owned by African Americans, some from New Orleans and some not. I now wonder if my faves are based on eating from the pot made by a New Orleanian…
Is it New Orleans cuisine if it’s not cooked by a New Orleanian? What if the chef is from New York but is cooking in a restaurant and following New Orleans recipes?
The things that make you go hmmm.
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- 14 Parishes (Jamaican)
- Adrian’s Bakery (Sweets)
- Backatown Coffee Parlour (Coffee, Deli) Best Sweet Potato Pie
- Barrow’s Catfish (Creole-Soul)
- Bayou Soul Food and Spirits
- Beaucoup Eats (Soul, Veteran Owned)
- Bertha’s Place Bar & Grill (Creole-Soul)
- Best Life Pharmacy & Restaurant
- Black Swan Food Experience (Creole/Thai/Caribbean)
- Black Star Books And Caffè
- Blaze Bistro (BBQ)
- Bonnets NOLA (Creole-Soul, Caribbean)
- Café Dauphine (Creole-Soul/Comfort) My Favorite Nola Black-owned Restaurant. I recommend the friend stuffed bell pepper.
Fried Stuffed Bell PepperCrabmeat dressing stuffed shrimp
- Café Porche
- Café Reconcile
- Café Sbisa (French/Creole-Soul)
- Café Rose Nicaud
- Café Abyssinia (African)
- Catty Car Corner
- Cayenne Custom Foods (Vegan Options)
- Cocoa and Cream
- Compere Lapin ( Caribbean & European with New Orleans inspiration )
- Creole Lunch Box
- Da Grill
- Dee’s Coffee
- Deja Vieux Food Park
- Don Villavaso on the bayou (Creole-Soul, Oyster & Cigar Bar)
$10 Lunch Special 11 am – 3 pm: Fried Catfish with White Beans and Rice.
Leah Chase, New Orleans’ matriarch of Creole cuisine, who fed civil rights leaders, musicians, and presidents in a career spanning seven decades, passed away last night. She was 96. Rest In Peace, Leah. ❤️ 📷: Leah Chase making gumbo in the kitchen at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, by Mark J. Sindler / Louisiana State Museum. Shrimp and Grits with a side of Bacon.
- Dunbar’s Creole Cuisine (Creole-Soul, Comfort)
Taste just like ya Grandmother made it. 😋
- Joie de Vie
- Johnny’s Jamaican Grill (Jamaican)
- Juju Bag Cafe (Cajun & Creole-Soul)
- La Vie En Rose
- Laurel Street Bakery
- LeRoux’s Chicken Shack (Creole-Soul/Seafood)
- Liberty’s Kitchen
- Lil Dizzy’s Cafe (Creole-Soul/Comfort Food) Good Food, authentic Nola cooking, pickled meat, butter, love the chicken and gumbo. Served buffet style and cooked to order.
Red beans & rice with pickled meat, fried chicken, spaghetti casserole, and corn from the lunch buffet.
- Loretta’s Authentic Pralines (Creole-Soul, Sweets)
- M & J Soul Food Restaurant (New Orleans Comfort Food)
- Ma Momma’s House
- Meals From The Heart (Vegan)
- Morrow’s NOLA (Creole Soul & Korean ) Bread pudding is only at its finest when it’s made with New Orleans French bread. I’m in trouble living within walking distance from this deliciousness. Morrows may hv one of the best bread puddings. remind me of my Momo recipe, raisins, and pineapple 😋
- Neyow’s (Creole-Soul/New Orleans Comfort)
- Open Hands Café
- Pra_LEES (New Orleans Comfort Food)
- Pepperoni Ray’s (Pizza)
- Real Clever Cuisine
- Rolling Fatties (American)
- Sassafras (Creole-Soul/New Orleans Comfort)
- Sweet Soulfood (Vegan)
- Tangerine Kitchen (Vegan)
- Tasty Treat (Creole-Soul)
- The Munch Factory (Creole-Soul/Comfort)
- Two Sisters In Da East (Creole-Soul)