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Four Quick and Classic Bites of New Orleans

An overstuffed Shrimp Po'Boy (CC Flickr photo credit: Ashley Webb)With Mardi Gras just around the corner, you might already have your spot saved down in New Orleans or you may still be toying with the idea of heading down to the city.


While somem might be hesitant to book flights to New Orleans during the festivities, the city’s food should convince you otherwise.


With so much to see and do however, travelers generally look out for quick bites of the Big Easy’s cuisine.


If you are short on time but want to experience some of this city’s staples, don’t miss sampling these classic bites in New Orleans.


Po’Boys: New Orleans’ most famous sandwich is easily the po’boy. Served on classic French bread, the sandwiches come with a variety of fillings from fried seafood to French fries. The tradition began with two brothers, Clovis and Benjamin Martin. The two brothers created an inexpensive sandwich for striking streetcar drivers. Each time a driver would come to order, the kitchen would shout, “Here comes another poor boy”, hence giving the New Orleans’ staple its name. The original is not so far off from today’s varieties. The brothers originally came up with a French bread sandwich with gravy and spare roast beef bits.

Beignets: Covered usually in a mountain of white, New Orleans’ beignets are world famous. The big, puffy deep fried doughnut-pastry creations are a dessert staple in this city. Café Du Monde boasts of being one of the original beignet servers, established in the New Orleans French Market in 1862. Commonly served in orders of three, you might want to dress for eating those beignets. Leave your black t-shirts at home for these sweet treats are liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar.


Muffuletta: If you have consumed a few too many po’boys, try New Orleans’ second sandwich, the muffuletta. The muffuletta might sound simple, but it’s taste and size is anything but basic. Composed of Italian deli meats, cheeses, oil and vinegar and an olive spread, the sandwich is generally served on a round loaf of Italian bread. Many places around New Orleans claim this creation as their own. Central Grocery serves up one of the most popular in town.


Snoballs: While the chances of seeing a snowball in New Orleans are slim to none anytime of the year, the city does start to get into the mood for spring ironically with a form of snowball. Snowballs in the Big Easy are more refined snow cones to the rest of the world. The finely shaved ice comes with an assortment of flavors to choose from, flavors that can be downright exotic or more vanilla. You can order your snoball with condensed or evaporated milk or even soft serve ice cream in some cases. While most of New Orleans’ snoball producers don’t start the season until March, the wait is worth it. One of the original snoball makers is Hansen’s Sno-Bliz.


What’s your favorite classic, quick bite in New Orleans?


CC Flickr photo credit: Ashley Webb


About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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