25 Louisiana-Inspired Ideas for Food Lovers

Louisiana’s landscape and history create a culinary tradition unlike any place else — and that makes it the perfect vacation getaway for anyone who loves to eat!

Enjoy mango freezes at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Sample the iconic Mango Freeze at Jazz Fest. This blazing orange sorbet was developed in the 1990s by Tracy Westin, who worked at luxury dining hall Bayona.  

Cooking classes, festivals and culinary road trips all around Louisiana.

Satisfy your appetite for culinary travel at Louisiana’s food festivals, cooking schools and culinary tours. Here are just a few of our attractions and events you’ll surely savor: 

1.  New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Yes, it is a music festival, but for two spring weekends Jazz Fest is also known for bringing together some of Louisiana’s best eats — mango freezes, cochon de lait po’boys, seafood mirliton casserole, boudin balls and more. 

2.  Avery Island: This is the home of Louisiana’s iconic hot sauce: TABASCO™. See how it’s made during a factory tour, pick up a few souvenirs at the TABASCO™ Country Store and tour the island’s Jungle Gardens, too. 

3.  Louisiana Culinary Trails: These trails segment the state into eight enticing culinary regions, each with their tempting flavors.

4.  Cajun Food Tours: Lafayette locals knew they lived in a culinary hotbed, but recent press (Southern Living named Lafayette the “South’s Tastiest Town” in 2012) has introduced the area to the rest of the world. Climb aboard the Cajun Food Tours bus and visit a variety of locally owned eateries that helped earn them the title. 

5.  CORK Wine Festival: Oenophiles raise a glass to honor Shreveport’s spring CORK Wine Festival. The event includes a wine tasting event and live music. Sample dishes from local restaurants are also featured. 

6.  Louisiana Farmers Markets: Farmers markets, such as Red Stick Farmers Market and Crescent City Farmers Market, are great places to learn about and sample local specialties. Many offer cooking demos, live music and more. 

7.  New Orleans Wine & Food Experience: A multi-day experience, NOWFE features wine dinners, culinary seminars, grand tastings and the popular Royal Street Stroll, a wine tasting complete with live music and food.

8.  Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail: Drive this southwest Louisiana Trail around Lake Charles and find local boudin masters. Locals eat this delicious Cajun sausage for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!

9. Buck & Johnny’s: You won’t find a better place to party at breakfast! Buck & Johnny’s in Breaux Bridge hosts a Saturday morning zydeco brunch. Fuel up on beignets, a Zydeco omelet or a Cajun boudin breakfast and then hit the dance floor.

10.  Libations Tours: Craft breweries, distilleries and wineries are popping up across Louisiana, and many offer tours and tastings. Abita is the best known, but also check out Tin Roof Brewing CompanyBayou Teche Brewing and many more around the state. Get Louisiana crafted rum from Louisiana Spirits and head to one of Louisiana's beautiful wineries such as Landry Vineyards

11.  Southern Food and Beverage Museum: This incredible New Orleans museum is a food history hotbed! Browse the exhibits that celebrate our Southern food culture. Don't miss the rotating events that will make your mouth water!

12. Pick Your Own Farms: Head to some of Louisiana's gorgeous farm country to pick berries fresh off the vine. These farms most often have strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to pick on your own. Growing seasons for these berries vary throughout the state, but April is typically prime time for strawberries, with blueberries and blackberries following from May through mid-July. (April is also the time for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival!)

13.  Fishing Charters: What a great way to bring home some of Louisiana’s best seafood! Catch a mess of redfish or speckled trout to take home with you. Some guide services will even cook your day’s catch on-site for you to enjoy. 

14.  Paddle up to the plate in the Northshore: Culinary and outdoor adventures meet in perfect harmony in the Northshore's cities of Covington, Slidell and more. Take a bike ride ending with sipping cold Louisiana micro-brews or paddle your kayak up to the dock at water front restaurants, you'll get to spend a day in nature culminated in a vibrant culinary scene to satisfy any cravings.

15.  Chef-guided Culinary Tours: Lafayette's chef Patrick Mould leads you on a multi-day culinary vacation that includes local restaurants, tours and cooking classes. Learn about even more culinary tour options in Lafayette.

16.  Louisiana Culinary Institute, Baton Rouge: Take a leisure class from this accredited school and learn to cook your favorite Louisiana recipes.  

17.  New Orleans School of Cooking: Demonstrations and hands-on classes teach you about the folklore and secrets in cooking gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp Creole, pralines and bread pudding.  

18.  Mardi Gras in Eunice: Celebrate Mardi Gras in this small Prairie Cajun town, and experience multiple culinary traditions, from an old-time boucherie (hog butchering) to a cochon de lait (pig roast). On Mardi Gras day, a Courir De Mardi Gras features a traditional ride through the country on horseback (and sometimes on flatbed trucks) to collect the ingredients for a communal gumbo. 

19.  Confederacy of Cruisers New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour: Small groups pedal with their tour guide to eat and drink at New Orleans’ off-the-beaten-path restaurants.  

20. Crawfish Festivals: Crawfish boils are a staple of spring in Louisiana. If you don’t know a local to join for a backyard boil, don’t worry. There are plenty of festivals that celebrate the crustacean: Mudbug Madness in Shreveport, Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival and Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Fest.

21.  Crawfish Farm Tours: Jeff Davis Parish offers crawfish farm tours for groups. The experience allows visitors to learn about crawfish harvesting and cleaning and may also include a crawfish cooking demonstration. Learn more about the history of crawfish in Louisiana.

22.  Herby K's Shrimp Buster: This Shreveport gem has been around since 1945 and is famous for their Shrimp Buster—a sandwich loaded with fried shrimp covered in secret red sauce sitting atop French bread. 

23.  Sugar Baron’s Feast at Houmas House Plantation: Invite your friends and enjoy a special evening at this plantation home in Darrow. The Sugar Baron’s Feast includes a private tour of the mansion and a seven-course meal by chef Joseph Dicapo. Can’t do the feast? Dine at Latil’s Landing Restaurant on-site.

24.  Jefferson Parish Oyster Trail: Oyster sculptures, painted by local artists, designate the Jefferson Parish restaurants serving up delicious Louisiana oyster creations, such as baked oysters Radosta at Andrea’s Restaurant. 

25.  Gumbo Festivals: Is gumbo the state’s most iconic dish? Maybe. It’s certainly celebrated in a variety of festivals. Visit one and discover that no two bowls are alike.

Bonus!: Louisiana's Food Trucks: Don't miss these mobile culinary masterpieces, which serve up everything from boudin to burgers. 

Want more Louisiana in your pantry? Check out these local products

Learn more about culinary experiences and restaurants that you have to experience along Louisiana's Culinary Trails.