March kicks off a very special time in New Orleans–crawfish season! Toss them in gumbo, serve over rice étouffée style, pop them in a po boy, bake into a pie, drizzle over a hotdog, cream them up a la Monica, or go classic with a good old fashioned crawfish boil. These delicious crustaceans are something New Orleans locals look forward to every year (and for good reason!). When in season, you can pretty much find crawfish anywhere, but the boil is the real experience. Just make sure you learn how to eat them correctly before you get yourself elbow deep in a 10 lb pot–while you don’t have to suck the heads, you won’t really get the experience if you don’t try it!
Oysters are available year-round in New Orleans, but often largest during the winter months. From raw to charbroiled and served up “buffalo style,” we enjoyed our fare share. If you too find yourself feeling shellfish in the Pelican State, here are some of our recommendations:
- Clesi’s ($$) – Clesi’s does crawfish boils daily in Mid City starting at 5 p.m. Savory and spicy, we ordered up 6lbs of crawfish with some sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob. We also ordered their jambalaya fries (yum!). The picnic tables, great tunes, and BYOB policy will make you feel like you’re doing a backyard boil without the backyard.
- Samuel’s Blind Pelican ($)- Come for the best happy hour in town complete with 25c oysters served daily 4-8 p.m.! They’ve got oysters on the half shell and charbroiled so you might as well order a dozen of each. While the service is slow, the food and deep discounts are worth it if you have some time to kill. If you happen to be in town during Carnival, it’s located right on the St. Charles parade route–perfect for taking a break from the action for a quick, cheap bite and a hurricane.
- Felix’s Restaurant ($$)- Located across the street from Acme Oyster House, likely the most recognized home of oysters in New Orleans. We opted to hit Felix due to their slightly more manageable line and the prospect of buffalo oysters. These guys are perfectly crispy and pack a nice kick!
- Cooter Brown’s ($$) – Not just a great place to catch a Saints game, Cooter Brown’s also serves up some of the best raw oysters in uptown. Drizzle with a little tabasco or suck them down pure. Come in Tuesdays after 3 pm to enjoy for half price!
Check out the whole NOLA Food series below!