It should be too obvious that the King Cake festival is all about tasting the best King cakes, but aside from that, what else can you experience at this time? Here are some of the lesser-known food tasting events you can try out while visiting Champions Square.
How about festival foods?
Just as you can find a King cake at nearly any corner of New Orleans when Mardi Gras is in full swing, it’s hard not to find a vendor that isn’t selling a tasty King cake at their vendor tent. The truth is that many of the local bakeries are already selling them at their bakery shop, but they do like to set up vendor tents anywhere they can to pick up extra profit with such a flood of people in the downtown area.
Sooner or later you’ll need to eat something and more than likely you want more than just fried festival foods to keep you going. In this two-part series, we’ll give you an excellent selection of local places where you can eat that have tasting tents all over the city for the various programs happening at Mardi Gras. The best part is that they have original restaurant locations that are equally famous and iconic for locals and curious visitors.
The Best of the Best
New Orleans is known for its award-winning foods, but how about world-famous? Here is where you can find local New Orleans food specialties that will feed your hunger for fine foods and get a quick taste of Mardi Gras history too.
Since 1856, this is one of the French quarters oldest restaurants that features fine dining and a bit of history about how this location became the second oldest restaurant to still exist to this day. Famed for their menu and classic French cuisine with a very distinct New Orleans flavor, you’ll find they’re a must-see spot when you hit the French Quarter for Fat Tuesday. You better make a reservation well in advance since they’ll like to be swamped at the bar.
You’ll find more than that typical Boudin balls and charbroiled oysters since Tujague’s has favorites such as Pan-seared Gulf fish, Duck Confit, and Grilled Filet Mignon. Their prices are also hard to beat but you’ll also want to check out their incredible bar that still serves their signature Grasshopper and iconic Ramos Jin Fizz!
Nearly as old as Tulague’s, the Commander’s Palace was established in 1893 and is a winner of seven James Beard Foundation Awards. If you didn’t know, the James Beard award is the highest culinary award given annually to outstanding chefs who show incredible culinary talents. While they’ve never taken the coveted Michelin Star, all the previous awards they’ve collected sure do add up on their awards page.
What you’ll find on their menu is certainly absolutely delicious Creole cooking at its finest. If you’re not ready to chow down on Milk-fed Veal Tenderloin, Grilled filet of Angus Beef, or Double cut Tasso Brined Pork Chop, there is plenty more off their menu. They even offer recipes that they graciously include if you can’t make a trip to their restaurant in person. But if you do, make a reservation beforehand so you don’t miss out on great fine dining.
If you find yourself strolling down Bourbon Street, you can’t help to notice another significant icon of Mardi Gras when you step into Galatoire’s restaurant located in the French Quarter. For more than 115 years, they’ve celebrated culinary excellence despite being a small French town family that immigrated to New Orleans around the turn of the century.
They also brought the flavors of France to New Orleans in 1905 and have been collecting awards along the way since then. They also brought classical recipes that reflect French cuisine including everything from fish, meat, and poultry. If you’re a fan of shellfish, you don’t want to miss out on their shrimp, crab, and oysters cooked in more ways than you might have expected.
Their menu selection is equally impressive and includes reservation menus, private menus, drink menus, cocktails, desserts, wine, and more! If you want to feel like a king on Three Kings Day, their private menu will certainly blow your mind for selection and items that you won’t find on the base menu.