The cuisine of New Orleans is entirely its own, inspired by the city’s Creole, French and Cajun roots. From jambalaya and po’boy sandwiches, to gumbo, muffulettas, red beans and rice, and, of course, beignets, there’s no shortage of flavor when it comes to food from the Big Easy.
Luckily for Angelenos and those visiting L.A., you don’t have to travel to the Crescent City to get a taste of NOLA. There’s a host of restaurants in Los Angeles ready to satisfy your Cajun cravings, and we've gathered 16 places that are sure to whet your appetite. So, grab some good company, eat and, as they say in New Orleans, pass a good time.
Situated in the heart of Inglewood, Bayou Grille offers an authentic New Orleans taste in a casual, laid-back indoor and outdoor dining atmosphere. Step into the Bayou Grille and you’ll inhale the aroma of a rich, spicy crawfish étouffée, a Creole classic. This special dish can also be made with chicken or shrimp, but it’s the crawfish that really delivers that flavorful taste of Louisiana. Other Creole specialties on the menu include jambalaya, Creole red beans and rice, filé gumbo (prepared with chicken, shrimp, hot Louisiana turkey sausage and crab with a rich blend of Cajun and Creole herbs and spices), and spicy shrimp Creole. You can also sample a selection of po’boys that taste like they were taken straight from an oven on Bourbon Street. The restaurant is also now serving up classic sweet tea and a must-have with any NOLA dish, beignets. Each meal is also served with a lagniappe, a Louisiana French creole term used to describe a small gift given with a purchase to a customer.
Bayou Grille is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
The Boiling Crab
At The Boiling Crab, you can “experience the fun and taste of a backyard crab fest in your own neighborhood.” Since opening its first location in 2004 in Garden Grove, The Boiling Crab has grown to include nearly 20 locations across the U.S., including several in the L.A. area. The casual, family friendly restaurant chain specializes in Louisiana-style Cajun seafood. The menu includes fresh crawfish, shrimp, crab and other shellfish, plus other specialties such as fried catfish, gumbo and Cajun fries. Everything you need for a classic Louisiana-style seafood meal is at The Boiling Crab, including bibs for when the eating gets a little too messy.
Check The Boiling Crab website for restaurant hours and locations.
Delicious at the Dunbar
Serving up "Southern cuisine with an Angeleno-Mexican twist," Delicious at the Dunbar opened at the end of 2018 on the ground floor of the historic Dunbar Hotel (originally named Hotel Somerville), which was once the jazz and cultural hub of LA's African American community. Helmed by father-daughter duo Vidal and Adriana Cortes (who also own popular South L.A. soul food restaurant Delicious Southern Cuisine), Delicious at the Dunbar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves up classics like jambalaya and gumbo, along with mole poblano, Southern breakfasts and a handful of culturally fused options, such as beef brisket enchiladas. The dessert menu is just as delicious, with options ranging from strawberry cheesecake and red velvet cake to lemon cake, peach cobbler, banana pudding and sweet potato pie. Get there early for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Paying tribute to its jazz-filled history, Delicious at the Dunbar features live music on weekends.
Delicious at the Dunbar is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.
The Gumbo Pot at The Original Farmer’s Market
A favorite for locals and out-of-towners alike, The Gumbo Pot opened at The Original Farmers Market in 1986. The Gumbo Pot offers "simply perfect Cajun cooking" in a lively outdoor setting - you can get all the New Orleans classics and Southern seafood favorites, including gumbo, traditional jambalaya, old-fashioned red beans and rice, fresh Louisiana oysters, po’boys and fried alligator tail, alligator or Gator Gumbo. The food critics at The Infatuation recommend ordering the Gumbo Ya Ya with a side of Creole mustard potato salad because it’s “secretly the best thing on the menu.” Before you leave, grab some traditional beignets (which come with “lots of powdered sugar”) or chocolate beignets (as if they couldn’t get any better) and a cup of New Orleans-style Chicory coffee.
The Gumbo Pot is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday until 8 p.m.
Harold & Belle's
With a history in L.A. that dates back 50 years, Harold & Belle’s caught the attention of the Food Network’s Guy Fieri and was featured in an episode of his "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." In the episode, Fieri watches as Ryan Legaux—managing partner of Harold & Belle’s and the grandson of the restaurant’s founders—cooks up one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, filé gumbo and shrimp & crawfish étouffée. The étouffée starts with an "old-school roux" made from shrimp stock and a mix of tomato and cream of mushroom soups, a combination that Fieri described as "deep, rich and creamy." Originally opened by a pair of Louisiana transplants—Harold Legaux Sr. and his wife Mary Belle—Harold & Belle’s has been serving up classic Creole dishes since 1969. Aside from Creole classics, Harold & Belle’s also has a bar menu featuring craft cocktails and a happy hour menu that includes fries smothered in the restaurant’s savory étouffée sauce.
Harold & Belle’s is open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Krimsey’s Modern Cajun
If you’re all about the vegan lifestyle, but still craving a good taste of New Orleans, Krimsey’s Modern Cajun in North Hollywood is for you. Founded by Krimsey Ramsey, a native of Baton Rouge, LA, the restaurant describes itself as a “quaint joint with a knack for Southern authenticity, explosive flavor and culinary creativity.” The menu features a unique spin on classic Cajun dishes and delicious Southern-inspired creations. Menu highlights include spicy Cajun jambalaya, a fried green tomato po’boy, French Quarter beignets, Voodoo brownie beignets, a gluten-free Heart of the Bayou étouffée, smoky okra gumbo, and beverages including chicory coffee straight from Café Du Monde, a selection of Louisiana craft soda, and Louisiana’s Abita beer on tap. During King Cake season, it’s one of the spots to get your special order of this delicious classic cake with traditional cinnamon brown sugar filling. Krimsey’s also offers catering and delivery services.
Krimsey’s Modern Cajun is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Les Sisters' Southern Kitchen & BBQ
Located in Chatsworth, Les Sisters' Southern Kitchen & BBQ calls itself the “Valley’s best New Orleans and Southern-style cooking since 1986,” and there’s a good reason why. One of the best-sellers on their menu is the fried chicken sandwich, which you can get original, spicy or habanero, and they’re only $4 each. You can make it a deluxe for an extra $2 and add cheese and bacon. Other mouth-watering dishes on the menu include fresh meats straight from the barbecue pit, a selection of classic po’boy sandwiches, including one with fried snapper and a killer combo (sliced bbq beef and a hot link), plus chicken jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, filé gumbo and shrimp Creole. For dessert, try Dana’s buttermilk pie, Roda’s Bourbon bread puddin’, Clara’s peach cobbler or a whole sweet potato pie.
Les Sisters’ Southern Kitchen & BBQ is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Monday.
The Little Easy
Tucked away in Downtown L.A., The Little Easy is a speakeasy-style bar serving up New Orleans-inspired cocktails and a varied menu of NOLA small bites and comfort food. The cocktail list features the classic Hurricane, Sazerac and Pimm’s Cup, among other special drink recipes. The bar also keeps a healthy dose of craft beer on tap, including brewskies from Abita Brewery. The menu, spearheaded by Chef Brian Garrigues, is highlighted by authentic gumbo, brisket, shrimp and grits, and Mardi Gras mac. Entering the bar, you’ll be greeted by a dark hallway that leads out into an expansive indoor courtyard, where you can often find a live jazz band or even a masquerade ball. During weekend brunch, you can have a taste of the made-from-scratch Grandma’s Biscuits & Gravy.
The Little Easy is open from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the bar is open until 2 a.m.
The Little Jewel of New Orleans
Located in Chinatown, the Little Jewel of New Orleans Grocery and Deli is a Southern market and delicatessen where you can find popular staples as well as harder to find items from New Orleans and Louisiana, and Southern regional products including spices, mixes, sauces and regional beans. Garnering praise from outlets such as LA Weekly, Eater LA, Thrillist and the Los Angeles Times, among many others, the Little Jewel’s menu features all the NOLA classics you could crave, and more, including a Crescent City fried oyster po’boy, muffulettas (a NOLA Sicilian sandwich consisting of Genoa salami, soppressata, hot capicola and mortadella meats, plus a variety of cheeses), fried catfish platter, crawfish mac n’ cheese, a fried oyster salad, Cajun tater tots and so much more. They also have specials on the daily, including red beans & rice on Monday, jambalaya on Friday, and a “wild card chef’s choice” the rest of the week. There's also a deli featuring house-made Cajun and Creole sausages, including Chaurice, Andouille, Boudin Blanc, New Orleans-style Italian sausages, Louisiana hot links, and Tasso.
Orleans & York Deli
As you can probably gather from its name, Orleans & York is the result of restaurateur Sami Othman’s dream of combining a New York-style deli with a New Orleans restaurant. This idea came from his belief that the best hero sandwiches are from NYC and the best po’boys are from New Orleans. In 2013, the first Orleans & York opened and within two years there were three locations in Inglewood, Baldwin Hills and Downtown L.A. There are now five total locations in L.A., and Othman plans to open additional restaurants nationwide. Highlights of the menu include their po’boy sandwiches, which were named the best in L.A. by Los Angeles magazine, a “Gumbo Mumbo” sandwich, classic Philly cheesesteak and other NOLA- and NY-inspired sandwiches. Orleans & York also serves platter meals with fried oysters, fried salmon, fried shrimp, fried catfish and more, and a variety of muffulettas. You can also get hot wings, and sides including dirty rice and red beans and rice.
Hours vary by location. Visit orleansandyorkdeli.com for more information.
Preux & Proper
Downtown L.A.’s vibrant restaurant and bar Preux & Proper brings a little bit of the South to Southern California via owner/operator Joshua Kopel, a Baton Rouge, LA native. Preux & Proper came after Kopel opened Five0Four, a New Orleans-style bar in Hollywood. Preux & Proper opened in the Fashion District in 2014 and Kopel subsequently partnered with Sammy Monsour—a third-generation chef who grew up in his father’s kitchen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In describing the delicious menu that grew from this partnership, Preux & Proper’s website says, “it’s like your grandma’s food went to school, traveled around the world, and came back to you beautifully plated with one hell of a story to tell.” Preux & Proper serves dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to close, and some of the favorites include cast iron cornbread, pork neck gravy poutine, Lowcountry Mussels, a Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich, and your choice of a fried shrimp or fried oyster po’boy (or both in one). Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring specialties such as Pate a Choux (“bananas foster” dulce de leche) beignets, blackened Pacific snapper, Nashville hot rabbit and smoked and fried porterhouse pork chops. Oh, and we can’t go without mentioning there’s fried chicken and waffles and crispy braised Dr. Pepper wings. The restaurant also boasts a menu of craft cocktails that embody Southern culture in the same fashion as their cuisine. We recommend the Voodoo Queen, which is made with copalli rum, falernum, Jamaican jerk and tiki bitters. You can also get a frozen daiquiri on tap, with one seasonal flavor offered on rotation. On Friday and Saturday nights, their upstairs dining room is open so you can get the feeling like you’re sitting in a balcony above Bourbon Street.
Preux & Proper is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Happy hour is served in their first-floor barroom daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Ragin Cajun Cafe
If a funky, family friendly restaurant with a roadhouse vibe is your jam, then Redondo Beach’s Ragin Cajun Cafe is for you. The restaurant serves up authentic Cajun cuisine in the South Bay straight from Lafayette, LA. On the menu are delicious classics like a seafood bowl featuring shrimp and crawfish, a bayou bisque, a grilled Cajun chicken salad, fried chicken, their special gumbalaya, fried alligator, alligator sausage, frog legs, po’boys and so much more. You can also enjoy crab cake benedict and more during their Sunday brunch. The bar also serves up a variety of cocktails and spirits, including special “smoking skull drinks,” and they have a full Moonshine and whiskey bar.
Ragin’ Cajun Café is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour is served Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking
Located in Alhambra, Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking cooks your entrée right in front of you in jacketed steam kettles for a unique dining experience. Dishes served are mostly Cajun Creole style, with some regional flare. Their most popular dishes include the Pan Roast, a tomato cream-based dish with special spices and the Cajun and Louisiana Creole holy trinity (green peppers, onions and celery), and served with your choice of seafood, chicken or Andouille sausage, and topped off with Jasmine rice. Other highlights of the menu include Cajun calamari, chowder fries, fried okra (which they call “Devil’s Popcorn”), bacon wrapped shrimp, oysters, po’boy sandwiches and more. The restaurant considers itself to be the “’Cheers’ of cooking,” where everybody knows your name.
Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour is served Monday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to close.
Sal’s Gumbo Shack
At Sal’s Gumbo Shack in Long Beach, they promise to bring the Bayou to you. The menu offers Louisiana cuisine, including gumbo, gumbalaya, po’boys, jambalaya, and Louisiana BBQ shrimp. There’s also a soul food menu serving up fried chicken and waffles, a catfish dinner, country fried turkey chops, oxtails, shrimp and grits and more. You can also try Boo Fries, which are considered the South’s version of poutine. Basically, the dish consists of fries smothered in deliciousness, like beef and cheese. The restaurant also serves up crab and shrimp boils and a variety of desserts, including peach cobbler, banana pudding and five-flavor pound cake.
Sal’s Gumbo Shack is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Stevie’s Creole Café
Located in the Mid-Wilshire area of L.A., Stevie’s Creole Café is considered the “home of authentic Creole cuisine.” Highlights from the menu include their world-famous gumbo, available in seafood and veggie options; a selection of traditional po’boy sandwiches (which you can also make into a wrap if you’re looking to be slightly healthier); Creole Pasta with shrimp, Andouille sausage, chicken, garlic and veggies, simmered in Creole cream sauce over fettuccine; catfish or shrimp salad; plus, a "House Super Menu" that includes jambalaya, king crab legs, a sausage sampler and more. Don’t leave without trying one of their mouth-watering desserts, including peach cobbler and banana pudding.
Stevie’s Creole Café is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you want a good dose of Cajun seafood, head over to Stinkin Crawfish where you can satisfy your craving for crab, clams, crawfish, lobster tail, shrimp, mussels and more. The restaurant was started by a group of friends who were looking for a place to enjoy seafood, beer and quality company. They opened their first store in West Covina in 2014 and have since grown to nine locations, including Downey, Whittier, Gardena, Paramount and North Hills, with future expansions in the works. Visit during lunch hours from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for specials including catfish, butterfly shrimp, chicken tenders, shrimp poppers and more.
For hours and location information, visit www.stinkincrawfish.com.