It is no secret that Louisiana is known for great food. With ample supplies of the freshest seafood at your fingertips paired with the classic Creole and Cajun flavors of the bayou, some pretty amazing dishes have been created. If you are planning a trip to the Bayou State and want to taste the best seafood in the state, try to find every one of these delicious delicacies.
Gulf Shrimp are a staple of many Cajun and Creole dishes. After you’ve tasted fresh from the water shrimp in a spicy, tomato-based sauce, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought frozen shrimp again. Keep an eye out for shrimp jambalaya or gumbo with shrimp and andouille sausage to dive into a seafood heaven. In Louisiana, many dishes will come with the shrimp in their whole form; tails, legs, heads, and all. But don’t let that scare you off! You’ll find a taste and texture unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
As the Official Crustacean of Louisiana, the crawfish should be at the top of the list for any foodie traveling to Louisiana. Think of the buttery flavor and texture of a lobster but packed into a little bite-sized slice of heaven and you’ve got yourself a crawfish. If you want to taste what all the hype is about, then plan a visit to Louisiana between February and May. Crawfish are not a year-round resource and are best during the springtime. You’ll find Crawfish Festivals across every Gulf Coast town and parish across the state plus every restaurant will be serving up their own secret recipe of mouthwatering crawfish etouffee.
Just about every stream, pond, lake, and river has ample catfish making it a favorite among Louisiana locals. You’ll find it on the menu of Shreveport’s finest establishments to seafood shacks planted at the end of dirt roads and every restaurant in between. Grab a basket of fried catfish and let the crispy salty batter balance the sweet tender meat inside.
People flock from all over the states (and the world) to try the succulent Blue Crab in Louisiana. Look for crab that has come out of Lake Pontchartrain or the Terrebonne basin for some of the juiciest plump crabs in the region. While fishermen harvest crab year-round, crab season officially runs June-August. While in the state, keep an eye out for crabcake appetizers, seafood boils with whole crabs, or a soul-warming crab and shrimp gumbo.
Oysters can be served up deep-fried, grilled, baked, stacked in a sandwich, eaten raw, or done up in the uniquely New Orleans Bienville style. You either love them or you haven’t had the opportunity to try the juicy flavorful oysters from Louisiana’s Gulf Coast! The oyster harvest season for public oyster areas generally runs from the first Wednesday following Labor Day in September through April 30 of the following year. If you can find them, seek out oysters from Caminada Bay just north of Grand Isle that are known for their incredibly large size and earthy flavors.
Is alligator technically seafood? In Louisiana it sure is! When in the south, a gator meal is a must. From gator gumbo to alligator sushi and classic beer-battered and fried filets, you can eat alligator any way you want! Alligator has a texture pretty similar to chicken and but has a slightly gamier flavor.
If you are planning a trip to Louisiana make sure to find a seafood boil and enjoy the tradition that has brought Louisiana communities together for centuries. You’ll find a feast of the freshest crab, oysters, shrimp, and catfish all cooked together with a buffet of delicious sides. Food this good was meant to be enjoyed in groups.
Ready to dive into the best Seafood in Louisiana? The Louisiana Bed & Breakfast Association boasts several one-of-a-kind inns, bed & breakfasts, and historic homes located in all corners of the state.