25 Louisiana Travel Ideas for Food Lovers
Cooking classes, festivals and culinary roadtrips 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—crawfish bread, 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 tasting event, wine dinner and Riedel glass seminar. 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 multiday 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. Café Des Amis: You won’t find a better place to party at breakfast! Café Des Amis in Breaux Bridge hosts a Saturday morning zydeco brunch. Fuel up on beignets, omelets, or eggs Des Amis, and then hit the dance floor.
10. Brewery Tours: Craft breweries are popping up across Louisiana, and many offer tours and tastings. Abita is the best known, but also check out Tin Roof Brewing Company, Bayou Teche Brewing and a many more around the state. Get the details at LouisianaBrewTrail.com.
11. Southern Food and Beverage Museum: This incredible New Orleans museum is a food history mecca! Browse the exhibits that celebrate our Southern food culture. Don't miss the rotating events that will make your mouth water!
12. Landry Vineyards: Visit the tasting room of this West Monroe winery for delicious Louisiana samples Monday through Saturday (samples are free with a purchase of a bottle!) or call in advance to arrange a vineyard tour.
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.
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 Cajun Country town, and experience multiple culinary traditions, from a 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.
22. Herby K's Shrimp Buster: This Shreveport gem has been around since 1936 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 Jeremy Langlois. 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.