What hasn’t been said about New Orleans…it’s a super fun, party-loving historic city rich in literary, musical, and culinary tradition, populated by friendly folks who know how to eat heartily and have a damn good time. It’s where streetcars chug past live oaks dripping with Spanish moss and Mardi Gras beads, where you’re never far from the strains of street music, where university students and po’boys meet voodoo magic and old-timey Cajun folk dances. It’s home to drive-through daiquiri joints and smoky, under-the-radar dive bars that dish out incredible food. It’s the survivor of an unbelievable 2005 catastrophe, a massive engineering failure that’s forever left its scars—and the damage still looms large outside the range of most tourists’ bloodshot eyes.

It’s been a long, slow slog upward from that devastating place, and visitors are still appreciated for doing their part to keep the town humming. But at the end of the day, the neon lights on Bourbon will never dim; the live music on Frenchmen Street won’t ever quit; and the delicious hybridized food of the Crescent City—a cuisine born centuries ago when French dishes mingled with African cooking styles and New World ingredients, then met with French-Acadian (Cajun), Spanish, Anglo, and Italian influence—will always invite giddy gluttony. Much like the city itself, these foods are rich in history, flavor, and lore; they’re bold, proud, even defiant at times…especially where butter is concerned.

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