The New Orleans food scene is as much a part of the city’s heritage and culture as are Mardi Gras and Voodoo.

New Orleans cuisine has its own distinct flavor.

With famous classics such as gumbo, jambalaya and pralines, the city is home to some of the most unique dishes in the United States.

When visiting New Orleans it’s important to know what foods to sample.

Most importantly, you want to eat where the locals eat to get the full dining experience.

Give your trip to New Orleans a culinary edge with our top 11 food tours.

1. Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

Enjoy an evening of fun aboard a paddle-wheel steamboat on this dinner cruise tour.

Combine a cruise with a creole-style dinner and a night of live jazz, and save some time and money.

Soak up the unique city views without having to navigate crowded streets.

Your tour will begin at the docks in the French Quarter.

Hop on board your ship, which is one of the last of its kind in the area.

Once you’re out on the Mississippi River, relax inside the cabin or on the outdoor deck.

While floating down the river, listen to a jazz music performance by the Grammy-nominated Dukes of Dixieland.

Upgrade your ticket to include a sumptuous buffet dinner.

The bread pudding is a favorite choice for dessert.

At the end of the night, the cruise will return to the French Quarter.

If you’re still looking for something to do afterwards, immerse yourself in the booming nightlife scene close by.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 2 hour tour.
  • Calliope concert.
  • Entertainment by Dukes of Dixieland.
  • Entry to Steamboat Natchez.
  • Optional dinner.
  • Self-guided tour inside engine room.

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2. New Orleans Food and History Tour

Combine the best assets of New Orleans – food and history – on this tour of the French Quarter.

Visit multiple restaurants that are popular among locals.

The eateries specialize in classics such as gumbo, po’boys and beignets.

These establishments truly live up to their hype.

Your tour will start at the award-winning SoBou restaurant.

The specialties here include dishes inspired by street food such as savory beignets, boudin balls and pork cracklings.

Head over to Pepper Palace Hot Sauce Bar to sample sauces and ribs.

Stop by Leah’s Pralines candy shop for the signature bacon pecan brittle.

Savor delicious sandwiches at a funky NOLA dive.

Polish it off at Tujague’s which is famous for its seafood gumbo.

On your way, you’ll also pick up tidbits of the history and trivia of New Orleans.

Learn about the West African, American Indian and European roots of Louisiana cuisine.

Conclude your tour at Dickie Brennan’s just in time for their happy hour.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Lunch.
  • Food tasting at SoBou, Pepper Palace, Leah’s Pralines and Tujague’s.
  • Gratuities for servers at establishments.

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3. French Quarter Culinary History and Tasting Tour

Savor the very best of New Orleans cuisine on this walking food tour through the French Quarter.

Your tour will begin at Tujague’s Restaurant where you will meet your guide and group.

Wander through the atmospheric French Quarter as you trace the early history of dining in the Big Easy.

Learn what sets the cuisine of New Orleans apart from the other regions of the south.

Your friendly guide will teach you the difference between Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Visit some of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans such as Antoine’s.

Savor samples of turtle soup, seafood gumbo and red beans and rice.

Taste the multicultural influences of French, Spanish and even Italian flavors.

Local favorites include muffuletta sandwich and shrimp remoulade.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the candy shops with a creamy gelato and crisp cannoli.

Laura’s Pralines and Candies offers an array of authentic pralines that are a must-try.

This tour is a great way to experience authentic local flavor with a side of New Orleans history.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Food tastings at Antoine’s and Laura’s Pralines and Candies.
  • Expert guide.

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4. Famous Flavors of the French Quarter Food Tour

Take a delicious bite out of the French Quarter on this walking food tour.

Your tour will begin at the French Quarter where you will meet your guide.

Set off by foot to explore some of the best dishes in the neighborhood.

Your foodie guide will help you dodge the tourist traps to find authentic Cajun and Creole dishes.

Local favorites include pralines, po’boys, French pastries and shrimp and grits.

Near the historic French Market, enjoy creamy cheese grits and shrimp at Café Fleur De Lis.

At Tujague’s you can sample the red beans and rice.

Then sink your teeth into a savory muffaletta sandwich in the setting of a quiet Creole backyard.

Sample popular southern sweets such as handmade chocolate and sticky pralines from Laura’s Pralines and Candies.

At the Croissant D’Or Patisserie, taste the French influence in the freshly baked pastries.

This tour lets you satisfy your appetite while learning bits of local history.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Food sampling at Tujague’s, Café Fleur De Lis, Laura’s Pralines and Candies, abd Croissant D’Or Patisserie.
  • Expert guide.

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5. Nom Nom Culinary Walking Tour in New Orleans

Discover the delicious side of New Orleans on this walking food tour.

A food savvy guide will whisk you around neighborhoods of your choice, into popular restaurants and bars.

Your guide is a trained chef and very knowledgeable about the local food scene.

Enjoy samplings at local-approved eateries with specialties in everything from casual local fare to fine dining.

In between bites, get an insider’s look at the food scene of New Orleans, and see cultural and historical attractions.

In Uptown New Orleans, take a stroll down Magazine Street as you sample local fare and see the neighborhood.

Visit Bywater neighborhood to see its abundant traditional architecture.

At Marigny, you can enjoy great food and music, experiencing life as the locals do.

At the unique and intimate French Quarter you’ll find something for every taste.

Here you can enjoy samplings of Cajun and Creole cuisine.

Taste classics such as crawfish, gumbo and jambalaya. Also sample food from the newest hot spots.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Food tasting in Uptown, Marigny and the French Quarter.
  • Expert guide.
  • Bottled water.
  • Private tour.
  • Snacks.

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6. Lower Garden District Food Tour

Tantalize your taste buds with a food tour of the historic Garden District.

Your tour will begin when you meet your knowledgeable food tour guide in the Lower Garden District.

Your guide will provide a warm introduction to the neighborhood and city, outlining the highlights of the tour.

Then, set off for your culinary adventure.

Drop in at 5 eateries located near the lively Magazine Street neighborhood.

Here you can sample a mix of southern and international dishes that showcase the diverse flavors of New Orleans.

There’s Koran BBQ and fresh Mexican tacos, artisan donuts and an award-winning deli sandwich.

Get an insider’s scoop on authentic New Orleans cuisine from a local foodie.

In between bites, your guide will provide commentary on the culture, history and food scene of one of the trendiest neighborhoods in New Orleans.

Uncover trendy and hidden restaurants in the Garden District.

Enjoy a combination of sidewalk and sit-down food tastings.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Lunch.
  • Food tasting.
  • Expert guide.

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7. Eat Like a Local: Food & Drink Tour Led by New Orleans Native

Savor New Orleans diverse flavors just like the locals do on this food tour.

Escape the tourist crowds of the French Quarter and head out to either the Bywater or Garden District neighborhood.

The tour is flexible providing a choice of itineraries that appeal to your palate.

Enjoy food and drinks at 3 local spots that you won’t typically find in a guidebook.

For your Garden District tour, meet up with your guide at Lafayette Cemetery.

Here you can go on a tour of the oldest of New Orleans municipal cemeteries.

After that, continue on to the food excursion at 3 eateries.

Enjoy tastings of red beans, crawfish, gator or creole sausages and po-boys.

Polish it off with a Creole dessert.

For your Bywater tour, you will explore the arts, food and bar scene.

You will enjoy tastings at a microbrewery, wine garden and 4 popular local bars.

You’ll also sample a local specialty – the corner store po-boy, and explore art murals and historical sites.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 3 hour tour.
  • Food tasting.
  • Lunch.
  • Beverages.
  • Expert guide.

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8. New Orleans Cooking Class

Enjoy the complete Louisiana dining experience with this educative and fun cooking class.

Head over to the New Orleans School of Cooking to learn among other food enthusiasts.

A lively local chef will take you through the course.

Take a seat among other foodies and prepare yourself to learn and most importantly – to eat.

Learn the basics of preparing classic Creole classics such as pralines, gumbo and jambalaya.

Sink your teeth into tasty samples.

Wash down your tastings with sweet ice tea or local beer.

Enjoy interesting trivia, local anecdotes and storytelling.

Your expert local chef will narrate the history of Louisiana’s soulful cuisine.

Get an insider’s scoop on the various unique spices that give New Orleans fare its distinct flavor.

Learn the melting pot of cultural influences that distinguish Creole and Cajun dishes.

Leave with recipes to take home and perfect at your leisure.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 2 hour class.
  • Cooking demonstration class.
  • Food tastings.
  • Beverages.
  • Recipes.
  • Entry to New Orleans School of Cooking.

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9. New Orleans Cooking Class & Cocktail Walking Tour

Get the complete Louisiana food and drink experience with this combined cooking class and cocktail tour.

Your afternoon excursion will begin in the French Quarter at the New Orleans School of Cooking.

The cooking class will involve a live chef demo and tasting.

Take a seat among other food enthusiasts and get ready to learn and eat.

A professional chef will take you through the history of Louisiana’s soulful cuisine.

Learn the basics of preparing classic Creole dishes such as pralines, gumbo and jambalaya.

After that, a cocktail savvy guide will lead you through the timeless French Quarter to visit historic bars.

Take a sip of the handcrafted mixes as you learn the origins of the most popular drinks in New Orleans.

Sample iconic cocktails including the Sazerac which was invented in 1850.

Between tastings, admire the Vieux Carre, the oldest neighborhood in the city and the remaining cultural hub.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 4 hour tour.
  • New Orleans cooking demonstration class.
  • Guided cocktail walking tour.
  • Food tastings.
  • Beverages.
  • Recipes.
  • Entry to New Orleans School of Cooking.

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10. Dinner at Tujague’s Restaurant in New Orleans

Take your gastronomic tour of New Orleans to the next level with dinner at Tujague’s Restaurant.

Established in 1856, Tujague’s is the second oldest, continually running restaurant in New Orleans.

For over 160 years, this French Quarter institution has been serving traditional New Orleans fare to locals and visitors alike.

Local lore has it that brunch originated at the restaurant, as did the Grasshopper cocktail.

From the interiors, you can absorb the abundant homages to the long and colorful history of the restaurant.

There’s the classic 19th century architecture and memorabilia on the walls.

The menu features classics made from locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques.

The result is a melding of French traditions with New Orleans flare.

Enjoy servings of shrimp remoulade, gumbo, brisket and bread pudding.

If you’re after a quintessential New Orleans experience filled with local fare and history, look no further.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • Reservations.
  • Private dining.
  • Wheelchair access.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Entry to Tujague’s Restaurant.

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11. Mister Gregory’s Famous Shrimp Boil and a Show

Enjoy a classic New Orleans dining experience with this special access pass to Mister Gregory’s Shrimp Boil.

Kick start your tastings at this French Quarter excursion with a delicious muffaletta.

Continue on to appetizers of alligator tail and local blue crab.

In between tastings, you can admire panoramic views of Armstrong Park from the balcony.

Watch as the expert chefs prepare the boil.

Finally, dig into this authentic NOLA dish.

Be sure to save some room for dessert. In the meantime, local performers will provide live entertainment.

What’s included on this food tour?

  • 1.5 hour tour.
  • Food tastings.
  • Local entertainment.
  • Entry to Mister Gregory’s French Quarter Shrimp Boil.

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!