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  • Oysters on the half shell in New Orleans, Louisiana
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    Savory Seafood and Sweet Treats in New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Waterfront views in Gulfport, Mississippi
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    Go Gourmet on the Gulf Coast in Gulfport, Mississippi

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In Biloxi, Mississippi, savory serving of Southern seafood gumbo
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Savory Southern Cuisine

  • Route distance:
    778 km
  • Suggested Time:
    4 days

A menu of sumptuous, savory and delectable delights

Prepare for your taste buds to be wowed – and to pack on a few pounds – as you embark upon a culinary adventure through some of the South’s most famous foodie destinations. Whether it’s your first po’boy, sticky jambalaya or freshly caught Gulf shrimp, these dining experiences can’t be missed.

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Oysters on the half shell in New Orleans, Louisiana
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Savory Seafood and Sweet Treats in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans Cajun and Creole cuisine is as famous—and as festive—as its Mardi Gras, and there’s no shortage of places serving it up. After landing at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, introduce yourself to the land of gumbo and grits at one of the classic establishments like Commander’s Palace, a local favorite where the weekend Jazz Brunch is legendary. Breakfast is a high art in this city, a tradition that goes back 100 years to morning menus that were more robust and full of variety: You might be eating jambalaya for breakfast one day and a sweet beignet the next. To experience this incredible range, head to Elizabeth’s, where the Banana’s Foster Stuffed French Toast is a heavenly way to start your day, but you can opt for fried chicken livers and eggs, too. One place to explore the city’s delicious obsession with beignets is La Petite Grocery, where you can get them stuffed with crab. Dining later in the day plunges you into the heart of Cajun and Creole cooking: rich, dense flavors; roux and red beans and rice; grits and grillades. Try award-winning Cochon, where the Cajun-Southern approach is applied mostly to pork, for a sense of how much depth can be brought to food here. As for oysters, Peche Seafood Grill’s raw bar is an excellent place to start. For some of the best Cajun fried chicken around, stop in to Coop’s Place. And before you roll out to Gulfport, sample one of the region’s most beloved desserts, bread pudding; get the Krispy Kreme version at Boucherie.

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126 km
1.5 hours by car
02
Waterfront views in Gulfport, Mississippi
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Go Gourmet on the Gulf Coast in Gulfport, Mississippi

Just an hour away from New Orleans, Gulfport’s take on classic Gulf Coast cooking is easy to love. The friendly beach town, with its Old Florida waterfront district, cute cottages and scores of independent shops and restaurants, is all about its position along the Gulf. There’s a strong Southern influence in the food here, but this is also coastal cuisine. Try fresh-caught shrimp, catfish and oysters, best eaten dockside, at sunset. Southern favorites like fried dill pickles and green tomatoes pop up frequently in starter and small plate menus at places like the Blow Fly Inn. If you ask locals where to go for a Gulfport-style po’boy sandwich, they’ll likely point you to Lil’ Ray’s, where the motto is “South in Ya Mouth.” Breakfast lovers can drive 10 minutes to Long Beach to sample the white chocolate raspberry pancakes at the Harbor View Café. Eat them while overlooking Long Beach Harbor, mimosa in hand. Grab coffee from Southern Grounds Coffeehouse to fuel your drive to Biloxi.

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