13 Absolute Best Food Tours In New Orleans

The city of New Orleans can best be described as a food lover's paradise. Its rich and cultured past has paved the way for an eclectic and diverse food scene to rival all others in the country. In the Big Easy, everything is iconic, from fresh seafood out of the Gulf Coast to delicious drinks that fuel the festivities and sweet treats that many tourists travel far and wide to sample. The city's unique blend of cultures gives rise to exclusive dishes, drawing visitors from across the globe to savor unforgettable cuisine and create lasting memories.

When visiting a new city, it's often wise to let a tour guide tote you around to the most serene, signature spots on your checklist. When New Orleans is the destination, tourists should never leave before booking a food tour to open their eyes to tastes outside the tourist district. We all know to indulge in cajun gumbo and beignets. However, lesser-known New Orleans classics like hearty red beans and rice and yakamein soup are often overlooked by travelers. A food-focused tour ensures a taste of the renowned favorites of the city, while unveiling hidden gems beyond the staples of The French Quarter, where authentic Cajun and Creole flavors come to life. Using personal experience and research methods, this list sums up the best food tours to make your New Orleans vacation unconventional and, therefore, spectacular.

Doctor Gumbo

Ever been on a boring tour? Doctor Gumbo Tours implore guests to forget their preconceived notions about standard tours, with bored, blasé tour guides reading off lists and going through the motions. Doctor Gumbo boasts "a cure for the common tour" with food-focused walking tours that are designed to be both fun and informative. Meet new friends and explore the ins and outs of the most vibrant city in America. Whether you choose the food history tour or strictly cocktails while you walk along the streets of New Orleans' revered French Quarter, you're in for an experience that will have you swooning over the Big Easy.

Doctor Gumbo's food history tour allows visitors to dine in five iconic New Orleans locations, including some centuries-old establishments that are household names in the city. You'll discover dishes like seafood-rich gumbo, savory boudin balls, and the best muffuletta in Nola. Enjoy your leisurely stroll through the city streets, enjoying jazz performances and exploring various restaurants. There are plenty of opportunities for candy shop stops and hot sauce store tours so that you can pick up some classic New Orleans souvenirs along the way.

Sidewalk Food Tours

Food is the name of the game for Sidewalk Tours. The company specializes in a variety of food-themed tours to accommodate all visitors. Learn about the neighborhoods of The French Quarter and the Lower Garden District while you sample the flavors that put the city on the map as a culinary hotspot. Sidewalk tour guides are friendly and laidback, so instead of feeling like a structured tour with a strict itinerary, this experience is more like a casual stroll through a beautiful city that leaves guests with a full belly and fond memories to last a lifetime.

Choose whether you'd like to explore The French Quarter or the less famous but equally impressive Lower Garden District with Sidewalk tours. For The Quarter tour, choose five locations, including Leah's Pralines — arguably the best place for iconic sweets in New Orleans — and Felix's Oyster Bar, where you can sample freshly shucked oysters fresh from the Mississippi River. Opt for the Garden District tour to explore locations such as the famous sandwich shop Turkey and the Wolf and Juan's Flying Burrito, the world's first Creole taqueria. Sidewalk Tours also offers private and corporate tours.

Bon Moment

Let a bona fide local tote you around the Garden District with Bon Moment tours. Whether you'd like a guided bar crawl or a tour that will satiate your appetite, Bon Moment is an ideal choice for a small group looking for an intimate, in-depth New Orleans culinary experience. This tour focuses heavily on small businesses, meaning you might sacrifice stops at some famous chains. Still, in exchange, you'll be supporting the local economy of the city you've been longing to visit.

Bon Moment's tour guide will educate you on the history of the neighborhoods that you're touring before and after you indulge in some iconic NOLA food and beverages. Take the company's Bywater food and drink tour to do New Orleans like a local. Drink in a dive bar and grab po' boys at the corner deli while you admire street art and listen to live music in this up-and-coming part of town. Bon Moment also offers tours of The Garden District and a nightlife tour on Frenchman Street, where you can party like the locals do.

Guided Underground Donut and Beignet Tour

Those who are unfamiliar with the city may not think of donuts and sweet treats when they think about the culinary scene of New Orleans (usually fishy food and booze are what come to mind). But locals know all too well the addictive nature of New Orleans-style beignets and other soft and sugary NOLA treats. On the Guided Underground donut and beignet tour, you'll get to indulge in a different way than everyone else partying in the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday. Guided Underground's tour takes visitors through the neighborhoods of Magazine Street — an area to explore that tourists don't often add to their itinerary. Yet for New Orleans locals, Magazine is the go-to spot for culinary delights, refreshing drinks, lively parties, and an all-encompassing good time.

On the tour, you'll visit four pastry shops, enjoying the best beignets the city has to offer with a cup of chicory-laced café au lait in hand. You'll try the classics as well as seasonal donuts loaded with local ingredients unique to the city. The tour promises to finish with a fun surprise, so book this distinguished food tour on your next New Orleans excursion to enjoy something off the beaten path.

New Orleans Secrets

So you've tried gumbo, beignets, and rum-rich hurricanes — now what? There's a lot more to the New Orleans foodie scene than just the classics that we can all name off the top of our heads. New Orleans Secrets aims to shed some light on the lesser-known delights that the city has to offer and leave the gumbo to the novices. The company's Magazine Street Foodie Tour includes six stops with seven menu items to enjoy. The experience is anything but a tasting tour and more like a full day of indulgence. You can certainly check this eclectic meal off as one of the best you'll ever have in New Orleans and beyond.

The New Orleans Secrets foodie tour leaves guests in suspense by staying true to its name and keeping the restaurants a surprise until the tour begins. So for an adventurous foodie who loves to throw all caution to the wind and embrace a mouth-watering, savory meal in any and all forms, this tour is a must-experience. Guests will stroll for a half mile down Magazine Street, enjoying the sights, sounds, and — most importantly — flavors of the city.

Destination Kitchen

Considered one of the best in the Crescent City, Destination Kitchen offers tours to suit any group. Whether you're on a cocktail-laden girl's trip or a family-friendly vacation, a culinary tour by Destination Kitchen will please everyone in your group by showcasing the best of the best in New Orleans cuisine. Amble through The French Quarter during Destination Kitchen's walking food tour, perfect for first-time visitors. On this tour, you can sample gumbo and other iconic dishes, as well as "make groceries" (otherwise known as "shop for tasty treats" in New Orleans language). This tour includes a stop at the city's famous French Market, where you can choose any seafood meal you can fathom and grab a cold beverage to ease the sticky Louisiana heat.

For a more intimate and unconventional experience, opt for Destination Kitchen's walking tour and cooking class. At nearly six hours, this tour turns the culinary world of New Orleans into a fun day of gastronomic bliss. Visit the most famous eateries in the city and learn about their impact on New Orleans culture, all while sampling beloved dishes. Then, enjoy an entertaining and informative cooking demonstration at the New Orleans Cooking School, complete with a full lunch.

Taste of Nawlins

Let Taste of Nawlins take you on an educational epicurean excursion through the French Quarter. Don't let the quirky phonetic spelling in this tour's name fool you — the company promises to take you and your guests on a dignified journey through the famed culinary landscape of New Orleans as it was meant to be experienced. You'll learn the history of iconic dishes like jambalaya and gumbo, as well as the story behind the historical buildings that line the streets of The Quarter. On this tour, you'll meet the locals who keep New Orleans's food scene alive and thriving, providing a hearty dose of sweet Southern culture to accompany the savory meals you'll enjoy.

If you're after a tour that offers a little something beyond the classics, take the Taste of Nawlins breakfast tour. On this excursion, you'll start your day with a full New Orleans-style breakfast in a popular restaurant on Decatur Street before you head out for an early morning educational adventure. You'll learn about food, architecture, and the French history that made this Gulf Coast cuisine among the most revered in the country.

The Premier New Orleans Food Tour

Lead by two New Orleans locals with a fiery passion for The Big Easy's eclectic charm, the Premier New Orleans food tour is sure to impress even the pickiest of palettes. Naif and Sandy — two lifelong Louisiana residents — will be your knowledgeable and quirky guides on the culinary circuit. Both Naif and Sandy are former educators and cooking aficionados, making them the perfect guides for those who want to learn about New Orleans food history with delightful Southern friendliness.

The Premier New Orleans French Quarter tasting tour leads guests along the historical streets to taste the best po' boys in New Orleans — stuffed with meat or seafood and dressed to the nines — all while learning the myriad differences between Cajun and Creole cuisine. Tour five different locations in the French Quarter at a leisurely pace while your guide answers any questions you may have about the food or historical sites that you'll visit. The Premier New Orleans Food Tour offers tours for small and large groups, as well as private tours.

Intrepid Urban Adventures

Intrepid Urban Adventures employs a network of tour guides all over the world to host food-centric and other themed excursions in cities spanning every continent. In New Orleans, Intrepid Urban Adventures hosts a small tour that brings out the foodie in every Big Easy visitor. Meet your tour guide at Jackson Square, and then stop at four mouth-watering stops in the French Quarter. On this tour, the more famous eateries are cast aside in favor of New Orleans's hidden gem establishments. Enjoy dishes from restaurants that tourists otherwise would overlook if not for a knowledgeable, local guide to show them how to eat like a resident in The Quarter.

Intrepid Urban Adventures tour guides are full of energy and dedication to their city, and their passion is reflected in their tour. You'll learn historical facts about the French Quarter that many locals aren't even aware of. Even if you've lived in NOLA all your life, this tour makes for a worthwhile adventure for anyone who wants to learn about the famous heart of New Orleans while enjoying some unconventional eats.

Tastebud Food Tours

Whether you're on the hunt for a taste of the best seafood in the city, a strong and refreshing cocktail, or the most iconic flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine, Tastebud Tours has you covered. The company offers seven distinct food tour options, as well as options for private tours and large group tours. Learn to craft three famous New Orleans cocktails and discover the history behind them with Tastebud Tour's cocktail class. Or, tour the famous foods of the French Quarter and enjoy a boozy bourbon brunch followed by a bourbon-focused cocktail class.

We recommend a seafood-centric tour that showcases the best fish dishes in the city. Visit the Court of Two Sisters, famous for its enticing brunch offerings and lively jazz accompaniment. You'll stop at Cornet Restaurant, home of the largest balcony in The Quarter, perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras and treating yourself to some fresh and steamy crawfish étouffée. Next, you'll visit New Orleans Creole Cookery, a NOLA staple offering chargrilled oysters and shrimp remoulade. These restaurants are steeped in history and contribute to the diverse culture that makes New Orleans such an enticing spot for travelers.

Nola Detours

Nola Detours boasts off-the-beaten-path sightseeing — a tempting option for travelers who want to experience a city in all its glory. The company hosts backstage music tours, sight-seeing drives, haunted tours, and, most importantly, culinary excursions. Embark on a cocktail tour as you take in the view of the centuries-old city from the rooftop bar of the esteemed Royal Orleans Hotel — an experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on every newcomer to New Orleans.

Choose Nola Detours' street food tour, where you'll be led to low-key spots that are usually only frequented by locals. Here, you can get the real Nawlins treatment. Experience some of the most authentic cuisine in the city, including a stop where guests can try alligator meat — a Louisiana delicacy. The tour is led by a former New Orleans restaurant owner, so you know you're getting first-hand knowledge and experience on the bayou fare that makes New Orleans a coveted culinary haven. As you scour the streets in anticipation of the next delicious treat, you'll visit the famous St. Louis Cathedral and other historical sites to check off your travel itinerary.

WeVenture Taste of Gumbo

If there's one dish in New Orleans that deserves a tour solely in its honor, it's gumbo. WeVenture offers tours in top urban destinations around the country, including a New Orleans culinary tour with a heavy focus on the rich, savory, and controversial dish native to the distinctive city. No two gumbos are alike, which is why on this tour, visitors experience several variations of the acclaimed dish. Experience fresh seafood and veggies melded together thanks to an expertly prepared roux accompanied by a hearty scoop of rice, making it filling enough to grant it dinner status. You can then decide for yourself if you're team tomato in gumbo or prefer to pass on the tart flavor, and whether you prefer a light or dark roux.

On The Taste of Gumbo Tour, you'll meet your guide in Jackson Square and stroll through the French Quarter sampling various gumbos, each with a distinct style and made with different meats and seafood. Discover each immigrant culture's contributions to the gumbo recipe that we know and love today, and learn about all of the different styles of the dish throughout history. New Orleans's storied past is reflected in this iconic dish, so let WeVenture be your gourmet gumbo guru on this French Quarter quest.

New Orleans School of Cooking

Our list concludes with an unconventional and compelling tour experience. Learn to cook Louisiana's renowned dishes under the tutelage of skilled chefs. Fueled by a passion for the Cresent City and a love for the bounty of the Gulf Coast, the chefs of the New Orleans School of Cooking delight in educating and entertaining tourists. You'll be given a brief history of the city as well as a list of fun facts and tidbits about the food before you witness it come to life before your eyes.

New Orleans School of Cooking offers cooking demonstrations where guests can witness first-hand the skill and expertise required for crafting NOLA's favorite dishes. For a more hands-on experience, guests can opt for a cooking demonstration and class. Here, you'll get to prepare from scratch a New Orleans staple meal with a highly skilled chef by your side to guide you through the fun and informative journey. After the class, sit down and enjoy a family-style meal over chatter about the New Orleans experience. This culinary adventure is bound to leave a lasting impression. Now that you've obtained the skill necessary to cook top-tier Louisiana fare, you can prepare the perfect meals for Mardi Gras back home to impress friends at a NOLA-themed party.