Know Your NOLA: Local jambalayas ranked

Jambalaya, a rice and meat dish with a cajun spin, is a staple of New Orleans cuisine. Market Cafe strives to differentiate itself from other jambalaya options.

Matthew Johnson

Jambalaya, a rice and meat dish with a cajun spin, is a staple of New Orleans cuisine. Market Cafe strives to differentiate itself from other jambalaya options.

Louisiana’s vibrant food culture is one of many great qualities the state has to offer. The influences from French, Spanish and African cultures create a unique breeding ground for Louisiana traditions. One of those traditions is jambalaya, a rice dish incredibly popular amongst Louisianians.

Living in the heart of jambalaya-land can leave customers overwhelmed with options, so The Hullabaloo has taken on the challenge of locating and reviewing some jambalaya restaurants in the New Orleans area.

Mulate’s The Original Cajun Restaurant

Mulate’s is a well known cajun restaurant in New Orleans. It is conveniently located on the corner of Julia Street and Conventional City Boulevard, at the heart of the Central Business District. This restaurant is a great stop for locals and tourists, families and individuals. If you are looking for your typically well-made Cajun style jambalaya, this is the place for you. Mulate’s is famously known for its authentic Cajun and Creole Louisiana cuisine. Its jambalaya entrée is available in small or large, and it is reasonably priced considering the amount served. Mulate’s jambalaya recipe includes the usual chicken and sausage, but it does contain mushrooms, however, which is very unusual in any Louisiana cuisine.

Market Cafe

Market Cafe is a quaint little cafe located on the corner of North Peters Street and Decatur Street, nestled behind the Joan of Arc monument. Market Cafe serves a traditional Cajun-style jambalaya with a little bit of a twist. Unlike most establishments, this restaurant does not mix the peppers, onions and chicken with the rice as it is being cooked. Rather, it places them on top of a scoop of jambalaya. This is highly unusual for jambalaya dishes, but follows the trend of New Orleans restaurants attempting to distinguish themselves from each other. The flavor of the dish was quite nice, and it was definitely an authentic jambalaya.

Coop’s Place

Coop’s Place is a Cajun restaurant and bar that only allows people 21+ to enter, though customers of any age are allowed to order food for takeout. Located on the block of Decatur Street between Ursulines Avenue and Governor Nicholls Street, this restaurant features a vibrant music scene along with some incredible cuisine. If you are looking for a unique dining experience, this is the restaurant for you. Their Creole-style rabbit and sausage jambalaya is perhaps one of the most exotic you’ll find in New Orleans and maybe even one of the best jambalayas The Hullabaloo has ever tasted. Despite how strange it might sound, it is surprisingly very good. It’s actually not uncommon for rabbit meat to be mixed into dishes in Louisiana, though it is important to mention that the rabbit added in the jambalaya does give it a different sort of taste, one that many people might need some time to warm up to.

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