Explore New York City

New York City's Delicious Cajun Cuisine

We've rounded up some of the best Cajun spots in New York City, along with some fantastic recipes you can try at home if you're outside NYC.

New York City has a rich culture of restaurants waiting for you to take a bite. Whether you're looking for a taste from across the country or around the world, you're bound to find it somewhere in all five boroughs. Cajun food is a popular choice, as it's the perfect blend of Southern flavors and a taste of the sea.

If you're looking for a jambalaya dish, po'boys or some fresh seafood, stop into these little slices of New Orleans. If you're not in NYC, you're in luck—we've got a recipe from The Gumbo Bros so you can enjoy some authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine at home, wherever you are. Throw in some homemade King Cake, and you have your own DIY Mardi Gras celebration without booking a trip to the Big Easy.

Mardi Gras in NYC- The Best Cajun Cuisine in New York City

Aqua Boil

If there’s one place that loves the sea and all that it offers, it’s Aqua Boil in Hell's Kitchen. From the moment you step inside, you're greeted with a nautical paradise thanks to the life preserver decor and giant squid mural painted on the wall.

Start your meal with classic New Orleans flavors like jambalaya mac and cheese or catfish sliders. For the main course, enjoy a bite of their customizable "Seafood Boil." You have your choice of seafood, whether it be crab legs, clams or shrimp. Add the perfect sauce, heat and side to your dish, and you'll have all the flavors of Southern seafood right at your fingertips. 

Clams From Aqua Boil New York City | WhereTraveler
Clams (Courtesy Aqua Boil)

Lowerline

New Orleans may be in Louisiana, but there’s one restaurant in Brooklyn that brings the city to the Big Apple. Lowerline is an intimate restaurant that provides comfort to all of its customers. One of their specialties is po'boys, and you'll find sandwiches waiting for you with every taste you might be craving.

You can get po'boys with fried seafood, Italian meats when you order the "Muffaletta" or a mix of both with the "Surf & Turf." You won't have to travel to New Orleans when you visit Lowerline since it feels just like the real deal. 

Crawfish Etouffee From Lowerline New York City | WhereTraveler
Crawfish Etouffee (©Teddy Wolf/Courtesy Lowerline)

The Gumbo Bros

Located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, The Gumbo Bros serves up authentic Cajun cuisine (the restaurant's founder, Adam Lathan, has roots in Mobile, Alabama, so you know the food here is the real deal). The menu includes Cajun classics like Po Boys, Louisiana gator and even Adam's family recipe for "Nanny's Seafood Gumbo." If you're not in New York City, it's okay. The Gumbo Brothers gave us access to a fantastic Cajun recipe for you to celebrate Mardi Gras from the comforts of home!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Ingredient List

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Cup Chopped Okra
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 3 Fresh Sage Leaves (minced)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 cup chopped andouille sausage (browned)
  • 1 Quart Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • Steamed White Rice
  • Chopped Green Onions to Garnish

Directions

  • Stir oil and flour together over low heat until the roux becomes the color of dark chocolate (up to 45 minutes).
  • Stir in onions, celery and bell pepper to soften (five minutes) in the roux. Add herbs and spices.
  • Add okra and continue to stir until the okra seeds begin to pop out of the pods and the mixture gets thick (five minutes).
  • Add chicken and sausage, then chicken stock.
  • Salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with steamed white rice and garnish with green onion. Enjoy!
Po Boys From The Gumbo Bros New York City | WhereTraveler
Po Boys (©Emily Dorio/Courtesy The Gumbo Bros)

Claw Daddy’s

Looking for the perfect date night spot in New York City without the hassle of a fancy dinner? Go to Claw Daddy’s on the Lower East Side for a lowkey seafood feast.

You have your choice of po’boys when you step inside, be it shrimp, crawfish or even alligator! You can also get a bowl of gumbo with your choice of seafood favorites or delicious chicken and sausage.

If you’re looking for something different, try their “Pastalaya.” The pasta dish offers a combination of classic alfredo topped with Cajun spices and cream that will melt in your mouth. Pair your dish with one of their signature “Adult Caprisuns,” and you’ll have the perfect Cajun dinner for two. ​​

Menu Assortment From Claw Daddy's New York City | WhereTraveler
Menu Assortment (Courtesy Claw Daddy's)

Catfish

If you genuinely want some Southern flair in your food, stop into Catfish in Brooklyn. You can easily find this rustic restaurant thanks to the catfish swinging outside their door from the neon sign.

Inside, you'll find some classic country dishes offering you a bite of the South. Enjoy the catfish with a side of rice and collard greens, garlic cheese grits or as a hearty po'boy. If you're looking for a more straightforward Cajun taste, try the gumbo. Many of the dishes are gluten-free or vegan too, so there's something for everyone.

Bayou

If you’re looking to go somewhere different for dinner, take a ride over to Staten Island and visit Bayou. This restaurant wants to bring the flair of Mardi Gras and the French Quarter to New York City, and they offer it in every dish. You'll find New Orleans favorites on the menu as well as standard dishes with their own twist. The "Seafood Jambalaya" offers a NOLA standard mixed with all your favorite seafood flavors in one bowl.

You'll also find lobster tails served with their finest cream of brandy sauce, crawfish etouffee mixed with shrimp and chicken covered with the richest toppings and sauce for a hearty meal. Once you add one of their potato sides with it, you'll have the best tastes of New Orleans right at your fingertips.

The Boil

NoHo is a neighborhood full of creativity that you can find wherever you go. This includes its restaurants, and there's one Cajun restaurant that can't be beaten. The Boil is only a couple blocks away from Washington Square Park, so it's the perfect place to get a bite after a day in the sun.

You'll find a variety of seafood dishes waiting for you inside, from small bites to big plates. Start your meal with some crab cooked as a slider, a crab roll or a basket for the table. Enjoy seafood like crawfish, shrimp or crab legs with your choice of Southern sauces.