Did you know that the "poor boy" sandwich was created by
Bennie and Clovis Martin, streetcar conductors turned owners of Martin Brother
Coffee Stand and Restaurant? The poboy history goes that in 1929, over a thousand streetcar drivers went on
strike. The Martin brothers made cheap sandwiches with fried potatoes, gravy,
and small bits of roast on French bread to give away to the unemployed workers
who were the "poor boys." Then the Great Depression hit leaving even more
people destitute. These inexpensive and generously-filled sandwiches helped
feed the hungry people of New Orleans during lean times.
The oyster poboy is one of the most beloved styles of poboy.
These local restaurants make the best of them because they either specialize in
poboys or in fresh seafood.
Where to Get Oyster PoBoys in New Orleans
1. Short Stop Poboys
119 Transcontinental Dr., (504) 885-4572, shortstoppoboysno.com
Oysters fried to perfection await in Metairie. Short Stop Poboys may look like a regular diner on the outside, however the packed crowd at lunchtime shows just what you're in for.
With over 30 different poboys to choose from, everyone will be happy with their Short Stop order. But the highlight of their menu is the Oyster PoBoy, which serves crispy Louisiana oysters in bakery bread with ketchup, hot sauce, and pickles. Short Stop Poboys opens at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday, so you can pick up an outstanding lunch before heading into work.
2. Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar
5240 Annunciation St., (504) 899-9126, domilisespoboys.com
Domilise's may look like a humble, old-school eatery, but this joint stays very busy starting at 11 a.m. every day (closed Sundays). People will happily line up around the corner to order their favorite poboy, even if they can't get a spot to eat it inside. There's a reason why this sandwich shop has drawn crowds since the early 1900s; it's simply the best you can get.
You can get your oysters a few ways. The Oyster PoBoy is a classic. The Half and Half Seafood can include shrimp, catfish, or oyster. There's no shame, however, in being pulled in an entirely different direction once you get there. The Meatball PoBoy is a one-of-a-kind sandwich that can't be replicated.
3. Royal House Oyster Bar
441 Royal St., (504) 528-2601, royalhouserestaurant.com
Royal House clearly loves oysters; it's right in the name. You can get your oysters in so many ways here, and they're all good choices. You can get a dozen raw or chargrilled. You can get the Oyster Rockefeller Bombolone: fried oysters, creamed spinach, bacon, parmesan, and anisette in a puff pastry. And then come the poboys…
The Oyster PoBoy has lightly-seasoned and fried Louisiana oysters, but the Crispy Fried Oyster BLT PoBoy is just too much goodness to pass up. This sandwich has fried Louisiana Gulf oysters, crispy applewood-smoked bacon, tomato, and lettuce on French bread with remoulade sauce.
4. Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave., (504) 482-3047, parkwaypoorboys.com
Parkway Bakery is synonymous with poboys; Parkway Bakery began serving poboys in 1929 to help feed striking union workers in the area. It wasn't the main feature of the iconic restaurant until Jay Nix purchased Parkway in 1995. Now it's one of the most renowned spots for poboys, even garnering international attention.
You should know that Parkway Bakery only serves their delicious Golden Fried Gulf Oyster PoBoy on Wednesday and Thursday. That's because Parkway will only take the freshest Louisiana oysters available. Also on those days, you can mix it up with a Half and Half PoBoy: fried shrimp and oysters.
5. NOLA Poboys
908 Bourbon St., (504) 522-2639, facebook.com/NolaPoboys
NOLA Poboys is a place to get some filling poboys while you're hanging out in the pubs on Bourbon Street or if you are in the service industry and need a bite before or after work. There are cold poboys, hot poboys, and specialty poboys, but they all come dressed with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
In the oyster category, you can get that
traditional Fried Oyster PoBoy you've been dreaming about, or you may want to
try Da Yat. It has fried shrimp or fried oysters smothered in steaming hot gumbo.
The Surf and Turf with roast beef debris also gives you the option of fried
oysters. You can also get a Fried Oyster basket if you want to skip the bread
and go straight for the seafood.
6. Frankie & Johnny's
321 Arabella St., (504) 243-1234, frankieandjohnnys.net
This little old Uptown eatery gets packed full of people on a daily basis; it's really one of the best kept secrets in town because the native New Orleanians want to shield it from too many tourists. If you can get through the wait, you'll be presented with a menu that features lots of hearty Italian food, as well as local favorite like poboys and boiled seafood.
There is a pretty big selection of poboys
here. The Oyster PoBoy is at the top of the poboy menu because it gets ordered
a lot. You can get a half oyster sandwich and a steaming cup of gumbo, which
makes for a perfect lunch. If you can't make up your mind about seafood, get
the Seafood Combo Platter with four types of seafood including oysters.
7. Big EZ Seafood
Multiple Locations, bigezseafood.com
While Big EZ Seafood's two local locations are right outside of New Orleans, the food they serve is well worth the trip. Located in Gretna (1632 Lafayette St.) and Kenner (2121 25th St.), Big EZ is known best for its many different seafood options and is even one of the few places around that serves Viet-Cajun boiled seafood.
Both locations have a really great tasting Oyster PoBoy, which comes highly recommended with the restaurant's Cajun mayo. If you're in the mood for even more oysters, the Kenner location offers both Fresh Half Shell and Char-Broiled Half Shell oysters. You can even order many different specialty cocktails at that location.
8. Liuzza's By The Track
1518 N. Lopez St., (504) 218-7888, liuzzasbtt.com
You'll come across Liuzza's adjacent to The New Orleans Fairgrounds. During the big horse races and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Liuzza's will be full to the rafters of people who make going there a habit. The popularity stems from the strong sense of community and, of course, the great food and drinks.
The BBQ Shrimp PoBoy is the utmost
signature dish there, but the Garlic Oyster PoBoy is nothing to sneeze at. This
sandwich has deep fried oysters served on roasted garlic butter bread. You can
get a traditional Oyster PoBoy as well or half of an Oyster PoBoy served with a
cup of gumbo.
9. Acme Oyster House
Multiple Locations, acmeoyster.com
If you've ever walked past Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, you've noticed that long line outside the door. Acme is famous for oysters, as well as other seafood plates, at all of their locations throughout the southern U.S. Locally, you can visit Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter (724 Iberville St.) or in Metairie (3000 Veterans Blvd.). You can smell the oysters chargrilling from a mile away!
When you reach the poboy section of the menu, you'll several oyster-forward poboys. The Fried Peacemaker PoBoy is fried oysters and shrimp with Tabasco mayo. There's also the traditional Fried Oyster PoBoy and the Half & Half PoBoy that can have oysters.
10. Felix's Restaurant
Multiple Locations, felixs.com
Just across the street from Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, you'll find one of Felix's busy locations (739 Iberville St.). This restaurant is popular with tourists who love to see the oysters getting chargrilled through the window. Locals, however, love the waterfront restaurant in the Lakeview neighborhood (7400 Lakeshore Dr.), which is a perfect spot for a sunset dinner or sun-soaked lunch.
Skip right ahead to the PoBoy & Sandwiches section of the menu. The Felix Special comes with both shrimp and oyster, but you can also get the traditional Oyster PoBoy. The Half PoBoy & Side gives you the option of a seafood poboy, including oyster, and a side of either etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, or red beans.
Top Rated Oyster PoBoys in New Orleans
Oysters have been a staple of the New Orleans diet for
centuries. Oysters are easy to source, plentiful, and full of nutritious vitamins.
The Oyster poboy is a New Orleans tradition that only locals can enjoy
authentically, even though its predecessor, the Oyster Loaf, is enjoyed in other
cities like San Francisco.
Did we forget to add the best oyster poboy in New Orleans? Let
us know where we can find it!