It goes entirely without saying that one of the quintessential dishes in New Orleans's incredible culinary history is gumbo. As a result of its popularity, though, you may find that there are so many variations on the theme and so many restaurants serving the dish that it ends up just being outright hard to choose. Just in time for National Gumbo Day today, we have culled five places, in no particular ranking, where you can be guaranteed to get a hot serving of delicious Southern soup.
Rooted in their French-Catholic heritage as a traditional gumbo house, the Gumbo Shop is a restaurant of considerable renown. Considering that their menu is chock full of variations on the eponymous stew, there is almost certainly a menu item for every palate, if you at all enjoy gumbo or its close relatives. 630 Saint Peter St., (504) 525-1486, gumboshop.com
This one is a well-known food joint in New Orleans, and for good reasons. Mandina's serves a variety of selections, but you would be loath to miss their gumbo dishes. Though they are a predominantly Italian restaurant, they have excellent seafood dishes that easily match with their other entrees. Seeing as they are currently open for dine-in seating, you can drop by and enjoy a nice bowl of gumbo. 3800 Canal St., (504) 482-9179, mandinasrestaurant.com
While Galatoire's is largely a classy steakhouse-styled restaurant, a glance at their menu will reveal that they serve both seafood okra gumbo as well as duck and andouille gumbo. While their options may not be as varied as places that specialize in gumbo alone, Galatoire's is still a high-quality restaurant with a mean bowl of gumbo. 209 Bourbon St., (504) 525-2021, galatoires.com
A posh French Quarter establishment, Arnaud's specializes in New Orleans cuisine and atmosphere. With a wide menu ranging from escargot to baked oysters, Arnaud's has an expansive list of choices but still has a place for classics like chicken and andouille gumbo. If you're in the mood for gumbo with an upscale French Quarter atmosphere, this is your place. 813 Bienville St., (504) 523-5433, arnaudsrestaurant.com
Acme Oyster HouseAnother nearly-household name for seafood, Acme Oyster House is a New Orleans-grown establishment with a few locations around the state. Don't let the name fool you; oysters may be their namesake, but that comes with no loss in the gumbo department. With reasonable prices and a considerable number of choices for seafood and meat, Acme Oyster House is a great pick if you've a hankering for gumbo. 724 Iberville St., (504) 522-5973, and 3000 Veterans Blvd., (504) 309-4056, acmeoyster.com