New Orleans

The Most Mouth-Watering New Orleans Sandwiches That Aren't Po'Boys

Perfect for a park picnic.

William Hereford
William Hereford
William Hereford

When anyone thinks of New Orleans’ edible offerings, there are always a few things that spring to mind first: Bright red boiled crawfish, gorgeous charbroiled oysters, and po’boys stuffed with seafood or sloppy roast beef. While these staples deserve their place in the culinary canon, visitors and locals alike do the city a disservice by ignoring the plethora of other delectables that get sandwiched between two slices of bread. When it comes to sandwiches, New Orleans po’boys will always have a special place in our hearts. But it’s our job to make sure you’re paying attention to all the other bready examples, especially since this seems to be the summer of the park picnic. Here’s the list of our absolute favorites.

Fried Chicken Sandwich from Verti Marte 

French Quarter
There are few things as reliable in the French Quarter as this iconic 24-hour corner store. A favorite of just about anyone who’s stayed out too late or woken up too early, Verti Marte is known to deliver one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town. Best paired with one of the shop’s innumerable sides — the insanely rich creamed spinach is a must-try — it’s a classic Southern staple done better than just about anywhere else. 
How to order: Head straight to the shop, or get free delivery in the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, or CBD by calling 504-525-4767. Delivery also available through DoorDash and Waitr.

Omni-Reuben from Green Room Kukhnya

South Seventh Ward
Kukhnya operated for years out of a cramped kitchen in the back of Bywater bar Siberia, but moved into its own larger space last summer. Luckily its jaw-dropping selection of “Eastern European soul food” has somehow only improved with the new digs. It’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu, but the Omni-Reuben is particularly pleasing. As the name implies, it’s the classic sandwich taken to the next level, with roasted beets atop corned beef, braised cabbage, and swiss cheese on rye bread. Pair it with a Russian vodka on the rocks, and repeat after me: Nostrovia.
How to order: Outdoor seating is available for dine-in, or call 504-766-1613 for takeout.

Courtesy of William Hereford
Courtesy of William Hereford
Courtesy of William Hereford

Collard Green Melt from Turkey and the Wolf

Irish Channel
When this spunky little sandwich shop earned Bon Appetit’s title of Best New Restaurant in America a couple years back, it didn’t surprise anyone who’d been lucky enough to sample what chef Mason Hereford is cooking up. While it’s true the menu here offers bangers only, the collard green melt is the singular kind of sandwich that leaves vegetarians and carnivores alike sated and satisfied. The rye bread is stuffed with slow-cooked collards, coleslaw bathed in pickled cherry-pepper dressing, and melty Swiss cheese — and you’ll be left loving every bite. 
How to order: Order takeout through Upserve.

julie deshaies/Shutterstock
julie deshaies/Shutterstock
julie deshaies/Shutterstock

Banh Mi from Dong Phuong

New Orleans East
It’s hard to know what lends Dong Phuong a better reputation: Its king cakes during Mardi Gras that merit blocks-long lines, or its banh mi, which is mercifully available all year long. The James Beard Award-winning bakery serves up this sandwich wrapped in a light and crispy French bread, and you can be there genuinely isn’t a bad option in Dong Phuong’s list of over a dozen banh mi sandwiches. That said, the Vietnamese grilled pork is particularly great, along with the BBQ chicken. Make sure you check out their “Banh Mi Boxes,” which come with a selection of sweets and cold drinks, too.
How to order: Order online for takeout.

Cochon Butcher
Cochon Butcher
Cochon Butcher

Le Pig Mac from Cochon Butcher

Warehouse District
What’s better than a good old fashioned food pun? This sandwich. Chef Donald Link’s take on the McDonald’s classic offers two all-pork patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, and onion on a sesame seed bun. What else were you expecting? Just make sure you grab some extra napkins before you tuck in — and schedule a nap for later. 
How to order: Dine in, or order takeout and delivery through ToastTab.

ECT from Stein’s Deli

Irish Channel
We’re not sure there’s a better way to cure a hangover than with a trip to Stein’s. That said, the classic deli is well worth a visit at any time of day. The no-nonsense approach of the proprietor here will have you shape up real quick, as will the scrambled egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich, which you should absolutely get served to you on one of the Davidovich bagels. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Whatever Coffee, which is tucked into a corner at the front of the shop. 
How to order: Walk up for takeout only service.

Central Grocery & Deli New Orleans
Central Grocery & Deli New Orleans
Central Grocery & Deli New Orleans

Muffuletta from Central Grocery

French Quarter
If there’s one other iconic New Orleans sandwich, it’s undoubtedly the muffuletta. It’s common to see the line at Central Grocery heading out the door and leading down the block. That’s because it originated here, and it doesn’t get much better than the original. You’ll find a heavy (seriously heavy) portion of olive salad, Italian meats, and provolone heaped inside a giant, crusty loaf of sesame seed bread. If you’re eating alone, you could get just a half or a quarter — but why would you? 
How to order: Walk up for takeout only, or get it shipped anywhere through Goldbelly.

Olga Nayashkova/Shutterstock
Olga Nayashkova/Shutterstock
Olga Nayashkova/Shutterstock

Croque Madame from Toast

Multiple locations 
Sometimes you don’t need an innovative twist on a great meal, you just need to keep it classic. Toast’s Croque Madame is one such example of a traditional sandwich simply done perfectly. Expertly toasted, thoroughly decadent, and decidedly delicious, Toast’s version of the well-known Parisian sandwich might just well be the best in town, and that’s saying something for a city known for its brunching.
How to order: Call ahead, or check the website for wait times for dine-in.

St. James Cheese Company -Downtown
St. James Cheese Company -Downtown
St. James Cheese Company -Downtown

Smokey Blue from St. James Cheese Company

CBD and Uptown
St. James Cheese Company’s menu is filled with excellent sandwich options, from the classic Hook’s Cheddar to a perfect grilled cheese (hint: ask for the added bacon). But there’s nothing quite like the Smokey Blue, thanks to its thinly sliced roast beef, a house-smoked Mycella blue cheese, and Worcester mayo served up between two lightly toasted slices of multigrain bread. It’s all umami, and it’s thick enough to serve as two meals, if you can hold out long enough.
How to order: Takeout and delivery only. Order online through the website.

Cuban from Manolito

French Quarter
It’s a classic sandwich, prepared exactly how you’d expect: pork, ham, Swiss cheese, house-made pickles, a swipe of mayo and mustard, and grilled, because there just are some things that don’t need improving. That it comes from the little French Quarter cafe from Nick Detrich, Konrad Kantor, and Chris Hannah, which means the beverage program is also on point, is just a lovely bonus. 
How to order: Outdoor seating for dine-in and takeout.Sign up here for our daily New Orleans email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Big Easy.

Andrew Paul is a writer living in New Orleans with work recently featured by AV Club, GQ, Rolling Stone, as well as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and TNY’s Daily Shouts. He swears it’s his jeans shrinking in the wash that recently required one less belt notch. @anandypaul

Chelsea Brasted is a contributor for Thrillist. 

New Orleans

The Ultimate Guide to Juneteenth in New Orleans

Celebrate the newest federal holiday from New Orleans to Mississippi.

New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History
New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History
New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History

The Emancipation Proclamation effectively ended human enslavement in the United States by executive order on January 1, 1863. However, it would take more than two years for General Robert Granger and Union soldiers to make their way to the outermost reaches of the confederacy. When they finally reached Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, through an Executive Order, General Granger stated, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

With those words, the last enslaved people in the United States were liberated by the federal government.

A year later, the first Jubilees were held to commemorate the day that would come to be known as Juneteenth, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, and Emancipation Day. These celebrations first surfaced in Texas, then across the South and, later, the rest of the United States with picnics, barbecues, and other family-centred events.

But life under reconstruction and the Jim Crow South made it dangerous to celebrate without fear of repercussions and segregation forced most celebrations away from the eye of the general public into private spaces such as homes and churches. With the Great Migration, Southerners who moved north and west brought their own traditions to their new homes. In certain communities the day bears more significance than the 4th of July.

The push to turn Juneteenth into a state holiday in Texas in 1980 was a direct catalyst towards Martin Luther King Day being declared a national holiday three years later, according to Clint Smith author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. It has been a slow crawl towards bringing collective consciousness to understand the importance of Juneteenth. It was finally designated a federal holiday by President Biden last year.

As Gordon Smith writes in Juneteenth: The Stories Behind The Celebration, “Juneteenth commemorates both the long, terrible night of slavery and discrimination that preceded it, as well as the promise of a brighter future.”

During this holiday, we celebrate our ancestors for what they were able to overcome and remind ourselves of who we are, where we’ve been, and the possibilities of who we might become. Juneteenth is a celebration of collective liberation.

Here in New Orleans, where we have a wealth of Black history at our fingertips, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday. Here’s our weekend guide, complete with historical tours, festivals, burlesque shows, and more.

Whitney Plantation
Whitney Plantation
Whitney Plantation

The Whitney Plantation

Year-round
Wallace, LA
The Whitney Plantation is the only plantation in Louisiana that focuses on the story of the enslaved, centring their voices at the core of the experience. Black peoples’ legacies and stories have been traditionally hidden from us and the world. Unlike most historical sites, that is not the case here. Learning about the past helps us to understand the struggles we have overcome and how our contributions laid the foundation for how this country was built. As Clint Black states in How Then Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With The History Of Slavery Across America, the Whitney is “an open book under the sky, that people can come here to see.”

There is nothing to hide about the truth of what the life of the enslaved was prior to their freedom and liberation. The first time I went it brought me to tears and it stayed with me for weeks. Its effects are deeply in the pores of this country today and within that are the accomplishments from our ancestors that have built the foundations on which we stand today.
Cost: General admission is $25; children ages six to eight are in for $11; and kids under six can get in for free.

Juneteenth Burlesque Soirée

Saturday June 18
Tremé
This Junteenth celebration brings together musical legends and burlesque dancers in the historic Tremé at 8 pm on Saturday at Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge. Hosted by Jeez Loueez, the creator of Jeezy’s Juke Joint: A Black-Q Revue, the only Black burlesque festival in the United States, the event aims to celebrate Black people and Black bodies in a unique way. “I want to bring burlesque back into Black communities where it started,” says the award-winning burlesque performer, Loueez. “Jazz and burlesque are two things that go hand and hand.”
Cost: $20, plus cash to tip.

New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History
New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History
New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History

Saturdays at New Orleans African American Museum: Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 18
Tremé
“The contributions of African Americans in Tremé, New Orleans, and our nation are so vast and important to American culture that at the New Orleans African American Museum, we situate ourselves as an international cultural epicentre,” says Gia M Hamilton, executive director and chief curator of the museum. To celebrate the museum’s special place in American culture and history, it brings together Black business vendors, farmers, and local artists every third Saturday to build community and envision a future centred in Black existence.

This week, the museum is hosting a special Juneteenth edition on Saturday from 1 – 4 pm. The family-friendly instalment aims to give visitors the resources to educate themselves on Black history by offering the space and tools to navigate the world with a sense of purpose. There will be time to celebrate, educate, discuss, and reflect.
Cost: Free

Afro Freedom / Afro Feast ‘22

Sunday, June 19
Petal, MS
Chef Serigne Mbaye started his Dakar NOLA Pop-Up in the midst of COVID. He serves Sengelase fare with a modern twist in a communal setting using fresh local ingredients while telling the story of the deep cultural connection between Sengambia and New Orleans. In addition to a recent stint at Mosquito Supper Club with James Beard Foundation (JBF) award-winner, Melissa Martin, he also recently was nominated as a rising chef by JBF.

To celebrate Juneteenth, Mbaye is spearheading a gathering of top local culinary talent-including chef Charly Pierre, of Fritai Restaurant; chef Martha Wiggins, of Cafe Reconcile; chef Indigo Martin, of Indigo Soul Cuisine; and chef Sim J Harris, of House of Brown Sugar-with another one of his acclaimed communal feasts. Dishes will be mostly cooked over live fire in the tradition of the ancestors. Cocktails will be curated by my organization Turning Tables (a local non profit that advocates for equity in the hospitality industry) and will feature Black owned producers and distillers, using produce from farms in the surrounding region. It takes place on the farm of Ben Burkett on Sunday from 3 – 6 pm.
Cost: $150

Ascendance Gemini Season

Saturday, June 18
St. Roch
The mission of Ascendance “is to heal and affirm our people through celebration, joy, and spiritual commune with each other and our ancestors.” The Ascendance monthly celebration takes place this Saturday June 18 from 11 pm – 2:30 am, celebrating both Pride and Juneteenth at Cafe Istanbul.
Cost: $15

WBOK 1230AM
WBOK 1230AM
WBOK 1230AM

First Annual WBOK Juneteenth Festival

Sunday, June 19
Central City
WBOK is commemorating Juneteenth with their inaugural city-wide Juneteenth Freedom Fest. This festival celebrates the culture and spirit of those enslaved peoples, their fight for freedom, equal rights, and equitable treatment in all areas of life. From 11:30 am – 6 pm on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. between Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and St. Mary Street, attendees can enjoy shopping, music, food, celebration, and panels including “My Ancestors Taught Me: Health and Healing from Africa to the Americas,” “For Us, By Us: Creating Generational Wealth and Economic Empowerment in the Black Community,” and “FatherHood: Celebrating and Supporting Black Fathers.”
Cost: Free

Juneteenth Freedom Gala

Saturday, June 18
Tremé
This Second Annual Juneteenth Freedom Gala is highlighting community leaders and artists in a night of Black beauty and excellence on Saturday starting at 7 pm at Tremé Market Branch. The semi-formal evening includes a dinner (vegan-friendly options available), live band, film screening, Black trivia, and an artist presentation and auction by artist Alina Allen. Wear your best formal red, black, and green or African attire.

Touré Folkes is a beverage consultant and the Executive Director of Turning Tables. Born in NYC and shaped by many places along the east coast and south, Folkes now calls New Orleans his home. He holds close to his core principles of equity and belonging in all of his endeavours.

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