Slideshow: 10 Must-Eats in New Orleans

Muffulettas from Central Grocery (Classic) or Cochon Butcher (Cheffy)
Muffulettas from Central Grocery (Classic) or Cochon Butcher (Cheffy)
The muffuletta—one of the best combinations of sandwich parts in all of sandwichdom—is as deliciously salty, oily, and meaty as it is fun to say. Made on a round, disc-like sesame bread, the muffuletta is filled with cured meats (salami, capicola, pepperoni, and ham), thick slices of cheese (provolone and emmentaler), marinated olives, and pickled vegetables. Though you can buy them at any number of places all over the city, it all began at Central Grocery in the French Quarter. (Note: CG is closed on Sundays and Mondays; don't put yourself through the pain of staring at the "closed" sign).

For a cheffier version, head to chef Donald Link's artisanal butcher shop/sandwich joint/wine bar, Cochon Butcher (nearby his restaurant Cochon, which you should also add to this list). Cochon Butcher's muffuletta is on a fluffier, softer sesame bun that's browned to a crisp on the bottom. The house-cured meats (like smoky ham and pastrami made with plenty of black peppercorns) are all of the best quality and the olive tapenade is briny and tart.

Central Grocery: 923 Decatur Street, New Orleans LA 70116 (map); 504-523-1620

Cochon Butcher: 930 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans LA (map); 504-588-7675; cochonbutcher.com

Fried Chicken from Willie Mae's Scotch House
Fried Chicken from Willie Mae's Scotch House
SE overlord Ed Levine has been quoted many times for saying this: "Willie Mae's fried chicken is perhaps the finest fried chicken on the planet." A man who loves is fried bird as much as Ed does wouldn't lie to you about such matters.

Quick backstory on Willie Mae's: it was flooded and basically destroyed during Hurricane Katrina but thanks to the Herculean efforts of the Southern Foodways Alliance, it's been rebuilt and is now run by Willie Mae's great-granddaughter, Kerry Seaton. The fried skin on the chicken is both crunchy and light, almost reminiscent of pork skins in that they're so airily crisp and ridiculously meaty. The skin gives way to juicy chicken meat (white or dark, it's always juicy) that's assertively salted. Each bite is better than the last.

2401 St Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 (map); 504-822-9503

Po' Boys from Domilise's, Zimmer's Seafood, R&O, and plenty more
Po' Boys from Domilise's, Zimmer's Seafood, R&O, and plenty more
The best po' boy in the city? Ask a different New Orleanser and you'll get a different answer. We embarked on an all-day po' boy crawl in which 23 po' boys were consumed and so many of them enjoyed. Here are three spots we really loved.

Domilise's is located in a sunny yellow clapboard house Uptown where the shrimp, catfish, and oysters and fried to order. Get it fully dressed with mayo, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and ketchup piled on light crusty Leidenheimer bread. At Zimmer's Seafood, the po' boy menu is listed alongside the boiled seafood by the pound list. There's no seating at Zimmer's; we used our car trunk as a standing table. (Note: no relation to my Zimmer family tree. If only.) All the way up on Lake Pontchartrain, R&O's is home to the R&O Special, gravy-laden roast beef piled with ham (yes, meat on meat).

Domilise's: 5240 Annunciation Street New Orleans, LA 70115 (map) 504-899-9126

Zimmer's Seafood: 4915 Saint Anthony Ave, New Orleans, LA 70122 (map) 504-282-7150

R&O's Restaurant: 216 Metairie Hammond Highway, Metairie, LA 70005 (map) 504-831-1248

Charbroiled Oysters at Drago's
Charbroiled Oysters at Drago's
When you eat a charbroiled oyster, the taste from the hot coals permeates the oyster meat and flavors all those buttery and briny juices. At Drago's, the oysters are grilled until the bottoms of the shells are blackened with soot but the oyster meat remains tender. Parmesan, something you might not think you'd want on oysters, browns over the heat and just adds another layer of savory flavor. With each shell, you slurp back all the oyster liqueur that pools in there. And thankfully, Drago's serves them with crusty bread so you can sop up every last drop.

Drago's (two locations): 2 Poydras Street, New Orleans LA 70130 (map) 504-584-3911; 3232 North Arnoult Road, Metairie LA 70002 (map) 504-888-9254

Breakfast at Stanley
Breakfast at Stanley
Stanley Restaurant on Jackson Square was the first restaurant to serve fresh-made food after Katrina hit in 2005. Chef Scott Boswell opened the restaurant with just his mom's charcoal grill and a killer tenderloin burger recipe, and for two weeks, even before the city was reopened to the public, he served more than 500 burgers a day. Fast forward to now—Stanely is still very much bustling, and one of the best breakfast destinations in the city. The Eggs Stanley is an inventive benedict dish with cornmeal-crusted oysters and Canadian bacon served on an English muffin. Oysters and eggs? Leave it to New Orleans to feed you oysters for breakfast. The two actually have a nice textural symmetry. Plus the dish comes with a side of Creole breakfast potatoes, home-fry style with skins on and plenty of pepper and onion.

Stanley Restaurant: 547 Saint Ann Street, New Orleans LA (map) 504-587-0093; stanleyrestaurant.com

Sno-Bliz from Hansen's Sno-Bliz Shop
Sno-Bliz from Hansen's Sno-Bliz Shop
"New Orleans is a chockablock with snowball stands, jerry-rigged roadside huts that dispense cones of shaved ice drenched in a saccharine torrent of syrup. But Hansen's—set in a cinder-block rectangle on Tchoupitoulas Street in the city's Uptown neighborhood—is different," writes John T. Edge in Southern Belly. The placard behind the counter, the one that reads, "Air-Condition Your Tummy With a Hansen's Snow Bliz." This delicious AC system is powered by snowflake-light ice shavings that get squirts of any number of syrups. Satsuma orange, almond, banana, coconut, coffee, wild cherry, peach and many, many others.

Hansen's Sno-Bliz: 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA (map); snobliz.com

Zapp's Voodoo Chips
Zapp's Voodoo Chips
You can find Zapp's, the regional brand of chips, outside of Louisiana, but it's always more fun to eat a bag in their motherland. Especially since they'll have a wider selection of the specialty flavors here. Cajun Crawtators have a vinegary kick with the distinct celery and paprika flavor of Old Bay. Cajun Dill leaves a pickley heat on your tongue. And then there's the limited edition VooDoo Chips, which starts off with a salt and vinegary nose, moves to the smoky sweetness of BBQ chips, and ends with jalapeƱos. It's kind of like eating three chips at once.
Classic Cocktail from French 75
Classic Cocktail from French 75
While this may be a must-eat list, it wouldn't be New Orleans without a drink to must-drink (pictured is a Sazerac). You will be well taken care of at French 75, a softly lit, classy French Quarter bar that sticks to the classic cocktail-making rituals. You could get the namesake French 75, a refreshing sipper made of champagne, lemon, and either cognac or gin. And you really can't go wrong with a Sazerac here.

French 75 Bar at Arnaud's: 813 Rue Bienville, New Orleans LA 70112 (map); 504-523-5433; arnaudsrestaurant.com