The best take-out spots along the parade route that will keep you reveling, catching

Fried chicken is the undisputed champion of the route, but these places offer a little extra beyond the staple classics.

by Eric Marshall
January 24, 2020

Mardi Gras parade food needs to fit your schedule. The form should fit the function. Fried chicken is the undisputed champion of the route, but these places offer a little extra beyond the staple classics. They’ve got fried chicken, and then some.

Shawarma On-the-Go

Inside the JetGo gas station on Magazine, a few blocks upriver from Louisiana, Shawarma On-the-Go is conveniently positioned to fill you up after you’ve found a parking spot for the Uptown route. It has a rather extensive menu that includes plenty of the unexpected, like Philly Cheesesteaks and Fried Halloumi Cheese Wraps ($10.99). Its hummus and pita are perfect for sharing with any hungry friends who might want a dip. The Chicken Shawarma ($10.99) with hummus and salad would be my go-to parade food. Thinly sliced chicken together with a couple of fries wrapped in warm grilled pita — it’s perfect fuel for a night of catching bags or a nice pairing with a box of wine.

Shawarma On The Go
Getting there
3720 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
Mon-Sat 11am–9pm
Sun Closed
More Info


If you’re headed to a party in the Quarter or hitting one of the walking parades, Hooks Catching and Frying is one of the best places to get fried food of any kind. On the corner of North Galvez and St. Bernard, everything is fried to perfection. They have a special batter that comes out crisp and full of flavor. They’ll ask you if you want “seasoning,” this should not be confused with Brother’s Cajun option. Hooks puts on a dusting of their own special blend of salt-free seasoning that will have your tastebuds guessing the whole plate. All the chicken is fantastic (I’ve celebrated with a gizzard plate more than once). The shrimp plate ($8.99) comes with bread and fries. They have crazy fish options as well — if you want to show up to a party with a whole-fried snapper you now have a number to call.

Hooks Catching & Frying
Getting there
2100 St Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Mon-Thu 10:30am–1am
Fri-Sat 10:30am–3am
Sun 11am–1am
More Info

Big Easy Fresh Market

A new face to the scene, Canal and Broad’s newest grocery store is bringing the heat on its hotline. They’ve always got a healthy supply of fresh fried chicken (4.99/lb) and fries as you might expect to see in New Orleans. The rest of their offerings should not go ignored either. They have some of the best tortillas in the city, so take a walk up and down the line and see what you’d want to wrap up in a fresh corn tortilla that’s as tender as their fried rib tips, or barbacoa. Don’t forget to ask for tortillas.

Big Easy Fresh Market
Getting there
2669 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
Mon-Sun 7am–9pm
More Info

WeGo Wings

A staple among court and construction workers, WeGo Wings on Tulane between Broad and Jeff Davis is a great spot to grab wings if you’re headed downtown for the festivities. Their combos include a side and a drink ($7.29). They’ve got great treats to share as well—crab rangoons, cho-chos, and egg rolls. They give you the option of classic breaded double-wing (get it with the WeGo sauce) or glazed single-wings. Their lemon pepper is snappy, but the spicy garlic might be the number one showstopper. If you’re looking for something handheld they’ve got po-boys and banh mi’s. Fresh and flavorful, their chicken might be my sneaky choice for the best thing on this list.

2931 Tulane Ave
Getting there
2931 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA

All of these places are worth sewing into your plans this parade season, but it’s not an exhaustive list. It would serve anyone well to keep a few things in mind. If you’re listening to the bands roll by on St.Charles near Jackson, there are always Brother’s and several other reputable and reliable suppliers of parade flavors. All lines at street-side trailer grills can be trusted—smoked sausage on a roll is normally my craving when I get too close to their smoke. And food this time of year is always best shared, so bring enough for everyone and enjoy yourselves.

Eric Marshall is originally from Houston, and has lived in New Orleans for the last five years. He has his masters in Public History from UNO and has worked as a cook, teacher, and tour guide in the city. His chapter in "Say it Forward: A Guide to Social Justice Storytelling" chronicled his oral history project that interviewed individuals who relocated from New Orleans to Houston after Hurricane Katrina. You can follow his garden and two shibas on instagram @theholyoaks or commiserate about the Pelicans and most anything @hotlunchplate on Twitter.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.

Chef Dee Lavigne expands the only Black-owned cooking school in New Orleans

Deelightful Roux School of Cooking is the only African American-owned cooking school taught by a New Orleans native, and her class is a guide to New Orleans’ food culture.