Explore New Orleans

Living (and Eating) Large in New Orleans

Go big or go home

Size matters. There was a time when plates were huge and portions small. Next came the lush years, when the amount of food piled on a plate was obscene, then Instagram and popular pictures of oversized food, the kind of things one might compare to a human head or a steering wheel. We’ve jumped on that trend; things are huge in the Big Eatsy.

Breakfast is a meal where a lot of big happens. Wagon wheel-sized pancakes are the norm at City Diner, Surrey’s and Slim Goodies—and that’s pre-fruit, -chocolate chips or -whipped cream. A glazed donut to feed two or three people? Your face will fit in the center of the monsters at Daddy’s Donuts, where the cinnamon rolls are also gigantic. Order the Griddled Banana Bread at Willa Jean and prepare to gasp; it’s the size of a hardback book.

Slim Goodies
Slim Goodies’ Tex Mex Slammer—hashbrowns topped with black beans, cheddar and two eggs, served with salsa, sour cream, avocado, sweet plantains and warm torillas. (©Slim Goodies)

For midday or evening dining, go large with the Challenge Bowl of pho—two pounds of meat, two pounds of noodles and an optional gallon of broth—at Pho Cam Ly. You’ll find burritos the size of a hefty forearm at Del Fuego. They offer a variety of special fillings, including the occasional foray into po’boy territory with roast beef debris, fried shrimp and French fries rolled into an enormous flower tortilla. For pizza the size of a ships wheel, head to Pizza Delicious in Bywater or cross the river to Mo’s on the Westbank.

Pho Cam Ly
Pho Cam Ly’s mammoth Challenge Bowl lives up to its name. (©Pho Cam Ly)

A whole muffuletta is definitely a big show, and Central Grocery’s eponymous version feeds two to four. But the Original Seafood Muffuletta (fried catfish, shrimp and oysters, dressed with lettuce, tomato and Cajun mayo; add olive salad) at Parran’s is so insanely big, it’s sold only by the “half.” Speaking of giant sandwiches, over in Lakeview, Francesca’s Everybody Loves Raymond packs four inches of pastrami, slaw and Swiss cheese on marbled rye. 

Other bigger-than-life dishes include Deanie’s legendary Giant Seafood Platter, the double-bacon cheeseburger at Fat Harry’s and Cochon Butcher’s Le Pig Mac—two all-pork patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun.

Deanies Seafod New Orleans
Deanie’s loads its Giant Seafood Platter with 18 fried shrimp, 15 catfish strips, a dozen oysters, six crawfish balls, two soft-shell crabs and a pile of fries. (©Deanie’s Seafood)

A big snack is where it’s at. Pop into La Boulangerie for supersized, house-baked pretzels with several wild topping options. Sweets lovers will flip for the monumental blueberry muffins at Maple Street Patisserie or the towering eight-scoop, eight topping ice cream behemoth called the Tchoupitoulas at Creole Creamery.

Skip the diets, forget carb-counting and take a hard pass on a restrictive resolution. It’s 2020...time to go big.