Red Beans: The NOLA Monday Tradition

Red Beans: The NOLA Monday Tradition

The Monday Tradition

New Orleans has had beans and rice on Mondays since the late 1700s. French-speaking Haitians fleeing the Haitian Revolution contributed spicy Caribbean dishes to the city. New Orleans modified African stews by adding beans and rice. In the 19th century, Monday was wash day, so resourceful New Orleans housewives made a substantial dinner to simmer all day. Red beans and rice have been a staple of New Orleans' culture and Mondays in Louisiana.

Popular Red Bean spots in New Orleans

Napoleon House – Napoleon House serves up red beans & rice, made fresh every day. Theirs is served with locally-made smoked sausage, and Leidenheimer French bread – arguably the best French bread in the game. Try more Louisiana favorites like shrimp remoulade stuffed avocado, alligator sausage, muffuletta, and chocolate doberge cake for dessert.

Joey K's – Ask anyone and they’ll tell you Joey K’s red beans & smoked sausage are among the favorites in the city. Other unique eats include their Trout Tchoupitoulas, fried green tomatoes and corn and crawfish fritters.

Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar – This spot isn’t just known for their oysters (albeit delicious). Felix’s red beans & rice with andouille sausage is a hit. Bring a big group and get a spread of their crab fingers, BBQ shrimp, turtle soup, shrimp & grits, and more for a full Louisiana experience.

Café Reconcile – Head here to get a great meal for a great cause. Café Reconcile by provides workforce development to supports New Orleans’ youth ages 16-24. Order up a plate of red beans & rice with your choice of half a fried chicken, grilled smoked sausage or Louisiana Catfish (fried or blackened). Then come back again for menu items like their delicious daily special, catfish with crawfish sauce or a fried shrimp po’boy on that beloved Leidenheimer bread.

Dooky Chase's – Head to Dooky Chase’s for lunch and grab their perfected red beans & rice, served with fried chicken and your choice of a side. Between French-style string beans, stewed okra, mustard greens, baked macaroni, potato salad and more – you’ll be tempted to come back and try every mashup! They recommend pairing this hearty lunch with a nice glass of La Crema Pinot Noir. It’s five o’clock somewhere. 

Lil Dizzy's – Clear off your Monday schedule! This local fave sticks to tradition, only offering red beans as their Monday special. With a choice of smoked sausage or fried chicken, plus a slice of cornbread, this is the best way to spend that day of the week that most tend to dread.

Coop's Place – This casual joint has been turning our local delicacies since 1983. The Redfish Meuniere and Shrimp Creole are surely a representation of New Orleans. But, we are here for the beans, which Coop’s simmers all day with local seasonings. Choose between smoked sausage, Cajun fried chicken or a pork chop to pile on top. 

Buffa's – Buffa’s claims three house specialties, with red beans & rice being one of them. Theirs is made from an old family recipe, so you know it’s cooked with years of love. Others include their beer-soaked Bratwurst Jambalaya and blackened Redfish del Buffa. Once you get your fix of beans, come back for their Sunday Jazz Brunch.

Evangeline – Red beans & rice is a must-try at Evangeline, where they use local Camellia beans this true New Orleans staple. Evangeline only uses the freshest ingredients purchased directly from local markets and fisherman – including local Gulf shrimp, Louisiana blue crab and Acadian sausage. Pair your meal with a selection of Louisiana microbrews.


Mambo’s – At popular spot on Bourbon Street, order red beans & rice on its own, or as their “Taste of New Orleans” sampler place, complete with jambalaya and étouffée. Perfect for us indecisive eaters. And did we mention they have Cajun Crawfish Poutine? Yum!

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