This Restaurant in Louisiana Serves the Most Delicious Gumbo in the States

If it’s the Thursday before Easter Sunday in New Orleans, Dooky Chase’s gumbo z’herbes is the hottest meal in town. The iconic restaurant is packed all year, but on this particular day, lines run down the pavement.

Catholics refer to this as Holy Thursday, and it is the only time of year when the famed restaurant serves its distinctive green gumbo, as it has since the late chef-owner Leah Chase established the custom in 1973.

Today, her grandson Edgar “Dook” Chase, along with other family members, is in charge of keeping the kitchen up to Leah’s standards. And they’re certainly doing it correctly. In the 2024 South’s Greatest Awards survey, Southern Living readers voted Dooky Chase’s the greatest gumbo restaurant in Louisiana.

What is Gumbo Z’herbes?

This Restaurant in Louisiana Serves the Most Delicious Gumbo in the States

Unlike most gumbos, which range in hue from deep red to rich brown, gumbo z’herbes receive their green color from an abundance of leafy vegetables. Chase’s recipe in The Dooky Chase Cookbook includes mustard, collard, and turnip greens, as well as spinach, beet, radish, and carrot tops, romaine lettuce, and green cabbage (along with sausage, brisket, and ham).

Although the combination may vary slightly depending on the restaurant, nine different types of green ingredients are typically added to the pot.

Kevin Belton, a cookbook author and New Orleans native who has tried almost every form of gumbo, describes the dish as deep and nuanced. “With each bite, you’re tasting a complete blend of flavors. You wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, this is carrot, or this is kale,'” he explains. “It’s almost like mixing paint colors to create a new color.”

The Dooky Chase Tradition

This Restaurant in Louisiana Serves the Most Delicious Gumbo in the States

Although the dinner has religious importance (it being the last day for Catholics observing Lent to consume meat before Easter), the throng gathers for the gumbo z’herbes because it is so wonderful. “No matter your religious beliefs, or what you have going on that day, this is a day people say ‘I have to be there,’” Belton said.

Belton describes the restaurant’s environment as being similar to an open house or a family reunion, with a steady influx of customers. “There are a lot of people getting together. Some people know each other, while others don’t, but you’ll know each other by the end of the lunch, he says. “You weren’t going to her restaurant, you were going to her kitchen.”

Learn More:

Things to Know About Dining At Dooky Chase’s

This Restaurant in Louisiana Serves the Most Delicious Gumbo in the States

Dooky Chase’s stands out among New Orleans eateries because it attracts both locals and tourists. Reservations are suggested and required for Holy Tuesday, however they tend to book up well in advance.

The restaurant serves lunch from Tuesday to Friday and dining on weekends. The clothing code is “business casual,” so save the shorts, hats, and tank tops for Bourbon Street.

Read More: This City in Louisiana is the Growing Hub of Weed and Cannabis


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *