Poboys are a staple in Louisiana, you can find them on pretty much any menu here. In the 1920’s many people were struggling financially, and restaurants were looking for ways to provide cheap but quality menu options.
John Gendusa’s Bakery specifically was working to feed New Orleans’ streetcar workers on strike. Inspired by his youth in Sicily, John Gendusa produced a long, uniform loaf of bread for Martin Brothers. Martin Brothers took this bread and created what’s now known as the Poboy. Poboy, being a play on words for “Poor Boy”, is a type of sandwich made with french bread and can be made with different types of meats or fried seafood. You can find them at deli counters or at high end restaurants all over the city.
Here’s a list of a few of our favorites.
Located right off of Bayou St. John in New Orleans is Parkway Bakery & Tavern. Parkway has been family owned and operated since 1911. For over 100 years they’ve dedicated themselves to serving authentic and quality Poboys with a side of New Orleans’ hospitality. They offer several types of po boys, but one of their showstoppers is the “Bayou Beast”. The Bayou Beast is about 3 feet of French Bread stacked with layers of bbq beef, Louisiana fried shrimp and alligator hot sausage topped with melted pepper jack cheese. Perfect for sharing with a group of friends.
Serving up 40 different types of poboys is Johnny’s. This is a casual spot where you’ll find the locals eating overly stuffed and fully dressed poboys. Johnny’s opened up in 1950 by Johnny and Betty DeGrusha and has been family owned and operated ever since. We recommend the fried shrimp po boy fully dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles. This spot is also known for serving up amazing breakfast items!
Hanks Seafood & Supermarket
Hank’s is a small and casual corner store that is always serving up hot and ready poboys at some of the best prices. “While you might not find it listed in any tourism brochures, Hank’s is a place of legend; from the locals who darken the door, to the fried chicken and daily food specials. It has served as a place of comfort for many New Orleanians for about 50 years.”
At Hank’s, You can find breakfast, fresh fruit, craft beers and even tamales. Open 24/7, you can find everything you need with one stop at Hank’s. Hank’s and the locals you’ll find there have created this culture of “This is what New Orleans is all about”, that’s even inspired song writers.
Check out Hank’s instagram feed to see what we mean.
Located on Magazine St. Uptown in the heart of the Irish Channel is Mahoney’s Po-Boys & Seafood. They opened their doors in 2008 and have been serving poboys and southern dishes to locals and tourists alike. If you get a chance to eat here, we recommend the “Peacemaker” poboy. A poboy with both fried shrimp and fried oysters, fully dressed with candied bacon and cheese added on Leidenheimer french bread. Don’t forget a side of red beans with your poboy! If you can’t make it to Mahoney’s for lunch, check out their boozy brunch on Saturdays and Sundays!
Another spot locals go to for poboys is Bear’s. Bear’s is best known for their delicious roast beef po boy. They take pride in roasting their own beef and marinating it in their special gravy. They chill it before slicing it up and serving it on fresh Leidenheimer french bread. Their roast beef recipe dates back to the 1970’s but Bear’s has been open and operating since 2010, always serving their customers the freshest ingredients and speedy service. This is also a great spot for trying a more traditional poboy, like pork or alligator smoked sausage poboys!