Five Essential Tastes of Carnival Season in Shreveport-Bossier

Share Article

Beignets, gumbo, king cake and more add to the excitement of North Louisiana’s largest Mardi Gras celebrations, which are taking place now through Fat Tuesday, March 5.

A photo of beignets

An order of beignets from Marilynn's Place in Shreveport, LA. Photo by Chris Jay.

Shreveport-Bossier offers travelers the opportunity to experience the legendary flavors of Carnival season in Louisiana.

The 2019 Carnival season in Shreveport-Bossier officially began on the holiday known as Twelfth Night, Saturday, Jan. 5. Now through Fat Tuesday, March 5, thousands of locals and visitors will take part in parades, masked bals, food events and more during the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in North Louisiana. In addition to a busy schedule of parades and events, Shreveport-Bossier also offers travelers the opportunity to experience the legendary flavors of Carnival season in Louisiana.

Mardi Gras is all about indulgence, and Louisiana’s famous beignets make a perfectly decadent breakfast. Beignets are crisp, pillowy, deep-fried pastries that are most often served piping hot and covered in powdered sugar. Outstanding beignets can be found at Marilynn’s Place and Whisk Dessert Bar in Shreveport, as well as Ralph & Kacoo’s in Bossier City.

There may not be a more iconic Louisiana meal than a piping hot bowl of gumbo. Though there are unlimited ways to prepare gumbo, this famous Creole dish typically begins with a roux of flour and oil that is slowly browned before other ingredients like shrimp, okra, and andouille sausage are added. In Shreveport, stop by Orlandeaux’s Café to sample their outstanding chicken and sausage gumbo, or visit Herby-K’s – one of Shreveport’s oldest continually operating eateries – for a bowl of their dark roux seafood gumbo. In Bossier City, grab a gumbo on the go at Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats – along with a link or two of their famous smoked boudin sausage.    

Po’ boy sandwiches are a great way to fuel up on parade day. Try a roast beef po’ boy at Biscotti’s at Lewis Gifts or a fried softshell crab po’ boy at Kim’s Seafood & Po’ Boy #2. For a fun mash-up of two popular Louisiana sandwiches, try the muffuletta po’ boy at Fat Tuesday Sandwich Shop and Bakery.

King cake – a ring of cinnamon roll-style dough, often filled with treats such as cream cheese, pralines, or strawberry preserves and topped with green, purple and gold sprinkles – is wildly popular in North Louisiana. Visit Tubbs Hardware and Cajun Gifts in Bossier City to try their “Xtreme King Cakes,” which owner Don Tubbs personally designed to have much more sweet filling than the average king cake. In Shreveport, try outrageous flavors like Ambrosia, Piña Colada and “Elvis” at Lilah’s Bakery.

No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without an appropriate cocktail. Visit Fatty Arbuckles, a small downtown Shreveport pub that stocks more than 200 different varieties of Bourbon, for an exemplary Sazerac. BeauxJax Crafthouse, a popular Cajun eatery located in Bossier City’s East Bank District, serves a crowd-pleasing take on the Hurricane. Dozens of drive-through daiquiri joints cater to thirsty revelers in Shreveport-Bossier; try a Motown Margarita at The Jump Off or a Cajun Curse at Cajun Daiquiris.

Shreveport-Bossier’s largest parade weekends are Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3. For complete information on upcoming Mardi Gras festivities in Shreveport-Bossier, visit or call 800-551-8682 to request a free copy of The Gris Gris Guide to Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Christopher Jay
Shreveport-Bossier ~ Louisiana's Other Side
Like >
Visit website