Your Ultimate Guideline for the New Orleans Crawfish Season

There is always something to celebrate in New Orleans. Whether it be the Mardi Gras, a jazz festival, or the famous crawfish season. This is one of the most beloved traditions in the South and provides a four-month-long window of opportunity for visitors to plan a trip and experience the absolute magic of a traditional crawfish boil. As it starts in March, we thought it would be the perfect time to delve into everything you need to know about how to tackle the season. 

crawfish festival New Orleans

It is an incredible time to come together with your closest friends and family and revel in the experience of long, shared meals, beers and a lot of laughs. It is certainly one of the tastiest traditions that the South has to offer. You can choose whether to experience this at one of the many restaurants, or visit one of the local seafood stores to find the best crawfish in New Orleans, and create a traditional backyard crawfish boil. 

So, we thought we would take a look at everything you need to know about what to expect when attending the crawfish season. What you should wear, how you should prepare, what you could order and how you can go about eating the crawfish is all going to be covered. So, whether you are gathering the family, creating a cook-out for friends, or whether you are using the opportunity for a romantic date, we have the scoop on how you can sail through crawfish season elegantly and delicately.

Ordering or Cooking Crawfish: What are the Dos and Don’ts?

Boiled crawfish is the tradition of crawfish season. Between March and June/ July, you can expect to find hordes of people taking part in this cultural cuisine and celebrating life with this delicious custom. You naturally can choose to order the cooked crawfish if you are absolutely put off by the idea of clawing apart your food, but the custom promotes the lighthearted sense of sharing your food. 

You can expect to share your crawfish meal around a picnic table covered in newspaper with a large group of people. There is a lot of revelries, beer and sauces to dip the crawfish into. Crawfish are usually thrown into a pot to boil with several accompaniments like corn and potatoes. However, there are several additions that can be added like smoked sausage, onions, mushrooms, celery, or garlic and of course spice. 

And yes, crawfish is a healthy option for you to dive into. It is low in calories, high in protein and contains a large amount of Vitamin B. It is certainly one delicacy that you can binge on without needing to worry about the extra pounds. 

How You Should Eat Crawfish: The Etiquette 

Going into this, you may not know how much to order, but it is pretty simple. The average person can order and eat around three to five pounds of crawfish per sitting. Crawfish is usually affordable here, especially at this time of the year, and you can expect to pay around $4 per pound at a restaurant. 

You may also be daunted by how to eat the crawfish, especially watching the season experts whizzing around, but once you become accustomed to it, you will become quicker. Simply, grab the head and tail between your fingers and twist, then pull the two apart. You can either suck the boil juices from the head or just discard the head. It might sound disgusting, but it is really good, we promise! Then pinch the end of the tail and pull the meat out from the exposed part.

crawfish festival New Orleans

What You Should Wear: Top Fashion Tips

We could not talk about being out and about without touching on what you should wear, could we? There are a few crucial rules to keep in mind before attending the crawfish season.


The first thing you need to know about peeling and eating crawfish is that it gets messy. Also, as a heads up for your manicure, the peeling of the shells can wreak havoc on your nails, so make sure you don’t book an appointment before going! Our advice is to rather have your nails soaked off a few days before as you can actually tear and damage them with the shells. Book that appointment for the first thing on Monday morning after attending the festival, and you will be fine. 

Dress Code 

The second rule of thumb; don’t wear white. Yes, spring is in the air, the temperatures are rising and the idea of a gorgeous pair of white slacks or a white skirt is so appealing. But trust us when we say, avoid it at all costs. There is nothing worse than wearing your food for the rest of the day. Even the most delicate of eaters will end up getting a bit messy. Wear a cute pair of shorts, a sundress or even denim, but make sure that they are darker colors to mask if you do get a few splatters on you. 

crawfish boil

Basics to Keep in Your Handbag 

Because things are going to get so messy, you will need to walk in prepared. Pack a nail file for any serious nail mishaps. Wet wipes are essential when packing. You will want to be able to rid your hands of the sticky sauces and juices. Hand sanitizer should already be a staple in your bag, but it is going to come especially handy now, and remember to follow up with some hand lotion to keep moisturized. A small make-up kit could come in handy too, with remover wipes and enough to touch up around your mouth should things get very messy. 

Wrapping Up 

The point of the crawfish tradition is to sit back, relax and share amazing food with your nearest and dearest. Taking part in this annual tradition is an absolute must if you are traveling through the South and you will be absolutely missing out if you do not get your hands at least a little dirty!

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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