While the city certainly doesn't have a lot of Cajun restaurants, thankfully the few we do have hit the mark so squarely that they're local legends.
The challenge comes in picking a favorite.
Probably the most recognizable is the Cajun Queen (1800 E. 7th St., cajunqueen.net) in Elizabeth. The restaurant is in a house built in the early 1900s.
The real eye-catcher, though, is the giant alligator holding a martini glass on a stump in the front lawn.
The menu features several etouffee preparations, delicious fried green tomatoes and just about anything in the kitchen can be served blackened.
In the center of the NoDa neighborhood, you will find another example of authentic Creole cuisine, Boudreaux's Louisiana Kitchen (501 E. 36th St., boudreauxs.com).
It's great for lunch or dinner, and has increasingly become a popular late-night hangout, thanks to its attached bar, Sanctuary.
The po' boys are very filling and slathered with Cajun mayeaux. For a side, try the red-skinned potato salad.
The she-crab soup is rich, creamy, and just might be the best thing on the menu.
You can't mention New Orleans/Louisiana cuisine without talking about GW Fins (525 N. Tryon St., gwfins.com).
This New Orleans-based restaurant opened its second location in Uptown.
With dishes like the Seafood Gumbo you can definitely see the Louisiana influences, but in my opinion the menu has positioned it more as a high-end seafood restaurant than strictly Cajun.
Larken Egleston has a Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales. E-mail email@example.com.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less