Now Central Grocery is not necessarily a restaurant but it is one of the most visited food stops in the New Orleans area. Located on Decatur Street, across the street from the French Market is a small slice of heaven!
The third generation, old-fashioned grocery store was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who is famous for creating the muffuletta and located in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter.
As soon as you walk in, you will find shelves lined with imported pastas, cheese and hit with the instant aroma of cured meats. In the back you will cold items like chilled raviolis, sausage and of course they famous olive salad! The store hasn’t changed much over the years.
You’ll find a row of employees slinging muffulettas together as customer form a line to dine in or eat on the lakefront. Yes, they do have tables and a bathroom so you can enjoy your muffuletta before making your way into Jackson Square with is a few blocks from Central Grocery.
What is a Muffuletta?
A whole muffaletta (or spelled muffuletta) is served on a round loaf of bread (at Central Grcoery the bread is fresh and locally made) and about 8 inches in diameter. The sandwich is stuffed and stands about 2-3 inches tall. The sandwich is heavy due to the olive sandwich, layers of meat an cheeses plus thick bread can add on extra weight.
The key ingredient to this mouth watering recipe is the perfect olive salad mix which is available for sale at Central Grocery. The best part is the juices (and crunch) from the olive mix can soak into the bread, which makes this a perfect flavorful sandwich.
My husband and I ordered a 1/2 sandwich due to their size but they are available for purchase at Central Grocery in half- and quarter-sandwiches. Plus it’s an affordable meal in the French Quarter! I believe our 1/2 muffuletta was either $9.99 or $10.99. We purchased a few Barq’s Root Beer and had a quick bite to eat before enjoying a city tour later that day.
Tip: Head to Central Grocery on your way out and pick up a few extra muff’s before leaving the French quarter. If you’re local you can bring some home to the family OR if you’re an “out of towner”, I have seen people with Central Grocery bags leaving the airport and ready to enjoy their muffuletta back home.