Louisiana cuisine is undeniably delicious, locals and travelers alike rave about the Southern flavor that arouses the taste buds. During Carnival, the sweetest of sweets can be smelled, sampled and devoured across Louisiana's Northshore. The King Cake, traditionally an oval-shaped, braided ring, somewhere between a cinnamon-y coffee cake and French pastry, is filled with an assortment of flavorful fillings, topped with cream cheese or sugary icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar crystals. Local bakeries, groceries and restaurants across the Northshore offer their versions of the ultimate sweet. Who makes your favorite? Have a blind King Cake tasting party in your family and find out! Check out our King Cakes page to see local vendors, and be sure to sample this must-taste tradition before the season ends!
Listen to Poppy Tooker’s podcast on Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery and ship one of their king cakes to a friend or relative you’re missing in another part of the country. Established in 1965, the Slidell bakery continues a long family tradition of braided king cakes, handmade from scratch, and has been featured by The Food Network, Good Morning America, Rachael Ray and USA Today, just to name a few accolades. Poppy Tooker is a native New Orleanian who has spent her life immersed in the vibrant colors and flavors of her hometown. Poppy’s NPR-affiliated radio show and podcast, Louisiana Eats!, carries her message state-wide and beyond, taking listeners into the fields, the waters, the markets and kitchens to hear from the people who maintain the state’s storied food traditions and create new culinary magic inspired by the wealth of Louisiana’s food culture.
Though the Northshore is focused on family fun, we know how to pour a cold beverage too. Taste the culture at Abita Brewery, ranked in Forbes' top 50 largest craft breweries in the nation, nestled in the quaint town of Abita Springs. They brew their own King Cake Soda in honor of the season, and the annual local favorite, Mardi Gras Bock (stop by the Tasting Room or purchase via Drizly). Chafunkta Brewing Company is a small-batch, high-quality, brewed with love, must-taste brewery, who this year introduces a King Cake beer, Foolish Flambeaux. Pyre Provisions has a King Cake flavored daiquiri on the menu, as has Kappy's Daiquiri and Sports. Locals love the "I Got the Baby" brandy cocktail at The Lakehouse complete with whipped cream and a tiny plastic baby on top. Or, satisfy your sweet tooth at the Old Town Slidell Soda Shop with the King Cake Ice Cream Soda, hot cocoa bombs and king cake flavored ice cream.
Purple, green, gold are the colors of Mardi Gras - with a little glitter, of course! Shoes, tops, and accessories of all sizes, patterns, and phrases decorate the shelves across Louisiana's Northshore. Make sure to leave a little room in your bags. Our local boutiques are the hot spot for the fiercest Carnival attire. Order a Mardi Gras charm, necklace, or bracelet from Northshore native and artist Jose Balli. Stop by Fleurty Girl in Mandeville or order some fun and flirty Mardi Gras merch, like T-shirts, earrings and more. Discover more places to find that perfect bit of decoration on our Shopping page.
Keep your Christmas tree up and redecorate in purple, green and gold. Build your own Mardi Gras float--or mod your stroller!--for your kids or puppers. Make Carnival-themed masks and gaiters and parade around your neighborhood on your daily walk. Or, dress in your finest Carnival gear for a date night and savor the #TammanyTaste. Snap some photos your of your Carnival creations and post to Instagram, and tag @LANorthshore so we can showcase them!
Connect to the celebration by exploring the history of Carnival. Slidell's Mardi Gras Museum is a must-visit on the Northshore. The museum houses a collection of over 800 pieces of Carnival memorabilia-dresses, costumes, scepters, goblets and throws and historical scrapbooks of past kings and queens. Call for tour dates and times. Brush up on your Mardi Gras traditions and history.
If you love the flavor of a King Cake, you’ve probably tasted cakes from bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores across the region. Take a step out from the traditional and try some unique takes on the cake! How about making your king cake a meal? No, we don't advocate a sugar overload for dinner, but something savory! The breakfast and lunch café near the Mandeville lakefront, LaLou, makes a Mardi Gras Waffle. Bosco's Italian Café makes a signature treat of flaky pastry filled with creamy crawfish and topped with colorful Parmesan cheese (available in four sizes), and Kappy's Daiquiri & Sports turns up the heat with their Bouda-yum King cake--a savory combination of Breaux Bridge boudin and pepper jack cheese topped with bacon and pepper jelly. Not to be outdone, Creole Bagelry & Café gives its kettle boiled, authentic New York-style bagel a twist with their Mardi Gras Bagel. Still, sweets rule the day as others give their spin on the season: Moo Moo’s Frozen Custard offers a King Cake Sundae, and Copeland’s of New Orleans has a King Cake Cheesecake. Have you discovered another unique treat not shown here? Tell us about it! Post a picture to Instagram and tag #LANorthshore.
Sweater weather is a great time to explore your creative side with arts and craft projects, or learning a new skill. Culinary Kids Northshore provides kids, adults and families with opportunities to enjoy cooking and learning from skilled instructors. Now through April, kids can learn to cook while the adults get in some exercise in the new Fitness & Foods Class, and couples will love monthly Corks & Cooking classes (adults only). Hammer & Stain in Covington provides you with all the supplies and tools to make your own home décor. Meanwhile fine art workshops for kids, teens and adults can be found at Lori’s Art Depot in Slidell.
Carnival season isn't complete without some wacky fun with our families and neighbors. In 2021, Covington residents decorated their houses as Mardi Gras floats with "Rollin' on the 3 Rivers House Floats". The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws joined in with decorated dog houses and held numerous events during "A Month of Mutty Gras". Abita Springs' Krewe of Push Mow recalled its "grass roots" with Yardi Gras, as well as Market Gras during its February farmers markets. Mandeville got in the game with Krewe du Pooch's Fun Walk/Run and Costume Contest, an apple hunt by the Krewe of Eve (their signature throw), and fun for the kiddos at the Children's Museum of St. Tammany. And Slidell's Krewe of Dionysus held a "drive-by" parade with Family Fun Day on Caruso. Find fun events like these during the season and all winter long on our Event Calendar.
With the Carnival season beginning just twelve short days after Christmas, the eight-week-long celebration is the time for a rejuvenating and reinvigorating weekend getaway—especially if you couldn’t travel over the holidays. St. Tammany Parish has a room just for you, from boutique hotels, Bed & Breakfasts to your favorite corporate hotel line, the affordability and proximity to New Orleans' French Quarter is unbeatable. The best part—Louisiana Northshore accommodations are offering overnight deals as sweet as King Cake, just for you.