Central Grocery, New Orleans

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews

923 Decatur St (504) 523-1620

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  • The original muffuletta!
    The original muffuletta!
    by Jefie
  • Central Grocery in New Orleans
    Central Grocery in New Orleans
    by Jefie
  • Various italian biscuits, cookies, etc..
    Various italian biscuits, cookies, etc..
    by Tom_In_Madison
  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Home of the original muffuletta!

    by Jefie Updated May 29, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Central Grocery in New Orleans
    1 more image

    Another sandwich that is typical of New Orleans is the muffuletta, a delicious combination of cold cuts, cheese and - the key ingredient - Sicilian olive salad served on a soft, round bread. The sandwich was created at the Central Grocery, which has been around since 1906, by its original owner Salvatore Lupo. Although most restaurants around town feature muffulettas on their menu, I thought it would be interesting to try the original one. Located in the French Quarter, Central Grocery is now owned by Lupo's grandson, so the business has been in the family for over 100 years. On top of their sandwich counter, they sell all sorts of products, including different brands of olive salad that you can buy to make your own muffulettas at home. A whole muffuletta ($14.50) will easily feed two people. You can order it to go or eat on the premises - nothing too fancy, but it makes for a fun, old-fashioned atmosphere. There usually is a bit of a line-up to get your sandwich but I honestly thought it was worth the wait, especially since I got to shop for products while standing in line :o)

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  • anderschwan's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Central Grocery - You Gotta Try It!

    by anderschwan Written Sep 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    central grocery

    One word - muffulettas.

    The smells of the special olive dressing and garlic inside this wonderful Italian deli are enough to give you an appetite. If you are going to have a muffuletta - then this is the ONLY place to get one. And it's cheap!

    Favorite Dish: Muffaletta. When we go - we have to get a bunch for our friends and put them in a cooler. No joke. You can't eat an entire sandwich - split one with a friend.

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  • SFHulaGIrl's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: You Say "Muffelatta," I say "What?!"

    by SFHulaGIrl Written Dec 21, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    This crowded storefront is more of a grocery store/deli than an actual restaurant, but its claim to fame is its muffelatta. A muffelatta begins with round Italian bread stuffed with Italian meats and cheeses, then is topped with an olive salad. You may also buy pastas, deli meats and cheeses, sardines, capers, arborio rice, etc., etc. There are counters where patrons can eat, or you can take your purchases to go.

    Favorite Dish: I've never tried anything other than a muffelatta here, unless a Barq's root beer counts! You can buy 1/2 a muffelatta for $5.50, or a whole one for $9.75. Half a muffelatta is more than enough to feed one person.

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  • Tom_In_Madison's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Everyone goes here

    by Tom_In_Madison Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Various italian biscuits, cookies, etc..
    1 more image

    This is the place every guide book and person tells you to go to. So I went there right off the plane basically. It’s a small Italian deli, known for their giant muffaletta sandwich. It’s 2 thick pieces of bread filled with Italian meets and an olive salad that gives it it’s zing. I had a half a sandwich, about $7, it did taste very good, and was rather filling. It’s the only one I had here, so can’t compare it to anything else. Try one, good, but didn’t knock my socks off—I prefer the po’boy. I was there about 2pm, they have them made up beforehand, and wrapped up and sitting on the shelf. If they didn’t, the line would be out the door and down the block. There is a small seating area here, but I took mine and went across the street and found a park bench. Bring plenty of napkins.

    They also have other Italian cookies, biscuits, etc…..no pavesini though.

    Favorite Dish: You have to try a muffaletta.

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  • maestrousmc's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Best Muffaletta

    by maestrousmc Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Asking a New Orleanean where the best muffaletta is quite possibly worse than asking a New Yorker where the best pie is. However, I've had PLENTY of muffalettas in my time and must say that the best muffaletta in New Orleans is at the Central Grocery Store near the French Market. It's located on 23 Decatur Street on the left hand side as you walk away from Canal Street.

    Favorite Dish: The mufalletta

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Muffuletta [muhf-fuh-LEHT-tuh]

    by grandmaR Written Dec 23, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Counter of the Central Grocery

    Central Grocery opened in 1906. For almost 100 years, they have served up the Muffuletta sandwich, which is a signature sandwiches of New Orleans.

    The sandwich consists of the round loaf of crusty Italian bread, split and filled with layers of sliced Provolone cheese, Genoa salami and Cappicola ham, topped with Olive Salad: a chopped mixture of green, unstuffed olives, pimientos, celery, garlic, cocktail onions, capers, oregano, parsley, olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

    the olive oil salad (including Giardiniera - Italian pickled vegetables) is

    3/4 C black brine cured olives, such as kalamatas
    1/2 C green olives
    1/4 C roasted red pepper sliced
    1/4 C red onion sliced
    3/4 C finely chopped celery, with leaves
    1/3 C chopped fresh Italian parsley
    2 Tsp Oregano
    3 cloves garlic
    1/2 C olive oil
    1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

    Favorite Dish: A whole muffuletta cut in 4ths is $9.95 and is reportedly enough to feed two people. I'm not that fond of green olives or salami, so this sandwich isn't for me. At the time we went into the Central Grocery, the line for muffaletta was around the whole store, so we didn't get one.

    Also there's no tables - diners sit on bar stools at long wooden countertops.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel

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  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Go for the Muffuletta

    by TexasDave Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    They claim to be the originator of the muffuletta sandwich, with its delicious chopped olive dressing. The best thing to do here is get it to go and eat it sitting down at Jackson Square or overlooking the river.

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  • kalkahuna's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Let the muffaletta's roll!

    by kalkahuna Written Oct 30, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    When I are my first muffaletta about 10 yrs. ago, I thought an Italian angel came down from Heaven and kissed me on the tongue!
    While the Central Grocery has a tendency to rest on it's laurels, it's still one good and filling sammy.

    We buy a muffaletta and then go next door for a "half bottle" of wine, get a cheap cork screw and then go sit on the bench, pop our cork and eat your muff while watching the Big Muddy roll on by.

    Favorite Dish: Muffaletta. Has all the basic food groups. Meat, Cheese, fat, olives and bread.

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  • travelingbunny's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Muffaletta Central

    by travelingbunny Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you've done any research on what to eat while in NOLA you've come across the Muffuletta. (pronounced by locals as moo-foo-LET-ta). The Muffuletta is basically mixed Italian meats and cheeses, served on round Italian bread, topped with its signature olive spread. The birthplace of this delight is the Central Grocery. Little more than a neighborhood groceria, they do boast a few tables inside, but the best way to enjoy your sandwich by far is along the banks of the nearby Mississippi. ..or like us, get them for your plane ride home. (Although you run the risk of eliciting highly envious stares from your fellow passengers.) Note: the sandwiches are quite large -if you are not extremely hungry, ordering a "half muff "is the way to go.

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  • jakelorenzo's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Got to try a muffeletta

    by jakelorenzo Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You've got to try a muffeletta and Central Grocery has the very best. Be prepared for the overcrowded space and the somewhat rude service. It's worth it. It's a large round bun loaded with Italian cold cuts, cheese and a delicious, oily olive salad. The olive oil and spice soaks into the bread and seasons the whole sandwich. A bit of heaven. One muffeletta feeds two or three people.

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  • Central Grocery: Central Grocery

    by elw Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is unbelievably packed, and rightly so. Good luck finding room at the counter space, I would recommend taking a sandwich to go... but bring plenty of napkins!

    Favorite Dish: Try any of the original muffulettas! The bread and secret recipe olive spread are delicious.

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  • al_mary's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Best Muffuletta In New Orleans

    by al_mary Updated Apr 4, 2011

    0 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enter Here
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    The muffuletta sandwich is one of the great sandwiches
    of the world, and it's criminal that it can hardly be found
    anywhere outside the city of New Orleans

    According to the tale I've heard, the muffuletta sandwich
    was invented by Signor Lupo Salvadore, who opened the
    now-famous little Italian market called Central Grocery on
    Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1906 and created
    the muffuletta sandwich

    Favorite Dish: The Muffuletta Sandwich - Best in New Orleans
    (a whole one for me plus half of Mary's)

    Sometimes when it is really nice outside, we get our
    muffuletta lunch take-a-way, and we go find a bench
    in Jackson Square or on the Moonwalk ....

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  • bhalliwell's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: HOme of the Muffaletta!

    by bhalliwell Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Down on Decatur St., a must stop in for any lovers of the classic Muffaletta sandwich. This is said to be the original home in NOLA. Half is more than enough for one. Wash it down with a couple Abita beers and take home some fun cajun/creole spices, mustard, etc.

    Favorite Dish: Muffaletta and Abita. What a combo...

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  • klj&a's Profile Photo

    Central Grocery: Central Grocery

    by klj&a Updated Apr 4, 2011

    When you see a place with a line out the door, you know it's gotta be good. This place is known for it's muffuletta, which is pretty much a huge ass sandwich with a circular loaf of Italian bread stuffed with salami, ham, and chopped green and black olives. I recommend half a muffuletta which is equal to two normal sandwiches and costs about $7. The whole muffuletta is equal to four normal sandwiches and cost about $13. Only get this if you're starving. Although there was a line out the door, it moved relatively quickly. It's actually a grocery store, but the only thing people bought while I was there were the muffulettas. There is a small area in the back to eat, but chances are you'll have to take it to go.

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  • Central Grocery: The Muffalata King

    by KarenZipdrive Updated Apr 4, 2011

    When visiting New Orleans, if you do not have a muffalata you have failed to complete your culinary mission.
    Central Grocery is a cluttered food boutique on the Moonwalk that caters to local tastes in comestables, but they make the best muffalata on Earth and they are THE definitive muffalata makers in NOLA.
    The Italian-style store also has plenty of unique oils, pastas, sauces and coffees you might want to take home with you.

    Favorite Dish: Their muffalata has the most delectable olive relish- which anyone will tell you is the heart of the sandwich. The bread is fresh and soft and soaks up the olive oil without leaking through (much).
    Plan on sharing yours because a whole one is as big as your head.
    I always order an extra one on the day I plan to leave. It's a heavenly way to remember my trip when I get home to San Antonio.

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