Opened in a blue cottage in 2008, Mahony’s is the Crescent City’s best spot for killer po’boys. Try the oyster and soft-shell crab combination or jumbo shrimp with fried green tomatoes and remoulade. mahonyspoboys.com
Defined by an abundance of fresh seafood and produce, grain-producing marshlands and a melting pot of Spanish/French/West African culture, Southern cuisine is soul-warming comfort food at its best. Charleston and New Orleans are at the top of my short list for food-forward destinations, cities whose mere mention conjures up the smell of crab and shrimp sautéing in a pan. But don't stop your culinary tour there: Nashville; Jackson, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; and Savannah, Georgia, are all on my radar, as local chefs revisit (and revive) classic Southern recipes passed through the generations. —Andrew Zimmern.