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Best Cajun Food In OC

cajun food
(credit: istockphoto)

Cajun food is one of the true delights in the world of cuisine. It is full of flavor and if it's done right, it can give you the opportunity to sweat from the spice. Plus, it incorporates copious amounts of sausage and seafood, and there is nothing wrong with that. Here are some of the best places in Orange County to get your Cajun food fix.

Ritter's steam kettle cooking
(credit: Ivane L./Yelp)

Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking
1421 W. MacArthur Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 850-1380

Chef Ritter honed his craft of steam-kettle cooking in Las Vegas - as good a place as any for a chef to perfect his craft. This restaurant has everything you could want in a Cajun restaurant from red beans and rice to po' boys and gumbo. Entrees are available on a spice scale of one to 10 (four is fairly mild). The signature dish here is the pan roast. This is your choice of meat cooked in a creamy tomato sauce and served with rice. It is delicious and can easily be shared with another person.

kickin crab
(credit: Michelle R./Yelp)

The Kickin' Crab
3611 S Bristol St., Suite C
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 754-8888

The Kickin' Crab operates with a different concept than a lot of restaurants. While lots of restaurants offer combo meals, The Kickin' Crab offers combo meals that are meant to be shared. The least expensive combo meal includes two pounds of shrimp or crawfish, a pound of clams, corn, potatoes and four sausages. It's a lot of food for only $31. Your food here can be prepared with any of four seasonings and four spice levels from mild to extra spicy.

cajun swamp
(Credit: Sonia S./Yelp)

Cajun Swamp
114 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 870-1266

If you've ever been to a crawfish boil, you know that part of the charm is when the crawfish are dumped onto a table covered in paper. Cajun Swamp offers that feel by covering the tables with butcher paper and offering bibs for when you eat your entree. You can get all of your favorites here, including frog legs, and you can also get something like Frumbo (Cajun chili-cheese fries) that might become a new favorite. Prices here are reasonable enough that you can bring the whole family without feeling like you need a loan.

iva lee's
(credit: Matt Doheny)

Iva Lee's
555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 361-2855

Technically, Iva Lee's isn't a Cajun restaurant, but it has a lot of the Cajun favorites like gumbo, jambalaya as well as some other dishes like snapper prepared with Cajun spices. For dessert, don't forget the bread pudding as its one of the best you'll have. Also, the food here is so good - no matter what you order - that you certainly won't be thinking about whether or not it's truly a Cajun restaurant.

Related: Best Comfort Food In Orange County

jack shrimp
(credit: Lisa L./Yelp)

Jack Shrimp
2400 W. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 650-5577

You're doing something right when you come up with your own term for what you do. A good example of this fusion of the CaliforniCajun cuisine at Jack Shrimp is the avocado stuffed with shrimp. However, if you want a meal that focuses on the Cajun aspect of the cuisine, this place definitely has you covered with po' boys, jambalaya, catfish and other great cajun delicacies. It also has andouille sausage as an addition to one of the bowls or house specialties. Be sure you can handle spice if you come to Jack Shrimp as it can get spicy!

Related: Best Seafood In Orange County

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
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