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9 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Jambalaya

See which spots do this down-home dish justice with the right balance of meat and heat.
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Of all the delicious foods to come out of Louisiana, jambalaya is near the top of the list. The savory rice dish is crafted from a combination of meats, such as pork, chicken, or sometimes rabbit, along with seafood options like shrimp, crab, or crawfish. Often, it's a blend of both meat and seafood, with the addition of andouille sausage for extra flavor.

Prepared with a medley of vegetables, stock, rice, and a diverse array of seasonings, jambalaya embodies Louisiana's rich culinary heritage. While the meat brings a deep flavor, the veggie medley of onions, celery, and bell peppers is the cornerstone of the dish's distinct profile.

While jambalaya is a one-pot dish, it takes a fair amount of time and ingredients to make at home and do it right. If you've never tried the dish and are curious, here are nine chain restaurants where you can enjoy this hearty meal right now.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

margaritaville jambalaya
Margaritaville / Facebook
Per meal: 990 calories, 60 g fat (15 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 2,350 mg sodium, 70 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 45 g protein

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett left behind a legacy that went beyond music—it became a lifestyle. The Parrot Head way of life can be celebrated at Buffet's sprawling hospitality empire, including his Margaritaville restaurants and resorts serving Jimmy's Jammin' Jambalaya. This dish is loaded with shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage, simmered in a spicy broth, and tossed with white rice.

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Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Jambalaya
Bubba Gump Qatar/Facebook
Per Order: 790 calories

With 22 locations around the country, from New York City to San Francisco, Bubba Gump is a favorite when you're craving southern-style comfort food, and that includes the jambalaya, which is packed with shrimp, chicken, tasso ham, and, of course, andouille sausage with rice, peppers, onions, and tomatoes for that savory southern flavor.

Acme Oyster House

Acme Oyster House jambalaya
Acme Oyster House/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

Born in New Orleans in 1910 as Acme Cafe, this micro chain with three locations in Louisiana and two in Florida is a bayou tradition. The restaurant's menu is heavy on seafood and New Orleans specialties, and the jambalaya is top-notch. The Acme Oyster House's version of the seasoned rice dish features shredded chicken and flavorful sausage. It's a perfect shareable side with a seafood platter or as a main dish.

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Copeland's of New Orleans

copeland's jambalaya
Copeland's / Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

Started in 1983 by New Orleans native Al Copeland—who also founded the multinational chain Popeyes—Copeland's serves Louisiana-style cuisine in 10 locations across the South. The restaurant chain does things a little differently, including serving jambalaya with pasta instead of rice. The dish, which includes Gulf shrimp, chicken, andouille sausage, spicy jambalaya sauce, mushrooms, peppers, and bow-tie pasta, has been on the menu since 1983.

Emeril's New Orleans Fish House

Emeril's jambalaya
Emeril's Fish House/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

Award-winning chef, restaurateur, and television personality Emeril Lagasse is responsible for many Americans' knowledge of Cajun-Creole cooking. He runs a national restaurant empire with two locations in Louisiana, but it's at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House in Las Vegas, where you'll find his jambalaya. Lagasse's Carolina Gold jambalaya features indulgent jumbo gulf shrimp and andouille sausage made in-house. The recipe is so popular that he's posted it on his website.

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The Jambalaya Shoppe

Jambalaya dinner at the Jambalaya Shoppe
The Jambalaya Shoppe

Nutrition information unavailable.

With 15 locations across Louisiana, this casual, family-friendly restaurant makes jambalaya its specialty. Their original "secret in the pot" recipe is cooked fresh daily in a cast-iron pot over a fire. You can make a nice meal of the jambalaya with beans and a fresh roll for around $8. The Jambalaya Shoppe also offers pastalaya, which is jambalaya made with pasta instead of rice.

J. Gumbo's

Jambalaya at J. Gumbo's
J. Gumbo's/Facebook

Nutrition information unavailable.

Another excellent medium-size chain offering hearty homestyle Southern cooking, the fast-casual Cajun and Creole restaurant has locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee where you can feed your jambalaya cravings. The restaurant serves a hearty bowl of Creole-style jambalaya with smoked sausage and shredded chicken. It tastes even better with a side of cornbread.

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The Lost Cajun

Jambalaya at the Lost Cajun
The Lost Cajun

Nutrition information unavailable.

As the name suggests, this chain is about as far from Cajun country as you can get. Founded in Colorado in 2010, the chain has expanded to California, South Carolina, and Texas. The jambalaya is slow-cooked daily, with seasoned rice, chicken, and spicy Cajun sausage. Get there early because once the kitchen runs out for the day, the jambalaya is 86'ed.

Pot & Paddle Jambalaya Kitchen

pot and paddle jambalaya
Pot & Paddle

Nutrition information unavailable.

This five-location micro chain in Louisiana specializes in jambalaya. Prepare for your high expectations to be met by the house-made chicken or pork versions. The meat is alway juicy, and the rice is well-spiced. Pot & Paddle also offers pastalaya, substituting rice for the traditional pasta, and both are well paired with the restaurant's white bean side.

Tanya Edwards
Tanya Edwards is a seasoned food and health journalist, who has held roles at Yahoo Health as Managing Editor and at Food Network as Programming Director. Read more about Tanya