The History of the Po' Boy Sandwich

History of the Po’Boy Sandwich

In Food by ashbydodd

“If you come to New Orleans and don’t get a po’ boy, well you might have not well come….” ~Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery

Many high-end seafood menus across the country boast some version of a shrimp or oyster po’ boy, but the sandwich itself came from much more humble beginnings.

According to, The Great Depression was in full-swing in 1929 when a strike broke out in New Orleans.  Two grocery store owners, who were also former streetcar drivers, opened up their doors to feed anyone with valid credentials.  The community was anxious to feed its ‘poor boys’, hence the name of the sandwich, the po’ boy.

Originally, the sandwich was filled with a beef-based mixture but over time, the po’ boy successfully branched into the seafood industry using shrimp and oysters.  Now fillers and styles vary all over the world, but one thing must always stay the same… the light and crisp french bread.

Watch the video below to learn more about the start of the po’ boy, the influence of Vietnamese culture, the required bread choice, and more: