In New Orleans everything is celebrated, especially good food. No where else is the world will you taste the flavors of Creole and Cajun dishes quite like you will in their birthplace. Anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows about the immense love my favorite travel partner and I have for the people, culture, and food of this remarkable city. Each time we visit we try to eat at different places but we also have our favorite spots where we feel at home.
Here is our ever growing list of food, drink, and even some food festivals we recommend when in New Orleans:
This shop is renowned for their delectable beignets and boldly flavored cafe au lait. The most popular location is on Decatur Street right next to Jackson Square. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a sweet treat and sit for a spell while people watching at all hours since they are open 24/7.
Occasionally I like to splurge, especially when it comes to treating my taste buds. Antoine’s, located in the French Quarter, has been delighting the taste buds of food lovers since 1840 and is the oldest family run restaurant in New Orleans. My favorite dish is the Alligator soup, and of course their famous Baked Alaska for dessert! It’s a great place to dress up and indulge in world renowned French-Creole cuisine. Don’t forget to make a reservation, and ask to take the tour of the restaurant after your dinner. There are 14 dining rooms that each have a unique history behind them.
If you are a fried chicken fan, you definitely have to visit this restaurant as soon as possible. This is the tastiest, most savory fried chicken recipe I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Get there right when they open or you will have to stand in line and be tortured by the heavenly aromas emanating from the kitchen while you wait!
Not an oyster fan? Yeah, neither was I, until I tried Acme’s char-grilled oyster platter. Now, this oyster dish is a constant presence in all of my food-filled dreams! This is definitely a place you have to put on your list of must-try restaurants. I always order 1 dozen oysters, a side of boo fries (french fries drenched with gravy), and a sweet tea. It’s amazing!
Praline Bacon. Those are the only two words my husband and I had to hear to get to breakfast at Elizabeth’s in the Bywater. Not only does this place serve up hearty, delicious dishes but it has such a cool, easy-going atmosphere. It was also the perfect location to meet one of my favorite New Orleanians for Lunch with a Local. My perfect meal there consists of their waffles, Veggie Omelet, side of Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Remoulade, Elizabeth’s Sidecar cocktail, and of course the praline bacon.
A rustic, yet contemporary, renovated warehouse in the Arts District of New Orleans sets the ambiance for diners to enjoy authentic Cajun and Southern dishes like fried alligator, catfish, and of course a variety of pork dishes (Cochon is a French word meaning “pig.”). Anything on the menu here is sure to taste great so make a reservation because it gets very crowded. Pictured here is the Rabbit and dumplings, and twice-baked stuffed potato.
“Real Nawlins Food Not famous since 1996” is what the website reads. I can concur with the “Real Nawlins Food” part of that sentence, but the long lines to get in prove the “Not famous” portion otherwise :-P. Locals and tourists alike flock to this Uptown restaurant to savor the authentic taste of Creole soul food. Offering entrees like Paneed Rabbit, blackened redfish with crab-chili hollandaise, as well as Creole favorites like crawfish étouffée and jambalaya,it’s definitely worth the wait – and the cab ride from the Quarter.
Honestly, what first attracted me to this cute cafe and bakery in the colorful Marigny neighborhood was the name. It just sounds so sweet and tasty. Having been back to this place a couple times I can confirm that it is a fitting name. The pastries are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, but they serve up delicious breakfast and lunch to satisfy savory cravings as well. Try the corned beef hash and top it off with a delicious wedding cake cupcake from the pastry case.
Port of Call shakes up the standard burger and fries combo a bit by serving burgers with loaded baked potatoes. I got the cheese burger and asked for my baked potato loaded with everything (butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, mushrooms,chives and bacon bits). There is no denying the deliciousness that ensued with each bite but I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size and heaviness of it all. If you’re hungry and you like meat and potatoes this joint has been consistently voted “Best Burger” in New Orleans so head on in and share a plate if you have to.
This restaurant located on Royal Street in the French Quarter serves contemporary Louisiana fare complete with Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free options, and has a yummy cocktail menu too! For lunch I love the delectable Amelie Muffaletta with a seasonally inspired Courtyard Cocktail. Ask to dine in the courtyard where you can enjoy your lunch or dinner in a whimsically romantic ambiance.
Turtle Soup Au Sherry and delicious Pain Perdu Bread Pudding? My favorites! Follow that with a cocktail upstairs in their “Seance Lounge,” so named for the many spirits that still reside in this historic location. If this sounds like your kind of night, Muriel’s is your place. Make sure to raise a glass to their spirits. Their main ghostly resident is Mr. Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan who they always have a table set for with bread and wine.
Honestly, I did not have very high expectations for this restaurant because it is located in a great location for foot traffic right smack dab next to Jackson Square, so maybe they don’t have to try to hard to get customers, right? Wrong. This is New Orleans baby, the food needs to be top-notch! If you can score a table with a view of the buskers in Jackson square your already good food will be enhanced just that much more. Make sure to try a cup (or a bowl) of their savory gumbo!
Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
What’s a trip to New Orleans without indulging in some haunted history and libations? Jean Lafitte’s, which has been around since the 1700s, is one of the oldest buildings in New Orleans and is believed to have served as front for the famous pirate’s many legal and illegal endeavors. Located on Bourbon Street, the ambiance here with it’s darkened, gas lit lighting, has an unmistakably New Orleans flavor.
Another French Quarter haunt to drink spirits with the spirits, Old Absinthe House is purportedly the very building that Jean Lafitte and General Andrew Jackson met to discuss a deal. That deal led to what became a pivotal victory in the Battle of New Orleans in 1814. They offer an extensive absinthe menu as well as an array of popular cocktails, and New Orleans favorites. One of my favorite things to do is briefly walk among the crazies on Bourbon Street, then seek shelter in this joint and sip on a comforting glass of Lucid absinthe.
Dark, mysterious, gritty and soooo New Orleans. Make your way down a dark alley and you’ll find a door which opens to a heavy metal dive bar. The decor is unique in this joint and features heavy metal art, chains and cells for seating, and Halloween type props. Unfortunately, they do not allow any photos and they are very serious about it! If you’re looking for a cool place to enjoy a few drinks and listen to rock/metal/alternative then definitely check this place out. It has a very chill vibe. My favorite drink was The Witches Brew, and Dragon’s Breath.
A magical place and a ritual in every cup. The witches who conjure up your cup of tea know what they are doing and just what tea to prescribe for what ails you. Tarot readings are also available if you find yourself in need of guidance.
Louisiana Seafood Festival
This amazing, family friendly event takes place usually in the Autumn and has live music, celebrity chef cooking demos, kid’s area with seafood-themed activities, and the freshest, tastiest, Louisiana-style seafood from local vendors and beyond for all to enjoy. We are fans of seafood and love the way they do it in Louisiana so if you do too, you will be in heaven!
If you’re obsessed with fried chicken this is a can’t miss event. Restaurants from all over the U.S. come to showcase their flavors and variations of this Southern favorite. My advice is to bring a lot of cash along with your appetite! The lines can get long and the crowds are huge so come prepared.
Well, I knew writing this would make me hungry. I hope you feel inspired to book the next flight and eat your way through New Orleans. I know I am, and I can’t wait for my next visit.
With all the great food around, you definitely won’t go hungry. If you need more inspiration, just ask a local! People love talking about food, and since NOLA is home to some of the best food in the world, locals are bound to have more than a few suggestions. As they say in The Big Easy, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”
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