The food is really amazing in New Orleans. Our top recommendations include:
Cafe du Monde, 1039 Decatur: Located in the French Market, this is the place for beignets and chicory coffee au lait. Just don’t wear dark clothing as the powered sugar from the beignets can be lethal! Trust me on this.
Galatoire’s, 209 Bourbon Street: One of my favorite restaurants in the US. For over 105 years, this is the grand dame of New Orleans’ old-line restaurants. I love the atmosphere of the first floor. Jackets are required for gentlemen so be prepared. My favorites are the Oysters Rockefeller and the redfish with lump crab meat. My server was Wayne so ask for him; he was really good. As a tradition, people normally request their favorite waiters.
Gumbo Shop, 630 St. Peter: This was recommended. I really enjoyed my lunch. The combination platter of Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya and Crawfish Etouffee is the way to go. The Etouffee was really wonderful!
Baru, 3700 Magazine Street: Good Caribbean food recommended by the New York Times. It was a great place to eat lunch amongst the galleries and antiques stores. I thought the food and service was very good and liked the colorful interior.
Bayona, 430 Dauphine St.: This is the restaurant of well-known chef Susan Spicer that opened 21 years ago. The restaurant is very attractive and the food really excellent. The menu offers specials each day along with the most popular dishes. I thought the freshness of the ingredients was wonderful.
Antoine’s, 1730 Rue St. Louis: Since 1840, this restaurant has amazing food and ambience and is not to be missed! They did have a Spring and Summer lunch menu with 3 courses for $20.16. A great value. Make sure to visit the rooms in the back which are like visiting a museum as they have displays of crowns, dresses and photographs of the kings and queens of the Krewe Rex from past Mardis Gras.
Broussard’s, 819 Rue Conti: Enjoyed Easter brunch there. Good food and service in a lovely room. They also have a nice patio.
NOLA, 534 St. Louis: Had a wonderful meal at one of three of Emeril’s New Orleans spots. Loved the salmon and the barbecued shrimp.
Make sure to stop in at Salon by Sucre for a wonderful pastry and coffee. It is around the corner from Brennan’s at 622 Conti St.
Brennan’s: Recently closed for 17 months for an extensive remodel, this legendary restaurant is now back open. The decor is really outstanding and the service exceptional. I had to try the Eggs Hussard which is an eggs benedict with the addition of a red wine and mushroom sauce added to the dish. Make sure to ask to see the wine cellar and the elegant Rex rooms upstairs used by the Kings and Queens during Mardi Gras. 417 Royal.
Muriel’s Jackson Square: Located at 801 Chartres, this is a popular restaurant serving classic Creole cuisine for lunch and dinner. It is located in a large, historical house that was originally built between 1743 and 1762 by the Royal Treasurer of French Louisiana Colonies. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was converted to a series of commercial businesses. Muriel’s Jackson Square opened in 2001, after an extensive restoration of the building. Make sure to go upstairs to see the lovely private dining rooms and lounges, all elegantly furnished and decorated.
Also in the Quarter is Arnaud’s at 713 St. Louis, from 1918, which I have enjoyed in the past and the famed K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen made famous by the late Chef Paul Prudhomme.
Stanley Restaurant on Jackson Square is a great spot for breakfast. 547 St. Ann.
Walk or drive through the Garden District with its wonderful homes. Commander’s Palace in the Garden District, at 1403 Washington Ave., is one of the best restaurants in the city and is known for its Jazz Brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House: This favorite New Orleans restaurant was a James Beard Award Winner in 2005 as an American Classic. At 2401 St. Ann, it is known for its fried chicken. I enjoyed the fried chicken, red beans and rice, cornbread and a tasty bread pudding. I called the restaurant from the airport and found there was no wait so I had the cab driver drop me off on the way into town. It it a great experience. They are only open for lunch, so I suggest going early to avoid the lines. I also loved the casual atmosphere and the decor featuring family photos. They also have a second location in Uptown, Willie Mae’s Grocery & Deli, that is open for dinner at 7457 St. Charles Ave.
Dooky Chase, 2301 Orleans Ave.: Opened in 1941, this is a classic New Orleans restaurant owned by 94 year old legendary Creole chef Leah Chase. After it opened it “soon became the meeting place for music and entertainment, civil rights and culture in New Orleans.”
The dining rooms are more formal and highlight colorful African-American art. For lunch you can order off the menu or eat from the buffet. I ordered the Shrimp Creole from the menu which was excellent along with a warm peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream! Lunch is served Tuesday thru Friday and dinner is served on Fridays only.I would suggest calling two weeks in advance to make a reservation. 504 821 0600.
CBD/Warehouse Arts District
John Besh’s Restaurant August at Tchoupitoulas St., on the edge of the Warehouse Arts District, is known for fine dining and is set in a 19th century French-Creole building.
St. James Cheese: Their newest location in the Warehouse District, at 641 Tchoupitoulas St., has a wonderful selection of artisan cheeses, gourmet food items and cured meats. They also offer casual dining and feature an excellent selection of sandwiches, salads, mac and cheese plus cheese and charcuterie boards for eating in or take out. They have a second location in Uptown at 5004 Prytania St.
Revelator Coffee: Next door to St. James Cheese is this sleek coffee shop serving great coffee. 637 Tchoupitoulas St.
Peche: This casual spot in the Warehouse Arts District, at Magazine St., received the James Beard Award in the past for Best Chef South and Best New Restaurant. It features coastal seafood prepared on an open hearth over hardwood coals. I enjoyed a very good mahi mahi entree, a special for the day.
Emeril’s: This is Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant, located at 800 Tchoupitoulas St. I loved having a cocktail at the bar. Open for lunch and dinner it is known for its upscale New Orleans cuisine since 1990.
Willa Jean, 611 O’Keefe St.: A contemporary southern bakery cafe with exposed brick walls, it is a great spot for breakfast. They have coffee and wonderful pastries, plus a full eat-in menu. I loved my biscuit with blue crab and hollandaise sauce. The chocolate chip/sea salt cookies were a perfect snack later in the day! This is part of the Besh Restaurant Group. They are also open for lunch and dinner. Pastry Chef Lisa White was nominated for a James Beard Award 2016 for Best Pastry Chef.
For a casual breakfast spot with an old diner feel, check out Marjoria’s Commerce Restaurant at 300 Camp Street. They also serve lunch.
Cochon Butcher: This is a popular spot featuring sandwiches, bbq, small plates and sides plus house meats, sausages and house cured salami. Cochon, the well-known restaurant for Cajun and Southern cooking, is located around the corner. Both have the address of 930 Tchoupitoulas St.
Under the same ownership is Herbsaint Bar & Restaurant. Located at 701 St. Charles Ave, it is a very popular restaurant.
Balise: Operated by Justin and Mia Devillier of La Petite Grocery on Magazine St., it is housed in an elegant, original Creole townhouse from 1832.
Other fun spots include Pulp and Grind for coffee at 644 Camp St., Wood Pizza & Taphouse at 404 Andrew Higgins Dr. with a great outdoor patio and Ugly Dog Saloon & BBQ at 401 Andrew Higgins Dr. Bittersweet Confections at 725 Magazine St. is also very good. They have a second location in the newly opened St. Roch Market.
Recent restaurant finds and recommendations include:
Shaya: This hot new restaurant features the cuisine of Israel which has it origins from Turkey to Morocco and Bulgaria to Greece. Local friends love the five different kinds of hummus and the lamb tartare. It is part of the Besh Restaurant Group from chef John Besh. 4213 Magazine St.
Kenton’s: Located at 5757 Magazine St., this is a restaurant and whiskey bar that features American and Southern cooking with a raw bar. It has an extensive bourbon list. The Old Fashion was excellent and the bartenders fun to talk to. It is open for lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The dinner menu was very creative and included a Slow Poached Farm Egg with duck confit, creamy grits and smoked broth and Squid Ink Spaghetti with grilled shrimp, smoked trout and country ham.
Its website states that ‘the restaurant’s namesake is Simon Kenton, a founder of the town of Maysville, the Kentucky port town from which whiskey was first shipped out of state on flatboats. The primary downriver destination was New Orleans where the whiskey gained popularity and perhaps even acquired its name from Bourbon Street.”
La Petite Grocery: Located at 4238 Magazine St. From 2004, this is a popular restaurant located in a quaint building that housed a neighborhood grocery store in the 1800’s.
Coquette: An excellent restaurant at 2800 Magazine St. Chef Michael Stoltzfus received a James Beard Nomination in 2016 for Best Chef South. Their menu changes daily. I enjoyed a lovely dinner on my last night in town. I chose the vegetarian option.
Sucre A Sweet Boutique: Make sure to stop in for a wonderful pastry, tea, coffee, gelato or chocolate. 3015 Magazine St. CC’s Coffee House at 900 Jefferson is also a good spot for coffee.900 Jefferson Ave.
Atchafalaya: Due to weather issues, I had to cut my trip a few hours short, so I missed my brunch at Atchafalaya at 901 Louisiana Ave. It comes highly recommended as a local’s favorite for Louisiana specialties including shrimp and grits, seafood gumbo and duck hash. I will add it to my list for my next trip.