New Orleans has an extensive cultural history that has led it to become one of the top places in the world to dine. Eating and drinking is considered a pastime there – it’s even said that the people of New Orleans start to plan dinner while they are still at lunch!. So, when you begin to plan your trip to this fascinating city, use this guide to create a list of places to eat. Trust me when I say you are going to need it. It also wouldn’t hurt to pack some loose pants.
Go Big for Breakfast
- Horn’s – a rustic backdrop to your hearty southern breakfast. Located in the Marigny Triangle, this small yet welcoming family establishment is serving some of the best food I had in New Orleans. Don’t let the wait turn you away – grab a coffee or bloody mary and sit under the overhang outside while perusing the menu. I suggest trying the Cochon Waffle or the Eggs Dauphine. Delicious, filling, and you better be ready to walk it off!
- Cafe du Monde – I know what you are thinking – another blog post with this place on there ?! Well, it is mentioned so many times for a reason! Don your tourist hat for a minute and try out the Cafe du Monde. Great for if you are looking for lighter breakfast fare. If the weather permits: sit outside to people watch, eat a beignet (or 5), and sip on a cafe au lait. Don’t forget to bring cash.
- The Court of Two Sisters – they are famous for their daily jazz brunch which features traditional, Creole classic dishes. The courtyard (which backs up to Bourbon Street) is full of greenery, fountains, and old Southern charm. The restaurant itself has been around for two centuries and is a must for new visitors. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time!
Eat Like a Local at Lunch
- Central Grocery & Deli – do not leave New Orleans without going here. You will only be visiting for one reason- the muffaletta. The store was founded by the man who invented this delicious sandwich so you know its going to be good. Sit at the counter or take it to-go for a picnic.
- St. Roch Market – this marketplace in Marigny is perfect for those of you who can’t make up your minds! With 11 vendors serving a variety of cuisines, a coffee barista, and an award-winning cocktail bar- you will be able to find anything your heart desires. The market also hosts some great events for anyone who wants to stay awhile!
- Turkey and the Wolf – a casual restaurant serving award-winning sandwiches and well-priced craft cocktails. Most of the ingredients are bought locally which is always a plus. This place embodies the New Orleans spirit in every way.
Sip & Snack for Happy Hour
- Elysian Bar at Hotel Peter & Paul – this is located at a renovated 1900s church and schoolhouse. The atmosphere is very chic & charming- an ideal setting for its apertivo happy hour. From 4 PM to 7 PM everyday, they serve $7 aperol spritz with a range of different flavor combinations. If it is nice out, sit in the courtyard and enjoy the fresh air.
- Kingfish – according to Anthony Bourdain, you HAVE to order the mint julep here. Another option is to go between between 2 PM – 7 PM for their happy hour specials: half-off beer and wine, $5 small plates, and $6 cocktails. The food is southern with a contemporary twist and delicious! A great place to take a load off after exploring the French Quarter.
- Superior Seafood – located in historic Uptown, this corner spot is popular among locals and tourists alike. Their daily happy hour is one of the best: from 4 PM to 6:30 PM you can enjoy 50 cent oysters, half-off house wine, $3 draft beers, and 2-for-1 frozen drinks, which includes the divine frozen French 75. This oyster bar is a perfect resting stop when spending a long day in the Big Easy!
Unwind at Dinner
- Felix’s – Felix’s is locally owned, loved, and known for one thing- oysters. Belly up to the bar and eat as many as you can. I suggest ordering some raw and char-grilled to get the ultimate experience. They are also serving New Orlean’s classic dishes like seafood gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and even alligator!
- Cochon Butcher – this foodie destination is located in the Warehouse District and specializes in house-made meats, terrines, sausages, jellies, pickles, sauces…. you get the picture. Order a bunch of small plates to share and make sure they are serving bacon jam because if you can’t try it I will be very sad for you.
- Paladar 511 – a nice change of scenery located in the Marigny neighborhood. This modern restaurant is serving pastas, flatbreads, and seasonal appetizers all made fresh to order. The bar doubles as the expo station- meaning that you are directly facing the chefs as they cook your meal!
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