Is there anyplace that you would recommend I visit while down in New Orleans?

Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi all,

I'll be heading down to New Orleans in February, right after Mardi gras (thankfully). Is there anywhere that you recommend that I don't pass up? I won't have a car down there but I'm not opposed to taking a cab to go to a worthy destination. I'll have three nights and four days down there.

I'd really like to eat some food that is better representative of Louisiana rather than mediocre tourist traps. I think I'll be missing the crawfish harvest by a few weeks...but I can't do anything about that.

I can't go with high dollar dining at every meal, but I'm not opposed to picking one or two real nice places. I'm also not opposed to stopping somewhere out of the ordinary. Driving down south comes to mind...when your driving and see a sign that says BBQ this way. You head down the narrow dirt road to find the sign BBQ here! You see a smoker in the front yard of a house and notice the smell of pork and wood in the air. Oh yeah, who's gonna pass that up?


Thanks all!


(ps: is there any chance I might be able to pick up some sassafras leaves?)
Joined Aug 11, 2000
August, Bayona are two of my favorites.....Bayona is open for lunch....fine dining.

Country southern Louisiana boudin is eaten in gas station parking lots.....festivals are usually great places to find really good food.....

New Orleans hole in the of my favorites Ugelisch, never opened after Katrina. That place defined hole in the wall, great local eats.

The farmer's markets all have great prepared food. Many of the top restaurants using local food sign up to sell meals at the markets.

Crescent City Farmers Market - Home

Po-boy reviews......
Parasols roast beef is outstanding and Casamento is known for it's oyster loaf, both are oldschool New Orleans.

Muffalotta at Cental Grocery is another uniquely New Orleans deal.

File or sassafrass leaves are readily available at most grocery stores.
Joined Nov 23, 2009
Here is a list compiled by my son. He and his wife are New Orleans junkies, and have to get their fix at least annually

Petunia's - A must for breakfast.
K-Paul's - Expensive, but worth it
Central Grocery - Muffaleta for lunch
Nola - Emeril's restaurant. I think K-Paul's is better
Palace Cafe - Brennan's family operation. Great cookbook as well
Mr. B's - New Orlean's style bbq shrimp
Acme Oyster House - Also a favorite
Ugelish's - Was their favorite before it closed.

My last time there we had a superb meal at Antoine's. It has the reputation of being an overpriced tourist trap, but we had a great meal and great service. It didn't hurt that we met the founder's granddaughter when we were shopping. She called the restaurant and made our reservation. We got a guided tour of the restaurant after we ate, and that alone was worth the price of the meal. If you have never been to New Orleans, make it a point to stop by.

There are entirely too many great eating places there. A lot of times we will order appetizers for lunch, or split entrees. You will not lose weight the week you are there.
Joined Nov 23, 2009
I talked to another friend of mine that is a frequent New Orleans visitor. He said there was a place on Lake Ponchetraine called The Cast Net you should try. Reasonably priced comfort food, like catfish and oyster po-boys.
Joined Aug 25, 2009

If you want a nice treat you might want to try the Gumbo/ salad and sweet potato cheesecake at Galatoire's.
Go for the experience, lunch would be affordable and the memory you won't forget.

a thought...
Joined Dec 23, 2000
Dan- like everybody else has said:

Don't leave town without having a muffaletta at Central Grocery!

If you're there over a weekend, especially if you're with your wife, brunch at Captain's Palace or Brennan's is one of the essential N'Awlens experiences.:peace:

I especially recommend whatever fish they're serving en papilotte and. of course, Bananas Foster! Bottle of champagne wouldn't hurt - or maybe a Hurricane. Or both, if you don't have any pressing business to attend to. :lol:

Have fun

Mike :thumb:
Joined Feb 13, 2008
New Orleans is like San Francisco in a lot of ways.

I once wrote that SF is "not a city but a theme park," which seems to have been largely misunderstood. At the risk of more misunderstanding the same is true about New Orleans. It's not that large a city compared to the number of visitors.

Don't worry too much about "tourist traps." At least not outside the clip joint bars in the Quarter. If it's good, it's packed with tourists. A big part of Nawlin's charm (along with SF's) is that all the old, famous restaurants remain evergreen and wonderful.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't talk yourself out of trying places like Commander's Palace, Galatoire, K-Paul, one of Emeril's places, Cafe du Monde, and so on. In fact, if a place in which you're interested takes reservations -- make them now. Indeed, overbook your time there, reflect and cancel after you've made your decisions.

Irrespective of budget, the pleasure of getting out of the big places is fueled by the desire to eat "real." Not to mention, "real unhealthy." You and me? We love joints. So does NOLA. Much of the good food came with paper napkins. I don't have enough memory or local knowledge to point you in the right directions. And unfortunately it doesn't seem like you're getting much local knowledge here -- at least not so far.

Try googling things like "best debris New Orleans," "best catfish po' boy New Orleans," "best cochon de lait nola," and so on. You'll get enough hits to evaluate which blogs and reviewers are most helpful, do some of your own navigation, and maybe even send a few "cries for help" by email.

Don't miss "Drive-Thru Daiquiris."

Bone voy-adgie,
Joined Feb 13, 2008

As you know it's legal to drink and drive in Louisiana. There are lots of drive thru bars; "daiquiris" being somewhat synonymous with the idea (I wrote "Margaritas," instead of "Daiquiris." [forehead slapping smilie]) I actually had "New Orleans Original Daiquiris" in mind; but there are lots of places.

Gonefishin and I share a similar sense of humor; to be clear, I recommend it halfway in jest and half to as a bit of local color. In my opinion, it's a lot more fun to talk about drinking and driving than it is to do it.

Joined Jul 31, 2000
I forgot the name of the place that is famous for Hurricane cocktail? But it was fun.

Café du Monde, their is so much confectioners sugar on the floor it sticks to your shoes. Bayona was the best meal I had, Commanders palace was fun for classic ambiance and table side service. Unbelievable muffalotta at the central grocery. The rest really is a blur, but a happy blur :smokin
Joined Jan 28, 2010
Below are a few accolades from Commanders Palace. This is a place that both Paul Prudomme and Emeril Lagasse were executive chefs. If you only have one nice meal out this is the place!

We are honored to have received recognition from our peers, critics and friends over the years. We continue to live by the philosphy that we are as good as our last meal served.
2009 Great American Seafood Cookoff
1st Place, Chef Tory McPhail
James Beard Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award (Ella Brennan, 2009)
Lifetime Outstanding Restaurant Award
Lifetime Service Award
Who's Who of Food & Beverage Award
Best Chef, Southeast Region (Jamie Shannon, 1999)
Outstanding Service Award
2008 Gambit's Best of New Orleans
Best New Orleans Restaurant
Best Place To Get Bread Pudding
Wine Spectator Magazine
Best of Award of Excellence, 2009
Achievement of Distinction in Dining
Restaurants & Institutions Magazine
Lifetime Ivy Award
Nation's Restaurant News Magazine
Lifetime Fine Dining Hall of Fame
Culinary Institute of America
Hall of Fame, Inducted 2008
2009, 2004 - 1988 - Zagat Survey/New Orleans
Most Popular Restaurant (18 total years)
Best Decor, 2009
2000, 1997 & 1995 Food & Wine Magazine
Reader's Choice Award, # 1 Restaurant in America
2009, 2008 Southern Living Magazine Reader's Choice
#1 Best Splurge Restaurant in the South
1999 - Robb Report
Chosen # 2 Chef in the World
1997 - Southern Living Magazine
Reader's Choice Awards, # 1 City Restaurant
1997 - Gourmet Magazine
Reader's Top Table Award, Tops for Special Occasions
1996 - New Orleans Magazine
Chef of the Year
Joined Apr 3, 2009
I spent a week in NO a year before Katrina and dinner at Commanders Palace was outstanding and Sunday brunch at the Royal Sonesta was something I will never forget.....just think of a bottomless Mimosa at 11AM. Po Boys at Mothers was great and hope Mothers survived the storm as I loved that place.

A bit of advice don't go to the French Quarter too early in the morning before the sidewalks are hosed down....stinky!
Joined Nov 6, 2004
(have you ever started to reply to a thread in the morning and noticed you still haven't been able to finish until later at night :rolleyes:) lol

Thanks KC and Mike. I will certainly stop at the Central grocery store and Cafe du Monde. How could I not! I've got a recipe somewhere that's pretty makes a pretty darn good muffalatta. Maybe I'll look it up to get me in the mood :) K-Pauls will also be on the list :)

I normally don't take any trips without my wife and kids :( But this time I'm not going with them. I will be going with a good friend of mine. We've been talking about going for years. My wife has actually encouraged me to go...I know...I may sound silly. I will however keep and eye open on what I can do with three kids in Louisiana. I would like to drive down and make a big loop back up to Illinois.

I looked at Galatoire's, August, Bayona. I'm not sure which one I'll end up going to..but they all look real nice. Maybe I'll try to work in a lunch or something else...I'm not sure if I can pass up the opportunity of trying John Besh's cooking as well. There's just not going to be enough time!

Thanks for all the suggestions Oldpro. I know I'll try a few of them...and I'll certainly keep them all in mind as we're looking for a place to eat. I does look like Petunia's is closed...but I will double check.

cochon de lait! How could I have forgotten :look: That's actually my "team" name for fantasy football (which is another story). I will certainly see what I can find on cochon de lait. BDL, I'll certainly look into the searches you suggested...I may end up with more time if I go back later in the year with my family. It certainly would be a hoot to grab a quick one for a drive, lol...I didn't know there were still places where that was legal. Come to think of it...I'm surprised California and Illinois aren't doing this now. They could have the first window to serve you your drink and the next window you face the Breathalyzer, at the third you can pay your drink bill and fine :lol: I see your jest and raise your local color.

You guys are really making me look forward to this trip. Oh...and I can't wait to eat some gumbo and gumbo and gumbo and gumbo :thumb:
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Pat O'Briens (in the Quarter).

Probably just a typo, but in the interests of accuracy, it's "muffaletta" with an "e."

Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hey shroom, you got away with O instead of an E, no fair ;)

Pat O'Brien's it was.

Thanks for pointing out my miss spelled sandwich :thumb:

It was still delicious.
Joined Sep 29, 2009
Didn't even read this thread and I'll guarantee that Cafe du Monde, K-Paul, Galatoire, Brennans, Nola, and Central Grocery have made the list... several times. That's because they are all very good. I'll skip those.

There's a seafood joint(it's a joint by my definition at least) just off the market that makes the best crawfish etouffee that I have ever had in my entire life.. I don't remember the name of the place, as I was quite intoxicated when I discovered it. It's a small brick building that's part of a row and has a red brick porch with a wrought iron rail and a green slate menu board outside. That's the best I can do and it's worth poking around for. Ask a cabbie. They normally know the good spots for Po Boys and the like.

Aside from that, get some drinks at Pat O'Briens. And buy a soap carving or something else weird from someone on by the river.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Cochon....all about the pig.Cochon Restaurant

Hulu has a Daniel Boulud "After hours" series with about 10 episodes in NO.....worth checking out just to get a feel.'s all about content.....everyone knows most chefs/cooks can't spell worth diddly. :peace:
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