3 Meals: Where to eat in New Orleans

To say that New Orleans is an eater’s kind of town is a huge understatement. With a long history as a cultural melting pot French,Spanish and German influences mixed with Afro-Caribbean elements to create a cuisine that is wholly unique to New Orleans. This is the city that invented the cocktail (thank you by the way) and where brunch is a spectator sport. Tradition is rooted strongly here with several restaurants being in operation for over a century but the past few years have also seen a new breed of chef stretching New Orleans’ culinary boundaries with delicious result. Grab your fork, these are my picks of where to eat in New Orleans.

Breakfast/Brunch

Cafe du Monde

Beignets at Cafe du Monde is a must for any visit to New Orleans. The original cafe,located near the French Market, has been operating since 1862 and is known for two things – beignets (square doughnuts covered in powdered sugar), and coffee laced with chicory (served black or au lait). Lines can be long in the morning but you can get your beignet fix to go. A better bet is to head to Cafe du Monde in the afternoon or evening, grab a table and enjoy your bites of fried, airy deliciousness with a view of Jackson Square.Beignets at Cafe du Monde-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

Stanley

Stanley, located near the St. Louis Cathedral, serves up elevated American and Creole comfort food. Since the good times in New Orleans roll long into the night Stanley offers its signature breakfast menu all day.

My pick?

The Breaux Bridge Benedict- french bread topped with housemade boudin, gooey American cheese (it works, trust me on this) and 2 perfectly poached eggs. I can’t think of a better way to wake up in New Orleans.

Stanley-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

Vacherie

Vacherie, tucked within the Hotel St. Marie, celebrates Creole cuisine with a Franco-German influence. They also offer a mighty fine breakfast. Andouille hash, crawfish fritatta and johnnycakes with Steen’s cane syrup are your best bets here to help recover from the previous night’s festivities. They also serve what may be one of New Orleans’ most impressive biscuits.

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Brennan’s

This New Orleans’ institution has recently reopened after a 20 million dollar renovation and is better than ever. Under the helm of executive chef Slade Rushing smartly dressed servers scuttle about the watermelon hued dining rooms presenting classics like creamy turtle soup with spinach finished with a touch of sherry or one of the menus delicious newcomers (BBQ lobster anyone?). Breakfast here is a boozy multicourse affair that often starts with a bloody Mary or two and ends with dessert, usually their decadent praline-studded bread pudding . I also have a personal food rule that if a restaurant has something that comes to the table on fire I have to order it making Brennan’s iconic bananas foster a must for me.

Brennan's-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

 

Coquette

Exposed brick, dark wood and plenty of natural light beget the handsome space at Coquette, which occupies an unassuming corner on Magazine Street in the tony Garden District. Chef Michael Stoltzfus marries his Eastern Shore sensibilities (crab cake and soft shell crabs are frequently featured)with local ingredients to create an ever changing menu. The $25 3 course brunch is quite possibly one of the best deals to be had in New Orleans. Start your brunch with a scratch made bloody mary or a craft soda (pineapple jalepeno has just the right kick) along with first course of crisp greens lightly featuring parmesan, bottarga and gourgere croutons (which are a brilliant idea) or warm bowl of spicy gumbo. I’m never one to pass up a good egg dish so a traditional breakfast plate of scrambled eggs with bacon and creamy Anson Mill grits won out over the fried catfish. Warmly spiced gingerbread donuts with pumpkin ice cream pair perfectly with an espresso while lazing away the rest of your Sunday afternoon. Equal parts French bistro and American farm-to-table, Coquette is 100% delicious.

Coquette-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

 

Lunch

Johnny’s

No sandwich in New Orleans is more iconic than the classic po’boy and there is no better place to get your fix than Johnny’s. Serving their signature sandwiches since 1950 you can choose from a wide variety of fillings ranging from chicken and roast beef to softshell crab and alligator sausage. Johnny’s is a no frills kind of place and you’ll find everyone from bankers to musicians and travelers waiting in line. Go classic and get the fried oyster po’boy and don’t forget to add a cup of their seafood gumbo.

Johnny's Po-Boy's-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

Commander’s Palace

Perhaps the most well known restaurant in New Orleans, Commander’s Palace has stood watch on the corner of Washington Avenue and Coliseum Street since 1880. Long recognized as the grande dame of “haute Creole” cuisine Commander’s Palace does not rest on its laurels with offerings like chicory coffee laquered quail and the “Queen of all desserts” bread pudding souffle finished table side. The 3 course prix fixe lunch along with the Commander’s 25-cent martinis continue to be one of the best values in town.Commander's Palace-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

Dinner

Square Root

New Orleans may have previously been known as the “City of 1000 restaurants and one menu” but the past few years have seen a new wave of chefs unafraid to push New Orleans’ culinary limits. At the forefront is chef Philip Lopez who pioneers with a modernist take on local flavors at his restaurants Root, Square Root and Root Squared.Serious foodies clamor for one of the 16 chairs at twice nightly seatings for a 9-15 course tasting menu with full view of the chef and his team. The food here is refined and technical but also has a bit of whimsy. Take the Southern Picnic- fried chicken cotton candy highlighted with mustard seeds and fried okra.

Looking for something a bit more casual?

Head upstairs to Root Squared for craft cocktails and house cured charcuterie. The staff is inviting and knowledgeable and the food is no less spectacular. In fact the the foie gras terrine with grapefruit-shallot jam is still on my mind.

Square Root/Root Squared-Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

SoBou

If Commander’s Palace is the grande dame of New Orleans then SoBou is its hip jet setting younger sister. Located the W Hotel’s French Quarter outpost the sleek modern space attracts lovers of craft cocktails and bourbon (aficionados can get a sip of the elusive Pappy VanWinkle here). Arrive a bit early for happy hour and share a bunch of  Louisiana street food inspired small plates with a group of friends. A bowl of smoked chicken gumbo over creamy mashed potatoes is warm and comforting while the tuna cones- miniature tomato waffle cones filled with sashimi grade tuna topped with pineapple ceviche and avocado-basil ice cream- is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

Cafe Amelie

Cafe Amelie, tucked away off Royal Street, may be home to the French Quarter’s prettiest courtyard. The food here is French inspired and fresh but still uniquely New Orleans. The roast chicken here is simply but perfectly  prepared and the andouille maque choux that accompanies the succulent pork chop is highly addictive.

Cafe- Amelie- Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

 

What are some of your favorite eats in New Orleans?

 

Where to eat in New Orleans www.casualtravelist.com

I was graciously hosted by The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau but as always all opinions are my own. For more information please visit their website at www.neworleanscvb.com or on Facebook(New Orleans), Twitter (@NewOrleans) and Instagram (NewOrleansCVB).

 

 

 

79 Comments on “3 Meals: Where to eat in New Orleans

  1. That’s a lot of good looking food to be reading about first thing in the morning prior to breakfast. Cafe du Monde has always been a favorite for any visitor to NO but next time I’m there I am going to try Square Root. I am heading that way later in the year.
    Tim recently posted…America’s Dead SeaMy Profile

    • Tim, you and your stomach are in for a real treat when you make it down to the Big Easy. I can’t wait to read about your road trip.

  2. Love me some Cafe Du Monde! I found the food in New Orleans to be hit or miss. It certainly is hard to eat healthy in the deep south, but thanks for introducing me to a few new places to check out next time I’m in the BIG Easy!
    Toccara recently posted…Exploring the Olympic PeninsulaMy Profile

    • It definitely depends on where you go but there are a ton of great dining options in NOLA

  3. Great list of old favorites and some newer restaurants. The problem with NOLA is that it’s impossible to have a big enough appetite to eat everything you want to! I was hoping you’d have a “Late Night Places After Partying in the French Quarter” section, so Mother’s could be on the list.
    Sean recently posted…Santo Domingo Chocolate and Clay TourMy Profile

    • I was sad not to make it to Mother’s this trip- guess I’ll just have to go back 😉

    • I’ve been to NOLA 7 times and while the food is good I’ll take the cuisine in Madison, Wisconsin any day. More variety, better prices and larger quantities.

    • Seriously, I think I had at least 3 stomachs on this trip for all the food I ate.

  4. My only questions is why did I read this before my dinner? Because now it looks really, really, sad. Now I want breakfast for dinner.

  5. At Sasafras the smothered potatoes and sausage was the best I’ve had can’t wait to go back YUM

    • Thank you so much Jenna, it is definitely an easy city to fall in love with.

  6. You just made me want some NOLA! Honestly, I love every bit of what I taste there. However, I like a good guide because it all is so decadent. Thank you for your take on this vast city.

  7. Check out the brunch and dinner at Atchafalaya on Louisiana Ave. in the Garden district. They are doing lots of new things.

  8. I love the food in New Orleans. Cafe du Monde is definitely worth a visit, even it’s pretty busy, and I had a really delicious meal at Cochon in the CBD. I didn’t realize Commanders Palace has a prix fixe lunch with 25 cent martinis. That definitely seems worth a visit the next time I’m there.
    Alouise recently posted…Save Rhinos with #JustOneRhino and WinMy Profile

    • Cochon is another good one I didn’t get to this time. That just means I have to go back!

    • There is so much to see and eat in New Orleans, it definitely has a place on every traveler’s must visit list.

  9. I’ll take those ginger donuts and pumpkin ice cream to go please! Great post 🙂 Never thought of New Orleans as a foodie place but i guess every place has its own share of amazing places and delicious dishes. I have been saying I want to go to New Orleans for ages…having only been to Florida my USA experiences are pretty limited 🙁
    Samantha Hussey recently posted…To Ski Heaven And Back – Nira MontanaMy Profile

    • New Orleans has definitely developed a cuisine unique to itself and is different than any other city in the US.

    • Thanks Charles! Love me some Cuban food, will put Liborio on the list for next time.

    • You guys will have a blast in NOLA, there is so much to do (and eat!). Coquette was fabulous.

  10. I will be there tomorrow and I can’t wait to try some of these places. Of course I never miss a chance to eat at Cafe Du Monde, but some of the others I’ve never been to.
    Nola is my favorite city on earth, I’m so excited about my visit, I can’t wait!!!

    • I hope you had some terrific eats on this visit! Did you end up going anywhere new from this list?

    • The po’boys at Johnny’s are fantastic-definitely worth a stop when in New Orleans.

  11. This post just made me seriously hungry. And inspired. Looks like I need to get back to New Orleans ASAP to experience the places on this list I haven’t made it to yet!

  12. New Orleans is probably top on my list of places in the US I’ve never been! Filing this post away to reference when I finally get there 🙂
    Lola recently posted…Babe VibesMy Profile

  13. We spent a lot of years in NOLA when our son was at Tulane. My favorites are a muffaletta from the Central Grocery and Juan’s Flying Burrito but we ate a LOT of awesome food those years. 🙂

    • There is a ridiculous amount of good food in NOLA, you could spend a lifetime there and never try it all.

    • I could go for a beignet right now! The number one rule with beignets is don’t wear black lol.

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    • There’s no way you can have a bad time in NOLA, I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

  15. Mona Lisa pizza is a great wine, pizza, pasta place if you’re looking for something other than creole. It’s a favorite of mine. I live 45 minutes from New Orleans so we have tried many places

    • Angelique, thanks for the recommendation, you can never go wrong with a great Italian place!

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  18. Sunday brunch at Commander’s is one of America’s touchstones. A can’t miss item.

    Brianna if you go back, be sure to try Camellia Grill. Ride the St Charles’ trolley to where St Charles ends. It is right there. Pecan waffle, chocolate freeze — heavenly! An “only in NoLa” institution.
    Scott recently posted…Four Singapore Evening Must-DosMy Profile

    • I will definitely be going back to New Orleans, again thanks for the rec for Camelia Grill.

    • If you remember your entire trip to NOLA you’re not doing it right.

  19. Food was one of my favourite things about New Orleans! I was lucky enough to be befriended by a couple at the bar who adopted me for two weeks taking me out to their favourite spots. One was a chef so the food was always amazing!!

  20. Love New Orleans Creole food!! So many options listed here I feel like going back to NOLA. Definitely pinned it for future 🙂

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