New Orleans is infamous for many things, and its food is one of them for sure. And with good reason. It is really hard to beat Creole and Cajun food for its savoriness. But this definitely isn’t the only amazing food New Orleans has to offer. Let’s, of course, not forget the amazing cocktails.
Brunch and Breakfast
We didn’t eat out a lot for this meal, but two of the places we tried were definitely shining stars.
Who Dat Coffee Cafe is just outside the French Quarter, and definitely worth a visit. Sitting outside is a nice treat. Ate here our last morning and wished I had done so earlier so I could come back again.
Ruby Slipper has a great atmosphere as well as food. We ate at the one located in the Marigny neighborhood. Since they can sometimes be busy, we got our food to go. I was pretty impressed with how well they packed the meals, too. They made sure to keep things separate that might make other items soggy, etc. You can get on their waitlist ahead of time, and you can also order online which makes things extra handy. Staff were fun, and it was a chill place so would be worth dining in if you feel up to it.
Sometimes people wonder if the world-famous Cafe du Monde is really “all that.” Oh yes! I have heard many people say the beignets from the location in the City Park is the best, but it’s definitely more difficult to get to if you don’t have access to a car. The historical one by the French Market is still darn good and has a fun environment. When there aren’t COVID restrictions, they’re open 24 hours a day, and there is less of a line in the evenings and early mornings. During restrictions, get there when they first open in the morning. I’m not a fan of their coffee (chickory based), but if this is your first visit to NOLA, you should give it a try just for the experience.
Po’boys are a delicious meal and a piece of New Orleans history. I’ve tried different locations, and I’ll definitely say that so far the best I’ve had are at NOLA Poboys. Eating at the restaurant can also be its own experience. It is very laidback, and your “plate” is the covered table. Don’t have to worry about being judged for licking your fingers here!
NOLA is also famous for its oysters. I can’t stand oysters, so when a food tour took the group to Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar I figured I’d just be enjoying my iced tea. However, when they arrived they looked so good I figured I’d give it a taste just because the tour guide was really trying so hard to talk them up—chargrilled oysters with butter and cheese. And she was right! I ate my whole serving.
You’ve probably heard of the muffuletta sandwich. I’ve had them in other places and have never been overly impressed. Until Central Grocery and Deli. The original owner of this place is the one who invented this sandwich, and it was absolutely delicious! Just standing inside the store had my stomach growling because of the wonderful aromas.
Fried chicken isn’t necessarily a New Orleans-specific tradition, but Willy’s Chicken Shack is definitely worth a visit. If it’s hot outside, make sure to treat yourself with one of their frozen cocktails, and you can buy an extra shot or two as well. Don’t forget, in New Orleans you can walk around the city with your cocktail in hand (geaux cup) so feel free to take it with you while you walk around after your meal.
Yes, this place gets its own section because it’s that good. They do have a dress code (mostly for men, but it isn’t overly dressy), and I hate bringing nicer clothes on a vacation. This place is worth it! Not only is the service absolutely impeccable, but the food was amazing!
Some people who haven’t visited the South might be shocked to see turtle soup on the menu. Know that these are local snapping turtles which are plentiful in the swamps. This particular recipe goes back to the late 1800s. It’s worth giving it a try.
You will definitely want to make reservations as it is quite popular. Lunch service is less busy and also offers their famous 25-cent martinis.
The bread pudding souffle is absolutely worth having, even if you don’t typically enjoy this type of dessert.
Other great foods
Dat Dog is another place you’ll want to try. Tigger especially loved their alligator sausage.
Dian Xin is a Chinese restaurant that is really quite good. They have a lot of dishes that are more typical outside of America. Very flavorful. It was actually the best Chinese food we’ve had outside of Asia.
Which are your favorite places to eat in New Orleans?