I have a small obsession with food. No day should be spent eating something lousy unless of course you develop a stomach virus like the one I had two months ago which lasted a hideous 48 hours. In any case, I love good food and as most people know, New Orleans is a great city in which to eat. I grew up here and have always loved our local cuisine. I love cooking creole food and eating at great places. I complied a list of my favorite places but in this case, it’s not just the food but the whole atmosphere including the people, the ambience, the service and the creativity. I send this out to all of my friends and to their friends visiting the city. Email me if you go to any of these places and discovery something great.
Here you go in no particular order:
Uptown on Magazine Street This is a bistro with excellent American cuisine with a French flavor. It’s upscale and sleek but housed in an old building so it’s certainly not modern. Not extremely local in terms of flavor (no gumbos, jambalaya etc.) but it serves incredibly good food. Always packed and rather swanky. Saturday lunch is the high society day for antique shoppers.
Best to go on a Sunday night when it is mostly locals. Friday lunch if you want a drunken fiesta. On Sunday brunch and dinner, it’s ours. This is one of the last holdouts of an old, French Quarter establishment; dressy, blazer required, bustling, fun, strong drinks and authentic high-end creole food.
This is the place to go for true, Creole cuisine. Also, Friday lunch is the biggest scene in town. Expect swizzling drinks and platters of food among a LOT of filled tables with dressed up drunks. I rarely go on Fridays because I have to work and don’t have three hours to linger. It’s also deafening but if you have not experienced a Friday lunch, it’s rather a must. Personally, I prefer Sundays.
Uptown in a residential, tree-lined street. Beautiful inside and probably the most romantic of places. Dim lights and a one-room bistro. I adore this place. Wonderful food and a great wine list. You can opt for a simple roasted chicken on one hand or seared foie gras with berry preserves on another.
The cuisine is innovative. This is where you go for great Continental inspired food mixed with the most exceptional Louisiana seafood imaginable. The crowd is definitely local with a smattering of visitors who have discovered it. Like Clancy’s, it’s a social scene and customers generally know one another. Any dinner at Gautreau’s for me is a treat.
Expect a mélange of Louisiana cuisine done with style and finesse. Easily walkable from the Canal Street end of the French Quarter. On St. Charles Avenue in the downtown area. Great gumbo, excellent gnocchi, good frog legs, and best duck confit in the city. Small, intimate, and modern in feel. Always crowded but weekday lunch is the real scene.
Clancy's is not a place I would recommend to people looking for a nice, quiet dinner. It is loud, jam-packed, social, and bawdy. People usually go in big groups and booze it up all night long. I love the food and you get the real, Louisiana experience. Great veal, soft shell crab, smoked seafood, sweetbreads, and lemon icebox pie.
Waiters have been there for years and they work the large crowds like meeting old friends. The bartender, Garth, is one of the most famous in the city. It is fun to eat at the bar and talk to all the locals. This is the most social of all New Orleans restaurants (next to Galatoire's) and feels like a country club since everyone knows everyone. People table hop and visit one another all night so keep in mind, it would not be an intimate, quiet dinner. If you are up for some fun and great people watching, this is the place.
Patios which is just across the street and down a ways is similar. It has a rather loud bar but the atmosphere is quieter yet less formal. This is in an old house with hardwood floors and a rather casual atmosphere. The food is fabulous. Really great creole dishes and brunch is the best in the city. They bring out house-made brioche which is a meal in and of itself. Gumbos and soups are good as well as the game. The rabbit is the best in town. I really love this place and have never been disappointed.
Four years ago I would not have put this in my top list because I found the food substandard and way too pricey. Boy, has that changed. Something has happened in the last two years and the place is on fire. Everyone else keeps talking about it. The restaurant is gorgeous.
Service is impeccable and now the food matches the glamor. I have been three times in the last five months and at all times, my meals were excellent. I cannot wait to go back. Brunch is the big thing but dinner is exceptional too. Lunch is the bargain though and always packed.
If you’re visiting from out of town, I’m sure the last place you want to dine is a steakhouse. But if you’re ever fed up with trout amandine and turtle soup and need a good steak, this is the place. Man, the food is good. I don’t know what they do to make steaks taste this fine but I think it’s the best I’ve had. And, the side dishes are not standard fare. Expect creativity.
One of the best places uptown. My favorite is to dine at the bar where the bartenders really know their craft and where everyone is your friend by the end of the night. I rarely leave without having the rabbit and pasta. The cuisine is a mix of Louisiana/Southern/French and the food is exceptionally good. It’s dressy but not stuffy. The lighting is dim and golden, giving it the feel of a European brasserie. Also, the staff wins the friendly award.
I know. A burger place on the list of favorite restaurants but I go here way too much and love it. The cheeseburgers are supreme. Fries are golden crispy on the outside and soft inside. I hate pickles but love these homemade ones. The bread is as soft as a cotton ball. No pretense at all. It’s fast and just moan-inducing.
Oooh. Wow! This place is some good. The oysters with lime granita on top might be one of the best dishes in town. The chef used to be at one of my favorite places in town, Gautreau’s. She started her own place and the food is wonderful. The moan factor is way high. Highly recommended and mostly locals. Get the fish for sure. Sue, the chef, really knows what she is doing.
Such a great place, Coquette. Cool, brick interior and almost a bit overly hip but I love this food. It’s fresh, healthy, and filled with interesting flavor and spices. The bar is huge is it’s a great place to dine solo. There is always a lively vibe and the cocktails are inventive.
Another tiny little, unassuming cottage in the middle of the Carrollton area with sensational food. As small as it is, I never feel cramped. The prices are remarkable when one thinks of food this good. The style is a mélange of European meets Louisiana with all kinds of innovative ingredients. It’s extremely casual and attracts a young, rather hip crowd who go for the food and prices. Yes, it’s CHEAP when you consider how good it is.
Outside of Galatoire’s for Creole and Jacques-Imo’s for Cajun, this is one of the best places to go for authentic Louisiana food. The traditional Creole menu is going out of style a bit. Antoine’s used to THE place but the menu has almost cut out the old stylish dishes for good. At least Upperline serves the real thing-turtle soup, gumbo, grillades and grits, and gulf fish amandine. The Cane River shrimp is excellent and the roasted duck is by far the best in the city. I love the quirky Caribbean-like atmosphere with the funky artwork and windows overlooking tropical gardens.
This is a new restaurant to New Orleans and is one of my favorites. It is also one of the hardest restaurants in which to get a reservation. The food is inspired by Indian cuisine with a lot of creole influences as well. Its lively, fun, aesthetically pleasing, and serves incredibly good food. It's always a treat.
I am not going to go as far as to say this is a "Hole in the wall" or a "Dump" but you don't go here for the white tablecloths and the wine list. You go for the FOOD! And, man oh man is this food good. I don't know what kind of magic these people have but it's extraordinary who these chefs can take family simple ingredients and make them taste this good. It's not in the most visited areas of the city so not a walkable location but the extra effort getting there is worth it.
Copyright © 2020 YSR Search LLC - All Rights Reserved.