Headed to New Orleans? Here are a few of our favorite places to grab a bite and sip back a spirit!
Before heading out on a work trip, I always aim to secure a “local insight” on where to find food and fun. Suggestions from friends, co-workers, and you guys (our readers) truly make the trip that much more enjoyable. When I asked my sources about good ol’ New Orleans, I knew I was in for some good restaurant recommendations, but I didn’t expect to hear about so many must-try spots. All praises go out to the folks who helped me compile a bulleted list of about 5o+ “do’s, see’s, & eat’s”. For the short duration of our stay, the feat of getting to all of them was unrealistic. BUT, of course we managed to hit up a few, and it was just enough to leave our mouths watering. Here’s a guide to some of our favorite places to kick back, grab a bite and take in the NOLA culture.
Peche (Magazine & Julia Street)
At the corner of Magazine and Julia Street sits a restaurant suggested by just about every person I talked to. Peche serves up simple seafood dishes traditional to Louisiana, and has some of the best damn oysters I’ve ever come across. The open kitchen design this restaurant utilizes grants your access to flame-throwing chefs and gives you an eye-level view of the oyster bar. If you aren’t starving, this is also a great place to grab something off the menu’s small plate section, or try something from the raw bar to accompany a glass of bubbles or white wine.
Bacchanal (Bywater District, at Chartres & Poland ave)
Our visit to Bacchanal was one of my favorites. The sun was setting, and the live band was just about to start playing tunes for the crowd that filled the lit-up backyard. Walk in, choose your wine, pick a cheese and find a seat. The process is easy, and pretty genius, in my mind. Want your wine chilled? They’ve got you covered. Bacchanal’s atmosphere is what I loved most. If you’re looking for a fancier experience, try the upstairs dining room that offers up a full dinner and bar menu. I’m waiting for Philly to jump on the bandwagon and offer up a spot like this. I highly recommend this gem!
Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar (Magazine street, in between Terpsichore & Euterpe)
It was the day of the event. We had an hour to kill, and we needed food…stat. We made the poor decision to walk 12+ blocks down Magazine Street on one of the hottest days of the year, so we communally decided to just eat at the first place we came across. Thankfully it was one that offered fresh juice, breakfast all day, in a space that was lined from top to bottom with artsy/funky New Orleans art. I love when a place offers up breakfast for those who want it past 11am, so Surrey’s won my heart over…real quick.
French Truck Coffee (Magazine Street, in between Erato &Thalia)
Just down the road from Surrey’s is French Truck Coffee. Don’t worry, the yellow walls and bright blue roof make this place hard to miss. Can’t make it in for a cup from the local micro-roaster? Your daily joe can be hand-delivered to you in one of the many vintage Citroen French Truck Coffee trucks that are moving about the city. And you guessed it…they’re pretty much a mirror image of the newly-opened storefront.
The Green Fork (At Prytania & Thalia)
Juices, smoothies, vegan eats…The Green Fork is serving up just about anything that will nourish the body. We loved their juices so much, we came back…twice. My favorite, The Faith, is a combination of grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple and ginger. Choose from a variety of daily specials, locally made food or customize a juice cleanse specifically to you!
Tableau (Chartres & St. Peter Street, Jackson Square)
Tableau was exactly the type of place I wanted to close down our first night in the city. I got in touch with one of my friends who lives in New Orleans, and she couldn’t have suggested a better spot. In the French Quarter, right on the corner of Jackson Square, the second floor balcony of Tableau is one place in which you need to find yourself while visiting the city. We made it just before the sun went down, and we were able to watch it slowly cascade behind the points on the Cabildo, spreading night over the streets of the French Quarter. We had only time for a glass of wine, but the menu looked great with its classic creole dishes. The view was all I really needed.
Cafe Du Monde (Decatur Street, Jackson Square)
This is not one of a off-the-beaten-path spot but, in my opinion, a trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without a coffee and beignet from Cafe Du Monde. A little cliche, yes, but let’s face it – sometimes it’s okay to be a tourist. My favorite time to go is anytime during the week, but after midnight. It’s far less crowded, and feels more comfortable when it’s lit up by the warm cafe lights. I highly suggest not wearing black because you will be 100% swimming in powdered sugar by the time you leave, but oh is it worth it. And the hat. You gotta ask for a hat.
Other places worth checking out:
+If you have any other recommendations, please let us know in the comments below!
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