Avoid the crowds, this is where the locals eat in New Orleans
With over 1,000 restaurants in the city, travelers flocking to New Orleans may not get unanimous answers from locals when they ask: what’s the best place to eat? Besides its festive Mardis Gras celebrations, New Orleans is world famous for its Creole and Cajun cuisines, which are 2 distinct cuisines that originated in Louisiana.
Largely inspired by French cuisine, Cajun cuisine typically consists of meat-based ingredients with rice, such as jambalaya or boudin (a spicy smoked pork sausage). Meanwhile, Creole cuisine draws inspiration from cuisines from Europe, Africa and native America and is characterized by its use of rich tomato-based sauces.
When combined, New Orleans offers the traveling foodie a vibrant dining experience exclusive to The Big Easy. With millions of tourists visiting New Orleans each year, popular cafes and bistros are filled to the brim with visitors from the outside, especially in the city’s French Quarter. Travelers looking for a superb dining experience in New Orleans should consider visiting some of these restaurants on a city tour!
5 For donuts, visit the Morning Call coffee stand
Simply put, donuts are French-style donuts sprinkled with mountains of powdered sugar. The CafÃ© du Monde is famous for these deliciously delectable pastries, which opened in 1862 on the French market. Today, several chains can be found across New Orleans. The original CafÃ© du Monde on Decatur Street is known for its great atmosphere but can get a bit busy.
So if you’re looking to sate your donut cravings, locals flock to the Morning Call coffee stand in City Park. Considered the “the most famous coffee drinking place âin New Orleans, order fresh donuts alongside cafÃ© au lait, a local coffee mixed with chicory and milk.
4 Excellent seafood can be found all over town
In New Orleans, tourists can often sample delicious seafood (and other local delicacies) at restaurants like Deanie’s Seafood, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, and Gumbo Shop. Tourists from all over the world can easily find a seafood restaurant in the city’s French Quarter, a busy tourist destination, which means restaurants can get a bit crowded (and noisy).
Even among the touristy restaurants in the popular French Quarter, more quaint restaurants like GW Fins offer an extensive seafood menu, perfect for dates. Good things can also be said about Basin Seafood and Spirits, as well as Adolfo’s Italian Eatery atop the Apple Barrel Bar Inn (although locals say there is a queue due to the restaurant’s reputation for preparing delicious Italian cuisine with a Cajun-Creole twist).
3 For the Po’Boys, visit these local gems
Another famous New Orleans favorite, the Po’Boy is a French bread-based sandwich, typically filled with fried seafood, roast beef, lettuce, tomato, and a generous layer of gravy-like sauce. mayonnaise. However, New Orleans’ ‘best’ po’boy is questionable among locals.
Places like Mother’s Restaurant in the heart of downtown serve their popular po’boy sandwiches to tourists and locals alike. In the French Quarter, locals recommend bars like Johnny’s Po-Boys, Killer Po-Boys, Acme Oyster House, and Verti Marte for great sandwiches and cold cuts. If you find yourself in the upscale New Orleans neighborhoods, head to Domilise’s Po-Boy & Bar to try their sandwiches (it’s been a family restaurant since 1918).
2 Skip the fine dining experience at Commander’s Palace and visit Vyonne’s
The Commander’s Palace is distinguished by its charming and distinct blue building in the Garden District of New Orleans. This fine-dining restaurant has served Haute Creole cuisine since 1893 and is known for dishes like sherry turtle soup and Commander’s Creole Gumbo.
Considered to be New Orleans’ most expensive restaurant, guests wishing to dine at Commander’s Palace should adhere to the dress code of formal attire, while preparing for a potentially heavy check.
Travelers looking for a more comfortable wine and dining experience should visit Vyonne’s instead. This restaurant has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in New Orleans in recent years. Serving French cuisine with a modern twist, this property is nestled in the city’s Warehouse District. Visitors can enjoy a range of French-inspired dishes, from Burgundy snails to tuna tartare.
1 Brunch options away from the crowds
Hungry travelers looking to grab a brunch snack often flock to places like Elizabeth’s on Gallier, The Ruby Slipper Cafe, Mr. B’s Bistro, The Court of Two Sisters, and Antonie’s Restaurant. These restaurants are praised for their cheerful vibes and eclectic vibes, while some disgruntled patrons refer to these establishments as “overrated tourist traps.”
On the other hand, locals love to have breakfast at Dots Diner, a 24/7 restaurant chain that serves traditional American breakfast at an affordable price. While there are several locations across Louisiana, there is one chain located in New Orleans, specifically Jefferson. Keep in mind that Dots Diner is a bit far from the tourist areas of the city, but customers rave about their large portions, cheap prices, and delicious menu (especially their big American-style breakfasts) .
For a more picturesque setting with a quieter crowd, tourists should visit Chais Delachaise, Gris-Gris, or Patois for a nice brunch. Although they’re a bit far from New Orleans’ bustling French Quarter, locals complement these restaurants for their elegant take on French cuisine and local fare, such as blueberry and bourbon purdue bread (Gris-Gris ), chicken and okra with wild boar sausage (Patois), and mussels with coconut curry (patois).
Otherwise, travelers wanting to stay in the French Quarter should visit Vacherie, which is located on the first floor of the Hotel St. Marie. This restaurant serves authentic Cajun cuisine, serving breakfast specials such as andouille hash, Benedictine sausage and bread pudding for breakfast.
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