Haven’t had enough of my New Orleans posts yet? Well this is the best part – where to eat and drink! And not just those touristy places either. I’m talking a few hole-in-the-wall places and some of those “hidden gems” (and some not so well hidden too). Because honestly, what is Louisiana without any of our delicious food?
If you follow me at all on social media, you might have noticed I was in New Orleans for most of last week. One of my friends from grad school was coming down from Canada for a forensic conference, and it was the prefect time to catch up! Between seeing everything in the French Quarter and eating her weight in food, I think she had a good time. She probably went home with higher pressure than before, but she had to try a bit of everything before she went back home!
While she was busy doing conference-y things, I took the opportunity to hit up some of my usual New Orleans haunts. If you read some of my other New Orleans posts (Must-Do Things in New Orleans specifically), then you know I tend to shy away from the tourist hot-spots. That especially goes for bars and restaurants. 9 times out of 10 the food/drinks aren’t very good/authentic, is over-priced, and the restaurant is packed. While there are a few exceptions – some of them have to actually be good to have people come back after all – most are busy because of where they are. I’m talking about you Bourbon St.!
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I love to EAT. My day literally revolves around where I’m going to eat. If I want beignets? Looks like I’ll be in the French Quarter. I do make an exception for bar crawls though – but even then, you can bet there will be some food stops on the route. But without further delay, here’s my list of favorite New Orleans bars and restaurants!
$ = cheap $$ = average/small splurge $$$ = splurge
If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have seen this post the other day:
All of that deliciousness was at this place. I ate it all and didn’t regret it for a minute. I meant to go back later in the week, but my fiance ended up coming to meet me earlier than I planned and we went to our favorite bar instead (mentioned below). They serve breakfast, poboys, gumbo, cobbler – you name it. All homemade. Now, I don’t normally order gumbo in restaurants. It’s one of those foods down here where your family makes it best – you know? But it smelled so good that I decided to order a bowl. It did not disappoint. If you’re looking for some authentic gumbo and some delicious plates and poboys, this is a place to get it!
We actually had dinner here this past Sunday night! Do yourself a favor and get a cheese board. When it arrives, steal the chocolate cheese from whoever you’re with. You’ll thank me later.
Seriously – that chocolate cheese, while it sounds really gross/weird, is the best thing ever. It’s like fudge. They have some pretty delicious things on their menu as well, and even wine flights! They don’t take reservations for parties smaller than 6 though, but don’t worry – they have a pretty nice courtyard with extra seating. Just be sure to get there a bit earlier or later than prime dinner time (~7:30) to make sure you don’t end up waiting too long!
Tsunami New Orleans – $$
I will say that I used to work at their Baton Rouge location – but – I assure you, I wouldn’t tell you to go here unless I actually loved them! Their sushi is the best, their drinks are good, and their service is always wonderful. Plus they have a pretty awesome happy hour and weekday specials! If you start craving sushi in the Crescent City, be sure to head here. If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have noticed I visit them quite often…
Amazing drinks, delicious food, and even the occasional adventurous item. I highly recommend the tuna cones and the sweet potato beignets. While definitely a splurge, Sobou is a great place for a quiet fancy dinner!
Johnny’s Po-Boys – $
I mentioned Johnny’s Po-Boys in my Weekend in New Orleans post a while back, but to refresh you – it’s a great place to grab a quick breakfast or a poboy. It can get pretty crowded and is cash only, but it does move fairly quick. Plus their biscuits are worth the wait!
Arnaud’s – $$$
Arnaud’s Restaurant is located right off Bourbon St., and is home to both the French 75 Bar mentioned below and the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum. Housing more than two dozen amazing Mardi Gras Ball gowns, it is definitely a must-see! The restaurant itself is a fine-dining establishment, and definitely a big splurge. Their amazing food and phenomenal service certainly won’t disappoint. I would highly recommend their Jazz Brunch as well!
Court of Two Sisters – $$$
Court of Two Sisters not only has a beautiful courtyard to eat your meal, but also has a fantastic Jazz Brunch as well. Winner of countless awards, you can’t go wrong splurging on their brunch!
If you’re looking for some AMAZING charbroiled oysters, and the supposed original ones at that, then Drago’s is the place for you! While the restaurant itself is a bit of a splurge, just a dozen of their oysters will satisfy.
Blind Pelican – $-$$
Still wanting delicious oysters but not with the price tag? Then head to the Blind Pelican on St. Charles. Located right on a street car stop, their famous oyster happy hour won’t disappoint. Every day from 4-8pm, enjoy $0.75 charbroiled oysters with each alcoholic beverage, $0.25 raw oysters, and mixed drink deals. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed the last time I visited them. I also took my friend here while she was in town and LOVED it!
Red Dog Diner – $-$$
I went both for my Weekend in New Orleans post and on my recent trip. Both times the food was wonderful. Definitely order some of the crab and corn fritters, and their drink menu is not only funny but delicious too!
Looking for a great place to grab some pizza? Look no further. Reginelli’s is my all-time favorite pizza place here in Baton Rouge, but they actually started out in New Orleans! Instead of grabbing a (terrible) slice on Bourbon St. or ordering from a national chain, do yourself a favor and head to Reginelli’s. Their crust is light and fluffy and their pepperoni is delicious.
Merchant – $
Merchant is a great place to grab some great coffee, and some delicious crepes! Serving illy coffee, you’re sure to get a great cup of java. In addition to sweet and savory crepes, they also have ciabatta sandwiches, breakfast bowls and salads. It’s a great place to grab a quick breakfast or lunch!
I mentioned it in my Where to Stay in New Orleans post, and I’ll mention it again – this is my absolute favorite bar. Live Jazz music every night, an amazing and affordable cocktail menu, and delicious food. I’m definitely not a wild party person, and this is definitely the place if you’re looking for a more low-key place to grab a delicious drink or a quick bite! It is a bit hidden, it’s inside the Prince Conti Hotel, so you have to look for their door or you’ll miss it!
I love, love, love the French 75 Bar. Part of the famous Arnaud’s Restaurant mentioned above, this place is famous for their, well, French 75! They are certainly a bit pricey, but so worth it. The bar itself is beautiful, and service is also outstanding. You won’t be disappointed!
I also mentioned this bar in my Where to Stay in New Orleans post earlier this week, so to elaborate a bit…
Located inside Hotel Monteleone, it was named one of the Top 20 Bars in the World by Vogue Living, is an actual carousel…need I say more? The seats at the bar actually rotate around the bar itself, so be sure to watch where you leave your things! Because it doesn’t move very fast, it’s easy to forget you’re moving in the first place. Their drinks are a bit pricey ($12-15/cocktail on their menu), but it is definitely worth the visit.
The Erin Rose is located right off Bourbon St, right across the street from The Bombay Club. In addition to ordering drinks, you can get a pretty good poboy if you head towards the back. Which are perfect for curing those late-night hunger attacks.
The Old Absinthe House is so full of history, it’s hard to write a quick summary. Absinthe was believed to have hallucinogenic properties (which it’s doesn’t I assure you!), and thus made illegal up until recently. Now you can find some specialty absinthe creations in this historic bar. Which are delicious by the way. Located on Bourbon St., this bar is definitely a historical must-see.
This was the very first bar I went to in New Orleans – and I can certainly say they can mix a good drink. It’s part of a historic hotel that used to be a bordello (brothel) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They actually still have a red light burning as a testimony to its history. Decorated in a Victorian style, this bar is worth the visit!
Being the bar of Restaurant R’evolution, you can bet they’ll have some amazing bar food in addition to some amazing cocktails. While I wasn’t able to visit this past trip, you can bet it’s on the list for the next!
And that’s my list! Have any questions, or have a few places you’d like to add?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!