If you read my first city guide for New Orleans, you’ll remember that I promised a follow up dedicated solely to where to eat when you’re there – well, this is it!
If I’m being completely honest, one of the reasons NOLA was so high on my bucket list was for the food. So if things like biscuits, jambalaya and gumbo make your heart skip a beat like they do for me, you’re going to want to give this post a read (& book a trip asap!)
& please, please, please, if you’ve been to New Orleans and have any other suggestions on where to eat that I’ve missed, let me know in the comments section because we will be visiting again! xx
If you’re looking for a quick, classic brunch in an above average atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel. As with all Ace locations, the vibe is great and the food is consistent (because bacon & eggs will always be bae, am I right?).
For an extra sweet brunch, the obvious choice is Salon by Sucre – conveniently located in the French quarter, the décor is GOALS and you can take advantage of the popular bakery on your way out. Huge Bonus and surprise is that the side that came with my breakfast sandwich was a poutine!
We also stumbled upon a little spot called Surrey’s in our hood, and heard after from friends the wait there can exceed 2-3 hours! We got lucky, and the food was delicious. Quirky decor can be expected, and bring cash in case you want to buy any of the artwork off the walls.
Lastly, I will call out a VERY unexpectedly satisfying shrimp omelette and biscuit that I had at The Ruby Slipper Café. It’s a chain restaurant but the food was really good and there’s a bunch around town you can stop in without a reso.
FOR A NIGHT OUT:
You must go to Compere Lapin. This was my favourite meal of the whole trip, and that is saying A LOT. The atmosphere is perfect, and the biscuits came with house made apple butter and bacon chive butter (dead). Do yourself a favour and order the curry goat with sweet potato gnocchi and do not leave without the banana Nutella stuffed donuts.
A runner up for best meal was definitely our Mexican-inspired night out at Johnny Sanchez – now, those that have followed me for a while know that I love MasterChef, so this was high on our list of where to eat because it’s owned by Chef Aaron Sanchez. The décor is a dream, and I liked that several of the dishes didn’t come as you would normally expect (for example the street corn is off the cob, and the quesadilla has the cheese on top). Everything was very flavourful though, and the steak taco (carne asada on the menu) was prob the best of my life.
Lastly, for a truly celebratory evening (& you know we had a lot to celebrate), Commander’s Palace is where to eat in New Orleans. This iconic blue-and-white striped house sits on a corner right next to the Lafayette Cemetery and oozes fancy creole charm. To be honest, on a regular night it’s prob too fancy for Ryan and I lol, but TREAT YO SELF. The service is exactly what you’d expect and the filet mignon and crème brule were epic (see, fancy stuff). Apparently, the owner has a movie on her life on Netflix.
IF YOU LOVE SEAFOOD:
Don’t miss Balise! I loved this place before we even stepped inside because it’s peach 🙂 Order the gulf shrimp pan roast or a fried chicken sandwich.
Also, if oysters, salmon poke or even alligator are your jam, head to Cavan — pink chairs sit within this restored historic mansion that I literally want to buy and make our home, and are just the icing on the cake to the coastal menu. It really is all in the details for this place.
IF YOU WANT TRADITIONAL NAWLINS:
And really if you don’t, why even bother?! If you want to really know where to eat in New Orleans, you can’t skimp on the classics the city is known for. For the jambalaya and gumbo I mentioned earlier (& maybe some blackened redfish), you need look no further than Coop’s Place. Unlike most of the other spots I’ve mentioned, this place is not bright or airy or insta-worthy, but man can they cook.
Last but not least, another obvious staple are BEIGNETS. I ate these icing sugar covered, doughy puffs of heaven more than one probably should lol, but I have no regrets. You can get them literally all over, but can’t go wrong with Café Du Monde or Café Beignet.