The food in New Orleans is seriously delicious!
Along with a list of ‘Must See’ places I made for our trip to New Orleans, I had an ‘EAT and DRINK’ list. After all, this is New Orleans and people rave about the Cajun cuisine and the Party Girl beverages. Thankfully my friend, Brenda, had just visited NOLA a few months earlier. She was able to point out a couple of places she knew would hit those specific points on my list. After testing them for myself, I’ve compiled a list of the top five places you should add to YOUR NOLA list of eateries.
Tami’s Top Five--To EAT/DRINK:
1. Cafe Du Monde
Okay, this is a no-brainer. If you’re headed to NOLA, you have to try the beignets. And why not try them at the most popular place in town, Cafe Du Monde. This little restaurant is featured in several movies (2003, Runaway Jury / 2013, Now You See Me), songs (Jimmy Buffet’s, The Wino and I Know), TV series (Man Vs Food), and so many different novels (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ann Rice, Kresley Cole).
Before I went, people advised me to make sure and try the beignets at other locations, too. They said I I didn’t have to go to this specific place. But with the movies and book references, I really wanted to go and see if I had put the mental picture of the restaurant together correctly. When I arrived, I placed my order and within minutes, I had a plate of flaky pastries swimming in powdered sugar placed in front of me along with a chicory coffee. My review: O.M.G!!!! YUMMO! Both were simply amazing!
I walked away with a sugar buzz and a desire to reread the books and rewatch the movies. Oh, and after having tried the beignets at a few other places, I felt the ones from Cafe Du Monde really were right at the top of the list.
2. Willa Jean
Willa Jean’s was just down from my hotel and one of the places we stopped at on our last day. I WISH I had discovered it sooner. I ordered a Bloody Mary and a Milk Money Latte. Again, both were AMAZING! I would have loved to have a second one of each.
On top of that, Brenda and I split an order of Avocado Toast and Louisiana Crawfish Benedict. Both were mouth-watering and by splitting it, we had the exact right amount. The Avocado Toast was smooth, lightly season. The Louisiana Crawfish was rich and decadent. Both totally enhanced the other and went perfectly together.
Loved this place! Brenda grabbed a sweet roll on the way out for a snack later in the day.
3. Antoine’s Restaurant
We made the mistake of eating here our first night. I say mistake because it really set the bar high for anything that came after. Thankfully I had brought dressier clothes as this place is a bit on the fancy side.
I tried the Jambalaya and Oysters Rockefeller. I’d never had either and trust me when I saw they were bursting with incredible flavor. The Jambalaya had just enough spice to have me reaching for my water, but not too much that I couldn’t enjoy the Cajun seasoning. The Oysters Rockefeller were bold and buttery. These were the spinach version and even though I had never had them before, I am definitely going to see if I can find an easy recipe and try to make them myself.
Plus, I got this super cool postcard with my order. :)
We followed that up with this amazing dessert, Bread Pudding for me and Chocolate Mouse for Brenda.
4. Borgne - Hyatt Hotel
Our hotel for the BookLoversCon had several really great restaurants located inside. We tried them all, but felt that Borgne had a really great atmosphere. For our drinks, we tried the Buck Up (Makers Mark, lemon juice, bitters, and ginger beer) and the Festival Lemonade (Cathead honeysuckle vodka, strawberry, and mint). Both were very refreshing!
Our meal consisted of the Oysters BLT (yummo!), the Oysters Rockefeller (good, but not as great as Antoine’s), and the shrimp on a bun. All were very good and as I said above, the atmosphere in the restaurant was fun (great waitstaff), while relaxing at the same time.
5. Craft Tavern
Brenda and I walked around Jackson Square and then set out to find a place to eat. Because this was Saturday, the streets and restaurants were packed. We stumbled upon the Craft Tavern after having walked a couple of miles in the NOLA heat. The Bloody Mary’s were SUPER refreshing, as was the Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters. Had to try them. :) Not exactly a favorite, but they weren’t bad.
We grabbed a double cheeseburger and a Carolina pulled pork sandwich. When I told my husband about this meal, he said it didn’t seem very Cajun. Yet several people in the area had recommended we try the pulled pork while we were in town. We did and were very happy with the results. This was a nice step away from some of the spicier foods we’d eaten that week.
Also, not pictured, this was the first place I was able to find a hard cider on tap. *color me happy!* Not sure exactly why they don’t serve hard ciders in New Orleans, but it seriously was the only place I found one.
Okay, I know I said five, but I have to add this sixth place. We stopped here twice to relax and cool down while walking around Royal Street. The first time we had a bottomless Bloody Mary and the Grits Tots. Not bad. But most things fried taste pretty good. :)
The second time, we had a Hurricane (party girl drink!!!) and beignets. Wow! Sweet! Sweet! Sweet! That pretty much sums it up. Glad I tried it once. :)
How did the beignets stack up to Cafe Du Monde? They were different. Good, but different. They had a little honey inside the pastry. I liked them. But my preference is still for those at Cafe Du Monde.
There were so many other places that we ate and drank at and each of them had their positive points. But these six just had more with either the taste of the food and drinks or the atmosphere of the waitstaff and the business itself.
Hope you get a chance to enjoy them as much as I did.
For more stories about my New Orleans adventures, check out my other blog posts at the following links: