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What to eat in New Orleans (much more than Beignets!)

Here at Magical Mystery Tours, we recently got to plan a mystery trip where the main criteria was that travellers wanted a long-weekend in the US where was sure to be lots of good food.

When we asked on Facebook and Twitter what the best foodie cities were, you all suggested Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, San Francisco, Portland (both Maine and Oregon), Houston, Charleston, and Dallas, but ultimately we went with New Orleans!

I’ve only spent a long weekend in New Orleans, but knew my foodie friend Daniel would be happy to help.  He went to Tulane, regularly goes back to New Orleans, and even named his dog Tchoupitoulas (a main street in NOLA), and will happily discuss his New Orleans food preferences with anyone considering a trip. Here’s what he had to say:

My favorite restaurant in the world is Jacques Imo’s on Oak Street uptown.  The paneed duck breast with sweet potato shrimp cream sauce is to die for.  Served with buttery cornbread muffins and a spinach salad with a fried oyster. Abita beer or a good cocktail to drink. Mouth. Watering.

Also uptown (though not as far “up”) is a fantastic restaurant called Dick & Jenny’s. Took a crew there during a conference last year and everyone LOVED their food.  Neither will disappoint.  Casual but top-notch food.  MMMMM.

A wonderful and famous diner uptown is Camellia Grill.  There’s often a line out the door.  Get the pecan waffles or cheeseburger and cheese fries with the chocolate cherry freeze.  Save room for pecan pie.  Be ready to fist bump the cooks/waiters who have worked there forever.  It’s all served at the counter and there are limited seats.

Higher end price range (and fancier dress) is Commander’s Palace, also uptown.  On Canal Street you can also eat at Palace Café, which is also owned by the Brennan family (who own Commander’s) and it’s excellent.  The pecan-crusted catfish is amazing.  Also John Besh’s Restaurant August belongs on any list of excellent restaurants in New Orleans.  Lüke (also by John Besh) is really good – casual, small and low key.  Bayona on Dauphine is a unique experience and fantastic food.

Antoine’s is a 5-star restaurant in the Quarter.  French food.  Originator of Oysters Rockefeller.  You pay for the 5-stars though for sure.

I’ve not been, but I’ve been told Cochon in the warehouse district is also amazing.

Brunch at Brennan’s on Royal Street in the Quarter is a quintessential NOLA experience.  It’s not cheap, but a mimosa with one of their variety of “plays” on Eggs Benedict is a truly great experience.  Another option uptown for brunch is Café Atchafalaya – slightly cheaper, lesser known and in a neighborhood.  They do other meals too. Yummo.

Arnaud’s in the Quarter is also good.  Acme Oyster House or Deanie’s for good and fun seafood.

The Gumbo Shop in the Quarter, right off Jackson Square, has great Gumbo (duh!) and also really good po boys.

Creole Creamery in uptown has amazing and unique ice cream (not a restaurant, but thought I’d throw it out there).  Gotta do Café Du Monde in Jackson Square for beignets and café au laits.  Central Grocery there by the French Market in the Quarter is famous for inventing the Muffuletta sandwich.  Yum.

Finally, for a life-changing hamburger with boat drinks, Port of Call on the edge of the quarter is amazing.

Thanks Daniel for all the tips!

 What do you think?  Any other suggestions?  Anyone else want to go to New Orleans now?

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