While there are a thousand things to do in the Big Easy, number one on the list is to eat! And, drink, of course… I mean, if you’re not going there to do those two things, why are you going?
And in New Orleans, there are a thousand places in which to do those two things, too, so I decided to whittle down the list a bit, so you don’t have to eat it all… unless you want to!
But if you don’t want to have a culinary hernia, here are 15 awesome places to eat and drink in New Orleans.
The Ruby Slipper Cafe
If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot in the French Quarter, the Ruby Slipper Cafe is definitely worth a visit. This cafe was opened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and has since become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
I ordered The Peacemaker deal, where you get to mix and match 2 Benedicts. I chose the Eggs Cochon (apple-braised pork over a biscuit, topped with two poached eggs finished with hollandaise), and the Chicken St Charles (a fried chicken breast on a buttermilk biscuit, topped with two poached eggs with a pork tasso cream sauce). A yummy combination!
The Ruby Slipper Cafe is located at 200 Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you want to visit a truly unique café, then Café Du Monde in New Orleans is the place for you. This French Market coffee shop has been serving up delicious coffee and beignets since 1862. And, it’s open 24 hours a day, so you can enjoy a cup of joe and a sweet treat anytime you like.
What’s a beignet? It’s basically a doughnut with no hole, covered in an obscene amount of powdered sugar. So much sugar it can choke a horse, or leave a body outline where you were sitting. Trust me, it really does.
Café Du Monde make these sugar-coated, yum-bombs every day of the year, except Christmas Day and the occasional hurricane day. They melt in your mouth! You can choose milk, water, or coffee to wash them down with. That’s pretty much the entire menu.
Café Du Monde is located in the heart of the French Quarter, so it’s the perfect place to people watch while enjoying your coffee and the sugar-induced coma you’re gonna get after devouring your trio of beignets. The outdoor seating area is particularly popular, as it offers views of some of the most iconic landmarks in New Orleans.
So, if you find yourself in the Big Easy, be sure to swing by Café Du Monde for an authentic taste of New Orleans culture.
Café Du Monde – French Market is located at 800 Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Pêche Seafood Grill
Just inside the Warehouse District, sits one of the best seafood restaurants in the city. Pêche Seafood Grill is a local favorite for seafood lovers in New Orleans. The menu features fresh, local seafood with a unique twist on traditional New Orleans dishes. You can find items like shrimp and grits, fish tacos, and crab cakes at this casual eatery. Pêche is also known for its extensive wine list and its signature cocktails.
Chefs Stephen Stryjewski, Ryan Prewitt, and Donald Link work with the local fishermen to supply their establishment with the freshest, sustainably harvested seafood you’re gonna find anywhere.
Pêche is piling up the awards, too. Prewitt was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South, in 2014, and the restaurant took the award for Best New Restaurant in America, that same year!
You’ve gotta try the hushpuppies, the seafood gumbo, and the fish sticks w/ urban south beer batter! But man, anything you get is gonna be amazing.
If you’re looking for a casual seafood dining experience in New Orleans, Pêche Seafood Grill is a great option. You definitely want to make reservations, though. Pêche fills up quickly!
Pêche Seafood Grill is located at 800 Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
When you’re in the French Quarter, head on over to Bourbon Street. No, it’s not just about booze and loud music, though there is plenty of that. But there’s also kick-ass food and cocktails there as well.
The historic Bourbon House is located in the heart of the French Quarter and offers a truly unique dining experience. The menu features classic American cuisine with a Cajun twist, and the atmosphere is casual yet inviting.
Try the Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch. It’s like a milkshake, for adults! Ohhhh yeah baby!
For appetizers, our group had the Alligator Hot Wings (crispy fried alligator ‘wings’ with a spicy honey glaze), and the Bourbonyaki baby back ribs, with a teriyaki bourbon sauce twist. I also had Smoked Shrimp and Crab Boudin Balls filled with Cajun seafood, rice sausage, and a remoulade sauce. So good!
And if that wasn’t enough food (and apparently it wasn’t because we kept eating like scurvy pirates), I ordered the Bourbon Shrimp and Grits for the main course (Gulf shrimp, andouille sausage, mushrooms and scallions with a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce).
For dessert, I ordered two house-made chocolate chip cookies, and MORE Bourbon Milk Punch.
You probably don’t want to order as much as we did, but man it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Oh, and if two dudes walk up to your table and say “can we entertain y’all?” I highly recommend you say, “heck yeah”. We were serendaded with a beautiful rendition of Jimmy Cliff’s classic “I Can See Clearly Now”. Their voices were angelic, and the harmonies were amazing!
Bourbon House is located at 144 Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Some of the best po-boys in New Orleans can be found at Johnny’s Po-Boys. They’ve been around since 1950, so they definitely know a thing or two about making a good classic, New Orleans sandwich.
You can get just about anything you can imagine on it, (Bacon & Eggs, BBQ Beef, Chicken Tenders, Crab Cakes, you name it) but I prefer the Classic Shrimp or the Soft Shell Crab! Don’t forget some Red Beans and Rice, of course! It’s pretty much a law.
The restaurant is located in the French Quarter, so you can soak up the local atmosphere while you eat. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try the alligator sausage po-boy!
Johnny’s Po-Boys is located at 511 St Louis Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
If you love oysters, then you have to hit the original oyster bar, Casamento’s. They’ve been serving up oysters for over 100 years. Yeah, seriously. And they have the awards to prove they’re the best, including ‘best seafood’ in 2021 by Restaurant Guru.
You can get oysters on the half shell of course, or fried, char-broiled, or on a po boy sandwich. They have lots of other great stuff, too, especially gumbo! A big plus… all of their fried seafood is gluten free!
Johnny’s Po-Boys is located at 4330 Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you’re looking for the ‘World’s Best’ Baked Ham, then you have to head to Mother’s Restaurant. They’ve been the local port of call for the U.S. Marine Corps, ever since! Almost everyone in their family served in the Corps.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Mothers Restaurant is the line. It’s almost always there, snaking out the door and down the block. But don’t let that discourage you – the wait is definitely worth it.
This legendary New Orleans eatery has been serving up some of the city’s best food for over 80 years, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
So what’s on the menu? Well, just about everything. From shrimp and grits to jambalaya to po’boys, there’s something for everyone at Mothers. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try the fried alligator – it’s delicious!
Try Mama’s Famous Ferdi Special: a po-boy sandwich with baked ham, roast beef, with au jus gravy, and the dressings: that’s fresh shredded cabbage, pickles, and mayonnaise, with Creole and yellow mustards! Or just get the ‘World’s Best’ Baked Ham with three sides!
No matter what you order, you’re sure to leave Mothers with a full stomach and a smile on your face. So go ahead and brave the line – you won’t regret it.
Mothers Restaurant is located at 401 Poydras Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dooky Chase Restaurant is a world-famous eatery in New Orleans, Louisiana. The restaurant is known for its authentic Creole cuisine, as well as its jazz music. Dooky Chase has been featured in numerous magazines and television shows, and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.
The restaurant was founded in 1941 by Emile J. Chassenet Sr., and is currently owned and operated by his son, Edgar “Dooky” Chase Jr. The restaurant is located in the historic Treme district of New Orleans, and is adjacent to the famous Louis Armstrong Park.
Since they opened their doors, they have served amazing food to the likes of celebrities and Presidents.
Tuesdays through Fridays they have a lunch buffet with different items every day, but you can always find red beans and rice and sausage on the menu.
Friday and Saturday nights you want to try the Fried Chicken, and the Chicken Creole.
Dooky Chase Restaurant is located at 2301 Orleans Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you want some gumbo, and you do (or you must leave New Orleans immediately), then you have to go to the Gumbo Shop in the French Quarter.
The ambiance is amazing, especially if you get a table in the back room… Just do it!
Choose from Seafood Okra Gumbo or Chicken Andouille Gumbo, and if you’re still hungry get some Jambalaya with smoked sausage, shrimp, and chicken.
The restaurant also serves other Louisiana-style dishes such as jambalaya and po’boys. Gumbo Shop has been featured in various publications and television shows.
If you’re looking for a taste of Louisiana culture, be sure to check out Gumbo Shop!
Gumbo Shop is located at 630 St Peter in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you find yourself in New Orleans and have a hankering for some truly delicious Italian pastries, look no further than Gambino’s Bakery. This historic institution has been serving up mouth-watering sweets since 1906, and is definitely worth a visit whether you’re a local or just passing through.
One of the most popular items on the menu is the king cake, a festive dessert that is traditionally served during Carnival season. But don’t worry – even if you miss out on this seasonal treat, there are plenty of other tempting options to choose from. The cannoli are particularly good, and the beignets (fried doughnuts) are also not to be missed.
If you’re throwing a party for a bunch of people, or you just like to eat awesome cake, then order an entire Doberge cake – Six layers of buttermilk cake with custard filling, topped with buttercream and fondant icing.
Gambino’s Bakery is located at 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd in Metairie, just a short 15 minute drive from the French Quarter in New Orleans.
After a night of boozing it up on Bourbon Street, there’s only one place to go for some greasy, hangover-curing food: Daisy Dukes French Quarter.
Well, there’s probably more than one choice, but this is the one that the locals recommend.
You can get breakfast (biscuits n gravy, chicken n waffles, etc), sandwiches, or entrees (from Red Beans and Rice to their Blackened Alligator Platter). The burgers are massive and come with all the fixings, the fries are crispy and salty, and the wings are finger-licking good.
Plenty of choices to soak up the party juices you’ve been slammin’ all night!
Daisy Dukes is located at 121 Chartres Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Galatoire’s is a New Orleans institution, and has been serving up amazing French Creole cuisine for over 100 years. Galatoire’s has been passed down through generations of the Galatoire family, and continues to be a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
The menu at Galatoire’s features classic French Creole dishes like shrimp remoulade, oysters Rockefeller, and blackened redfish. Try the Crab Maison (Louisiana lump crab with green onions, capers, and creole mustard), or the Chicken or Shrimp Creole, or Crawfish Etoufee! They have steaks, too, if you’re in for some beef. And of course, no meal at Galatoire’s would be complete without a slice of their famous Sazerac pie.
If you’re in the mood for a delicious meal and a dose of New Orleans culture, head to Galatoire’s on Bourbon Street. Bon appetite!
Galatoire’s is located at 209 Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you want the best candied pralines in the country, according to Bon Appetite Magazine and anyone who has walked through their doors, then you wanna drop in to Southern Candymakers.
This family-owned authentic candy store in New Orleans has been making sweet treats since 1992. The shop is best known for their pralines, but they also make a mean chocolate pecan pie. Southern Candymakers is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth while exploring the Big Easy.
When you step into Southern Candymakers, you’ll be transported back to a simpler time. The shop is filled with old-fashioned glass jars full of colorful candy, and the walls are adorned with vintage photos and prints. The friendly staff will help you choose the perfect treat, and will even give you a sample of their fresh hot pralines!
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Southern Candymakers is a must-visit spot in New Orleans. So next time you’re in the French Quarter, be sure to stop by and try a little bit of everything. You won’t be disappointed!
Southern Candymakers is located at 334 Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you’re looking for a classic New Orleans tavern feel and flavour, then you want to check out Jewel of the South. This little restaurant is a hidden gem in the French Quarter, and is a local favorite for its good food and casual atmosphere.
You can get French Toast with rum syrup on their Brunch menu, or Caviar and Roast Pork Belly for dinner.
Well, there ya have it: 15 Awesome Places to Eat and Drink in New Orleans… as if it’s difficult to find great food in the Big Easy while enjoying some fun experiences! There are hundreds of places to eat, and lots of great ones. Now that you have my suggestions, go and enjoy them! But try not to eat all of it in one day, unless you plan on hitting the sack after a day of noshing in NOLA!
Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, travel and food writer, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, and social media strategist. Craig likes to travel, go camping, go on road trips, watch movies, build stuff, operate the grill, and sing with his band. Craig is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada. In June 2017, PR firm Cision identified Craig as one of Canada’s top 10 most popular male bloggers in the parents and family space.