New Orleans is a real foodie city, one of those places that you’ll never go hungry. With a strong Creole and Cajun culinary history, the city is also home to many other cuisines with a notable number of Vietnamese restaurants. If you come to New Orleans, come hungry and pack some comfortable clothes because you’re not going to want to miss out on all the amazing food on offer. From po’boys to gumbo, jambalaya to beignets, the only question is where to start! Here are just a few of my favourites.
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar, Garden District
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar comes highly recommended as a place for a delicious brunch or breakfast; from shrimp and grits and Bananas Foster French Toast to less traditional (but really good) huevo rancheros. This place doesn’t have a licence so if you’re looking for the bottomless-mimosa type of brunch, look elsewhere, but if you’re happy to go alcohol-free, try one of their tasty freshly-squeezed juices. It’s very friendly and homely, definitely worth a visit if you’re wandering down Magazine Street in the Garden District.
Napoleon House, French Quarter
New Orleans lays claim to be the original home of the cocktail and there’s certainly plenty of bars where you can sample the city’s finest. We hit the Napoleon House in the French Quarter for cocktail hour and enjoyed a really delicious bruschetta made with pecan pesto (so good – will have to try making some) with our drinks. My husband enjoyed a local craft IPA while I had a Dark and Stormy – very appropriate for the rainy weather outside! The Napoleon House makes the most of its setting in one of the oldest buildings in the Quarter. The name comes from the Mayor of New Orleans who offered refuge to Napoleon in his home during his exile. He never made it but the name stuck.
Royal House Oyster Bar – po’boys
You can’t go to NOLA without eating a po’boy at least once. It’s one of the classics and for good reason – a chunk of baguette filled with beef, fried shrimp or catfish, some salad, pickles and mayonnaise. There are as many varieties as days of the week and it’s hard to go wrong wherever you order. We sampled the po’boys at the Royal House Oyster Bar on Royal Street in the French Quarter and also at the wildly-popular Mother’s on Poydras St (pro tip: go early – like 6pm- if you want to beat the queue).
For a round-up of the best po’boys in town, visit the NewOrleans.com website.
The Rink coffee shop – frozen lemonade
Wandering round the Garden District looking at all those historic homes is thirsty work. If you need a break from that steamy New Orleans heat, stop in for a drink at Still Perkin’, a cafe at The Rink. The Rink has an interesting history too…it was home to the first indoor rink in the city back in the 19th century. Nowadays it’s home to a cluster of small independent shops and Still Perkin’ do a great frozen, freshly-made lemonade. Really wish we had more places in the UK who did this, so refreshing on a hot day!
Cafe du Monde – beignets
If there’s one place in New Orleans that worth a wait in line, it’s Café du Monde. Sampling the famous beignets dusted in icing sugar with a café au lait or a chicory coffee is practically the law if you’re a tourist visiting NOLA. You can buy a serving of 3 beignets for only $2 which is an absolute bargain as all that sugar will keep you going for a while!
There are a number of other locations including one in the nearby Riverside mall if you don’t want to queue.
Have you been to New Orleans? Let me know your favourite places to eat!