Quintessential FQ experience...
What would you define this as? I'm banished to the suburbs of Metairie unfortunately, and love to go downtown, so I am spending my birthday weekend down in the Quarter as a tourist. I already have reservations at Bayona, but still have many many more meals and activities to plan. Help! What would you suggest to an out of town friend who asked what they couldn't miss before they left town? Thanks!
If you haven't been to the relatively new Mardi Gras museum by Jackson Square, it's great. In addition to Mardi Gras as it's celebrated in New Orleans, the museum also takes you out to rural Louisiana to experience other traditions.
Food-wise, the quarter really isn't the best place to eat in the city. For out of towners, of course, I'd say you must not miss Cafe du Monde; surely you've been there. Lots of local people like Irene's. The best pretty breakfast spot we've found is Petunia's; Tally Ho is famous for breakfast but tiny. If you really want to feel like a tourist go to Mother's, although it's rather overpriced and really not all that special. For a real quarter experience, have lunch at Clover Grill on Bourbon Street -- very campy. And then of course on Saturday night you must hang out at or near Cat's Meow on Bourbon.
Let's see, in the Quarter there's: Bayonna, Peristyle, Galatoire's, Cafe Giovanni, Antoine's, Arnaud's, Pelican Club, Bacco, Begue's, Bella Luna, Mr. B's, Bistro at Maison De Ville, Nola, Brennan's, Broussard's, K-Paul's, Gamay, Irene's, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, 201, Alex Patout's, Louis XVI, Red Fish Grill, Bombay Club, Cafe Sbisa, Hunt Room, Tujague's, Court of Two Sisters, Gumbo Shop, Palace Cafe, Rib Room, Dominique's, plus a bunch of others I am sure I am leaving out, AND, not mention places like Maspero's, Cafe Du Monde, Croissant d'Or, Felix's, Acme Oysters, Central Grocery, Napoleon House, Johnny's Po-Boy, Coop's, House of Blues, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Mama Rosa's, Lucky Cheng's, La Madeleine, Messina's, Mike Anderson's, Mona Lisa, Old Dog New Trick, Petunia's, Port of Call, Ralph & Kacoo's, Angeli, and a ton of others.
Perhaps the Quarter does not have all the best restaurants in the city (e.g., Commander's, Grill Room [nearby], Clancy's, Brigtsen's, Gabrielle, Emeril's, Gautreau's, Christian's, Gerard's, and Upperline, to name a few), but to say that "the quarter really isn't the best place to eat in the city" is simply ludicrous - by any standard it contains at least 25% of the top 100 restaurants in the city. Name another area of the city that has such a concentration of excellent to good restaurants in such a small area. Surely, even you with your pedestrian palate could find several places you would enjoy dining in the above list.