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Got a New Orleans Top Ten?

  • g

The last poster talked about some consensus but a lot of variation. I was wondering if the locals and experienced visitors would humor us with a top ten of their faves, in order. What better way to simplify, be direct, have fun, and start a debate! Lists ALWAYS start debates. And if a place make most lists, then it would seem to indicate that it's the quality of food more than individual taste or experience. (Like I assume Brigtsen's would make about every list, and Uglisich's a great deal of them)

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  1. Not really in a particular order, here are my current top 10. Yes I did leave Brigsten's off, and while I would probably eat there before Mandina's, I love Mandina's too much to leave it off a list. Unlike most posters on this board, I don't recommend Brigsten's or Ugelisch's (or Bayona or Marisol), but to each his own. I think my list will tell you the type of person I am.

    Ralph's on the Park
    Commander's Palace
    Dick & Jenny's
    Dickie Brennan's

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fat Harry
      Tha Groovin' Gourmet

      You're right...you like restaurants with apostrophes in the name!

      1. re: Tha Groovin' Gourmet

        Too funny! Good eye, though.

      2. re: Fat Harry

        The Grill Room
        Pho Tau Bay
        Rio Mar

        1. re: Fat Harry
          college chowhound

          from a new york college student who has made her rounds during time here
          Going to Brigsten's and Pelican Club in a month so they can't be on here yet. order is not very important
          1. Cuvee
          2. Jacques Imos
          3. August
          4. Stella
          5. Grill Room
          6. GW Fins
          7. Herbsaint
          8. Mr. B's Bistro
          9. Nola
          10. Palace Cafe

        2. Emeril's
          Commander's Palace

          3 Replies
            1. re: Ike!

              These are more the names I expected! People are throwing me more curve balls than I expected! Everytime I think I've whittled down the most beloved spots . . . .

              1. re: Ike!

                Commander's Palace
                Mr. B's
                G. W. Fins
                Pelican Club

              2. t
                Tha Groovin' Gourmet

                I'm game...even if you did already mention my top 2 in order!

                1. Brigtsen's - waited for years to eat there, totally lived up
                to expectations then, continues to do so now. Currently
                debating whether we'll go twice on our upcoming trip.

                2. Uglesich's - making our final (and only 2nd) pilgrimage
                April 20 for a Holy Trinity of lunches. If Jazzfest weren't going
                on we'd be there Friday too. Their closing is the reason we are
                coming to town.

                3. Drago's - the only place we've eaten on each and every visit.
                Says it all except for 2 more words - charbroiled oysters

                4. Mother's - a Ferdie for lunch, an omelet and grits w/debris for
                breakfast, bloody mary's any time. YUM! And of course the ham trim

                5. Joey K's - solid, non-touristy fave of ours for lunch. Possibly my favorite crab/corn soup version...even if the food weren't as good I'd still go for the biggest, frostiest goblets of Abita in town.

                6. Cobalt - best bet for Sunday, bar menu and beverages whenever
                the piano guy, David Torkanowsky, is there. Need to pop in this next
                trip to see if the new chef is up to snuff.

                7. Begue's - the best place if you're seeking a fine meal and demand
                an intimate setting. The place borders on empty more times than not,
                but the food and service have always impressed. Perhaps the most underrated spot in town...a fabulous brunch you rarely hear about.

                8. Palace Cafe - favorite of all the brunches. Commander's caliber
                at a better price. Their Santa Barbara, CA location rocks, and NO rocks mightier.

                9. Morning Call - more often than not we stay in Metairie. We love being able to drive a mile or so for the best beignets and cafe au lait,
                with no tourist trappings whatsoever.

                10. Old N'awlins Cookery - KPaul's for the pretension-weary and/or those on a budget? Not the trendy stuff, but the basics are there. I've never planned on going there, but every time I've wound up there over the years I've been pleased.

                1. I'm making this list with the caveat that I haven't been to a bunch of places that I'm sure would be contenders. But, here goes, not in order, more by genre:


                  That's 9. For the 10th, it's between Bayona,Gautreau's and Lilette, but I've only been to each of these once, and awhile ago. So it's a bit arbitrary, but I pick Gautreau's.

                  Places I haven't been: Peristyle, Delmonico, Emeril's, GW Fins, RioMar, Pelican Club, Dominique's, Cuvee, Bon Ton Cafe,La Petite Grocerie, Ralph's...

                  Honorable mention: Dick and Jenny's, Crepe Nanou, Jamila's, Vincent's, Mat 'n' Naddie's, Cafe Degas, Martinique, One.

                  See? It's too hard. Good luck with running the stats.

                  1. 1) Galatoires
                    2)Mr. Bs
                    3)Commanders Palace
                    4)Crescent City Steakhouse
                    8)Franky and Johnnys
                    9)Café Giovanni

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: joedontexan

                      Might have helped to launch a new thread, gentlemen.

                      Mixing your 2013 lists against pre-Katrina lists is odd (and "top ten" lists are problematic to start with).

                      Just sayin' ...

                      1. re: Gizmo56

                        This and the fact that Joedon has Bozos on the list and it closed as well as Franky and Johnny's

                        1. re: roro1831

                          It won't matter much until Da Track opens but I thought Bozo's was only temporarily closed. I recall there were some nastiness, and landlord issues etc. Has the plug been pulled f'sure?

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            It is re opening. The people that own Mr Eds bought it.

                          2. re: roro1831

                            Bozos and Franky and Johnnys have both closed? Say it aint so!!

                      2. From a person, who grew up near-by, and married a 3rd generation NOLA native, and then lived in the City for 10 years, here are MY "Top 10:"

                        Restaurant August
                        Grill Room
                        Ralph's on the Park
                        G W Fins
                        Emeril's & Emeril's NOLA (tie here)
                        Parkway Bakery
                        Commander's Palace

                        Runners Up:


                        Near misses:

                        Restaurant R'evolution


                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Bill the Grill room is pretty great, and I don't think of it enough. I will have to make a special visit there next trip.

                          1. re: joedontexan

                            It has now been about 13 mos., since we last dined there, but were once again wowed by the food, the service, the wine list and the ambiance.

                            It was not always that way, as our first visit was anything BUT acceptable, and it took many years, before we would return, though we had a fully comp'ed meal, to make up for our experience. We never redeemed that, but did revisit, after several years - things had changed, and in a very positive ways. Since that return, I think that we have dined there a half-dozen times (through a few name changes), and have been impressed. Now, I do not hesitate to refer others to that restaurant - until things change.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              There has been a lot of turnover in the Executive Chef position there.

                              But we chose the Grill Room for our Spirited Dinner at Tales of the Cocktail as we haven't eaten there in almost 15 years and we liked the spirit pairings that were with the meal.

                              We were very impressed with the meal. Six courses of small plates with nothing too complicated. But pulling off 6 courses for over 100 people was quite a feat for the kitchen and the wait staff.

                              We do want to go back for a "real" meal based on what we saw and tasted,

                              Before the dinner I had an excellant Negroni at the 2nd floor bar and the Windsor Court Bar was named by TOTC as one of the 10 best choices for 2013 in N.O.for a Sazerac.

                              1. re: collardman

                                Good to know, and thank you.

                                It's now been about 13 mos., since we dined there, but enjoyed that experience greatly.

                                Last trip, we were at the Hilton, where we were at the Windsor Court the year before. Back then, we did the bar a few times, plus had a lunch there - great. We also like breakfast at the Windsor Court, even when we have a nice one in the Hilton's VIP Lounge up top. We will spend the $, just to do Windsor Court.



                        2. Blast from the past! RIP Gabrielle, Cobalt, Marisol, Uglesich's, Cuvee, Peristyle, and Begue's.

                          Lots of the same names today, though. I think I'd go with (in no particular order):

                          August, Maurepas Foods, Revolution, Lilette, Commander's, Galatoire's, Grill Room, Herbsaint, Clancy's, and Domenica.

                          Honorable mentions: Stella, Sylvain, Gautreau's, Bayona, Coquette, Fins, Annunciation, Patois, Emeril's, and lots of casual/ethnic places.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: N.O.Food

                            N.O.Food I have always enjoyed the sweet breads at bayona outstanding. pretty nice list really. But god I still miss uglesichs I feel lucky to have experienced theyre great food.

                            1. re: N.O.Food

                              Oops. Forgot Root. Definitely in the top ten.

                            2. Herbsaint
                              Cochon Butcher
                              Three Muses
                              Commander's Palace

                              in that order.

                              1. An amazing list of amazing places. I would like for some to throw out a few hidden places that fall under the radar. we love EAT. Couple of guys running around serving great food in as casual an atmosphere as you could imagine. And oh by the way, BYOB.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Hockey19

                                  I keep picking up recs. from trusted sources for Eat, but have not been able to work them into our mix. Maybe next time?

                                  While not really much of a BYOB guy, I can make that work too.