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Dining advice for a New Orleans novice

I'm going to be in New Orleans from the afternoon of Sun, Sept. 24th to the morning of Thurs. the 28th for work. I've never been before and am excited (albeit overwhelmed) by the number of great places to eat. I'll be staying in a hotel on Bourbon Street in the middle of the French Quarter and mostly need suggestions for breakfast and dinner. I've already had suggestions for Cafe du Monde for coffee, Acme Oyster House, Brenan's, NOLA, and Dooky Chase (if open). What are other places I should not miss?

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  1. Royal Blend Coffee Shop - 621 Royal Street. Used to work around here, and was back for a visit in July. They have great muffins (lemon poppyseed - YUM), scones, etc. - and my husband had a bagel with eggs/cheese on it, that was actually quite tasty and freshly made. Iced Chocolate Mocha is sublime...and you can enjoy it all in their quaint courtyard in the middle of the Quarter. Its quick, and its quiet! :)

    Croissant D'or Patisserie - 615 Ursulines. Good value, nice pastries.

    Stanley - Decatur Street - Very interesing mix of comfort foods. Open 7A - 3PM daily I think. Omelet Sandwich & Reuben are really delicious.

    I have also heard of, but never been to, Petunia's and The Coffee Pot - both in the Quarter.

    As for dinner, I would NOT recommend Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse - it was horrbile back in July - from the service to the cold main course - YUCK. In contrast, Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House was very good though - nice fish and tasty apeetizers - beautiful space. I would high;y recommend Stella! for a dinner choice (http://www.restaurantstella.com/).
    I also like Coop's Place on Decatur, very casual, and I would second NOLA - we were there in July and it was fantastic.

    Have a great Trip!

    1 Reply
    1. re: geegeeTX

      I second the Coffee Pot - used to be Maxie's Coffee Pot. Their pan perdoux is excellent. Go for the courtyard, or one of the tables overlooking St Peter St.

      I also second the nix on Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. I will never be back. Not having done his Bourbon House, I'd recommend NOLA.


    2. Mother's on Poydras and Gravier (near the Windsor Court) is great for breakfast or lunch. It has all the standard cajun choices and all are solid.

      Jacques-Imo's Cafe is in uptown but it is fantastic - 8324 Oak St. From what I gather, this is kind of an uptown institution. It is really great cajun/creole.

      I had an outstanding meal at the Palace Cafe (on Canal street across from the Sheraton). This place has a beautiful space and really interesting dishes that I've never had anywhere else - cajun/creole.

      Both Dick & Jenny's (4501 Tchoupitoulas St.) and La Crepe Nanao (1410 Robert St) are not in the French Quarter but are great restaurants.

      And, my last meal was at Port of Call (838 Esplanade Ave) - which is the most fantastic place to go when you've had a few too many and need something to soak it up. This place serves hamburgers with a fully loaded baked potato. It's absolutely great!

      1. If you want some excellent cajun go to the Bon Ton cafe on magazine. Not too far from Mother's. For nice, try Broussard's in the quarter. Fantastic! Last time there I talked with head chef Gunther Preuss over a fine cigar in the bar after dinner. what a great guy.

        1. I'd nix Acme oyster nothing special there albit horrible po'boys.

          1. While some may argue that the food is not as good as other restaurants, you really should try one of the old-line French Creole restaurants that have existed for 100 years or more in the Quarter and are still run by descendants of the founder. If they are still in business after that length of time, they must be doing something right. The three that are still run by the descendants of the founder are Antoine's, Brennan's, and Galatoire's (my favorite and still in the same location in which it opened in 1905). Arnaud's, Broussard's, and Tujague's are under different ownership, but still maintain the traditional French Creole tradition.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kdbroussa

              I agree - these places represent the continuing tradition of French-Creole dining in the city - they are not "not as good" as newer places - they are just a different style - the original style, that gave New Orleans the reputation it still enjoys for superb dining. Brennan's and Galatoire's are my favorites. Eating at Galatoire's, in particular, is like going back in time.

            2. How about old school po' boy places? I've been in a couple of times and gone to Uglesich's, got a terrific oyster po' boy and some advice on life from the owner (I think I remember...Anthony?).

              1 Reply
              1. re: JCap

                Uglesich's has been closed, since before Hurricane Katrina.

              2. A friend told me to check out Johnny's for po'boys, but I've also heard that it's very touristy and not such great food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kclo78

                  I like Domilise's and Parkway for po'boys, but they're not in the French Quarter like Johnny's. I had an okay roast beef at Johnny's pre-K, but it was close to closing time, so that may have been a factor.

                  I don't think Johnny's is any more/less touristy than Mother's (who also makes good po'boys).



                2. You might like to try Bayona, Chef Susan Spicer, and Restaurant August, Chef John Besh. Both have excellent food and the chefs have done so much for the city. Also, La Spiga bakery east of the Quarter. Upperline is good, too. Cochon is great--warehouse district--everything is housemade--including bacon, sausage and mayonnaise! Traditional Louisiana food with an edge to it. Dooky Chase wasn't open in July, probably not yet. I miss Camillia Grill, too.

                  1. been there many time but not in the last two years. love nola. had great apps at the bar at k-paul. monther's is very good. had a great piece of fish at aspen (on st charles?). liked galatoires a lot. loved arnaud's. and make sure you find the guy on bourbon street with the sign "huge ass beers - $5"!!!!

                    1. I replied a couple of days ago to your post. In light of all of the input you have received, I feel that I must emphasize that you really must try for one meal one of the old-line, or Grande Dames, restaurants of the Quarter-Antoine's, Arnaud's, Brennan's, Broussard's, Galatoire's, or Tujague's. They are the ones who created the great dining experience of New Orleans. The menus contain recipes that go back 100-150 years or more and are the traditional Creole dishes of New Orleans. Dishes such as shrimp remoulade, crabmeat ravigote, oysters en brochette, turtle soup (yes, real snapping turtle from the Gulf), pommes soufflees, trout meuniere amandine, brabant potatoes, cafe brulot, etc. This is classic New Orleans dining that should not be missed. Perhaps it is not for everyone because of the rich sauces such as hollandaise, bearnaise, and marchand du vin, but you really should experience it at least once. Enjoy!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kdbroussa

                        I agree 99% with your post. New Orleans dining is not complete without a visit to at least one of the restaurants that you cite. We did the "grand tour" before the '05 Fine & Food event, and, while some of the places seem to have faded a bit, I would not have substituted one of them - especially considering what happened just four months later.

                        The only disagreement is with the snapping turtles. They will be caught in the bayous, lakes and marshs around the area, and not actually in the Gulf. A tiny, tiny point indeed.


                        1. re: kdbroussa

                          It is my understanding that none of the turtles come from Louisiana because they are considered an endangered species in the state. I believe what is used in restaurants comes from Arkansas.

                        2. Put Cuvee on your list for fine dinning and Tommy's has a good feel in the warehouse district.

                          1. I'm morally obligated to recommend Brigtsen's. Arguably the best Modern Louisiana cuisine to be had anywhere.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                              What do people think about Felix's for oysters?

                              1. re: kclo78

                                French Quarter or Uptown?

                                Before Katrina, I was pretty unimpressed by the shuckers at the FQ location. They always got shell in the oysters. Better off at Bourbon House, even though it's more expensive.

                                I don't see a shucker at the Uptown location, which makes me nervous. Uptown, I would go to Casamento's or Pascal's Manale for oysters. Casamento's is the tops, but the oyster bar at Manale has its charms.