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where to eat and shop in New Orleans

I am going to New Orleans next week with some foodie friends (I am a professional chef) and am hoping to get some reccomendations on where to eat and shop. We are staying on Esplanade Avenue near the 10. We will have a kitchen, so I am particularly interested in food shops. Thanks for your help.

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  1. Find P & J Oysters at 1039 Toulouse just off Rampart Steet, not far from where you are staying.
    They are the long-time wholesaler for restaurants in town but they deal to the public as well. In the shell or shucked with the liquor. We always buy from them. Early open and close typical of to-the-trade.

    1. I sure hope you have a car as most food shops are not within walking distance from where you will be staying. I highly recommend Whole Foods if you want to cook. They will have the freshest vegetables, cheeses, oils, etc. For seafood, I always to to Little Fisherman or it may be called Big Fisherman now. It is on Magazine St. right next door to the A & P and right across the street from the Bulldog bar. You can get nice shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish for cooking. Also, they have recipes just in case.
      I would not miss going to Savvy Gourmet for lunch. This is also on Magazine St. between Jena and Cadiz. It is a cooking school with a store not unlike Williams Sonoma. They serve a wonderful lunch and it is fun to take a class for those who are not chefs.
      For restaurants in your area, the Faubourg Marigny is not far and I really like Marigny Brasserie. For excellent food in the French Quarter, within walking distance, is Stella! and Peristyle. If you go uptown, I would try either Brightsens, Dick and Jenny's, Clancy's, or Vizards.
      Good luck.

      1. Right up Esplanade (3300 block or so) is the old location of Whole Foods which is now a quite similar store, but not a chain. I can't remember the name. Across the street is Terranova-- I haven't been in there, but I believe I've heard Celeste say it's ok. Italian meats etc. Also check out Central Grocery in the quarter, they have more than just muffalettas.

        I don't know where you're from, so maybe this will be no big deal, but Hong Kong Market on the West Bank is a huge Asian grocery store. I hear from one of my students that the Vietnamese farmer's market in New Orleans East is up and running again on Saturday mornings, and then there's the Crescent City farmer's market downtown, also on Saturday mornings.

        If you want an interesting food experience, go to Bacchanal (wine shop in the Bywater) on Sunday nights, Chef Pete Vasquez from Marisol (RIP after Katrina) cooks dinner.

        5 Replies
        1. re: JGrey

          Unfortunately, the Market on Esplanade has closed.

          1. re: Envie

            Wow, that's too bad. I would have thought that the BYO business from Lola's would have almost been enough to keep it going. Any rumors of what's going to happen there?

            1. re: JGrey

              Lola's now has a liquor license and a modest corkage fee (I think it's $5).

              1. re: Frolic

                That's good to know. Isn't there another Sip outpost over by Fair Grinds, too? Clearly, I don't get to that neighborhood as much as I should.

                1. re: JGrey

                  There was. Now it's called Swirl. (At least they didn't call it Spit.)

        2. Langenstien's and Diorgnaics ( sp. may be incorrect) are good sources especially for quality meats. Last time I looked the new market after Whole Foods closed on Esplanade was closed.
          Nor-Joes is a great little Italian import store.
          Byblos for lebanese or greek ingredients.
          A new cheese shop on Prytania.
          Martin's wine cellar for libation

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tonto

            Nor-Joe's also has very good muffalettas. Or you can get the ingredients to make your own.

          2. Great suggestion, Tonto!
            Langentstein's and Dorignac's are local stores. They'll have local and regional food products that you won't find at a national chain like Whole Foods and they're where long-time residents shop. All you'll find at WF will be the same stuff they'll truck into the one near your house back home when you return from vacation.
            Look for hoghead cheese and Creole Cream Cheese at Dorignac's and Tonto's right about the great meat. Chisesi is a very good local ham. They also carry "red veal" which is the traditional meat for grillades and is hard to find. Their wine selection is better than decent and Martin's is only a few blocks down Veterans Highway.
            The former original Whole Foods on Esplanade was closed when I went by there about 4 weeks ago.
            The Crescent City Farmers Market is good for local things. Citrus is good - satsumas, kumquats, pecans, greens.
            Some produce is available in the old French Market. It will more than get you by. There's a grocery on Royal at St. Peter (I think) where I used to shop when I lived in the FQ.

            1. Crescent City Farmer's Market...see their schedule at http://www.crescentcityfarmersmarket....
              Or cross the river and visit the Gretna Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Cross the river. There's nothing exciting at Crescent City Farmer's Market.

                1. re: dtud

                  You'll have to forgive me, but Hungry Celeste's taste and knowledge have guided me to many NO treasures. Blanket statements such as this aren't very informative, would you mind elaborating?

              2. As far as shopping, i would agree with the rest, Nor-Joe's is awesome on Metairie Rd, not very close to you though. Whole Foods is in the 5000 block of Magazine. But if you want some good local places to shop I would suggest central grocery in the french quarter, Langensteins on Perrier st. Uptown, Dorginacs on Veterans Blvd in Metairie or Hong Kong Market on behrman hwy in Algiers (across the river). But if you'd like a place to eat, Cochon is a must, it's new, but with locally known and loved chefs, it's on Tchoupitulous in the warehouse district, not far from where you're staying. It's near the bridge. Also, Mimi's in the Bywater on Franklin ave, it's a tapas place. And down the street from there is Feelings cafe...also excellent. But, by far the favorite local place and best kept secret is Dick & Jenny's. It's uptown on Tchoupitulous near Napoleon avenue across from the Sav-a-center...they don't take reservation, and you will have to wait at least 30min-1.5hrs to be seated if you go at the typical dinner time, but everyone waits...it's worth it. Go prepared!

                1. Verti Marte takeout deli on Royal near Esplanade has wonderful meals-to-go and po-boy sandwiches.
                  Dickie Brennans' Steakhouse on Iberville is wonderful.
                  Antoine's on St.Louis is a classic, constantly open for over 169 years by same family.

                  Verti Marte
                  1201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: leVieux

                    Levieux. When I post on a thread several years old some peckerwood always tells me that the OP has probably starved now. I won't be that unkind. I'm glad you revived this old thread. Now some of the NOLA hounds can check on where to buy groceries in the Big Easy. Good luck.