New York chowhound in New Orleans
I'm going to be in New Orleans on a business trip next week, and I'm reaching out to my fellow foodies for some good recommendations around the town. I've already been instructed to go to Mother's for a debris po' boy. What are some of the eateries that should not be missed on my first trip to the city? I'll be staying in the French Quarter but am up for roaming around a bit.
We visit New Orleans all the time because my husband's entire family lives there.
First, MAKE RESERVATIONS. It is really hard to get into even average full-service restaurants without one.
For traditional creole food, Galatoire's is hard to beat. It is very old line New Orleans.
For upscale, innovative cuisine with a New Orleans twist, I highly recommend Herbsaint. Be sure to try the small plate called Housemade Spaghetti with Pancetta and Fried-Poached Farm Egg. Truly an amazing dish.
Fried seafood is a New Orleans specialty. Mike Anderson's in the Quarter (Bourbon St) is excellent and very atmospheric. It's not expensive.
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Let me tell you the places I ended up hitting during my time in NO:
Mother's- At the recommendation of the guy managing the line out front, I got the debris po' boy with melted swiss. What a good way to start off the trip.
Coop's-I had the jumbalaya with shrimp, crawfish, and tasso..yuuuuuuum.
Mandina's- Sadly, they were out of softshell crabs that night, but I had grilled shrimp along with several Abita beers. Tasty.
Commander's Palace-The turtle soup au sherry was delish, but one of my pieces of speckled trout was a bit too dry. The bread pudding with whiskey sauce was fantastic.
Acme Oyster Bar- Really enjoyed my raw oysters here.
Brigtsen's- Oh, mama, that was a good meal. i started with the butternut shrimp bisque, made my way through the roast duck with tart cherry sauce, and finished up the meal with blueberry shortcake
Original Pierre Maspero's-I just stopped by here for a quick dinner before a concert at Preservation Hall. Not amazing food, but the soft shell crab po' boy was pretty decent.
A lot of your suggestions came in after I left for my trip and was without internet access, but now I have so many more places to try when I make my inevitable return to your city. Can't wait!
Depending on your budget you could try these:
Commander's Palace (less expensive for lunch) They do have a dress code and reservations are a must at night. Take a street car and it's just one block off St. Charles. ( I think the stop is Washington) You must pull the cord before your stop because it's not a regular stop. Google the map just to be sure of the street name. Most taxi drivers will know where it is. It's a long walk from the quarter, so don't try it at night. This is probably the most famous of the New Orleans restaurants and chefs such as Emeril and Paul Prudhomme got their starts there. Lots of charm and attentive service.
Galatoire's on Bourbon (very New Orleans and they do not take reservations.) If you can get in, wait for your table at the intimate bar upstairs. Try the martinis. Wonderful. Galatoire's is known for its Creole dishes and the waiters have been there forever. Count on your waiter to give good menu advice and wine pairing information.
Moderate: GW Fins in the Quarter off Bourbon (great fresh seafood served with a flair and I love the ambience.
I also like the Palace Cafe that is on Canal just off Bourbon. It's a Brennan property and the food is consistently good. Large portions and some traditional new Orleans favorites such as the Goudchaux Salad (lettuce with a rich blue cheese dressing)
Maspera's and Carmelo's on (both near the Jackson Brewery and across the street from each other) Maspera's for red beans and rice and muffalettas, Carmelo's for a nicer dinner. People line up to get into Maspera's for lunch.
Stay away from Ralph and Kacoo's which has become very touristy and food is mediocre fried stuff. There is another seafood place in the quarter that gets raves. It's Deanie's. I haven't personally tried it, but my friends like it.
You should definitely eat some crawfish. They are in season. Also in season are soft shelled crabs. Tried them fried.
I live in Baton Rouge (just up the road from New Orleans), so I speak from experience on the recommendations I gave. Enjoy your trip!
Some additions to the 'very pricey' category: August makes absolutely fantastic use of local ingredients in dishes that are simultaneously unique to New Orleans and out of the ordinary for the city. Stella! is a little less New Orleans, but the food is stella!r. Please excuse the pun.
I don't have a concrete source, but I heard that the streetcar will be running to Napoleon by the end of summer. I saw a streetcar with my own two eyes running (testing) between Jena and Napoleon last Friday morning. To keep this food related, this will make several popular restaurants more fun for visitors to get to, including Commander's and Pascale's Manale