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First time visiting N.O. and Louisiana

Heading to New Orleans for the first time in October. Would appreciate recommendations for restaurants that a tourist shouldn't miss - any meal, any price is fine. Would like nice choices for dinner as well. Will be there three days. Then driving east to Panama City. Any "can't miss" food stops in Louisiana? We're up to trying new things.

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  1. Brigtsen's and Clancy's near Tulane in the Uptown Dist. Comander's Palace is nearby. In FQ Galatoire's for sure, Bayona, Peristyle and Brennan's. Emeril's and Delmonico's is awesome. If you go past Panama City go to Appalachicola, FL. There are some great places to eat there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Littleman

      Brigtsen's comes out on top if you're going to eat at any restaurant Uptown. Clancy's is sort of... less exciting, in my opinion. I've said it a million times--K-Paul's is excellent almost every night of the week. You cannot go wrong.

      If you don't make it to Brennan's, at least try Mr. B's or the Palace Cafe. Many people have also been recommending Cafe Adelaide lately.

      1. If you're considering Clancy's and/or Brigtsen's (and you should!), reserve 2-3 weeks ahead. You can always cancel at the last minute if you change your mind.

        Clancy's: 504-895-1111 (closed Sun.)
        Brigtsen's: 504-861-7610 (closed Sun., Mon.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: SBrooksB

          Great tip. I always do my reservations months out, and seldom regret. Even in the off-season, many spots, like Brigtsen's, fill up quickly. If the OP does have to cancel, I'd urge them to call, ASAP to do that, as well, so the restauranteur can fill in, or plan for the evening.


        2. You've gotten some good recs. for NO. I doubt that you will go wrong with any of them. One thing you might consider is to do Emeril's in NOLA, and then stop off at his Gulfport, MS site and make a comparison. We did not do it, on the last trip, and chose Vrazel's, instead. Now, I wish that I had also been able to do Emeril's, as we did Delmonico and have dined at Emeril's NO, and Las Vegas, and enjoyed them.


          1. Everyone mentioned the great dinner or lunch spots but you can't miss:

            Breakfast at Camelia Grill http://www.nolacuisine.com/2007/06/23...
            Coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde http://www.cafedumonde.com/main.html
            A Muffulletta at Central Grocer http://www.nolacuisine.com/2005/07/17...
            A roast beef po-boy at Parasols in the garden district http://www.parasols.com/about
            Oysters at Acme Oyster House http://www.acmeoyster.com/

            And I'm one who can't miss Mother's when I'm in town

            Sorry, I forgot you're only there for 3 days - oh well, eat 6 meals a day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lexpatti

              Thank you all for a great summary of choices. We'll certainly do our best to squeeze in as much as possible as we look forward to some major chow opportunities. Cheers!

            2. Almost everyone on this board -- myself included -- agrees that Brigtsen's is a must. All of the Emeril's restaurants -- Emeril's, Delmonico, NOLA -- get mixed reviews, with some arguing that they're a must, and others, like me, opining that they should be avoided. I would much rather see you go to a more locals' place, like Dick & Jenny's or Clancy's, than the Emeril places. Another board favorite of locals and tourists alike is Jacques-Imo's Cafe. I'm not a huge fan, but I'm in a distinct minority. That said, I agree with eveyone that it's a great place to get a true taste -- in every sense of the phrase -- of New Orleans.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Blumie

                I agree wholeheartedly with everything people have said on this board, except the Mother's recommendation. I really, really dislike Mother's - it's just a sandwich, rude service, long lines, not even in the FQ, but the CBD. And not that good IMO. I would skip Mother's for sure. And yes it's touristy, but I recommend downstairs at Galatoire's. It's fun!

                1. re: pizzajunkie

                  I would consider downstairs at Galatoire's one of the LEAST touristy things in the FQ, esp on Fridays at lunch.

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    I heartily agree Celeste. As I mentioned in another thread I was there on Saturday for late (4:00) lunch, which is actually a pretty good time to go, Friday or Saturday. It's far from deserted, but you probably won't have to wait for a table downstairs. Galatoire's is certainly a treat for locals and tourists alike.

              2. If this is your first time visiting NO, I wouldn't suggest the off the beaten path restaurants since your trip is so short, mainly. I would list Commander's or Galatoire's as musts.
                I love Emeril's and its fun to go there. The food is great and the place is lively and festive. If you haven't eaten at an Emeril's restaurant, it would be a good one to include for lunch or dinner.

                If you are looking for oysters, I would suggest Casamento's for lunch over Acme every time. It will be open again by the time you get there. They take a summer hiatus.

                I would not go to Mother's unless taken kicking and screaming. As someone else mentioned, it is a sandwich joint and that's it. With 3 days in NO, it doesn't warrant a visit. Doesn't warrant one for me anytime. Now, I love the NO roast beef and seafood poboys, but that wouldn't be on my list of things to eat for a first time visit unless I was going to be there for 2 weeks.

                If you want to go to a neighborhood restaurant with NO style fare, which is casual, I would suggest Mandina's. I love going there. Its been around forever and you can feel the history when you walk in the door. Maybe I feel it more since I have frequented the place so often, but I find it great fun. I'm not sure I would include it on a 3 day jaunt, though.
                I could go to Galatoire's for lunch and stay all afternoon people watching. Going to Galatoire's is like going to a party that never ends.

                I'm not a big Brigsten's fan, but most people are. I haven't had a bad meal there, Its just not one of my top choices.

                For a bit of eclectic flare, try Cuvee. Delicious!

                If you are there for lunch during the week (weekdays only), the Bon Ton is a good representation of New Orleans style fare. The crabmeat au gratin is full of beautiful jumob lumps of fresh crabmeat. The crawfish dishes there are all good. My standard is the bisque and the crabmeat au gratin for lunch. I wouldn't include it for dinner, necessarily. Its more of a lunch restaurant to me.

                Have fun and please report back.

                1. We might be rare but we get the best service, fun lovin, "honey I'll bring that back to you" service at Mothers' every time we're in town. Always jokin with us. And I'll clarify - I do love a good seafood po-boy "dressed" and a nice side of red, beans and rice or gumbo - especiallly when what we have in new england is regular subs. It's our ritual and we love it to stop at Mother's, but it's mostly business folks that work close by when we're there for lunch - the lines are long (that says we're not alone).

                  1. Brigtsen's, Cafe Giovanni, K- Paul's, Galatoire's for lunch (no jackets for lunch, no shorts either). IMO all of Emeril's restaurants are overrated but if you must, then " Emeril's "and eat at the food bar.

                    1. C

                      Little jfood just started college in NOLA and the people who posted so far on this board are as great as the food you will experience. They can give you the local tips and know their food in NOLA.

                      After two trips so far and another planned for the end of the month (Parents' Weekend) let me just give a little northern tid-bits from a newbie to NOLA.

                      The jfoods have been to Brigtsens (2), Commanders (2), Nola, Cafe du Monde (5+), Flaming Torch, Camellia Grille, Mothers (3).

                      Except for Nola each of these are fantastic. Brigtsens & Commanders are perfect 10's for dinner, Flaming Torch would recieve a 9 for lunch, Camellia and Cafe du Monde are great fun and great food, Mothers is the perfect breakfast spot to kick back and enjoy with locals. Nola is a do not return on the jfood list, truly nice people but the food just not worth missing a different spot.

                      At Commanders you MUST order the bread pudding Souffle. Jfood has never expereinced anything like this anywhere and it is the DO NOT MISS dish of the trip.

                      Enjoy, it's a great city well on its way back to the grandeur the people deserve.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jfood

                        I would agree that everyone on this board is exceptionally helpful. How refreshing. We're getting jazzed about this trip and will report back with any new discoveries. Bless you all!

                      2. Lilette in Uptown is great - www.liletterestaurant.com
                        Herbsaint - http://herbsaint.com/
                        Bisto at Maison deVille - www.maisondeville.com/dining/index.html
                        Peristyle - http://www.americascuisine.com/neworl...

                        Fun wine bar - Delachaise

                        (504) 895-0858

                        3442 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

                        1. I just returned from my first visit to New Orleans and can not say enough nice things about Beausaint. It's a great sign when you are perusing a menu when you can not decide between dishes.

                          Highly recommend the crisp lettuces salad, the burratta salad, the shrimp, the rib eye. I could not stop eating the gnocchi, the lightest, most flavorful I've ever had.

                          Have fun! It's a remarkable city.

                          PS Skip Cuvee. Pretentious; bad service; food not so great for all the hype.
                          PPS Great easy casual lunch is the Napolean House. Try the bruschetta. It will shock you. No need to order anything in addition. It will fill you up.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: beachcats

                            Where is this place? GF and I are always looking to try someting new.

                            1. re: beachcats

                              What Is Beausaint? Is it possible you mean Herbsaint?

                              1. re: Tonto

                                That certainly would be my guess.

                            2. The Charbroiled Oysters at Drago's are the single greatest seafood dish I have ever had. And they just opened one in the Hilton Riverside Hotel as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mac8111

                                Love Drago's but the Hilton location doesn't measure up to the original.

                              2. The Court of Two Sisters has a delicious Sunday Jazz Brunch. Atmosphere etc. is really nice too.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: foodie06

                                  Back in the day when my husband and I would frequent the French Quarter we were very fond of The Court as we called it. Today, I think it has much to be desired. Commander's is wonderful.

                                2. When you leave New Orleans and start heading through Mississippi, stop somewhere between the MS border and Gulfport, and order a pizza with french dressing. No kidding - yum, and will be a low-brow change from the great gastronomy of NO.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                                    Never heard of this one. Can you direct me to a particular place that serves such a thing? Thanks to Ms. K, MS between the state line & Gulfport look really different these days.

                                  2. If you want classic French Creole cuisine that has not changed in 100+ years, go to one or more of the "Grandes Dames" of the Vieux Carre (French Quarter): Antoine's, Arnaud's, Brennan's, Galatoire's, and Tujague's.