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Jan 26, 2008 08:36 PM

Non-touristy places

Hi! I'm afraid that this may be an overlap... but I'll be spending 5 days in New Orleans in March, and while I know there are 80 million fabulous places to eat in the French Quarter, I'm really interested to learn about awesome hole in the walls, and other places to go outside of the Quarter. I'd like to really explore the city and branch out from the tourist standards. Any suggestions?

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  1. My suggestion would be to get on the Magazine St. bus (Canal at Magazine) and head Uptown all the way to Audubon Park (about six miles -- it costs $1.25). Along the way, you'll find dozens of such places. Even better -- get out and walk.

    The same can be said for getting on the Canal St. streetcar and head up toward the Intersection of Canal and Carrollton. There are several other areas as well.

    Anyone who comes to New Orleans and remains in the FQ is doing themselves a huge disservice -- from more than just a culinary point of view.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ZydecoPlayer

      While I agree with your last sentence, I completely disagree with just walking into random places. There's no city anywhere where that will work; no matter how good the food is in any given the city, the mediocre and bad places always out number the good ones.

      1. re: Blumie

        Maybe we travel differently, then. While I'd agree it's best to get a little input from folks who've been (or live) there, I've always preferred to Just Go (long as I'm reasonably assured the area is pretty safe -- as Magazine above about Josephine certainly is).

        There are indeed some bad and mediocre places out there -- but I'm comfortable making that determination on my own in an unfamiliar city.


        1. re: ZydecoPlayer

          How do you judge the quality of a restaurant by just looking at it? Sure you can see if the decor looks appealing, and you can peruse the menu to see if you find it enticing, but how are you going to tell if the food is good? And of the great NOLA restaurants, how many happen to be on Magazine, or Canal?

          I just completely disagree that your suggestion provides a reasonable basis for finding a city's great restaurants.

          1. re: Blumie

            Good restaurants outside the French quarter that I have been to:
            Inexpensive: Casamentos and Mandinas
            Expensive: Commanders, Bon Ton Cafe, and Brigtsens. Also Palace Cafe.
            You can walk to Bon Ton and Palace from the quarter, and you will be among more locals than tourists.

      2. re: ZydecoPlayer

        You can ride the Magazine St. bus to Casamento's...

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Where do you catch the Magazine Street bus? Sounds like a plan.

          1. re: Plano Rose

            Bus stops along every few blocks of Magazine Street, from Canal all the way to Audubon Park uptown.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              possibvly I misunderstood the question, then. I got in my mind someone who was trying to find a good place on their own and not having some online "expert" tell them where to eat. I'd hardly suggest Mandina's being a "hole in the wall" (though it IS on the suggested Canal St. streetcar line).

              If I find a place that looks interesting and has an appealing menu, I'll usually try it. Sometimes the food sucks, but more often than not it's at least good if not excellent.

              I'm a big fan of just heading out and trying places. New Orleans is a great place to do so -- particularly because there are so many nice folks.

        2. re: ZydecoPlayer

          Better yet, take the streetcar down St. Charles to the front of Audubon Park. You can then walk around the path to Magazine Street and head downtown from there.

          1. re: kmnola

            Note: it is approx three-quarters of a mile from St. Charles to Magazine through the park, and the park closes at dark, so you can't walk through it after sundown.

        3. Thanks, all. Maybe I should have been more specific, as I was looking for both people's hole in the wall favorites and places where my odds of finding something good if I wandered around and sniffed the air judiciously are high-- so all were good hints.

          I'm looking forward to it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: terremotia

            Riverbend (close to corner of Carrolton/St Charles): Dante's Kitchen on Dante across street from Brigsten's. It has a "regulars" feel, lovely food, it's a real sleeper. An old cajun shipmmate from Ama recommended it. Dick and Jenny's on Jena is another "regular's" place, it's upriver. CDR's Palace is a real old standby, you can't miss. Upperline is very New Orleans, charming and lovely, near CDR's palace on Upperline in Garden dist. Been looking forever, these are my "outside FQ" list.

          2. I'll try to break it down by section of town.

            Magazine St. : The Bulldog bar, across from Big Fisherman, where you can get boiled shrimp and crawfish. Casamento's for raw oysters and fried seafood. Lilette (french), La Petite Grocerie (french-ish), Martinique (french caribbean). Be aware that Magazine stretches about 7 miles, with long sections that are very residential, I wouldn't recommend walking unless you really, really like to walk. And Audubon park is open after dark, I think until 10. Though I wouldn't go by myself after dark, I've run there many times after sundown.

            Riverbend: Cooter Brown's (great beer selection and raw oysters and other bar food), Camellia Grille, GB's for a great burger, Brigtsen's, Mat n Naddie's, Iris (these 3 are high end), Lebanon's, Jacque-Imo's (this could be considered touristy, but it's more college kids, usually). Pazzo Gelato (my favorite gelato) and Zotz (smoky, but the best coffee). Ninja for sushi

            Carrollton/Canal :Mandina's (great fried seafood and turtle soup), Angelo Brocato's (sentimental favorite gelato), Doson's Noodle House, Cafe Minh, Venezia, and there's a good little Mexican place right there, too, that I can never remember the name of.

            Esplanade: Lola's, Cafe Degas, Liuzza's by the Track,

            Marigny/bywater: Adolpho's, Mimi's tapas, the Joint bbq

            Others off by themselves: Crabby Jack's, Liuzza's (no relation), Ye Olde College Inn, Cafe Reconcile, Delachaise, Domelise's