Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Jul 29, 2008 01:40 PM

K Pauls or Irene's?

Which would you choose? I know there are many fabulous restaurants, but both have been on my "to-do" list for quite some time and I decided to knock one off on my next trip. K Pauls, I've wanted to try for the tourist factor. I feel like after 16 overnight stays in NOLA, I should have tried it by now. Irene's, I walked by one day and was taken with the fabulous aroma wafting to the streets. They weren't able to seat us that night and I wasn't able to make it back there.

So, which would you choose if you were me? Thanks in advance for your help!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. K-Paul's, without a doubt. As both a resident and later, a visitor, I have always found there is an underlying, genuine culinary backbone here. Sure, there is a tourist factor; however, my recent experiences find the kitchen is not just getting by on empty reputation.

    I like Irene's...but I love K-Paul's. I do hope my reply was not too subtle :)

    1. While Irene's is certainly nothing to sneer at, as I like it alot, you have a hole in your New Orleans Culinary Map if you haven't experienced K-Paul's. It's a standard bearer that carries it off virtually every single time. The food is remarkably good and, happily, since the storm many locals who had stopped going, for years, because of the fact that it was usually chock full of tourists seeking blackened redfish and also the fact that they used community seating, which can be kind of fun, but not always what you are in the mood for, but are now marching back on a regular basis. Have fun, take your time, don't order any doubles (get as many things as you can) and you will truly have a great meal.

      1. I take out of town guests to K-Pauls always. It is so New Orleans! Irenes is another wonderful choice...either way you cannot go wrong...but I love the fresh bread at K-Pauls, especially those brown molasses rolls! Enjoy!


        1. You are kidding right? You should try both. Why trouble yer'self!
          If however you only have a short time left to visit, I would go for Irene's. While I agree Hadacol about K-Pauls, I know more locals that consider Irene's more "local" than "tourist". Having done both, I say Irene's now K-Paul's some other time. After you get through at Irene's you can go around the corner on Decatur to Angeli for a late night milkshake made with Hagendaz (sp) at Angeli (corner Gov Nichols). I like to have the bartender add Baily's too. And make sure to sit at the bar, although if you can get a seat by the window it is great sidewalk view of that street at night which can get pretty funny on that end of the Quarters.

          Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

          1 Reply
          1. re: New Orleans News Ladder

            OMG, that milkshake sounds awesome!! Plus, it assists with my goal to have alcohol with every meal when on vacation=)

            I would love to try both, but am only there for two days and have other favorites that we have to hit. So I figured one night's dinner was open for a new spot.

          2. K-Paul's with the caveat that the food is a mere shadow of that which made it famous. When Paul ran the show, the food sang. It seems to have been reworked to suit the tourist palate. Although I don't miss the days of standing in line and shared tables, I do miss the food. Irene's is very good but hardly what I'd call a NOLA (foodwise) experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JazzyB

              HA! Not to put to rude a point on it, but why don't we just discount half the restaurants in the city? I think that the moment something is referred to as a Quintessentially New Orleans Experience---it's NOT!
              That said, I forgot about the food singing. Right on the money there.

              My apologies in advance for my mumbo gumbo.
              Editilla~New Orleans Ladder