Coming for Propect 1 looking for local favorite haunts
Hello fellow Chowhounds!
My boyfriend and I are coming Dec 4th through 8th for a mini vacation to check out the Prospect 1 exhibits and to see the city lit up for the holidays with things like Celebration in the Oaks. A good friend and former local already suggested Oysters at the Bourbon House bar and Deanies for just really good quick seafood. Do you guys agree with this? Do you have other suggestions particularly around the sites for Prospect 1 or near the Hampton Inn on Carondelet Street? We have both been to New Orleans before but that was at least 7 years ago and did the touristy Bourbon Street stuff. This time we want to come experience the real taste of New Orleans that the locals love.
Thanks for any suggestions they are much appreciated! Hope you are all having a good day!
For oysters, try Drago's chargrilled oysters. I was an oyster convert after trying them. There isn't a better oyster imho. Drago's is located on the first floor of the Hyatt on Poydras. While you're traveling through the Prospect 1 route, please visit us at BECA gallery (www.becagallery.com) - we're at 527 St. Joseph Street, across the street from the Contemporary Arts Center. Enjoy your stay!
527 St Joseph Street, New Orleans, LA
Actually, Drago's is located on the first floor of the Hilton Rivercenter. I have head that the Metairie location is good, but we had a horrible experience at the location in the Hilton. See: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/570653
Maybe I expected a good dish, but this was not.
Drago's Seafood Restaurant
2 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Consider the Bon Ton, which is on Magazine Street downtown. It is a very old-style place that cooks sort of a pre-Paul Prudhomme Cajun food. You could walk from your hotel, especially in the daytime, though the area is a little deserted for my taste at night.
I'd avoid Deanie's, unless you're talking about the home-cooking style place in the Warehouse District, which has a good reputation. The fried seafood joints that run under that name are overrated, although the giant frozen schooners of Abita are fun.
I can't object to Drago's, but also consider Casamento's, which is uptown on Magazine (not walking distance) as another temple to the oyster.
You want advice? Rent a car. You probably will have to to really take in the Prospect 1 exhibits. If you're interested in art, you'll want easy access to Magazine St., the Warehouse District, and the Marigny and Bywater, and cabs or public transportation will slow you down. Others will disagree with me, but I think it will really free you to explore the city.
Also, if you have a car, worlds open up for you in terms of food. The French Quarter is great for fancy food, but I think the best casual places are elsewhere. (Central Grocery and, I"ve heard, Coop's, are exceptions.) Bozo's in Metairie has the best fried seafood. Parkway has the best poboys. Mandina's and Liuzza's are the best neighborhood joints. Casamento's is great for oysters. None of these places are downtown.
In the Warehouse District, there's Rio Mar for very good seafood (not fried), the aforementioned Deanies, and Cochon, which is heavy on meat, but quite good, and a really hot property right now.
Check out Napolean House for lunch and a Pimm's cup or two (or more).
EAT (on dumaine and dauphine) is modern home cooking, yummy comfort food in a cool atmosphere and a great deal for dinner. I always take friends here, lots of options for different tastes and BYOB (with no corkage fee) so find a fun bottle to bring.
Don't forget Cafe Du Monde - beignets and a cafe au lait.
If you have time, take the streetcar uptown one afternoon and have a special dinner at Mat & Naddie's, Brigsten's or Dante's Kitchen. Mat and Naddie's has the best chargrilled oysters in town, IMO. Beats Drago's every time, although Drago's are fabulous as well.
When walking to any of the places I recommend you walk down Bourbon or any street on the river side of Bourbon. Just to be extra careful.
I would say no to renting a car, unless you are adverse to a 20 minute walk. You can always get a cab the few times you are too tired to walk. And you hotel is in a great location, very close to lots of stuff.
Have a great time! Thanks for visiting!