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Late-May trip with a toddler (!?) and healthy-eating hubby

I'm planning a trip with my husband and young daughter and could use some advice on places that would be hospitable to a squirmy toddler at lunch and a few early dinners. We're also planning to get a babysitter for one or two nights, so any recommendations of excellent places for dinner and cocktails (don't have to be the same places) would be much appreciated.

Garden District is where we'll probably stay, so I was already thinking Casamento's and Camellia Grill for lunches. Any lunch spots that are casual and serve food on the healthier side?

For our evenings out, I was thinking of Commander's Palace or Delachaise and August (which I tried for the first time in 2007 and loved).

Can you suggest any bars with good atmosphere where we could linger over drinks one of those nights out? I was thinking Vaughn's Lounge might be fun, if Kermit is playing, but is it too far to go?

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Cafe Rani in the Garden District has salads and sandwiches that are pretty good. Nothing terribly local about them, but they're reasonably healthy.

    As for cocktails, I would recommend hitting Frenchmen Street one night. The Apple Barrel and R Bar are pretty hip places to have a drink. If you're into swank, the bars at the Ritz Carlton are good.

    For live music, go in the other direction and hit Tipitina's on Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas, or the Maple Leaf on Oak St. Both are New Orleans institutions that have great music pretty much every night of the week. Some acts are better than others of course. Rebirth at the Maple Leaf on a Tuesday is a sure bet.

    Vaughn's is a bit far away from the Garden District, but you would probably take a cab to and from anyway.

    1. Commander's is far better for lunch than dinner. Not a fan of Emeril, but his flagship has been terrific. We dine there several times a month. Possibly Mat and Naddies in the Riverbend (m-f ) for their $10 lunch buffet. Usually mixed greens, a citrusy chicken salad, shrimp salad, soups, cold meats, cheeses, hot entree. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the price points in our fine dining rest. compared to NY.

      1. fyi, the chef at Delachaise left not too long ago.

        1. For breakfast I'd recommend Surrey's

          1. We too are going to NO in May with our 4 year old child and I've done mounds of research to find places with kid's menus or at least something my kid will eat (grilled cheese!!) Here's our list of stuff in the upper and lower garden district, riverbend, carrollton etc.:
            Breakfast/lunch: Gott Gourmet (Kids Menu), Surrey's (some healthy options and juices), Slim Goodies Diner, Oak Street Cafe, Camellia Grill.
            Also try Cafe Atchafalaya and Dick & Jennys for a casual-slash-fancy dinner that has kid's menus!!
            Most of these places have semi-healthy or vegetarian options (except for Camellia Grill!)
            My vote for fancy pants dinner goes to Commander's Palace.
            Kermit Ruffins plays other places that aren't quite as far - the Rock n' Bowl which is in Mid City on Carrollton. If I were you i'd try to catch the Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf Bar, which is just outside the garden district in the riverbend area. That show just might change your life!