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Feb 28, 2010 09:33 PM

New to New Orleans: I need tips on where to shop!

So I am from San Francisco, sometimes referred to as "foodie heaven." I never really thought much about it until I moved here to New Orleans, and I can't find what I need very easily. I am used to going to ONE place to get fantastic produce, meat, and bakery items. I am used to farmer's markets that stretch over 3 city blocks.

This Saturday, I woke up early and excited to browse the Gretna farmers market. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was certainly expecting more than a handful of tables! I've tried asking locals, where can I get good food? They always, ALWAYS, tell me to just go to Whole Foods.

After many, many experiences of reading chowhound forums I am finally reaching out to you guys personally. Tell me: is there not a great place to shop to get everything I need? A place that sells excellent produce, meats, and bakery items? All under one roof? I live in Algiers Point on the West Bank. I volunteer in the city near St. Charles/Louisiana. Where can I go that is within easy distance of either place? Any suggestions? Rouses just ISN'T cutting it for me!

If nothing comes to mind, I will happily take suggestions on where to purchase these items individually... if I have to.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. New Orleans is great in that there are so many choices! They may not be all in one location, but there is a good bit IMO to choose among.......

    Crescent City Farmers market link:
    I believe the Saturday Market is the biggest.

    Here is a link to all the Farmers Markets in the N.O. metro area and a little beyond:

    Grocery store wise, I think Whole Foods does have some of the best produce, and contrary to popular belief (a good deal, not all) is the same price as regular stores, or the difference is change,

    (I don't eat meat, can't help with that one


    re Bakery
    (Whole Foods, Dorignac's has more than a few good choices)
    Other more specialty:

    Vietnamese bakery: in East New Orleans Dong Phuong
    14207 Chef Menteur Hwy
    New Orleans, LA 70129

    French Bakery: La Boulangerie on Magazine St (there are other french bakeries)
    4600 Magazine Street
    New Orleans, LA 70115-1518
    (504) 269-3777

    I'm sure you'll get many more suggestions.

    I believe there is a Vietnamese bakery on the Westbank, although I have never been:

    Hi-Do Bakery
    441 Terry Pkwy.,
    Gretna, LA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Suzy Wong

      For any and all Asian, and a good selection of Latin, go to Hong Kong Market on Berhman Highway. If you have the time, you can go to the Bubble Cafe adjacent to it OR the dumpling cafe also adjacent. (also cell phone providers and hairdressers). There is a just opened cookware store also in the shopping center. This is worth the field trip!

      Hong Kong has Cfood tanks - you stand in line to have the chance to pick out the one you want. Pretty serious stuff. Their produce can be iffy but the selection is large. It's the
      sort of place that has 10 different jars of Sambal paste to choose from. Unless you speak languages, help is also iffy, but they try. Very busy on the weekends.

      I think overall Dorignac's is the best overall for groceries and liquor, Also they really support local smaller vendors (good selection of Louisiana made products, like honey).
      The layout of the store isn't the most modern and takes getting used to (bakery and bread NOT in the same area but it's fresh challah on Friday).

      You could start @ Dorignac's, then work your way down Vet's: Byblos, Rouse's and Whole Foods and then back to the Westbank. Maybe a sidetrip to NorJoe's for
      pasta's, pesto and parmesan. It's maybe 5 minutes from Dorignac's via back streets.

    2. Dorignac's is a New York style old school grocery store. they make their own pastrami and corned beef, and have a solid produce selection, if not exotic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: notanotherpoboy

        Dorignac's produce has come a LONG way, that's for sure! (for the better)

      2. Langensteins, two locations, Uptown and Old Metairie, has a good selection of meat, prime cuts as well. Its significantly less expensive than Whole Foods. If the price of meat on the left coast is anything like the east, you will be pleasantly surprised by the price of prime beef here.

        1. The truth is this: there are no markets here like the markets in San Francisco. There's no one place where you can get the finest artisanal foods in every category all in one place in New Orleans. There is wonderful food here, but shopping is much more a journey of discovery here than it is in San Francisco. You can look at this two ways. In one sense, the thrill of the hunt is much greater here. In another, grocery shopping is much more inconvenient. Personally, here's where I shop: I get my meat at Whole Foods because I haven't found any other market that even carries a small selection of responsible meat (grass fed, humane, etc.), my bread at La Boulangerie, my veggies at Hong Kong Market because they're cheap and fresh and have lots of green leafy vegetables (and the Pho shop next door is delicious!) and I pick up whatever looks good at the small but quality local farmer's markets and out of the backs of trucks stopped along Hwy 90. There are also tons of fresh seafood markets, like the one on Hwy 90 in Westwego, but you should post again to find out more about them because I don't know them well. The farmers markets are great, but you can't go with an idea in mind of what you want to buy. You just have to be open to whatever they have. Another option that makes New Orleans a great place to buy food: there are numerous local organic farms within a few hours' drive that sell carefully raised meat and veggies of the caliber you find in San Francisco. Many of these farms can be located on Good luck and I hope you find everything you're looking for!

          1 Reply
          1. re: NYNO

            Thank you for the wonderful response. This gives me a great idea of what to expect when living in this BEAUTIFUL city! I guess I'll just have to change my habits when it comes to shopping. :-)

          2. I too live in Algiers Point! Welcome!

            We were very disappointed in the Gretna market. We had heard a while back that one was coming to the point...but I guess it didn't happen.

            I have heard that this market is good...