HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >


5 days in N.O.

I will be staying in New Orleans for five days, at the Hotel Monteleone. I've never been to the city before and I'll be with a group of people who are in the same boat, and most of them are foodies. We're all graduate students, so we can't go to high end places but I'm open to anything reasonable, or especially worth it.

Can you recommend places to eat that are not too too far away from the hotel? If something is a must-eat, I will go out of my way to try it, but it would be cool to be able to walk around. High on my list are po'boys, soft shell crab, and oysters. And anything else you tell me I need to eat!

One other request: can you recommend a nice cafe to sit and read at? I will probably spend one afternoon doing this for a few hours.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Your hotel is in the French Quarter, which is packed with restaurants of varying quality and cost. You might want to start by reading through the existing posts and/or doing a search. If you type in things like "po boy", "oysters", "moderate" you'll find previous posts thst will help. As far as specific suggestions, Johnny's Po Boys in the French Quarter is pretty good, and the best deal on oysters is the daily happy hour from 3:00 to 6:00 at Luke, when oysters are $0.25 each!

    1. Your post suggests you'd sooner not leave the French Quarter, which is a crying' shame! You'll just have to plan a future trip, since many of the city's best restaurants are in other neighborhoods.

      Within the Quarter:

      * Cheap, decent po-boys at Johnny's.
      * Muffulettas to go at Central Grocery (one muff feeds two people -- closed Sunday and Monday).
      * Modest lunch fare and muffulettas (or just a drink -- try a Pimm's Cup) at atmospheric Napoleon House.
      * Good jambalaya at Coop's bar.
      * Cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde.
      * Raw oysters at Acme or Felix's (closed Sunday).
      * Breakfast at The Coffee Pot (full menu) or Croissant d'Or (espresso and pastry).

      If you're hellbent on sampling a hurricane (think: boozy Hawaiian Punch), Lafitte's Blacksmith makes a better one than touristy Pat O'Brien's.

      For slightly more upscale dining, you'll have to shell out a bit more. Mr. B's is practically across the street from the hotel, and not too expensive (especially at lunch). The Barbecued Shrimp and Gumbo Ya-Ya at Mr. B's are fantastic NOLA dishes. Consider making a reservation, or be willing to stand in line. Closed Sunday.

      For Creole-Italian, Irene's Cuisine is good, and not insanely expensive. (Reservations essential, and request a table in the front room.)

      High-end choices in the Quarter might include Stella!, Bayona, Galatoire's, and GW Fins.

      If you can pry yourselves out of the Quarter, the options are endless in all price ranges. There are excellent restaurants in the Warehouse District and CBD (Central Business District), most within a 10-15 minute walk of the Monteleone.

      Good restaurants abound Uptown and on Magazine Street, both accessible by streetcar, bus or taxi. Have everyone in your party put United Cab in their cell phone:

      504-522-9771 and 504-524-8380

      (Clancy's -- upscale and Uptown -- does a great smoked softshell crab, and Casamento's -- Magazine Street at Napoleon Ave. -- has the best oysters in the city, IMO. Split an "Oyster Loaf" and a dozen raw.)

      Have you picked up a decent guidebook? Frommer's is popular, and will help you get the lay of the land, and maybe even inspire you to get out of the Quarter! It's not a big city.

      I'm trying to think of quiet places to sit and read, since the Quarter is always jumpin' and jivin'. Tulane and Loyola students tend to congregate in coffee houses outside the Quarter, such as Rue de la Course (Google for locations), or various coffee houses in Marigny.

      Napoleon House gets quiet between 3:00-5:00, if you don't mind soft classical background music. You can always sit in Jackson Square, if a jazz band isn't playing, or on the other side of the Moon Walk, overlooking the Mississippi.

      Beauregard House and the Ursuline Convent both have lovely gardens. Maybe they'd let you sit and read? Further afield, City Park or Audubon Park are wonderful places in good weather.

      I dunno....you'll figure it out! And you're going to have a great time!

      Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
      500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      Casamento's Restaurant
      4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

      Coffee Pot Restaurant
      714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

      430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

      Galatoire's Restaurant
      209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

      Irene's Cuisine
      539 Saint Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116

      1 Reply
      1. re: BrooksNYC

        One other suggestion (if I may) based on person experience: Get everyone in your group involved in choosing restaurants and figuring out what to see and do. Don't let 'em dump all the decision-making on you! They'll enjoy themselves more if they have an active role in the planning.

        Another (non-food) resource that might be of help to you is TripAdvisor:


      2. A lot of the higher end places have fixed course lunches for $15-20, if that's in your budget range. Luke, Antoines, MiLA, KPauls, (August might as well?) all do this.

        1. Here's a list of open rest. with reviews compiled by our restaurant "critic". http://www.nomenu.com/open/ . It's a comprehensive list but don't take the reviews as gospel. You'll do best to get specific rest. info from CH.

          1. Amazing! Keep these great tips coming!

            What about a good place to try a sazerac?

            3 Replies
            1. re: pistachio peas

              Bar UnCommon at the Pere Marquette hotel (MiLa Restaurant is also located in this hotel) is great for cocktails, if you happen to go by there for an inexpensive lunch as suggested above. It's a great lunch and cocktail experience and you'll be really pleased with the quality of the food and drink at relatively low prices.

              Also the cocktails are good at the Carousel Bar at your hotel, but the quality can suffer a bit when it's busy in there, which it frequently is.

              For outstanding, really special cocktails, go to Iris restaurant in the Bienville House hotel on S. Peters St. It's just a few block from your hotel. Pricey, but worth it to try one or two amazing drinks.

              As for places to sit and read, I frequent La Boucherie coffeehouse on Chartres St. near the intersection of Conti. Good coffee and a quiet atmosphere, very near your hotel. Also, the courtyard at Royal Blend in the middle of the 600 block of Royal St. is a nice place to relax.

              8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

              1. re: pistachio peas

                The place to try a sazerac is at Roosevelt Hotel in the Sazerac Bar! Beautiful place, great experience:


                IMO, Some places may not be as $ as you might think, depending on if you drink, and how much.

                (PS I love staying at The Monteleone and I live in N.O. Fantastic hotel and rooftop pool)

              2. When are you visiting? if it's any time soon and you are here on one of the gorgeous days we've been having, take the streetcar up to audubon park and do your reading on a blanket there. It's so nice.

                I would recommend venturing out of the quarter for a few meals. You can take the streetcar up to Mandina's, or out to the Riverbend and up Carrollton Ave. where there are great places - Boucherie for dinner, Dante's Kitchen for brunch, Camellia Grill and many others.

                Also consider Eat (on Dumain & Dauphine in the quarter) for great brunch, ok dinner (I'm a fan but not everyone loves it) and Adolpho's italian (Frenchmen St.) - both are byob so easy on the pocketbook.

                Have a great visit!

                Mandina's Restaurant
                3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

                Camellia Grill
                626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

                Dante's Kitchen
                736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

                8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. For a fun day take the street car on the circuit that ends up at Esplanade at the Museum. Read in the park or, best of all, the Sculpture Garden. That is worth the trip. Then a 4-5 block walk brings you to some good restaurant choices on Esplanade behind the Fair Grounds. Then the bus or a short cab ride will get yopu back to the Quarter.

                  1. Adolfo's is not BYOB, although the wine is cheep, cheep. And you might want to switch out your oyster thing for a crawfish thing -- 'tis the season. R Bar at the Royal Street Inn has an annoying hipster crawfish boil on Fridays at 6 p.m., but they are free, and the place has Abita Strawberry this time of year. Or try Yo Mama's, closer to your hotel--they have awesome crawfish, and I think you will be just in time.
                    Mena's Palace is near you and great for N.O. classics--red beans, etc. I f you want to splurge on drinks one night, hit French 75 (the bar at Arnaud's--very beautiful and grownup and French!) for those Sazeracs. Chris will take care of you like no other bartender, and because you can't drink too many of those puppies, it won't end up being too dear. (Just try to get something in your belly first--I'm partial to Napoleon House's roast beef po'boys, but absolutely no one else on this forum is.)
                    Don't miss Mr. B's BBQ shrimp or EAT's shrimp and grits (the latter's not a local dish, but it must be eaten here to be believed), or Coop's fried chicken. All inexpensive and filling, ridiculously so. For an inexpensive meal of delicious pig parts, cab to Cochon in the Warehouse District and get all appetizers--snout, ears, jowl. Also the alligator rocks, the rabbit livers are fantastic, even the cauliflower will change your life; the place is a wonderland.
                    For a quiet spot, see if you can get a courtyard table at Cafe Amelie when it opens, at 11 a.m., before the brunch crowd pours in. It's beautiful and contemplative, and the view goes great with a mimosa or a Bloody Mary. Because we know what you mean when you say "sit and read" ...

                    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
                    500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    Cafe Amelie
                    912 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                    Mena's Palace
                    200 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. My favorite Restaurants:
                      Jaquimos( Best Alligator Cheesecake and blackened red fish),
                      Rio Mar
                      Commanders Palace(MY FAV), Muriels(Turtle Soup, Goat Cheese Crepes, and Pecan crusted drum),
                      Coffee Pot (FAVORITE RED BEANS and breakfast),
                      Upperline( TURTLE SOUP and FISH PIQUANTE USA todays best dish)
                      Irenes ( Great Turtle Soup and Fish)
                      Galatoise- Very famous and very good
                      Dick and Jennys- EVERYTHING IS GREAT!
                      Napolean House( Great. LUNCH SPOT),
                      One on Hampson( BEST DUCK GUMBO
                      Crepe Nanou,( Love their crepes and grilled AMBERJACK)
                      Tommys Restaurant,
                      Brigtsens ( Everything is AWESOME),
                      Yo mama bar and grill( BEST HAMBURGERS and has crawfish boils during the season
                      Palace Cafe( PECAN CRUSTED FISH AND BLUE CRAB LEGS),
                      Domileses(awesome poboys),
                      Cochon( BEst cochon du lait)

                      930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Coffee Pot Restaurant
                      714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                      Rio Mar Restaurant
                      800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Brigtsen's Restaurant
                      723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                      3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

                      Upperline Restaurant
                      1413 Upperline St, New Orleans, LA

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FleurdeLis

                        Nice list, Fleur de Lis!

                        For the sake of visitors unfamiliar with those restaurants, permit me a couple of spelling tweaks:

                        "Galatoise" should be "Galatoire's"
                        "Jaquimos" should be "Jacques Imo's"

                        I'd recommend lunch at Commander's over dinner. The menu is less expensive, and lunchtime martinis are just twenty-five cents! Also, an after-lunch stroll around the beautiful Garden District is a great way to burn off the bread pudding souffle that you WILL ORDER. (Do it, and don't argue!)


                        Here's a downloadable Garden District walking map (and accompanying text) from Frommer's: