Looking for good places to eat *solo* in New Orleans
Hello New Orleans Chowhounders! On the spur of the moment (and after drinking some Abitas while watching "Treme"), I've booked a flight from San Francisco to visit your wonderful city next week. I've been to NO once before, and ate some of the best food of my life -- e.g. Cochon, August, and Cafe Du Monde -- with my now ex-girlfriend (sniff). But this time around, I'm coming solo (and single), and I could use your help. I'm looking for:
-- Really good local food (naturally); I love cajun anything, po boys, oysters, crawfish, etc.
-- That serve food at the bar and/or will be comfortable to eat at on my own
-- Which are preferably located within walking distance or a reasonable cab ride from the Garden District
-- And may also offer live music at night and/or the opportunity to meet fun locals (note: I'm 33, so I'm looking for a slightly maturer crowd than, say, those who come to NO for the alcoholic hurricanes on Bourbon Street)
I'm going to be in town from Monday through Thursday, so extra karma points if you can steer me towards places that will be lively on these particular nights. Looking for both lunch and dinner recommendations. Not worried about price but since I'm on my way to a fishing trip, I won't be able to rock any jackets or slacks (sorry Chef Besh). The more divey, the better.
Thanks in advance for all your help!
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Why not carry at least one nice pair of trousers and a crisp shirt or wear some good jeans and a nice shirt? This will make you feel comfortable if you have a splurge dinner at one of the finer dining places. Bar dining could not be better at Lillete, Herbsaint, Coquette, or Clancy's. There are always people having dinner or drinks next to you and it is a great way to converse with locals. Lillete is downtown in the business disgtrict, Coquette and Lillete are in the Garden Dist, and Clancy's is uptown. My favorite for true, creole seafood is The Bon Ton. It is nothing pretentious but they do serve the best crawfish etouffe in town. Also, give Luke a try. This is a John Besh restaurant. Bar dining is great there and the crawfish bisque is fantastic.
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Bon Ton Cafe
401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hey thanks for the good info. I do plan to have good jeans and a "crisp shirt," which is to say, not a t-shirt -- but I won't have a jacket or slacks, so white-linen tablecloth places are basically out.
And Littleman, I will be fishing in Montana, though the BP oil rig tragedy weighs on all of our minds.
These are great suggestions for solo dining (and dining in general). Coquette is a personal favorite and the bar is perfect for dining alone. Wednesday nights are $5 wine by the glass and Thursdays are $5 specialty cocktails. +1 on Mr. B's for lunch as well. If you head down to the quarter for a day, eat at Mr. B's for lunch and then hit Luke or Herbsaint (both on St. Charles Ave. in the CBD) on your way back to the Garden District. You might also enjoy sitting out on the big porch at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles for an afternoon cocktail.
I hope your fishing trip is not in the middle of our country's latest disaster at the Mouth of the Mighty Mississippi. If you are staying in the Garden District then The Bulldoge will keep you busy with beer, food, music and maybe some cute ladies.
The Bulldog @ 3236 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 891 - 1516.
We just discovered this little gem on our trip down for Jazz Fest. Pretty much locals only, this restaurant gets crowded but moves fairly quickly. We tried several options from the Daily Specials as well as a few standards. I recommend the red beans and rice, the pork chop po-boy, and the fresh beet salad. Apparently, they butcher all their own meat and the roast beef came hightly recommended. We were just too full to add it on!
(I'd skip Mr B's, but that's me. Perhaps I should give them one more chance, but there are so many other choices in N.O. as an fyi in case you go, I don't see it as a shorts wearing place IMO)
Dining and entertainment wise Frenchmen St (area) has quite a few options (dba for entertainment/music is only one example) and Magazine St not far from where you are staying as well has many to offer. I'm sure you will get oodles of suggestions. Joey K's is a Magazine St option for casual fare...Avenue Pub, St Charles Tavern more ultra casual spots.
3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119
1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
St Charles Tavern
1433 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
3001 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115