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Looking for good places to eat *solo* in New Orleans

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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

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  1. Beep Beep Boop Boop my automated posting robot has detected a perfect thread to recommend a solo lunch at the bar at Mr B's Bistro consisting of BBQ shrimp and a couple of $1.50 cocktails Boop Boop

    Mr B's Bistro
    201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. 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

      2 Replies
      1. re: mikey

        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.

        1. re: mikey

          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.

        2. 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.


          1. I suggest a quick trip to Mahoney's Po' Boys on Magazine. Great quick stop for a po boy. My personal suggestions are the meatball w/ fresh buffalo mozz., the peacemaker (fried oysters, bacon & cheese) or the fried chicken livers w/ creole slaw. You will not be disappointed!

            1. 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!


              1. (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.

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

                Avenue Pub
                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

                1. Tuesday night at Maple Leaf for Rebirth Brass Band, lots of eating options in that area, Boucherie, Dantes Kitchen, Jacques Imo, One, etc, or Monday night at the Maple Leaf for Papa Grows Funk.

                  8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: roro1831

                    Dante's is closed on Tuesday. Otherwise great recs.

                  2. The food at Acme is awesome and hey, if it's good enough to make the Man vs Food cut in season 1 you know it has to be good! :)

                    Acme Oyster House
                    724 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: manvsfood

                      Acme has been recommended by numerous people, as has Jacques Imo, so they are both going to get a visit. You guys are great, keep the recommendations coming!

                      Oh, and @Suzy: I'm not bringing a blazer, but I'm not planning on wearing shorts either! (At least to dinner).

                    2. Go to Mr. B's in the quarter, they have a table for for walk ins. and it 's great food, across the street from the Monteleon HOtel