I was thinking of coming to New Orleans for Thanksgiving, good idea or bad? Are there good thanksgiving dinners in town and our most of the restaurants open the friday after. Any help would be great. Thanks
This is a wonderful town for Thanksgiving--the weather is beautiful and many restaurants serve a holiday dinner. And they're all open the day after. It's the weekend of the Bayou Classic, so it gets crowded in the Quarter and the CBD, but other than that it's just your usual busy holiday weekend. I went to Commander's Palace for Thanksgiving dinner last year and would do it again happily. There are some old threads on where else to eat that day, so I recommend searching those.
Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
The bayou classic is that weekend. If you want a typical New Orleans experience, involving the french quarter etc., then I'd suggest a different weekend.
Make that a very "busy holiday weekend." The Bayou Classic is a big deal, and it draws lots of people. Most locals I know avoid the whole FQ/CBD area as it's super congested that weekend. But if you don't care about being in that part of town, it's a great time to be in NOLA, weatherwise. And most of the football fans won't have arrived on Thursday so you won't have to compete for Thanksgiving tables.
Most rest. open on Thanksgiving offer a special menu for the day. Personally, I'd rather not dine on holiday fare when I can go on any other day and have what they do best.
The bayou classic (Southern/Grambling football and related activities) brings a crowd. I'd choose another time and avoid the congestion.
I have to agree with Jazzy on the Thanksgiving day special menus - not the best food you will have. I have not done Commander's (suggested above) for Thanksgiving but would have to assume that this is a safe bet. The food at Commander's isn't the best, but the atmosphere and service are great and I would imagine that they do an excellent Thanksgiving dinner. Otherwise, I would just be prepared to not be superbly impressed with Thursday's meal and I wouldn't pick anywhere super special. Save your most desired places for the rest of the trip.
As for the congestion with the Bayou Classic, it has been my experience that the crowds are typically limited to the French Quarter and once you venture out (i.e. warehouse district and uptown), there isn't much of a problem with crowds. I would plan meals for the following Friday and weekend in these areas and plan to spend some time window shopping on Magazine street, or checking out Audubon Park instead of spending the whole time in the Quarter (which I wouldn't recommend to anyone during any other time of the year anyway).