- Bayareafoodiei Jun 20, 2010 04:08 PM
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).
As stated, Most of the hotels (Ritz Carlton, Roosevelt, Windsor Court to name very few)downtown and French Quarter, etc and restaurants have a special menu and or or upscale buffet for Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. Closer to the time there will be ads and promo's for these events. A local food writer also compiles a list of holiday offerings:
New Orleans tourism web site:
Or if there is a specific place you have in mind, most restaurants have their own site as well.
Last year my wife and I had Thanksgiving dinner at Copelands, 1700 Lapalco Blvd on the West Bank, 504-364-1575. Huge portions and the best deep fried Turkey I've ever had. It was so good that we are looking forward to going back there again this year, We have to drive 570 miles each way so we must have really liked it (LOL)!
I have a Popeye's about two minutes away. I didn't know about the deep fried turkey during the holidays. I'll probably check that out, but, I don't think it will be the same as staying at the Hotel Provincial and waking around the French Market, getting fresh bakery goods just around the corner etc. Anyway, thanks for the tip. I lived for several years in the 1200 block of Royal St. I still miss New Orleans. My wife and I try to visit a couple times each year.
Well, NOLA is a great food city, regardless of the time of year, unless you're looking for something like softshelled crabs in Nov.
Now, and with that said, is NOLA a great, traditional Thanksgiving dinner city - well, not so much as some others. It all depends on what you are looking for.
NOLA is pretty fixed in its own, unique cuisine, which is great, but not THAT many places skip their normal menus for what might pass as Thanksgiving in the Midwest.
Some do, but many do not. Neither tack is bad, but it does reflect the culinary bent of NOLA. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Though I grew up, in the shadow of NOLA, what was considered traditional Thanksgiving in MS vs NOLA, was quite different. For us in MS, we're talking turkey and the traditional trapping. In NOLA, there were a half-dozen mains, and then two-dozen other dishes. Much more seafood was involved, but the cuisine was great.
What are you looking for? That is the question, and will determine where others will recommend.
re: Bill Hunt
Believing,as I do---well, it was instilled by my late father--that turkey is, by and large, not worth it, I just go to regular spots. But, when I am "on my own" I like to hold with Tradition [this is, I know, quite a shock] and go to The Fair Grounds for Opening Day. Corned Beef n' cabbage is a great way to console myself while I am picking ten straight losers. It is my favorite way to observe the Day...and you see everyone you know. It is a great New Orleans kinda day
We were switched at birth. You ARE my father's son, and now I am convinced!
Spent much of my callow youth, in the grandstands at the Fairgrounds, making book on the horses. Only winner that I ever had was Sleepy Mable, a mud-runner, in about the 6th race on a very cold, rainy opening day. I had $10, and she paid $100. My father collected, and I never saw the money, including my $10! Only winner that I ever picked.
Now, many years later, when off-track became legal, my wife fed me some tips from a patient at Ochsner, and he nailed every race. I did make out like a bandit.
Now, and before the MOD's nail me, I thought that corned beef and cabbage was "traditional Thanksgiving" fare, for many years.