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Oct 21, 2010 05:33 AM

Lunch Recommendations for Solo in New Orleans

We will be in New Orleans in a couple of weeks for a business trip. I will be on my own for about 3 lunches, and would appreciate any suggestions for places to eat within walking distance of the Ritz (it's located on Canal St). I've read alot of posts here, but not knowing the city I don't know if the places being discussed are close enough to walk to from hotel. I'm very excited to try local cuisine and love seafood, and would like to keep cost reasonable. Also, since I'm solo, would prefer place that isn't too hoppin' or incredibly noisy, but busy place is fine!
Also any dinner recommendation for spouse and me, also within walking distance, would be great. Both love eating like the locals when we travel.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Last year I was on my own for a 3-day conference in New Orleans and had wonderful lunches at Bon Ton Cafe and MiLa, both in the Central Business District (and easy walk from the Ritz - MiLa being less than 5 minutes, and Bon Ton being perhaps 10 minutes). Bon Ton is a busy place serving Cajun food in a pretty traditional setting. Although it is busy, I got there at noon and was seated promptly and was not uncomfortable at all. MiLa is a quieter, fairly elegant place, very comfortable for a solo diner, and has a great prix fixe lunch deal (I think $20 for 3 courses). Other places that are an easy walk from the Ritz: Galatoire's (don't go on Friday - that's a bit crazy), August (also a prix fixe lunch deal), Mr. B's and Bayona. If you don't drink at lunch, none of these places will break the bank.

    430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

    Bon Ton Cafe
    401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. Here's a link to lunch and dinner special's in NOLA. Mr. B's would be a good choice for solo dining. They have a 2 course prix fixe lunch for $20.00 and it's 2 blocks from Ritz. Domenica is a casual John Besh Italian restaurant in the Roosevelot Hotel a block from your hotel. They have happy hour specials from 3/6 half price pizza and drinks. Dining at the bar at Domenica is fun. Luke is another John Besh restaurant in the Hilton on St. Charles about 4/5 blocks from your hotel. They have a 2 course express lunch for $15.00 and 3/6 Happy Hour half price drinks and 50 cent oysters. Dining at the bar at Luke is fun also. Antoine's is in the FQ about 4 blocks from your hotel. They have a prix fixe 3 course 30 minutelunch for $20.00 and would be nice for a solo diner.

      Emeril's is one of my favorite NOLA restaurants. It's a 10 minute cab ride from your hotel. They have an 30 minute express lunch special that's around $19.50. August is another of John Besh's restaurants about 5/6 blocks from your hotel and they serve a lunch special also. Galatoire's is one of my favorite NOLA restaurants a block from your hotel. They do not take reservations downstairs so go about 11:15 during a week day and maybe the line won't be too long. They open at 11:30 but don't go on Friday. They get too busy.

      If you have time you should visit the WWII DDay museum in the CBD which is an amazing tribute to the men and women who served to protect our great nation in war. American Sector is a nice restaurant owned by John Besh also in case you would like to visit and have lunch there also. It's 15/20 blocks so you would need to take a cab.


      Mr. B's Bistro @ 201 Royal St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 523 - 2078.
      Domenica @ 123 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 648 - 6020.
      Luke Restaurant @ 333 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 378 - 2840.
      Antoine's @ 713 Saint Louis St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 581 - 4422.
      Restaurant August @ 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 299 - 9777.
      Galatoire's @ 209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 504 - 525 - 2021.

      American Sector @ 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 504 - 528 - 1940.

      NOLA has some very fine restaurants. Any of the above would be nice for dinner also. If you have time you should try to have dinner in the Garden District or Uptown at Commander's Palace, Coquette, Lilette, Patois, Brigtsen's or Clancy's. I hope you have a nice trip.

      1. These are good ideas all the way around. Solo places near you that I prefer are Bayone and Galatoire's, which last is only a block away. I think you'd be well-served to go there one afteroon....dress up and go about 2:30...get to know your waiter who will more-than-likely be willing to chat. I like to sit and read and just chat with the staff....at 3:30 on a Thursday--or-Saturday, it might be damn near empty...you'll have it to yourself and , if you want to linger for hours, no problem (although you mightg tell the waiter at the outset).. Your spouse can join you after business and do dinner. We do it all the time. It is a true taste of New Orleans that you just don;t get anywhere else.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: hazelhurst

          Great recommendation on Galatoire's there Hazelhurst. I second that. I have never been other than lunch or dinner but your idea sounds good. Beats walking around the FQ in the heat. I meant to mention Bayona. It's one of my favorites. Chef Spicer came to my hometown for a chef's event and we enjoyed her company. Doesn't she have some kind of special lunch on Saturday or one day of the week. Great place and fun to sit outside. And about 3 blocks from The Ritz.

        2. For the dining with the spouse, I would throw out Stella!, Restaurant August and Galatoire's - all within easy walking distance of the Ritz. For a level up, at least in the $ range, look into the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel.



          Restaurant August
          301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

          Windsor Court Hotel
          300 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. Thanks so much for all the recommendations! I will definitely use them. Also appreciate your including distance from hotel, the addresses, phone #s and links - I have copied and pasted and will take with me. Chowhound comes through once again!

            6 Replies
            1. re: maina

              And Maina, just to further orient yourself, Canal St. is what divides the French Quarter from the Central Business District (with the Ritz sitting on the FQ side of Canal). The CBD is relatively compact, so most places in the CBD are an easy walk from the Ritz.. The FQ is a little bit more spread out, but I would say that easily half of the FQ restaurants are an easy walk as well.

              1. re: ClevelandRandy

                Trip Report - Wrote this post a couple of days ago, but it was never posted. Hmm, hope this one makes it onto the board.
                We had a wonderful trip, and can't thank posters enough for their suggestions. We had incredible meals at Bayonas, Mr Bs, and Galatoire's. Think my fav was the crab and artichoke dish at Galatoires, and the wonderful seafood gumbo appetizer. Loved barbeque shrimp at Mr B's - not in a thick, gloppy sauce but rather a light, flavorful, slighty spicy sauce that demanded to be sopped up with french bread. Also went to Croissant D'Or and had an almond croissant that melted in my mouth, had to contain myself from ordering more and eating them on the spot; and tried the Monde beignet restaurant - very touristy, but had good warm beignets (but drowned in powered sugar), and live music (even in morning). Be aware they only have beignet and coffee or hot choc, no hot or iced tea, or any other kind of pastry.
                The lounge and bistro at the Ritz also had surprisingly good food. We usually avoid eating in hotels, but this restaurant had high quality food, at a reasonable price, and jazz on Thurs - Sat. Only caveat -- do not order a Mojito ($15), it's really a slushy - glass just packed with crushed ice and very little liquid. Literally a couple of sips and it's gone, then you're drinking very high priced melted ice.
                We also visited the WW II museum as Littleman suggested, and it was well worth it. We wished we had more time there, we didn't realize it closes at 5pm sharp. The exhibits and movies are very well done. We'd love to go a second time if we return to NO.
                Thank you again to all who responded. Your recommendations made our trip!

                430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

                1. re: maina

                  Thanks for the great report Maina. I hope you enjoyed your trip and return soon. Be sure to post if you do so we can offer more advice. Next trip plan some time in the Garden District or Uptown. There are some really fine restaurants there and it's only a 12/15 minute cab ride or you could ride the streetcar. Commander's Palace, Coquette, Patois, Clancy's, Dick and Jenny's and Brigtsen's are just a few of the fine places in that area.

                  I forgot to mention Jeremy Davenport's outstanding jazz lounge in the Ritz. I'm glad you got to listen to some good local music. And I'm happy you went to Galatoire's. It's one of my favorites.

                  Good luck.

                  Commander's Palace Restaurant
                  1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                  1. re: maina

                    Which crab and artichoke dish di you have? There is Crabmeat sardou, with the hollandaise on it with a whole artichoke hear and creamed spinach, or there is the Crabmeat Yvonne, sauteed with sliced hearts and muchrooms and anything else you want to come up with (I have had bacon added).

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      It was the Crabmeat Yvonne - heavenly!!

                      1. re: maina

                        Yup..that's good stufff....I remember when it went on the menu.