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2 Days in New Orleans - Top 3 Places I need to try?

Hi everyone! I just booked a trip to New Orleans this weekend, and yes, I do fully plan on spending most of my time chowing down and getting fat! Unfortunately, this was spontaneously planned, and I won't have all the time I'd like to figure out where my foodie adventures shall take place. However, I'm hoping the lovely people on this board can help me out by listing your Top 3 MUST places to try when in NOLA!

I am looking primarily for budget meals ($15 and below) and a small mix of higher end dining ($25 plus). I'm hoping to try some great po'boys (which places have more options other than just oysters?), cajun/creole cuisine, fun bars, and of course amazing seafood!

Places I already have in mind are Cafe Du Monde, Acme (is this worth skipping for someone who doesn't like oysters?), Commander's Palace, and Restaurant August. But really I'm open to anything - whether it be a tourist-y spot, hidden gem, or local favorite.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses!

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Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

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  1. You definitely MUST go to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. There is nothing like it, in my opinion. Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. is another great place that is reasonably priced. They have an awesome spicy sausage po-boy. Matter of fact, the place was featured on a food network show recently. Deanie's Seafood is a great option as well. Hope this helps & enjoy your stay in the big easy :)

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    Deanie's Seafood
    841 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70112

    1. Definitely BBQ shrimp at Mr B's and lunch at Commander's.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I would never go to ACME if I didnt like oysters.
          Brunch: Commander's Palace (if you're here on the weekend)
          Breakfast: Surry's, Old Coffee Pot, Slim Goody's
          Lunch: Crabby Jack's, August, Bayona
          Dinner: Clancy's, Brigsten's, Dominique's

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          Crabby Jacks
          428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

          Coffee Pot Restaurant
          714 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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

          Bayona
          430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

          7 Replies
          1. re: shanefink

            2nd that emotion for Brigtsen's. I cannot imagine a trip to NO without a visit to see Chef Frank, Marna and the crew. One of the best dining experiences to be found anywhere.

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            Brigtsen's Restaurant
            723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

            1. re: GroovinGourmet

              For a great locals restaurant try Liuzzas on north telemachus and bienville in mid city the canal street car will take you close to it.

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              Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
              3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

              1. re: GroovinGourmet

                I'm interested to know what everyone thinks are the essential dishes at Brigtsen's. Apps of veal sweetbreads, fried oysters? I assume thought the "shell beach diet" or the roast duck for entree.

                Which dessert? The famous pecan pie of "The best thing I ever ate"?

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                Brigtsen's Restaurant
                723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. re: steakrules85

                  I always get the "Shell Beach Diet", unless I can get a soft-shell crab special appetizer upsized to an entree. The duck is choice #3.

                  My wife, who is usually luke-warm about pork, says the pork tenderloin with debris sauce is her favorite of all time.

                  And, as a pecan pie expert, she will NOT pass that pie.

                  You have the right of it, above, SR95...from our perspective.

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    The shell beach diet and the roast duck are AWESOME. Also the pecan pie. I don't think you can really go wrong at Brigtsen's.

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                    Brigtsen's Restaurant
                    723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                    1. re: noradeirdre

                      Great thanks guys. I'm going with a coworker so hopefully I can coax him into getting the shell beach so I can try haha.

                      As far as dessert I've heard the bread pudding is good also but from pics I've seen it lT looks hard on the outside as opposed to the soft doughy consistency I love about bp

                2. re: shanefink

                  I agree re: Acme. Hubby loves oysters and I do not. We've been to three Acme locations and I'll never go again.
                  I love Nola Grocery for cheap wonderful sloppy roast beef, cajun meat and spicy shrimp poboys. If you get a Chisesi ham & cheese ask them to put Scratchmo's mustard on it. Sweet, spicy and delicious. Ernst Cafe has a new menu with red beans, shrimp creole and other N.O. favorites. I try to eat there at least twice a month for lunch. It's a very old beautiful bar/restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating.

                3. Acme's is worth skipping even if you like oysters"Over Rated".

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: octate

                    actually, I don't like raw oysters, but the jambalaya at Acme is one of my favs.....have been known to sit at the bar alone for a bowl!

                    1. re: octate

                      What are the best oyster places in New Orleans then?

                      1. re: Insidious Rex

                        In my opinion... NOT NEW ORLEANS!
                        They have tons of great food but the way they serve the oyster stinks, maybe it is the culture and they dont want to lose that, but i eat tons of seafood and i love to eat my oysters straight out of the shell. You are forced to use your utensils in New orleans since they don't clean them, but there is something about putting lemon and sauce on them and enjoying every last drop of juice, but you are not able to do that in new orleans.

                        I live in Los Angeles and travelled to a few places and even in San Pedro you can have better tasting ones.