Hi! I am planning a trip to NOLA around the weekend following the 4th. So first & foremost, we will be there on the day my oldest turns 8 and I'm looking for a good, kid friendly, restaurant to take her to for a b-day meal? Something fun but not extremely pricey. It won't be a very large group, any where f/ 2-5 adults & 2 kids.
We'll only be there a cpl of days, but if there are any other fairly cheap places that are must try's or any good food festivals going on suggestions are more than welcome. We will also be stopping around Shreveport if there are any good places there. At least 1 place w/ music & possibly dancing would be nice to find.
Any ideas or suggestions would be helpful; thanks!
Side notes (so to speak):
- We want to avoid tourist spots as much as possible, even if it means venturing out of town a little ways.
- I am a stay at home mom and a full time college student so we are definitely on a tight budget.
- We're not that picky cept on taste, but speaking of budget, where we're f/ $15 - 20 each (wine or mixed drink included) is considered fine dining. This being a vacation I expect there's probably going to be a difference in prices but it'd be nice to not deviate f/ our norm too much (if possible).
I'm thinking of places that the kids will remember for years to come. Definitely have a poboy lunch, whether it's in the Quarter (probably Johnny's) or one of the ones a little further out (like Parkway or Domilise's). Those are the sorts of places that would stick with a kid.
I'd also think about Lil Dizzy's in Treme (not in the CBD) for brunch. It's inexpensive and casual but really great. Plus it's got that very local vibe that the kids will love and it's a buffet so they can try a bunch of stuff. It's exactly the sort of place that I would have loved at that age and thought about for years afterwards.
And obviously you have to go to Cafe Du Monde and get those kids full of sugar!
TaTee and Collardman have both given you good recs. Do you know yet where you are staying? As far as festivals go, well, the weekend after July 4 is Essence Festival so there will be lots of traffic tie-ups around the Superdome and a lot of foot traffic in the French Quarter. If you know what neighborhood you'll be staying in, perhaps I can come up with a few more suggestions.
Remember N.O. is a restaurant destination city so you will find the good places (pricey or reasonable) full of locals and tourists. Dominica is a good choice. Also check out Grand Isle (4-7 happy hour) and Mandina's for local food at a fairly reasonable cost.
If you do a search here under "cheap" or "budget" you will find some good past threads as the biggest problem will be staying in your price range (with drink) yet staying away from poor or fast food.
Well-stated, as always. "Tourist" is not a "dirty-word" in NOLA.
Heck, even my wife, who grew up on the Upper-Garden District, and lived in NOLA (or Jefferson Parish), until grad school, is NOW a "tourist," as we have not live in the City, since 1980.
While we expect to encounter tourists (with no tie to NOLA), we understand that they should be present, as "NOLA is a culinary destination city." Just as you stated so eloquently.
Now, I can understand why one would not want to spend an evening in a "tourist trap," and those do exist in NOLA, though not in the same number, as say Lanai, Maui, HI. They do exist, however, and should be avoided.
As for the OP's exact request, I have nothing to really offer. When back to NOLA, we are usually doing "fine dining," and have really lost touch with more "casual places."
If I recall correctly, my 8th birthday was at Antoine's, my 9th was Galatoire's, and my 10th was at Arnaud's. That was then, and this is now. So very much has changed.
For a fun evening, at not too steep a price, I still like G W Fins, which specializes in local seafood, with local preps. The general prices are just fine, though we tend to over-do it a bit, with apps. and wines.