Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Sep 15, 2012 03:41 PM

Foodie's first trip to NOLA. Where should I eat?!

Will be in NOLA end of October. Looking for recs on meals. No budget constraints, but would like to sample some true "local" places,a s opposed to tourist destinations. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mr. B's bbq shrimp and the charbroiled oysters at Drago's are two dishes that I rarely ever miss when visiting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: texasredtop

      +1 for "Drago's". just make sure you get there!
      if you don't order the charbroiled oysters, you've really missed out on something funtastic in your mouth.
      "August" for a "special occasion" dinner of spectacularly incredible food.
      "KPauls" for the master Paul Prudhomme's delicious Cajun faire.
      "Commanders Palace" steak and bananas foster
      "Dooky Chase" gumbo
      don't forget "The Centeal Market" if a Muffaletta sandwich is in order and buy a whole one then split with partner, they're huge.
      "Cafe Du Monde" for coffee and beignets that's a given :)

    2. Here is my "short list:"

      Galatoire's - old school New Orleans cuisine done well
      G W Fins - local seafood with many local recipes
      Restaurant August - a newer take on local dishes, from a top chef, using local ingredients
      MiLa - interesting blend of Deep South Mississippi, meets Louisiana
      The Grill Room - newer take on New Orleans cuisine, in an elegant setting
      Britgsen's - top chef does New Orleans cuisine very well



      6 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        G W Fins opened a branch in Charlotte, NC that I ate at a couple of times and really liked...last I heard they had closed, which is too bad. I do recommend it....THe rest of your tips I like too. Saving up high-end New Orleans ideas for my sons "graduation from Medical School" blow out this May...of course since he lives about a block from Commander's Palace it might just be on the agenda for brunch....

        1. re: janetofreno

          I had not heard of any expansion plans, but it's been a bit, since I could sit and talk to the management.

          Did they incorporate NC recipes, and local, or semi-local produce there? That is one of the things that I respect about the NOLA location.

          Enjoy that "blow out!"


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bill, this was probably two years ago, and my memory isn't what it used to be.....I just remember several very nice meals there, and I'm afraid I can't remember specific details...sorry. I only remember it because at the time I remember reading the menu notes that the original restaurant was in NOLA, and thinking "I should eat there sometime...."

            1. re: janetofreno

              Interesting to me. Sorry that I missed it, but then we are only in Charlotte to change planes for elsewhere... such is our life.

              Thank you for the info.


            2. re: Bill Hunt

              Evidently, the Charlotte experiment lasted for just 15 months:


              1. re: Gizmo56

                Wow, that was quick, and unfortunate.

                Many mistake the cuisine of The Deep South (all regions) with the cuisine of New Orleans, but they are very different - take MiLa as an example.

                Being from New Orleans and its environs, and traveling the Deep South, we thought that we really knew the cuisine. Until we did Tidewater, and some other Coastal cuisines. Wow, I mean who knew?

                Still, in New Orleans, G W Fins has always come through for us. We like what they do, and how they do it. Though not "fine-dining," they are very good, have a very serviceable wine list, and are just fun. Yes, there ARE "tourists" there, but hey, we ARE talking about New Orleans, aren't we? There are tourists at Galatoire's, Restaurant August, Stella! and Restaurant R'evolution. That does not mean that there are not also locals, enjoying good food.

                Thank you,


        2. Keep in mind that, while there are SOME definite "tourist" restaurants, most of the restaurants that visitors to New Orleans go to, they go to because the food is good!

          Hunt's list is a good one, and I guarantee that you'll find out-of-town diners at each and every one. You will ALSO find locals there. So are they "tourist destinations," or "true 'local' places"?

          Adding to that list, I'd include (in alphabetical order):
          Restaurant Patois

          . . . to name but a few.

          4 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            I'm late to the party, but this thread's title caught my attention in finalizing an upcoming NOLA trip (my umpteenth, but I'm as curious to learn about "foodie" destinations from the locals as a new visitor).

            Zin1953's list is spot-on in my opinion (ditto on "to name but a few") and its noteworthy that it took 10 replies for a fellow foodie to finally get to Cochon, whose chef was awarded "Best Chef" in the South last year by the James Beard Foundation and whose co-owner Donald Link (Beard Foundation finalist for "Best Chef" nationally this year and owner of the also 10th reply-listed Herbsaint) commissioned his own hybrid breed of pigs because he was dissatisfied with quality of the available stock. If all that's not the figurative definition of a destination that ought to top every foodie visitor's list (vegans and kosher excluded), I don't know what is...

            For a foodie traveler, I'd include Maurepas Foods, which is doing seriously interesting (but not "serious") small plates and cocktails for a young and appreciative crowd in the Bywater and also R'evolution in the French Quarter, which was pretty great last month in the form of a couple of their inspired gumbos and desserts plus a shared entree at their bar (populated by locals and tourists in harmony). A late October trip uptown for oysters at Cassamento's is a worthy foodie excursion and an unpretentious slice of old school New Orleans (unlike Galatoire's, in my opinion, although its admittedly hard to resist their allure).

            And since I see from your previous posts that we share an affinity for the Momofuku Kos and Alineas of the world in our travels, I'd suggest that you and others of similar taste reading these exchanges would find The Grill Room and GW Fins banal but perfectly fine for people who enjoy eating out in posh hotel dining rooms (the former) and non-chain, non-locavore seafood houses that aspire to open outposts in perfectly fine cities like Charlotte, NC (the latter - per the above discussion). But that clientele has every right to their enjoyment too - you're just more likely to find them in The Grill Room at the Waldorf-Astoria than sitting down the counter at Ko.

            Have fun.

            PS: If anyone who like the sorts of places I mentioned has feedback on Root, that would be helpful to me and probably tboner6. I read someone's post that an event there was a mess, but I've also read good things in the food press and its hard to discern whether its an innovative addition to the local scene or an overly-precious disaster. Thx.

            1. re: Omniverous

              Thanks for all the helpful input. Will be there for 6 nights. As it stands, I have the following reservations: August, Atchafalaya, R'Evolution, and Mila. Figure we will 'wing' the other two nights.

              Are there any good sushi options, in case we need a break from Southern cuisine?!


              1. re: tboner6

                When I needed a "health" break in NOLA I went to a) Cafe Rani on Magazine b) Whole Foods on Magazine or c) ate the wonderful local greens salad (with fried prosciutto) at Domenica. All helped with a brief breather (and I mean brief!) from rich food. I was disappointed with the Sushi at Little Tokyo on Carrollton, but maybe the locals will have some better ideas.

            2. re: zin1953


              Glad to see Stella! on your "short list." While we have always enjoyed our many trips there, I understand that their menu is "changing," and that Chef Bosley is creating a new Stella! experience. However, I cannot find anyone, who has tried that yet.


            3. Agree with the Commander's brunch rec and the Herbsaint dinner rec. Brigtsen's is also a great, neighborhoody Nola experience.