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First time in Nola for Thanksgiving Weekend

Celebrating our 15 year aniiversary. Staying in the French Quarter

Thursday- Commanders Palace
Friday- GW Fins
Saturday- August

I have heard that the higher end restaurants have a dress code. Will a collared dress shirt, with dress shoes and a nice pair of jeans be o.k? I am mostly concerned with Commanders Palace.

We have no Lunch or Breakfast plans for the weekend and were just going to stop into any restaurant that caught our eye while walking around the city. We are from Chicago so we don't want any Italian, Sushi, Pizza, etc. Just want some places that have Fresh, Authentic Cajun or Creole food(spicier the better) . My wife is not a big meat eater, prefers seafood(not fried) beans and veggies.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Not positive about jeans, but would assume that they would be OK.

    The NOLA dress-codes have gone by the wayside, and now gentlemen seldom even wear jackets, unless they are locals. I think that maybe only Galatoire's requires jackets for gentlemen, and then only for dinner.

    I always don wool dress slacks, and a blazer, but think that is probably a lot of overkill, for the restaurants mentioned. Just my thing.



    1. The official dress code policy at Commander's Palace: "Business Casual attire is acceptable, jackets preferred at dinner. No shorts or t-shirts accepted at any time. Men must have closed-toe shoes." I wouldn't there in jeans, or even without a jacket, but that's your call.

      GW Fins is definitely business casual. Collared shirt will be fine there. I'd wear slacks but I suppose you can get away with jeans.

      I'll defer to others' comments on dress at August.

      I'm a fan of Elizabeth's in Bywater and Atchafalaya in Irish Channel for breakfasts and brunch. In the Quarter, consider lunch at Muriel's (and be sure to check out the ghost table and the seance room upstairs after your mea)l. Right across the street is Stanley, also a good spot for breakfast or lunch. Both are right alongside Jackson Square, and a short walk from Cafe du Monde, in case you'd also like to sample the famed beignets. For cajun. consider Cochon in the Warehouse District. For Creole, consider Galitoire's in the FQ (and prepare to take your time).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gizmo56

        was just there this past weekend and loved both Elizabeth's and Atchafalaya for brunch . also had EAT in the FQ which we loved and they have a BYOchampagne policy. the oysters napoleon were to die for

        1. re: Gizmo56

          As for Restaurant August, when we have dined there (dinner each time), the majority of the gentlemen have had on suits, or sports coats, and about half, have had on ties. On all of our visits, I have worn one of my blazers, and have had on a tie. What the exact "dress-code" is, I cannot comment. I am only making observations on the attire of most male patrons, and what I have worn.


        2. I'd opt for lunch rarher than dinner at Commander's and choose R'evolution or Herbsaint for dinner. Try Coquette for Saturday lunch. We have had fun dinners at Fins ordering numerous appetizers and splitting an entree. Best app options: sizzling oysters, softshell, crabcake, grilled shrimp with pepper salsa. Lobster ravioli and blue crab dumplings sound good but are blah. Best entree is the Scalibut.

          You can wear jeans to August but slacks are more appropriate. Same for Commander's in the evening.
          You will see many with jackets as well.

          1. I would not wear (and would not want to be accompanied by someone wearing) jeans to either Commander's or August. (And it's not an old fashioned and/or stuffy thing, I'm in my late 20s). Haven't made it to GW Fins.
            Second Coquette for lunch, if you make it uptown to Magazine St. (at Washington). Good window/actual shopping and people watching area. Borgne is another Besh place that specializes in local seafood and is open for lunch. Avoid any restaurants in the quarter with a barker/cling wrapped display plate of food outside.

            1. At August they have their dress code shown on their web site I believe. I called to confirm a jacket would be required at dinner, they said yes, it was REQUIRED. We were dressed up and they sat people next to us in tee shirts, warm up suits and athletic shoes. It wasn't just the clothes, they were all just overall sloppy. Go figure. August doesn't even look like a place that I would walk into dressed down.

              4 Replies
              1. re: texasredtop

                Just thought you should know that the Bayou Classic is this weekend, game on Saturday. So the FQ should really be packed with visitors. Something to be aware of if you're looking for/expecting a low-key New Orleans during the Thanksgiving holiday. Eat well!

                1. re: texasredtop

                  Same for Commander's. They state jacket preferred. I've seen a "gentleman"sporting a new white undershirt. I guess when it comes to another check in the till, the dresscode loses. Improperly attirerd guests display a lack of respect for the establishment and downgrades the overall fine dining experience.

                  1. re: JazzyB

                    Yes, being the "senior" person here, I remember when it was not so. Things have changed, and so be it. Still, and even in much more casual places, I still sport a blazer, and the tie comes out, with some.

                    It was not always that way. There WAS a dress-code at many NOLA restaurants, but not so much anymore.

                    Some around here feel that we, the subscribers, should work with the lowest possible denominator, and NOT get hung up on what most others are wearing. Not sure where that comes from, but so be it. I would rather tell a visitor what most others are wearing, and not get hung up on what one can "get by with," as that would not make ME comfortable.


                  2. re: texasredtop


                    That is one of the problems with NOLA "dress-codes." For some folk, the are meaningful, but for others, they are not.

                    I seldom even ask, anymore, and just, as I always do. As it no longer appears that a tie is "required," I decide, that night, if I will wear one.

                    OTOH, if one does get in, but all gentlemen are in suits and ties, and that person is in cutoffs, with a tank top and flip-flops, will they be comfortable? I would not, but others might well feel differently. That is me, and that is them.


                  3. "Authentic Cajun" is not exactly New Orleans' food but the Bon Ton is open for lunch on weekdays and might fit the bill there. Some restaurants will offer a cajun item even if the house does not specialize in it. Lots of folks rave about Cochon and it can give you a good idea of what that food is about.

                    I should think that, Thanksgiving being a festive occasion, the dress would be more formal. I don;t even own a pair of jeans so that never is an issue for me and I ALWAYS wear a suit when I go to the higher end places. I do not allow men at my table unless they are in coat AND tie and they keep the jacket on.

                    Bayou Classic clogs the Quarter but the great restaurants down there do not usually appeal to the football crowd. I've had a late lunch/early dinner down there and the restaurant was practically deserted.

                    3 Replies
                      1. re: JazzyB

                        I've had that salt problem in there occasionally but it is in the soups. I've never cared for the salads. I don't expect it to be anything other than what it is but it, along with Cochon, are probably the best city representatives of that kind of cooking. And at least Bon Ton had crawfish etoufee when no one else in town had heard of it (and the only crawfish dish was crawfish cardinale).

                      2. re: hazelhurst


                        You make some good, and useful distinctions. Often, many get confused on the cuisine available in NOLA. Cajun has some influences, but not as much, as most might think. Same for Creole. Influential, but not "all there is."

                        True NOLA Cuisine draws from many different sources.

                        When one specifies "Cajun," I think BonTon, and also Cochon, as they typify aspects of THAT cuisine. Tujacques has some similar cuisine.

                        None of those is NOLA Cuisine, specifically, but are reflections of "Cajun."

                        As for the dress, I completely agree, but that is just me.

                        As for football crowds, they normally head to sports bars, and similar, and often, the higher-end places are nearly empty.


                      3. Thanks for all the help. I'm definitley going to have a good time!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dannyara1

                          New Orleans is a great place to "have a good time," and especially with cuisine!

                          Enjoy, and travel safely,