Eating/Drinking Spots in New Orleans?

In September, I’m attending a conference in New Orleans – my first time in the city! I’ll be there for five days and while my days will be booked up, my evenings are free. Any Dopers know of good restaurants or bars to try out? I love jazz and zydeco, so I would also appreciate some music suggestions too.

One caveat: I’m a 30-year old woman traveling alone, so please suggest places that aren’t utter meat markets.

Stop by Pat O’Briens for a Hurricane. Some of the restaurants I remember from living in the area 25 years ago were forced to move into the 'burbs due to flood damage.

Don’t venture anywhere that there isn’t a crowd. Dress like a local – nothing flashy. There will be panhandlers everywhere.

The Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter is very nice. They have traditional Creole food and a jazz brunch. If you want some good soul food, try Dooky Chase.

The Spotted Cat (Marigny area) is a great (but small) bar that always has good jazz for free. Really, Frenchman Street is full of excellent bars with great music. Just wander around there and pop in whenever you hear something interesting coming through the doors.

Best po’ boy I had in NOLA was at Mahoney’s on Magazine Street (Garden District) - and you have to get a po’ boy. There are about a million great places to eat - it’s almost pointless to name just one.

A friend’s girlfriend worked there. She… was not impressed.

We’re going to NOLA in December. We’ll stop by Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for one drink. Cool to be in one of New Orleans’s oldest buildings, but they charge for it.

Speaking of which, I like Checkpoint Charlie.

Deanies is a classic New Orleans restaurant. I think locals prefer it to many other places. Everybody should eat once atMother’s. Leave a tip on the table anyway. For fancy Nawlins cooking I recommend the Palace Cafe. The Cochon du Lait Pot Pie from there was one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten. I think it’s only on the lunch menu though.

ETA: Invest in some “big eatin’ pants” before you go. Your clothes won’t fit anymore after a week in the Big Easy.

Last there in June 2011. These were the highlights of my trip:

Mr. B’s Bistro (careful - automatic sound! grrr!) Love the shrimp & grits, the garlic chicken and the fried oysters appetizer
The Praline Connection - oh my! the fried chicken livers, and the stewed chicken!! Also you can buy good pralines there.

Cochon - their menu changes regularly, so I don’t know what they’ll have when you’re there, but get anything that comes with the watermelon pickle. The “louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage, pickled peaches & cracklins” seems perennial, and was very very very good. My only complaint - not enough of the vegetable sides. Too much meat. Stewed okra = fab.

Been to The Praline Connection and Cochon as well - both are very good.

I’m coming from my own big city, so I have a practiced “don’t mess with me” face. I’m staying in the art/warehouse district (I’ve heard it referred to both ways…), which I hear is pretty safe.

Thanks so much for the advice so far! I’m really looking forward to this trip and wishing it was truly a vacation with no work obligations at all.

We do this thread every couple of months so just search for ‘Orleans’ in IMHO and you will find lots more suggestions. I don’t know where you are coming from but it probably going to be a lot hotter even in September in New Orleans than you are used to. You only need light clothes that can withstand an occasional drenching from rainstorms. It doesn’t even cool down that much at night because of the extreme humidity so you don’t need any cool weather clothes.

Deanies is great but as I recall it’s away from the quarter. Ralph and Kakoos is also very good. Both are family oriented. Make a stop at Pat Os for sure

No trip to New Orleans is complete for me without a stop at Cafe du Monde for chickory coffee and beignets.

Cochon is a must. Bayona is fantastic. Johnny’s Po-Boys is great for breakfast or lunch. Great jambalaya at Coop’s Place.

Bar Tonique up on Rampart has fantastic cocktails, and the staff has a kind of endearing unfriendliness. The bar at Iris Restaurant down on Decatur has some of the best craft cocktails in the city.

The best absolute steal in town is happy hour at Luke, John Besh’s brasserie just a couple of blocks outside the Quarter. Excellent half-price cocktails and wine, and excellent oysters for $6 a dozen.

I was just thinking about my next trip there!

As mentioned, head to Frenchmen for some good music. There are several clubs and you can hear most of the music on the street (be sure and hit the Apple Barrel). Checkpoints is right on the corner of Esplanade, and the Balcony Music Club is just across the street. This area’s not bad, but you do want to keep your eyes open. Further up Decatur is The Kerry. Small Irish pub with free live music on most nights (say hi to Gill, seriously). It’s right near the House of Blues who sometimes features free local acts in their Voodoo Lounge. All the places mentioned feature mostly local musicians and no top 40 type stuff (that’s all on Bourbon…which you should avoid at all costs). You can find some Zydeco, but it’s not from that part of the state. I think Mulate’s features nightly Zydeco.

On Thursday night you can cab to the Bywater area and see Kermit Ruffins play at Vaughan’s (call and make sure he’s in town). This used to be really cool, but since it’s been featured on HBO’s Treme, it’s crowded, touristy, and more expensive (still fun though). BJ’s is nearby and usually has bands (you’ll be in locals territory).
The Maple Leaf (way uptown) is always fun, and there are a few other places nearby if you head that way.

As for drinking, hit the Erin Rose on Conti. It’s a fun little Irish pub just off of Bourbon, with cool owners, great bartenders and an awesome jukebox. They also have good food. It’s a good mix of tourists and locals. I have the most fun here earlier in the evening. Molly’s (at the Market) is usually fun as are about 700 other places.

Have fun and be careful. Even though you’re from a big city, New Orleans is different. It can lull you into this good time, but there’s always trouble close by. That said, I’ve never had any real problems, so don’t worry. It’s a cab town, so take those when possible. Most bartenders will call one for you, but take the number for United Cab with you.

In the quarter:
Coop’s Place- Chicken Tchopitoulas! Don’t act snooty; they’ll kick you out.

Irene’s- Duck St. Philip, or throw a dart at the menu; all good. Great desserts.

Adolfo’s- whatever they’re doing that night! (actually on Frenchmen street, barely out of the Quarter)

Second both Coop’s and Adolfo’s.

At Coop’s just ask for “Chicken Chop”, that’s how it’s pronounced there.

At Adolfo’s you HAVE TO get the lamb. I mean it! You’d better!

Don’t go to the Court of Two Sisters, it’s overpriced and should be called The Court of Two Million Cockroaches

I don’t think you want to discuss cockroaches in New Orleans’ kitchens…

I haven’t been in awhile, but to be fair, Court of Two Sisters is not bad, just very average, and in a town like New Orleans there’s no reason to settle for average. It’s very touristy, has a nice courtyard and usually has a dixieland band for that “authentic” New Orleans experience. There are probably hundreds of better places.

Coops is great! Don’t let the divey looks fool you. Also, if you’re having fun somewhere that doesn’t serve food, ask if they have delivery menus. Places like the Verdi Marte are good and deliver all over the Quarter. Most bars don’t mind you eating there.

Ditto on the suggestion to search ‘orleans’. I lived there for 11 years, before, during, and after Katrina and have participated in most where-to-go in New Orleans threads. I recommend places that are favored by locals, in safe neighborhoods, serve great food, and offer an authentic New Orleans experience. You might find something you think is interesting. PM me if you have questions.

Despite the well-intentioned advice, DO NOT GO TO MOTHER’S. It has become a tourist trap that thrives on its reputation that new-ish management can no longer live up to. Overpriced, bad food, poor service.

For live music, check out Tipitina’s and The Maple Leaf. Hard to go wrong at either place.

‘The Lamest Hysterical Court Of Two Sisters’ :stuck_out_tongue:

(Again, I never went there; because my friends – one of whom worked there – wouldn’t go.)

Yeah, roaches! The first time I went to New Orleans I was fascinated. I’d never seen so many roaches! And they’re big! And they fly! Absolutely amazing. I rarely saw any roaches in L.A. – until I and this girl I was seeing from New Orleans went to see a film, and there were scores of them eating dumped popcorn outside, or single ones on a wall when I went for my morning walks.