New Orleans restaurants

I’ll be going soon and am looking for recommendations, especially recent, especially from any locals.

My mother wants to go to Commander’s Palace for brunch. I know brunch is not the best meal at any given restaurant, but she wants to go to a fancy brunch so off we go. Is CP any good still? What about Brennan’s? And is Galatoire’s as good as I remember it?

Thanks for any and all comments and suggestions.

I was there this past June, visiting a buddy who has lived there for a long time. So I guess his recommendations count as being from a local. I wasn’t driving, so I’m not sure where all these places were. Here are the places he took us to:

  1. An excellent barbecue joint called Blue Oak (their slogan is “Vegan free since 2012!”) where we had awesome food and good cold beers. Very casual. I’m not exactly sure where it was, but it was not in the French Quarter.

  2. A restaurant called Domenica just outside the French Quarter in the Roosevelt Hotel. It has a full Italian menu, but we all got personal pizzas. The pasta and other dishes looked excellent.

  3. Our usual breakfast spot was Cafe Beignet on Royal Street in the French Quarter. A cute little place with much shorter lines than the more famous Cafe Du Monde. Very nice charming courtyard.

  4. Lunch one day was at Pascal’s Manale which looks like a dive from the outside, and looks like a dump in the bar where you first enter, but has a very swanky looking dining room. We had “shrimp and grits” which I don’t remember ever hearing of before, but is actually pretty ubiquitous. Also very good!

  5. The Sazerac Bar (also in the Roosevelt Hotel) which apparently invented the (apparently) famous drink of the same name.

  6. An awesome seafood restaurant called “Luke” in the Central Business District (I think it was at 333 St. Charles) a short walk from the Roosevelt. Everything was incredibly tasty. Best oysters I’ve had in a long time.

  7. A dark, quiet (relatively), famous place back in the quarter called Arnaud’s. We sat in a window seat in the bar and had drinks after our dinner at Luke. The food looked very old-school and good, but we didn’t have any.

  8. Dinner at the Bombay Club in the Prince Conti Hotel in the French Quarter. Good torch-song type singing group, great food (I had fish and chips). The menu recommended a particular “martini” to pair with each dish.

Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, and Commander’s Palace are all still as good as ever. I’ve only had dinner at those three, though…can’t speak to brunch. But dinner is exquisite. Ordering a Sazerac as your cocktail signals the waiters that you’re serious about having the best these places can offer, and they’re happy to help you make the most of it.

K-Pauls is still top-notch. Don’t miss a ham po’ boy with “debris” at Mother’s. Or a muffalatta with a cold beer at the Central Grocery. Or a few dozen oysters at any oyster bar where you mix your own “oyster dope.”

I realize I just hit all the tourist high spots, but N’Awlins is a town where they feed even the tourists REAL good.

Not for your brunch needs but my favorite meal on a visit a couple years ago was at Adolfo’s on Frenchman’s Street. It’s just a bit outside the French Quarter. It’s not fancy. It’s just the upstairs of an old house with the downstairs being a small bar featuring live music. That downstairs is the waiting area. They have a relatively small menu that combines Italian and fresh seafood. Their signature is the cream based “Ocean Sauce” containing small bits of seafood. That sauce got it recommended to me. I absolutely loved it.

Still, it’s a bit of a hole in the wall with a limited menu and the only indoor place to wait is the downstairs bar. It’s small so expect to wait. It’s not for everyone.

Thanks all! Great recommendations.

DinoR, I may try that with my wife with and maybe with my sister/BIL. Might not suit my parents so well but I am also looking for places to go without them.

Meh. I’m happy with something at two in the morning from Clover Grill. It’s the opposite of fancy.

The chargrilled oysters at Drago’s are simple yet absolutely amazing, at least if you like oysters.

The also make them at Acme Oyster House on Iberville, just off of Rue Bourbon, although purists insist that Drago’s is the true one & only.
ETA—Pascal’s Manale is indeed a hidden gem, one most tourists would probably overlook, but the food is exceptional.

New Orleans Menu is a great site run by a food critic that includes summaries and reviews of just about every restaurant in town.

I haven’t been to New Orleans for several years, so you can take my recommendations with a grain of salt (heh). I’ll second the recommendation of Drago’s, especially if you sit at the bar and watch them cook. I’m surprised the flames haven’t singed the eyebrows off all the cooks.

Cochon and Cochon Butcher in the warehouse district are really great. The former is a sit-down restaurant, while the latter is more informal. They make just about everything in-house, including cured meats like ham. The muffaletta at Cochon Butcher is the best in town, although it isn’t as huge as the ones at Central Grocery.

The last time I was in New Orleans I had a memorable meal at Borgne. The oyster spaghetti was particularly good.

GW Fins has great seafood. I’ve loved it every time I’ve eaten there, and people I’ve recommended it to have given great reviews.

Mr. B’s may seem like a tourist spot, but they have very good gumbo ya-ya and BBQ shrimp. Don’t order both at the same meal or someone will have to carry you out (they’re that rich).

Muriel’s in the French Quarter is another good spot. I like their shrimp and goat cheese crepes, and their pecan-crusted drum (a type of fish).

For an inexpensive yet delicious, fresh lunch in the Quarter, try Johnny’s Po Boys (on St. Louis, not far from the cathedral) which is a favorite for area locals grabbing a quick bite while at work.

It’s been around since the 1950’s, and while there is usually a line, it is only open until 5 or 6pm, and it seems maybe only on weekdays, though I can’t remember for sure.

I second Muriel’s.

Coop’s Place
Clover Grill
Meals from the Heart in the French Market
Amelie’s for brunch
Red Fish Grill

Thanks for the reminder. Love that place.

It’s been years, but I recall Jacque-Imo’s as being very good. Seems the reviews are still saying so.

Court of the Two Sisters is well-known for brunch.

Mother’s is killer for breakfast.

We had excellent meals at the Palace Cafe and Bon Ton on our last trip as well.

The Acme Oyster House on Iberville is great, but if there’s a ridiculous line, just go to Felix’s Oyster Bar right across the street. I had excellent fresh shucked oysters there, and it was A.J. Liebling’s favorite shellfish joint.

+1 for Johnny’s and Clover Grill (even better if the waiters are in a dancing mood)

I had a good meal at Mr. B’s, and the bar at Arnaud’s is pretty good as well.

The Old Coffee Pot on St. Peter (next to Pat O’Brien’s) is great for breakfast/brunch.

-1 for Mother’s. Overrated, considering that there are often huge lines.

This is the one I recommend to anyone who asks.

Note: cash only!

My favorite restaurant in New Orleans is Clancy’s.

Way uptown, almost to Audubon Park at the corner of Annuciation and Webster. There is only on street parking, so take a cab or Uber.

I think you’ll find it’s easier to list the bad places to eat in NOLA than all the good ones. Many of my favorites have been listed, but try a Killer Po’ Boy. Their restaurant is on Dauphine, but it’s more fun to hit the original inside the Erin Rose bar on Conti just off of Bourbon. Or, just go to the Erin Rose for fun.

Kitchen Nightmares and 24 Hours to Hell did a couple of episodes on New Orleans’ restaurants that you might want to watch (Oceana and Old Coffee Pot).

The downstairs is a somewhat infamous place called The Apple Barrel that’s worth a visit on its own.

I always recommend this place and everyone winds up going there once they see the lines at Cafe Dumonde. There can literally be hundreds of people waiting.

We always go to a restaurant called Upperline. It’s on Upperline Street. :slight_smile:
The lady who owns it is a bit of a character and she’ll tell you stories about the different pieces of art on the walls and also give you recommendations for other good stuff to see and eat in New Orleans.

Was there last November for a wedding. Places I ate that were memorable:

NOLA Poboys - on the same block on Bourbon street as LaFitte’s Blacksmith Bar. Good spot for a cheap, quick bite, but this was just the place we went to; I suspect a quality po’ boy can be had on nearly any corner in this town.

New Orleans Creole Cookery - felt touristy, but I still had the best red beans and rice ever here. Comes with a couple of andouille sausages, it was ridiculously good. Huge portion, too. I couldn’t finish it and our hotel room didn’t have a fridge :(, but I seriously would have dumped it into an envelope and mailed it home if I could have. Again, this is something that almost literally everyone in town serves, but I had the dish several times during the trip and IMO theirs was the best that I had.

Restaurant August - one of, if not the best fine dining in NOLA (not that we went to any other “fancy” restaurants, so I have no real, personal comparison to make, but that is what we heard and read). Crazy good food, the sort of place where you get an amuse bouche, and dishes come on huge plates with little piles of artfully arranged food and a lot of sauce smearing. It definitely wasn’t cheap, but not crazy expensive either.