My best advice when visiting any city is to take an Uber/Lyft at least once. This is the best way to talk to locals about where to go, what to do, and most importantly: where to eat.
In New Orleans there are over 1,400 places to eat.
While I certainly couldn’t tackle them all, I found a few incredible spots. There are so many hidden gems in every city that are not mentioned online, and so starting with the first day I arrived in NOLA I was asking my drivers where I should be eating and what food I should be ordering.
Saint & Sinner
This restaurant on Bourbon Street doubles as a night club after 9 p.m. so don’t be surprised if you enjoy a casual lunch here by day and party it up by night. They have a great list of things to try. My friend and I had Gumbo Poutine, Crawfish Pie & Seafood Gumbo and some fun cocktails.
If there’s one thing you can’t miss here, it’s the Crawfish Pie.
This traditional cajun dish has flaky pastries on top and bottom, or is baked like a pot pie. Inside is rice, crawfish and little vegetables. What makes it so appealing is the incredible sauce that smothers it. It was creamy and flavorful like you wouldn’t believe.
On a Balcony
There are plenty of restaurants on Bourbon Street that offer balcony seating. This is the best way to enjoy people watching and street performers. Order a drink and a burger with gris-gris sauce and enjoy the view!
This is a must-see for everyone visiting NOLA. Out on the patio you can dine and wine under the setting New Orleans sun. It’s historic, only gaining popularity since 1933 when it opened, and I really enjoyed taking a break on the patio and relaxing with some of their classic cocktails. They are known for their Hurricanes.
According to one of my Lyft drivers, Beyonce came here for a po-boy, as do all the locals. It was even featured on a Simpson’s episode! I had never eaten one of these sandwiches before this trip, and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. They have so many options I need to go back, although the shrimp sandwich was delicious.
Cafe Du Monde
Everyone who comes to New Orleans comes to this famous cafe to try their beignets. I learned about it through an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and ever since then I’ve been dying to try it! I will say that it is loud & crowded, so it’s not a place to relax, but they beignets are to die for at prices I couldn’t believe. 3 for under $3! And the coffee was pretty good too. I wanted to try a hot coffee but because it was almost 100 degrees outside, I stuck with the iced.
I love this corner restaurant because of its location in the French Quarter as well as its tasty food. It has been a pretty iconic restaurant since the mid-1990’s. They have beignet fries that are really fun! They serve creole & cajun breakfast, lunch and dinner all day so there is an option for everyone. I was craving pasta, so I tried their Mardi Gras Pasta which has shrimp and cajun sausage in it. It was to-die for!
This was another recommendation from our Lyft driver, and it was spectacular. (And I’m not just talking about the view). They serve classic Louisiana dishes all day long. While you may be tempted to try their gumbo, crab cakes, or poboys, there is one thing you can’t miss. They serve friend & grilled alligator bites. You can get one or the other, or some of each! I tried this and I also got a breakfast combo that included alligator sausage – delicious!
The Rum House
My last recommendation was one of my favorites. Over in the Garden District is a wonderful Caribbean Taqueria. They have great drink specials from 3-6 p.m. that you won’t want to miss, but what everyone comes for are the specialty tacos. I tried the Chipotle Shrimp: Grilled shrimp, black beans, roasted peppers & onions, queso and pico de gallo; & the Flaked Fish: Blackened Mahi Mahi, pickled relish, tartar sauce, cilantro pesto sauce. They were both spectacular! And the combo comes with mango coconut rice and grilled vegetables.