Think New Orleans and you’ll probably think “Gumbo” but there’s so much more to try food-wise. There’s amazing restaurants, food festivals and some pretty great cocktails.
Pêche is a seafood grill, in the warehouse district, on Magazine street. It has a few sister restaurants, another of which we tried. Both were excellent! A lot of the fish is cooked over a coal grill but there’s also a raw deli for oysters etc and they serve local brews and delicious cocktails. It was pretty busy for lunch and we waited a little while for a table but it was well worth it! We shared the Smothered Catfish, Fried Brussel Sprouts with Chilli Vinegar (I swore I was going to try and make this when we got home but you need a specific type of vinegar, which I still haven’t looked for!) and a Pecan and Parmesan salad. We then had to try the Key Lime Pie and Salted Caramel Cake. I had a very cooling Gintilly Shakedown; Hendrick’s Gin, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon and Cava. Nom.
This is one of Peche’s sister restaurants, it’s on Tchoupitoulas street. Couchon leans on the cajun, southern side of things so it’s quite meaty, and a lot of it is cooked in a wood fired oven. Here we tried Ham Hock, Gulf fish and the most amazing trio of ice cream sandwiches and an upside down pineapple cake with dulce de leche ice cream for dessert.
Willa Jean is a restaurant/bakery focusing on Southern recipes with fresh, local ingredients. We stopped here for brunch after attending a game in the Superdome, which is only a few blocks away. This is also an option for breakfast if you’re more of an early bird. We had bbq shrimp toast; burrata, sourdough, bbq sauce and ham hock fried rice with a fried egg. The breads all looked amazing but we had to walk away as we were already way too full!
This is a Columbian restaurant that was directly across from our Airbnb, we gave it a go one evening and I’ve honestly been thinking about it ever since. Here we had Pataconcitos; a trilogy of smashed green plantains with different toppings; skirt steak chicken breast and jumbo shrimp. Abborajados; sweet plantain fritters filled with mozzarella and Arepas Marinera; grilled jumbo shrimp, citrus slaw, avocado and salsa rosada in a corn bread pita. All so good. We were there midweek and there were no tables free so we sat at the bar. I’d advise booking in advance.
The PoBoy Fest is on in Oak Street and you can catch it this October, on the 22nd. You’ll find a wide range of both food and art stalls. PoBoy’s are soft rolls, usually filled with jumbo shrimp, but the fillings can vary. It’s a New Orleans traditional food and you kind of have to try one before you leave. There’s also dessert stands, like crepes, which I bought a very hot chocolate filled crepe from and after being warned by the guy selling it to me, I got to use the now classic line “this isn’t my first crepe rodeo, sonny”. Anyway, I also bought a beautiful necklace from one of the jewellery stands. Loads to see and eat here.
The Creole Creamery
We stopped here after going to an old time vintage cinema one evening. There was an actual queue out the door of this place and we had heard how good it was so we had to stop in! They have a big selection of ice cream and in some really amazing variety of flavours. Cause we didn’t know wha to get, we went for the ice cream sampler. 6 mini scoops for $6. They were ridiculously large scoops so I can’t imagine what the large scoop looks like. We went for; Red Velvet Cake, Chocwork Orange, Pumpkin Praline, Goronzola and Walnut (not a fan), and I think..Butterscotch and Salted Almond but I can’t remember the last two! It was really good and a fun way to try lots of new flavours.
The Columns St Charles; Brunch
We booked in here for brunch on our first proper day in New Orleans. We got a streetcar out to it, and as it was a really sunny day there were no free tables on the veranda so we sat inside for our meal but went out for drinks in the sunshine afterwards. There was a jazz band playing the entire time with a beautiful breeze blowing throughout the house. We had a balsamic vinegar strawberry salad, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo to start, then Old Charleston Shrimp and Grits and Roasted duck Breast with raspberry Chipotle Sauce. Creme Brullee and Strawberry Pin Wheels for dessert and a mimosa! Compared to everywhere else we ate, the food here was not our favourite but the experience was fantastic.
Pat O’ Briens; Hurricane
This is one of the most well known cocktails in New Orleans. Pat O’Briens is a crazy busy bar/club with a big cocktail shaped fountain. Hurricanes are rum, orange, cherry and the mysterious “Pat O’ Briens Hurricane mix”, which you can buy everywhere, including the airport. This was good, as cocktails go and definitely had a holiday vibe to it!
Port of Call; Monsoon
Another cocktail and this one is LETHAL. We picked these up on Halloween in go cups and drank them on the street into town. We were very quickly hammered. I still don’t know what’s in this and the website has left me none the wiser. I do know that as we walked along the street, several people shouted at us to be careful as “those drinks are crazy, man!” etc. Port of Call actually serves food too in case you were wondering…
The Ruby Slipper; Breakfast
I feel like we had a proper New Orleans breakfast here. The staff were really friendly and we were served really quickly. We had grits, biscuits, eggs, bacon etc. Although I wanted everything on that sandwich board outside, I felt I’d better get something more filling before a day of cemetery walking.
Cafe du Monde
This is where you need to go for Beignets. Delicious warm, icing sugar dusted doughnuts. Served with coffee, you will devour these completely. So good.
SO much good food and great places to eat and drink. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these or if there’s anywhere really good we missed!
Chloe & Cilian.