When anyone asks what we did on our trip to New Orleans earlier this year, my response often begins with the things we ate. This isn’t because we didn’t see or do anything else worth talking about—I promise we did—but because in the three days we were there, we ate an incredible amount of delicious food.
So, in case you’re planning a trip of your own (or if you just really like to read about fantastic food), here’s a list at some of our favorite places and dishes to enjoy as you explore New Orleans.
Acme Oyster House
While I’m not a big fan of raw oysters, a number of people close to me had raved about Acme Oyster House‘s chargrilled variety so I figured it was worth a try. Despite a long line outside, things move pretty quickly—especially if you have a smaller party—and let’s be honest, it’s New Orleans so enjoy a drink while you wait.
Covered in garlic and cheese, the charbroiled oysters are as good as everyone says so I recommend ordering more than you initially think you’d want. My dining companion isn’t a fan of oysters—chargrilled or otherwise—and opted for the jambalaya instead, which also was delicious.
724 Iberville Street
We visited Angelo Brocato on a recommendation from our wonderful airbnb hosts and always because I’m pretty much incapable of passing up any sort of ice cream or gelato. Located right off the street car line and just down the street from where we were staying, this authentic Italian gelateria and pasticceria has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1905. Be sure to order the Baci (Angelo Brocato’s hazelnut flavor of gelato)! I promise you won’t regret it.
214 N. Carrollton Avenue
Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone
Before you turn up your nose at the tourist trap this may seem like, the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar & Lounge is by far one of the coolest places you’ll ever imbibe, in New Orleans or otherwise. Operated by a chain driver with around 2,000 rollers and powered by a 1/4 horsepower motor, the Carousel Bar makes one full rotation every 14 minutes. To celebrate my quarter century of life, we bellied up to the rotating bar (warning: we did have to awkwardly hang around for a bit to snag a seat) and I enjoyed a French 007 as we slowly spun. This charming bar is definitely worth a visit, if only for a drink or two.
214 Royal Street
The Court of Two Sisters
Dreaming of a dinner under the twinkling canopy of The Court of Two Sisters‘ courtyard, we made reservations for the night of my birthday at this historic haunt. Unfortunately the rainy, chilly weather had other plans for us so we dined inside, but that didn’t make our experience any less lovely.
If you don’t order the barbecue shrimp, you’ve made a mistake during your dining experience. Let me stop you before you continue on thinking these are shrimp covered in barbecue sauce. These savory shrimp as braised in a pepper, butter sauce that I’m 100 percent comfortable admitting I wanted to drink. The Chicken Oscar was life-changing and seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
Even if you don’t have something to celebrate, this restaurant is a wonderful addition to your visit. The Court of Two Sisters also hosts a jazz brunch that I’ve heard wonderful things about.
613 Royal Street
District: Donuts, Sliders & Brews
When you celebrate your birthday in New Orleans, you plan on having a seriously amazing breakfast. District: Donuts, Sliders & Brews is just that. Because indecision and an overload of amazing options quickly paralyzed me, we started our morning off by splitting a Mexican Hot Chocolate and a Cranberry Pomegranate donut (pictured above). With a rotating handful of daily donut specials, it’s likely to be a surprise what your morning options will be but I can tell you they’ll be incredible. Give District Donuts a follow on Instagram to get a mouth-watering sneak peek at their daily donuts.
If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, I can’t recommend the Miso Praline Bacon and Egg Biscuit highly enough. Seriously. Praline bacon has changed my life and I don’t care who knows it. It’s absolutely a good thing that I don’t live in New Orleans full-time because if I did, it’s likely I’d be here every single day.
2209 Magazine Street
Morning Call Coffee Stand
Instead of fighting the crowds at Cafe Du Monde, we took the recommendation of a friend and opted to get our beignet fix at Morning Call Coffee Stand in the New Orleans City Park. Located in the historic park’s former casino, the more than 140-year-old business is open 24 hours and is a wonderful place to start your morning or end a late night. Immediately upon stepping inside, the twinkling evening lights and servers in their white paper hats transported me back to the cozy nostalgia of my hometown’s antique ice cream shop. While I can’t compare it to the city’s other mainstays, Morning Call’s beignets ($2.40 for three) were sweet, flaky and a great compliment to a mug of steaming cafe au lait ($2.20 for a small).
New Orleans City Park
Have you been to New Orleans? What’s your favorite place to eat?