Tastes from Europe, Africa and the Americas blend into the Creole cuisine of Louisiana’s main city, joined by the down-home Cajun cooking of the surrounding marshlands.
To eat your way through the birthplace of jazz.
What is there to do?
Try to treat your tastebuds to all the classic dishes of New Orleans: beignets, grits, gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys and snowballs …
When to Go: March to late May, though hot, is a good time to visit. April is also when the music festivals start.
Creole & Cajun
Upperline: Owner Jo Ann Clevenger loves her city – its art, architecture and cuisine – and Upperline reflects these passions in its menu. Dishes such as duck étouffée (a spicy’ Cajun stew) with corn bread and pepper jelly are classics prepared with a modern sensibility. The restaurant resides in a beautiful old house.
Elizabeth’s: Elizabeth’s is deceptively divey, but it provides a quintessential New Orleans experience: smiling sass, weird artistic edges and overindulgence. Cajun-style brunch and breakfast are top draws, with dishes such as French toast and sinful praline bacon or a breakfast po’boy sandwich.
Clancy’s: This white-tablecloth restaurant embraces style, the good life and Creole cuisine with a chattering joie de vivre and top-notch service. Its specialties include fried oysters and brie, veal with crab meat and béarnaise, and lobster and mushroom risotto. Try to reserve ahead, and dress up a little.
Coop’s Place: Chaotic Coop’s is an authentic Cajun dive in the French Quarter with a reputation for surly staff but it’s worth it for the food: rabbit jambalaya and chicken with shrimp and tasso (smoked ham) in a cream sauce – no such thing as ‘too heavy’ here! You have to be over 21 to enter.
Cake Café & Bakery: On weekend mornings, the line is literally out the door at this café and bakery in the Creole Quarter of Faubourg Marigny. The breakfast menu includes a roll call of Southern staples such as local catfish, boudin sausage and fried oysters and grits (in season), while the bakery whips up sweet creations (take a look at the king cake!) and fresh bagels.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House: The fried chicken at Willie Mae’s has been dubbed some of the best in the world by the revered James Beard Foundation. It’s a simple, atmospheric diner where kids get PBJ sandwiches while adults munch on soul food. This place is all about chicken coated in the perfect blend of spices, and served with a side of butter beans.