Top Four New Orleans Foodie Hot Spots

According to me, that is. Smile

Though I’ve only been to New Orleans twice, I did quite a bit of research and got several recommendations from friends and family before going and did (what I think is) a pretty great job checking out several highlights of the city. I thought now would be the perfect time to share them since I just got back and want to relive every meal I had while I was there!

1.) Café Du Monde


It’s a must for beignets and coffee. It’s located right near the French Quarter, and was just about a 10 minute walk from the hotel I stayed in this last time. I went there both times I’ve visited, and at $2.41 for three fresh, hot beignets drowning in powdered sugar, it’s worth making the trip each time.

This past weekend, I also got a FROZEN Café Au Lait, which was out of this world.

Sort of like a classier frapuccino, but not quite as sweet, and twice as delicious. Yum.

2.) Jacques-Imos


This funky, local restaurant is located uptown, so you have to take a cab there if you’re staying down near Bourbon/Canal Street. That said, it is SO worth it. Unfortunately I managed to forget my camera when we went there this past Saturday night, but it was one of the places on the top of my list to go since I didn’t make it there the first time I visited New Orleans.



I may or may not have shared the Crab and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, which sounds kind of gross but is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It’s one of their most famous dishes, and while I’m pretty sure alligator doesn’t qualify as a fish and thus I broke my normally pescatarian diet by eating some, dare I say it was worth it??

The other extreme highlight were the Watermelon Mojitos. Filled with chunks of fresh watermelon and plenty of mint,

3.) Commander’s Palace

This place I’ve been to both times I’ve visited NoLA, and when I found out I was going back for the second time, I called immediately to make a reservation for lunch! It’s hard to get a reservation so make sure you book in advance, and be aware that it’s kind of fancy so men have to wear jackets!

That aside, Monday through Friday, this place has 25 CENT martinis during lunch. A quarter!

It’s a super famous restaurant where Emeril Lagasse and several other famous chefs got their start, but if you go for lunch, it can be quite reasonable! At the top section of the menu, they have two and three course lunches to choose from. I went with the Blackened Drum.

Which, for $20, came with soup or salad of my choice. This is what screamed out to me:

And it did NOT disappoint!


Light and refreshing but slightly spicy, it was the perfect start to lunch. Unless you consider the martinis the start…

Or the complimentary garlic toast.

Yum. But the main course was also so so good, that I can’t pick a highlight.

I guess I’ll just go with the company!

Kobi, myself, and Becca – coworkers but friends too. Smile with tongue out

The other cool part is that you can take the street car to get there and back, which is kind of fun.

4.) Acme Oyster House

And last, but certainly not least, is Acme Oyster House.

It’s located right in the French Quarter near Bourbon Street, and has some of the best raw oysters I’ve ever had in my life.

This is another spot I hit up both times I visited, and the last time I was there we sat right at the bar. The guy shucking the oysters told us that they do not clean the outside of the oysters there, because apparently when you do, the warmish water heats the oysters up ever so slightly so that they actually open their shells a little bit. This causes the INSIDE of the oyster to get dirt/grit in it, so at Acme they just keep them dirty on the outside so the inside stays clean. That said, you can’t slurp these ones out of the shell quite as freely as you can elsewhere since the shells are covered in dirt!

Acme also has relatively cheap local cuisine, including po boys, etouffee, rice and beans, and some other cajun favorites. I highly highly recommend you check it out!

Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, what’s your favorite foodie spot that you went to? If not, what’s your favorite foodie town to visit?

41 Comments on Top Four New Orleans Foodie Hot Spots

  1. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    September 28, 2011 at 8:37 am (9 years ago)

    I know you don’t eat meat, so the muffaletta from Central Grocer is totally unappealing to you, but I loved it and enjoyed every last milligram of sodium. Even if my fingers swelled to twice their size the next day. Worth it.

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm (9 years ago)

      My coworker/travel buddy Emily and I walked by there on Sunday because she wanted one, but unfortunately it was closed!!

  2. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    September 28, 2011 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)

    Great post Beth — I’ve never been to New Orleans but I’d like to one day. My sister and her husband are taking a trip there next Spring so I am going to forward this post to them because I’m sure they’d love suggestions on where to eat.

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm (9 years ago)

      Cool! I’ll let you know if I come up with any other ideas before then. It’s such a great place to visit!

  3. robin
    September 28, 2011 at 9:18 am (9 years ago)

    loved the pictures and blog today, really fun to read!!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:58 am (9 years ago)

      Thanks Robin!

  4. Linda
    September 28, 2011 at 9:29 am (9 years ago)

    I went to New Orleans in 2009 and went to Muriel’s. The prices and the food were amazing.

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:58 am (9 years ago)

      Ohh I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to check it out next time!

  5. Katherine
    September 28, 2011 at 9:57 am (9 years ago)

    I’m so glad you enjoyed my city! 🙂 Jacques-Imo’s and Commander’s are near the top of my list of favorite places. Others include Cochon, Stella!, Crabby Jack’s (sister lunch place to Jacques-Imo’s), Parkway Bakery, Drago’s (home of the charbroiled oyster, mmmm), the list goes on and on. That’s the good part about New Orleans, though–there’s always a restaurant you haven’t tried, so you have reason to visit again!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am (9 years ago)

      I went to Cochon the first time I was there and it was AMAZING. And don’t worry, I’m planning on coming back again, maybe even before the end of the year. I love nola!!

  6. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt
    September 28, 2011 at 10:54 am (9 years ago)

    You made good choices! I grew up about 4 hours from New Oreleans so we always made multiple trips each year to visit and to use their airport. 🙂 I love the city!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

      Ahhh I’m jealous. Nola is so fun – I wish it was closer!!

  7. Jenny
    September 28, 2011 at 11:03 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve never been to NOLA but I hope to go some day. I would love to try some real Gumbo! And, that garlic bread looks really delicious! mmm, love me some garlic bread!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

      It was SO good. Somehow I managed to keep myself to just one piece. Go me! =)

  8. Mary (A Merry Life)
    September 28, 2011 at 11:07 am (9 years ago)

    We went to New Orleans last summer. I loved Café Du Monde and a ton of other places we ate, though I can’t remember the names now. 🙂

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:25 am (9 years ago)

      It’s probably a great thing those beignets aren’t available to me every day…

  9. Jennifer
    September 28, 2011 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

    That striped dress is super cute!!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 11:21 am (9 years ago)

      Thanks! Express. 🙂

  10. Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso
    September 28, 2011 at 11:33 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth-I’ve been reading for awhile but have never commented! New Orleans is like a foodies dream! I went there over spring break with my best friend, which happened to be over Mardi Gras! We went to Cafe Du Monde twice because it was so good! You didn’t wait in line did you? Some locals told us that you don’t actually have to wait for a table in that big, long line. It’s first come, first serve- so whenever someone leaves their table you can swoop in on it. We ate at a bunch of different places…but I’m blanking on some names. We stayed with a friend who lived close to the Garden District, so we mostly ate down there. As much as I loved it, I kept thinking that it’s a good thing I didn’t live down there permanently. Between the partying and the food I might not live to see 30!

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Mel! Thanks for commenting. And I TOTALLY agree – while its fun to visit, I don’t think i could live there if I wanted to maintain my weight or live a long, healthy life. It’s too fun! =)

      And no, we didn’t wait in line. We also went at an off time this past weekend, so there wasn’t even a line when we went!

  11. Roz
    September 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm (9 years ago)

    HI Beth. What a fun post??? $0.25 martinis???? Wow! Love all the photos. Food porn at it’s finest! Have a great day. 🙂

    • Beth
      September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm (9 years ago)

      Man I want to go back!!!!!

  12. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm (9 years ago)

    Crab and gator sausage cheesecake?? Do you have a photo? I can’t even begin to think what that would look like!!
    Did you do any ghost tours in NoLA? My cousin owns a business there that does them, and I hear they’re fantastic!

    I was going to comment on the dress too- love it!!

  13. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    September 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm (9 years ago)

    OH! And as for food cities- Boston never disappoints… especially the North End. But, I have to say that every city I visited on my honeymoon in the Pac NW had the best seafood ever- especially in Victoria, BC. Halibut is out of this world!

  14. Lauren
    September 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm (9 years ago)

    My boyfriend and I went this year to Jazz Fest! I loved all of the food! I think the highlights included smoked duck at Emeril’s, cochon du lait (pig in milk) – it was like pulled pork but better at the Jazz Fest, and discovering Bread Pudding at the Gumbo Shop. Loved all of the food!

  15. RunEatRepeat
    September 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm (9 years ago)

    NOLA is on my top 3 places to visit next year!!! I want to go so bad, I’m living vicariously 🙂

  16. Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    September 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm (9 years ago)

    Ooh fun! I’ve never been to New Orleans…but now I want to go there and eat. Those oysters looked pretty off the hook!

    September 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve never been to New Orleans but have been dying to go! Everything you had to eat looks absolutely amazing! Love the street car transportation option, too. It looks like you had a great trip – I want to go even more now!

  18. Cristina
    September 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve never been to NoLa, but Chicago and San Diego are my favorite food cities in the states. Paris is my favorite in general!

  19. MaryBeth
    September 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi! I left from a cruise in New Orleans in August and was able to spend a few days there before and after the cruise. Definitely the best food I’ve ever had!

    -I made sure to go to Cafe du Monde twice. INCREDIBLE! (And cheap! My kind of place!)
    -I had to check out Bourbon St but it wasnt really my style. Fun to see, but too ‘Spring Break’ for me. I did have a really good meal at Desire in that area. It was a really cute restaurant! Gumbo, jambalaya, hush puppies, etc on the menu. I had shrimp creole which was out of this world!
    -Cafe Maspero was nice as well. I had a veggie muffaletta… delicious!
    -On the cruise, I heard 2 different conversations at the same lunch table recommending Drago’s so we made sure to go there before flying home. Worth every penny!

    I am so ready to return! (And will absolutely check out the quarter martinis!)

  20. Allison
    September 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm (9 years ago)

    I went to New Orleans years ago for an AAU national basketball tournament! Even though I was young and couldn’t partake in any of the famous festivities, I had a blast! I’d love to go back… I tried alligator too- I though it was more steak-like than chicken?!

  21. Sharon
    September 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Last time I was in NOLA it was during lent. The local Catholic parish had an article in the paper about safe foods for Fridays. I am almost positive alligator was on that list, as was turtle and several other surprising foods. So I think you are probably ok with your diet :-))! Your post makes me ready to go back!

  22. Cheryl
    September 28, 2011 at 10:40 pm (9 years ago)

    I went to New Orleans last spring. Ate at NOLA, Emeril’s, Muriel’s, Desire Oyster Bar, and Cafe du Monde. The beignets are worth walking around covered in powdered sugar! On one of my many random walks, I discovered WINO (Wine Institute of New Orleans). It is a fabulous wine bar where you can purchase tastes in 1, 3, or 5 ounce pours. We love wine, so my husband was thrilled with my find! They had a couple of very high end wines that at full bottle price would probably never touch my lips, but for the price of 3 ounces, why not? If you are even remotely interested in wine, check this place out. Knowledgeable staff, too.

    p.s. That striped dress – so cute!

  23. Jae
    September 29, 2011 at 1:39 am (9 years ago)

    I’m from there and while i recently relocated to Boston for college,
    I have to say, you forgot Napoleon House 🙁 Cheapest legit fare around

  24. Beth
    September 29, 2011 at 8:14 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth – great post – we were there a few years ago and I still dream about the muffaletta from Central Grocer – one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life! Also the BBQ shrimp from NoLA was outrageous. Two of my favorite food cities are Napa and Boston.

  25. cool beans
    September 29, 2011 at 10:51 am (9 years ago)

    My parents just got back from New Orleans and I’m pretty sure they went to and raved about all these places! I’m so jealous.

  26. Ang
    September 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve been to New Orleans twice. I’d love to go back! I think it would be hard for me to stay gluten free though! All my favorites are packed with gluten! It’s been over ten years since I last went and I still think about the muffaletta from Central Grocer. I also enjoyed NOLA and a few small places I can’t remember the names of. The jazz brunch at Court of Two Sisters was nice. Loved the beignets at the Cafe du Monde!

  27. Bess
    September 30, 2011 at 9:17 am (9 years ago)

    Never been to NO, but hoping to soon. Thanks for sharing the restaurants–I’m putting them on my life. Love, love, love your black and white striped dress!!! You look great, Beth!

  28. Christine
    September 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm (9 years ago)

    I love Nola.. I was there last July visiting my bestie from BU who was there doing a law internship for the summer. We had a fab night out at commanders palace! We got all gussied up and we were even offered a tour of the entire property after our dinner- kitchen and gardens too! We also ran the spillway classic while I was there: a three mile run through muddy trails along the Mississippi river. It was some down and dirty fun!

  29. Jennie Gift
    March 2, 2012 at 9:23 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth,
    We are going to NOLA the end of this month and I would like to go to the Commander’s. Do men have to wear jackets at Lunch? I notice your coworker is not in the picture. I know my husband is not going to sport a jacket on vacation 🙂 This was a great post for me.

    • Beth
      March 2, 2012 at 9:29 am (9 years ago)

      Hey Jennie! Men are supposed to wear jackets to lunch… my coworker had one and I believe it’s on the back of his chair and he took it off while we were eating but they will tell you that is the dresscode when you call to make a reservation. I know its a lot to ask when you’re on vacation, but it is SO worth it. Especially since you can get 2 martinis each for $1 total. 🙂


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