Louisiana recommendations

This page is a list of things I’d recommend to a visitor to south Louisiana. It’s mostly restaurants. Even though I do go there fairly often, I don’t actually live there anymore, but I’m pretty sure these notes are up-to-date.

New Orleans

Breakfast

  • Elizabeth’s, corner of Gallier and Chartres. Get the praline bacon appetizer. I like their grits & grillades.
  • Surrey’s Juice Bar, Magazine in the Muses streets, within a few blocks of Melpomene. Apparently there’s two now, but I’ve only ever been to the one in the Lower Garden District. They serve a full brunch, not just juice.
  • Cafe Croissant d’Or, Ursulines near Royal, is probably the best coffee and pastry stop in the French Quarter.

Snowballs and dessert

  • Hanson’s, corner of Tchoupitoulas between Napoleon and Jefferson. My favorite. I like the tart flavors with a sweet fruit topping. Condensed milk as a topping is really popular, but I never really had a taste for it.
  • Plum Street. Close runner up.
  • Angelo Brocato, on North Carrolton near Canal, is an old ice cream parlor. They do lots of stuff with marzipan, and I remember their canoles as being good. Years ago they were located in the French Quarter – the Croissant d’Or now occupies that location, and you can see their name inlaid in the tile at d’Or’s entrance.
  • The Creole Creamery, on Prytania between Upperline and Robert, makes all their own stuff, and has excellent Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream that I always being my dad a quart of when I go from NOLA to Lafayette.
  • La Divina Geleteria, on Magazine around Sixth or Seventh, is another great local ice cream maker.

Lunches and casual dinners

  • Crabby Jack’s. Lunchtime-only place for po-boys and plate lunches, same owner as Jacque-Imo’s. Located directly next door to a good seafood wholesaler’s, so they’ll often have very good specials. I’d definitely try the softshell crab there if they have it.
  • Domilese’s. Another old, good po-boy place.
  • There’s a recent trend of high-quality burger and hot dog places. We’ve been to two lately, The Company Burger and Tru Burger. Both were great.

Grand dinners

  • Mahoney’s, on Magazine Street around Foucher and Amelia. Really nice po-boys and plate lunches. An old friend of mine is their chef, and adds really interesting, often southeast Asian-influence, daily specials.
  • Adolphe’s, on Frenchman Street, above the Apple Barrel Bar. Excellent Italian-style fish and seafood.
  • Dick and Jenny’s, corner of Tchoupitoulas and I think Jena, one block from Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon and on the side of the big supermarket. Really nice, neighborhood place.
  • Hana, Hampson near St. Charles. First place I ever ate sushi, has been making really great stuff since Katrina. Also open for lunch.
  • Jacque-Imo’s, Oak Street between South Carrollton and the river. Loud and lots of fun.
  • Brigsten’s, around Riverbend but I forget exactly where. Excellent neighborhood place.
  • Bayona is a great fancy place. Dinner’s pricey, but there are great lunch specials.
  • The Crepe Nanou, on Robert St. between Prytania and St. Charles, is a great standby for traditional French dinner.
  • The Palace Cafe, Canal Street. Good restaurant in a lovely old building that for generations was a music store.

Of course, there’s lots of places that are new and that I’ve never been to. I’ve heard great things about Peche, Boucherie, and many others all around town. Tom Fitzmorris’s site is pretty trustworthy.

Bars and music

  • The Columns Hotel, on St. Charles between Peniston and General Taylor. Good if not the very best drinks in town, but one of the prettiest bars and porches. Wonderful place for an afternoon break. They do a good French 75.
  • The Delachaise, corner of St. Charles and Delachaise. Very good cocktails, large selection of quality liquors, nice place to be. They also have food, which I’ve heard is good.
  • Cure, corner of Freret Street and (I think) Upperline. I’ve tried several times to go here but it’s never worked out. Very interesting cocktails – the sort of places that makes their own bitters.
  • Frenchman Street has a number of music clubs that are good and easy to visit – walk down Bourbon Street so you can say you’ve seen it, and then go here. Snug Harbor is a great choice for jazz. I really love The Spotted Cat for non-rock. DBA is a good place for rock music. There’s newer places too. Mostly, these are small enough places that you can walk up and down the three blocks where they all are, and just listen for the sort of thing you want to hear.
  • Some other neighborhood bars that I used to like: Mimi’s in the Marigny, The R Bar, The Saturn Bar (this one’s in a sketchier neighborhood).

To see

  • The Sculpture Garden in City Park is worth a look.
  • Magazine Street is a good shopping/browsing street with three distinct areas of interest:
    • In the Lower Garden District around St. Mary and St. Andrew. Lots of antique stores here.
    • In the Garden District from Sixth to Ninth. Eclectic area, with several nice smaller casual restaurants and bars.
    • Way Uptown from Jefferson to Nashville. A bit more boutique-y, but still a good variety of places.

    Oak Street from South Carrolton towards the river also has some good shopping.

Lafayette

Breakfast

Lafayette’s not really a great place for breakfast. Another Broken Egg Cafe is a reasonable option. The Blue Dog Cafe does a good weekend brunch.

Lunch and informal dinners

  • There’s a good taco stand for lunches on Johnson Street, within a few blocks of the corner of Main Street.
  • The Filling Station, corner of Jefferson and…I forget. Good casual place.
  • Olde Tyme Grocery, corner St. Mary, one block off of Johnson. It’s not a grocery store; it’s a po-boy shop. My favorite shrimp po-boys in the state.
  • Southside Bakery, in a strip mall off the corner of South College and Johnson. I don’t like their bread as much as Olde Tyme’s.

Dinner

  • Guidry’s Reef. Very casual place with great food. I always get the whole flounder with the crabmeat stuffing. Jill likes it with the lump crabmeat topping. Their broiled seafood is much better than their fried seafood (but that’s my general preference anyway).
  • La Pizzeria, on Ambassador Caffery between Robely and the river, has an excellent crabmeat-topped pizza.
  • Mazen Grill is one of the best places there. A bit dressy, a bit pricey. They focus on simply grilled fish with good sauce toppings.
  • I haven’t been to Charlie G’s since I was in college, but my dad tells me they’ve been having a good run lately.
  • Nash’s, in Broussard, is a good restaurant in a beautiful old home.
  • Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf is an old place that’s actually in the Atchafalaya Basin. Really good local seafood, hard to find a more authentic environment. I’d drive the extra bit and choose them over Prejean’s or Randall’s.

To see

  • There’s an alligator pond right in the middle of the UL campus. Kind of a hoot.
  • The Avery Island tour is good.
  • Both Acadian Villiage and Vermilionville are good period reconstructions of cajun villages. Jill and I had our Lafayette wedding reception in the big barn at Vermilionville.
  • The church in St. Martinville is one of the older and prettier ones.

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