You’d be hard pressed to find another city, at least in the U.S., that is as diverse, unique, culturally rich, historic, blessed, occasionally haunted and packed with more delicious cuisine than you can shake a voodoo stick at than the incredible New Orleans, LA.
Literally, around every corner, in every district, as you walk, or take the trolley, you can’t help but wonder about this place. What was it like 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 200 years ago? There is so much beauty, yet so much mystery, too. The sound of music and the smell of amazing Cajun/Creole found everywhere.
NOLA, as it is affectionately called, is without a doubt, one of the Loon’s and my favorite places to visit. You hear a lot about Pre-K and Post-K (K for Katrina)…and though there are so many places where the destruction is still visible, the city is thriving. And offering almost more than the senses can take…(Bourbon Street at 9am, for instance)…but that’s what makes it so inviting.
Here’s a quick guide of what we loved in our last visit. Unfortunately, our camera was giving us some trouble, so we didn’t get as many shots that we were happy with that we would normally have liked to…but you’ll get the picture.
But, of course, what we love the most about New Orleans is the food. The place never fails. Tried and true classics like Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s (though temporarily closed) still impress, but new and exciting places crop up every time we return.
We did a special expose on 3 absolutely amazing restaurants. I’ve included some other not-to-miss dining places here as well..Butcher by Chef Donald Link I can honestly say that this is some of the best food I’ve ever had in the Big Easy. Click here to learn and see much more about Butcher August by Chef John Besh I said this about Butcher, but for a more formal dining experience, the food here by Chef John Besh is quite possibly the best we’ve ever encountered while staying in New Orleans. Click here to see and learn much more about August Dragos Seafood and Oyster Bar – Home of the Original Charbroiled Oysters Dragos is known for charbroiled oysters. I thought they were simply amazing. The Loon says he likes his nice and easy on the half shell…which of course so do I…but if you like a little smoke and flavor to intensify the amazing NOLA oyster experience, then you must give these a try. Click here to learn and see more about Dragos.
Other wonderful places to eat while in New Orleans:Cochon and Peche
Cochon, by Chef Donald Link has quickly become an iconic restaurant in New Orleans. This is classic Southern Creole cuisine. Link opened Cochon in the warehouse district Post-K, when the area was bereft of any breathing and living businesses. Locals will tell you this restaurant single-handedly re-vitalized the area and brought it back to the thriving district that it is now. It’s sister restaurant, Peche just won the coveted James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaurant. We weren’t able to get reservations, but we heard from friends that Peche is wonderful. Reservations are a must for Peche and recommended for Cochon.Cochon Restaurant 930 Tchoupitoulas St. New Orleans Phone: (504) 588-2123 (closed Sundays) http://www.cochonrestaurant.com/ Peche Seafood Grill 800 Magazine St. New Orleans Phone: (544) 522-1744 (closed Sunday) http://www.pecherestaurant.com/ Kingfish Grill & Cocktails This delightful place is not far from the Quarter, and the cocktails and food are classic New Orleans. We sat here one rainy afternoon, and our bartender, Jackson, made us amazing cocktails that were literally works of art…and amazingly good. And the food? OMG. New Orleans upscale decadence at it’s best. We sat at the bar and had Cracklin’ Delight, which was perfectly seasoned jumbo pork, duck and chicken cracklings (aka, rinds) and then the Smoked Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos…well, a the pic below says it all. Kingfish Bar and Restaurant 337 Chartres Street New Orleans Phone: (504) 598-5005 http://www.cocktailbarneworleans.com/ Commander’s Palace A perennial favorite in the Big Easy. Located in the gorgeous Garden District. This is classic New Orleans fine dining at its best. Reservations a must. Commander’s Palace 1404 Washington Ave. New Orleans, Phone: (504) 899-8221 http://www.commanderspalace.com/ Johnny’s Po-Boys You’ll find a version of N’awlins Po-Boy on almost every street corner. But if you’re looking for the real deal, at a very affordable cost, check out Johnny’s Po-Boys. The oldest Po-Boy joint in the Quarter. Fast. Easy. And amazing Po-Boys! Johnny’s Po-Boys 511 St. Louis Street New Orleans http://johnnyspoboys.com/ Cafe DuMonde There are now 8 different Cafe Du Monde locations in New Orleans. Our favorite place still to go to get amazing beignets and coffee and chicory is in the French Quarter. If you’ve never been…get there early…beat the crowds. And enjoy. Cafe Du Monde (0pen 24 hours) 800 Decatur Street New Orleans http://www.cafedumonde.com/