What Paris is for lovers, New Orleans is for foodies. There is no better place to indulge than New Orleans! Fried catfish and beans? Yes, please! Crawfish beignets? Don’t mind if I do. And every time I’m there my pledge to eat “healthy” goes to pits. It’s for good reason. Promise. It’s the only time I don’t even feel the least bit guilty about it. Where else can you get this stuff!? My father has his business in restaurants and owned and operated quite a few Cajun places in New Orleans. As a result, gumbo was one of my first solid meals and red beans & rice will forever be a dear favorite.
I must say the restaurant scene in New Orleans seems to change with every visit so this list combines some of my classics with the newbies we tried from our most recent trip in May. Unfortunately, some of my old favorites (brie fries from Baie Rouge) are no longer but I’ve filled this list with tons of amazing options for your next trip! Aside from the famous beignets and cafe au laits (which do make their way on this list), I’m also sharing my favorite stop for macarons, chicken and waffles, french fries and more. Take a peek inside my Little Black Book!
High Hat Cafe – chicken & waffles
Chicken & Waffles brunch dish from the High Hat Cafe.
Looking for a true New Orleans brunch? Look no further than the High Hat Cafe on Freret Street. This has become a must-go for us on our past few visits here. Although we love the dinner selection as well, a menu full of catfish, shrimp and daily specials such as “BBQ Tuna with creamy grits and fried oysters”. This is a true New Orleans stop. My personal favorite was our most recent Sunday brunch experience where my chicken & waffle dreams really came true.
High Hat Cafe – 4500 Freret Street, New Orleans, Lousiana 70115 / 504.754.1336
2. sucré NEW ORLEANS – macarons
The first time I had ever tasted a macaron, I was a twelve-year-old girl in Paris when I came across them curiously at a grocery store. I purchased them purely for the pretty pink color. Years after that I had the hardest time finding these little cookies stateside and continued dreaming of the day where I would come across them! AND not only would I come across them but that they would be just as delicious as the Parisian grocery store ones. That day came some years later when I first came upon Sucré on Magazine Street. It was macaron heaven, really. So many flavors and so colorful! And a year or so after I discovered Sucré the macaron craze we’ve come to know and love really began. I now consider myself a macaron aficionado, recommending my favorite places all around the country and Sucré takes that spot in the Big Easy.
Sucré serves many sweet treats beyond macarons including these little chocolates, cupcakes & marshmallows.
Sucré New Orleans – 3025 Magazine St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115 / 504.520.8311
3. 1000 Figs – French Fries
1000 Figs is one of my newbie places! After leaving Jazz Fest one night some local friends of ours recommended we all grab a bite here since it was close and if we rushed in we might be able to grab a table before it gets busy. New Orleans seems to have a lot of Mediterranean places and one of my favorite pairings are french fries and hummus. So let me tell you, the fries are ah-mazing! I’m a huge french fry junkie and after my old place for fries in the city closed down, 1000 Figs took that spot pretty quickly. We did seem to get lucky with our seating because not even 30 minutes later they had quite a wait list in the little restaurant!
1000 Figs – 3141 Ponce De Leon St #1, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119 / 504.301.0848
4. Cafe Du Monde – Beignets
I guess it would be pretty insulting to not have Cafe Du Monde here no matter how many lists it ends up on. It IS delicious and everyone should experience it. Even if I tell myself they’re overrated I find myself at least one-day craving and satisfying my Cafe Du Monde beignet fix. If you’ve ever tried to make them on your own you know how hard it is to get the consistency just right and here they have it mastered!
Cafe Du Monde – 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116 / 504.525.4544
5. Ye Olde College Inn – Breaded Veal
Ye Olde College Inn was another random late-night dinner choice by our group recently. It’s a casual cajun and southern restaurant that has been around for a very long time and is connected to the famous Rock N Bowl. Our most recent trip I believe was my first (with all of my trips to New Orleans sometimes it becomes a blur!) but the veal I had was absolutely delicious! Warning: servings are huuuge. One of those “I really want to but can’t finish” meals. A great group dinner restaurant!
Ye Olde College Inn – 3000 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118 / 504.866.3683
6. CLOSED – Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar – Red Beans & Rice
UPDATE – As of August 2017 I’ve learned Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar as closed.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a good French Quarter lunch spot I really enjoy Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar’s red beans & rice. It’s a bit on the spicier side than some but it is really delicious and the consistency of the beans was perfect! I do love spicy food though so if you’re not a big fan or can’t handle a lot of spice it may not be for you but it is authentic. And it’s location makes it super convenient! I may have also ordered a Hurricane with my meal because in New Orleans it’s okay to have a cocktail with your one o’clock lunch. It was tasty (and a bit strong for an afternoon cocktail)!
Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar – 620 Decatur St #1a, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 / 504.333.6914
Bex’s Little Black Book Features
My little black book features all of my favorite places to eat, see, experience and more! You can find my most recent articles on a place, upcoming events and what you may find in my suitcase.