The Best City for Foodies: New Orleans

Beignets, oysters, jambalaya, oh me, oh my!

New Orleans, Louisiana is more than Mardi Gras, jazz music and the unique architecture that lines the cobblestone streets––its Creole cuisine is simply the star of the lively city.

 

The most stressful part about visiting NOLA is deciding where you’ll go for breakfast, lunch and dinner because of the variety of options that are offered. From quiet corner cafés filled with crispy pastries to extravagant lobster houses with the freshest catches, we can surely promise that you’ll leave the Southern city 10 pounds heavier.

 

Mila Furman, a Chicago-based chef and the blogger behind Girl and the Kitchen, admires New Orleans’ food because of the culture and diversity infused in every bite. For Furman, culture is inextricable from food, and the cajun-creole flavor of New Orleans is something special that can’t be found elsewhere.

 

“New Orleans is one of those cities that has an old soul and that really shines through in both the people, food and architecture,” Furman said. “The pure combination of culture and food is incredible; everyone there likes to eat. You can find grandmothers on their porches, eating their gumbo. The longevity and history of the city is truly unique.”

 

Furman said that if you’re looking to move to New Orleans and be surrounded by top-notch bites, the French Quarter is the place to be. Not only will you have endless options of restaurants to try, but the homes are lathered in a decadent New Orleans style that you won’t find anywhere else.

 

“New Orleans real estate here is incredible because the French-meets-Spanish architecture plus the food and culture make for modern living from another time,” said Furman. Along with the French Quarter at large, Furman said “Bourbon Street in particular is filled with one-of-a-kind buildings. There’s nothing like it.”

 

While the food is enough to make you want to visit New Orleans already, the neighborhoods will make you want to make the move. Neighborhoods in the French Quarter are lined with Creole cottages––single-story homes with a steep roof and front porches that touch the street. You’ll also come across Creole townhouses, which often sit on top of little shops and are made of brick.

 

If you like to eat––and we mean eat––then Furman claims you’ll fit in with the people of NOLA just fine. Everyone there loves to chow down no matter the time or the day. While Furman had trouble putting her finger on just one of her favorite NOLA restaurants, her go-to place is Café Amelie. She said that not only is the food “divine,” but the atmosphere and service is also something out of this world.

 

“You don’t even know what you’re walking into when you first enter,” Furman said. “[Café Amelie] is surrounded by these beautiful old trees that create a canopy. We had brussel sprouts that were wrapped in bacon and drizzled with balsamic––it was seriously heavenly.”

 

Furman enjoyed the meal so much that she recreated the Brussels sprout dish at home and dedicated a blog post to it.

 

So, what are the hottest places in New Orleans to hit up and dine-in? We’ve got Furman’s inside scoop on the best of the best locations to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

 

Breakfast

 

If you’re looking for the “true NOLA experience,” make sure to stop by The Camellia Grill in the Garden District. If the bright pink sign doesn’t entice you to pop in, then the waiters’ Southern hospitality certainly will!

 

Besides the superb service, Furman was instantly won over by the restaurant’s “simple French toast, which was then fancied off with banana foster.”

 

You’ll often spot raised center-hall cottages in the Garden District which have a certain Greek Revival, Italian or Victorian style to them. These types of homes were quite popular during the 1800s and many neighborhoods still acquire this vintage fashion.

 

What about the famous beignets, you may ask? Well, Furman prefers to eat those bad boys as a little midnight snack. Don’t knock it till you try it!

 

While the streets of New Orleans are filled with beignet carts, Furman recommends going to Cafe Du Monde to eat the lightest, fluffiest and sugary doughy treats. “They put enough powdered sugar on these things to build Mount Everest,” according to Furman.
 

Lunch

 

This one is for all you seafood lovers out there! Acme Oyster House is definitely worth the huge wait, according to Furman. “My husband is obsessed with seafood, so he ordered everything from oysters to shrimp,” she said. What could make this fresh meal better? Only the stunning balcony view they had.

 

NOLA is world-renowned for its flavorful seafood, so if you’re looking for more mouthwatering locations to find some fresh bites, check out these top-rated restaurants from The Culture Trip.

 

Dinner

 

End your day with a bang by enjoying a meaty steak at Irene’s. This piano bar has all the Italian classics. Their selection of meats and pasta plates will leave your stomach satisfied, to say the least.

 

But wait—you can’t end your day without fulfilling your sweet tooth’s needs! Irene’s espresso and crème brûlée is to die for.

 

“I’m very picky when it comes to crème brûlée, but Irene’s fresh vanilla crème brûlée exceeded my expectations,” Furman said. “I could tell how fresh it was by the little specks of black vanilla bean.”

 

If these recommendations don’t convince you to take a trip to New Orleans, then we don’t know what will!