New Orleans food scene is so incredible you won’t find anything like it anywhere else. At the center of this culinary magnificence are the famous cuisines of the region’s Cajun and Creole people. There is a difference between these two styles. Simply put, Cajun is country food and Creole is city food. These distinctive cuisines are found on menus throughout New Orleans. For some of New Orleans’ best flavors, on your next visit, try one or all five of these highly sought after places to dine.
Café Du Monde
New Orleans is famous for beignets – hot, powdered sugar coated, square doughnuts. No matter what time of day you are craving one of these sugary delights, Café Du Monde is opened 24 hours. A stop at this famous coffee stand is a must for first-time visitors, but this place often lands back on return guests’ must-dos when back in town.
Expect a line, but most often it’s fast moving. In any event, it’s worth the wait. Cafe’ Du Monde is self-seating kind of place, so watch for an empty table and grab it. Their menu is on the napkin dispenser. Bring cash, since credit cards are not accepted. Restrooms are in the kitchen.
Close by: This coffee shop’s original location is situated between Jackson Square and the Mississippi River – the perfect French Quarter location. There are eight locations throughout New Orleans metro area.
Located in the Warehouse District and appropriately housed in a renovated warehouse, Cochon delivers elevated Cajun and Southern fare in a casual atmosphere. A Louisiana native, Chef Donald Link draws from his upbringing to create authentic dishes. A few of the appetizing Cajun country flavors on the menu are Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Mayonnaise, and Catfish Courtbouillon – a spicy stew-like dish. Swing by for lunch or dinner for great food in a trendy atmosphere. It’s often crowded, so you may want to consider reservations.
Close by: World War II Museum and Convention Center
Established in 2011, Dat Dog is a restaurant where the hot dog has become an art form. Whether you are a carnivore, pescatarian, or vegan, there is a special hot dog for you. House specialties include Guinness Special – Irish Guinness sausage with Andouille sauce, cheese and bacon, Sea Dog Special – beer-battered codfish with onions, tomatoes, and tarter sauce, and Vegan Werewolf – vegan bratwurst with sauerkraut, dill relish, and Creole mustard.
This restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors. Their cult following has helped grow this restaurant concept to several locations throughout the city.
Close by: One location can be found on Frenchman Street – the local’s version of Bourbon Street. The Magazine Street location is in the Garden District.
Muriel’s Jackson Square
Opened in 2001 after extensive renovations, Muriel’s is a classy restaurant serving up traditional Creole favorites. Start with crawfish and goat cheese crepes topped with buttery sauce of chardonnay, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dine on shrimp creole or blackened Mississippi catfish. End on a sweet note with a slice of carrot cake, ice cream sandwich, or Saints or Sinners – layers of angel food cake, peanut butter mousse and devil’s food cake covered with chocolate ganache.
Grab a table in the bistro, bar, or courtyard. Wherever you sit in this beautiful building, old-world ambiance is everywhere. Their high standards of attentive customer service and well-prepared Creole food have diners remembering their time spent here long after their return home.
This building comes with a story and its own resident ghost. Some believe a past owner, Pierre Antoine is the spirit who never left the building. As the story is told, back in the 1800s, it was his private residence and he took enormous pride in it. However, he wagered his beloved home in a poker game and, unfortunately, lost the hand. Inconsolable, he committed suicide on the second floor. Under the stairs going to the second floor, they keep a table set up especially for Pierre Antoine, should his spirit need a glass of red wine or a good meal.
Close by: This establishment is located on another corner of Jackson Square – in the heart of the French Quarter.
Royal House Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant
A sun-splashed balcony dotted with bright yellow umbrellas and colorful flower boxes makes Royal House an eye-catching restaurant on Royal Street. Housed in the original home of the Tortorici family, it’s a premier restaurant where you can indulge on their specialties food offerings – fresh shucked oysters, fried alligator, and shrimp, and oyster or alligator po-boy sandwiches.
Since everything on the menu sounds delicious, you may find it a difficult task just to order. If this is the case, then go with A Taste of New Orleans – hearty samples of chicken and Andouille jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, and gumbo.
Close by: This two-story restaurant is on a Royal Street where historic hotels, upscale shops and music clubs are steps away.
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