It's your first time visiting the Crescent City and you want to hit the classics.
It's your first time visiting the Crescent City and you want to hit the classics.
There are lots of ways to pronounce New Orleans: N’awlins, Neu Or-lee-ans, New Or-leens.
There are lots of nicknames: The Crescent City, The City That Care Forgot, The Big Easy.
It’s the city credited with creating the cocktail and it’s rare that you’ll hear the word “last call.” Whether you stay out all night and grab a cafe au lait at 4am or tuck in early, here is a guide for first timers who want to experience the classics like po-boys, gumbo and oysters at popular places. All are recommended by chefs and bartenders who know the city well.
Make sure to check out our New Orleans 2.0 Guide that will lead you off the beaten track and download the Find. Eat. Drink. iPhone app to get the entire New Orleans eating, drinking and shopping guide.
Chef Scott Boswell serves New Orleans comfort food and breakfast all day long.
"Stanley’s is a great, more casual spot with killer breakfast. People gather here to catch up over their perfectly poached eggs with boudin and amazing hollandaise sauce." - Chef Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R'evolution
547 Saint Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 | T: 504.587.0093 | www.stanleyrestaurant.com
Steve Himelfarb bakes all kinds of specialty cakes, but also lots of breakfast dishes from boudin and eggs to breakfast sandwiches and omelets.
“This is a great bakery and breakfast spot in the Marigny. Try the boudin and eggs and amazing customized cakes.” - Chef Emeril Lagasse of Emeril's, NOLA, Delmonico
2440 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70117 | T: 504.943.0010 | www.nolacakes.com
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, you can browse for everything from vintage tableware, linens, books, oyster serving dishes and silver bone marrow spoons. Check out the original courtyard of their 19th Century building.
"This shop is a view into New Orleans history with their culinary antiques." - Chef John Besh of Besh Restaurant Group
"Patrick, the guy who owns this shop, has a taste level that is just insane. He takes trips to France and brings back amazing things. You'll find incredible old copper pots from the 1800s, antique china and things like that. This place is crazy." - Restaurateur Sean McCusker of Sylvain and Barrel Proof
610 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 | T: 504.528.9620 | lucullusantiques.com
Owner Cynthia Nunez imports antiques from the south of France. Amid the large armoires, you may spot a confit jar or two.
"Cindy Nunez is an exemplary antiques dealer who represents the South of France in furniture, lighting and accessories." - Chef John Besh of Besh Restaurant Group
623 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 | 504.529.4342 | antiquesdeprovencellc.com
Purists beware, Liuzza's serves the Frenchuletta (their version of a muffuletta) on French bread instead of an Italian round loaf and have been doing so since1947.
"Get the Frenchaletta at Liuzza’s in Mid-City, which does its muffuletta on a French bread loaf." - Chef John Besh of Besh Restaurant Group
3636 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 | 504.482.9120 | www.liuzzas.com
Make sure you grab extra napkins to eat their juicy roast beef po-boy. For the indecisive, get the Surf & Turf (slow cooked roast beef topped with golden fried shrimp and roast beef gravy).
"The food is always spot on and the sandwiches are always exactly what I want when I'm looking for a po’ boy. They have a bar so you have a couple of beers and just chill out. I used to get fried oysters and add bacon and Swiss and that was killer. Lately I’ve been keeping it simple and doing shrimp or catfish. They have sweet potato fries and you can get roast beef gravy on it." - Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery
"The Parkway for authentic po-boys." - Chef John Besh of Besh Restaurant Group
538 Hagan Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119 | T: 504.482.3047 | www.parkwaypoorboys.com
One of the iconic stops for a muffaletta. It's an Sicilian grocery that opened in 1906 with lots of imported products. Line up for their famous sandwich piled up with Genoa salami, Mortadella, ham, provolone and olive salad.
“This is a great Italian grocery store. If you go any time around lunch you won’t be able to explore the aisles and shelves of Italian goodies. So go before eleven or late afternoon to do some shopping. While you’re here get half a muffaletta and enjoy this delicious reminder that once upon a time the lower French Quarter was known as Little Palermo and that this stretch of Decatur was referred to as Dago Street.”- Chef Anthony Scanio of Delmonico
923 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 | T: 504.523.1620 | www.centralgrocerynola.com
It’s all about the seafood at Casamento’s and has been since 1919. Oysters are the headliners, but don’t ignore the oyster loaf, which is a variation on an oyster po-boy, made with their own signature pan bread.
"Perhaps the best way to enjoy our Louisiana oysters is naked and raw and I like them at the venerable white-tiled Casamento’s." - Chef Anthony Scanio of Delmonico
4330 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.895.9761 | www.casamentosrestaurant.com
Don't ask for the menu, there isn't one. Just order their famous fried chicken.
"For the best fried chicken." - Chef Edgar Chase IV of Dooky Chase
2401 Saint Ann Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 | T: 504.822.9503 | www.williemaesnola.com
Chef Leah Chase, known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, has been cooking in the kitchen at Dooky Chase since the mid-1940s. In the sixties, it became known as the place where jazz musicians would come after their gigs. Her grandson Edgar Chase IV, now cooks with her, after training in Europe.
"For seafood gumbo." - Chef John Besh of Besh Restaurant Group
"For gumbo des herbes." - Chef John Folse of Restaurant R'evolution
"They have been in the business since the 40s, opening one of the first integrated restaurants in the country." - Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem
2301 Orleans Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119 | T: 504.821.0600 | www.dookychaserestaurant.com
Since 1905, Angelo Brocato has been serving up Italian delights in an Old Palermo–inspired parlor. Spumoni, Cannoli, gelato and biscotti are accented with the flavors of Sicily and New Orleans.
"Sicilian pistachio gelato or Zuppa Inglese gelato, oh and squeeze in a cannoli, trust me." Chef Adolfo Garcia of La Boca, High Hat Cafe, Ancora, Gusto
214 North Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
T: 504.486.0078 | angelobrocatoicecream.com
Selling traditional Creole pralines in the French Quarter since the early 1930s. Tourist caveat: the locals pronounce it Prah-leen.
"I always wander down the river side of the market to Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop, where the smell of caramelizing sugar and pecans lure me into the store. These pralines are still made by hand, the same way they’ve been doing it for over 25 years, and seeing them make these treats always brings me back to my childhood of waiting them stir and scoop the sweets." - Pastry Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery
810 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
750 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Family-run since the first sno-bliz was served in 1939. It's shaved ice with flavored toppings that range from root beer to banana to ginger-cayenne. Only open seasonally, so call ahead.
"There is nothing better than a sno-ball with condensed milk from Hansen’s Sno-Bliz on Tchoupitoulas Street." Chef John Folse of Restaurant R'evolution
"I like the Satsuma with condensed milk, it's like a Creamsicle. For a long time I thought how can this place be any different than any other sno-ball stand? But it’s completely different and they have their own ice shaving machine that the original owner built. He was mechanical engineer, so it’s truly one-of-a-kind. It’s the fluffiest, creamiest ice that anyone can ever experience with the best shaved ice, snowball or whatever you want to call it. You can call it a million things, but the best one in the entire world is right here." - Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery
4801 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
T: 504.891.9788 | www.snobliz.com
Napoleon never made it to the Napoleon House, but it’s worth stopping in for their signature Pimm’s Cup. It's a two hundred year old landmark building with a courtyard that has hosted many famous artists and writers. If you get hungry, they’re known for their muffuletta.
"I doubt anywhere outside of England is the Pimm’s Cup as celebrated as it is here, particularly associated with the Napoleon House, which is their house drink." - Bartender Chris McMillian of Kingfish
"It’s a cool bar that’s old as time; it’s been here forever. They are known for their Pimm’s Cup, but you can also get po-boys here. It’s really cool." - Bartender Liam Deegan of Barrel Proof
500 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 | 504.522.4152 | www.napoleonhouse.com
Arnaud's French 75 looks like what you'd expect from an historic New Orleans bar - tiled floor, wooden bar, leopard-covered chairs. Bartender Chris Hannah is the bar's star crafting creative twists on the original classics.
"Drinking a cocktail here makes you feel like Don Draper, Frank Sinatra and James Bond all at once. It's a must for a classic New Orleans experience." - Bartender Liam Deegan of Barrel Proof
"I love the experience of getting a drink from Chris Hannah. Chris has an amazing take on things and he is such a character. The room is a smoking room, which is my least favorite thing about it. It’s kind of dark and red, a mish-mash of stuff, but it still feels like really classic New Orleans." - Bartender Neal Bodenheimer of Cure, Bellocq, Cane & Table
"Chris Hannah is an excellent bartender. He’s got a great demeanor and always seems to get transported into kind of a little different world when you go to see him." - Restaurateur Sean McCusker at Sylvain, Barrel Proof
813 Bienville Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112 | T: 504.523.5433 | www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/french-75
Bartender/co-owner Neal Bodenheimer describes Cure as modern craft cocktails that are steeped in history, from a time when cocktails grew out of medicine and home remedies.
"It’s our first stand-alone cocktail destination, located in a renovated 19th Century firehouse. It’s a very beautiful, lovely space. Just the most talented group of young bartenders in the city, each very different with their own personal style. It’s certainly a fun place to go if you want to experience the cutting-edge of the craft cocktail community in New Orleans." - Bartender Chris McMillian of Kingfish
"It’s still the destination in New Orleans and the best bar to wear a costume to for no reason, they welcome costumes." - Bartender Chris Hannah of Arnaud's French 75
"This is definitely a place I would bring a date. But also when my dad’s in town, we come here and enjoy a nice cocktail or two. It’s such a nice place to hang out, be taken care of by one of the bartenders and have a conversation. They are really hospitable and they make incredible cocktails. You can talk to the bartenders about certain cocktails and they'll make a drink to your specifications. You just tell them, ‘I like tequila,’ and they’ll take care of you." - Bartender Liam Deegan of Barrel Proof
4905 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 | T: 504.302.2357 | curenola.com
This is the flagship of chef John Besh's growing New Orleans restaurant empire and the one that put him on the map. He serves contemporary twists on classic French, Creole, Cajun, and Southern dishes.
"I love John Besh's August and highly recommend coming here." - Chef Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R'evolution
"Chef John Besh has opened up various flavor profiles and given us a lot of knowledge from what he's cooking." - Chef Edgar Chase IV of Dooky Chase
Chef and owner Donald Link describes Cochon as being inspired by my childhood and the food I ate growing up, basically my southern Alabama roots from mom and the Cajun roots from dad.
"It may be a cliché, but nonetheless when you visit New Orleans you must have some gumbo. For the darker, heartier gumbos developed in Cajun Country come here." - Chef Anthony Scanio of Delmonico
I realize everyone talks about this restaurant, but it really never disappoints and is always first on my list when a chef I know comes to town." - Chef Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R'evolution
Sure Cafe du Monde is on every tourist’s radar, but it’s worth stopping in at least for a quintessential New Orleans photo op. Hot, puffy squares of sugar-coated beignets (fried dough) are churned out 24/7 and have been since 1862. Just be careful if you’re wearing a dark color, you could encounter a powered sugar catastrophe.
"You come here for the beignets." - Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery + Chef Rick Tramonto of Restaurant R'evolution + Chef Edgar Chase IV of Dooky Chase
Open 24 Hours
800 Decatur Street, 70116 New Orleans, LA | T: 504.525.4544 | www.cafedumonde.com
This Uptown diner opened in 1946 and is known for their double-scoop freezes, breakfast foods and chocolate pecan pie.
"It has been around forever and has that old school diner feel. You can take the St. Charles street car all the way up." - Chef Joshua Laskay of NOLA
Open until 3am on Weekends
626 South Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118 | T: 504.309.2679
Pastry chef David Guas recommends this local New Orleans sweet shop that uses Louisiana grown pecans and local dairy for their daily-made pralines that are cooked in small batches in a copper pot, hand poured, and cooled naturally, using no preservaties.
READ | Trip Reads for New Orleans -- Inspirational reading lists for today's traveler.
Executive chef and owner of Besh Restaurant Group in New Orleans.
Executive chef and owner of Emeril's, NOLA, Delmonico in New Orleans.
Chef of Delmonico in New Orleans.
Chef of NOLA in New Orleans.
Co-chef and co-owner Restaurant R'evolution in New Orleans.
Co-chef and co-owner of Restaurant R'evolution in New Orleans.
Chef and owner of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans.
Executive chef and owner of La Boca, High Hat Cafe, Ancora, Gusto in New Orleans.
Chef at Dooky Chase in New Orleans.
Chef and owner of Bayou Bakery in Virginia, New Orleans native.
Executive chef and owner of Red Rooster Harlem in New York.
Bartender and co-owner of Cure, Bellocq, Cane & Table in New Orleans.
Head bartender at Arnaud's French 75 in New Orleans.
Head bartender at Kingfish in New Orleans.
Head bartender and managing partner of Barrel Proof in New Orleans
Restaurateur and owner of Sylvain and Barrel Proof in New Orleans