New Orleans is known for its rich history and French, Spanish, and Creole inspired culture-and let’s not forget Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras, and the open container policy allowing you to openly drink in the streets from dusk until dawn.
However, aside from its wide array of dive bars, live music, and concession stands that will make you frozen drinks with any assortment of alcohol that you choose (dreams do come true), NOLA actually has some of the best food I’ve ever tasted.
If you’re ever lucky enough to make your way down to the French Quarter, I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat or a nice cocktail from at least one of these places:
Yes, it’s “Stanley” and not “Stanley’s” Restaurant.
Located on Saint Ann Street past Jackson Square, Stanley Restaurant serves the best ever version of eggs benedict called “breaux bridge benedict.” Most of you are probably wondering,
“What the hell is that?” The dish consists of eggs benedict on French bread with creole hollandaise and house made *boudin*. What’s boudin you ask? It’s amazing. Boudin is amazing. It’s actually similar to a corn beef hash except it is made of pulled pork. Who knew pulled pork for breakfast could be so heavenly.
Pat O’Brien’s is New Orleans’ famous piano bar. The dueling pianos sit in front of the crowded bar area and play cover songs that the crowd requests. Order a Hurricane and take in the sensational atmosphere.
Or if you feel like live piano music isn’t really your thing, take your Hurricane outside to the patio and order one of their NOLA staples like shrimp and grits, creole, or if you’re the adventurous foodie-GATOR BITES.
Café Du Monde
This famous café is nearly impossible to snag a table, but it’s well worth the wait. People will wait hours to get a table under the green and white striped tent just to taste the amazing beignets (pronounced “ben-yays,” not “baguettes” or “beg-nets” as I shamefully called them at first), which are basically French zeppoles. They are worth every single calorie.
The French Market & Market Café
The market itself is open and filled with local food vendors and countless ice cream and fresh-fruit smoothie stands. My favorite was a popup stand called Organic Banana where you can create your own alcoholic or virgin smoothie.
The Market Café sits right outside of the marketplace and offers the classic muffuletta. Personally, I am not a fan of olives however I would make an exception for this sandwich. A muffuletta is a glorified Italian combo sandwich topped with a marinated olive salad on freshly baked bread and a must-have while visiting NOLA.
The Original French Market Restaurant and Bar
The décor of this place is honestly nothing to brag about. There is a raggedy carpet inside and an old wood bar to the right. However, up the curving staircase and through another small dining room, there is a balcony with tables that overlook the entire French market. Try the hushpuppies or the shrimp and crab dip and enjoy the view!