I’m not even gonna hold you, this was definitely a trip centered around food. This was my second time visiting New Orleans and I have to say it’s my favorite food city…..by far….and it’s not close. My one regret is not trying Popeyes because I heard it’s way better there, but next time I suppose. So, I’ll briefly tell you that Bourbon Street is exactly what you see on social media— complete madness. It’s madness in a good way if you’re in the mood to party, eat, and drink lol.. There are other surrounding streets much calmer and still pretty live though so make sure you walk around a bit.
A few recommendations:
1. Stay in the French Quarter - Doing this will make it easier to get around as most restaurants/tours are within walking distance. No need to rent a car, maybe a few ubers, but mostly you get where you need to by foot.
2. Try to find a food/art festival - The Oyster Festival was going on the same weekend I visited and I got to try a few dishes from other known restaurants I couldn’t fit into my extensive food schedule. It was wayyyy too hot and they didn’t have enough tents so i left after like 35 minutes lol. Please forgive me, not hot, but scorching.
3. Stay hydrated - It’s extremely humid in New Orleans and if you plan on drinking adult beverages, water is a must, not a maybe.
4. This city is full of culture so try to walk around and visit some historic landmarks and museums. I hope to do more of this when I visit again, but yeah on to the food spots.
First stop, Drago’s.
Dragos is most known for their charbroiled oysters, so that was a no brainer, but off a whim I decided to order the lobster mac and cheese too. For my peeps that hate raw and slimy oysters, this is for you. These are cooked and drenched with garlic parmesan butter sauce. Whewwww, a MUST! Dip the white bread into the butter sauce too. You’re welcome. Also, the macaroni and cheese was b o m b, just bussin’ with cajun spices and lobster meat. I was surprised because the many food vlogs I’ve watched no one ever mentions it. If you go, please get both. Please.
Mother’s: World’s Best Baked Ham. Well, everyone talks about the po’ boys so that’s what the order was. Pictured to the right is the Ferdi special and a classic shrimp po’ boy. The Ferdi is filled with homemade baked ham, roast beef, gravy, and 'debris' aka roast beef bits in gravy. After this I realized I don’t really like the french bread in NOLA for sandwiches (I’m from NJ so subs and hoagies are better imo because of the bread). If you like po boys, these were good. If I go back (I don’t need to), I’ll probably get a dinner special like fried chicken, red rice and beans, or something of the sort. Oh, and I did taste the ham outside of the sandwich bite and it was pretty delicious.
I heard this was Dragos competition for oysters, you know since they have it in their name n' all, but let me tell you, there’s no competition. Dragos still has the crown. These were amazing, don’t get me wrong, like really good, but they’re top 2 and they’re number 2. The fried softshell crab and fries were pretty good, but I felt the batter for the crab should have been more seasoned. If you plan to come, be prepared to wait in line— its a small venue, but a local favorite for many.
Legendary coffee, subpar beignets. Next caller please! JK, I’ll give you a lil more than that. The frozen coffee is really amazing, worth getting twice or #thrice, but the beignets are a bit too dense for my liking so i would not waste neither carbs nor calories on them. Please scroll down.
Now this place should be crowned King Beignet! These beignets are super light, fluffy, and crisp! If i were craving beignets on my (eventual) next visit, this is the place I’d go. Listen to me on this one, guise. Try both to compare if you don’t believe me.
Neyows, known for their super strong Bow wow drink (not pictured), is a super dope spot for that home cooked New Orleans style meal. Here you see sautéed crab claws and crispy fried chicken with red beans & rice. Everything was excellent. Not located in the French Quarter, but worth the uber ride!
Deanie’s is everything I wanted Acme Oyster House wanted to be. Bloop! Okay, so aside from the oysters, people were raving about the fried food from Acme and it left me wanting more from a flavor perspective. Deanie’s was that girl. On the left is the “Taste of New Orleans” crawfish bisque, chicken & andouille gumbo, and crawfish étouffée. All bomb, but I wish i ordered the seafood gumbo instead of the chicken andouille…I felt like it would have been better. Also, not the best gumbo I’ve ever had, but still tasty. The lovely golden stack to the right is the half seafood platter. Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, softshell crab, and french fries. It was fried to perfection with perfectly seasoned batter. I definitely recommend!
What a perfect, breakfast spot! First of all, this place always has a line, but luckily early bird gets the worm, so I was there at 8am (they open at 7am!). Pictured above is the Chicken St. Charles which is a fried chicken Benedict on homemade buttermilk biscuit and then bbq shrimp and grits with homemade biscuit and rich flavored butter. I was eager to try the shrimp and grits dish because visually New Orleans version of bbq is quite different than what I’m used to.
Brief little history on this spot:
“The Ruby Slipper Cafe was founded in May 2008, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mid-City, New Orleans neighborhood. In recovery from that life-changing storm, husband & wife - Erich & Jennifer found an opportunity to turn a blighted corner store into a vibrant gathering place where neighbors could enjoy excellent Breakfast, Lunch & Brunch fare in a casual and inviting atmosphere. The Ruby Slipper Cafe Mid-City was an instant success due to its inviting nature & innovative brunch & morning cocktail selections.”
So, this is one of Emeril’s restaurants! It has an elated feel, but still feels cool like a bar. ALL of the dishes pictured were amazing and I guess the most exotic of the trip? I’m not picky and I’ll try almost any food especially being that this is like a national food capital.
Pictured above, we have House made andouille sausage with wildflower honey mustard, Wood oven roasted octopus elote, New Orleans Hot Frog Legs, and Crispy Louisiana Alligator with kung pao sauce, sesame.
Everything was packed with flavor and i also loved the finesse of the plating and presentation. My favorite, by far, was the hit frog legs. Super spicy, but the garlic yoghurt have great relief and was a perfect pairing — similar to what ranch does to super spicy wings.