New Orleans Guide

Planning a trip to New Orleans, or NOLA as it's commonly known? No fear, I have put together a listing of my favorite places to eat and drink in the city that is known for these very things. I even reached out to some of my best friends from Tulane to ask for their favorite places and tips in order to get the best guide possible! So avoid those tourist traps and check these places out! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!


1. Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar - Breakfast spot on Magazine St. Perfect for fresh-squeezed orange juice and bananas foster French toast. Cash only. Also, the homemade bagels rival that of a New York establishment. 

2. Slim Goodies - Another Uptown Magazine St. breakfast place. Cuban style breakfast, with a tex-mex twist. Try the “Little Goat” - scrambled eggs with pesto marinated peppers, goat cheese, and black beans, or the tex-mex with hash browns, black beans, sour cream, homemade salsa, eggs how you like them, tortillas, avocado, and fried. plantains. They also have a backyard area where the chickens are actually running around and tables you can sit it!  The lines can get long on the weekend and they don't take reservations but it's worth it. Cash only. 

3. Camellia Grill - a neighborhood greasy spoon Uptown establishment, which now also has a second location in the French Quarter (but go to the Uptown one for the original). Really you could come here for any meal but I personally love their omelets. Tulane kids come here for chocolate freezes, cheeseburgers, and omelets. Sit at the counter or take out. Open late and always hits the spot.

4. Commander's Palace - This upscale restaurant in the Garden District offers a lot of dining options, my two favorites being the Jazz Brunch on Sundays or the 25 cent martini lunch. Yes, 25 cents for a martini at lunch. The brunch comes complete with a jazz band playing live music and second-lining around the dining room. I highly recommend the Bloody Mary and getting the turtle soup with sherry. So delicious. Also, always get dessert. 

5. Court of Two Sisters - I went to brunch here when I visited in August and it was amazing! They are located right in the quarter in an old historical building. They have an upscale looking dining room and the brunch is buffet style. The homemade ice cream is so good, as are the Eggs Benedict. They also over chicory coffee with your meal, which I recommend trying while you're visiting NOLA!

6. EAT - Also located in the FQ. This recommendation comes from my friend Michael. Per Michael "[EAT] has the best brunch in town if you like Eggs Benedict because they have like ten different variations on it, my favorite being the Eggs Dauphine (poached eggs and hollandaise over fried green tomatoes and a southern-style biscuit).  I think it might also be BYOB". If that isn't making you hungry and wanting to try EAT then I don't know what will. 

7. Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe - Ok, so I just call this place Panola Street Cafe. It is located Uptown (near Tulane's campus) and is a great little cafe which serves hearty breakfasts. They have the best biscuits and are pretty affordable! My roommates and I used to go all the time Freshman year! Also on my list of items I love? The Banana Walnut pancakes!

8. Ruby Slipper - My friend Annie recommends this little Magazine Street spot for brunch! They use locally sourced ingredients and I've been told they make a great shrimp and grits, which is a brunch staple in the south. 


1. Willie Mae’s Scotch House - THE BEST fried chicken in the United States (aka the world). RANKED. In the 9th ward, but worth the trek. Only open for lunch and cash only. The chicken has the best breading known to man and every piece is moist chicken goodness. The potato salad and peas as a side are also pretty bangin’, and the homemade corn bread. $$ - Cash only.

4. GB’s - burgers made from beef hand-ground fresh every morning.  Delicious toppings, on Carrolton uptown near Camellia Grill. I recommend the cheeseburger with cheddar and bacon. Enjoy with an Abita beer on the balcony. $$

5. St. James Cheese Company - open only for lunch this Prytania St. Uptown establishment offers the best cheese in New Orleans. Get a Beecher’s Cheddar or an Italian Fennel for a delicious lunch that will leave you wanting to purchase more cheese from their wide selection available to take-home. They also offer several cheese tray samplers, salads, and 

6. Zara's Little Giant Grocery - This Uptown grocery store on Prytania Street makes delicious po-boys, we would always pick up some pre-made provisions from here before going to the Fly to hang out and sunbathe. I recommend if you are looking for a quick place to pick up some po-boys, or are looking for a picnic spread to bring to the Fly (the levy behind the Audubon Zoo where you can lay out, watch the boats pass on the Mississippi river, drink daiquiris, and peel Crawfish)

7. The Milk Bar - This Uptown sandwich shop has some really great milkshake and sandwich options. We used to frequent this place a lot before heading to the Fly (see description for Zara's above). My favorites were the Black & White milkshake and the Christmas in July sandwich (turkey, spinach, brie, tomato, mozzarella cheese, and cranberry sauce) or the Clooney's Choice (chicken, avocado, roasted red pepper, red onion, mozzarella, cilantro, and lemon mayo). Is your mouth watering yet? Oh and they also serve salads. I guess.

8. Mother's - I hesitate to put this on the list because they are pretty well-known. However, I really do like their ham and their gravy is pretty spectacular. In my opinion they are a little over-priced considering it's cafeteria style, but their food really is pretty delicious and you will not leave hungry. They are also conveniently located downtown in the business district. 

9. Crabby Jack's - This recommendation comes from my friend Catharine. She recommends the Fried Green Tomato Po-Boy (I just love fried green tomatoes). 

10. Dat Dog - They have a couple locations now, I always used to frequent the Uptown location on Feret Street but there is also a store on Frenchman street that I recently visited. I love the kielbasa dogs but they also have Crawfish dogs, Alligator Sausage, and I have heard their vegetarian sausage is pretty yummy. The white trash fries are also pretty amazing, if not indulgent. They are cash only, but there is an ATM inside. They also have a great beer selection. 

11. The Company Burger - This casual spot on Feret Street is great for lunch or a casual dinner. My friend Annie recommends getting a single burger with a fried egg. They also have delicious fries and a homemade mayo bar with all kinds of different flavors you can add to your burger. 


1. Jacques Imo’s - This establishment is located Uptown on Oak Street. They have DELICIOUS Cajun food. You can possibly even eat in the back of a pick-up truck out front, and to get to the tables you need to walk through the bustling kitchen. The alligator cheesecake appetizer is divine and the Crawfish etouffee hits the spot. They are so friendly here too, its common they will send your table a free bottle of wine or dessert! I also absolutely adore the buttery garlic cornbread they bring to every table. If you have a party of 5 or more make a reservation because they do book up quickly! 

2. Juan’s Flying Burrito -  (I prefer the Mid-city Location) - Delicious Tex-Mex cuisine. And may I recommend the berry margaritas? Cheese enchiladas and loaded nacho heaven. They also offer Crawfish Enchiladas or a fun enchilada trio of Crawfish, Chicken, and Steak. Can you tell I really like enchiladas? 

3. Ninja Sushi - My personal favorite sushi joint in New Orleans. Fresh seafood, unique rolls, decent prices, uptown location. I like the special crunchy roll or the soft shell crab. $$.

4. Dante’s Kitchen - Delicious Cajun restaurant. It is located Uptown and has a patio and hip interior.  The filet mignon trio is sooo good.. The three steaks come with a different topping each and creamy potatoes. The shrimp and grits appetizer is also mouth-watering. Leave room for a delicious dessert as well! They also bring you a skillet of cornbread and have season cocktail offerings which are definitely worth trying.

5. Maple Street Cafe - This small Uptown restaurant is nearby Tulane but is not a college establishment by any means. It's a little pricey but the mushroom ravioli are worth it. An intimate, small restaurant perfect for a date or quiet meal.

6. Irene’s Cuisine - This French Quarter Restaurant is nestled along one of the quieter streets and doesn't feel like it's walking distance from Bourbon Street (which it is). They often have a long wait, so make a reservation. They specialize in French/Cajun cuisine. The duck is really good with mashed sweet potatoes and a piano player performs while you eat. The Baked Alaska dessert is also pretty sweet.

7. Superior Grill - This Mexican restaurant is located in the Garden District right on the street car line. They can accommodate large groups but be sure to make a reservation (and if you're going near Mardi Gras, forget about it). They have a great happy hour and delicious guacamole, queso and margaritas. I recommend getting a few appetizers for the table, some margaritas or sangria, and the enchilada's suizas. You will not leave hungry.

8. Superior Seafood - Owned by the same owners at Superior Grill, this seafood place on St. Charles has a great happy hour with oysters on special. They are a little pricier than Superior Grill but if you're looking for fresh seafood in a fun atmosphere look no further. They are also located right off the streetcar and can accommodate large groups, but make a reservation.

9. Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar - This oyster restaurant located right off Bourbon Street in the French Quarter has the BEST oysters in the city (in my opinion). They are right across the street from the more famous Acme Oyster House, but I personally think Felix's is much better. They have a great selection of Abita draft beers and po-boys as well. The perfect spot for a casual dinner right off Bourbon. 

1. La Crepe Nanou - Crepes, a french staple, get a cajun twist in this Uptown eatery. I recommend the avocado salad, duck entree, and dessert crepes for a perfect meal. The setting is romantic with tinkle lights everywhere and a small intimate environment. $$$

2. Creole Creamery - homemade ice cream with unique flavors. Uptown on Prytania. I like the 4-mini scoop sampler. Try the Black and Gold Crunch, Lavender,  Red Velvet Cake, and Cream Cheese. So good you’re gonna wanna do the challenge and get your name on the wall! $

3. Cafe du Monde - This is a classic destination. They are open 24/7 and my friends and I actually used to like going to get beignets after a night on Bourbon Street! Their chicory coffee is a must try while in New Orleans and obviously you need to get an order of beignets, which will arrive covered in copious amounts of powdered sugar. I also love dipping the beignets in the cafe au lait and then drinking the coffee which has been sweetened from the powdered sugar. 

4. Sucre - This Magazine Street bakery offers upscale baked goods, chocolates, and ice cream. I love buying the chocolates or pralines to give as presents as they are so pretty and many of their designs are representative of New Orleans. They also offer places to sit in the chic shop so it is a good place to go for dessert if you've had dinner on Magazine Street and want to walk around before having a dessert. I also love looking at the specialty cakes they make in the display windows, some are so intricate that its amazing to think someone is able to create that! Also, if you're a fan of macaroons, these are the best in NOLA!

Happy Hours & Bars

1. F&M’s Patio Bar and Grill - Ok the only reason this is on here is for the cheese fries. This is a bar. But the cheese fries are SOOOO good. I’ve gone here just to get fries. The drink specials blow but the fries make Tulane kids flock to Tchoupitoulas St. just to dance, hang out on the patio, and eat greasy delicious fries. $

2. Bruno's - Another fun Uptown bar. They also have amazing cheese fries and provide a great place to watch a Saint's game. They also have cheap drinks, and a full bar menu if you get hungry.

3. Pat O'Brien's - This classic bar on Bourbon Street is popular with tourists and locals for special occasions. It is my favorite Bourbon Street bar and I don't consider my trip to NOLA complete without a trip to the piano bar. The establishment actually features a restaurant, a courtyard patio bar, an indoor bar, and a piano bar. Don't be deterred by a long line at the piano bar, they seat you in the piano bar so you have to wait for a table but it's worth it. They will also come around and offer you drinks while you wait in line so order a hurricane (their specialty, but be careful, they're strong!) and make friends in line while waiting to go in. The patio bar is also fun if you don't have enough time to wait for the piano bar and features a fountain with fire! Always a good time with a fun group of friends. Don't forget to bring $1 bills and a pen to request songs at the piano bar.

4. The Goldmine Saloon - This bar is one block off Bourbon Street and has a $5 cover charge. But it is the best spot for late night dancing off Bourbon and the party goes all night long. I recommend paying in cash because sometimes the bartenders are very busy and will serve people who hold up cash faster, so if you bring a card it might take awhile to get drinks and pay. Go there late in your night as it's the best place for your final stop before bed (and remember, NOLA has no last call, so the party can go very late on the weekends). Their specialty drink is a "Flaming Dr. Pepper" which is a shooter in which the bartender drops a shot of 151 Rum which has a splash of Everclear on top into a mug half-full of beer. The bartender will light the shot on fire right before they drop it in and then you have to chug the drink quickly. They are dangerous because you drink them fast and they really do taste like Dr. Pepper! Don't say I didn't warn you!

5. Mid-City Yacht Club - This bar boasts a nice patio and good food. One of the bartenders here even won Best in Nola a few years ago, and since this is a drinking city that is impressive. 

6. The Bulldog - This casual bar has two locations: Uptown and Mid-City. When I was in school I frequented the Uptown  location, especially on Wednesday nights, known as "Pint Night". On Wednesday you get to keep all the pint glasses of the beers you buy, they all feature fun a unique designs so bringing home the glasses are a fun souvenir. Additionally if you collect 13 glasses and bring them in you get a free t-shirt and the bar will donate $10 to an animal charity. They are animal friendly and people often bring their dogs on the patio, which features heaters and blankets in the colder seasons to make sitting outside comfortable all year long. There is an inside to the bar, but the patio is where it's at. 

7. Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone - This is one of the coolest bars in the city, located inside the Hotel Monteleone. The bar is in the center of a moving carousel so while you sit at the bar you actually slowly rotate around the room (about one rotation every 15 minutes, it goes slow so you won't get dizzy!). I highly recommend getting a Ramos Gin Fizz (a famous NOLA cocktail) as they make them so well here! 

8. The Boot - This is THE BAR for Tulane and Loyola students. Located right off Tulane's campus Uptown they are a college bar which has great dance music and cheap drinks. On Tuesday you pay a $5 cover for 50 cent drinks all night. On Wednesday and Friday they have Happy Hour from afternoon till 9pm. They have tables outside and are a great place to go early for cheap drinks, or end the night dancing if you're out Uptown. If you're not in college, I'd say check it out just to see it but you might feel a little out of place later in the night.

9. Snake and Jake's Christmas Club Lounge - Also known simply as "Snake and Jake's". This Uptown Dive bar is one of my personal favorites and frequently voted one of the best dive bars in the country. If you are not a fan of dive bars, I'd probably go elsewhere, but if you're down for a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood experience look no further. They sometimes offer Schlitz beer for 25 cents a can (yes, they still sell Schlitz) and the owner's dogs are frequently running around the bar. They are open very late (Tulane students will usually go there around 3 or 4am and stay till it's sunlight). So this is the perfect, chill place to end your night Uptown. 

10. Cooter Brown's - This Uptown sports bar has large tables, beer pitcher specials, and decent oysters on the half-shell. This is a great place to meet friends to watch a sporting event over a couple of drinks. 

11. Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar - Lucy's is located in the Centeral Business District (CBD) and is half-restaurant, half-bar. On Saint's game days they project the games onto the wall of a building across the street and people all gather to enjoy drink specials and cheer on the Saints. They also offer fun specialty drinks, the Shark Attack and Blue Whale, which are topped with an actual whale or shark toy. They play dance music on weekend nights and it's an awesome place to go out and have fun with a group of friends. Fun fact, I once saw the Saint's head coach Sean Peyton there. 

12. Igor's - This dive bar located on St. Charles has some delicious spicy Bloody Marys and is a go-to for getting drinks during Mardi Gras. This place is definitely more of a local joint, so if you're looking to go outside the tourist bubble stop here!

13. The Columns - This classic hotel located on St. Charles is a perfect example of traditional New Orleans architecture. The hotel has a bar located on the first floor which has a happy hour that is popular with local professionals and Tulane students. I usually would get a gin & tonic and sit out on the big front porch. It's the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail while watching the Streetcar go by. 

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