Given how packed with tourists New Orleans promises to be when we visit in October, I’m not sure I want to share these excellent recommendations for where to eat and hear music (they come from a friend of my stepdaughter’s who lives there) but duty calls:
-Elizabeth’s – in the Bywater; they have praline bacon. It doesn’t get better than that.
-Surrey’s – in the Lower Garden District; solid breakfast standards with lots of NOLA twists on traditional stuff (ie crab & crawfish added into stuff)
-Cafe Atchafalaya – on Louisiana Avenue just south of Magazine Street – higher end brunch, amazing crab eggs benedict. Great place for a mimosa breakfast.
-Camellia Grill – delicious greasy diner w/ awesome omelets and waffles; in both the Quarter & way uptown near Tulane Univ.
-Cochon Butcher – in the Warehouse District (my tied-for-fave place, small & reasonably priced gourmet sandwich shop attached to Cochon, one of the nicest restaurants in town)
-Central Grocery – French Quarter (best muffalettas)
-I don’t have an opinion on the best po’boys … since I’ve heard five different answers for who has the best. But Mother’s in the Central Business District (just next to the French Quarter) is a good place to go to try out all the Cajun classics – po’boys, red beans & rice, jumbalaya, etc.
-Borgne – new restaurant from one of the best chefs in town (John Besh). It’s fantastic, but also pricey. This is right near the Superdome.
-Bacchanal – my other tied-for-fave place, in the Bywater. It’s fantastic food, served in a laidback backyard, with a wine shop out front so you can buy your own wine separately; live music plays in the backyard, too. Totally off the beaten path and really only known to locals, from what I can tell. The whole experience is a only-in-New Orleans kinda thing.
-The Joint – great BBQ, also in the Bywater
-Company Burger or Dat Dog – good, very casual food, in the Freret Street Corridor
-Acme Oyster House – in the French Quarter. If you want to get your oyster & crawfish fix, go here
I’d recommend going to Frenchman Street
on Saturday night – every Sat at 8pm
, John Boutte plays a set at d.b.a.
– he’s one of the top acts in NOLA right now, and is best known for singing the opening song in HBO’s “Treme.”
, across the street, another act, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, plays at the Spotted Cat
On Thursday nights, the Soul Rebels Brass Band plays at Le Bon Temps Roule, on Magazine Street in Uptown. I haven’t been but I’ve heard it’s fun!
Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers also plays every Thursday, at Vaughn’s in the Bywater. He’s very popular due to being on HBO’s Treme a lot. The one time I went to see him, Wendell Pierce (Bunk on The Wire) showed up b/c they’re friends; so, you never know who can show up at his set!
Every Tuesday, Rebirth Brass Band plays at the Maple Leaf bar in Uptown – its a late set but it’s so much fun.
Wednesdays, Treme Brass Band plays at the Candlelight Lounge in the Treme. Another good night of music.