Fabian and I got engaged and married in New Orleans. We’ve visited 5 times and plan on many more trips in the future — we love this city and its unique energy that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
In New Orleans, people care about the good things in life: food, booze and fun. Their emerging food scene is a testament to this — it’s got a joie de vivre that mirrors the city itself: joyful, celebratory and unexpected.
If you’re looking to visit the crescent city, think about adding some of these places to your list.
3200 Burgundy Street, Bywater
With a seasonal and ever-changing menu that features more vegetable dishes than meat ones — this was one of the most original menus I’ve come across in a long time. High ceilings and cool decor give a boisterous buzz to this Bywater restaurant. While some of the veggie dishes use meat as a flavor accent, you can find plenty without too. And the cocktails are as adventurous as the food.
1506 South Carrollton Avenue, Uptown
This cute little bistro with an emphasis on quality barbecue in the Uptown/Carrollton neighborhood blew me away with everything I tried. Fabian’s smoked brisket poboy was fantastic but my broccoli parmesan (think eggplant parm but with broccoli) was a stand out. A bangin’ use of broccoli if I ever saw one. All meats are cured and smoked in-house and their veggies are kept fresh and seasonal.
123 Baronne Street, CBD
I went to Domenica for one thing. And while the pizzas and antipasti plates looked incredible, I zoned in on the whole head of cauliflower. It sounds a little underwhelming, but with its charred top and side of whipped feta, this dish was an outstanding and ballsy use of the vegetable.
800 Magazine Street, Warehouse District
Seafood at its best by chef Donald Link. Great sides. Great wine. Attentive and generous staff. We celebrated our anniversary here and it didn’t disappoint. One of my favorite meals of our most recent trip included tuna sashimi, a Louisiana shrimp roll, fried brussels sprouts with chili vinegar and roasted beets with horseradish cream.
St. James Cheese Company
5004 Prytania Street, Uptown
Wine and cheese — and lots of it. This light and airy cafe and shop stocks an overwhelming amount of cheese, a careful selection of wines and beers and provides a small menu of sandwiches, salads and tasting plates to eat in-house. The Gruyere grilled cheese with caramelized shallots and a glass of pinot noir really hit the spot after a day of travel delays and no lunch. I would go back here every week if I could. Bonus: their happy hour deal gets you a 3-cheese plate and a glass of wine for $15.
Located at the back of the Erin Rose pub, 811 Conti Street, French Quarter
Don’t be scared by the dive bar front. Head to the back of the Erin Rose pub to order off this short menu of creative poboys showcasing one fabulous vegan option made with sweet potato, greens and a black-eyed pea and pecan spread.
307 Exchange Place, French Quarter
An exciting menu for those suffering from fried seafood fatigue. Both vegan and omnivore-friendly, this place is all about fresh food with big flavor (the beet hummus was a fave all around). Snag an outdoor table in this quiet little laneway in the the French Quarter.
4201 Magazine Street, Uptown
This Vietnamese cafe offers classic banh mi sandwiches, salads and rice paper rolls with plenty of vegan options — all prepared with super fresh produce and tasty sauces to go alongside. Stop in for a refreshing lunch while shopping along Magazine Street.
625 Chartres Street, French Quarter
Romantic as heck with an eclectic menu and great vegetable sides. “Champagne and fries” is a menu item unto itself, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know — they’re all about keeping it both classy and fun. Excellent cocktails too.
2209 Magazine St, Uptown
Crazy and classic donut flavors all made in-house (watching them decorate is amazing) and great iced coffee. They also give a portion of their profits to children’s charity Crossroads NOLA. What’s not to love?
600 Poland Avenue, Bywater
This wine shop and bar has been on my list the past couple of trips to New Orleans and this time we finally made it. It was totally worth the wait.
Step 1: Enter the wine shop area, pick your wine (and cheese).
Step 2: Purchase the wine and hand over your cheese (they’ll plate it up with some bread and fixings and send it outside to you).
Step 3: Grab an ice bucket and wine glasses on your way outside.
Step 4: Score a table in the big backyard area and chill.
6500 Magazine Street
Located Uptown near Tulane and Loyola Universities, this tree-lined park is perfect for a stroll or jog in the early morning.
This kayak tour company took us on the Big Easy Bayou Tour — for two hours we leisurely paddled around Bayou St. John and the surrounding neighborhoods for a new perspective on the city. Part historic and cultural tour, part outdoorsy exercise — it was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.