in my pre-trip planning i asked some New Orleanean friends about food recommendations. bottom line – there is so much great food in NOLA – it should be called ‘The Big Easy’ because your belly is going to get BIG if you don’t take it EASY!
old classics that didn’t disappoint
i did make it to cafe du monde for a cafe latte & beinet AND to napoleon house for the muffaletta & pimms cup out on the patio. while these food-stops may not be original they should be essential on anyone’s food list for a definitive New Orleans experience.
in addition i had the occasional counter food – poboys, gumbo, daiquiri hurricanes & spicy bloody mary’s (which are all MUSTS for any visit to NOLA)
great new gastronomy
sylvain is a local favorite in the french quarter (locals sent us there!) serving fresh gastropub fare with a modern twist – delicious! and while i enjoyed the food & cocktails (try their homemade cola with dark rum!!) very much – the atmosphere is really awesome & authentic. it’s housed in a renovated carriage house with historic original doors, ceilings, walls & balconies. the tree-covered courtyard feels like a timeless New Orleans experience. GO! read these articles on sylvain @ nola.com & time.com
le foret was named “best new restaurant of the year” by New Orleans Magazine and has a menu featuring strong French technique and seasonal flavors. housed in a newly renovated historic building – le foret makes you feel relaxed in a truly indulgent setting. LOVED the food & the service! more on le foret @ myneworleans.com
BUT bar-none the BEST food experience was at “BarreFest” – a party that some local friendly folk invited us to. post-jazz fest we wandered over to “BarreFest” and were greeted with a feast of ribs, crawfish & rum punch. our new friends even offered lessons in proper deshelling of the crawfish – how’s that for southern hospitality?! SORRY – there is no formal website or press as of yet for “BarreFest”. you can’t make reservations…you just have to be in-the-know!
TRIP TIP – portions are large at a lot of the counter places – you should plan to share if you want to partake in as much food sampling as possible!