New Orleans Dining Adventure

NOAL French Market - food samplingWhen visiting a new city, I always try to go on a food tasting tour. It is an excellent way to explore the city and learn about its history and unique foods.

Going on a food tasting excursion is especially important in New Orleans due to the unique fusion of cuisines.

We went with Urban Adventure on their “French Quarter Food Tour” and we loved it. The food choices were excellent and a good representation of New Orleans Cajun and Creole food.

Interesting Facts: Most bars offer to-go cups for cocktails. You can even get a  daiquiri at a drive-through.

NOLA Daiquiris drive thruOur guide Butch was a wealth of information about NOLA culture and history. He kept us entertained, and by the end of the tour we were stuffed. Some of the foods we tried were gator sausages, muffuletta sandwiches, Pralines cookie, and Beignets.

We also went exploring on our own and tried many restaurants and bars. The one thing we didn’t do is go to Cade Du Monde even through it was on everyone’s must-do list. The lines were just too long for our taste.

Read at the end of this article about all the unique New Orleans foods.

Read the full story about the city of New Orleans here.

Breakfast, Lunch, and snacks

Evan’s Creole Candy Factory

NOLA PralinesThis small place at the beginning of the Fench Market makes their sweets and pastries right on premises. We got to watch how they make the Pralines and tried several recipes. I especially enjoyed the Rum Pralines cookie. You can also avoid the long lines and get the famous Café Du Monde Beignets here.

Interesting Facts: Did you know that the nuns brought the Pralines recipes with them from France but had to get creative with ingredients from the new world.

Breakfast

I love breakfast and can’t skip it, so I always look for a good café or restaurant to enjoy my favorite meal. While roaming the French Quarter, I came across Café Fleur De Lis, Brennan's, Envie Espresso Bar & Café. You can always try your luck at Café Du Monde too.

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If you are just looking for a hot drink and a pastry, go to the PJ's Coffee or CC's Coffee House – both are local chains.

Loretta’s Authentic Pralines

NOLA - French Market - BeingetsThis stand inside the French Market offers all kinds of Pralines, but we tried their Praline stuffed Beignets. They were extra tasty with the added bonus of avoiding the crowds at Café Du Monde.

Interesting Facts: The right way to eat a Beignet, Standing up and bent forward a little -  with the wind coming from behind you. This way the powdered sugar will fly away from you. 

Frank’s Restaurant

NOLA Muffuletta sandwichA little Italian restaurant on Decatur Street with delicious sandwiches. We tried their muffuletta sandwiches and we loved them.

The muffuletta was invented by the owner of the Central Grocery Co next door, but that place is always crowded with long lines.

The sandwich is made on the Italian muffuletta loaf with layers of marinated olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. It is usually served warm.

Frank’s has a second-floor dining room with a large window overlooking the French Market and the statue of Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans.

NOLA 801 Royal Pub801 Royal

A small pub at the corner of Royal and St Anne’s streets with great snacks and drinks. For a small mid-day meal, we tried their Alligator Sausages with Creole mustard and a cup of Gumbo.

Dinner

The French Quarter has way too many choices for dinner it is almost hard to find the right place. So we went on a little food safari and found the following gems.

Antoine’s Restaurant

NOLA - Antoine's restaurant - LambOne of the most elegant establishments in New Orleans with delectable dishes, excellent wine selection, and delicious desserts. It is also the oldest restaurant in town with many celebrities dining here.

The service was also above par. Our waiter was very attentive and helped us enjoy a leisurely meal.

We tried the Fried Louisiana Oysters, Bisque with crawfish, Prime center cut lamb chops, and Grilled chicken breast (avoiding the fancy French names). For dessert, we had the Omelette Alaska Antoine, their signature dish.

Interesting Facts: Turtle and Alligator are abundant in Louisiana, so expect to find a lot of turtle soup at, fried alligator, alligator po'boys, and alligator sausage.

All in all, it was a great experience, but on the pricy side. Be ready to pay around $100 per person for this excellent meal.

Be warned that everyone at dinner was well-dressed with their Sunday best. You also definitely need a reservation.

Muriel’s Bistro

NOLA - Muriel's Bistro - BarOnce we saw the building from outside, we new wanted to explore this place – the online ratings were also excellent. The indoors style was impressive too – and if you set on the balcony, you get a commanding view of Jackson Square.

Interesting Facts: Despite its reputation for Cajun cuisine, the predominant type of New Orleans cooking is Creole.

NOLA - Palm Court Jazz ClubWe started our meals off with the Seafood Gumbo. Our main course was Pecan Encrusted Baby Drum and the Cajun Demi-Poulet. For a great finish, we shared the Pain Perdu Bread Pudding and the Vanilla Bean Créme Brûlée.

Everything came out perfect and the service was excellent. I highly recommend this restaurant for dinner.

Palm Court Jazz Cafe

Being in New Orleans, we had to visit a Jazz club. Palm Court was highly recommended, and it did not disappoint.

NOLA - Oceana - Taste of New OrleansThe Jazz band was excellent, and the food was great. We enjoyed a few drinks with our Red Beans and Rice with Garlic chicken, and a Jambalaya.

Oceana

We stumbled into Oceana by accident. We were tired, hungry and hot, so we found the closest place and went in for a relaxing lunch. We loved there enclosed courtyard where we sat and shared the “Taste of New Orleans” plate. The sampler was full of Creole jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, red beans & rice with smoked sausage.

Tableau

We visited Tableau in the evening, but we did not have dinner. We just wanted a place to enjoy a few drinks while admiring the view.

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e just picked our drinks from the downstairs bar and headed to the balcony on the second floor. We found out they served brunch every day and came back for breakfast.

Uniquely New Orleans

NOLA - Cafe Du MondeWhen you go to New Orleans, you have to try some of the foods that are unique to this town or were invented here.

Interesting Facts: Despite its reputation for Cajun cuisine, the predominant type of New Orleans cooking is Creole.

Beignets: Fried dough covered in powdered sugar - sometimes filled with Praline. We also tried mini- Beignets at some coffee shops.

Praline: Candy discs made with sugar, butter, cream and, locally grown pecans. The recipes evolved over the years to accommodate locally available ingredients.

NOLA - The Hurricane at Pat OBriensPo’ boy: Giant subs stuffed with fried shrimp, roast beef, or crawfish.

Sno-ball: A Soft, fluffy, shaved ice with unique flavors like nectar, wedding cake, or cotton candy.

King cake: A huge ring danish with lots of toppings and sometimes stuffings.

The Hurricane: A huge glass of rum, with flavors and two straws to share – and you can have it on the go.

Crawfish Etouffee: A buttery, rich and flavorful sauce, fresh crawfish tails and herbs and spices.

Oysters: Served in many styles but always delicious.

Interesting Facts: Starbucks is a rare sight in NOLA. Instead you will find PJs or CC’s coffee house around every cordner. 

NOLA - French Market - Gator on a StickMuffuletta Sandwich: Made on an Italian muffuletta loaf with layers of marinated olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. It is usually served warm.

Debarge: A springy butter cake (in various flavors) layered with custard, chocolate pudding, lemon curd or even ganache.

Alligator Sausage: No description needed. You can buy it on a stick to eat on the go.

Red Beans and Rice: A staple dish made with rice, red (kidney) beans, whatever veggies available. For added flavor, add leftover pork (or bones).

NOLA - Jambalaya on plateInteresting Facts: Red Beans and Rice were invented as a Monday meal to use up leftovers from Sunday’s dinner.

Gumbo: A stew often made with okra, chicken, cured pork products or seafood, and (usually) rice - with many variations depending on what's available at the time.

Boudin: This Cajun sausage uses a highly seasoned meat and ‘dirty’ rice filling and is sometimes smoked.

Jambalaya: Plates filled with rice, smoked sausage, shrimp, and chicken in a spicy sauce.

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