New Orleans Guide

a Jazz Fest weekend filled with more food than music

This past weekend I had the pleasure of finally checking out New Orleans, Louisiana – a city that has long been on my bucket list to visit. When my parents proposed a double date weekend trip to check out Jazz Fest, it seemed like a no-brainer. Sure, festival weekend is usually focused on the music, and we saw some absolutely incredible performances, but take me to a city like NO, and I am solely focused on the food. Below I’ve outlined where we stayed, all of the restaurants we visited, the dishes we ate, and the drinks we drank. Thanks to all of you, this list is even more extensive with recommendations of spots we didn’t have time to check out.  While we definitely packed it in for just a 3-day visit, I could’ve spent a week there seeing all there is to see and eating at all the restaurants on my extensively long list that we didn’t get to hit. If you’re going any time soon, feel free to find room in your suitcase for me!

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Accommodations:

We stayed at the Henry Howard Hotel. A very cute and new boutique hotel right outside the Garden District. 

Restaurants:

Where we went:

  • Saba: in Uptown, plays homage to Israeli food and unlike majority of the meals you’ll have in New Orleans. Truly, one of the best dining experiences I’ve had. Our order: tabbouleh, pickled vegetables, wood-roasted asparagus, tahini hummus (a must), blue crab hummus (a must), lamb kebab, hanger steak, falafel entrée, shakshouka, and seasoned fries. To drink: the chapter – mezcal, chocolate, coconut, Baharat (extremely interesting and very delicious) and a pineapple eucalyptus soda
  • Cochon: in Downtown, traditional Southern menu filled with the delicious smell of smoked meats. There is also a butcher shop next door-for sandwiches, and a cold beer (Cochon Butcher). Our order: wood-fired oysters (their famous dish), fried alligator, smoked pork ribs, Louisiana chochon with cabbage & cracklins, and oven-roasted gulf fish

 

  • Bachanal: in Bywater, an outdoor bar with tons of wine, food (charcuterie boards looked great), and music
  • Josephine Estelle: in Downtown, combining classic Italian with American South dishes. Our order: meat & cheese board (a great one), calamari, scallop crudo, meatballs, oysters, bucatini, scallop entrée, and the peanut butter bundino (an absolute must). To drink: only in dreams – mescal with passion fruit and a kick of spicy chili liquer
  • Coquette: Southern contemporary cuisine with a focus on locally sourced product and an ever changing. An absolutely incredible overall meal. They also have the “put yourselves in our hands” option, which is a five course blind tasting. Our order: smoked catfish dip, grilled gulf shrimp, grilled baby carrots, pork & shrimp stew (one of the best dishes I’ve ever had in my life), smoked beef short rib, asparagus & crabmeat, and the chocolate pudding dessert. To drink: strawberry rhubarb soda mocktail, and the “not so G&T” mocktail with tequila
  • Willa Jean: in Downtown with Southern-inspired dishes delicious for brunch. Famous for their cookies and biscuits. Our order: pimento cheese starter, sausage & egg biscuit, pork shoulder grits, beet salad, and yogurt parfait. To drink: frozen mint julip and a caf’d Lebowski (vodka, kahlua, espresso, and cream)
  • Molly’s Rise & Shine: a super casual and old-school themed breakfast spot near the Garden District. Our order: grand slam mcmuffin (pork, hashbrown, onions, and cheese on an English Molly's 3.jpgmuffin), and the roasted carrot yogurt (granola, berries, carrot marmalade, lemon, and mint – one of the most interesting and delicious things I’ve ever tasted)
  • Peche: in Downtown, focused on seafood and local fisherman/farmers. Our order: hushpuppies (definitely try), seafood gumbo, whole grilled fish special (we had flounder in a Cajun butter sauce), fried brussel sprouts, and the salted peanut pie
  • Hot Tin: rooftop bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel with great views of the city and tasty cocktails. My order: Paloma plus jalapeño bitters

 Jazz-Fest Food:

  • Prejeans pheasant, quail, and crawfish gumbo – absolutely delicious, although very hot for the weather at the festival
  • Café du Monde: New Orleans staple that has a tent at the festival serving their famous beignets
  • Crawfish Monica: the festival’s most popular dishes and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It is basically an extra creamy, flavorful, and spicy mac and cheese with the addition of crawfish
  • Coffee ice cream pops: yes, these are as delicious as they sound

Suggested, but unable to go:

  • Auction House Market: large food hall with multiple vendors
  • Ruby Slipper: great brunch option
  • Company Burger: classic burger joint has a location uptown & downtown
  • Avo: in Uptown, regional Italian restaurant for dinner
  • Shaya: in Uptown, modern Israeli cuisine married with Southern flavors good for lunch and/or dinner
  • Commander’s Palace: in the Garden District and a landmark. Good for lunch/dinner or jazz brunch
  • Irenes: in French Quarter, classic NO food
  • Roch Market: food hall with multiple vendors
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House: casual classic NO food
  • B’s: in French Quarter, vibrant Louisiana food
  • Domilisies: in Uptown and a small yellow house, casual spot famous for the po’boys
  • Paladar 511: neighborhood restaurant featuring house made pastas, pizzas, and seafood
  • Jack Rose: in the Garden District in the Pontchartrain Hotel with a mix of New Orleans, Italian, and Spanish dishes
  • Daily Beet: in Downtown, healthy spot for salads, bowls, smoothies and juices
  • Meril: in Downtown, restaurant with an open kitchen and large bar featuring a wide variety of food styles
  • Parkway: casual spot known for the Poor Boy sandwich
  • Saffron: in Uptown, Indian cuisine
  • Borgne: in Downtown, NO classics focused on seafood. Home of the longest bar in NO
  • Restaurant Revolution: in French Quarter, modern, upscale, classic Cajun / creole cuisine
  • Dat Dog: multiple locations, casual spot for hot dogs
  • Mahony’s Po-Boy Shop: in Uptown & French Quarter, casual spot with great po-boys
  • Port of Call: casual spot in French Quarter with delicious burger
  • Turkey & The Wolf: casual spot for fun sandwiches
  • Justine: fun & hip new spot for dinner
  • District Donuts: handmade donuts where everything is made from scratch. Offers donuts, breakfast, sandwiches, and sliders

 

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