New Orleans’ infamous restaurant scene can be overwhelming. In fact, even individual neighborhoods are dense with so many unique, locally owned bars and restaurants that it’s hard to know where to begin!
Locals have time to do the legwork — some consider it a personal badge of victory to try all the restaurants in any given area; others keep detailed spreadsheets of restaurants they’ve tried and where to go next (seriously!). With the French Quarter in mind, here’s a list of a few standout places where locals eat in New Orleans.
Brennan’s — Brennan’s is a fine-dining institution we’d recommend any meal of the day (and any day of the year)… but locals know it’s all about their breakfast. With a James Beard-nominated chef at the helm and fresh off a stunning interior renovation, Brennan’s is the most unforgettable place to start your day. But maybe not the healthiest…you must order the Bananas Foster.
EAT New Orleans — This sunny space is also BYOB, but dishes like Eggs Cochon (pulled pork cake over mustard greens, two poached eggs, Creole hollandaise, with grits and a homemade biscuit) are enough to give you a buzz.
The Ruby Slipper — With multiple locations across town, this locally-owned chain specializes in New Orleans style breakfast delicacies in a casual setting. Choose from classic Louisiana dishes like BBQ Shrimp & Grits or opt for Tex-Mex inspired plates like Migas (egg scramble with onion, tomato, cilantro, pepper jack cheese and spicy chorizo).
For more breakfast and brunch recommendations, check out our sister property Bienville House’s picks for the 10 Best Spots for Brunch in the French Quarter.
Criollo — Locals know that lunch is where it’s at, and locals who work in downtown New Orleans flock to our very own Criollo Restaurant. It’s a great backdrop for doing business or just relaxing for a leisurely lunch. The Criollo Classic Reuben Sandwich and Smoked Turkey Waldorf Salad with Granny Smith applies, roasted walnuts and seedless grapes are two dishes that our regulars keep coming back for.
Felipe’s Taqueria — Fast, affordable, and insanely tasty, Felipe’s is a local chain with a convenient location in the heart of the French Quarter (and just steps from our hotel). Pop in for hearty Mexican dishes like chimichangas and Baja-style tacos.
Green Goddess — With an extensive list of gluten-free and vegan menu items (plus plenty for picky carnivores), Green Goddess is a healthy choice for lunch that doesn’t feel in the least bit like a sacrifice. Case in point: the kale salad tossed with sugar cane vinaigrette, roasted nuts, barberries topped with burrata, roasted beets, and crispy kale garnish.
Latitude 29 — Get there for happy hour and stay for dinner amid the coolest retro interior and Polynesian-inspired fare. The drinks are like a vacation in a glass! Whether you need gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or carnivorous options, you’ll be in luck. Our favorites? Well, it’s hard to pick just one, but we love starting with the Taro Chips (served with sides of Kimchi Ketchup & Sriracha Mayo), followed by the Green Curry (perfect for vegetarians!) or the Tahitian Steak Frites.
Port of Call — One word: hamburger. Head to this spot at the edge of the French Quarter at the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Dauphine Street for legendary burgers. A loaded baked potato and jukebox tunes are the perfect sides.
Verti Marte — French Quarter locals have relied on this 24 hour deli for years. Perfect for late night takeout or delivery, Verti Marte serves up a variety of po-boys as well as vegetarian options. A favorite among locals is the All That Jazz, a sandwich stacked with ham, turkey, sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, and Swiss and American cheeses.
The Best Chef In New Orleans?
With so many incredible places to eat in the Crescent City, locals go where they know the food will be amazing.
Our very own Chef Diego of Criollo Restaurant will be cooking up a signature dish for the 7th annual Best Chefs of Louisiana Fundraiser on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017. This event gives recognition to select chefs and honors them for their contribution to the New Orleans culinary scene. The 2017 charities benefiting from this fundraiser are the ACFNO culinary scholarships fund and We Heart Veterans, which helps aging wartime military veterans, as well as widows of wartime veterans, with essential aid to insure them a better quality of life. In addition to the amazing food, the party will feature live entertainment, live and silent auctions and an open bar. Learn more and buy tickets.