I saw this question asked on Fodor’s the other day by a group that was planning a trip to New Orleans wanting to know what were the favorite New Orleans restaurants for locals. Strangely enough some of the best restaurants that are touted to the tourist trade are local favorites as well. In fact, I don’t think there is any really great restaurant in New Orleans that you’ll find strictly tourists. Even on Bourbon Street. I mean some of the best restaurants in the city that locals love to frequent are on or near Bourbon Street.
I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that the French Quarter is a living and breathing neighborhood with many great restaurants where you’ll find many locals inhabiting. New Orleans is not a Disneyland where things are built for tourists. Restaurants are opened to cater to the locals really because the locals are very particular about the way they eat and they are what keep these establishments going pin the off seasons.
I would say that folks in New Orleans who were born and raised here or have lived here for a long time have what I would call an educated palate. When we visit other places in the states they better have good food. I mean here even little hole in the wall places have good and inexpensive food.
What are favorite New Orleans restaurants for locals?
Here are five top places I recommend:
This is in the French Quarter and has great local food at great prices and locals love going there. For a unique drink have the refreshing Pimm’s Cup.
A little pricey but this is a favorite spot for locals on Friday afternoons. Gentlemen, wear a jacket. You can do well with just getting some appetizers. Also in the French Quarter.
Again a little pricey but go for lunch and get some appetizers. They sometimes have 25 cent martinis during the day. This is a short streetcar ride and two blocks from the line in the Garden District. Drinks? Have a Sazerac.
Another on in the Quarter with a 150 year old history. Many of the quintessential New Orleans traditional foods came from this place. If you are trying to keep costs down then I suggest going here for lunch.
If you want to wander away from the Quarter and take a nice streetcar ride uptown this award winning restaurant is the place to go. It is in the Riverbend area where there are many good restaurants two blocks from the streetcar line. This place is perhaps the top one in this area and one of the top restaurants in the city. Because it’s away from downtown you will find mostly only locals there.
OK and I’ll throw in one more.
You’ll need a cab to get here. It’s not far from the Quarter but it’s far enough that you would not want to walk it. Leah Chase is a local institution as well as an award winning chef. Here you’ll find basic New Orleans food Creole and soul food Southern style. Mrs. Chase does not hide herself in the kitchen. You’ll see her overseeing the whole operation so you can personally thank her for the great meal
There you go. Authentic New Orleans food at your favorite New Orleans restaurants for locals. You can’t miss with these places. Yum, yum.
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