FOOD AND NIGHTLIFE IN THE BIG EASY
Written By Tom Connor
Here is everything you need to know uptown to downtown; Vegetarian and southern foods, Bars, beer, wine, and bourbon.
Grabbing a Bite
One of New Orleans’ best-kept secrets, The Green Goddess (307 Exchange Place at Bienville*, 504.301.3347) offers a modern (and amazingly tasty!) take on southern fusion with several veggie-friendly options and a drink menu that must be experienced to be believed. Further into the quarter, Angeli on Decatur (1141 Decatur Street at Governor Nicholls, 504.566.0077) also offers a vegetarian friendly menu just blocks from Café du Mond and the French Market.
New Orleans and Southern Eating
Don’t leave the city without sampling some of its world-famous local cuisine! For a classy evening, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen (416 Chartres* Street between Conti and St. Louis, 504.596.2530) offers a world-class menu designed by Chef Paul Prudhomme with an extensive bar menu. A little more informal, Fiorella’s Café (1136 Decatur Street at Governor Nicholls, 504.533.2155) offers a fun, informal atmosphere and unique New Orleans faire, including poboy sandwiches, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and more (be sure to try the fried pickles dipped in ranch as an appetizer). *Pronounced “Charters” or “Chart-ress,” depending on who you ask
Beer drinkers will have to check out the Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur Street at St. Louis), which offers a complete lunch and dinner menu along with several unique beers the restaurant brews onsite. Venturing outside of downtown, the Avenue Pub (1732 St Charles Avenue at Polymnia*) and the Bulldog Uptown (3236 Magazine Street at Pleasant) also offer impressive arsenals of beer from all over the world that are well worth the cab ride. While you’re in town, also be sure to sample some of Louisiana’s local microbrews (including Abita, NOLA, and LA-31) available at countless venues around the city.
Friends of Bacchus will love spending an evening at WINO, the Wine Institute of New Orleans (610 Tchoupitoulas* Street at Lafayette), which offers a wide variety of wines complete with appetizing pallet cleansers. Moving uptown, the extensive wine list and master-crafted appetizer menu at the Delachaise** (3442 St. Charles Avenue at Delachaise) also offers a classy and unique experience with a menu of wines that would take weeks to get through.
Bourbon and Liquor
Those looking for something stronger would love the Pirates’ Alley Café (622 Pirates Alley*) or the Russian-themed Pravda (1113 Decatur Street between Ursulines and Governor Nicholls), two small bars offering everything from beer to daiquiris to absinthe (yes, it’s legal). For those looking for a more wild time, Pat O’Brien’s Bar (731 Bourbon Street at St Peter) is a great first stop along Bourbon Street.
*Facing St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, Pirates Alley is the small alley on the immediate left hand side of the cathedral
Jazz and Live Music
Some of the best and most authentic music in New Orleans can be found on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny*, which is the section of the city immediately east of the French Quarter. Jazz seekers should check out Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen Street at Royal), which has jazz bands almost every night of the week, but also be sure to stop at the Spotted Cat (623 Frenchmen Street at Chartres**), DBA (618 Frenchmen Street between Royal and Chartres), and The Blue Nile (523 Frenchmen Street at Decatur). Since all four venues are mere steps from each other, many will spend whole evenings migrating back and forth between venues to catch multiple acts in the same night. Those in the mood to dance should also check out Mimi’s in the Marigny (2601 Royal Street at Franklin), where many locals go to enjoy live bands and DJ sets almost every night of the week. Just remember, though the Marigny is very close to the French Quarter, its streets can easily confuse newcomers, so it would be best for newbies to catch a cab both ways instead of trying to walk to these venues.
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