February 20th, 2012
11:45 AM ET
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and to us that means an excuse to down as many muffulettas, oysters, bowls of etouffee and gumbo, and glasses of brandy milk punch as we can fit in our mouths.

It's also a time for New Orleans' residents (and many fans) to celebrate the resilient spirit of a city that refused to give up, despite a series of tragedies that threatened to destroy their way of life forever.

Fill up a Hurricane glass, grab a beignet and get a taste of life in America's most delicious city.

What NOT to Do During Mardi Gras - Lu Brow advises not to bargain for beads and shares the importance of a Popeye's run with strangers

Five Cocktails I Enjoy Creating and CONSUMING During Mardi Gras - but Lu certainly knows how to cut loose, too

What we ate in New Orleans - and you should, too.

iReport: The best bites in New Orleans - We asked, and you shared your must-try foods all over town.

The food that got them through - New Orleanians love to talk...and argue...and educate...and opine about food. It's who they are, and what has kept them going, even when their very way of life was in danger of being swept away forever.

Mardi Gras mania across America

A Secret Supper - N'awlins style - join us at the table, won't you?

Mardi in the USA! - Can't make it to New Orleans? These restaurants have you covered.

Oysters stage a comeback after BP disaster - the region rallies after a man-made disaster

A toast to Leah Chase - raise a glass to the Queen of Creole Cuisine

Mardi Gras: Milk that packs a brandy punch - a recipe from New Orleans bar chef Lu Brow

Beyond Bourbon Street - the real fun is on Frenchmen St.

Alligator to z'herbes: NOLA food 101 - beignets, boudin and Ramos gin fizzes

Five Pig Parts You Should Be Eating - Chef Chris Lusk, the King of Louisiana Seafood steps ashore and goes whole hog

Daytime drinking in New Orleans - do the right thing and dive into a Brandy Milk Punch or a Pimms Cup

In New Orleans, the sno-ball must go on

The great gumbo debate - okra or file? How dark is your roux?

etouffee

Shrimp etouffee for the New Orleans soul - New Orleans food expert Poppy Tooker shares how this dish feeds your soul and your stomach

Beyond Raw: How New Orleans serves up oysters - charbroiled, Rockefeller and po' boys abound

Making gumbo with John Besh and James Carville - celebrating Gulf seafood with a family recipe

Five Reasons to Eat in Louisiana - gumbo runs deep when you're from the Pelican State

poboy

Whooooo boy! - po boy, poor boy, po-boy, po' boy or peaux boy? How do you spell this sandwich?

Muffuletta madness - if it's not cold from Central Grocery, is it still a muffuletta? (We vote YES!)

How to peel a head-on shrimp - a little lagniappe from a visit with Poppy Tooker

Five Tips on Making Homemade Sausage - the executive chef of New Orleans restaurant Sylvain shares his sausage secrets

Fear of not eating something - share your ultimate New Orleans restaurant crawl

Cooking with Carville - the Ragin' Cajun talks about the food that fuels him

Of Mardi Gras Krewes and King Cakes - we look at the sweet history of King Cake

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Creole • Events • Mardi Gras • New Orleans • New Orleans


soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Carn E. Vore

    All of New Orleans can go eat a d!ck. Katrina was a message: you're a city full of morons, policed by corrupt fascists, led by racists and criminals that you keep electing. Spend your tourist dollars in a more deserving place, sheeple.

    March 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
    • Moose

      That is the truth!!!!!

      March 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
    • Really?

      Spoon

      March 5, 2014 at 7:22 am |
  2. SixDegrees

    Just be aware that there isn't a single health inspector in the entire state of Louisiana. I have never witnessed such a long string of unspeakably filthy restaurants anywhere in the US, after decades of extensive traveling. Even several Third World countries have higher sanitation standards.

    You'd be better off just drinking a tall tumbler of grease mixed with flies.

    March 2, 2014 at 7:13 am |
  3. Melissa

    Wow, like the expensive places, don't you. Just a suggestion... avoid Muriel's unless you got money. They are expensive. Looking for good seafood in the Quarter? Try Felix's or Acme Oyster House. Yes, Couchon Butcher is a good place for sandwiches and I'd recommend it. Cafe Du Monde is an experience and the place is around 400 years old with good prices but be prepared for extremely long lines, especially during Mardi Gras unless you're someone like a food reviewer like these people.

    Avoid the tourist traps if you can. Most of my favorite places to eat are in Metairie (Bear's Po-Boys, Lakeview Harbour, New Orleans Seafood, Cathay Inn just for a few).

    March 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Melissa

      Oh and just a suggestion... Go to Papa's Pizza in Place Saint Charles. They make everything by hand the day of and have the best tomato sauce I've ever tasted.

      March 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
    • kenny rogers

      I hate you all. I miss food like this. I used to be a truck driver... new mexico and lousiana were my two favorite places to drive through when I was hungry. I knew I could always get a good solid tasty meal. the first time I made a delivery in new Orleans I had a crawfish boil at a restaurant... don't ask me the name I can't remember... it was the first time I had ever tried the mud bugs... this really cute brunette server showed me how to get the meat out of it and showed.... and even told me that I need to suck the juices out of the head. I remember this like it was yesterday...... this was over 16 years ago. our local walmart is the only place I can find to buy crawfish... even though they are frozen I still buy em up and do my boils here in Indiana. I gross out a lot of my friends till they try it. damn I miss traveling.

      March 2, 2014 at 4:31 am |
  4. palintwit

    Everyday is Mardi Gras for the tea party patriots ! But they prefer size 34 floppy clown shoes over colorful beads.

    March 1, 2014 at 10:51 am |
  5. Edible Reflections

    Reblogged this on Edible Reflections and commented:
    Got Mardi Gras on your mind? Check out the good tips on this post.

    March 1, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  6. Erika

    A must is to order from Verti Mart. Best drunk food ever! The portions are large and it is delivered by a guy on a bicycle. It is one of those places that I don't really want to see where my food is prepared...just want to eat it. Shrimp po' boy there is huge and delicious. It is cheap too! This place is a staple for me. The best kept secret in the Quarter!

    February 12, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  7. Nancy J Nagler

    I loved watching the Cajun chef many years ago. Most notably was the instance that the roux be properly made and not all the wine goes into the pot.
    My one change to eat Louisiana cuisine was a bust. I was at La Fayette, a stone's through from home of Tabasco sauce. But I'd have a rough trip from Houston. ("It was worse yesterday") and stomach was not happy. Enjoyed the company and the city.
    Madison Wisconsin has the international mix of eating places as befits a large university and government hub. New Orleans Take Out is a gem. But my first choice for a meal at the first Mardi Gras Party we had at work did not work well for me. Dirty Rice. Now how back could that be? I found out. I took the rest home and my dad loved it. At least I had plenty of beads and a life long fond memory, really.
    Wish I was a mounted police person, though I know they work hard during the festivities. I had a horse that was bomb proof. Though he's get back at me later, like spooking at a defenseless half melted snow drift.

    February 12, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  8. VodkaHayes

    Sorry, but you can't make this "food" look appetizing. You simply can't polish a turd.

    February 12, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Girl

      OMG how can you not like gumbo or crawfish po-boys? These are southern staples full or flavor. Just because you may be used to bland northern food don't knock southern cuisine.

      February 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • fiveliters

      I have to agree with you on that one...I'm pretty much meat and potatoes myself,but when I was in NO,I remember going to a restaurant with the giant shrimp/crawdads/etc. and my friends telling me "oh,you just bite the head off and suck the insides out,it's awesome!!"

      Yeah,sounds -real- appealing.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  9. Mobile - Birthplace of Mardi Gras

    Mobile, Alabama is the birthplace of Mardi Gras! We have the BEST Mardi Gras experience in the United States. It is extremely family oriented. You can take your child to the parades and truly ENJOY yourself. People set up tents and BBQ, boil seafood and fry fish. Its like a family picnic. Yes people are drinking but, its nothing like New Orleans. If you have never experienced Mardi Gras in Mobile, Al, I suggest you come down next year Friday-Fat Tuesday and HAVE A BALL!

    Why its BETTER than New Orleans: Its a lot SAFER. When a parade begins at 4:30 pm, you do NOT have to wait 4 hours for the parade to arrive to your viewing spot. Parking is FREE on the street. Our throws are better. In New Orleans, they mainly throw beads and glow sticks. In Mobile, we throw moonpies, beads, stuffed animals, toys, chips, cookies and candy. The crowd is not as overbearing and our streets are a lot cleaner. I challenge CNN to cover Mardi Gras in Mobile, AL, next year. You will see the difference.

    February 12, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • Reality Check

      But then you'd be in Alabama. And nobody wants that... unless you sleep with your sister.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • U can't B Serious

      LOLOL

      People from Alabama don't even want to go to Mobile. People want fun, not getting murdered by roaming street gangs.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • SnapinTurtle

      Thanks, "Mobile" that will be something to think about for the future. I always wanted to go to Mardi Gras, but I am always alone when I'm traveling, it doesn' bother me most of the time, but that atmosphere would concern me a little. Myabe Alabama is the solution.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • VodkaHayes

      Wake up, sir, Alabama is not a destination that anyone will go out of their way to visit. It's not the geography, it's the people.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Valerie

      Mardi Gras in New Orleans is for amateurs and idiot college kids who don't know one thing about life anyway.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • ET

        Mardi Gras in the Quarter/downtown may (now) be for idiot college kids but Mardi Gras anywhere in Greator NO is most definitely NOT for amateurs.

        February 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Ally

      St Louis has a huge Mardi Gras celebration. They tout that it's the second biggest behind NO. The downside...they hold it so early in the year it can be fairly chilly. Take this year for example.

      February 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  10. Katrina

    I tried to clean up the stench and disgust that is NOLA, but even a mighty hurricane could not clean out those stains.

    February 12, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • LOLcat

      lol..

      February 12, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  11. Jo

    This is why there's an obesity problem, most of that was very high carb food.

    February 12, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • Jeff S

      And yet high carbs dont equal obesity. Eating more calories than you burn leads to obesity.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • John T

      Strange, did they have red beans, rice, shrimp, sausage, etc 100.. 200.. years ago? But the masses have only been morbidly obese for the last couple decades and the cajuns drifted down to NOLA 250 years ago. There must be a connection...

      February 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  12. Groo

    If you're down in Nolans, a little place I like to stop in there is called the boilin' pot. Good shrimp and nice people in a kinda bar setting. You won't regret it.

    February 12, 2013 at 4:11 am |
  13. Beth

    I think I put on two lbs. reading this article. It all looks good!

    February 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  14. Melissa

    So I live in New Orleans, and I work in the hotel industry (ten years now).

    This article is written by someone that doesn't have a clue what they are talking about. You want good food at a reasonable price? Ask a local. Do not trust some article online. Hog's head cheese is nasty no matter what you do, but for those that like it, that's expensive. Cuchon is an expensive place to eat, as is Muriels. Or the author is getting paid to promote these expensive places to eat.

    Yes, eat at Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet. But trust me, they won't look as pretty as this photo. They are really messy.

    You'd be surprised but Voodoo BBQ has some of the most awesome chicken and andouille gumbo. The Gumbo Shack is another great place. For Po-Boys, hit Mothers (they're kind of expensive for what they are but their debris po-boys are awesome) or go to Danny and Clyde's in Metairie (it's a gas place but they make some of the best po-boys you will ever have).

    Bear's Po-Boys (its on the back end of Gennero's) is another excellent place with reasonable prices in Metairie. They make really good burgers too.

    King cakes aren't all they're cracked up to be, but I suggest the cheesecake version.

    You want good food? Ask a local. And if anyone tries to tell you that noodles are part of jumbalya or gumbo is smoking something. If those aren't made with rice, they aren't jumbalya or gumbo.

    February 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Linda

      Your post is great–thanks for sorting out some of the misinformation about where to eat and not spend big bucks. And finally someone else in the world thinks a king cake isn't that great. The cheesecake version sounds much better than the original version! We lived in Baton Rouge for awhile and sometimes I don't recognize the description of New Orleans in these travel articles.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:45 am |
      • Melissa

        Oh, I completely agree. I absolutely love sweets but king cake is too sweet for me. The cheesecake version can be hard to find because people grab it so quickly, but it's also the best. I hate how all these articles always suggest the expensive places to eat. Some of the best food is from the cheaper places. I wish people would try to remember that the French Quarter is a tourist trap.

        February 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Kay Jen

      Love your post! It's all so true. Plus, everyone knows Central Grocery has the best mufalettas in the world (yes, expensive, but so worth it).

      February 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  15. I'm_Hungry_for_chick_fil_A!

    do-look at tits

    don't do-not looks at tits

    February 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  16. randoid1234

    All you need to eat and drink in Mardi Gras can be summed up in two words: Four Loko.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  17. Aaron

    Everything you've ever heard about mardi gras in Nola is true, but that's only the half of it. The other half they were too embarrassed to tell you about. ;-)

    I love that town.

    February 21, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • Valerie

      As can be said about any city in the United States. You don't get out much, do you? Next thing we know, you'll be telling us, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".......hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

      February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  18. pink frogz

    Hmm, I lived many yrs in the N.O. area, but by far the most fun & best food I ever ate was when I lived in Jefferson Davis Parish. In the country folks. West of N.O. on the I-10, just drive, you'll find it. & Lafayette has some good times too. Braux Bridge also has some pretty good eaten places, that's west of N.O. as well. Just drive west young people, you'll find plenty nice folks & lotsa' gr8 eaten! The best food was those home-made meals. Lots of it, & soo good!! Boiled crawfish, French bread po'boys from a place in Lake Charles .. Peninos, or something like that, they also make gr8 "moochalotahs" as we call them. Bodin from several places, not the Bodin KIng in Jennings. Popeye's fried chicken, french fries, & biscuits. Yes, folks a fast food place but the one in Jennings, LA. was goood! O m g! I am soo miss'n the gr8 people, & the gr8 food! So if you've had a bad experience in N.O., I am sorry to hear that, perhaps, you should avoid the big city & try some oither places. If you treat people nice, I'm sure they will do the same for you. Happy Fat Tuesday!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Cookinwith the green

      You speak the truth. All the attention is on the east bank, but the west bank has sooo much to offer.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  19. Bleux Me

    I love the Quarter and have poopie pants.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  20. TD

    I am just curious, to the best of my knowledge. I have never seen any gulf shrimp or oysters in the super markets here in Colorado. Why?

    February 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • nimrod

      Farm raised from China is cheaper.

      February 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Dave836

      They are there. I live in CO too. They are a lot more expensive though and you have to look a little harder...

      February 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      They're expensive. Most places simply don't carry them. A good seafood outlet will either carry them or be able to order them for you, but you'll have to expend some effort to get past the mountains of vat-raised Chinese imports.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • ForeverLawst

      Try asking for COX SEAFOOD shrimp. They harvest gulf shrimp and package it in Tampa. Really quality stuff. Costco carries it in my area.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  21. Matt

    Mmm! All that food in those pictures are so good! I have had almost all of them and MMM!

    February 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  22. Yeah But Benny

    I really wish they had thrown in the Muffaletta and Brocatos Canolis on that list but when you go there ask for both people will help you get to them.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  23. Kristy

    Muriel's keeps coming up on lists. Obviously a tourist voted for that.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Ray From New Orleans

      Muriel's keeps getting on those list because its a very good restaurant..despite the fact its in the french quarter with all the tourists.It is a bit pricey but they do serve excellent food. Well worth the try.And I am a local.

      February 12, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  24. WHAT A DELIGHT THIS SITE IS

    thank you to all the chefs cooks and recipies that are available.

    February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  25. M

    I was treated to so poorly at Cochon that I couldn't recommend it to anyone. Otherwise, New Orleans is certainly home to the most interesting and tasty cuisine in the States- RIP Parasol's!

    February 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  26. Yeah But Benny

    Good plug for a few eateries but the list is endless in Nawlins, good food abounds and yes you aint supposed to eat this stuff every day. It's rich and decadent and satisfying. It's ashamed to see people here who go there and have to complain about how it isn't how THEY want it. It's NAWLINS for Christ sake, YOU aint that important there. Do like the City let's you or got to Colorado and grin instead of smile.......

    February 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  27. eliz

    first off, i love nola but it is not the end all be all of louisiana. i am from lafayette and we have a better mardi gras and a huge music scene. and the dancing! cajun and zydeco dancing, and swing! food's better, not as elegant as nola tries to be. much more family and good-time oriented. and not to mention all the mardi gras runs- or courirs. they are not even to be compared to spending your mardi gras stuck on a street watching floats go by

    February 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • billyo

      My wife and i, plus our friends love it in NOLA. i would especially like to visit other areas to experience the food, music and culture. To anyone that says you msut go to the 'named' eateries to experience good food is wrong. The locals i have met always recommend fantastic eateries!! We can't wait for next visit. PS, we are from the Chesapeake Bay region, so we know what good seafood is!

      February 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  28. chris from iowa

    Boobs?

    February 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Valerie

      Let me guess, you're 12 years old.

      Am I close?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  29. Robert

    I'm from Louisianna and went to mardi gras every year. Now I live in Oklahoma and couldn't make it to N.O. this year. So we went to Eureka Springs, Ark instead because it's close. Man was I surprised. It was much better than N.O. It was smaller but much more in the spirit of Marcia gras. Mardi gras in N.O. is just too big and impersonal now.

    February 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Robert

      *mardi gras* damn kindle

      February 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  30. blink44

    I don't know where you've been in NOLA, but obviously not to the better restaurants. And it's Cafe du Monde. There is crime in every city. It's the tourists that mess everything up in NOLA, a bunch of people who can't handle their liquor and don't know what good food is. And you obviously didn't go to the right places if you feel there were no "attractive" people. You were probably looking at the out of towners.

    As far as street performers go, is it really that big a deal? In SF, you have homeless people asking you for money every block, and when you don't have a quarter for them, they give you attitude. That's SO much better than being able to have a good time and bring your drink on the street with you instead of downing it at a bar or restaurant.

    February 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  31. far from Nawlins

    my heart aches am not in Nawlins this year for Mardis Gras.
    on the other hand I can see how some people don't like it; in fact I would prefer it if fewer people liked NOLA and Mardis Gras became smaller like it was 20-30 years ago. NOLA cant handle the throngs that visit it for Mardo Gras

    February 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  32. movement31

    new orleans is the dingle berries between americas but cheeks

    February 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  33. the breeze

    Don't forget to show your t1ts

    February 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  34. NOLADOESSMELLLIKEDOODOO

    THE BUTTHOLE OF AMERICA!

    February 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Richard

      The sooner global warming floods that welfare state sewer, the better.

      February 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • Adam

        Yes its not like New Orleans has hundreds of years of history, and culture with 1.3 million people living in its metro area. Its not like there are great historic landmarks on almost every corner, and its not like the city has a thriving movie industry, or has a huge offshore industry. Lets just blow up the levies and flood the city i live in right now.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:22 am |
      • bosmonkey

        Richard... You really deserve your nickname. D*ck.

        February 21, 2012 at 8:35 am |
      • ET

        Wow. Just wow. I bet you even mistake yourself for a Christian. But obviously you aren't.

        February 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  35. dinak

    The agriculture department will force us all to eat chicken nuggets.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  36. Pinebelt Bob

    I worked in New Orleans for 28 years. Out of towners would ask, "Where's a good place to go in the French Quarter?" I'd answer, "I don't know, I never go there." There were tons of local restaurants elsewhere that served outstanding food and yes, I've been to San Francisco on more than one occasion. Sorry, SF can't touch NO for eateries. People who don't care for N'Awlins food must think McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's are 5 star restaurants.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • ann

      Now I am craving some fried gator and gumbo!

      February 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Time Bandit

      I was told not to go into New Orleans for the food, it's turned into a tourist trap. If you want true cajun food, you have to go to the holes in the wall. Don't get a Po Boy in town, go out of town for those. I make Beignet's at home, for special occasions.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • stoopidasfock

        You were lied to. I'm guessing you smell and are moderately gullible to be lied to like that and believe it. Who the hell would actually suggest someone NOT go to NOLA for the food? That is absurd.

        February 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  37. garyM

    With all the obesity going on there should be an article on what people WILL NOT eat.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  38. Mike

    all of you criticizing New Orleans: name for me anything your crappy city has contributed in terms of food, art, music, literature, etc that even comes close to New Orleans. Go eat at your chain restaurants in Topeka or Des Moines. Down here in NOLA, we'll keep on making this bland, boring country a little more interesting.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • garyM

      Topeka? It was abandoned back in the 70s and it is now a deserted sweath of land.

      February 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • M B

      You just lost all credibility for automatically stating that every other city in America is crappy except New Orleans.
      /soapbox

      February 12, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  39. Larz

    My husband and I found a good place to eat in New Orleans hard to find. I'm sure they are there, I have no doubt- but venturing into less than savory areas for a good bite to eat wasn't in our plans. We DID find that in the French Quarter, there were a few gems hiding in the melee of overpriced, overhyped restaurants. Yo Mama's was one of those- AWESOME burgers, and loaded baked potatos to DIE for. Not southern per se- but the price was right, and the food was GREAT. Also, Coops Place served up a mean Chicken Tchoupitoulas- savory, creamy, and spicy- hit the spot! The Joint had some great BBQ, and Johnnys Po Boys on St Louis had some great ( and HUGE) po boys. Cafe Du Monde was a fun nightly stop after too much drinking, and Fiorellas fried chicken was sad and OVERRATED.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • ET

      Johnny's is good. Also for those less inclined to the fried Green Goddess is a must.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • billyo

      Amen to Coops!! It ain't pretty[or clean] but is sure is good!

      February 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  40. guest

    Seriously? Did you only go to three places? I'll admit Cochon is pretty good, but they have attitude issues. I have to agree with the commenter above. I prefer Cafe Beignet to Cafe Du Monde. They have the best breakfast sandwich I've ever eaten! Highly recommend it.

    I prefer the oysters at Felix's to Drago's, or Acme's for that matter. Grand Isle has great baked oysters too. Hands down, the best place to eat in New Orleans is the Pelican Club in the Quarter. From the bread, to the entree, to the bread pudding, they're tops in every category!

    February 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  41. Gs

    Better yet, avoid New Orleans altogether! First of all, it reeks of pee and vomit...kinda like the stench that comes from the black liquid that drips from a dumpster. Secondly, there are no public bathrooms (which explains the former) and the only way to be admitted to use one is if you are a paying customer. There is nor parking anywhere (only if you pay like $20) Lastly, those streets performers are RUDE as heck...they demand $$ (bills only) whenever a camera is pointed their way or if you stare too long.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ashley

      No it doesn't. One street smells like that, and most people with any know-how of New Orleans, especially the locals, avoid it like the plague, because that's not where the real party and culture is anyways.

      You're a moron. We don't want you in our city. No gumbo for you.

      February 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • NOLADOESSMELLLIKEDOODOO

        Cafe DU Mondeis the only good thing about New Orleans! It smells and nasty bums follow you around and beg for money. Crime everywhere! we can drink in our own city where its clean, smells good and have betterlooking people! DO NOT GO TO NOLA

        February 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • Adam

        as someone who lives in the French Quarter I second this statement. I literally live two blocks from Bourbon St, and never drink there. The smells, and nasty crap in the streets is put there by tourists, and not locals. There is a lot more to do here then most people realize. People tend to visit here, then got straight to Bourbon and get drunk (which is fine, and millions of people enjoy it), but do not judge a entire city on one road.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:28 am |
      • Adam

        also to add to what NOLADOESSMELLLIKEDOODOO said. I am sorry but you cannot comment on how attractive people are here, when all you do is goto Bourbon St because none of those people are from here. With that said, if you think Bourbon St does not get attractive girls you obviously have not been here very much.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Larz

      I have to agree that the French Quarter DID have an EXTREMELY unpleasant smell- to the point where it made you sick after awhile, and my shoes smelled like it for DAYS afterwards!! What do you expect, however, when it is an area known for drinking and carrying on??

      February 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • blink44

      Smelly, I don't know where you've been in NOLA, but obviously not to the better restaurants. And it's Cafe du Monde. There is crime in every city. It's the tourists that mess everything up in NOLA, a bunch of people who can't handle their liquor and don't know what good food is. And you obviously didn't go to the right places if you feel there were no "attractive" people. You were probably looking at the out of towners.

      As far as street performers go, is it really that big a deal? In SF, you have homeless people asking you for money every block, and when you don't have a quarter for them, they give you attitude. That's SO much better than being able to have a good time and bring your drink on the street with you instead of downing it at a bar or restaurant.

      February 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Melissa

      As a New Orleans local, it is extremely judgmental to say the things that you said. How about coming to New Orleans outside of the Carnival season? Of course the FQ is miserable during Carnival– that's the peak of tourism and drunkenness. The French Quarter is designed for tourists, therefore, has tourist traps just like any other city. Also, you have to remember NOLA is still recovering from Katrina, is below sea level, and is surrounded by water. Therefore, some days NOLA does smell like marsh water. Shocker. If you are so against New Orleans, you don't have to come back.

      With that being said, New Orleans has a TON of things to offer to people who are willing to go outside of a one mile radius of the French Quarter. Avoid convention season, carnival, spring break, and concert season by planning a trip to New Orleans in the early fall, around October or November.

      P.S.- For great beignets (and to avoid the craziness of Cafe Du Monde), try Cafe Royal on Royal Street. It's a small place by the Police Station and to the right of the Louisiana Supreme Court building. It's not crowded, there's rarely a wait, and has a lovely courtyard and inside to eat. The beignets are easily better than Cafe Du Monde and they serve other items as well if someone in your group isn't a beignet person. Also, feed the cats. They are locals who have to eat, too.

      For solid information on the city, events, and eating, visit:
      http://www.nomenu.com
      http://www.nola.com
      http://www.myneworleans.com

      February 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Melissa

      Gs, no it doesn't. It can at the height of carnival season, but more along parade routes and Bourbon Street. People live here honey. And we are just regular people trying to get by, just like you. It does, however, sometimes smell like silt (which I have to admit is a nasty disgusting stink), especially after a hurricane. We're below sea level, of course it does.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  42. Mark from Louisiana

    CNN would do the tourists a favor of instead of worrying about po-boys, you guys should be telling tourists what neighborhoods to avoid, going into a bad neighborhood could get you killed and there is one only three blocks away from Bourbon Street.

    February 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Adam

      As far as crime in Treme goes it does happen, but i have coworkers that live in Treme who do not sit around worrying about what could happen. There is absolutely no reason for tourists to end up in Treme anyway, other then a few small hotels in a not so bad part of the neighborhood. It literally takes effort to end up crossing rampart from the quarter, as it is a divided four lane road. Other then that the Quarter is surrounded by the Central Business District which is obviously safe, as well as the Marigny which is a great area, and has Frenchman St which most tourists never discover.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:39 am |
  43. lance.hemmert

    CNN is what happens when you do your reporting through Google and Imgur. Crappy reporting, Gents.

    February 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Binky42

      Agreed. They only report on the "big name" tourist places, and neglect all the best restaurants. I doubt the person who put these links together has even been to New Orleans – they just sat at home and read a tourist book.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • blink44

        You are right. Muriel's is at the bottom of the barrel on the food chain in NOLA. It's overpriced tourist fare. Anything in the FQ is pretty much tourist fare. That poboy from muriel's was pathetic. You can do better, CNN.

        February 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
        • Ray From New Orleans

          You don't know what your talking about..Muriel's is not on the bottom of the food chain here, far from it. It is in fact on of the best restaurants in the city and has been for quite sometime. I've never had a bad experience there and the food is always excellent. Just because it's located in the quarter where the tourists are doesn't mean its a tourist trap. Yes its a bit pricey but you don't go there for fast cheap food..there are plenty of other places for that.

          February 12, 2013 at 8:50 am |
      • jackson.polyps

        No kidding! Why is Mandina's not on this list with the Trout Almondine, I live in Fort Walton and N.O. is only 3-4 hours away and i have been going there atleast 3 times a year for the last 38 years and to say the best places to eat are in the quarter!??! I understand for Mardi Gras most tourists will spend 95% of their time in the quarter, but if they had made suggestions as the good eats away from the quarter, i dont know say the garden district or algiers maybe tourists could actually enjoy the rest of New Orleans and meet some of the nice folks that N.O. home. And as for that bad neighborhood three blocks from Bourbon, the poster was right it can be a bad part of town, but from past experiences in that so callled bad part of town i have shared a plate of BBQ chicken and beer with several locals on several occasions, some of the best people in the country! love ya New Orleans!

        February 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
      • Adam

        Its a very small percent of the people in Treme, and you can figure out who those people are in about 2 seconds from 100 feet away.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • yawn

      It's Mardi Gras time, so here's another article telling you what to eat and drink.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  44. Binky42

    Central Grocery is THE most overrated place in New Orleans. Don't go there. You'll stand in line for an hour to get an overprices, sub-par muffuletta. It's the kind of place a tourist eats – 'nuff said. If you want a GREAT muffuletta head over to Johnny's Po-Boy on the corner of St Louis and Decatur. It's where the locals eat and the price is right.

    February 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  45. JerPell

    How out of touch is CNN?
    No wonder their ratings are so low, please make some
    changes and appeal to the masses!

    February 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  46. Shmeckell

    What to eat and drink during Mardi Gras? Anything with alcohol.
    What to avoid? Anything without alcohol.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • midogs2

      Hey, Shmeckell. I'll drink to that!

      February 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  47. bluedogboy

    Pat O'Briens is overrated. Don't waste your time.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  48. jute

    My tummy is doing flips just reading the reviews and looking at the pics, lol.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  49. mike collins

    what to avoid? that's simple – everything. food sux in 'nawlins!

    February 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • bigezn8tv

      Obviously you have never been there. Best food in the states, by far. Climb back under your rock.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
      • bosmonkey

        I agree. The food I've had there is amazing. I guess the people who don't like it are not adventurous and and stick to bland food, fast food or are pure steak and potato people. Shrimp or oyster po-boy, muffaletta, red beans and rice, any kind of gumbo, fried alligator, turtle soup, blackened catfish... the list goes on. A good restaurant is Ralph and Kacoo's. I need to head down from Boston back to N.O. soon.

        February 21, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Patrick

      I agree with mike, that chit is nasty.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • AK

      I too agree....I always have a difficult time finding something good to eat in New Orleans. Usually eat at chain restrauants because it is hard to screwup a BLT

      February 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
      • Loren

        You people are idiots if you go to New Orleans looking for hamburgers or a good BLT!!! What the HECK??? WHY would you go all the way to N.O. for food like that??? If you think Copelands and Popyes are the epitome of Creole cuisine you are sorely mistaken. Neither is Muriel's or Ralph and Kacoo's. Most locals won't go near the French Quarter to look for food and wouldn't DREAM of going to Bourbon Street to party. It's the tourists looking for good steak and potatoes or burgers and brew that make parts of the city intolerable. If the food you found was so bad that you resorted to a national chain restaurant, well, that just proves you wasted your time because you have NO IDEA what GOOD food really is. You have lost the ability to truly taste anything but salt, sugar, and capsaicin. Try educating your palate and looking for a place to eat beyond the French quarter. And blame the tourists for the pee and vomit on Bourbon street.

        February 12, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • Ann

        If your idea of good food is something from a chain restaurant, you don't sound too adventurous.

        February 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Binky42

      New Orleans probably has the most unique culture anywhere in the United States, and unique food to go along with it. I've been to New Orleans with some pretty picky eaters, but they could always find plenty to keep them satisfied. Maybe you should stick to your McDonalds folks – it's obviously ruined your taste buds.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • floweries

      The Nawlins' food is awful and overpriced! Go anywhere else but new orleans!!!!! The place is nasty and is only for drunks!!

      February 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
      • bosmonkey

        I could see if you walked within the same 5 blocks of Bourbon street you might think that. Venture out!! There's so much more. Don't be so narrow-minded.

        February 21, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • blink44

      All of you complaining must have gone to the tourist traps that are over priced. Yes, that sucks, but obviously you are suckers. There are MANY places to find incredible food. Drop the tourist books and ask a native, and not one at the hotel you are staying at.

      You can also find hot donuts in NOLA, which is impossible to find elsewhere. There is no other way to eat a donut than when it is hot.

      February 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
      • jackson.polyps

        Hot Donuts served every day at Krispy Kreme!!!! Thats what that red Neon sign that says HOT is for. wink wink!

        February 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • NOLADOESSMELLLIKEDOODOO

      AMEN BROTHER

      February 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Melissa

      Wow, I sense a troll. There is no better food anywhere than in New Orleans. And btw, I'm not from here so I don't have a natural predisposition toward the food. It's just plain old good.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  50. guest

    The pic of the beignet looks nothing like being at Cafe du Monde. The beignet looks fine, but in reality, there is powdered sugar absolutely everywhere. 8-) Nice clean up for the photo. And BTW, the best oysters are at Desire....

    February 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Binky42

      I prefer the beignet's at Cafe Beignet. I've never understood why Cafe du Monde gets all the attention.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
      • wtok

        You must have went to Cafe Beignet on their one good day of the year. I have yet to like their beinets better than Cafe do Monde.

        February 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Melissa

      Cafe Royal on Royal Street is hands down the best in the French Quarter. No long wait, nice people, a courtyard, and less tourists!

      February 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
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