Friday lunch at Galatoire’s is a New Orleans right of passage. To do it right, you need to sit in the downstairs dining room, which requires getting in line on Bourbon Street before it opens at 11:30am. Once you’re in though, it’s basically an upscale party where the servers wear tuxes, drinking is definitely encouraged, and you can eat old school classics like shrimp remoulade and gumbo. If you’re looking for a proper “Yes, I’m definitely in New Orleans” way to kick off your weekend here, start at Galatoire’s.
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Our guide to the 21 places that made eating and drinking in New Orleans what it is today.
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The Carousel Bar & Lounge
The Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone is indeed a bar on a moving carousel, and while it can feel a bit gimmicky, you should still grab a drink here.
With a flaming fountain, huge patio, and dueling pianos, Pat O’Brien’s is the go-to day drinking and late-night bar in the French Quarter.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop
There are 257 terrible bars on Bourbon Street, but Lafitte’s isn’t one of them. Grab a voodoo juice, enjoy the patio, and be glad you ended up here.
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Toups Meatery in Mid-City is the best place in New Orleans to ear your body weight in charcuterie, and drink a pitcher of cocktails along the way.
Cane & Table
Cane & Table is either a restaurant with excellent drinks, or a cocktail bar with great food. Either way, it’s one of the best escapes in the Quarter.
La Petite Grocery
La Petite Grocery is where to go in the Garden District for great modern Creole food, and the best bowl of turtle ragu you’ll ever eat.
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If you only have brunch once in New Orleans, make sure it’s at Brennan’s in the French Quarter.
When you want a taste of true, classic New Orleans, grab lunch and 25 cent martinis at Commander’s Palace in the Garden District.
Compere Lapin in the Warehouse District is a great group dinner spot, with large tables, a diverse menu, and lots of interesting wine.
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