One of our local Uber drivers said it best when she chuckled, “If you aren’t craving a salad and water once you leave, you did something wrong.” Everyone knows New Orleans is the place to be for good food, good drinks, good music, and good fun. But, there are so many amazing places, choosing the BEST can be overwhelming – especially once you’ve stopped into a few “to-go cocktail” spots. If you have a limited amount of time in one of America’s greatest foodie cities, here are my MUST stop restaurants and bar recommendations:
If you’re looking for something authentic and local that won’t break the bank, this is your spot. A Decatur Street staple since 1983, Coop’s Place gives off gumbo shack meets dive bar vibes. I recommend getting Coop’s Taste Plate with an extra cup of seafood gumbo for every set of 2 people dining. This will let you sample all the classics. Pair it with a local beer (and a lot of water if you’re not good with spice like me). *Note: you have to be 21+ to enter.
The tale of two beignets. Who truly does it better? My boyfriend and I were divided (Me: Cafe Beignet, Him: Cafe Du Monde). You’ll have to just go to both and decide for yourself… and then go back again! Honestly, you can’t have too many beignets.
This is a MUST visit date night or special dinner spot. On the higher end of the price range, Commander’s Palace is SO worth the splurge. The atmosphere is antique and charming, if you love wine they have an entire novel, and the service will leave you feeling like royalty (I seriously think we had 5 waiters). I have no recommendations because you can’t go wrong with their menu, but they are known for their fabulous turtle soup and the cobbler we had for dessert almost brought me to tears. Located in the Garden District, I recommend taking an Uber or Taxi (if those still exist?) so you can have a couple drinks and don’t have to walk too far in your nice evening attire. *Check the dress code online before you go.
YOU HAVE TO GET A HURRICANE FROM PAT O’BRIEN’S! We had so, so, so much fun at this NOLA staple. Their famous dueling pianos go all night long and they only get better with each passing hour. They’ll have you singing along to your favorite classics but also new hits (one pianist played Lizzo’s Truth Hurts!) This spot will leave you with a unique combination of both historic awe and drunken dancing. Having fun since 1933, learn more about their history here.
5) Bar Tonique
Dive bar vibes with the highest quality cocktails. You have to stop by for their Ramos Ginn Fizz. This signature cocktail takes 15+ minutes to prepare so order only during slow hours or risk pissing off the bartender. The Ramos Ginn Fizz is definitely worth the wait – just sip on something else while you wait and be prepared to Uber yourself home.