New Orleans: 10 Spots To Dine & Drink

19 February 2015

Last Month I shared what to see and do while visiting New Orleans. So, as we wrap up my trip this month, it's all about the culinary adventure that is New Orleans. The southern, cajun and creole infused flavors sweep the city in various styles, each with their own authentic flare. New Orleans not only carries incredible history and culture but it is also the birthplace of the very first cocktail, as well as the the famous desserts, Bananas Foster and beignets. 

Your New Orleans experience isn't quite complete without channeling your inner foodie as you sample fried alligator, sip on decadently crafted cocktails or take your very first bites of an exotic dish. It's hard to leave the Crescent City without adding an extra inch or two to your waistline. But there's no experience like it. 

As you begin to plan your travels, I've helped narrow things down a bit with my 10 {favorite} Spots To Dine and Drink in New Orleans.

1. Loa Bar at International House
One of the amazing perks of staying at boutique hotel, International House was the exotic Loa Bar downstairs. Led by "Spirit Handler" Alan Walter, who brings his own fresh take to perfectly infused craft cocktails in the Downtown New Orleans bar. Walter's creates his own syrups, tinctures and aromatic bitters from locally harvested ingredients, on site. Each served in a vintage stemware piece from his own curated collection.

Cocktail To TryPearly Gates Or Bay Leaf
Image Credit: International House Hotel

2. Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel
Named after the world famous cocktail, the Sazerac Bar carries just as much history as it's potable namesake. Set yourself up on an elegant bar stool and order up the one and only, Sazerac. When in Rome New Orleans, right?

Cocktail To Try: The Sazerac 

3. Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone
Take a spin on the famous Carousel Bar located in Hotel Monteleone. Channeling your inner {whimsical} child while sipping craft cocktails on the 25-seat, bright, circus-clad Merry-Go-Round immortalized by the writings of Earnest Hemingway.  

Cocktail To Try:  Old New Orleans Perfect Storm & Fluer Des Lis
Image Credit: Hotel Monteleone

4. Carrollton Market 
Our first meal was spent at the modern Southern restaurant brought to life by Chef Jason Goodenough in the New Orleans' Riverbend Neighborhood. Carrollton Market, quickly swept us off our feet with unique, decadent southern flavors. The always evolving menu offers everything from Veal Sweet Breads {which I tried for the very first time, and loved} to a fresh take on Pan Roasted American Red Snapper. Each dish put it's own spin on traditional New Orleans culinary traditions. 

What I Loved: Veal Sweet Breads, House Made Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail,  and Pan Roasted Scallops. Dessert: Peanut Butter Pie & Chocolate Pot De Creme. 
Image Credit: Richard Melick

5. Brennan's New Orleans
Famously known as the birthplace of the delicious Banana's Foster, Brennan's decadent menu offers a wide range of creole and contemporary New Orleans fusion. Go for the glamourous dining experience in one of their 8 sophisticated dining rooms or simply treat your taste buds to the art form that is Bananas Foster. 

What I Loved{Brunch Favorites} Baked Apple, Egg Yolk Carpaccio,  Eggs Sardou & Obviously, Bananas Foster. 

Cocktail To Try:  Brandy Milk Punch
Image Credit: Richard Melick

6. Cochon
If you're looking for traditional Cajun Southern dishes, Cochon is the place for you. Where locals and visitors alike flock for authentic cajun flavor in a rustic, yet contemporary setting. Head next door to Cochon Butcher and pick up some of their famous Boudin on the way out.

What I Loved: Braised Ham Hock with Sweet Potato Puree & Brussel Sprouts, Macaroni and Cheese, Rabbit and Dumplings. Dessert: Butterscotch Pudding.

7. Muriel's
Located in the heart of Jackson Square, Muriel's offers contemporary creole cuisine in one of the most historic buildings in New Orleans. Aside from having the best damn gator in town, they have their very own ghost. Head in for a quick bite or wander up to The Séance to celebrate the mystery and character of Muriel's.

What I Loved: Alligator, Gorgonzola Cheesecake, Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crepes, & Shrimp and Grits

Cocktail To Try: Pimms Cup

8. Arnaud's
On our last night on the town we were treated to the fine dining experience that is Arnaud's. I found myself enamored with the romantic setting in the Jazz Bistro where we were serenaded with Dixieland Jazz as we sipped our elegant cocktails and sampled the menu. I quickly fell in love with the hearty, flavor rich Turtle Soup and melt in your mouth Speckled Trout Meuniére.

What I LovedTurtle Soup & Speckled Trout Meuniére 

Cocktail To Try: French 75 & Café Brûlot

9. Cafe Du Monde
An obvious choice when it comes to planning any trip to New Orleans is world famous Cafe Du Monde. Their beignets & Café Au Lait are a must before adventuring out into Jackson Square or the French Market. I wont judge you if you insist on eating there every day of your trip.

What I LovedBeignets & Café Au Lait

10. Nola Po Boy
Richard {from FactoryTwoFour} and I randomly stumbled upon this place while wandering bourbon street before our flight and quickly realized that this was exactly what our taste buds were missing throughout the week. Don't let the casual dining experience fool you, these are probably the best  Po Boys I've ever had. 

What I Loved: Fried Oyster Po Boy {spicy, but oh so good.}


Now, you're officially ready to pack your suitcase and head down south for an experience like no other...

To book your trip to New Orleans, visit VisitNewOrleans.com.This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of New Orleans Convention and Visitor's Bureau.  The opinions and text are all mine.