New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. It’s full of great food, live music on every corner, and the best people watching. My grandmother grew up there, my dad was born there and I still have family to visit every trip. You could say that I feel like I have roots in New Orleans; the city speaks to me. Here’s a quick run down of my favorite places to eat at right now.
Shaya: Located on Magazine street, Shaya lives up to all of the buzz that it has rightfully generated. Advance reservations are highly recommended–it’s a hard meal to come by these days. If the weather permits, sit outside in the courtyard. The menu allows for easy sharing–some favorites include the curried cauliflower hummus (that pita tho), the labneh, babaganoush, and lutenitsa. Pass on the avocado toast, it wasn’t a favorite. The falafel is on point, and the persian rice–just trust me. Don’t leave without trying the shakshouka; you may be questioning eggs for dinner, but you must have never tried shakshouka before.
Parkway Bakery: The best po’ boys in town, IMO. There’s a bar area that you can sit at (take any open seat, and order at the bar when they are busy). You can also stand in line on the back side of the building and order at the window. There’s indoor and outdoor seating available. I get the shrimp po’ boy, fully dressed. If you’re like me and like lots of sauces for your fried pickles, rest easy; there’s a condiment station on the backside of the restaurant.
Willa Jean: Brunch game strong. Did you know they have homemade pop tarts? Well know you do. I got the Shrimp Toast and cheddar grits, but I feel like I could have ordered any number of things and been a happy soul.
Marcello’s: Italian that doesn’t have to be heavy. I’m slightly obsessed with the crabmeat contessa (layers of eggplant, tomato and crab meat). My mouth is watering even thinking about it right now. The pasta options change routinely, so check the menu online–they keep it updated.
Hi Volt: Coffee and breakfast. Enjoy a slice of avocado toast drizzled with walnut oil, or a bowl of quinoa with a poached egg and kefir herb dressing. Their garden district location is my favorite. Take a stroll through the neighborhood after you finish and admire the gorgeous architecture that makes up the historic neighborhood.
Herbsaint: The menu changes seasonally, but my favorite thing on the current menu is the butter poached gulf tuna with chilies and mint. They are located just next to Marcello’s, so it wouldn’t be completely out of line to do apps at one and entree’s at the other (stop judging me).
Seaworthy: This new kid on the block does not disappoint. The oyster selection is notable and they have a extensive seafood offering on their full menu, with a nod to classic New Orleans flavors. Go check out the roof top bar next door at the Ace Hotel before or after. It offers a good view of the city, lounge chairs, and even a swimming pool.
Camellia Grill: For your late night fix. The menu reads like what you’d expect from any classic diner (minus the breakfast po’boys, those are strictly NOLA) and they’re open til 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cafe Du Monde: I feel like I’d be amiss, if I left this place off of my list. Grab yourself a cafe au lait and a plate of beignets, just don’t wear black (powdered sugar is messy). Also, **pro tip** there’s no line to sit down. True, there’s usually some semblance of one formed on the backside, but it’s not real. There’s no one monitoring it. Show up like a local and grab a seat where you can find one.