Food & Drink

14 Legit Reasons to Eat in the French Quarter

Published On 04/29/2016 Published On 04/29/2016
Sylvain | Rush Jagoe (edited)
Sylvain Nola
Doris Metropolitan Nola
Nora McGunnigle/Thrillist
Nora McGunnigle/Thrillist
Samuel Gautreau/Salon by Sucré
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1. Angeline 1032 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Chef Alex Harrell is behind this stately restaurant in the French Quarter, where he serves Southern plates inspired by Northern Mediterranean cooking. Combining Gulf Coast ingredients with French and Italian culinary techniques, he prepares elegant dishes that change with the seasons, such as Mississippi rabbit milanese, Gulf shrimp & country ham, and smoked lamb shoulder. The service exemplifies true Southern hospitality, so don't hesitate to ask the polished waitstaff for recommendations when it comes to the expertly curated wine and cocktail lists.

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2. Sylvain 625 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This spot embodies a casual-but-kickass uniting of great food, great booze, and hospitality- all housed in a former carriage house with courtyard seats right off Jackson Square. Sylvain is famous for its "Chick-Syl-vain" fried chicken sandwich, but this corner gastropub in the French Quarter also features a great cocktail program and an impressive selection of single-barrel bourbons.

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3. Meauxbar 942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Meauxbar is a sleek French bistro set in a softly lit , intimate, and cozy dining room. The locally inspired menu serves small and large plates, all creatively conceived and meticulously executed. Pull up a seat at the marble counter bar, and sip on unique tasting flights of brandy, Cognac and Calvados.

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4. Doris Metropolitan 620 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

French Quarter favorite, Doris Metropolitan, is a high-end steakhouse with deluxe offerings like USDA Prime and Japanese wagyu cuts dry-aged in-house. The traditional steakhouse is infused with Mediterranean touches, and the menu brings a variety of flavors together to its surprisingly diverse array of non-steak dishes as well. The restaurant is dedicated to quality, menu diversity, and service with an elegant and sophisticated dining room, and a charming courtyard if you prefer to dine outside.

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5. Killer Poboys 811 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112

The French Quarter's popular Killer Poboys serves exactly that: top-notch po-boys, cooked up in the tiny kitchen at the back of Irish pub Erin Rose on Conti Street. The po-boys here are crafted with a new-age eye, some even incorporating untraditional ingredients like pork belly, smoked salmon, and sweet potato. The cash-only counter also serves up standout sandwiches like BBQ chicken confit, Black Bear beef debris, and chorizo & egg.

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6. Felipe's Taqueria 301 N Peters St (at Bienville), New Orleans, LA 70130

Serving authentic Mexican fare and Latin American craft cocktails, Felipe's Taqueria is a favorite spot amongst tourists and locals alike. This unassuming eatery serves amazing fresh burritos and tacos made from scratch, plus vegetarian options. The cocktail list is always expanding; from the Mezcal Flight to the El Presidente, all the drinks are hand-crafted with house-made liquors, bitters, and fresh fruit.

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7. Galatoire's 209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Established in 1905, Galatoire’s has remained a Bourbon Street bulwark of French Creole cuisine. The restaurant blends tradition with curiosity as it juxtaposes gumbo, shrimp remoulade, and oysters Rockefeller with deep-fried zucchini sticks, (which you’re meant to plunge into a mix of Tabasco sauce and powdered sugar) and duck crepes with homemade Boursin cheese, Port-cherry reduction, and pistachios. Galatoire’s keeps things elegant with its forest green walls, lace curtains, and mirrored walls, a glimpse into a past worthy of a Faulkner novel.

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8. Kingfish 337 Chartres, New Orleans, LA 70130

Thibodaux native, Chef Nathan Richard, created a menu at the casual Kingfish restaurant that combines the Cajun reverence for honoring ingredients and culinary history with a sophisticated, often playful take on modern trends that excite visitors and natives alike. The plateau de fruits des mer is this spots take on a traditional meat charcuterie board, using local seafood to create all manner of fresh and cured sausages, terrines, and smoked items.

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9. Brennan's 417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Located in the French Quarter, Brennan's is without a doubt one of the most important eateries in New Orleans. Dubbed the “old pink lady” due to its fanciful pink and green decor, the iconic restaurant serves a menu boasting upscale Cajun classics with a modern twist. Indulge in dishes like turtle soup, redfish amandine, and slow-baked Gulf fish with butter-poached crab, oysters, and shrimp. Breakfast at Brennan's is taken just as seriously as dinner, and dishes like Eggs Cardinal (crispy lobster and shrimp boudin with Creole mustard hollandaise) are richer than any other breakfast in the area. Top off your meal here with an order of the infamous bananas Foster.

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10. Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar 739 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA 70130

When you want some chargrilled oysters without waiting in line for 45 minutes, walk past the line for the restaurant across the street and settle in at the casual oyster bar at Felix’s. The shucker will hook you up with a plate of raw Gulf oysters on the shell, but you can also get them grilled with butter and garlic. Felix's locally sources the freshest, highest quality shrimp, oysters, and fish in the city.

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11. Salon by Sucré 622 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130

By the confectionary team behind Sucré', this full-service bistro serves a masterful blend of sweet and savory eats. Serving brunch, dinner and afternoon tea in an airy mid-century French dining room, the spot is a popular French Quarter mainstay. The brunch menu is built of local staples like gourmet chicken and waffles, and hollandaise-topped chive-biscuit sandwiches, while the afternoon tea menu features mainly tea sandwiches and small plates (tea-based cocktails are available as well). The dinner menu, far more luxurious than the daytime editions, boasts caramel-roasted duck, apple chutney-topped pork chops, and scallops in saffron broth, followed by a smattering of elegant desserts, served a la carte. The stand-out offering at this upscale locale, however, is the cocktail menu, replete with whimsical house-creations like the Cena, prepared with beet-infused vodka, lime and ginger.

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12. Irene's Cuisine 539 Saint Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Creole Italian is a specific sub-genre originating in New Orleans after Italians started emigrating here in the 19th century. The red sauce found in most Italian-American eateries is less prevalent here, where fresh Gulf seafood preparations and creole-French flavor profiles attain more prominence on the menu. The upscale restaurant has a homey dining room, complete with a piano bar.

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13. SoBou 310 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Located inside the W Hotel, SoBou is a spirited restaurant south of Bourbon St (hence the name) feels like a modern-day Creole saloon. The restaurant and lounge is known for its hand-crafted cocktails, and serves creative spins on traditional bar snacks like crispy pork skin and spicy beer nuts, as well as some heartier dishes. SoBou also has a beer garden with beer taps in the tables and self-serve wine machines.

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14. St. Lawrence 219 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Saint Lawrence is a late night restaurant, gastropub, and beer garden. This is the perfect spot to get some truly excellent locally and regionally sourced bar food, rotating local craft beers on tap, and frozen cocktails like Pimm's Cup daiquiris and Louisiana Muscadine White Sangria. Also noteworthy, there are some delicious desserts on the menu, with vegan and vegetarian options as well.