The French Quarter is a legendary neighborhood in a vibrant city. The architecture is elegant, the bars have no closing time, music pulsates from every nook and cranny, and no place in New Orleans claims more restaurants per square foot.
The French Quarter makes up 78 square blocks. We walked most of it and found some great restaurants along the way.
Antoine’s opened its doors in 1840 and is one of the oldest family-run restaurants in the United States. This place is old school cool and has been the birthplace of several classic dishes like Oyster’s Rockefeller and Eggs Sardou. Everyone who’s anyone has eaten here including several US presidents and even the Pope.
The restaurant houses wine storage for 25,000 bottles and has 15 dining rooms that can seat up to 800 people.
Each dining room is decorated according to a theme, many of them referencing a Mardi Gras krewe such as Maison Verte, Twelfth Night, or Rex.
Lunch at Antoine’s is a bargain, 3 courses for $20.17 and martinis for a QUARTER!
Another New Orleans tradition, Felix’s opened in the 1940’s and quickly drew a devoted following.
They have one of the best happy hours in The Quarter, offer a free beer with every dozen oysters purchased, and have a potent Bloody Mary.
All of their oysters are local, they arrive straight from the beds, and never spend time in an off-site storage facility. We enjoyed them both iced on the half shell and hot off the grill.
Just steps from our hotel was Angeline Restaurant, one of the city’s most popular spots and one of the places I most wanted to check out.
“Elevated Southern Fare” is the focus here and the Smoked Pork Cheeks and Rabbit Leg Milanese were both highlights.
As a kid, I saw an episode of “Great Chefs’ which featured a chef preparing Turtle Soup. It seemed foreign, odd, and interesting. The TV segment always stuck with me I’ve wanted to eat at Brennan’s ever since.
To celebrate my birthday, my Mom and I enjoyed a leisurely brunch and I finally had my chance to sample the Turtle Soup. Thanks, Mom!
Brennan’s has an old world sophistication and elegance that must be experienced to be appreciated. This place is POLISHED and it was a joy to watch the front of the house staff work their magic.
And the food? We’re still talking about it. Sure it was “just brunch,” but it was perfect.
One of man’s greatest creations, the muffuletta sandwich, was created right here, at Central Grocery.
Central Grocery | Home of the Original Muffuletta
In 1906, owner Salvatore Lupo split a sesame bread loaf and stuffed it with Salami, Ham, Mortadella, Swiss Cheese, Provolone, and a marinated olive salad with pickled celery, cauliflower, carrot, oregano, and garlic.
Central Grocery opens its doors at 9 am and there was already a small line when we arrived at 8:45. Unfortunately, the bread delivery was late that day so we waited almost an hour to order and eat.
It was worth it.
Cafe du Monde
No trip to The French Quarter is complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde, the renowned open-air coffee shop on Decatur street.
It’s yet another New Orleans landmark, known for its Cafe au Lait and Beignets.
The menu here is simple, dark-roasted coffee with chicory, beignets, white and chocolate milk, hot chocolate, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The coffee is served either black or au lait (with heated milk).
Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and only closes for Christmas Day and when the occasional hurricane passes too close to the city.
The beignets are served with a thick coating of powdered sugar and sold in orders of three. It’s super touristy but it’s an awesome spot, we stopped her three times during our visit.