Eat like a local in New Orleans

October 4, 2017 / New Orleans

You’re already in New Orleans for the famed Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, but what are your plans for dining out? Sure, NOLA is peppered with tried-and-true tourist restaurants throughout the city. But if you want to go to neighborhood favorites and eat like a local, you should focus your energy on finding where you’ll get an authentic NOLA experience. To ensure you make the most of Voodoo Experience, we’ve put together this guide of local eats to direct visitors and locals alike to the best spots in town. Be sure to check them out—you’ll thank us later.

Top local restaurants in New Orleans

1. Turkey and the Wolf

You only need to take a quick look at what the media is saying to know Turkey and the Wolf is a restaurant worth checking out. Located in the  New Orleans Irish Channel neighborhood, Turkey and the Wolf is a quirky storefront serving innovative sandwich options accompanied by cocktails you won’t find anywhere else. The sandwich factor is so strong, in fact, that their menu lists food in “sandwiches” and “not sandwiches” broad categories. We recommend you try the wonderfully seasoned Italian American sandwich, followed by a whimsically-named cocktail such as Put Your Socks On and Leave, made with honeysuckle vodka and hibiscus tea.

When: Mon and Wed – Sat, 11am – 5pm | Sun, 11am – 3pm
Where: 739 Jackson Ave

2. Willa Jean

Willa Jean is one of John Besh’s newest spots in NOLA, having opened their doors for business in 2015. Located in the popular warehouse district, this retro café specializes in Southern food. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a varied selection of baked goods and homemade bread. Caffeine fiends will be delighted with their coffee blends, made with the hand-picked Intelligentsia Coffee premium brand. Best of all is Willa Jean’s menu, carefully curated and divided into snacks, biscuits, sandwiches, hot plates, and desserts.

When: Mon – Sun, 7am – 9pm
Where: 611 O’Keefe Ave

3. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

Enough talk about trendy new restaurants. If you’re in the mood for a meal in a NOLA staple, don’t miss the opportunity to check out Parkway Bakery & Tavern. Operating since 1911, Parkway is renowned for its po’ boys, unpretentious vibe, and patio. Their menu is rife with incredible options, ranging from seafood, grilled meats, and special home-cooked meals. Parkway also caters to vegetarian patrons.

When: Mon and Wed – Sun, 11am – 10pm
Where: 538 Hagan Ave

4. The Joint BBQ and Pizza Delicious

For a meal with a view, you can’t go wrong with the Joint BBQ and Pizza Delicious. Both are waterfront spots conveniently located near Crescent Park in the Bywater, so you can grab a bite and take a scenic stroll afterward. The Joint BBQ is the go-to place in NOLA for slow-smoked barbecue, topped with a full bar setting. Pizza lovers won’t want to miss Pizza Delicious, hailed as the #1 Pizza in New Orleans. Generous servings of 18-inch New-York style slices for an affordable price in a counter-serve setup. We recommend you try the Hot Soppressata. Be warned, the spicy salami and marinated pepper topping aren’t for the faint of heart.  In true NOLA fashion, you’ll also find several beverage options (alcoholic or not).

When: The Joint BBQ Mon – Sat, 11:30am – 10pm | Pizza Delicious Tue – Sun, 11am – 11pm (closed on Mondays)
Where: The Joint BBQ, 701 Mazant St | Pizza Delicious, 617 Piety St

5. Lilly’s Café

New Orleans boasts the largest Vietnamese community in Louisiana, so if you’re craving Vietnamese food, you’re in for a real treat. Lilly’s Café is one of several establishments serving traditional pho and other classics such as banh mi and an assortment of spring rolls.

When: Mon – Sat, 11am – 9pm (closed on Sundays)
Where: 1813 Magazine St

6. Sylvain

Sylvain is the NOLA standard for sophisticated gastropubs. With a rich history that bridges the present and the past elegantly, Sylvain is a feast for the body and mind. Their menu provides delightful American fare and inventive cocktails, such as the house special En Bloom, a concoction of Atelier Vie Gin, lemon, and pale ale.

When: Mon – Thu, 5:30pm – 11pm | Fri– Sat, 10:30am – 2:30pm and 5:30pm – 12am | Sun, 10:30am – 2:30pm and 5:30pm – 10pm
Where: 625 Chartres St

7. Peche

If you have a seafood craving, Peche is the place to go. Showcasing traditional Louisiana seafood at its finest, Peche’s menu boasts both grilled and raw food options. We recommend the seafood platter from the raw bar or, if you prefer a grilled selection, the jumbo shrimp entrée is right up your alley.

When:   Sun – Thu, 11am – 10pm | Fri– Sat, 11am – 11pm
Where: 800 Magazine St

8. Carmo  

If you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, Carmo is an excellent choice for gluten-free and vegan food options. Carmo’s inviting setting features an open kitchen nestled in a comfortable space. Both the lunch and dinner menus have an undeniable tropical flair, incorporating tasty Brazilian influences in their food.

When: Mon, 11 am – 3pm | Tues – Sat, 11am – 10pm
Where: 527 Julia St

9. Country Club

There’s nothing like a poolside haunt serving amazing American fare with specialized brunchlunch, and dinner menus. You can have a full meal or just grab a quick bite before jumping into the pool for a relaxing, rejuvenating swim. Don’t miss out on their cocktail selection, either—the Ghost Pepper Margarita is simply to die for.

When: Mon – Sun, 10am – 1pm
Where: 634 Louisa St

10. Rotating food trucks at Tchoup Yard

For a backyard vibe with a rotating roster of food trucks, there’s no place better than Tchoup Yard. Serving comfort food like cheeseburgers and their unique take on Taco Bell’s Crunch Wrap Supreme, a wide array of gigantic frozen drink options, and beer, Tchoup Yard is one of the most chill spots in NOLA.

When: Wed – Thurs, 4pm – 1am | Fri, 1pm – 2am | Sat– Sun, 11am – 2am
Where: 405 Third St

The culinary scene in NOLA is chock-full of delicious diversity. Whether you’re looking for an upscale establishment, a casual cafe, or a vibrant hangout serving comfort food, there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants in New Orleans for you to grab a bite.

Now that you’ve got the food down, check out the best places for a cocktail in NOLA.