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  • Writer's pictureGuide Michelle

Eat Like A Local - Restaurant Recs off the tourist path

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Let me show you the best local bites in NOLA with history & a walk around the Garden District or Bywater neighborhoods - all food & drinks included! I also offer a Nightlife Tour on Frenchmen Street for great music & drinks!

People visit NOLA with their loose pants packed, ready to try all that our city has to offer so it PAINS me when they get sucked into the same old touristy places that any lazy Google search can pull up. Here's a list of great spots that locals love & you will too (and if you're local, make a hit list of places you've been meaning to try). I even linked them so you can stalk their menu in advance. Remember, calories don't count on vacation!


  • Horns Eatery - truly a neighborhood vibe with undeniably great breakfast

  • Slim Goodies - right on Magazine St., a great way to start a day of shopping local

  • Willa Jean - I'll let the biscuit menu speak for itself

  • Bearcat Cafe - something for the Good Cats (healthy) & Bad Cats (indulgent)

  • Elizabeth's - one of the few places that make Calas, a sister of the beignet. Known for pig candy praline bacon- prepare for a wait on the weekend, but weekdays also have breakfast.

  • Molly's Rise & Shine - a unique menu from the Turkey & the Wolf team

  • quick & easy neighborhood casual breakfast spots/cafes: Who Dat Cafe, Buns on Banks, Wakin Bakin


  • Po-boys at Frady's, Domilise's, Parkway Bakery or Parasol's

  • Liuzza's By The Track for classic NOLA atmosphere and food

  • Joey K's for rotating plate lunches & great red beans & rice

  • Lil' Dizzys - only open 11am-3pm, this is where I send tourists I like who are looking for Creole soul food. The kind of spot where you're greeted with a "what can I getcha, ma' baby?"

  • Cochon Butcher for high-class Cajun charcuterie and sandwiches

  • Want Willie Mae's fried chicken without the line? They're also in Pythian Market, with several other food options!

  • Do a lunch bang bang: blocks from each other are Turkey & the Wolf and Stein's Deli. It sounds crazy but the collard greens sandwich is the best thing on the menu at Turkey & the Wolf. Really live it up with a dessert donut from District Donuts, right next to Steins.

HAPPY HOUR - or a late lunch, hell, you might just stay for dinner...

  • Toups Meatery, Happy Hour: Mon-Fri: 3-5

  • The Vintage - every singe day from 3-6pm, get beignet bites!

  • Bywater Brew Pub - for you $4 beer heads

  • Boucherie or Bouree (their sister spot next door) - definitely EAT along with your drink, Chef Zimet is one of the best kept secrets in town!

  • Le Chat Noir - oysters on happy hour, too! Speaking of oysters, Basin Seafood & Spirits have a Monday oyster happy hour, too.

  • OK, here's my absolute favorite & it's great for tourists because of the timing- Atchafalaya has about 50 cocktails on their WEEKEND happy hour menu between busy lunch/brunch and dinner (Thurs - Mon. 3-5:30) and it's the best kept secret in town. Not only are they in my neighborhood, but it's a great chance to drink like there isn't a recession for $5 a drink and lots of options for any palette.


  • GW Fins - seafood lovers! you know it's good if it's in the Quarter and locals go to it. I've literally only ever heard good things about this place.

  • Doris Metropolitan - chic steakhouse in the Quarter, great for a special night out.

  • Tableau - a Brennan's restaurant means white table cloths and great service- a beautiful setting and classic NOLA dining

  • Neyow's Creole Cafe - black owned & very popular with the locals- homestyle Creole food & great gumbo

  • Marjie's Grill - sit in their outside space & try something new in NOLA- leans on the Asian Pacific cuisine with a Delta twist.

  • Cafe Degas - a neighborhood French bistro for a casual dinner & catching up on your trip's highlights. Total hidden gem.

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