Imagine this . . . you’re headed to New Orleans for the annual APTA Combined Sections Meeting with 16,000 other of the top professionals in your field. You’re nervous, you’re anxious, and above all, you’re HUNGRY! Where—and what—are you going to eat?
New Orleans is known for its amazing Creole and Cajun foods. But with so many to choose from, how do you know where to go in your limited time in the Big Easy? Allow us to eliminate one anxiety-inducing item from your list. If you want to know where to eat, we’ve got you covered.
- Stroll around the French Quarter
- Eat beignets at Cafe Du Monde
- Eat breakfast at Mother’s
- Enjoy a muffaletta at Central Grocery and Deli
- Drink a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s
Now for you more seasoned veterans who are looking to take their dining game up a notch, we recommend you try these suggestions!
No, PTs: this is not a shoe store! Consider this restaurant one of the classic brunch spots in NOLA. Rumor says they have the best Bloody Mary in town. I recommend ordering The Peacemaker to try out two of their Signature Eggs-traordinary Benedicts!
Acme oyster house
This is the most famous oyster bar in New Orleans, which also means you may have to wait in a long line to try some of their RAWSOME foods! You can’t go to New Orleans without coming here for some grubs. Does this place to live up to the hype? There’s only one way to find out!
The Carousel bar & lounge
Yes, you must be 21 to ride this Carousel! This literally spinning bar is located inside Hotel Monteleone and is certainly worth going for the experience. This is the French Quarter’s only rotating bar with 25 seats that spin one revolution every 15 min.
This house is known for serving the delicious traditional foods that NOLA is famous for, and the jazz music outside gives you that New Orleans vibe. The Royal House was awarded a certificate of excellence by Tripadvisor just last year, so you know you can trust them. They have a seating capacity of 200 people and DO NOT accept reservations! It is on a first-come-first-serve basis, so I recommend that everyone runs over all at once during your lunch break to make sure you get a seat! Don’t worry if you weren’t fast enough to make it on time because of your slow gait. They have an option for upstairs seating to eat at the balcony for best NOLA views. The catch is that they only allow 2 per table for seating arrangements (perfect for CSM couples).
Now for the deep cuts . . . these are the places that the locals recommend:
Cochon (and Cochon Butcher)
Cochon is an amazing southern style restaurant that proudly advertises a menu containing boudin, fried alligator, an assortment of vegetable dishes, rabbit and dumplings, and catfish court-bouillon. Cochon also has a sandwich offshoot called Cochon Butcher which serves a bacon BLT, lamb sandwich, the classic muffaletta, and a pork belly sandwich. You literally can not go wrong with anything that is attached to the Cochon name!
The line at Mother’s too long? Looking for the Breakfast of Champions? Try HiVolt. It started as a coffee shop that has evolved into a breakfast standard in New Orleans. Popular items at the cafe are the breakfast sandwiches, including the Classic (egg, American cheese, tomato, kefir herb dressing, and avocado) and the Dom (fried egg, ham, cheddar, and dijonnaise).
A fried chicken pop-up that started inside Barrel Proof, a whiskey bar. That is a winning combo that is likely Jerry Durham approved! It has recently relocated to Coquette on Magazine Street, and can be found during their brunch serving.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Winner of the James Beard award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” The Food Network and the Travel Channel named this restaurant’s food “America’s Best Fried Chicken.” The Scotch House is located just blocks away from the French Quarter.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bad meal in New Orleans. We hope we’ve shed some light on some of the top hot spots to try while you are in town for the conference. But no matter where you decide to eat while attending CSM, the main thing is that you learn, network, stay safe, and as the French say, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (or, let the good times roll)!