20-Year Resident Offers Epic Local Insight…Bon Appetit!
Hello fellow Pubcon attendees! As you may already know, Pubcon 2013 is taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana — a city known for jazz, good times and most notably for its food. While you take in everything Pubcon has to offer, be sure to take in a bit of what New Orleans has to offer as well. Of course you can party on Bourbon street, try your luck at Harrah’s Casino or go sightseeing in the French Quarter. But, in my opinion, there is no better way to experience New Orleans than to taste the local cuisine.
My name is Emily Johnson and I am a native New Orleanian (and more recently a TastyPlacement Team Member). I spent over 20 years of my life living in this incredible city. As such, I will take the liberty of creating an insider’s guide to New Orleans dining for Pubcon 2013. I have picked out several amazing restaurants close to the New Orleans Convention Center. I highly recommend you attempt to make it to at least a few of the following establishments. I promise you will not regret it!
Classic Cuisine in the Arts/Warehouse District
The convention center is located within the Warehouse District. These restaurants are all within walking distance from the convention center.
- American Sector: Classic American cuisine by Chef John Besh. Everything by Chef Besh is golden. Everyday happy hour from 3-6PM is pretty great for food ($0.75 BBQ sliders are delicious). Plus, it’s a part of the WWII Museum so you can check that out while you’re there too.
- Cochon Restaurant: SO good! The menu looks a bit intimidating because it’s filled with very traditional Cajun Southern dishes, but you can’t go wrong here. Everything is delicious. A little pricey, but it’s not extremely fancy or dressy. Well worth it.
- Cochon Butcher: This is kind of like the tamer version of Cochon Restaurant. It’s a butcher shop, sandwich shop and wine bar all rolled into one. Amazing spot for lunch. House-made meats and sausages. Casual environment.
- Emerils: Chef Emeril Lagasse’s first restaurant. Modern Louisiana cooking.
Epic Dining in Central Business District/Downtown
The Central Business District is located just north of the convention center. It’s not far, but I wouldn’t recommend walking unless you are up for it. The following restaurants are a quick cab ride away from the convention center.
- Borgne: Another restaurant by Chef John Besh. Louisiana + seafood cuisine with a touch of Spanish influence.
- Cafe Adelaide: Contemporary Creole / Louisiana cooking.
- Domenica: Another John Besh restaurant. Serving up Italian food, homemade pasta,wood-fired pizza and so on. Delicious.
- Dragos: I really, really, really recommend visiting Dragos for the charbroiled oysters. They are the absolute BEST EVER. I hardly ever get an entree here. Just dozens and dozens of oysters. But don’t let me misguide you, the other food is top-notch as well. Tons of delicious seafood options to choose from.
- Luke: Amazing spot with a really awesome happy hour. Everyday from 3-6PM they have $0.50 oysters, half-priced beer, wine and well drinks. Another John Besh restaurant (he has quite a few).
- Mothers: Really casual, almost dive-y atmosphere. It’s a little touristy, but I’ve heard good things.
The Legendary French Quarter
Further North and a bit East of the convention center is the well-known French Quarter. Again, it’s not extremely far, but I recommend grabbing a cab.
- Central Grocery: If you like muffulettas you go here. This is home of the original muffuletta. I’m not even a big fan of olives and I love this sandwich.
- GW Fins: Really fresh, really delicious seafood. The menu changes often based on the freshest seafood available.
- Mr. B’s Bistro: Mr. B’s Barbequed Shrimp is the signature dish here and it is absolutely delicious! Barbequed shrimp is New Orleans style which basically means shrimp in a worcestershire, peppery butter sauce. Not BBQ the way you typically think of it. Lots of other delicious options here as well. Highly recommend!
- Cake Cafe & Bakery: Adorable bakery that also serves up some seriously delicious breakfast and lunch. The cupcakes here are the best. The neighborhood is really cute too. I love visiting this spot when I go home.
- NOLA: Another restaurant by Emeril Lagasse. A mix of Southern Cajun and Creole/Acadian.
- Port of Call: Oh man do I love this place. HUGE burgers + HUGE loaded baked potato = happiness. It has this kind of dive-y atmosphere and is slightly reminiscent of a pirate hangout. It can get really packed, but the wait isn’t usually over 45 minutes. Be sure to get to get the signature drink, the Monsoon, while you’re at it. For only $10 you get a generously poured drink in a large, plastic to-go cup. But be careful, it will sneak up on you quick.
Fancy, Upscale Restaurants
Central Business District/Downtown:
- Herbsaint: French and Italian inspired Southern dishes. Seriously good food.
- Restaurant August: So delicious! Contemporary French cuisine. Another restaurant by Chef John Besh.
- Antoines: French-Creole cuisine. The Signature dish is Oysters Rockefeller and it is a must try.
- Arnauds: French-Creole. If you have the time go for the Jazz Brunch on Sunday.
- Brennans: A mix of seafood, Creole and Louisiana cooking. The home of the original Bananas Foster. I highly recommend trying this dish.
- Court of Two Sisters: Amazing atmosphere and even more amazing food. French-Creole cuisine.
- Galatoires: Has the reputation as one of the best traditional food establishments in New Orleans. I highly recommend trying out the shrimp remoulade, oyster en brochette and crabmeat Yvonne.
This is not a definitive list, but it is a great place to start. There are so many great restaurants to find in New Orleans and I recommend discovering as much as possible. Trust me, your taste-buds will thank you.
The Epic Dining Guide Map
All the restaurants featured in this post are conveniently tabbed on this custom google map
View Epic Pubcon 2013 Dining Guide in a larger map