Here’s a historically delicious look at seven of the finest and oldest restaurants in New Orleans. It makes a heck of a gourmand wish list as well. I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting one of these places, Tujague’s (love it!) and am now seriously hankering for another trip to one of my favourite cities (and arguably the world’s yummiest). Bon appetit, y’all!
Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville Street, French Quarter, 70130
“Proudly serving old cold oysters,” for just over 100 years, Acme offers fresh seafood in a rollicking French Quarter setting. There’s now a second Acme in town at the Harrah’s casino and hotel complex as well as a few other new locations across Louisiana as well as in Gulf Shores, Alabama and Sandestin, Florida. Aw shucks, is this the best place to have oysters in Nawlins? A lot of folks from wide and far would answer that question with an aw yeah! Have a look at acmeoyster.com.
713 Saint Louis Street, French Quarter, 70130
Owned and operated by the fifth generation of the family of the original founder, Antoine Alciatore, this fine French-Creole dining establishment is not only the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, it’s also the longest running family-owned restaurant in America. Soak up the atmosphere while savouring traditional Louisiana dishes such as oysters baked on the half shell (with the original Rockefeller sauce created here in 1889) and gombo Creole with blue crabs, oysters, and gulf shrimp. Consider visiting on a Sunday for the famous jazz brunch. Get an online taste at antoines.com.
813 Bienville Avenue, French Quarter, 70112
Arnaud’s is the largest restaurant in New Orleans and home of the city’s largest restaurant kitchen. Does size matter? Well, the fans of this giant of the NOLA dining scene could probably fill Arnaud’s restored turn-of-the-century dining rooms several times over again and again. And with the aromas of classic Creole cuisine and live Dixieland wafting through the air, who could blame them? Go to arnaudsrestaurant.com for more information.
819 Conti Street, French Quarter, 70112
“Classic food, old architecture and tradition to achieve an experience that you’ll always remember,” is the formula for Broussard’s successful longevity. French imperial ambience and gracious courtyard dining with a celebrated menu that’s as haut as it is oh yeah? Yes please! Dig in digitally at broussards.com.
1403 Washington Avenue, Garden District, 70130
The food here is the stuff of legends and many of the chefs who worked their magic in the kitchen here went on to become legends themselves. Arguably the most beloved eatery (by locals and visitors alike) in a city full of exceptional places to eat, you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant anywhere in the world that’s more highly regarded than Commander’s Palace. See for yourself at commanderspalace.com.
209 Bourbon Street, French Quarter, 70130
“Indulging in tradition,” Galatoire’s has been wowing celebrities, politicians, tourists and pretty much anybody with a hearty appetite and appreciation for great food. The stories about this famed restaurant and its once infamous queue to get in are many – whether fact or fiction. Even Tennessee Williams thought Galatoire’s was a fitting place for his characters Blanche and Stella to dine in his play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Indulge more at galatoires.com.
823 Decatur Street, French Quarter, 70116
The second oldest restaurant in NOLA and home to one of the better meals I had during my last round in New Orleans, Tujague’s is conveniently – and evocatively – set just off Jackson Square. The menu deftly adheres to tradition while finding inspiration in more contemporary cuisine. Service is polite and prompt. The bar and dining room exude riverside charm and history. Check out the restaurant online at tujaguesrestaurant.com.