If you’re a high school junior or senior, you’re definitely familiar with being bombarded by extended family members, friends, and even your grandma’s bridge club about where you want to go to college. While you may or may not think you know where you actually want to go, there is no better way to find out than to do a food tour, wait, I mean an info session and a campus tour of the school.
My mom and I used this mentality when we ventured to New Orleans, LA to visit Tulane University. When traveling in the peak of the summer with high humidity and temperatures over 100 degrees, food not only was our way of testing out the city, but was also a great excuse to escape the heat. Rated the #4 foodie city in America, New Orleans has endless restaurant options. Because narrowing the choices down to just a few can be extremely difficult, here are five restaurants you absolutely have to visit when touring Tulane.
There is no better way to prepare for a long info session than eating beignets at the iconic Café Du Monde. While the line may be incredibly long (like, down the entire block long), these fried puff balls showered in powdered sugar are definitely worth the wait.
My advice is to pair the beignets with a frozen iced coffee or a regular iced coffee to cool off from the heat and to get a nice caffeine boost, especially if you decide to endure the line before touring Tulane.
Named the Best New Restaurant in America in 2014, Pêche is a seafood lover’s heaven and the perfect place to have a sit-down lunch. Although somewhat expensive, Pêche offers a unique and amazing take on many traditional New Orleans delicacies such as hushpuppies, smoked tuna dip, and marinated crab claws. Come to Pêche open minded because the food is definitely like no other, but listen to your waiter/waitress for suggestions and be prepared to dig in.
Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Leah’s Pralines is a traditional sweet-shop serving up a wide selection of daily-made pralines, brittles, and chocolate treats. Leah’s is known for their pralines—hence the name—which is a New Orleans staple dessert made with sugar, butter, and pecans.
Pralines make for a perfect mid-day pick-me-up for any sweet tooth. The best part of Leah’s is that all of their sweet treats are packaged in cute boxes so you can bring back tons for your family members and friends.
Famous Food Network chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant is a can’t miss dinner opportunity. With over 25 years of culinary experience, Lagasse prepares many New Orleans classics such as po boys, crawfish etoufee, and his unbelievable fried chicken with mac and cheese. After a long day of touring, there is no better place to stuff your face than NOLA.
5. Willa Jean
Everything about Willa Jean is aesthetically (and palate) pleasing, from its brick wall decor and hanging ceiling lights, to its poached egg avocado toast and cornbread with maple butter. You can’t miss out on their amazing drinks as well, such as frosé—frozen rosé—for the parents, and their incredible, indescribable Milk Money Latte made with homemade vanilla bean milk and a shot of espresso.
#SpoonTip: Don’t forget to buy one of their baguette sandwiches or to-go cookies to munch on during your long plane ride home.
Tulane’s prime location provided a comforting, suburban college town feel with the major benefit of having the heart of the city of NOLA just a few blocks away. I was truly impressed by the beautiful weather, overall happiness, and uplifting spirit of the students, and of course, the unique “Nawleans” southern food. While college visits are usually incredibly boring, the vibrant city of New Orleans mixed with the unbelievable, A+ cuisine made this college trip one to remember.