New Orleans is one of the most amazing places anyone will ever have the privilege of visiting in his or her life. The city is seriously so amazing: from its jazz scene, to tourist sites, to the literal best food ever. Most importantly though, who can forget about Mardi Gras? Fat Tuesday is something I have always wanted to experience and is at the top of my bucket list.
Since NOLA is known for its food and Creole cuisine, it is hard narrowing down the list of places to try. If you're anything like I am, you've probably asked all your friends and relatives for recommendations. If not, don't worry; that's what I'm here for. These are the best places to eat for Mardi Gras if you've never been to New Orleans.
Huck Finn's honestly has the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes I have ever had in my life. I'm really not even a breakfast person, so the fact that I have been to Huck Finn's twice and have visited NOLA twice is quite telling. These pancakes on their own are amazing, but after a night of drinking on Bourbon Street (if you're of age), I can only imagine they taste even better.
Additionally, the bayou lafitte (crawfish etouffee skillet eggs) are ridiculously good too. I'm not the biggest fan of eggs, so I just tried the etouffee, and it is one of the best dishes I have eaten. Not trying Huck Finn's is 100% a mistake because it has some of the greatest brunch foods you'll ever have in your life.
Location: 135 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Cafe Du Monde is a classic NOLA site. It has been open since 1862 and lives up to the hype. Beignets in general are beyond delicious,but Cafe Du Monde's are the crispiest, least greasy, and perfectly sugared. I'm also a huge fan of the Chicory coffee. It's very strong and different from your typical coffee so if you want to try something new, order the Chicory.
Luckily for you, Cafe Du Monde is open 24/7 (except for Christmas Day and occasionally during Hurricane season). A visit to NOLA would not be complete without a stop at this historic site.
Location: 800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The first time I visited New Orleans, my mom and I discovered this place while walking on Decatur St, but it was so good that the second time I went to NOLA we went back. As indicated by its name, there are tons of beers to choose from (once again if you're of age) and you can even do a beer flight. I absolutely love po' boys and is a must-try in this incredible city, and especially at Crescent City Brewhouse. You can also order other Creole classics like gumbo, alligator, and jumbalaya. You for sure get a true, authentic New Orleans experience here.
Location: 527 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Conveniently located in the French Market, The Organic Banana is the best place to go when you want a cold, fruity, refreshing drink. You have the option of ordering an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage from tons of choices. You can't go wrong with any drink you choose because they're all so tasty.
If you've had your fill of Hurricanes and Hand Grenades, The Organic Banana's drinks are a great way to have something equally as strong but classier. The drinks are made with fresh fruit and are perfect for quenching your thirst. Since you'll be in the French Market anyway, you'll be able to shop for souvenirs, listen to music, and try tons of food.
Location: 100 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Pierre Maspero's is another historical, long-standing restaurant. It was actually once a slave exchange where men planned their escape. Andrew Jackson even went here to plan his defense for the Battle of New Orleans.
If this history isn't enough to persuade you to pay a visit here, the food should. This restaurant has every classic Creole dish imaginable, ranging from fried green tomatoes, to chicken and andouille gumbo, to muffaletta. I'm a huge Creole food lover so I had such a hard time deciding what to order. With that being said, anything you order is sure to be heavenly and satisfy your Creole craving.
Location: 440 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 7013
GW Fins is definitely a classy establishment so if you want to have a more pricey, but beyond amazing dinner, then this is the place to be. There are so many different types of fish and seafood to choose from, and everything is fresh and relatively healthy.
The desserts here are also amazing. Since you're already splurging, you may as well go for the dessert because it actually is worth it. Once you've sobered up, I highly recommend making a reservation and trying GW Fins for some of the best food you'll ever have in your life.
Location: 808 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112
As you can see, New Orleans offers one of the greatest cuisines in the world. Trying staples such as po' boys, beignets, and etouffee are musts because #noragrets. Not only will you be drinking your way through NOLA, but you'll also be eating your way through it.
There are so many places to try while visiting this incredible city, but these places are perfect for first-time visitors especially during Mardi Gras because you truly get an authentic New Orleans experience. Each of these places are worth the visit since everything on the menus is beyond delicious.
While you'll inevitably have to deal with other tourists like yourself, a trip to NOLA wouldn't be complete without stopping at these places. Do yourself a favor, go book a flight and reservations for the time of your life. Don't forget: laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!