A few weeks ago I traveled to New Orleans with my dad to tour Tulane University. Although the school tour was amazing and extremely impressive, the food we ate on our weekend getaway was even better. All different styles of food, all different restaurant atmospheres, yet all ridiculously delicious. 


Sydney Brown

The first night of our New Orleans visit we went to dinner at Shaya, a middle eastern cuisine restaurant that was given the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant In The US.

After walking into the restaurant, I immediately noticed the whimsical lighting and comforting shade of blue painted across the walls. Our waiter was extremely helpful and planned out our courses so that each would complement each other. Shaya provided the ultimate dining experience. 

Hummus with Grilled Octopus, Chanterelle Mushrooms, & Corn

Sydney Brown

Even after living in Israel for two months, this wasn't my typical chickpea hummus. The flavor profile was absolutely insane, between the sweet corn, the smokey octopus, the tender mushrooms, and the small sprinkling of spicy Aleppo pepper. To say the least, this hummus set the bar very high for the rest of the meal.

Crispy Halloumi Cheese With Butternut Squash Purée & Fennel Salad

Sydney Brown

I would name this dish the best plate of my entire trip. Between the salty cheese with the perfectly crisp exterior, the sweet butternut squash, and the refreshing fennel, this was one of the most balanced bites I've ever had in my life. Definitely a must try.

Persian Crispy Rice with Cherries 

Sydney Brown

Our second to last dish of the meal, the most perfect crispy rice cake. Topping the rice with juicy cherries and fresh green onions made for a perfect accompaniment to our next dish... 

Roasted Leg of Lamb

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This fall-off-the-bone lamb with tangy yogurt sauce and fresh herbs was the greatest way we could've ended our meal. All of these dishes plus the fluffiest pita imaginable made our first meal in NOLA one of our favorite meals ever. 


The following day we toured Tulane in the morning, and worked up an appetite by the time lunch rolled around. We decided to walk into town right outside of campus, and found DTB, the cutest new cajun restaurant to have a quick bite at.

Sydney Brown

My dad ate the crispy oyster sandwich with fresh slaw, a fried egg, and gravy. It was one of the craziest sandwiches I've ever laid eyes on. The salty gravy, crisp veggie slaw, and perfectly fried oyster definitely hit the spot after a long morning. Another must see. 


Cochon, which is French for pig, was my uncle's dinner recommendation for me and my dad. Considering he's quite the foodie, I had my hopes set pretty high. To say the least, this meal exceeded all of my expectations.

Ribs with Pickled Watermelon 

Sydney Brown

Pickled watermelon, what? I know, I was thinking the same thing. However, it worked perfectly, because the tender ribs needed something tangy to counteract their richness. The pickled watermelon tasted similar to candied ginger, and the sauce on the ribs made them to die for.

Rabbit and Dumplings 

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Yes, rabbit. I was very skeptical about ordering this, but the waiter insisted that it was one of the best items on the entire menu. The whole dish was phenomenal, but the best part was the sauce that all of it was in. It reminded me of a comforting pot pie, but instead of a crust on top, it was surrounded by fluffy biscuits. How bad could that be?

Mac n' Cheese

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This is the mac n' cheese that I see in my dreams. Crispy, cheesy top and a creamy, cheesy middle. This southern comfort skillet dish truly made our day come full circle. 


Sydney Brown

Before we caught our morning flight home, we stopped by Brennan's, a famous New Orleans restaurant right in the heart of the city. These blackberry and cheese blintzes were absolutely delicious, and I've heard their bananas foster is incredible, too. With a satisfied stomach and a full heart, I can honestly saw New Orleans blew my mind. 

On your next trip to New Orleans, make sure to check out all of these treasures that opened my eyes to the range of cuisines the the city had to offer. Thanks for the food, NOLA!