Updated on September 1, 2015
In honor of the upcoming holiday of Mardi Gras in about a week and a half (Feb. 17th) I thought I would do a series of posts on some of my favorite aspects of the city! I was born in New Orleans (although I lived the majority of my life in Maryland), went back there for college at Tulane and usually return about once or twice a year. This will be the first time in 5 years that I have not been able to attend Mardi Gras so these posts will serve as my taste of the Big Easy this year. Here is what we will be talking about:
So first up, BREAKFAST! The most important meal of the day and New Orleans is a great place to get the day started in a delicious way. I am not someone who is looking to spend $50 a person for breakfast so there will probably be some really fancy, super expensive places that aren’t included. But who cares! These places are AWESOME and reasonable.
Honorable Mentin: Refuel Cafe
I have only been here once, it was delicious, and my friend Bill swears by the place. If you are Upotwn, around the riverbend you need to do yourself a favor and try this place.
In the location formerly occupied by BlueBird Cafe, which was a great breakfast place in its own right, this small local restaurant is a great place to eat. It is located on Prytania St. near Touro Hospital in the Garden District/Uptown. The menu is simple and straight forward with only a few items. The important thing is that the few things they do make are VERY GOOD, especially the Eggs Creole!
Now if I were staying in the French Quarter I’m not sure that I would venture all the way here. But if you’re anywhere Uptown or in the Garden district it is certainly a place to go. They also have a great lunch menu if that is more to your liking!
2. Cafe du Monde
Any trip to New Orleans MUST include a trip to Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter! Located on Decatur St. across from Jackson Square this is another simple breakfast place with ONE food item, BEIGNETS!
The menu is on the side of the napkin holder and includes, milk, water, coffee, iced coffee, and beignets, that’s about it. Whether it is breakfast or 2am after leaving the piano bar at Pat O’s this is a great meal! Beignets are basically fried dough covered in powdered sugar so it is really tough to get better than that. Just go in and sit down!
TIPS: It’s cash only so make sure you have some. Also, it is a walk in and sit down place. Frequently there will be a line of tourists going down the block of people thinking they have to wait to be seated. DON’T get in this line. Walk in the entrance near the actual building and sit down. If you don’t see any seat in the large outside area, check the small inside area. I don’t believe I have ever been there when there hasn’t been a seat in this small inside area.
Finally it’s time for the #1!
1. Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar
I can not say enough about this great little breakfast place located on Magazine street in the Garden District. It’s a small, eclectic restaurant with local art on the walls, that is constantly changing, and some of the best breakfast I have EVER had. Here’s a copy of their menu here but trust me, it is all awesome. My 2 personal favorite are the Shrimp & Grits and their Bananas Foster French Toast! I could eat either of these for breakfast every day, forever I think.
Going along with their name they also have great juices as they are all fresh squeezed and delicious.
Even if you are staying in the French Quarter, this is a place I would go out of my way to eat. I make at least one trip here every visit to New Orleans.
TIP: This place is CASH ONLY also, so be prepared. Also, there is usually a wait, but tell them that you will split your party up if there are many of you and you will be seated A LOT faster!
There are many many places to eat in New Orleans but these are my 3 favorite for breakfast. So now you know where to start your day!
Stay tuned all this week as we talk more about New Orleans in preparation for the big day!