My (Teylor) parents have been going to New Orleans Jazz Fest since the early 90’s. More likely than not, they go to the fest both weekends and even find the energy to see the late night shows at local venues. Anyone who knows NOLA, knows it’s a place unlike any other. From the quirky art to the night life, the city is unique. From the history to the Cajun culture, New Orleans is a city that perseveres. While my parents study the festival line-up, I’m busy planning where and what we’re going to eat. Unfortunately I had to stick to the lighter fare this year for the sake of a Team DNA Fitness photoshoot I have this weekend. In comes Nic, who I vicariously ate through. He’ll give you a rundown of their spin on classic festival food and where to stop while you’re in town!
Places you don’t want to miss out on in New Orleans:
Right off of Jackson Square in the French Quarter is a small restaurant in a courtyard between buildings. This is where you’ll find some of my favorite cajun dishes in the city. I recommend the Tasso Cream past – the Gumbo is also amazing. I always end up making a stop when I’m in town.
Willa Jean is a bakery in the up-and-coming warehouse district. The baked goods looked delicious if you’re just looking for a place to stop in and grab coffee. If you’re eyeing brunch pictures on Yelp…make a reservation. We stopped by on Saturday morning and were greeted by an hour and a half wait. We returned Monday for lunch and had sandwiches, mine was a Brisket Cuban and Tey had a Turkey Sandwich. Everything was fresh, even the chips were made in-house. We capped lunch off with a Dirty Chai Tea (mine) and an Almond Milk Latte (hers.) Next time we’re definitely reserving for brunch ahead of time.
We ended up at Johnny Sanchez on our last night in New Orleans. This Mexican joint has great drinks that I would have taken more advantage of if we didn’t have to be up for a 5am flight. The Queso Fundido was delicious, paired with homemade tortillas and smoky salsa. My Arroz Con Pollo with crispy rice was also delicious. Crispy rice is something I had never had before and it is now something I need to learn how to make. Tey had a wood-fired shrimp salad that was top notch. Definitely a place to stop in, especially if you’re looking for an extensive list of tequilas.
Another French Quarter gem that you could easily walk right past unless you knew it was there, Sylvain was one of the culinary highlights of the trip. We recommend you make a reservation in advance! We each grabbed a Brasil Libre (a Cuba Libra with cachaca instead of rum) at the bar while we waited for our table in the courtyard. The vibe was very relaxed, low light, good tunes. The food was locally sourced and everything was cooked perfectly. Tey had a juicy looking burger and I had slow braised beef cheeks. If we were there any longer, we would have definitely made a repeat appearance.
- Cafe Du Monde (obviously)
It may sound cliche, but you can’t leave without one. Cafe Du Monde is packed around the clock and you should take that as an endorsement. An order of beignets and a cafe au lait is the perfect way to start a New Orleans morning (or end a late night!) There isn’t too much more to say. Go. Eat. Try not to end up entirely covered in powdered sugar. Leave.