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When I was deciding where to head for my birthday I am not going to lie, food was a big motivator. I should probably get a tattoo that says will travel for food. Food and snacks mean a lot to me. And while I have previously mentioned that I did not know much about New Orleans prior to my trip, I knew NOLA had a serious reputation for good eats. I spent a considerable amount of time everyday (I know that’s greedy) making sure that I made just the right food decisions. I think I managed to narrow it down to a few New Orleans restaurants that you don’t want to miss.

Cafe’ Beignet

While Cafe du Monde is on everyone’s bucket list Cafe Beignet was cute, way less crowed and the dessert was delicious. I expected no less with beignet in the name! I am so glad our hotel was within 5 minutes walking to one of their locations. The beignets here are were not to be slept on. If you want to skip the big crowds, definitely check out one of their locations.

The Gumbo Shop

Gumbo was one of the things I knew I HAD to try on my trip to NOLA but also that I had never had. What better place to try it than at a place whose name is in the dish. The Gumbo shop appears in so many other roundups of New Orleans restaurants and so I was confident that the food would not disappoint. We had a crawfish/crabcake appetizer as well as the seafood gumbo and the chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. All of which were super delicious!

Ruby Slipper Cafe

Despite bacon being one of my favorite foods, breakfast is not my favorite meal. Eggs make me sick if they aren’t done well and I am a hard French Toast critic. I am always hesitiant to try new breakfast places for fear of nausea. And I flat out just never know what I want to eat. When I left the Ruby Slipper Cafe I knew I would be happy if I no other breakfast the entire trip. The portions were amazing and so was the food. The catfish and grits was so good James ordered it two days in a row.

Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar and Fish House

The day I finally worked up the nerve to try chargrilled oysters it was pouring rain and we couldn’t walk to the restaurant that I initially wanted to try them from. I found Mr. Ed’s on another last minute yelp search and it was within walking distance of where we were staying. Full disclaimer the only thing we ordered were drinks (good) and these oysters so I don’t have MUCH to give you but I will say the oysters were delicious. Even though I analyzed them for FOREVER before taking the plunge. The waiter even laughed at me and could tell it was my first time having them. But they cooked and covered in butter, parmesan and breadcrumbs. They really were good. THANK HEAVENS!

Other things to try while you’re in New Orleans

  • Gator – Don’t think too hard it really does taste like chicken. I promise!
  • Crawfish – Because it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t.
  • Po Boy – I’m ashamed to say I didn’t have one my entire trip. I think I was too busy trying all the new drinks.. I mean things!
  • Shrimp and Grits – From anywhere really. I think I had BBQ shrimp and grits more than once and it was good every time.
  • Drinks! – Hand grenades, Hurricanes and rum punch a plenty! There are so many fun drinks to try especially up and down Bourbon street and within all the New Orleans restaurants.

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Do you like to try new foods when you vacation or stick to what you know?

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