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Home / Articles / Entertainment / Culture / Best of the Big Easy: Reader's Picks
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Jun 1st, 2011

Best of the Big Easy: Reader's Picks


Staff

 NIGHTLIFE

Best Dance Club
1. Ampersand
1100 Tulane Ave, 587-3737
If you’re looking for a club that can appease you both visually and auditory, then look no more! Ampersand which is located in the C.B.D. , used to be a bank, before hosting the likes of Tiesto and Lil’ Wayne.  If you’re looking for exclusivity, can you really beat being in a bank vault?
2. Generations Hall (310 Howard Ave.,
    568-1702)
3. Gold Mine (705 Dauphine St., 586-0745)

Best Happy Hour
1. Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue, 899-9308)
Every weekday from 5-7 come visit the Columns Hotel for their happy hour.  Whether you want to go inside for a group gathering and enjoy their great table service, or you want to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful Garden District with a great cocktail, Columns Hotel is the place to be.
2.    Superior Grill (3636 St. Charles Ave., 899-4200)
3.    Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar (701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995)

Best Dive Bar
1.     Ms. Mae’s (4336 Magazine St., 895-9401)
Ms. Mae’s should serve as the prototype for every dive bar. Cheap drinks, friendly bartenders, to foosball and air hockey tables, Ms. Mae’s have a good vibe.  Perks like the late night drink specials and a page on their website devoted to their regulars only add to the fun.
2.    Snake and Jake’s (7601 Oak St., 861-8202)
3.    Molly’s at the Market (1107 Decatur, 525-5169)

Best Late Night Bar
1.    F&M’s Patio Grill and Bar (4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-6784)
With the Grill open until 4am Sun-Thurs (and until 5:30 am on Saturday and Sunday), F&M’s Patio Grill and Bar gives you the option to keep your night going with either late night food or drinks.  Come try the Alligator Quesadillas or Cheese Fries for a late night treat.
2.    Snake and Jake’s (7601 Oak St., 861-8202)
3.    Ye Olde Original Dungeon (738 Toulouse St., 523-5530)

Best Place to See & Be Seen
1.    Generation’s Hall (310 Howard Ave., 568-1702)
While containing the feel of an era passed, Generation Hall also has the most up-to-date audio and visual equipment, making it a fantastic place to spend a Saturday night.  Perfectly located by the Convention Center, come to Generation’s Hall if you are looking for more than just another night out.
2.    House of Blues (225 Decatur, 310-4999)
3.    Le Phare (523 Gravier St., 636 1890)

Best Sport’s Bar
1.    Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 552-2739)
With multiple plasma televisions and beer they brewed themselves, what more can a sports fan ask for? At Gordon’s you can get a great value on a good burger, pick from a large amount of beers they have on tap, all right next to Harrah’s Casino and the French Quarter.
2.    Cooter Brown’s (509 Carrollton Ave. 866-9104)
3.    Bruno’s (7538 Maple St., 861-7615)

Best Upscale Bar
1.    Monkey Hill (6100 Magazine St., 899-4800)
Monkey Hill provides the people of New Orleans with a comfortable setting where one can choose from a variety of cocktails or wines with which they would like to enjoy their night.  Add fantastic service and live music, and Monkey Hill is definitely a place one can enjoy a night at.
2.    Cure (4905 Freret St., 302-2357)
3.    Whiskey Blue (333 Poydras St., 207-5016)

Best Hotel Bar
1.    Whiskey Blue (333 Poydras St., 207-5016)
Whiskey Blue is located in the heart of downtown.  Add that to the fact that Whiskey Blue supplies its customers with well-made cocktails and hot DJ sounds, and you can see what all the fuss is about..  Bring your friends and enjoy hanging out while listening to some good music.  
2.    Carousel Bar (214 Royal St., 523-3341)
3.    LOA (221 Camp St., 553-9550)

Best New Bar/Club
1.    Oak Wine Bar and Bistro (8118 Oak St., 302-1485)
Looking for some good wine, then Oak is the place for you.  Oak provides an elegant atmosphere, where one can enjoy the music, eat tapas and have a nice glass of wine while sitting on the lovely patio, or sit inside at the bar, where the bartenders will craft your drink how you like it.
2.    Eiffel Society (2040 St. Charles Ave., 525-2951)
3.    12 Bar (608 Fulton St., 212-6476)

Best Gay Bar
1.    Oz (800 Bourbon St., 593-9491)
Come to Oz, positioned in the hottest gay corner of the city.  Whether you’re looking for a good happy hour, or a lively night on the town, Oz is the stop for you.  A staple for locals and a must-see for tourists, Oz provides an experience that can only be found there.
2.    Bourbon Pub (801 Bourbon St., 529-2107)
3.    Good Friends Bar (740 Dauphine St., 566-7191)

Best College Bar
1.    The Frat House (8200 Willow St., 861-4141)
If you’re looking to relieve some stress after class with your fellow students, The Frat House is the place for you.   With something to do every day, from Ladies Night to Foam Parties, there is no shortage of things to do.  With cheap drinks and good live music, The Frat House is what you need.
2.    The Boot (1039 Broadway St., 866-9008)
3.    Palms (7130 Freret St., 861-0236)

Best Bar Patio
1.    Pat O’ Brien’s (718 St. Peter, 525-4823)
Home of the Hurricane, Pat O’ Brien’s has been a staple of the nightlife in New Orleans for quite some time.  While always filled with energy and people, one can enjoy any of the areas in this bar, whether it is the piano bar or the patio with the beautiful flaming fountain.
2.    Bulldog (3236 Magazine St., 891-1516)
3.    St. Joe’s (5535 Magazine St., 899-3744)

Best Gentlemen’s Club
1.    Penthouse Club (727 Iberville St., 524-4354)
The Penthouse Club is the largest gentlemen’s club in New Orleans.  The club accommodates its guests with a good audio and light show, as well as a high energy and swanky vibe. The suites upstairs allow customers to relax with some friends and enjoy some time away from the party.
2.    Rick’s Cabaret (315 Bourbon St., 524-4222)
3.    Visions (4000 Downman Rd., 240-0069)

Best Irish Pub
1.     Finn McCool’s (3701 Banks St. 486-9080)
Not just an imitation Irish Pub, Finn McCool’s offers you the chance to watch some real football with good, cold beer.  The drinks are cheap, the food is good, and with a challenging trivia night, there is enough to draw one out to Finn’s for a night out.
2.    Kerry’s Irish Pub (331 Decatur St. 286-5862)
3.    Erin Rose (811 Conti St., 523-8619)

Best Bloody Mary
1.     Daisy Duke’s (121 Chartres St., 522-2233)
Daisy Dukes has excellent Bottomless Bloody Marys that will either start off or wind down any day just right. Add that with the good food at late hours, an easy to find downtown location, and a name you’ll never forget, and you’ll see why this bar was voted “Best of.”
2.    Superdome (1500 Sugar Bowl Dr., 587-3663)
3.    Igor’s (2133 St. Charles St., 522-2145)

Best Margarita
1.    Nacho Mama’s (Various Locations)
Nacho Mama’s provides a variety of mouth-watering food, like giant burritos and quesadillas to die for, as well as many tasty, tequila based drinks.  Enjoy a cold Margarita around the bar while watching your favorite sports, or take in the nightlife at one of the outdoor tables.
2.    Superior Grill (3636 St. Charles St., 899-4200)
3.    Rita’s Tequila House (419 Bourbon St., 298-8227)

Best Hand-Crafted Cocktail
1.    Bar Tonique (820 N Rampart St., 324-6045)
Bar Tonique goes the extra mile when it comes to their cocktails.  Whether it’s the hand squeezed fruit, or their own homemade tonic water or ginger, Bar Tonique offers a difference pace and a different taste from what is often found in the French Quarter.
2.    Cure (4905 Freret St., 302-2357)
3.    Swizzle Stick (300 Poydras St., 595-3305)

Best Place for Wine
1.     Clever (3700 Orleans Ave., 483-6360)
When you have over 400 wines, you can qualify as the Best Wine bar in the city.  Clever doesn’t stop there, also serving an extensive amount of cocktails, as well as fine beers, allowing anyone to enjoy their stay.
2.    WINO (610 Tchoupitoulas St., 324-8000)
3.    Bouche (840 Tchoupitoulas St., 914-0579)

Best Place for Beer
1.    Crescent City Brewhouse (527 Decatur St.522-0571)
Crescent City Brewhouse carries the distinction of being the only microbrewery in the French Quarter. Aside from having an impressive collection of beers, from classic pilsners to weiss and seasonal favorites, this brewhouse also serves up some tasty foods that will compliment any beverage.
2.    Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 552-2739)
3.    Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles St., 586-9243)

Best Mojito
1.    St. Joe’s (5535 Magazine St., 899-3744)
St. Joe’s mojitos are refreshingly delicious, and with the option to add fresh fruits, such as the popular blueberry mojito, you’ll never be able to settle on a favorite flavor. St Joe’s also offers a variety of cocktails that are sure to have your taste buds thanking you as you enjoy the beautiful atmosphere.
2.    Rum House (3128 Magazine St., 941-7560)
3.    Bridge Lounge (1201 Magazine St., 299-1888)

Best Music Club
1.    House of Blues (225 Decatur, 310-4999)
The House of Blues hosts a variety of shows, from your favorite well-known groups to diamonds in the rough. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for a bit, this is the place to go for music. Come by and grab a drink or some dinner before you go watch one of their top-notch shows!
2.    Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Ave., 899-4206)
3.    Blue Nile (534 Frenchmen St., 948-2583)

Best Jazz Club
1.    Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (300 Bourbon St., 553-2299)
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse is located in the renowned Royal Sonesta Hotel. Come inside for some good drinks and soul-touching music from one of the city’s renowned musicians, as you escape from Bourbon Street’s nightlight into a luxurious and relaxed setting.
2.    Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
    (626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696)
3.    Fritzel’s Jazz Pub (733 Bourbon St., 586-4800)

Best Place for Bar Games
1.    Shamrock’s (4133 S Carrollton Ave., 301-0938)
If you like playing games while you drink, Shamrock’s is for you. Whether it’s a classic pool game, ping-pong, or even skee ball, Shamrock’s knows how to play. There’s also plenty of karaoke, live music, 30 beers on tap, and killer food to keep you entertained while you play.
2.    Finn McCool’s (3701 Banks St. 486-9080)
3.    LeBon Temps (4801 Magazine St., 895-8117)

Best Bywater/Marigny Bar
1.     d.b.a. (618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731)
d.b.a. provides Frenchmen street with their largest selection of beer, from a bold Guinness to a lighter NOLA Blonde Ale, as well as a variety of musical acts including local favorites like John Boutte.  Come enjoy some local music and beer in this bar and you’ll be coming back again and again.
2.    Mimi’s (2601 Royal St., 872-9868)
3.     Maison (508 Frenchmen St., 371-5543)

Best Uptown Bar
1.    Le Bon Temps Roule (4801 Magazine St., 895-8117)
Le Bon Temps Roule is an Uptown bar that has something for everyone.  Whether you want to watch a game, play pool, or hear some live music, Le Bon Temps will have something for you to enjoy the night. As a local or tourist, you definitely don’t want to miss having a drink at this bar.
2.    St. Joe’s (5535 Magazine St., 899-3744)
3.    Balcony Bar (1104 Harmony St., 895-1600)

Best French Quarter Bar
1.    Tropical Isle (Various Locations)
What else is there to say, besides “Hello, Hand Grenades!” If that weren’t enough, Tropical Isle also has live music. No night is complete without taking home a traditional Hand Grenade cup. If you want to have a roarin’ good time while you drink, this is the place to be in the French Quarter.
2.    Cat’s Meow (701 Bourbon St., 523-1157)
3.    Jean LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop  (941 Bourbon St., 522-9377)

Best CBD/Warehouse
1.    Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar (701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995)
Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar offers up some good food and drinks in the heart of the CBD.  Whether you’re trying one of their great specialty cocktails or a classic margarita, Lucy’s provides you with a unique name and an even more distinctive vibe that’s hard to pass up.
2.    Rusty Nail (1100 Constance St., 525-5515)
3.    Dino’s (1128 Tchoupitoulas St., 558-0900)

Best Mid-City
1.    Finn McCool’s (3701 Banks St. 486-9080)
Finn McCool’s provides an interesting atmosphere that ensures a great night every night. Whether you’re there for beer and soccer, to partake in a potluck, to chat with the great bartenders, or just there for the trivia, Finn McCool’s is a place where you can have a good time.
2.    Bayou Beer Garden (326 N Jefferson Davis Pkw, 302-9357)
3.    Mid-City Yacht Club (440 S St. Patrick St., 483-2517)

Best Metairie
1.     Winston’s (531 Metairie Rd., 831-8705)
Winston’s is a cozy little bar that allows you the luxury to relax on a couch as you enjoy your cold beer, with the added benefits of getting you off of your own couch and having a well-stocked cooler. The grill is also open late, so you can enjoy a good bite to eat as the night continues.
2.    Lager’s  (3501 Veteran’s Memorial Blvd.,  887-9923)
3.    Hurricane’s (1414 Veteran’s Memorial Blvd., 833-0050)

Best Westbank
1.    Gattuso’s  (435 Huey P. Long Ave., 368-1114)
With food and drink specials throughout the week, as well as great happy hour specials, Gattuso’s is a place you’ll have a hard time leaving.  Live music on Friday and Saturday night keeps you dancing the night away, while the good food leaves your pallet craving more.
2.    Old Point Bar (545 Patterson Dr., 364-0950)
3.    Crown & Anchor (200 Pelican Ave.,  227-1007)

Best Casino
1.    Treasure Chest (5050 Williams Blvd., 443-8000)
With over 950 slot machines and over 30 table games, it’s clear as to why Treasure Chest is a local favorite. Their continual showroom entertainment and great view of the lake is icing on the casino cake, and well worth being pulled away from the tables for a minute or two.
2.    Harrah’s (228 Poydras St., 533-6000)
3. Boomtown (4132 Peters Rd., 366-7711)


Theatre/Visual Art/
Performance

Best Live Theatre
1. Le Petit Theatre (616 St. Peters St., 522-2081)
Founded in 1916 and considered the oldest continuously operating community theater in the country, Le Petit Theatre is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality theatrical productions. They have currently suspended productions due to financial difficulties, but stay tuned!
2. Southern Rep (365 Canal St., 522-6545)
3. JPAS (1118 Clearview Parkway, 885-2000)

Best Theatre Venue
1. Mahalia Jackson Theatre (1419 Basin St., 525-1052)
Named in honor of the beloved New Orleans gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson Theatre was reopened in 2009 after Hurricane Katrina. Today, this grand venue hosts such esteemed performers as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Opera Association, as well as many Broadway Shows.
2. Le Petit Theatre (616 St. Peters St.,  522-2081)
3. Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St., 528-3805)

Best Art Gallery
1. Michalopoulos Gallery (617 Bienville St., 558-0273)
James Michalopoulos’s work reflects a keen interest in New Orleans architecture; familiar houses and urban landscapes are rendered lovingly in his abstract, impressionistic style. Michalopoulos is known for his Jazz Fest posters as well as his vivid oil paintings. This gallery is certainly worth a visit for any art lover.
2. LeMieux Galleries (332 Julia St., 522-5988)
3. Cole Pratt Gallery (3800 Magazine St., 891-6789)

Best Museum
1. New Orleans Museum of Art
    (One Collins Diboll Circle, 658-4100)
NOMA is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. The city’s oldest fine arts institution, it houses a magnificent collection of more than 40,000 objects. Be sure to take a scenic stroll through the Sculpture Garden, which contains over 60 sculptures as well as Spanish moss-laden live oaks, reflecting lagoons, and meandering footpaths.
2. National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St., 528-1944)
3. Ogden Museum (925 Camp St., 539-9600)

Best Shopping

Best Bike Shop
1.    GNO Cyclery
    (1426 South Carrollton Ave., 861-0023)
The perfect place for any bike enthusiast, whether you’re a biking beginner, a weekend warrior, or a seasoned pro. The friendly staff is always on hand to help; no question is too small to answer and no pothole-produced flat tire too big to keep you from enjoying the outdoors.
2.    Bayou Bikes (3530 Toulouse St.,     488-1946)
3.    Bicycle Michael’s (622 Frenchmen St.,     945-9505)

Best Men’s Clothing
1.    Rubenstein Bros. (102 St. Charles Ave., 581-6666)
Established in 1924 and voted “Best of Class” by Esquire three years in a row, this store is the place to be treated like a King. Complimentary valet parking, personal shoppers, and made to measure garments are just some of the services Rubenstein Bros. offers to their clientele.
2.    Perlis (Various Locations)
3.    M. Goldberg (502 Leontine St. 891-1119)

Best Women’s Clothing
1.    Hemline (Various Locations)
From the traditionally classic to something a little more on the funky side, Hemline offers a variety of clothing for any woman’s unique style. A Magazine St. feature since 2000, this store’s relaxing atmosphere and friendly staff will keep you coming back for the best fashions in town.
2.    Trashy Diva (Various Locations)
3.    Em’s (246 Metairie Rd., 834-2795)

Best Smoke Shop
1.    Herb Import (Various Locations)
With a friendly and knowledgeable staff and a great selection of hookahs, pipes, and vaporizers, Herb Import is the place to go for all your weekend plans. Their wide array of vitamins and supplements and an on-staff herbalist will keep you healthy no matter what nature throws your way.
2.    Uptown Smoke (4426 Magazine St., 309-3926)
3.    Hippy Gypsy (633 Canal St., 592-0525)
   

Best Adult Novelty
1.    Mr. Binky’s (301 Funston St., 305-2160)
This store has everything you need for your special nights in; whatever your pleasure, Mr. Binky’s has the right product for you. A huge selection of quality items for every occasion and the helpful staff will make sure you leave satisfied without making your wallet beg for mercy.
2.    Hustler Hollywood (111 Bourbon St., 561-9969)
3.    Suzette’s (4636 West Esplanade Ave., 888-7722)

Best Vintage Clothing
1.    Buffalo Exchange (3312 Magazine St., 891-7443)
If you’re looking for the best ways to stay local in style without going into debt, the Buffalo Exchange is the place for you. Who can resist this store’s fun atmosphere, quality resale fashion direct from the New Orleans community, excellent service, and clothing trade-in deals to die for?
2.    Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587)
3.    Branch Out (2022 Magazine St., 371-5913)

Best Costume Shop
1.    Uptown Costume & Dancewear  (4326 Magazine St., 895-7969)
It may look small on the outside, but this store has a gigantic selection of costumes, dancewear, and accessories to find the right finishing touch. From their tutus and tiaras to one of many full costume collections, no outfit for any New Orleans party is complete without a trip here.
2.    N.O. Party & Costume (705 Camp St., 525-4744)
3.    Gretna Costume Co. (2040 Belle Chasse Hwy #1, 324-8500)

Best Record Store
1.    Mushroom (1037 Broadway, 866-6065)
As a long-standing and eclectic place to shop in the area, Mushroom has a superb selection of local and used CDs, esoteric DVDs, and fun accessories for unique room décor. This store is great for locals and tourists alike, and their location makes shopping an experience you don’t want to miss.
2.    LA Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 586-1094)
3.    Peaches Records (408 N. Peters St., 282-3322)

Best Jewelry Shop:
1.    Mignon Faget (Various Locations)
As a New Orleans native, Newcomb College graduate, preservationist, and art activist, Mignon and her work has been an indelible part of the city. Her jewelry is exquisite, unique, and her collections celebrate and promote this city’s beauty and importance. A must have for any New Orleans woman.
2.    Aucoin Hart (1525 Metairie Rd., 834-9999)
3.    Symmetry (8138 Hampson St., 861-9925)

Best Supermarket
1.    Rouse’s (Various Locations)
A supporter of local produce, a wonderful wine selection, and an above and beyond staff are just a few of the great things that Rouse’s Supermarket offers on a daily basis. With a great selection of fresh foods and a helpful staff, you’ll even look forward to making groceries every week!
2.    Whole Foods (Various Locations)
3.    Dorignac’s (710 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 834-8216)

Best Tattoo/Piercing
1.    Electric Ladyland (610 Frenchmen St., 974-8286)
Known by locals and celebrities alike as an excellent place to get inked, ELT has a talented artist for every style you can think of. From small black and white basics to intricate full color designs, the staff will make your tattoo into something you’ll be glad to have with you forever.   
2.    Uptown Tattoo  (575 South Carrollton Ave., 866-3859)
3.    Hell or High Water (2038 Magazine St., 309-5411)

Best Athletic Club
1.    JCC (Metairie and Uptown, 897-0143)
From summer camp to adult learning classes, JCC has something for New Orleanians of every age. Whether you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy or just looking for a good place to work out, JCC offers a variety of activities and educational services offered at convenient times.
2.    Downtown Fitness Center (333 Canal St. #380, 525-2956)
3.    Hour Blast (7611 Maple St., 301-1967)

Best Bank
1.    Capital One (Various Locations)
Where ever you find yourself, this bank’s helpful staff, handy locations, and multiple ATMs make finance a breeze. Their community involvement programs are a welcomed lagniappe, and no shout out to Capital One is complete without mentioning the Mardi Gras “What’s in your wallet?” campaign.
2.    Whitney (Various Locations)
3.    Chase (Various Locations)

DINING

Best New Restaurant
1. Cowbell Kitchen (8801 Oak St., 298-8689)
With an artfully kitschy atmosphere, Cowbell Kitchen offers an Americana menu with a twist.  Classic dishes like the Mac and Cheese and The Cowbell Natural Beef Burger with homemade Agogo Sauce are not to be missed, and your taste buds will keep you coming back for more.
2. Sylvain (625 Chartres St., 265-8123)
3. Mondo (900 Harrison Ave., 224-2633)

Best Bywater/Marigny
1. Elizabeth’s Restaurant (601 Gallier St., 944-9272)
Elizabeth’s Restaurant not only offers an extensive menu for each time of day (including brunch), but also New Orleans-style twists that make ordinary dishes anything but: Praline Bacon, Boudin Balls in Creole mustard sauce are just a few of their fabulous offerings.
2.    The Joint (801 Poland Ave., 949-3232)
3.    La Peniche (1940 Dauphine St., 943-1460)

Best Uptown
1.    Pascal’s Manale (1838 Napoleon Ave., 895-4877)
Since Pascal’s Manale has been a New Orleans establishment since 1913, it is no surprise that the family-run atmosphere mirrors the Italian-Creole cuisine.  Boasting the invention of Barbequed Shrimp, seafood dishes are as appetizing as the fresh French Bread.     
2.    Vincent’s (7830 St. Charles Ave., 866-9313)
3.    One Restaurant & Lounge (8132 Hampson St., 301-9061)

Best French Quarter
1.    Antoine’s (513 Royal St., 581-4422)
Unquestionably, Antoine’s is a New Orleans standard.  Fourteen upscale, historical dining rooms set a perfect marriage between excellent service and classic French-Creole cuisine.  Dishes like Oysters Rockefeller and Eggs Sardou offer a lesson in local culinary history.   
2.    Muriel’s (801 Chartres St., 568-1885)
3.    Galatoire’s (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021)

Best CBD/Warehouse
1.    Rock ‘n Sake (823 Fulton St., 581-7253)
Large portions, colorful dishes, and a club-like atmosphere are just a few qualities that define Rock ‘n Sake.  The Japanese establishment accommodates all different diets, preferences, and levels of sushi-eating expertise.  Rock ‘n Sake is a perfect setting for parties.   
2.    Rio Mar (800 South Peters St., 525-3474)
3.    Capdeville (520 Capdeville St., 371-5161)

Best Mid-City
1.    Mandina’s (3800 Canal St., 482-9179)
Family-friendly and causal, Mandina’s exudes a type of old-school charm that characterizes Mid-City.  Whether you order Italian, seafood, or Creole, Mandina’s does not disappoint.  The giant seafood combination dishes are perfect for splitting with a date. 
2.    Venezia (134 North Carrollton Ave., 488-7991)
3.    Katie’s (3701 Iberville St., 488-6582)


Best Metairie
1.    Mr. Ed’s (1001 Live Oak St., 838-0022)
With large portions and local flavor, Mr. Ed’s is a staple in Metairie cuisine.  While the hot fried chicken is the most popular item on the menu, the seafood, Italian, and desert options won’t steer you wrong, either; whatever your palate, you’ll find something great!   
2.    Zea Rotisserie & Grill (4450 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 780-9090)
3.    Bravo (3413 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 828-8828)

Best Westbank
1.    O’Brien’s Grille (2020 Belle Chasse Hwy., 391-7229 )
A romantic, upscale atmosphere and extensive menu define this Terrytown spot.  While seafood doesn’t fail to please, steak is O’Brien’s specialty: this hidden gem’s tender steaks and mouth-watering meals are comparable to the famous Eastbank steakhouses.
2.    Red Maple (1036 Lafayette St., 367-0935)
3.    Alligator Pear (1901 Manhattan Blvd., 281-4472)

Best Lakeview
1.    Tony Angello’s (6262 Fleur De Lis Drive, 488-0888)
This is a must visit restaurant for every food lover. Tony Angello’s has family-style Italian ambiance with New Orleans flavor. The red gravy is excellent, and the “Feed Me” option is undeniable, where several courses of Tony’s most popular dishes are served for under $40.
2.    Steak Knife (888 Harrison Ave., 488-8981)
3.    Mondo (900 Harrison Ave., 224-2633)

Best Harahan
1.    Fat Hen Grill (1821 Hickory Ave., 287-4581)
Characterizing the “low and slow” cooking style, Fat Hen Grill is a barbeque restaurant with character.  While sandwiches, burgers, and Texas-style barbeque are ideal for lunch, the breakfast menu is pleasantly extensive without over-extending your wallet.   
2.    Mimi’s Italian (10160 Jefferson Hwy., 737-6464)
3.    Charlie’s Seafood (8311 Jefferson Hwy., 737-3700)

Best Upscale
1.    Commander’s Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221)
A meal at Commander’s Palace is a slice of New Orleans history. Always classy and equally delicious, the Creole cuisine offers classic options for brunch, lunch, dinner, and desert.  25-cent martinis are a delicious and affordable addition to the menu. 
2.    Antoine’s (713 St. Louis St., 581-4422)
3.    Galatoire’s (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021)

Best Casual
1.    Copeland’s (Various Locations)
Copeland’s is delightfully New Orleans in menu and atmosphere.  Large portions of steak, salad, sandwiches, and seafood are always affordable and equally mouth-watering.  The cocktail and wine menu is also impressively large—not to mention creative. 
2.    Houston’s (Various Locations)
3.    Zea (Various Locations)

Best Salad
1.    Café Rani (2917 Magazine St., 895-2500)
With giant salads and a lovely courtyard, it’s no wonder that Café Rani wins in both the Best Salad and the Best Outdoor Eating categories.  A wonderful option for lunch on a sunny day, casual, Magazine Street ambiance meets a glorious lunch menu and an impressive wine list.      
2.    Caffe Caffe (Various Locations)
3.    Lakeview Brew (5606 Canal Blvd., 483-7001)

Best Dessert
1.    Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro
    (2001 Saint Charles Ave., 593-9955)
For years, Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro has held its own as the premier destination for tall, creamy cheesecake slices with delicious toppings.  Before desert, enjoy giant portions of American and Creole classics—all at reasonable prices.  
2.    Angelo Brocato’s  (214 North Carrollton Ave., 486-1465)
3.    Sucre (Various Locations)

Best Outdoor Eating
1.    Café Rani (2917 Magazine St. # 103, 895-2500)
Café Rani has a wide variety of excellent salads, great sandwiches, and large outdoor courtyard with plenty of shade for the hot summer months. Whether you’re there for a delicious meal or to enjoy the shade with a glass of wine, this is a perfect escape from the New Orleans’ sunshine.
2.    Fresco (7625 Maple St., 862-6363)
3.    Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 552-2739)

Best Lunch Spot
1.    Ignatius (4200 Magazine St., 896-2225)
A quaint, casual spot for local cuisine, Ignatius Eatery has everything from po-boys to spicy red beans and rice for an authentic New Orleans lunch with a great view of Magazine St. There are no reservations, so be sure to come early to beat the crowds.
2.    Stein’s Deli (2207 Magazine St., 527-0771)
3.    Martin Wine Cellar (Various Locations)

Best Breakfast
1.    Gott Gourmet Café
    (3100 Magazine St., 373-6579)
Voted Best Breakfast by Where Y’at three years in a row, Gott Gourmet Café has a weekend breakfast to make you forget about the other 5 days. With Jumbo Breakfast Burritos and melt in your mouth buttermilk pancakes at good prices, you and your wallet will both stay full.
2.    Riccbono’s Panola Street Café (7801 Panola St., 314-1810)
3.    Ruby Slipper (Various Locations)

Best Brunch
1.    Café Amelie (912 Royal St., 412-8965)
Sunday brunch is the best meal of any week, and Café Amelie does it up right with a romantic atmosphere, beautiful gardens, and decadent food. Café Amelie’s brunch menu is definitely one you don’t want to miss, whether you’re a New Orleans native or only in town for a spell.
2.    Dante’s Kitchen (736 Dante St., 861-3121)
3.    Refuel (8124 Hampson St., 872-0187)

Best Late Night
1.    Pie, Pizza, & Pastas (814 S Peters, 528-2743
    and 4300 Veteran’s Blvd., 885-5566)
Looking for a great late night meal without a drive-thru window? Serving up edible delights after 10:30 pm, Pie, Pizza & Pastas has an impressive menu selection of gourmet pizzas, including toppings such as alligator sausage and marinated artichokes, which is sure to please every night owl. 
2.    St. Charles Tavern (1433 Saint Charles Ave., 523-9823)
3.    Dough Bowl (1039 Broadway St., 861-2200)

Best Coffee Shop
1.    PJ’s (Various Locations)
A local favorite for decades, PJ’s Coffee is known for having a great selection of coffee. Where ever you find yourself, the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the drinks hit the spot. Whatever the weather brings, PJ’s is sure to serve you up a cup of something wonderful.
2.    CC’s  (Various Locations)
3.    Rue de la Course (Various Locations)

Best Chinese
1.    Five Happiness
    (3605 South Carrollton Ave., 482-3935)
New Orleans’ favorite Chinese restaurant offers outstanding food, a peaceful atmosphere, and friendly, expedient service for all of its diners. With delivery to the Uptown area and open until 11pm on the weekend, Five Happiness is the restaurant for all your Chinese food cravings.
2.    Green Tea (1116 Louisiana Ave. #3, 899-8005)
3.    Jung’s Golden Dragon (3009 Magazine St., 891-8280)

Best Japanese
1.    Miyako Sushi Bar & Hibachi (1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997)
An excellent restaurant for even the pickiest eater. Miyako’s skilled Hibachi chefs serve up delicious food in front of your eyes. It’s entertainment while you wait, and your whole family will enjoy this interactive experience of dinner and a show. If Hibachi not your thing, they also have a great sushi bar.
2.    Little Tokyo (Various Locations)
3.    Sake Café (Various Locations)

Best Thai
1.    La Thai (4938 Prytania St., 899-8886)
Repeatedly a winner in this category, La Thai offers a tranquil yet hip atmosphere in a comfortable, neighborhood location.  The Thai joint also reigns in fusion; colliding Thai with Creole and local seafood flavors. This is a great place for food lovers of all ages.   
2.    Sukho Thai (4519 Magazine St., 373-6471 and 1913 Royal St., 948-9309)
3.    Basil Leaf (1438 South Carrollton Ave., 862-9001)

Best Vietnamese
1.    Jazmine Café (614 South Carrollton Ave., 866-9301)
Jazmine Café always provides “bang for your buck,” with large portions for cheap and a notoriously tasty soup that comes as a freebee with most entrees.  The Vietnamese restaurant also impresses with its always-fresh ingredients and flavorful noodle dishes. 
2.    Doson Noodle House (135 North Carrollton Ave., 309-7283)
3.    Pho Tau Bay (113 Westbank Expy Suite C, 368-9846)

Best BBQ
1.    Squeal (8400 Oak St., 302-7370)
With a menu that is overwhelmingly diverse, Squeal is a barbeque restaurant that always integrates Louisiana flavor with traditional southern barbeque.  Don’t let the laid-back atmosphere and the reasonable pricing fool you: the portions are serious business.
2.    Voodoo BBQ (Various Locations)
3.    The Joint (801 Poland Ave., 949-3232)

Best Italian
1.    Vincent’s (Various Locations)
Notably one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, Vincent’s has been a local favorite for more than twenty years.  While Vincent’s provides an unbeatably romantic atmosphere and great service, it repeatedly wows with mouth-watering dishes that can’t be beat.   
2.    Venezia (134 North Carrollton Ave., 488-7991)
3.    Tony Angelo’s (6262 Fleur De Lis Dr., 488-0888)

Best Cajun
1.    K-Paul’s (416 Chartres St., 524-7394)
For more than thirty years, K-Paul’s has been a favorite for tourists and locals alike.  From the breadbasket to the spicy cocktails to the cozy French Quarter ambiance, you’ll surely fall in love with this New Orleans staple.  The Gumbo and Turtle Soup are not to be missed. 
2.    Cochon (930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123)
3.    Mulate’s (201 Julia St., 522-1492)

Best American
1.    WOW (Various Locations)
With several locations sprouting throughout the Louisiana, WOW has been the leading wing joint in New Orleans since 2001.  Seventeen wing sauces cater to every preference of spice, and during LSU and Saints games, WOW serves a variety of beer for unbeatably low prices. 
2.    Willie Mae’s Scotch House (2401 Saint Ann St., 822-9503)
3.    O’Henry’s (Various Locations)

Best Indian
1.    Nirvana (4308 Magazine St., 894-9797)
At Nirvana, the lunch and dinner buffet is impressive in both its affordability and deliciousness. The staff is friendly and accommodating, the food will make your taste buds dance, the atmosphere is unique, and the naan and mango ice cream are to die for. 
2.    Taj Mahal (923 Metairie Rd Suite C., 836-6859)
3.    Curry Corner
    (1200 South Carrollton Ave., 861-9033)

Best Middle Eastern
1.    Lebanon’s Café
    (1500 South Carrollton Ave., 862-6200)
Lebanon’s Café not only has a variety of excellent Middle Eastern cuisine, but also offers a colorful and cozy ambiance and great service.  Affordable lunch and dinner plates include hummus, salad and bread—providing a myriad of tastes for a low price. 
2.    Mona’s (Various Locations)
3.    Pyramids Café (3151 Calhoun St., 861-9602)

Best Tapas
1.    Vega Tapas (2051 Metairie Rd., 836-2007)
In 1996, Vega Tapas provided the New Orleans area with our first taste of tapas.  Fifteen years later, the romantic décor paired with a helpful and knowledgeable staff, gorgeously served and delicious bite-sized morsels make the restaurant a local favorite.
2.    Baru (3700 Magazine St., 895-2225)
3.    Mimi’s In the Marigny (2601 Royal St., 942-0690)

Best Mexican
1.    El Gato Negro (81 French Market Place, 525-9752)
Unbeatably fresh and equally authentic, El Gato Negro brings Mexican cuisine to the French Quarter with style.  Along with the mouth-watering appetizers and entrees, El Gato Negro is noted for its fresh-squeezed margarita—a must-try for Tequila lovers. 
2.    Superior Grill (3636 Saint Charles Ave., 899-4200)
3.    Carreta’s (2320 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 837-6696)

Best Seafood
1.    The Galley (2535 Metairie Rd., 832-0955)
Old Metairie’s The Galley is the best location for New Orleans-style boiled and fried seafood—apart from your own backyard, of course. To complete the meal, be sure to wash down well seasoned and fantastically plump critters with a cold glass of Abita beer. 
2.    Deanie’s Seafood (Various Locations)
3.    Drago’s (Various Locations)

Best Boiled Seafood
1.    Deanie’s Seafood (Various Locations)
Deanie’s offers Bucktown and French Quarter locations that make the delicious boiled seafood accessible for tourists and locals alike.  The Bucktown location’s hole-in-the-wall charm is the perfect backdrop for a meal that will provide any New Orleans-style seafood dish you crave. 
2.    Don’s Seafood Hut (4801 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 889-1550)
3.    Sid-Mar’s (3322 North Turnbull Dr., 831-9541)

Best Steakhouse
1.    Crazy Johnnie’s (3520 18th St., 887-6641)
Don’t let the nondescript interior deceive you: Crazy Johnnie’s provides some of the best steaks around—not to mention at affordable prices.  The bar-turned-restaurant impresses not only with its perfectly cooked cuts but also with tasty seafood dishes like Giant Dippin’ Shrimp.    
2.    Crescent City Steakhouse (1001 North Broad St., 821-3271)
3.     Mr. John’s (2111 Saint Charles Ave., 679-7697)

Best Bar with Food
1.    Bruno’s Tavern (7538 Maple St., 861-7615)
Placed in the middle of the bustling Maple Street bar scene, Bruno’s has been a Tulane and Loyola staple for years.  Aside from reasonably priced beer on tap, Bruno’s offers delicious cheese fries (a “go-to”) and a variety of burgers and sandwiches—not to mention free popcorn on arrival.   
2.    Gattuso’s (435 Huey P. Long Ave., 368-1114)
3.    Yo Mama’s (727 Saint Peter St., 522-1125)

Best Diner
1.    Dot’s Diner (Various Locations)
When you go to Dot’s Diner, expect them to deliver on their motto of “Big Portions, Good Values.”  From omelets to burgers, Dot’s cooks their food fresh, made to order.  Dot’s friendly staff is ready to serve, and don’t worry, you can order breakfast at any time.
2.    Slim Goodies (3322 Magazine St.,  891-3447)
3.    Camelia Grill (626 S Carrollton Ave., 309-2679 & 540 Chartres St., 522-1800)

Best Hamburger
1.    Phil’s Grill (Various Locations)
Phil’s Grill is an establishment so eager-to-please that it urges you to build your own burger with any topping you desire.  Along with the expansive selection of sauces and irresistibly juicy patties, Phil’s burger will surely hit the spot whatever your palate’s pleasure.     
2.    Port of Call (838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120)
3.    O’Henry’s (Various Locations)

Best Pasta
1.    Venezia (134 North Carrollton Ave.,  488-7991)
With old-school Italian ambiance and a charming atmosphere to match, Venezia is known for their huge pasta dishes smothered in delicious cheese and red gravy.  Eggplant Vatican, Veal Parmesan, and homestyle Spaghetti and Meatballs rule at this Mid-City joint.  
2.    Vincent’s (Various Locations)
3.    Semolina’s (4436 Veterans Blvd., Suite 37, 454-7930)

Best Vegetarian
1.    Fellini’s (900 North Carrollton Ave., 488-2147)
The deliciously Mediterranean inspired dishes at Fellini’s make the restaurant a neighborhood favorite in Mid City.  Creative uses of feta, hummus, and fresh veggies come together artfully to provide a variety of flavorful vegetarian options you don’t want to miss.
2.    Bennachin (1212 Royal St., 522-1230)
3.    Mona’s (Various Locations)

Best Oyster Bar
1.    Acme Oyster House (Various Locations)
Acme is famous for raw and char-grilled oysters that never disappoint.  Though the locations could easily make Acme a tourist trap, the restaurant hosts an interesting collection of locals that make it a bona fide New Orleans establishment that locals love.     
2.    Felix’s (739 Iberville St., 522-4440)
3.    Casamento’s (4330 Magazine St., 895-9761)

Best Shrimp Po-Boy
1.    Parkway Bakery (538 Hagan Ave.,  482-3047)
An ice cold Barq’s is the perfect companion to the city’s best, mouth-watering shrimp po-boy.  Parkway’s neighborhood location proudly displays quirky New Orleans memorabilia that makes eating at the restaurant as fun as it is delicious for locals and tourists alike.    
2.    Domilise’s (5240 Annunciation St., 899-9126)
3.    Johnny’s Po Boys (511 Saint Louis St.,  524-8129)

Best Roast Beef Po-Boy
1.    Tracey’s (2604 Magazine St., 897-5413)
As the original Irish Channel bar, Tracey’s serves the city’s best roast beef po-boy with pride and character.  With its laid back and friendly atmosphere, Tracey’s is a great place to meet up with friends for game days, or to meet new and interesting people you can call friends.
2.    Parkway Bakery (538 Hagan Ave.,  482-3047)
3.    Parasol’s (2353 Constance St., 302-1543)

Best Oyster Po-Boy
1.    Short Stop Po-Boy
    (119 Transcontinental Dr., 885-4572)
Short Stop is an establishment that has provided Metairie with delicious po-boys since 1966.  Make sure you have plenty of napkins with you: juicy, hot, mouthwatering and affordable are just a few traits that define Short Stop, and their oyster po-boy is not to be missed.
2.    Casamento’s (4330 Magazine St., 895-9761)
3.    Mahoney’s (3454 Magazine St., 899-3374)

Best Sushi
1.    Kyoto (4920 Prytania St., 891-3644)
Authentically Japanese and impressively family-friendly, Kyoto is a neighborhood favorite for sushi. Kyoto’s edamame and miso soup superbly kick off a meal of classic or original sushi rolls, and their superb staff will make sure you never wait for very long for your meal.
2.    Sake Café (Various Locations)
3.    Rock ‘n Sake (823 Fulton St., 581-7253)

Best Gumbo:
1.    Gumbo Shop, 630 Saint Peter St.,
    525-1486)
Aptly named, it is no surprise that the Gumbo Shop provides local New Orleanians and tourists with the best gumbo in the city.  Though nothing on the menu of Creole classics can steer you wrong, the Seafood Okra Gumbo and Chicken Andouille Gumbo are must-trys. 
2.    Mandina’s (3800 Canal St., 482-9179)
3.    Mr. B’s (201 Royal St., 523-2078)

Best Burrito
1.    Juan’s Flying Burrito (Various Locations)
Casual as it is delicious, Juan’s offers overstuffed burritos at affordable prices.  For the university set, patronage to the Uptown location seems mandatory.  Aside from burritos, Juan’s has an expansive menu: nachos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and tacos are always fresh, hot and appetizing.   
2.    Nacho Mama’s (Various Locations)
3.    Izzo’s (4316 Veterans Blvd. Suite A, 889-5505)

Best Pizza
1.    Reginelli’s (Various Locations)
Reginelli’s has been a popular take out, delivery, and dine-in location for fifteen years and it is no wonder why. Whether it’s a salad, sandwich, or pizza, every dish at Reginelli’s is delicious in its simplicity and freshness, and the atmosphere is always welcoming.
2.    Venezia (134 North Carrollton Ave., 488-7991)
3.    Pie Pizza & Pasta (Various Locations)


Best Ice Cream
1.    Angelo Brocato’s
    (214 North Carrollton Ave., 486-1465)
Located just next door to Venezia, Angelo Brocato’s is the perfect choice for after-dinner ice cream in Mid City.  With more than one hundred years of history and unique flavors, Angelo Brocato’s is as rich in tradition as it is in flavor. A must for keeping cool during the summer!   
2.    Creole Creamery (Various Locations)
3.    La Divina (Various Locations)

Best Frozen Yogurt
1.    Tutti Frutti
    (4316 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 371-5195)
If you desire healthy frozen yogurt that doesn’t swap calories for taste, you can’t go wrong at Tutti Frutti.  The yogurt joint goes well with kids and adults alike, with an environment that is always fun and cheerful.  Watch soon for their new location in Kenner near Esplanade Mall.
2.    Pinkberry (Various Locations)
3.    Red Mango (1640 Hickory Ave., 575-3576)

Best Diner
1.    Dot’s Diner (Various Locations)
When you go to Dot’s Diner, expect them to deliver on their motto of “Big Portions, Good Values.”  From omelets to burgers, Dot’s cooks their food fresh, made to order.  Dot’s friendly staff is ready to serve, and don’t worry, you can order breakfast at any time.
2.    Slim Goodies (3322 Magazine St., 891-3447)
3.    Camelia Grill (626 S Carrollton Ave., 309-2679 and 540 Chartres St., 522-1800)



 
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