New Orleans East has suffered in more ways than one following Hurricane Katrina, with businesses leaving and struggling redevelopment efforts. It's the largest area of land in New Orleans, home to about 85,000 people. Despite its downfalls, the East is gradually seeing its fair share of opportunities for growth. Designated "Opportunity Zones" that provide tax benefits for economic development are one way the city hopes to spur progress. Infrastructure improvement projects worth millions are another way the city plans to breathe life back into the East. Along with these projects, there is a push for new restaurants and dining options. Good food is good business, with the potential to attract people from all over the city and surrounding areas. Here are some of the newest places to dine out in the East.
8700 Lake Forest Blvd., Ste 104 | (504) 241-5365
A logo of a lobster tail on a mermaid's body gives you a taste of what this seafood restaurant is about. A snapshot of menu items include seafood rolls stuffed with sautéed cabbage, crawfish tails, and shrimp; deep-fried lobster; and the Plaza Platter-named for the beloved mall dear to everyone's memories. Taco Tuesday is a new addition, complete with $5 margaritas and $2 tacos for all. It's a great place to watch the game, as the walls are lined with 10 television screens, including a projection screen. Mermaids opens at 5:00 p.m. every day. Happy Hour is from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.
Island Flavor Bar & Grill
10711 Chef Menteur Hwy. | (504) 246-8537
Offering bursts of Caribbean flavor, this super-chill gem is a must-visit. We hear the jerk chicken is out-of-this-world, and the Jamaican drinks, including a watermelon Long Island Iced Tea, aren't half-bad either.
ShayTigg's Food & Pastries
7190 Downman Rd. | (504) 218-7574
Edward, the son of part-owner Elaine Valentine, was tragically killed in 2008. Valentine wanted to incorporate a part of him into the restaurant's name, so they used his nickname Tigger-hence, ShayTigg's. She and her other son are co-owners, and her husband is the main cook. Valentine says she tries to give away one meal a day to people in need in the surrounding area. Opened on September 1, 2018, ShayTigg's states they are "bringing love back into the community." This family-owned restaurant offers a variety of sweet treats and plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They even began serving yaka mein following their customers' urging. Be forewarned, their Instagram (@shaytiggs504) leave you drooling and with hunger pangs.
They are open Sunday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Breaux's Pizzeria and Wine Bar (Permanently Closed)
5931 Bullard Ave. | (504) 266-2381
Pizza, wine… What could be more comforting? The vibe is intimate and neighborly, as if you'll be greeted by all as you walk in. There are daily lunch specials, a Happy Hour from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m., and Wine Down Wednesdays, when all wine is half-off. That sounds like a win.
The Fifth Quarter Sports Lounge & Courtyard
5746 Hayne Blvd. | (504) 913-4305
Recently opened on July 19, 2019, this lively spot by the lake hosts regular events throughout the week that make your dining experience an actual experience. Ladies karaoke night on Thursdays and Steak 'n' Shake Wednesdays with two-for-one drink specials are just some of the things to look out for, besides that loaded-potato menu item that looks like it was made for kings.
MadChef at 59th Restaurant & Bar
5941 Bullard Ave. | (504) 442-5921
Chef Derrick Robinson Jr. is the owner of this seafood joint and even has his own line of special seasonings. Steak and lobster plates, shrimp jambalaya tacos, and shrimp and salmon spring rolls are some of the delicious items you can find on the menu. On Taco Tuesdays, enjoy a free shot of tequila before scarfing down their bourbon-glazed grilled catfish.