Of all the Mardi Gras krewes, Zulu is one of the oldest and most historically significant. Since before parades had floats, Zulu krewe members marched behind their elected king (a title once held by Louis Armstrong himself). With styles originally conceived in mockery of the conventional "white" Mardi Gras aesthetic, Zulu is known for being one of the most exuberant parades of the season.
Their legendary coconut throw has long been one of the most coveted pieces of Mardi Gras memorabilia. Here are some of the best places to post along the parade's four-mile route.
The combined vision of Sommelier Emily Walker and Executive Chef Amy Mehrtens, Copper Vine has a collection of over 60 wines paired with brunch, lunch, and dinner menus to satiate those with a taste for the finer things. They'll be hosting a Mardi Gras wine dinner next Wednesday, February 23, but for the day of Zulu, they have a beautiful courtyard and brunch menu open to the public. Just be sure to get in early as seats are sure to fill quickly! 1001 Poydras St., 504-208-9535, coppervine.com
Nestled on Poydras, just a few blocks from the Superdome, Daisy Mae's is a choice spot for Southern comfort and breakfast foods. Fried food and gravy are the cornerstones of any breakfast, and Daisy Mae's traditional chicken & waffles and country fried steak serve as the perfect foundation for a day of Mardi Gras festivities. Celebrate Fat Tuesday as it's meant to be, right beside the Zulu procession. 920 Poydras St., 504-218-5031, facebook.com/FriedChickenMasters
Located "not Uptown, not quite Downtown, but Backatown," this coffee parlor (spelled with a 'ou') prides itself on being a gathering space for locals and out-of-towners alike. Locally owned and carefully curated to reflect New Orleans jazz culture, it's unique aesthetic is very much reflective of its location in historic Storyville. Enjoy fresh brewed coffee and savory hors d'oeuvres as a mid-parade pick me up. 301 Basin St. Suite 1, 504-372-4442, backatownnola.com
Under the direction of Chef Charly Pierre, Fritai has a tasty array of Haitian inspired food and drink. Their thematically appropriate Kanaval cocktail is a pleasant blend of Don Q, lime, cinnamon syrup, coco cream, and butterfly pea flower tea, and it is sure to pair well with their traditional assortment of smothered creole chicken, crispy double cooked pork with rice and beans, and braised brisket with green plantains. Positioned a few blocks from the I-10 overpass, Fritai is a good midway spot to catch the parade. 1535 Basin St., 504-264-7899, fritai.com
Update: Dooky Chase will be closed during Zulu.
One of the most time-honored and respected eateries in Treme, Dooky Chase's Restaurant is a premiere spot for delicious Creole fare. During their 80 years in business, their food has been enjoyed by the likes of former presidents, civil rights icons, and renowned artists from around the world. Their location four blocks from the end of the parade route makes them an opportune place to enjoy a meal before Zulu wraps up. 2301 Orleans Ave., 504-821-0600, dookychaserestaurants.com