Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 1
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Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to a best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day. If you LOVE great food, New Orleans is absolutely the perfect city for you.

My family has lived in New Orleans for generations, and I may be biased, but I think New Orleans has the best food in the entire United States.

However, even a champion eater can’t spend a day only on a best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day. So I’m going to show you a perfect 24 hours in New Orleans itinerary featuring my favorite best food in the French Quarter New Orleans tour–with cocktails!–as well as an excellent aquarium, fabulous music and more! Let’s not waste any more time!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: New Orleans Food

#1 TOP PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
FOOD AND COCKTAIL TOUR
✔️ New Orleans has the best food
✔️ Try the yummiest cocktails

#2 PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 3

FRENCH QUARTER FOOD TOUR
✔️ No cocktails
✔️ Amazing bang for your buck

#3 PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 4

ALL OTHER NEW ORLEANS TOURS
✔️ Choose your favorite tour
✔️ Find the best deals

best food in the french quarter new orleans

Morning: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

When you were looking for the best things to do in New Orleans, did it occur to you to visit the aquarium? Many people don’t know that New Orleans is home to one of the best aquariums in the United States: the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

I guess when people think of New Orleans, they are more likely to think of jazz or Mardi Gras or that scene in Double Jeopardy where Ashley Judd’s husband, who already faked his own murder, tries to bury her alive.

However, the Audubon Aquarium is a great place to spend a morning in New Orleans, especially if it is raining, which it always is. And since we need to kill time before the Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans tour starts this afternoon, this is the perfect spot.

I can’t show you every single fish in the Audubon Aquarium, but I’ll be happy to introduce you to…

Three Fun Facts: Audubon Aquarium

best food in the french quarter new orleans
1) What’s the coolest fish in the aquarium?

I’m a big fan of the pacu mostly because they look like space aliens. Also, they are related to piranhas, and I didn’t even know that piranhas had any relatives. I sort of thought they were too dangerous to have many relatives. Like, do they eat their own aunts and uncles and cousins and things? Very important to know, if a piranha invites you over to dinner.

On a related note, the fish with the best name is the puddinghead wrasse. How did someone even come up with that one?

best food in the french quarter new orleans

Don’t miss what I like to call the Big Plastic Fish Tunnel because it’s soothing to stroll underneath and just let the silver fish and stingrays float around you.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
2) Are there are any non-fish creatures in the aquarium?

But of course! My favorite animals in the aquarium are the adorable penguins. They’re protected by a pane of glass, but it’s still so much fun to watch them frolic in the water. (Also, this room is kept cool, which is much appreciated in the Louisiana heat.

One of the baby penguins was even named Zion, after Zion Williamson, the star of the New Orleans Pelicans basketball team. His mom is named Hubig, after the famous Louisiana sweet treat, the Hubig’s pie. That’s how you know these are truly New Orleans penguins.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

I also recommend the upside down jellies, which look like they have all been murdered with cyanide. There’s even a sign near the jellies telling you that they aren’t dead, they’re just naturally upside down.

I feel like there must be an evolutionary reason for the jellies thriving upside down, but I can’t think what it would be.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
3) Are there any Louisiana animals in the aquarium?

Of course there are the usual suspects, like catfish and whatnot. My favorite section was the small exhibit on alligators. Some people are scared of alligators, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about, as long as you are bigger than a toddler.

Did you know that American alligators almost went extinct in the 1960s? Is this because a lot of housewives wanted alligator purses? Or possibly Don Draper sold a whole bunch of alligator briefcases. Anyway, I’m glad that the alligator has been revived, and now there are more than TWO MILLION alligators in Louisiana today.

That’s why if you have an alligator phobia, I don’t recommend wandering the swamps of Louisiana.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

Afternoon: Food and Cocktail History Tour

There’s many a great French Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day tour out there, so it’s hard to say which is the best. However, I think the Food and Cocktail History Tour has a good claim to be the best, just because there are four different, excellent cocktails on this tour. There’s also tons of yummy eats and a present you can use to make your food back home more delicious.

You can book this delicious French Quarter food tour right here.

I won’t give away the tour’s secrets, but I will give you a tasty idea of what to expect with…

Approximately Top 5: Best French Quarter food tour

best food in the french quarter new orleans
1) Hurricanes and Gumbo!

Of course, we can’t have a Dr. Gumbo tour without gumbo! That’s just science. At our first stop, we feasted on a bowl of gumbo, which is a traditional Louisiana stew that’s always made with a thickener like okra or file powder. I liked how this gumbo was served in its own adorable cast iron pot.

The cocktail at this stop was a Hurricane, which was invented at the infamous New Orleans bar Pat O’Brien’s, which has a lot of apostrophes. It’s still alive and kicking, if you want to get a drink there after the tour.

This drink is basically a whole bunch of rum and fruit, though I’m sure Pat O’s would say there is more to it than that. It’s really easy to drink several without noticing how much rum you have consumed, so be grateful that this Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans tour only lets you have one.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
2) Louisiana Hot Sauce

But not THE Louisiana Hot Sauce. At our next stop, which is the only one that doesn’t include a cocktail, we get to sample all the hot sauces at a local hot sauce shop. We even get a bottle of the flavorful stuff to take home. (It was one of the milder sauces, and it made my veggies taste delicious.)

They have one sauce that’s so spicy that they say you have to sign a waiver and be over 18 to try it. I was the only one on the tour brave enough to try it, and it made my eyes water for several minutes, which I cleverly disguised from my tour mates by refusing to look them in the eye until the eye water was done.

I don’t recommend trying that sauce on the tour because it will make your tongue a bit numb.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
3) Pimm’s Cup, Muffaletta, and Jambalaya

OK, if you’re familiar with New Orleans, you know what restaurant this is because there’s only one spot in NOLA that is famous for both Pimm’s Cups and muffaletta sandwiches. However, like I promised, I’m not going to spoil the food tour by telling you what it is.

A Pimm’s Cup is a British cocktail made with a spirit called Pimm’s No. 1. Then you add lemonade and a clear soda like 7UP or ginger ale and top with a cucumber slice. Voila! You have a refreshing cocktail that will cool down any sweltering Southern summer night.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

Muffaletta sandwiches are usually associated with the Central Grocery store in the French Quarter. It’s an Italian meat sandwich served with olive salad on round sesame bread. However, the version we had was made with melted cheese, which adds that nice touch of decadence.

As if that weren’t enough food, we got some jambalaya, which is a Louisiana rice dish, kind of like a paella. Some jambalayas are made with tomatoes and some without, but we got the version with, which is what I prefer. It was a bit spicy, but not so spicy that it would make your eyes water for five minutes.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
4) French 75 Cocktails

After all the food at the last stop, it was good that we only got one cocktail and no snack at the next stop. Here we’ll try a French 75 cocktail, which is simply made with champagne, Cognac, lemon juice, and sugar. (See, this is why it’s good that we only got one Hurricane at our first stop.)

The French 75 cocktail is actually from Paris, not New Orleans, but it’s extremely popular at upscale bars in the city. Anything French goes over pretty well in the Big Easy, after all. C’est la tradition, cher!

As a side note, there was a woman on the tour who didn’t drink alcohol, so her husband ended up consuming eight cocktails by the end of the evening. Kids, don’t try this at home.

best food in the french quarter new orleans
5) Daiquiris, Plantains, and Pork Rinds

For our final stop, we went to a Caribbean restaurant, which is highly appropriate. After all, New Orleans is often referred to as the northernmost Caribbean city. Plus, the sugar trade was highly important to the development of the city. So we got a chance to think about that history while sipping on daiquiris.

This drink was named after a place in Cuba, but it was officially invented by an American. However, our guide told us that he was sure Cubans had been drinking something similar for a long time. They just weren’t as obnoxious about marketing things as we Americans are.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of the pork rinds, but I think you can imagine what pork rinds look like. These plantains were sweet and salty and savory all at once, and I got to share mine with the other solo woman on the tour.

Unlike me, she was married, but her husband hates to travel, so she leaves him at home alone with their cat while she goes on vacation a couple of times a year. Seems reasonable to me! (Probably reasonable to the cat too.)

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the New Orleans food secrets I can share with you at the moment. You’ll have to book the tour for yourself if you want to discover all these delicious treats for yourself!

Check rates and availability right here!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: New Orleans Food

#1 TOP PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
FOOD AND COCKTAIL TOUR
✔️ New Orleans has the best food
✔️ Try the yummiest cocktails

#2 PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 3

FRENCH QUARTER FOOD TOUR
✔️ No cocktails
✔️ Amazing bang for your buck

#3 PICK

Best Food in the French Quarter New Orleans 2024 4

ALL OTHER NEW ORLEANS TOURS
✔️ Choose your favorite tour
✔️ Find the best deals

best food in the french quarter new orleans

Evening: Music and Dinner

Some of you might be wondering how we can have dinner after all that food on the Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans tour. Well, it was an excellent food tour, but I still had room for a late dinner. So I suggest taking in some music and then making a late dinner reservation.

There’s no shortage of amazing places to listen to music in New Orleans, but here are a couple of my favorites. I enjoy the Candlelight Lounge, which is a dive bar in the Treme that has great local bands. (Sometimes they do specials like giving everyone in the bar a free shot if the Saints score a touchdown.)

Just be aware that the staff is extremely friendly and will ask you if something is wrong if you choose to read a mystery novel instead of dancing. (Not that this happened to me, AHEM.)

I also love the Rock’n’Bowl, which is indeed a music venue/bowling alley. As a solo traveler, I do not bowl because bowling alone is basically impossible. My favorite band that plays here is Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie, but I’m sure all the groups are good.

You will also get a lecture if you read a mystery novel here instead of dancing, but it will be by the patrons instead of the staff.

If you’re visiting either of these venues, I suggest taking a taxi or an Uber there and back.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

OK, by now you should have worked up an appetite, so let’s head back to the French Quarter and dine at Palm & Pine. This restaurant specializes in food from New Orleans, the South, and “South of that”, which includes the Caribbean.

I could definitely detect the Southern influence in the Palm & Pine salad, which is made with pecans for a little salty crunch. I’m not sure where the Gouda cheese and Worcestershire sauce dressing came from because they both sound pretty European to me, but the whole thing sure was tasty.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

OK, it’s no mystery what’s Southern about these shrimp and grits, and the Anson Mills jalapeno grits were the perfect blend of creamy and spicy. But they added a special Southern touch by using the famous Texan beer, Shiner Bock, to add a little gloss to the sauce.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

For dessert, try the cane sugar pie. It’s very sweet and sticky, but the lemon ice cream on top adds some needed sourness. And we didn’t get a dessert on the food tour, just four cocktails, so I think we deserve this pie!

new orleans guided tour day

Where to Stay?

New Orleans is the kind of city where you want to splurge a little on your hotel. After all, the motto is “laissez les bons temps rouler”, and nothing makes the good times roll faster than a little luxury. Plus it’s easier to take advantage of the New Orleans nightlife if you’re in a centrally located hotel, and those are a bit pricey.

I recommend the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. It’s located right in the French Quarter, but it’s not crazy expensive. The rooms are comfortable and beautiful. Plus, the hotel is haunted! What more could you want for a New Orleans guided tour day

If you want something a little less expensive, on the north end of the French Quarter, try the Homewood Suites by Hilton French Quarter. This hotel is a little bit more of a walk from the main attractions in the French Quarter, but the rooms are massive and comfy, and the price is definitely right.

Finally, I recommend the Le Pavilion Hotel. It’s got an amazing location in the Central Business District which is within walking distance of the French Quarter, but not as noisy. It’s in a gorgeous historic building. Plus they have a free peanut butter and jelly spread every night. What more could you want?

If you’d rather find great deals for tons of other hotels in New Orleans, go here.

This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your time in New Orleans. With hundreds of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

best food in the french quarter new orleans

That’s the Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day

What would you do on a Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in New Orleans right now? Would you like to be a piranha’s uncle, or does that sound too dangerous? Email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should only enjoy one Best food in the French Quarter New Orleans day

And if you’d rather add a day with the historic Treme neighborhood, add what to do in Treme New Orleans LA. You can try a day in New Orleans Louisiana City Park. Fall for the best New Orleans food walking tours.

On top of that, we have a day of New Orleans fun things to do. Go for the best walking tour of Garden District New Orleans. Get on the best New Orleans swamp and plantation tours. How about trying 24 hours in New Orleans? And you can even follow the New Orleans schedule Saints travel tips.

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