If you’re headed to New Orleans, do yourself a favor and don’t spend all your time in the French Quarter. Just across Route 90 and down the famous St. Charles Avenue, the uptown neighborhood offers parks, stunning architecture, and river views as well as some of the city’s best in food, drink, and music. Here are a few laid-back restaurants and bars for any foodie itinerary.
Where to Eat
It'd be really easy to miss Domilise’s if you didn't spot the the hand-painted wooden sign hanging over the entryway. This neighborhood restaurant, a New Orleans favorite, has been serving some of the best po-boys in the city since the 1930s. Miss Dot, the woman who manned the counter for nearly 70 years, has created a masterpiece of a fried shrimp sandwich -- airy crusty french bread stuffed with a healthy helping of perfectly fried salty shrimp. Note: the restaurant is closed Thursdays and Sundays.
Though you’ll mostly likely have to wait in line to get a table here for dinner, the southern cuisine at Jacquesimo’s is worth the wait. One of the city's most popular eateries thanks to the funky, laid-back atmosphere, the restaurant is characterized by creative dishes and its friendly chef -- Jacques is known to wander around the dining room, checking on his patrons personally. Feeling adventurous? Try a bite of something you won't find at home...like the shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake.
Slim Goodies Diner
There’s nothing better than a big comforting breakfast to take off the edge after a long night of fun. At Slim Goodies Diner, you can expect to find big plates of hearty, down home cooking in a low-key atmosphere. Come early, as lines can get long. If you do find yourself waiting outside for a table, though, there are plenty of boutiques and bars on this stretch of Magazine Street to keep you busy before they call your name.
Where to Drink
Maple Leaf Bar
This neighborhood bar on Oak Street is not only a good spot to grab a cold drink, but it’s also the spot on this side of the city to hear some quality music. Since 1974, The Maple Leaf has featured bands such as Rebirth Brass Band and Papa Grows Funk as well as members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and even Bruce Springsteen. Many nights there's a nominal cover charge (typically $10 or less), but once inside it's a purely NOLA atmosphere. Try to snag a spot in the back patio when the weather's nice.
The Bulldog is one of uptown’s best craft beer bars. With 50 beers available on tap and nearly 100 by the bottle, it offers a wide selection of local, domestic, and international brews. But it's not just another place to try pints from local Louisiana breweries here. There's actually an outdoor waterfall made from beer taps -- that's how seriously The Bulldog honors the drink.
Igor’s Lounge and Gameroom
Igor’s, a dive bar on St. Charles Avenue that was featured in the 1993 movie The Pelican Brief, is famous for making one of the best Bloody Marys in town. It may not look special at first glance, but it offers a lot more than most other bars do: It’s open 24 hours a day, offers drink specials at 5am, and there’s a laundromat onsite. Just in case you wanted to fold your socks while you enjoy a cocktail.