It felt like a warm embrace in the middle of July as I walked off the plane into the Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans. Humidity and summer are a given when visiting this beautiful city during summer. It quickly brought back memories of Jazz Fest during my grad school years where we sat on the grass, drank ice-cold Abitas and snacked on every delicious fried food served at the festival while we listened to bands play. New Orleans in many ways has always been a second home, the people, the culture, the food are the best.
My best friend from grad school grew up in NOLA and we'd visit often during our stint in Cincinnati. Our school was on a quarter system and I think we visited almost once every quarter if possible. A couple of years ago, she moved back home to NOLA and I have to admit, it made me happy for selfish reasons, it gives me a reason to go back and to go back often. She and her husband are also one of my best guides to the city since they have deep ties to the city and it's local community. So on this trip, I asked them to specifically take me to all the places that they'd think I'd like but were also not your typical restaurants that are usually overhyped but still excellent. Here are some of those places and if you get a chance you should visit if possible.
Morning Call - I've always gone to eat beignets at Morning Call for as long as I remember. I know there are staunch supporters of Café du Monde but I find it rather crowded and touristy. Morning Call is much more comfortable and the atmosphere is very relaxed and the beignets are delicious!
Neyows If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this big piece of fried chicken what you didn't get to see are the oysters at this amazing little local spot for your more traditional New Orleans food. No lines, amazing flavor and no skimping on portions. Heck, I got an extra helping of fried chicken because the waitress thought the first piece looked too small.
Bourrée at Boucherie - we stopped by this wonderful spot for their frozen daiquiris. They also have a tasty barbecue that's worth sinking your teeth into. Do it!
CoNola in Metairie by far was one of my favorite new places to eat it not only because everything I tried tasted delicious but also because every flavor was different. Their sushi menu has a lot of interesting Southern flavor infusions and it blew my mind away. Tasty things such as cracklins, cilantro infused oil , cured beets make their way into their unique and innovative sushi rolls. Their signature spicy tuna pagoda made with crispy wontons is worthy tribute to nachos. There's also a thin mint chocolate pie that you must taste.