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New Orleans – A Taste of Heaven By Elaine Calloway

New Orleans is more than just a city. She hosts an array of sights, sounds, flavors and spices for those with yearning taste buds. And she never disappoints. Some restaurants are better than others, but I’ve never heard of anyone complaining about the food.

Long associated with delectable food and drink, New Orleans is a place where millions return so they can get their crawfish etouffee fix, purchase hot sauces not available anywhere else, or enjoy beignets and café au lait.

While there are more fantastic restaurants than I can possibly list, below are some of my favorites. Each one is a different price range, so you can budget your trip and dining excursions accordingly.

Casual and Affordable:

Café du Monde – popular place for beignets and coffee in the French Quarter. This is a tourist must-see. Go early, there are often long lines. Tip: You can get your order to go and it’s quicker.
Morning Call – less crowded than Café du Monde with the same menu. This is where the locals go, whereas tourists go to Café du Monde. There are several locations around the city.

Zea’s Rotisserie & Grill – Great place for lunch or dinner, at less than $15 per person. Best Red Beans & Rice on the planet!! Be sure to order sides of Red Beans & Rice and the Corn Roasted Grits. Both are heavenly! Zea’s also serves gourmet salads, rotisserie dishes, and seafood. Anything you could possibly want, all for a reasonable price. There are locations throughout the city.

On the Pricier Side:

Crescent City Brewhouse – located right near Jackson Square. This is an ideal seafood, hamburger, salad, whatever you want restaurant that also serves homemade brews. It’s close proximity to many sightseeing things in the French Quarter, and the atmosphere is nice and laid back. Website is

Tujague’s – located near Jackson Square in the French Quarter. On the pricier side,but one of my favorite restaurants. Great for special occasion dinners, not to mention the place is the 2nd oldest restaurant in New Orleans. Seafood, cocktails, crawfish etouffee to die for. Website is

Tujaque’s marquee Crawfish Etouffee

Elaine Calloway grew up in New Orleans and can still do a decent  Cajun accent on request. She writes paranormal romance and fantasy,  setting these stories in iconic cities such as New Orleans. Book One of  her Elemental Series will be out on 2/1/2013. Visit her website,, for more information.


Marilyn Baron - January 11, 2013 - 7:05 am


Loved this post. I’ve only been to New Orleans a couple of times but my husband travels there on business all the time. I should go with him just to try the restaurants. I’m going to ask him if he’s been to any of those places. Thanks for blogging with us. And good luck with your new release.

Elaine Calloway - January 11, 2013 - 9:15 am

Thanks Marilyn! There are so many places to try, but these are the tops on my list. Especially Zea’s. Since I grew up around the coffee and beignet places, I don’t crave them as much when I return to visit…but Zea’s! *mouth waters* Their red beans and rice is the BEST EVER.

Appreciate the comment :)

Elaine Calloway

Debbie Kaufman - January 11, 2013 - 10:42 am

Hey Elaine! I have never been to New Orleans and have always wanted to go. Reading your post has renewed that desire and I realized I would just have to plan it and go! Thanks for the helpful list of places to eat :)

Maxine Davis - January 11, 2013 - 10:48 am

Hi Elaine and welcome! I’ve been to New Orleans a few times, but not in recent years. We have found some fabulous restaurants. Just walking around at night is great–at least I hope it still is.

hildie McQueen - January 11, 2013 - 11:02 am

I went to NOLA in August, it was definitely a unique city. Not sure I will ever return, but glad to have been there. I went to both Cafe Du Monde and the brewhouse!

Elaine Calloway - January 11, 2013 - 11:07 am

Hey Debbie – New Orleans is a lot like Charleston or Savannah, just not as clean. I’m not sure if you’ve been to those places? I do have another post planned entitled “Things to do as a family” when in New Orleans. You may enjoy a family trip there, too!

Maxine – thanks for commenting! Appreciate it and glad you liked the city.

Can someone on the PFHT blog moderate my comments so they show up? I don’t have moderator access anymore :)


Elaine Calloway - January 11, 2013 - 11:08 am


Thanks for commenting! Wow, I’m impressed you’ve been to several places on my list! That made me smile :)

You must try Zea’s when you’re down there next. The red beans and rice has the best flavor of ANY I’ve ever had. And their corn roasted grits are amazing. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Thanks again,

Susan Carlisle - January 11, 2013 - 11:37 am

I go to New Orleans often. We visit the WWII museum every couple of years. We like to eat at Mother’s. It is a hole in the wall but good home eating. Thanks for the great info.

Robin Weaver - January 11, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Great blog, Elaine. Now I’m hungry. :-)

Elaine Calloway - January 11, 2013 - 3:08 pm

Susan – Thanks for commenting! Hey, those hole in the wall places are the best ones to eat at! I could’ve listed so many more, and figured I might do a future post on “hole in the wall” spots. Several of them are hard to get to!

If you like Bloody Mary’s, a *great* dive hole in the wall on St. Philip Street is “Flanagan’s” Irish pub. They have the best Bloody Marys in the city!

Robin – thanks for stopping by and commenting! Glad to know my words can wet the appetite!

Linsey Lanier - January 11, 2013 - 5:43 pm

They all look so good! I’ve never had a beignet. I really need to try one one of these days. You’ve inspired me, Elaine. :)

Elaine Calloway - January 11, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Thanks Linsey! Have you ever been there? Cafe du Monde in the Quarter used to be the main place people could get beignets. Now there are tons of places around, and I think even Kroger sells the mix – – but it’s never as good as going to NOLA to have them!

My fave one is the Morning Call in City Park – Mid-City is one of my fave areas, and I can enjoy the coffee, the beignets, the live oaks & Spanish moss, all at the same time! With wifi!


Mary Preston - January 12, 2013 - 3:44 am

Yay!! We’re in New Orleans. It is on my travel wish list.

Bryonna Nobles - January 12, 2013 - 8:09 am

It is so funny that this was your posts. I was just telling a friend about my trip to New Orleans back in March. I loved it and want to go back so badly. We were only there a few days and that was so not enough time!

Elaine Calloway - January 12, 2013 - 10:49 am

Mary – Thanks for commenting & you have me feeling jealous this morning! I do miss New Orleans and try to go back and visit every chance I get. Some family and friends still live there. There are too many wonderful places to go to list on this blog, but definitely check out Zea’s if you get the chance! And the crawfish etouffee at Tujaque’s is fantastic, just pricey.

Elaine Calloway - January 12, 2013 - 10:50 am

Hey Bryonna,

Thanks for commenting! Yes, a few days isn’t long enough. And especially if you go at a time of year when the weather doesn’t cooperate – like Hildie did in August. Whew! Humidity central!

If you’re familiar with City Park, there is now a Morning Call right by the Peristyle. It’s my new fave place to hang out, write, see the live oaks, and get my caffeine fix all at once!

Sandy Elzie - January 12, 2013 - 4:36 pm

I’ve been there…once…it’s a truly unique place.

Jeff Salter - January 12, 2013 - 5:36 pm

Having lived in St. Tammany Parish for some 14-15 yrs, I made numerous trips to Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish, including (of course) N.O. itself. I’ve been to a bunch of the ‘famous’ spots. Among my favorites were Pat O’Brians (we used to know Ben O’Brian, a son of the owner at that time) … and Cafe de Monde. Always loved Jackson Square, Pirates Alley, and the museum just off the square. Things are so diff. now with the Riverwalk (or whatever it’s called). Back in the late 50s & 1960s, that was just a levee.

Elaine Calloway - January 13, 2013 - 10:40 am

Hey Sandy,

That it is. I suppose I never thought about how unique it was, having grown up there. I do know that seeing so many different types of people, types of lifestyles, clothing, etc., made me oblivious to things like a guy with green hair in college. Others whispered and pointed him out, like “look at that guy’s hair!” I didn’t even notice, because I’d grown up with stranger things to see than green hair :)

The city has gotten better about having more family activities (as opposed to just the Bourbon Street reputation). One of my other blogs addresses things to do as a family if people travel there.

Stay tuned, thx!

Elaine Calloway - January 13, 2013 - 10:43 am


Thanks for stopping by and commenting – I appreciate it :)

As far as the riverfront area goes, I hear you. I remember when all of that was a levee too. The aquarium, IMAX, etc. is all new to me, I think they built it when I was in college.

I went to school in Orleans, lived in East Jefferson, and spent a lot of time in both places. I do love Pirates alley! Pat O’Brien’s is a must for anyone who lives there to go on their “legal” birthday. When I was younger, that age was 18 but I think they upped it to 21. A beautiful patio out back, to relax, enjoy a drink, and hear music playing.

*I’m homesick now*

Thanks again for stopping by!

Pam Asberry - January 14, 2013 - 8:40 am

I love New Orleans. I kissed a stranger on the street there once, many years ago. I intend to turn that experience into a scene in a novel one of these days. Thanks for the wonderful blog post. Really, really makes me want to go back!

Carol Burnside - January 15, 2013 - 1:22 am

Yum, Elaine. You make me hungry with this post. Can’t wait to see what else you have to share about New Orleans.

Patricia Stafford - January 20, 2013 - 8:36 am

I love Cafe Du Monde!

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