Breakfast in New Orleans: Kelly’s Fab 4
Hey there, Gadabout Gal Kelly here!
Let’s chat about food for a moment, shall we? I’m just gonna say it right up front…breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Well, it’s at least one of my TOP 3 favorite meals of the day. It’s for sure my favorite meal in the morning. Definitely.
(My 'Gadabout Guy' hubby Jason agrees!)
Enjoying a brunch coctail outside the Ruby Slipper while we wait for our table
So, being a true breakfast-lover, whenever I travel I always like to scope out great breakfast spots before I arrive. I do a LOT of pre-trip restaurant research. I love to know where the locals eat breakfast…are there fun places with more gourmet, unexpected early morning offerings? Who has a fab ambiance AND great pastries & coffee? Do they have a local twist on eggs benedict…or is it more traditional diner fare? SO much fun to find out this stuff, I love it! Oh yes, I am also ALWAYS on the lookout for a fun place that serves a killer spicy Bloody Mary. Mmmmm. No, not just for Sunday brunch. Any and every day of the week. Don't judge.
The Crab Cake Bennie & Bacon Infused Bloody at the Ruby Slipper Café
In addition to a delicious breakfast…I think you may already know what else I like. You’re reading my Gadabout Gals blog post, so I’m thinkin’ it’s not too difficult to figure out. It’s travel. Traveling. Gadding about, seeing new places, visiting favorite sights and just experiencing all that this wild and wonderful planet has to offer. Yep, traveling and eating. If I’m gonna be good at anything in this life, I’ll take being good at traveling and eating.
I'm really REALLY good at eating!
Since we’re discussing being good at something…I gotta mention one of my all-time fave cities to visit ~ New Orleans aka NOLA.
The Gadabout Gals & our friend Country Chick Denise at Jackson Square
Oh my…are they good at food in NOLA. Wowza. There is SO much to love about this wonderful and welcoming city, I could be here all day making lists. But I won’t…because I’m here today to rave about their food. Specifically, I’m just gonna rave about breakfast food.
So let’s get to it ~ my FAB 4 BREAKFAST SPOTS in NEW ORLEANS (at least for the moment). Ya see...I’m going back to NOLA for the 4th time in August (yay!!)…so I may come up with a few new fave breakfast fave spots after that.
But for now…..
Hands down, one of the best brunch places I’ve ever been to. Anywhere. Varied menu with local twists on traditional breakfast fare. Fun ambiance and great service. And their award-winning Bloody Mary’s ~ just like I love ‘em…spicy, flavorful and just damn good. (pictured above). You can even get 'em with house bacon-infused vodka. Yes, please! If you’re not a Bloody fan, their selection of fresh fruit Big Easy Mimosas are pretty fab too.
Though the Ruby Slipper has multiple locations around town, we like the uptown location on Magazine Street (a nice, easy walk from our fave hotel, The Bienville House). The Ruby Slipper menu has SO many great choices, but my Gadabout Guy hubby Jason loves the Corned Beef Bennie (Housemade corned beef hash served over a buttermilk biscuit, topped with two poached eggs, horseradish cream, finished with hollandaise) and I’m a fan of the BBQ Shrimp & Grits (Sauteed Gulf shrimp with beer & rosemary butter reduction, over creamy stone ground grits served with a buttermilk biscuit). DEE-lish. My advice, just pick something on the menu that sounds good and I can guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.
TIP: The Ruby Slipper is super popular, so it gets very busy. That can mean loooong lines. Make sure to use the Nowait app to put your name on the waitlist before you go, and just show up when your table is ready.
Yep, you read it right. Donuts, Sliders and Brew. At one place. And they are all FAB. Bottom line…this is one cool spot. And they have Donuts as big as your head. It’s a must NOLA stop. Just take my word for it….and the rave reviews they get from all of their other fans too. District Donuts are made from scratch (even the sprinkles) and they offer many fun and unique flavors (Hello…Chocolate Malt, Sopapilla, Brown Butter Drop)…and their nitro-brewed coffee is the bomb. SO MUCH YUM. And a fun laid-back vibe that makes you want to hang out there all day…waaaay after breakfast is over. They also serve great burgers and chicken sandwiches, so if you DO decide to stay and hang out for a while after breakfast is over, no problem…you can always just order lunch.
TIP: Traditional breakfast offerings are served before 11 am and donuts are served all day, so plan accordingly. If you wanna know before you go..they post pics of their daily donut flavors on Facebook.
This historic spot is famous for their daily jazz brunch, featuring live jazz music, and a fabulous buffet with over 80 delicious menu items. Yes, the food here is plentiful and delicious, but it’s not why we went…or why we will definitely go back again. It’s ambiance, ambiance, ambiance. Their large, beautiful open-air courtyard is lush and lovely. Truly picturesque and romantic (yes, even brunch can be romantic!).
I also love the history of this spot: the Court of Two Sisters’ location once housed a governor of colonial Louisiana, later becoming the home of Bertha and Emma Camors, the two sisters after whom the landmark restaurant is named. The sisters owned a “notions” shop here, selling imported Parisian perfume and other niceties for New Orleans’ upper-class ladies. Walking around the restaurant, you can truly feel the presence of the sisters and their fancy clientele. And...you can eat a BIG, delicious brunch...and enjoy live jazz. I love New Orleans!
TIP: On your way out, make sure to have your photo taken by the charm gates at the 613 Royal entrance. The gates were wrought in Spain especially for The Court of Two Sisters. Legend has it that Queen Isabella of Spain had them blessed so that their charm would pass on to anyone who touched them. I mean, who couldn’t use a little extra charm, right?
You KNEW I’d get around to THIS place, didn’t ya? When in N’awlins'...you just gotta have some beignets & cafe au lait at the Café Du Monde. It’s a must-see and do kinda place. A New Orleans institution that has been frequented by tourists and locals for over 150 years.
If you’re unfamiliar with beignets, they’re yummy little squares of fried dough. Crispy, puffy French donuts that arrive under a mountain of powdered sugar. Very tasty! Usually one plate of beignets per person is perfect, try them with a cup of their famous chicory-laced coffee with milk aka cafe au lait. Take note, that’s ALL they offer…except for white and chocolate milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice. That’s it. They keep it simple and they do it well…and that’s why they’re famous and we all keep going back. They're open 24 hours, but pretty much any time except the breakfast rush, you'll get a table in under 10 minutes.
TIP: Bring cash! It’s a cash-only establishment, so be prepared. Also, they bring you the bill when they bring you your food, so be ready to pay when that happens.
So there you have it, my FAB FOUR suggestions for great breakfast spots in NOLA ~ to fill your belly with some tasty food and just start your day off in that FABulous city on the right foot. If you have any New Orleans breakfast faves, we'd love to hear about them in the comments!
TIP: Since I shared above that I truly love Bloody Marys, I must mention the Bloody Marys at The Gazebo Café (see below). The Gazebo is one of our fave gathering spots when we visit NOLA with our big group of friends. It doesn't serve traditional breakfast items, but they have a full menu of delicious cajun and creole specialties and they definitely do a Bloody Mary right. They are tasty and strong...and you can get them served to you at a table on their lovely outside covered patio (while listening to some great live music)...or you can order one at their pickup window. I like to do that and then just walk around the French Market a bit. (Oh yes, that's another of my fave things about NOLA ~ just walking about with a cocktail...shopping, enjoying the scenery or some live music) As Martha Stewart might say: "That's a good thing." The Bloody Marys at the Gazebo Café are definitely a good thing.