Commence your weekend with starter such as crawfish-and-artichoke dip ($12) or a bacon-chocked steakhouse salad with green-peppercorn buttermilk dressing ($7). Entree salads include larger, decadent options like the McIlhenny, masa-fried oysters over greens with homemade buttermilk dressing and McIlhenny tabasco chipotle ($11), or a Southern fried-chicken salad with a Jack Daniel's mustard vinaigrette ($10.50). Get back on the meatwagon with the steakhouse bacon cheeseburger ($9.50) or the blackened prime rib, served with roasted-pepper and portobello-mushroom salad ($24), or dive below the surface of the plate for barbecue shrimp smothered in Abita Amber sauce ($16.50).
In addition to a location in Metarie, Daisy Dukes Restaurant features a location nestled into the heart of the French Quarter with exposed brick and hardwood. Both locations of the eatery combine New Orleans charm with Southern fusion cuisine, and the French Quarter location is open 24 hours a day. Grills blacken catfish, alligator sausages, and fresh tuna steaks, which have close brushes with Cajun spices before arriving at tables. Classic po’ boy sandwiches cradle shrimp and other seafoods for which the area is famed. Each meal comes with hearty sides, from Cajun-spiced fries to cups of crawfish etouffee, a classic bayou recipe.
Summon the senses out of bed with the efficiency of a rooster with an alarm clock with Oceana's kicky menu of morning tastes. Try the Cajun omelette ($12.50), with spicy seasonings, mushrooms, and onions, or maw maw's Cajun breakfast ($12), packed with bacon, ham, shrimp, eggs, and rice. Crêpes ($15–$18) call out to lovers of foldable fare with the St. Marie (spinach, cheddar, chicken, and hollandaise) and the St. James (shrimp, crabmeat, onions, red peppers, and cheese). Midday grub includes fried-catfish po’ boys ($9.50), classic cheeseburgers ($9.50), and crab-cake burgers ($9.50). Louisiana-style dinner entrees such as the grilled ahi-tuna "la boheme" topped with barbecued shrimp and served with sautéed veggies ($20) and smoked duck sided with potatoes and vegetables ($21) take care of heartier appetites.
A cornerstone of French Quarter dining since 1894, The Old Coffee Pot Restaurant is known far and wide for its delectable breakfast fare and classic New Orleans dishes, tickling the flavor-antennae of visitors and locals alike. Greet the day with a signature oyster Rockefeller omelet ($12.75), or sate an antiquarian sweet tooth with cala cakes, which are fashioned from a mid-nineteenth century recipe ($8.50, $8.95 with pecans). Taste-buds tending toward noontime grub can lap a hearty cup of seafood gumbo ($5.95, $8.50 for a bowl) or a catfish po' boy ($10.95), both of which have been fortified with Poseidon's blessing. Evening eaters can sink incisors into fancier fare, such as the Fleur de Lis chicken ($21), which is topped with buerre blanc, and paired with lump crabmeat, Louisiana crawfish, and gulf shrimp stuffing. Patrons sporting the evolutionary advantage of an extra stomach can complete their meal with homemade peanut butter pralines ($6) or whiskey-doused bread pudding ($6).
Overlooking St. Charles Avenue, Mia's Balcony offers Mardi Gras revelers a central view of grand, glittering floats and shimmering beads. But the restaurant isn’t content to host a party once a year; on the other 364 days, visitors cheer on the college, professional, and sock-puppet football games broadcast over the patio's outdoor televisions, and a banquet room is available for private soirees. While watching a Saints or LSU game or just chatting, guests can share small plates of seared scallops on the half-shell or fish croquettes or dig into substantial entrees such as pepper-jelly lamb chops. On weekend mornings, the chefs prepare brunch dishes including creole omelets and veal grillades over grits.
Local artwork, exposed-brick walls, and fireplaces set an inviting scene indoors. Bartenders fill glasses with craft beers, wine, and potent cocktails such as the French 75, a champagne- and gin-based drink based on a vintage recipe.
Captain Sal’s is a family-owned eating oasis serving up seaborne repasts and poultry-anchored feasts that are great for busy, on-the-move locals and tourists on lunch breaks from the Fodor’s-suggested all-bead scavenger hunt. Shrimp po’ boys are served on buns or french bread ($5.49–$6.99) and, like ketchup keg parties, go great with fries ($1.49–$2.99) or onion rings ($1.89–$3.99). Seafood gumbo warms souls chilled over by the sight of rat-tail haircuts ($4.49–$6.49), and chicken is available in four ($3.49 white; $4.49 dark), eight ($6.49 white; $8.49 dark) or 15-piece ($9.49 white; $11.99 dark) sets. Fitting for retired fishermen who still want to reap their craft’s edible benefits, Captain Sal’s provides subtly spiced seafood sublimity.
On a residential street near the river, a little white cottage with a hand-painted sign hosts heaping platters of crustaceans, catfish, rib-eye steaks, and creamy Southern sides. Creamy baked macaroni and potato salad escort fried redfish, frog legs, and soft-shell crab from a kitchen praised by Lonely Planet as "working in its own rarefied air," with each dish ceremonially blessed by a mermaid. Tuesday–Friday, lunch specials pack salads and po boys with oysters and shrimp, and sangria, beer, and wine from the full bar enliven meals at any time of day.