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Tops of the Town

Our Readers’ Picks

A couple of notes: to make the list, a choice had to have a significant number of votes; places without enough votes were eliminated. Categories without enough voters were also removed. Where there was evidence of ballot stuffing (and there wasn’t much) the votes were adjusted accordingly. We know that there are some significant places that didn’t make the list, nevertheless we’re confident that those that are listed are all worthy and are among the tops in their field.

 


 

Top Ice Cream/Gelato Shop: Angelo Brocato’s

 

Angelo Brocato
 

Angelo Brocato has served up cold treats and pastries since 1905, bringing traditional Sicilian granita, gelato, cannoli, biscotti and more to New Orleans. The original location was in the French Quarter. The family decided to relocate to Mid-City in 1985. To date, the business is still family run and uses only the most traditional methods, which shows in their menu.

It’s that Old World charm and family-inspired recipes make Brocato’s our readers’ top pick for items such as the lemon ice and gelato. Lucky for many of us who are too busy to stop by the N. Carrollton Street location, Brocato’s creations may also be found in local groceries.
Check the restaurant’s website for products and store availability. Serving all of New Orleans and areas of the north shore, West Bank and Baton Rouge, your neighborhood grocery probably has your favorite ice, gelato, or cannoli in stock, so you never need run out.
 

Angelo Brocato, 214 N. Carrollton Avenue, 486-0078, AngeloBrocatoIceCream.com.

 


 

Top Place for Fine Dining & Turtle Soup: Commander’s Palace

 

Commander’s Palace
 

Peeking out from its iconic teal, or “Commander’s Blue,” striped awnings, Commander’s Palace has been providing top notch dining memories at the corner of Washington and Coliseum for nearly 125 years.

Our readers consistently vote for Commander’s as their favorite fine dining establishment, and note the restaurant’s famed turtle soup as a traditional highlight.

Siblings Ella, Dottie, Dick and John Brennan took over the establishment in 1979, and under Ella’s watchful eye produced some of New Orleans most beloved cuisine with legendary chefs such as Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Shannon and, currently, Tory McPhail, all taking a turn in the kitchen.

Now guided by co-proprietors Ti Martin and Lally Brennan, and after a monumental post-Katrina renovation, Commander’s continues to be the go-to place for locals’ special celebrations, anniversaries, birthdays and romantic dinners.
 

Commander’s Palace, 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221, CommandersPalace.com.

 


 

Top Place for Seafood, Raw Oysters & Boiled Crawfish: Deanie’s

 

Deanie’s
 

When you eat at Deanie’s, you invariably have the “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” experience. The plates are (more than) generously heaped with love and seafood and sides. You want to eat it all, a feat that only a few can complete. In any case, you will go home satisfied and deliciously full.

Originally opened as a seafood market along Lake Pontchartrain in Bucktown in 1961, the restaurant has expanded from its menu of boiled seafood, to a full, family friendly menu of fried, broiled, baked seafood, gumbo, jambalaya and more Louisiana favorites.

Currently with two locations, the original Bucktown and French Quarter location, the restaurant recently announced a third location in the lower Garden District.
 

Deanie’s Bucktown, 1713 Lake Avenue, 831-4141, Deanies.com.
Deanie’s French Quarter, 841 Iberville, 581-1316.
Deanie’s Garden District, 2200 Magazine Street.

 


 

Top French Bread: Leidenheimer Baking Co.

 

Leidenheimer Baking Co.
 

New Orleans cuisine, with its rich variety of soups, sauces, gumbos and sandwiches, is served with a much consumed, yet silent partner – the French bread loaf. And when many locals reach for their favorite, they choose the distinct, paper wrapped Leidenheimer loaf.

The company, in fact, states that its sacred mission is to “producing the perfect French bread” in an attempt to honor the food of New Orleans.

Leidenheimer Baking Co. was founded in 1896 by George Leidenheimer, who moved to New Orleans from his native Germany and found fame with his light and crispy French bread. The bakery, which has operated from its Simon Bolivar Avenue location since 1904, bakes up Leidenheimer, Zip and Reising brand products for distribution across the city, state and country.

When you see their distinct delivery trucks, with Bunny Matthews’ own Vic and Nat’ly dining on a fresh poor bread served up on fresh Leidenheimer bread, you’ll know a fresh delivery of baked goods has arrived.

 


 

Top Place for Poor Boys: Parkway Bakery & Tavern

 

Parkway Bakery and Tavern
 

The poor boy sandwich is as much a part of New Orleans culture as Carnival, the streetcar and the French Quarter. It was created in 1929 during the great streetcar strike to feed the hundreds of “poor boys,” with scraps of French fried potatoes, gravy and spare bits of roast beef on French bread.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern, which originally opened in Mid-City as a bakery in 1911, joined the ranks and begin serving up its own version of the poor boy to workers at the nearby American Can Factory, also in 1929.

Since that year, the Parkway poor boy has won over fans of the crusty sandwich, dominating our reader’s voting preferences. Whether you like your poor boy dressed or plain; roast beef, oyster or shrimp (or any of the other savory sandwich selections on the menu), Parkway takes the crown and continues a tradition that attracts both locals and visitors alike.
 

Parkway Bakery and Tavern, 538 Hagan Street, 482-3047, ParkwayPoorBoys.com.

 


 

 

Top Place for Burgers:
Port of Call

 

Top Place for Hot Dogs:
Dat Dog

 

Top Place for Pizza:
Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza

 

Top Coffee House:
PJ’s Coffee

 

Top Place for King Cake
1. Manny Randazzo
Tie 2. Nonna Randazzo
2. Sucre
 

Top Place for Fried Chicken
1. Popeye’s Fried Chicken
2. Willie Mae’s Scotch House
3. Mr. Ed’s Fried Chicken
 

Top Place for Poor Boys
1.  Parkway Bakery & Tavern
2. Bear’s Poboys
 

Top Place for Tacos
1. The Rum House
 

Top Place for Sushi
1. Tsunami
2. Rock ‘N Sake
 

Top Place for Wings
1. Wow Café Wingery
2. Hooters
 

Top Place for Pizza
1. Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza
 

Top Place for Snowballs
1. Plum Street Snowballs
2. Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
3. Sal’s Sno-balls
 

Top Local Grocery Store
1. Rouse’s Supermarket
2. Dorignac’s
 

Top Local Sandwich Shop
1. Stein’s Market and Deli
 

Top Buffet
1. Harrah’s New Orleans Casino
2. The Court of Two Sisters
 

Top Place for Cajun
1. Mulate’s Cajun Restaurant
 

Top Place for Creole
1. New Orleans Creole Cookery
 

Top Place for Middle Eastern
1. Shaya
2. Byblos
 

Top Place for Italian
1. Red Gravy
2. Vincent’s Italian Cuisine
3. Marcello’s Restaurant and Wine Market
 

Top Place for Asian
1. Hoshun
 

Top Place for Japanese
1. Tsunami
 

Top Place for Chinese
1. Five Happiness
 

Top Place for Vietnamese
1. Namese
 

Top Place for Thai
1. SukhoThai
2. La Thai Uptown
 

Top Place for Korean
1. Little Korea BBQ
 

Top Place for Indian
Tie 1. Nirvana
1. Taj Mahal
 

Top Place for Mexican/Southwest
1. El Gato Negro
 

Top Place for Steaks
1. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Tie 2. Crescent City Steaks
2. Mr. John’s Steakhouse
 

Top Place for Burgers
1. Port of Call
2. Company Burger
 

Top Place for Hot Dogs
1. Dat Dog
2. Lucky Dogs
 

Top Place for Gumbo
1. The Gumbo Shop
 

Top Place for Turtle Soup
1. Commander’s Palace
 

Top Coffee House
1. PJ’s Coffee
 

Top Coffee House for Food
1. PJ’s Coffee
2. Caffe Caffe
 

Top Bakery
1. Dorignac’s
 

Top Sweet Shop
1. Sucre
 

Top Ice Cream/Gelato Shop
1. Angelo Brocato’s
Tie 2. Creole Creamery
2. Sucre
 

Top Place for Seafood
1. Deanie’s
Tie 2. GW Fins
2. The Galley Seafood
 

Top Place for Raw Oysters
1. Deanie’s
2. Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar and Fish House
 

Top Place for Boiled Crawfish
1. Deanie’s
 

Top Place for Barbecued Shrimp
1. Pascal’s Manale
2. Mr. B’s Bistro
 

Top Place for Fine Dining
1. Commander’s Palace
 

Top Neighborhood Restaurant
1. Katie’s Restaurant & Bar
 

Top Restaurant of 2017
1. Meril
2. Briquette
 

Top Restaurant Worth the Drive
1. Mosca’s
Tie 2. Middendorf’s
2. Sal and Judy’s
 

Top Caterer
1. Pigeon Catering
 

Top Place for a Margarita
1. Superior Grill
2. The Velvet Cactus
 

Top Place for a Bloody Mary
1. The Ruby Slipper Café
 

Top Sports Bar
1. Poppy’s Time Out Sport Bar & Grill
 

Top Dive Bar
1. Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
 

Top Hotel Bar
1. The Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone
 

Top Local Beer
1. Abita Brewing Company
 

Top Craft Cocktail Bar
1. Cure
2. Briquette
 

Top French Bread
1. Leidenheimer Baking Co.
 

Top Place for Vegetarian
1. Seed
 

Top Place for Breakfast
1. The Ruby Slipper Café
 

Top Place for Brunch
1. Red Gravy
2. The Ruby Slipper Café
 

Top Place for Late Night Dining
1. Hoshun
 

Top Chef
1. Alon Shaya
 

Top Place to Hear Live Music
1. The House of Blues
 

Top Local Radio Station
1. WWOZ
 

Top Carnival Parade
1. Muses
Tie 2. Endymion
2. Nyx
 

Top State Festival
1. Nachitoches Christmas Festival
 

Top New Orleans Festival
1. French Quarter Festival
2. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
 

Top Museum
1. New Orleans Museum of Art
2. National WWII Museum
3. Ogden Museum of Southern Art
 

Top Art Gallery
1. M.S. Rau Antiques
 

Top Antiques Store
1. M.S. Rau Antiques
 

Top Furniture Store
Tie 1.Doerr Furniture
1. Hurwitz Mintz
2. M.S. Rau Antiques
 

Top Lawn/Garden Store
1. Perino’s
2. Jefferson Feed & Seed
 

Top Place to Gamble
1. Harrah’s Casino
2. The Scarlet Pearl
 

Top Place to Buy Liquor and Wine
1. Dorignac’s
 

Top Bank
1. Whitney Hancock
 

Top Hotel
1. The Windsor Court
Top Golf Course
1. TPC Louisiana
 

Top Yoga/Pilates Studio
1. NOLA Pilates
Top Fitness Studio
1. OrangeTheory
 

Top Day Spa
1. Woodhouse Day Spa
 

Top Dry Cleaner
1. Young’s
 

Top Men’s Clothing Store
1. Jeff’s Haberdashery
2. Perlis
 

Top Women’s Boutique
1. Trashy Diva
 

Top Children’s Boutique
Tie 1. Auraluz
1. Little Miss Muffin
 

Top Local Shoe Store
1. Feet First
 

Top Local Jeweler
Tie 1. Adler’s
1. Aucoin Hart
 

Best Bridal Boutique
Tie 1. Town & Country
1. Wedding Belles
 

Top Gulf Coast Hotel
1. Scarlet Pearl
 

Top Craft Brewery
Tie 1. NOLA Brewing
1. Port Orleans

 


 

EDITOR'S PICK

 

Politician Of The Year: Stacy Head
Though she would have been eligible for another at-large term on the council, Stacy Head chose not to run again, closing a segment of her career that was distinguished for its honesty and tough questioning. And when council credit card spending habits were studied she as the only one to show $0. It’s still not too late for a comeback.

 

New Direction Of The Year: LaToya Cantrell
The novelty of LaToya Cantrell being elected mayor is not that she is the first female so elected in the city, there have been several woman mayors throughout the state, but, more importantly her ascendancy is through the neighborhood movement, in her case, Broadmoor, She will have seen the ivory towers of City Hall from the grass roots.

 

Most Famous Lost New Orleanian Of The Year: Fats Domino
Fats Domino mastered a sound that combined rhythm and blues with the emerging rock and roll to create a rhythm that drove the kids on the dance floor crazy. He lived mostly shy and withdrawn, but will be remembered for those videos with tight shots of him at a piano relishing those thrills of “Blue Berry Hill.” He’s gone, “Ain’t that a shame.”

 

Sport Duo Of The Year: Drew Brees and Anthony Davis
You won’t see Drew Brees completing passes to Anthony Davis; nor will you see Davis rebounding a Brees hook shot. The Saints Quarterback and the Pelicans Forward are united by city not by sport, but oh what a blessing for the city. Both are superstars; both a classy men who provide great roles models. New Orleans is lucky to have both. A couple of more championships would help too.

 


 

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