My Personal Tops of the Town

The past few weeks have been crazy, to say the least. And every week it seems there’s little time to blog about all the crazy things that keep me from blogging regularly. Just the other day a friend asked me about my status of being “New to New Orleans,” and my first instinct was to say: Forget new, I’m just plain busy.

I know the city well enough to give a thorough tour, or make recommendations, and even write about it from time to time. Most of what I’ve learned has come from daily explorations and the advice of friends and acquaintances. It’s also come from the helpful advice I’ve received throughout the past year from loyal readers who are gracious enough to drop some knowledge, or corrections, or love.

Now, more than ever, seems like a good time to share with you my top three “New Orleans Favorites.” If you’re new to the city, check it out (I needed a list like this when we first moved here.) Or, if you’re a seasoned local with a list of favorites, too, feel free to share. I wonder if our favorites will coincide with New Orleans Magazine’s “Tops of the Town.”

Favorite Restaurants:
1. Lilette: I’m still searching for a meal that rivals the chicken poulet and roasted Brussels sprouts. I order that dish every time we go here. It’s phenomenal, and I’m hooked. I expressed an interest in going here again for my birthday this month, but alas, I’ve been advised that reservations are already in order for elsewhere.
2. Lüke
3. Commander’s Palace

Favorite Bars:
1. Cure: The easiest way for me to get homesick over NJ/NY is to spend a night in this swank alcohol and floral apothecary. It’s smoke-free and the ambience makes it reminiscent of some favorite hangouts up north. Sigh.
2. Bridge Lounge
3. Monkey Hill

Favorite Ethnic Food:
1. Boswell’s: It’s the best Jamaican food I’ve had in a long time: Oxtail, curries, cabbage and plantains! That is all.
2. August Moon (Asian fusion)
3. La Thai

Favorite Clothing Stores:
1. Total Woman
2. T.
3. Shops at Canal Place

Favorite Places to Hear Music:
1. Frenchmen Street: Do I really need to pick a place? Snug Harbor, d.b.a., Three Muses, Blue Nile and Spotted Cat — is it even possible to choose?
2. Tipitina’s
3. Maple Street Bar

Favorite Soul Food Restaurants:
1. Willie Mae’s Scotch House: Best fried chicken in the city, and if it were possible I’d eat it every day.
2. Dooky Chase
3. Joey K’s

Favorite Breakfast Joint:
1. Ruby Slipper Café: Great classic American breakfast dishes and ones with special flair.
2. Stanley
3. Gott Gourmet

Favorite Brunch Spot:
1. Dante’s Kitchen: We have a tradition of taking every guest we host here for brunch. I’m four dishes away from having had everything on the menu. It’s divine.
2. Patois
3. Commander’s

Favorite Restaurants in Metairie:
1. Drago’s: The charbroiled oysters are definitely worth the drive. This time of year is the best time to head that way, too, because of Randazzo’s king cakes. Double whammy.
2. Café Equaor
3. Phil’s Grill

Favorite Festival:
1. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Have you seen this year’s lineup?
2. French Quarter Fest
3. New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival

Favorite Pizza:
1. Slice: As close to a Jersey slice as I’ll get.
2. Theo’s
3. NakedPizza

Favorite Dessert Spot:
1. Sucré: Sinful but sweet. All you need in a dessert and then some.
2. La Boulangerie
3. King Cake from anywhere!

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