Favorite place to buy King Cakes: Manny Randazzo King Cakes. Chalmette culinary tradition comes to Mardi Gras with Randazzo’s victory. Haydel’s and Gambino’s bring two other great baking traditions to the front. National chains keep away.
2) Haydel’s Bakery
3) Gambino’s Bakery
Favorite takeout: Copeland’s of New Orleans. Besting Five Happiness for the first time, and with a menu that encompasses Cajun style, Copeland’s makes its move in the take-out business.
2) Five Happiness
3) Whole Foods
Favorite gourmet takeout: Whole Foods. With plenty of options to choose from, Whole Foods targets your health and the environment – what’s not to love?
Favorite fried chicken: Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken. It was Popeye’s that first put the spice into fried chicken, though Popeye the sailorman might might lament the fact that there’s not a trace of spinach in sight .
2) Brother’s Fried Chicken
Favorite poor boys: Parkway Bakery & Tavern. You won’t even want to throw leftover pieces of French bread at the ducks in nearby Bayou St. John – it’s easy to devour every bite of a sandwich here, amidst a crowd of always-festive locals.
2) Domilise Sandwich Shop
3) Short Stop Po-Boys
4) Johnny’s Po-Boys
Favorite tacos: Taqueria Corona. Whether you’re craving chicken, steak, fish or just veggies and cheese, this welcoming and casual joint Uptown is known for tacos that sizzle and drizzle with all the fixings
2) Taco Bell
3) Juan’s Flying Burrito
4) Felipe’s Taqueria (tied)
4) Superior Grill (tied)
Favorite sushi: Sake Café. Sake it to me, baby; with their assortment of fresh fish and rice dishes, this Magazine St. hotspot won by a hefty margin.
Favorite wings: WOW Cafe and Wingery. Whether you like them spicy or not, WOW Café has wings that live up to the restaurant’s name.
2) Wing Zone
Favorite onion rings: Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken. Adding on to their win for Favorite Fried Chicken, the rings, like the chicken, come spicy.
2) Liuzza’s Restaurant & Bar
3) Deanie’e Seafood
Favorite snowballs: Plum Street Snowballs. Plum Street, like Hansen’s, has it following based on quality and survivability.
2) Sal’s Snowball Stand
3) Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Shop
Favorite place for Cajun food: Copeland’s of New Orleans. With a menu that reads like a map of Cajun- style cuisine, is it any wonder that this four-time winner continues to please?
2) K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen
3) Mulate’s the Original Cajun
Favorite place for Creole food: Galatoire’s. Winner for a second year. Going to Galatoire’s is a dining experience as well as a social event.
2) Dooky Chase
Favorite Middle Eastern restaurant: Byblos. Byblos’ atmosphere and flavorful Mediterranean specialties such as shwarma and babaganouj keep New Orleanians coming back. Try the Drunken Halloumi appetizer; it’s cheese-tastic.
2) Mona’s Cafe
Favorite Italian restaurant: Vincent’s. This three-time winner edged out last year’s king, Andrea’s, from its quiet St. Charles Avenue corner; though when Vincent’s is hopping, both the restaurant and the corner are anything but quiet as all of its Italian good cheer spills out the door.
4) Cafe Giovanni
Favorite Asian restaurant: Five Happiness. Five Happiness? It’s happier than that! – these dishes, including Szhuan style as well as Cantoese are delightfully flavor. This is New Orleans’ most enuring Oriental restaurant.
Favorite Indian restaurant: Nirvana. Among the other restaurants, shops and bars on Magazine Street, Nirvana stands out as a great place for a date or with a group of friends – and the buffet is heavenly.
Favorite Mexican/Southwest restaurant: Superior Grill. Superior Grill lives up to its name with tasty grilled dishes, margaritas and yummy sides (and a darn good hamburger, too).
2) Taqueria Corona
3) Chevy’s Fresh Mex
4) Juan’s Flying Burrito
Favorite Seafood restaurant: Drago’s Seafood. It must be the Chargrilled Oysters, or maybe the luscious lobster, or the Shrimp Ruth. Whatever the reason, Drago’s Seafood is on top.
2) Deanie’s Seafood
Favorite place to get raw oysters: Acme Oyster House. This 98-year-old, five-time winner has yet to be bested in this category – if you haven’t had them yet, make this the year!
2) Drago’s Seafood
4) Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Favorite place to get boiled crawfish: Salvo’s Seafood & Deli. Don’t judge the seasoning by the ambience, just by the sweet burn of their crawfish!
Favorite pizza restaurant: Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Pizzas with glorious toppings, served by friendly staff in a fun environment? Delicious!
2) Italian Pie
3) Louisiana Pizza Kitchen
4) Tower of Pizza
5) Pizza Hut
Favorite topping: Pepperoni. Q: What do aardvarks like on pizza? A: Ant-chovies! Hahaha! But you’re not aardvarks, you voted for pepperoni; a much better choice.
Favorite restaurant for steaks: Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Though the company should have never abandoned Broad Street, readers nevertheless still know a good steak when they see one.
2) Crescent City Steak House
Favorite burger: Port of Call. First time diners at this Marigny favorite may doubt their capabilities of finishing the larger-than-life burgers, but somehow they always find room, as the burgers are positively mouth-watering.
2) Lakeview Harbor
3) Bud’s Broiler
Favorite place for gumbo: Gumbo Shop. Whether seafood, chicken and andouille, or any other kind, they are the best; this five-time winner even has gumbo in its name!
2) Copeland’s of New Orleans
Favorite place for turtle soup: Commander’s Palace. Maybe it’s the ambience, maybe it’s the recipe but no matter the why, turtle soup here tastes like New Orleans history with a sherry kick.
Favorite coffeehouse: PJ’s Coffee. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, PJ’s, with its multiple locations, has been a popular place to study, gossip, read, surf the ’net or just hang out.
2) CC’s Community Coffee House
3) Cafe du Monde
4) Starbucks Coffee Company
Favorite coffeehouse for food: Puccino’s. This Magazine street coffeehouse is just right for shoppers who need to re-fuel with their pastries, snacks and sandwiches!
2) CC’s Community Coffee House
3) Chateau Coffee Cafe
Café du Monde
Favorite dessert menu: Commander’s Palace. Praline Parfait, seasonal sorbet, Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé; if you go to Commander’s this weekend, start your diet Monday!
2) Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro
Favorite bakery: Haydel’s Bakery. From King Cake to “Cajunnoli,” Haydel’s bakes up the good stuff that makes all our lives a little sweeter.
2) Maurice French Pasteries
3) Gambino’s Bakery
4) La Boulangerie
Favorite ice cream flavor and from where: Angelo Brocato’s Spumoni. Though the new is catching up, tradition wins out with New Orleanians and ice cream and nothing is more traditionally delicious than the Spumoni at Brocato’s.
2) Creole Creamery’s Black & Gold
Favorite house specialty drink: Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane. Oh, how many times have we all gone to this old standby (and four-time winner) in a French Quarter pinch?
2) Port of Call’s Monsoon
Favorite place for a margarita: Superior Grill. Superior Grill has superior deals on their muy popular margaritas if you catch half-price happy hour. Nothing heralds the onset of spring like nachos and tequila.
3) Nacho Mamas
Favorite wine list: Commander’s Palace. Need a wine to go with your Turtle Soup? They’ve got it. What about a Summer Peach Salad? Yup, that too. Even when you’re having the panéed rabbit and your friend is having the trout? Yes. If it’s available, they’ve got the perfect wine to match!
2) Martin Wine Cellar
Favorite sports bar: Cooter Brown’s Tavern. This Riverbend establishment broadcasts all the sports games you can think of, plus it has an extensive list of beers and delicious bar food.
2) Fox & Hound English Pub & Grille
Favorite hotel bar: Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar
You’ve got good taste if enjoy the classy carousel bar (yes, it rotates): It’s rumored that Tennessee Williams used to slip in for a drink – or two. Maybe it provides inspiration!
2) Windsor Court Hotel’s The Polo Club Lounge
3) Columns Hotel
Favorite restaurant for fine dining
Galatoire’s: From the cool tiles to the polished brass rails, from the mirrors that allow you to see who’s who to the waiters in their crisp white aprons, nothing in New Orleans – or in the world – is quite like Galatoire’s.
2) Commander’s Palace
Favorite casual restaurant: Copeland’s of New Orleans. It seems that Copeland’s satellite locations are flourishing; now if only the remaining shuttered restaurant on St. Charles Avenue would reopen.
Favorite outdoor dining: The Court of Two Sisters. The Court of Two Sister’s has won in this category every time and with their great location and enjoyable jazz brunch, it’s no wonder.
Favorite restaurant for a power lunch: Galatoire’s. Even if you don’t merit the table in the corner, there is nothing more impressive than to be taken to Galatoire’s for a lunch that lasts all day and never needs a menu.
Favorite French bread: Leidenheimer’s. There wasn’t even a question – Lidenheimer’s won hands-down. Perhaps our poor boys will feel a little richer being served on this great bread.
2) Binder’s (Alois J. Binder Bakery Inc.)
Favorite place for a salad: Café Rani. Café Rani serves up the biggest salads this side of the elephant pen at Audubon Zoo. The salads are more than a meal and can come with a variety of fresh, tasty fixins.
Favorite place for vegetarian dishes: Whole Foods. Sometimes it’s difficult to forsake meat in this city, but Whole Foods has such a wonderful variety of veggie dishes that you’ll never go hungry.
Favorite place for breakfast or brunch: Camellia Grill. Ah, how we missed you, Camellia Grill. It ain’t fancy but it’s good, hot eats and you can get anything here covered in chili and cheese.
2) The Court of Two Sisters
3) Bluebird Cafe
Favorite place for late-night dining: Camellia Grill. Y’all just can’t get enough of that Camellia Grill cookin’ and we understand. There’s something about that grilled cheese you can’t duplicate; (secret ingredient: Love).
Cleanest restaurant: Casamento’s. A perennial winner, the gleaming tiles of Casamento’s invite you in to make a mess with their delicious fried oyster loafs, crab claws and ice cold beer.
Favorite restaurant in which to get messy: R&O Pizza Place. Whether it’s the poor boy drippings or red sauce, never be afraid to let a little get on ya, Sugar!
Favorite BYOB restaurant: Lola’s. Indulge in the European way of life at Lola’s in Mid-City – try a popular paella, sip wine and gaze onto Esplanade Avenue.
Favorite chef: John Besh. All right, I bet you think we rigged this category because this handsome gentleman graced the cover of our Dec. 2007 issue but John Besh won this one fair and square. With restaurants August, Lüke, La Provence and Besh Steakhouse, Chef Besh has carved out his place as a New Orleans culinary legend, with hopefully more coming soon.
2) Susan Spicer
3) Paul Prudhomme
Favorite restaurant: Galatoire’s. This 103-year-old, two-time winner always surpasses expectations with its time-honored customs, a menu full of favorites and its knowledge that some of the best things never change.
2) Commander’s Palace
Restaurant worth the drive: Middendorf’s. With Horst Pfeiffer now in control, no distance is too great to travel for the famous Thin-fried Catfish and tartar sauce. If only they delivered ? On a pretty night the sky over Bayou Manchac can be romantic: Bella Luna!
3) Trey Yeun
4) La Provence
Group of people no one knows: “They.” These are they who Mayor Nagin frequently refers to as the sources of all ills. We don’t know who “they” are but we suspect them no better.