Home LIFESTYLE Celebrity Southern Charm New Orleans Guide to Best Restaurants in the Big Easy

Southern Charm New Orleans Guide to Best Restaurants in the Big Easy

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If you’re already a Southern Charm addict who’s deeply invested in the lives of Shep Rose, Cameran Eubanks, Thomas Ravenel, Kathryn Dennis, and the whole Charleston gang, get ready to have even less time on your hands.

After the first offshoot of the hit Bravo show debuted in Savannah last May (which just got renewed for a second season), the franchise is now making its way to New Orleans—with a new batch of fresh faces. PEOPLE caught up with the Southern Charm New Orleans cast ahead of Sunday’s premiere, and they gave us their expert guide to the best places to eat and drink in the Big Easy.

Reagan Charleston 

“The first seating at Galatoire’s Friday lunch is my absolute favorite! It is the embodiment of New Orleans joie de vivre; everyone is dressed to impress and celebrating the end of the week. There’s plenty of champagne toasting and revelry, and you’re likely to catch a brass band second line coming through the main dining room. Pro tips: 1. Don’t even crack the menu. Order like a local and ask the world famous servers (Billy’s my favorite!) to make their suggestions. We always start with the famous Grand Goute appetizer, and I always have the gulf fish amandine. 2. They don’t take reservations, so find a local line waiter to save your spot, or get there bright and early to make sure you have a seat!”

For cocktails—if I don’t plan on leaving my French Quarter neighborhood—I love to stroll down Chartres Street to Tableau to enjoy a French 75 or a glass of rosé on the balcony overlooking St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo. Sometimes we’ll pop in SoBou, also on Chartres, or Sylvain on Royal Street for a superb craft cocktail.

“When we plan a fun night out, we always head to the Polo Lounge at the Windsor Court to see Robin Barnes sing. You can also catch her at the Hotel Monteleone, home to one of my favorite New Orleans spots — The Carousel Bar. There is literally a carousel inside that spins ever so slightly, and the bartenders serve from the center. But get there early, the carousel seats fill up fast! I am also a big fan of the courtyard and the piano bar at Pat O’Brien’s!”

Jon Moody 

Cochon Butcher is definitely my ‘to-go’ spot. They have a tasty menu of fresh meaty sandwiches, burger, New Orleans-style foods like gumbo, andouille sausage, and more! My favorite dish is the Pig Mac. I’m not even a fan of pork but this burger plays off the concept of the Big Mac with fresh ingredients and a house sauce that is simply put, a mouths favorite.”

“The Ritz Carlton hands down some of the best chefs in New Orleans. Some of my favorite dishes are the shrimp and grits, seared scallops, and last but not least the filet mignon.”

“For going out I would recommend The Metropolitan, Masquerade in Harrah’s and Eiffel Night Club. These three places provide a genuinely ‘lit’ and entertaining night life throughout the city of New Orleans. When I step out it is usually those places.”

Barry Smith

“If you like Thai food that’ll have you licking your fingers, then La Thai Uptown is the place. Make sure to ask for Mama’s wings for an appetizer. You owe me for knowing.”

Jacques-Imo’s is also one of my all-time favorites! It’s in the heart of uptown and the owner Jack knows NO strangers. From watermelon mojitos to alligator cheesecake to fried chicken, Jacques-Imo’s will have you talking about your dining experience for months.”

Tamica Lee

Meril is my number number one spot in the city! I’ve gone there so much that the head chef Will Avelar and General Manager Jeremy are my favorite people now. I have the Tamica Table and what I call the ‘Tamica’ pasta on the menu. My favorite cocktail is the #11! It was also my dad’s number when he played for the New Orleans Saints. Meril is the go-to spot to be seen.”

“New Orleans is the Big Easy, so we take our brunches seriously. Café Atchafalaya—which sits tucked away off Magazine Street—has an incredible Bloody Mary bar. The food is always amazing, highlighting all of the city’s authentic flavors.”

“And I can’t forget Compere Lapin. O.M.G.! That’s all I need to say about this place. Every time I sit down I’m always amazed. You can taste all the love [Top Chef alum] Nina Compton puts in these dishes. From the homemade biscuits to the ambiance, it’s always a great date spot.”

Justin Reese

Dooky Chase is an iconic New Orleans restaurant. They have the best fried chicken in the city! Not to mention Chef Leah Chase, who is a James Beard lifetime achievement award winner, is still in the kitchen cooking that amazing food at 93 years old. She’s cooked for presidents, judged Top Chef—this woman’s done it all.”

Ruby Slipper is one of my go-to places for brunch. Don’t miss the shrimp and grits or the pancakes—some of New Orleans’ best!”

“Finally, I’m sucker for hotel rooftop bars. The NOPSI, Ace, Pontchartrain, and Troubadour hotels host some of the best views and ambiance New Orleans has to offer.”

Southern Charm New Orleans premieres April 15 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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