Dominique Røyem and her husband Jon Cooper spend Christmas in New Orleans each year. I asked them to recommend five of their favorite places to eat when they are in NOLA over the holiday. You can follow her food, travel, and music adventures at @dominiqueroyem on Instagram.
Christmas in the Big Easy is one of my favorite times of the year! The city is dressed up in lights, making the beautiful city seem etherial at night. It’s also chill, without too many tourists – but you can still find a party if that’s your vibe.
Eating in NOLA is a hobby in its own right, and Christmastime opens up a number of traditions that are unique to the city. Here are five of my favorite places to eat on and around Christmas!
5. Fry and Pie
Courtyard at Hi-Ho Lounge, 2239 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
The eclectic business is in the courtyard of the Hi-Ho Lounge on St. Claude, in Marigny. You have to walk through the comedy club to get to it, or use the take out window facing the street. It serves made to order french fries and delectable single serving pies in an artsy setting. The menu rotates, but if you can, grab the El Chapo…Dig it (Cajeta cream with whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans) or the Rock Hot Robot (cayenne espresso chocolate covered with whipped cream and spicy chocolate robots).
4. McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’
1458 N Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119
I am always searching for the best fried chicken wherever I go, and McHardy’s is on the top of that list. The chicken is flavorful, spicy and perfectly fried for a great crunch. They use heritage-style chicken, so the pieces you get are smaller than at a large chain. This means the flavor bursts through every bite and is never dry. The sides are traditional and well done, but the chicken is the standout. They are pick up only, so take your chicken and eat at the City Park that is only a few blocks away.
Inside Siberia Lounge
2227 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
One of the best places for Slavic street food in NOLA is in the back of a Metal bar. Once you walk through the Siberian Lounge you find Kukhnya. On the menu, you can find sandwiches and burgers – all standard gastropub fare. The magic is in the “Slavic foods” section. The first time I went I had the perogies and the beef stroganoff, and they both were AMAZING. I haven’t had better of either dish since I was in Kiev. The staff is nice and they will let you know when the show is about to start, in case you want to miss it.
2. District Donuts
2209 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130
There is only one place in NOLA that I make sure I don’t miss on every trip: District Donuts Sliders Brew. They have the best donut in New Orleans, hands down. The rotating flavors are posted on social media every morning and have included Wedding Cake, Orange Cardamom Almond, Black and Gold, and my all-time favorite, the ice cream stuffed Cotton Candy Dough-la-mode. The kolaches and biscuit sandwiches are also amazing. If you plan on going on a weekend get up early – the line can get long and they can sell out. The wait is worth it, though!
1. Josephine Estelle
600 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The Revillon Dinner is a Christmas tradition in New Orleans. It used to be a formal dinner, party or get-together after midnight Christmas mass, stretching until sunrise on Christmas day. Now there are Revillion meals hosted all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. One of the best Revillon Dinners I have ever had was at Josephine Estelle. An Osteria is not a traditional choice for Christmas, but it was magnificent. Our reservation was for around 8 pm on Christmas Eve, which allowed us to get back to our hotel around midnight. The menu was full of exciting dishes, and we created our own five-course dining experience. The service was excellent, the dining room was lively, and we did not feel rushed. There was even a party going on in the hotel ballroom! If you want to go to a Revillion Dinner this year, make your reservations early.
Do you travel for the holidays? What are your favorite places to eat when you get there? Tell us in the comments!