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Insider's Guide to New Orleans, Pt. 1: Where to Eat
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Let’s face it. You don’t want to come to New Orleans for the Annual Meeting and waste any of your precious time eating at a bad restaurant or drinking at some boring bar.

In this month’s YO Info, local ophthalmology residents pull back the curtain and give you an insider’s take on the places that definitely won’t disappoint — along with some tips on where to soak up the city’s essential — and infamous culture. 

Insider's Guide to New Orleans
The ladies of the LSU/Ochsner ophthalmology residency program, enjoying a great meal at the Court of Two Sisters. Photo courtesy of Neel Kumar, MD.

Where to Eat
Casamento’s. This uptown restaurant represents the best of the basics for Nola eating: amazing fried oyster po-boys, a patty melt dripping with grease and butter and the largest fresh oysters you will find anywhere — trust me, these bad boys are double the size of those found at other oyster houses). Lighter on the pocketbook but heavier on the waist, it’s a great way to investigate the real food culture of New Orleans in a manner you won’t find anywhere else. — Haumith Khan-Farooqi, MD, Tulane University resident

Cochon Butcher. This is the lunch offshoot of Cajun chef Donald Link’s very popular Cochon restaurant. Cochon Butcher serves up top-notch sandwiches and delicious small plates. This lunch spot is close to the convention center, so it would be a great jaunt in the middle of the day. — Thomas W. Jones, MD, Tulane University resident


Commander’s Palace. Ride the streetcar uptown, wander around on Magazine Street and make your way here for a weekday lunch. Famous for their turtle soup, they have reasonably priced lunch specials and the famous 25-cent martini! This is a quintessential New Orleans upscale lunch spot, so be sure not to wear shorts or flip-flops. — T.W.J.

Court of Two Sisters. Amazing New Orleans brunch buffet in the French Quarter.  Come hungry! — Neel Kumar, MD, resident in the LSU/Ochsner ophthalmology program

Drago’s. Located downtown across from Harrah’s casino, this seafood restaurant is famous around town for its signature appetizer — chargrilled oysters — which many refer to as their favorite dish in the city. They are especially good for those who have always wanted to try oysters but don’t like the slimy cold texture of the fresh variety. When not consuming large trays of oysters, you can also consider trying a “pound and a halfer” Maine lobster or give the filet a try. — H.K.-F.

Jacque-Imo’s. This restaurant is all about southern comfort food with a twist, and it’s where I take all of my buddies when they come to Nola. Jockamo’s is well known around town, so you’d better make reservations if you arrive after 6 p.m. It’s a little rougher on the pocketbook, but you'd never guess it from the laid-back, “swamp-themed” interior and aptly named menu items. To be quite honest, I can’t wait till the Annual Meeting to get here just so that I have an excuse to get down there again. Did I mention that the food is good? — H.K.-F.

For alligator cheesecake, this place is a must. It’s uptown, and keep in mind they don’t take reservations. For a great night, make sure to walk next door to the jazz club called the Maple Leaf Bar, which always has good music — albeit they don’t get cookin’ till after 11 p.m. sometimes. — Blake K. Williamson, MD, Tulane University resident

Insider's Guide to New Orleans

Pizza Delicious. It's not just a clever name, this is hands down the best pizza in New Orleans. Their specialty pies are $20 and are gigantic. Don’t miss the hot soppressata with sweet marinated pepper and pickled red onion if it’s on the menu. They also have a nice beer selection. — T.W.J.

Quick takes:

  • August: Celebrity iron Chef John Besh’s digs. It’s great! — B.K.W.
  • Bayona: A great place for a quiet romantic night. It’s in an old converted creole cottage in the French Quarter. Ask to be seated in the courtyard if weather permits. — B.K.W.
  • Bouligny Tavern: the best small plates in a room that looks like a Mad Men set! — B.K.W.
  • Le Boca: Best steak in town is at this small Argentine hole in the wall. Get the skirt stake and French fries with house aioli. — B.K.W.
  • Muriel’s: Upscale, located in the heart of the quarter, the best Creole food in New Orleans. I think that says it all! — H.K.-F.
  • Parkway Tavern: The best po-boys in town. Get the half shrimp and half oyster, and eat at the bar. — B.K.W.
  • Patois: My favorite spot uptown. It’s a neighborhood joint — quaint and classic. — B.K.W.
  • Port of Call: No. 1 burger in the country, but get there at a little before noon and prepare to wait a little. — B.K.W.
  • Red Fish Grill: Located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, this slightly more upscale restaurant serves some of the finest seafood in the city. — H.K.-F.
  • Rock n’ Sake: Up-beat, noisy sushi. — B.K.W.
  • Sobou or Sylvain: For a hipster gastro-pub-type vibe. — B.K.W.
  • Breakfast/brunch at Surrey’s. FTW. — Brendon Sumich, native New Orleanian and alumnus of the LSU/Ochsner Ophthalmology Residency Program

More Insider's Guides to New Orleans

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