If any city has a soul, a sense of personality, it’s New Orleans.
The whole world is struggling with coronavirus—from social distancing to medical supply needs to anxiety over the future. And for New Orleans in particular, that personality of hers turns to food in times of high-stress. You might say that New Orleans over eats.
Well, to be fair, she over eats in times of whimsy, times of sadness, times of celebration and at each and every holiday, too.
Food is one of the great unifiers in this town.
Uncertain times lie ahead, but for now, the restaurant industry is still providing that flavor of comfort, from gumbo to jambalaya, from fresh salads to croissants. They also need our comfort tenfold. Everything is provided takeaway and delivery right now, as we all work to social distance.
We may be six feet apart, but we are all playing a vitally important, unified role in this fight.
To support the city’s wonderful, independent chefs, bartenders, servers and restaurant owner, here’s who to call:
Neighborhood: Lower Garden District
Coquette’s plates are full of technical skill from a team of ace chefs, but the result is also warm and approachable—as is the dark wood dining room and boisterous front bar. Oh, how we miss that front bar, but we don’t have to miss their culinary prowess. Nightly pick-up service is available. Menu changes daily. On a bright side, they brought back their famous fried chicken. Get the family-style option with eight pieces, two sides, pickles, ranch and hot sauce. Their sommelier will even select a bottle of wine to pair with it.
2800 Magazine St
Call 504.265.0421 anytime after 2pm. Pickup is 4-7pm.
Neighborhood: St. Claude
Do not skip a round of Barbacoa tacos. Or a round of the Al Pastor. The queso and salsa verde are also outstanding, as is the stewed, shredded Chicken Poblano meal with beans and popcorn rice. This fairly new establishment opened in a restored oil and lube station on St. Claude. Before the virus, fans were eagerly awaiting al fresco brunch service to be added to the nightly dining. For now, the staff could certainly use the online support. Order for pickup here.
Frady’s One Stop
This sunny, yellow corner store is ideal for restocking your toilet paper, paper towels and lightbulbs, and you can grab a massive poboy or potato salad or deviled eggs to-go. They are most famous for the Roast Beef, which comes fully dressed, heaped with debris-styled shredded, soft meat and a ton of rich gravy. Frady’s has been serving the Bywater since the 1960s, and when you go in, make sure to say hello to proprietor, Kirk Frady. He just might be the friendliest person in the neighborhood. Catfish available on Fridays.
Bearcat focuses on healthy, seasonally focused food, and it’s great for those looking to keep their immune systems in peak performance, staying on their diet and those with dietary restrictions—so helpful right now! Paleo pancakes, house-made granola, farro bowls and vegan grilled cheese are a few delicious options. They are on a slightly limited menu right now but are certainly open for pickup. Call ahead.
Neighborhood: Lower Garden District
Seed is newly reopened after a redesign and new ownership, still dedicated to serving an entire plant based menu. Right now, they are doing both to-go and delivery. Our top picks are the fried cauliflower katsu sandwich and the mushroom-based gumbo. Ideal for vegetarians and vegans but after one bite, you might become a convert to the plant-based philosophy. You’ll never miss the meat.
The best Cuban sandwich in the city is now priced at a 20 percent discount. There’s a 50 percent discount on all wine and beer. Call it in between 11am and 8pm and don’t forget other standouts like the Pork Belly and Corn-fried oysters, the fresh market vegetables and the Chef’s Charcuterie salad. Use code CVEAT20 for discounts.
Neighborhood: Marigny + Uptown
SukhoThai serves authentic Issan and Bangkok-styled Thai dishes, and for those novices to the Scoville scale of Thai food, they will happily request your chili preference with each dish. It’s all cooked to order and a heaping plate of green curry or a bowl of Pad Thai with chicken might just be the stress reliever you need. Pickup curbside for call-ins and delivery is an option too.
Order via Waitr
Singleton’s Mini Mart
Neighborhood: Black Pearl
This corner store has been run by a Vietnamese family for years, and they certainly gather the community in good times with weekly beer and poker games and a lauded bowl of Pho that’s only sold on Saturdays. They also serve a range of Banh Mi sandwiches and po-boys, and they are still open (and very deserving of support) from 10am to 4pm daily. Delivery is free.
504.866.4741; Uber Eats
Hero image: Frady’s Corner Store, Bywater New Orleans, by Jenny Adams