Cuisines

Queer Eye Is Coming to New Orleans — Which Restaurants Should They Visit?

The fabulous five hosts of Netflix’s queer eye are filming their seventh season in New Orleans, as announced, hilariously, with a graphic that shows the guys galloping into town surrounded by dancing crawfish, Mardi Gras beads, and saxophones. Throughout the season, the Fab Five will give serving local figures (Dan Stein of Stein’s Deli appears to be a popular nominee) life-changing makeovers, with each dipping into their areas of expertise to contribute.

Before hosts Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Tan France, and Antoni Porowski can get to business in the Big Easy, they’ll need to become familiar with the city — and what better way to get to know New Orleans than through its iconic cuisines? In following our Austin counterparts, we’re speculating about the local culinary institutions that might grace viewers’ television screens on this season of queer eyes, arranged alphabetically. It might even serve as a guide for the city’s highly anticipated guests. Antoni, this one is for you.

Bacchanal’s courtyard.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Bacchanal: Part of learning about cooking is learning how to pair food with great wines. Bacchanal seems like an obvious choice to learn, with its unique and extensive wine selection, knowledgeable wine experts, and the uniquely New Orleans vibe of the Bywater wineshop and courtyard.

Baldwin & Co./New Orleans Art Bar: Less than a mile upriver from Bacchanal are local entrepreneur DJ Johnson’s two Marigny businesses, focused on art, literature, cocktails, and coffee. Maybe the crew will visit the year-old bookstore and coffee shop Baldwin & Co. to check out Johnson’s selection of books by Black authors, followed by a cocktail around the corner at NOLA Art Bar, the restaurant, bar, and gallery that sells work from local street artists.

Coffee Reconcile: Possibly New Orleans’s most endearing restaurant that doubles as a job-training program, Cafe Reconcile is a sensitive destination for the show: a stop on historic Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard for a lesson in New Orleans history, culture, and cuisine. The restaurant’s June 8 wine dinner hosted in partnership with Louisiana’s only Black-owned winery, Ole’ Orleans Wines, is a great chance to see what it’s all about.

Commander’s Palace: Commander’s is a New Orleans staple, so it wouldn’t be surprising to find the iconic teal palace featured on the show. Chances are, you can count on seeing the gang dine at the legendary Creole restaurant or in its equally iconic kitchen taking a lesson from the restaurant’s badass chef Meg Bickford.

cure: Specifically, this is where the hosts might take their makeover subject to learn how to make a true New Orleans cocktail. They’ll be in the right place — Cure owner and local cocktail king Neal Bodenheimer is releasing a book on it this fall titled “Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em“. There’s also the Sazerac Bar for a lesson on its namesake cocktail or the Carousel Bar for a Vieux Carre.

Dooky Chase: Arguably New Orleans’s most legendary restaurant, it’s safe to speculate that the season might include a trip to Dooky Chase. It’s the late chef Leah Chase’s iconic restaurant, notably known for its Creole cuisine and rich civic history, having served as a local meeting place for Black organizers and community leaders throughout the civil rights movement. It’s even a stop on Louisiana’s Civil Rights Trail.

Dooky Chase’s Creole gumbo
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Good Friends Bar: This longtime French Quarter gay bar with tables spilling out onto the sidewalk and a classic New Orleans wraparound balcony is the perfect place for Southern nights that turn into mornings — it’s open 24 hours, after all. Good Friends gives laid-back vibes but is full of French Quarter history, with its mahogany bar and centuries-old building. A friendly warning: Go easy on those separators.

Jewel of the South: The classy French Quarter tavern has one of New Orleans’s most legendary bartenders at the helm, so it would make sense that the Fab Five’s latest student learns about making a cocktail here. The restored Creole cottage is beautifully designed inside and out, too.

NOCHI: The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI, pronounced NO-kee, like the Italian dumpling) is a five-story culinary school for aspiring and current culinary and hospitality professionals. NOCHI offers access to state-of-the-art kitchens as well as notable members of the New Orleans hospitality industry, both of which would be resources while the Fab Five are in town.

New Orleans School of Cooking: It’s a bit touristy, but a great place to sample and learn to cook some of the classics like turtle soup and bananas foster. The producers aren’t doing it right if they don’t feature a little cheesy tourism on film.

La Vie En Rose Cafe: The Instagrammable La Vie En Rose has been a hit since opening earlier this year, and we have a feeling the queer eye crew will want to see what all the conversation is about. They’d also want to chat with owner Kirby Jones, a native New Orleanian who has grown her business from pop-up to standalone cafe and is an expert in baking and business.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern: No doubt the stars will want to eat the best of what New Orleans has to offer, especially when it comes to a classic po’ boy. Ideally, they leave the French Quarter (and its ubiquitous plastic beads) when in search of the best examples of this New Orleans staple.

Travel in New Orleans

Photo by Chris Macias/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Vintage: While Café du Monde looks great on television, Magazine Street’s Parisian-style cafe and bar seems more on-brand for a queer eye beige tasting. The Vintage’s mini bite-size option seems well-suited for Antoni’s plan to “shove beignets in my mouth” while town.

1631 Oretha C Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 568-1157

600 Poland Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 948 9111

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