Every Mardi Gras season, tens of thousands of people gather along St. Charles Avenue from Napoleon to Lee Circle for family-friendly, parade watching fun. And since food is an important part of all New Orleans celebrations, the convenience of dining options along the route means you can grab a quick bite, refill your cup, and get right back to parading your heart out without missing a beat (or a bead).
Here are seven delicious, Carnival-friendly restaurants you can find along the St. Charles Avenue parade route this Mardi Gras season, starting at Napoleon Avenue and working toward downtown.
Portable Parade Food & Drinks
Superior Seafood. In New Orleans, the best parties are those involving a crawfish pot and a chest of cold beer. The season is starting early this year and Superior Seafood is taking full advantage of this Mardi Gras blessing by offering hot boiled crawfish, corn and potatoes during parades for $6 per pound. Their famous frozen mimosas, French 75s or pomegranate mojitos (in a souvenir parade schedule cup) will be available again this year as well as a new dessert: king cake profiteroles with purple, green, and gold white chocolate icing. For the ultimate Mardi Gras setup, call to reserve a table or buy parade-viewing passes.
Superior Grill. Mardi Gras on the Avenue would be a lot less fun without the prospect of a frozen margarita and warm bowl of queso from this popular Mexican standby. The full menu is served throughout Carnival season, but we love the portability of the tender, slow-cooked brisket or carnitas quesadillas, garnished with tomatillo sauce and sour cream. Just make sure to budget for a margarita (or two) – they really are the uptown Mardi Gras elixir.
Avenue Pub. It’s an ideal destination for beer lovers — Mardi Gras or not, the Pub is known internationally for its craft beer selection. And if there’s a chill in the air, you might decide to order a bourbon, neat, no ice. Hungry? Gulf fish sticks with Meyer lemon tartar sauce are a tasty carry-along, though if you choose to sit and enjoy the view, try the Cajun Croque monsieur or dump truck fries with Bechamel and pulled pork.
The Blind Pelican. Raw oysters, anyone? At this parade-watching hot spot, they’ll be serving up endless amounts of chargrilled oysters and selling them for $17 per dozen. Other items on the parade menu include cheeseburgers, po-boys, pizza, and chicken tenders. Frozen daiquiris are available again this year, with flavors like White Russian, piña colada, strawberry, and 190 Octane.
The Delachaise. So, duck fat fries and a glass of wine aren’t exactly the most portable foods, but bear with us: this St. Charles Avenue spot charms with its European-inspired decor and menu, making it a nice escape from Mardi Gras madness. A narrow bar gives way to a charming patio; watch the parades go by if you can snag a seat. Finish up those fries (we know you ordered ’em), and take a roadie craft beer on your way out.
The Irish House. Chef Matt Murphy knows what gets the crowd going at his Irish gastropub on the corner of St. Charles and Melpomene. Fuel up with some duck jambalaya and hot sausage po-boys (available to-go) and grab-and-go drinks served straight from the window. For the ultimate Mardi Gras setup, contact the restaurant for information on their VIP packages for balcony parade viewing with open bar, buffet, and private bathrooms.
Gracious Bakery + Cafe. With its brand-new location on St. Charles Avenue, Gracious is a convenient spot to pick up scrumptious iced coffee plus heavenly pastries and, during the Carnival season, king cakes. The St. Charles spot also sells beer, wine, and liquor. What’s more, during Mardi Gras, they’ve received a special permit to sell mix drinks. Cheers!