There are three types of places to eat in New Orleans – where tourists eat, where locals eat, and where ONLY locals eat.
New Orleans, maybe more than any place else, is a city of mom and pop grocery stores. Part of the charm of the city is that you have to go out of your way to find a chain supermarket but you are never more than a few blocks away from a superette. And more often than not, where there are superettes, there are New Orleanians eating po-boys, fried seafood and hot lunches.
On my first trip to New Orleans I came across one of these establishments and though I don’t remember the location or the name of the place, I do remember I got the best po-boy anyone has ever eaten. Luckily for me (and you) these superettes are not few and far between. Below are some of my favorites in the city.
2042 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA or
4838 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA
Zara’s is closed on Sundays but Monday-Saturday they serve up po-boys, fresh deli sandwiches, fried seafood, BBQ and even muffuletta.
Canseco’s Esplanade Market – Faubourg St. John
3135 Esplanade Ave.
Tucked right into a great little Mid-City neighborhood, Canseco’s is like a tiny Whole Foods. In fact, it’s in the same location the first New Orleans’ Whole Foods was years ago, before it relocated to a big box building in nearby suburban Metairie. In addition to groceries, they have a lunch counter that serves made to order po-boys, muffulettas and hot lunches, and picnic tables outside under the oaks.
Calhoun Superette – Uptown
3135 Calhoun Street
In addition to sandwiches, po-boys and burgers, Calhoun Superette serves daily lunch specials and offers seating.
1201 Royal Street
A French Quarter favorite, Verti Marte never closes and serves everything from breakfast to salads to seafood sandwiches… they even have free delivery.
So you want to eat like a local? Then stop by one of these local groceries (or walk a block or two… you’ll find one) and order up something fried, something over rice, or something between two pieces of french bread.