NFL football has finally returned, and I’m not sure that anyone in this city that doesn’t play for the Saints is as excited as I am. I love the New Orleans Saints so much that when I lived outside of New Orleans for a year, I used to drive 900 miles each way to come in for the home games. One thing that being a long-time season ticket holder has taught me is that games here in New Orleans are so much bigger than just the game, they’re a celebration of all of New Orleans. Another is that tons of people stay in the French Quarter for Saints Sundays, even locals. So here’s a French Quarter-centric game day itinerary to squeeze all you can out of what could otherwise be a lazy Sunday.
Early morning: I’m like a kid on Christmas for game day: up early and ready to go. Time to head to Cafe Du Monde or Morning Call for some beignets and coffee. A little caffeine and sugar is exactly what you need to kick-start what is going to be a long day.
Brunch-o-clock: It’s time for a real breakfast, or brunch rather, to hold you over for the first half of the game. If you’re anxious to get over to the Superdome, Champions Square opens at 9:00 a.m. Pay the minimal cover (which includes one free drink) and head into Club XLIV for great food prepared by Chef Scott Boswell, the chef and owner of both Stella! and Stanley. Speaking of Stanley, it’s a great place to grab brunch if you want to hang in the Quarter until game time.
Game time: Better be in the Superdome early, you don’t want to miss kick-off!
Late afternoon: Time to enjoy the victory! Looking to celebrate with a few great cocktails? Sainte Marie, Lucky Rooster and Victory Bar are all within a stones throw of the Dome so you can relive the glory of Drew Brees’ touchdown passes with Sainte Marie’s wide selection of locally-made spirits, Lucky Rooster’s exotic cocktails, or a classic cocktail with a fresh spin from Victory.
Early evening: Your stomach should be primed and ready for dinner at this point, so head back to the French Quarter. Try Sylvain for a menu featuring top-notch burgers, as well as the delectable “Chick-Syl-vain” Sandwich, Braised Beef Cheeks and Gulf Shrimp Pirlou; or stop at Kingfish for their Seafood Cassoulet, Superette Cochon de Lait, Oysters Thermador, or the Shakshuka-Gator, which may sound intimidating, but is beyond delicious.
Late night: If you and your party are still going strong into the night, you may need a little something more in the way of game-day sustenance. No better place to find yourself than Killer Poboys in the back of the Erin Rose for some out of this world “new school” poboys. These poboys feature spices from around the world and local meats, all wrapped in tasty banh mi-style loaves. Of course, if you find yourself heading back towards Esplanade there’s no shame in ducking in to Molly’s at the Market to check out Dis Taco, the new sister restaurant to Killer Poboys, featuring “globally inspired, chef driven tacos.”
And with that, your celebratory Sunday has come to a close. Better head home and get some sleep; we’ve got to do it all over again next week!