Vieux Carre Dining Al Fresco Style

April 29, 2013
Dining al fresco is a real treat, but dining outdoors in the French Quarter is an experience like no other! Colorful sights, lush courtyards, tempting aromas and toe-tapping sounds make the Vieux Carre a fascinating and delicious place to indulge al fresco while savoring the city's world-renowned cuisine. Whether you're in a "Jimmy Buffet" laid-back state of mind and looking to enjoy some casual eats while to soaking up the sun, or seeking fine dining in a romantic, outdoor setting, we've got you covered.

Bombay Club
830 Conti St., 504.586.0972
Routinely named "The Best Martini Bar in New Orleans", this upscale, English-inspired music venue and bistro boasts a quaint courtyard ideal for indulging in Executive Chef Ricky Cheramie's nouveau Creole cuisine. Perfect for a night out on the town or special occasion, some of the city's most talented musicians perform here regularly. While the handcrafted cocktails and music are reason enough to visit, the food will keep you coming back! Succulent signature dishes include The Bombay Drum (pan fried Gulf fish with Lyonnaise potatoes, sauteed crabmeat, grilled asparagus and sauce Bearnaise) and Duck Lafourche, a delectable combination of slow roasted leg quarter, pan seared breast, grilled boudin, southern cooked greens, chow-chow and demi-glace.

Cafe Biegnet
311 Bourbon St. and 334-B Royal St. 504. 524.5530
Hearty breakfast and classic Cajun specials can be found at this quintessential New Orleans eatery. Start your day in their charming courtyard with a tasty Crawfish Omelette filled with Louisiana crawfish, bell peppers, tomatoes, and Swiss cheese, served with grits and French bread. And, of course no visit is complete without an order of mouthwatering powdered sugar covered fried dough treats, the restaurants namesake beignet, and a piping hot cup of cafe au lait. Enjoy free live jazz music at the Bourbon Street location from 10am til midnight daily.

Cafe Du Monde
813 Decatur St, 504.581.2914
Since 1862 this iconic open-air diner has been pleasing the palates of locals and visitors alike with their world-famous beignets and dark roast cafe au lait. Brought to Louisiana by the Acadians, these French-style square doughnuts are ethereal puffs of fried dough lavishly covered with sweet powered sugar. The Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory is traditionally served Au Lait, meaning mixed half and half with hot milk, but the old school paper hat sporting wait staff will be happy to mix it to your liking. Located on famous Decatur Street along the Mississippi River, and open 24 hours, you'll be entertained by local street performers and musicians. A true gem of the Vieux Carre not to be missed!

Frank's Restaurant
933 Decatur St., 504.525.1602
Family owned and operated since 1965, this casual Italian eatery offers European-style al fresco dining on its lovely balcony, which overlooks bustling Decatur Street. Here you'll find classic New Orleans-Italian cuisine such as Frank's world famous muffuletta - a savory delicacy made with layers of baked ham, Genoa salami, imported Swiss cheese and tangy olive salad on special Italian bread. Scrumptious po-boys like their homemade meatball, Italian sausage and stuffed crab are sure to please. Family-friendly and approachable, there is something for everyone from perfectly crisped fried seafood and juicy, grilled steaks to traditional Italian favorites including veal Parmigiana, fettuccini Alfredo, chicken picata and pasta marinara.

Gazebo Cafe
1012 Decatur St., 504.525.8899
There's nothing better than sipping a refreshing daiquiri while strolling thru the French Market and since 1975 the Gazebo Cafe has been serving their unique version of this frozen concoction made with ice cream. Choose from tasty selections including Banana Split, Mocha Almond Freeze, Pina Colada and Dreamsicle. The outdoor restaurant also showcases a Cajun and Creole-centric menu filled with classic favorites such as fried alligator and popcorn shrimp, seafood platters, jambalaya, red beans and rice and gumbo. Located near Latrobe Park, the garden-like atmosphere is the perfect place to perch for people watching while listening to live jazz music.

Little Vic's
719 Toulouse St., 504.304.1238
This new addition to the French Quarter (the original location was in Uptown New Orleans) is quickly becoming a local favorite for outstanding Gelato and enticing Italian bites. Although newly renovated, the owners smartly maintained the building's old world charm with exposed brick, hard wood floors, and an inviting courtyard. While sweets take center stage (the cannoli and tiramisu are divine and the gelatos are some of the best in town!), savory selections are worth seeking out as well. Stuzzichini (aka Sicilian small plates) include Arancini - filled and fried risotto balls, and Sfoglai - Sicilian puff pastry with tasty toppings, such as potato, rosemary and mozzarella. Fresh salads, paninis, pizza focaccia and pastas are also delightful. There's also an espresso bar for you java junkies.

Market Cafe
1000 Decatur St., 504.527.5000
Located at the intersection of Decatur and St. Peter streets overlooking the Joan of Arch statue, this grand eatery boasts an open-air patio, as well as indoor dining room. Family owned and run since 1982, the Market Cafe occupies the second oldest building in the French Market, which was first home to the Marcheaux Legumes, and previously known as the Old Vegetable Market and Fish Market. Bask in the sun while enjoying an authentic taste of New Orleans from their traditional New Orleans cuisine and po-boys to their famous Market Cafe Bloody Mary. A live New Orleans band jams out Cajun, zydeco and Jazz tunes to keep the place jumping. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, plus on the weekends check out the Jazz Brunch Buffet.

Steamboat Natchez 504.586.8777
Creole Queen Paddlewheeler 504.529.4567
Looking for a different kind of outdoor dining experience, look no further than the Mississippi River. Both the Steamboat Natchez and the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler offer casual, buffet-style dining with live jazz music all while cruising the Mississippi River. Both stock a fully loaded bar, so you can sip a mint julep atop the deck while watching the sunset. A true New Orleans experience that you won't soon forget!