To celebrate the start of baseball season, cities across the Eater universe are offering up guides of where to eat while watching the boys of summer. New Orleans doesn't have a baseball team, but since there's still a few weeks left in the Pelican's basketball season, Eater is taking a look at the best food options in the Arena instead.
The Smoothie King Center recently unveiled some serious food upgrades, including a renovation of the Capital One Club, and a concessions menu that the Arena's hospitality-partner Centerplate tapped John Besh to consult on, so the offerings are better than ever.
Here, then, is a guide of what to eat in and around New Orleans Arena, and where to find it. Don't see your favorite stand included? Leave a comment or send us a tip.
Shooters Bar, located in the East lobby featuring a full bar and a variety of draft beers.
Two Capital One Lounges, open to floor patrons only during the first three quarters of games offer a la carte items, including Abita Turbo Dog braised beef and pan-seared redfish with lump crabmeat, created by executive chef Lenny Martinsen.
Chairman's Club, exclusively for courtside seat holders, offering a VIP lounge experience.
Geaux Mac, section 113. Various forms of macaroni and cheese including the tempting 3-cheese version, chicken/artichoke and other insane options like a seafood mac and cheese including scallops, crawfish, crab and shrimp.
BackCourt Grille, section 104. Decent burgers and specialty waffle fries including a "nacho" and "roast beef and gravy" version, among others.
The Fowl Line, section 109. Fried chicken and Louisiana seafood.
Corks and Coffee, section 112 . Charcuterie and wine, or desserts (such as chocolate bourbon tart or a banana cake) and coffee round out the options.
Sweet Shack, section 117. Ice cream, beignets and candy by the pound.
Whole Hog Café, section 116. The name makes it seem like there's something nose-to-tail going on here, which is not true. But they do serve pulled pork or pulled chicken barbecue sandwiches.
LA Seafood, section 122. There's seafood here, but it's primarily in po' boy form. For best results, get the fried shrimp po' boy.
Dixie Barbecue,section 106. Pork belly sandwich with ginger teriyaki barbecue sauce and Asian slaw.
Three Point Grill, section 118. Hand-carved prime rib sandwiches on fresh buns.
North and South Clubs: The Centerplate revamp of the North and South Clubs includes offerings like pork osso bucco, porcini mushroom ravioli, smoked pork loin, lobster mac and cheese and pan seared blackened tuna to name a few delicacies. It's a ritzy affair, and each club also offers a full service bar.
It was once slim pickings up here in the cheap seats, but the arena's multi-million dollar renovations include more options for the nosebleed section.
Nola Libre, section 315. Made to order tacos and burritos with fresh (yes, fresh!) cilantro and pico de gallo.
Pelican Point Bistro, section 309. Also offering a legit fresh-carved prime rib sandwiches.
The Roost, section 311. Great onion rings, chicken tenders.
Geaux Mac has another location in section 325, as does Backcourt Grill at section 304.
Sake Cafe: fresh hand-rolled sushi in the concourse
Cajun Corner: Zatarain's jambalaya with hot sausage and more down-home options in the concourse.
Blackened redfish sandwich: "Grilled to order on a flattop before your eyes" on the club level only.
Raw Oysters: shucked by Luke and Drago's in VIP area only.
Near the Arena, before or after the game
Borgne, 601 Loyola Avenue. The homestyle seafood restaurant from chefs John Besh and Brian Landry is on the bottom floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Loyola Avenue. They have ample room to serve lots of people on game days and, like, when Aerosmith plays or something. Also inside the Hyatt are Vitascope Hall and 8 Block Kitchen & Bar.
City Greens, 909 Poydras Street. Soups, sandwiches, salads and more healthy stuff sourced locally. So, completely unlike anything else on this list.
Lucky Rooster, 515 Baronne Street. Chef Neil Swidler does eclectic Asian street food alongside Christine Jeanine Nielsen's fun and delicious cocktail menu, with the cool vibe of its sister restaurants Juan's and Slice, and affordable prices considering the quality.