Hanukkah kicks off this year on the evening of Thursday, December 7, and ends Friday, December 15, bringing with it the many food and food-related traditions central to the eight-day holiday. As usual, several New Orleans restaurants, bakeries, and pop-ups offer traditional comfort foods and desserts to help celebrate — from piping hot savory latkes and tender wagyu brisket to sweet jelly-filled donuts and flaky babka. If you’re building a spread for a Hanukkah feast, looking for a festive night out complete with ceremonial menorah lighting, or simply looking for some traditional sweets, here are the best options for all things Hanukkah in New Orleans.
801 Frenchmen Street
If you buy one bakery-made challah or babka for Hanukkah this year, let it be from Ayu Bakehouse. The fantastic bakery on Frenchmen Street hits it out of the park every time, from baguettes and seeded sourdough to sweet pastries and specialty pies. Call for availability.
3633 Annunciation Street
Bodega has emerged as New Orleans’s most reliable source of complete meals with which to celebrate Jewish holidays (and more). Though it’s still a few months out from opening, its catering and pickup game is going strong, including for Hanukkah 2023. Order online from this menu of four kinds of latkes —including plantain — as well as kugel, brisket, and more by December 3 for pickup on the day of your choice.
3264 Dauphine Street
The always fantastic neighborhood bakery is frying up sufganiyot and potato latkes and baking chocolate babka and chocolate, apricot, or poppyseed rugelach for Hanukkah this year. Call or order online for pickup between December 7 and December 14.
Flour Moon Bagels
457 N. Dorgenois Street
The hit new dedicated bagel shop has brought a new world of bagels, shmears, and toppings to the Lafitte Greenway, including for Hanukkah. The shop is again collaborating with Gonzo‘s Smokehouse out of Luling, Louisiana — one of the best barbecue spots in the state — on a special bagel sandwich: pastrami, latke hash, egg, and cheese, starting December 7. It’s also baking up chocolate cardamom babka and rugelach boxes, available at the shop or for preorder.
The Grill Room at Windsor Court
300 Gravier Street
The beautiful and elegant Grill Room is offering an opportunity to sit down for a fancy Hanukkah dinner this year, served December 7 through 10, 13, and 14. The prix fixe, four-course menu for $80 includes a beet course, smoked salmon latke with salmon caviar, and your choice of salmon or lamb, culminating with chocolate babka a la mode.
Kosher Cajun New York Deli & Grocery
3519 Severn Avenue
Count on the area’s top Jewish deli for the best selection of Hanukkah cookies, in addition to a variety of sufganiyot (jelly, Bavarian custard, chocolate, and caramel custard) and latkes, both of which are available in orders of five dozen. Keep an eye out for ordering instructions on its website.
Adam Meyer’s hugely popular Latke Daddy pop-up will return in 2023, kicking off on Sunday, December 3 at Bayou Beer Garden at noon and continuing around town for most of December. Follow Meyer on Instagram for more dates. 10 percent of latke sales will go to humanitarian and aid organizations operating in Gaza.
Miss River and Chandelier Bar
Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, 2 Canal Street
Celebrate Hannukah at the showpiece of the new Four Seasons New Orleans, the gorgeous lobby-level Chandelier Bar or its anchor restaurant, Miss River. Food here is overseen by Saba chef Alon Shaya, so it offers Shaya’s famous latkes throughout the holiday, December 7 through 15, topped with caviar.
5757 Magazine Street
Chef Alon Shaya turns his acclaimed Israeli restaurant’s bar into the L’Chaim Lounge during Hanukkah, where diners can count on sampling some of the best salatim and latkes in town for all eight nights, along with festive decor and nightly lighting of the menorah. Saba itself will also be offering Hanukkah specials from December 7 to 15, like the latke board with soft-boiled eggs, apple butter, and labneh.