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New Orleans’ Best Hot Weather Dishes To Eat Right Now

For when it’s so hot you want to die

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Fall’s cool weather isn’t far away, but, the summer feels endless right now. It’s hot, damn it. The kind of hot that sucks away the will to live. New Orleans is deep into the summer season now, and it feels endless. New Orleans has delicious food every day of the year, but on some August days, it’s... too much.

Sure, salads are awesome and there are some amazing and flavorful examples around town. And frozen daiquiris and sno-balls will always be there for you. Sushi and oysters on the half shell also have that light and fresh touch that has gotten many a New Orleanian through the heat.

But sometimes salads and sushi don’t really hit the spot. So here are a variety of great dishes around town that are well-suited for the heat.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Salatim at Saba

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5757 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 324-7770
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Alon Shaya’s recently opened Israeli restaurant Saba has lots to love: pita cooked to order, insanely decadent hummus plates, and the salatim. What’s that, you ask? It’s the opportunity to try several small dishes that are huge in flavor and freshness — three for $21 or five for $35. Although the selection changes seasonally, mainstays like harissa-marinated olives, labneh, pickled vegetables, red grapes with pickled onions and pine nuts, and tabbouleh will always deliver. They’re all cold dips and dishes so they go down beautifully in the heat.

Salatim at Saba
Yelp/Arielle N.

2. The Good Bird sandwich at Good Bird

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5031 Freret St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 516-2307
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Good Bird keeps things simple with its eponymous sandwich. Rotisserie chicken made at the restaurant, romaine, aioli, and a bit of salsa verde to keep things interesting. It’s fresh and tasty comfort food, easy to eat and digest in the heat. Note: Good Bird has two locations, one on Freret and one in the St. Roch Market.

The Good Bird sandwich
Yelp/Veronica D.

3. Floral and herbal ice creams at Creole Creamery

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4924 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 894-8680
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This is not a responsible recommendation for a meal (no judgement though), but as a snack Creole Creamery offers the perfect seasonal ice cream flavors for summer. Lavender honey, Magnolia flower, white tea and jasmine, Thai basil coconut, and la vie en Rosé are all light and refreshing. Not too sweet, and eating the essence of flowers and herbs is summertime in a bowl.

4. Loaded guacamole at Del Fuego

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4518 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 309-5797
Visit Website

There’s guacamole, and then there’s loaded guacamole from Del Fuego. Get any or all of the following: chicharrones, diced tomatoes, pickled onion, Cotija cheese, roasted poblano peppers, pumpkin seeds, bacon, pickled jalapeños, and/or pomegranate seeds. Different flavors, textures, and combinations satisfy any mood or appetite. Grab one of the city’s best margaritas at the restaurant to wash it down.

Loaded guacamole at Del Fuego
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5. Tarragon chicken salad sandwich at Gracious Bakery + Cafe

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1000 S Jefferson Davis Pkwy #100
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 321-6233
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The substantial chicken salad sandwich with pickled onions at Gracious Bakery won’t sit in the pit of your stomach and weigh you down when it takes everything you have to power through the afternoon with 100+ degree heat index temps. And somehow tarragon invokes both calmness and deliciousness. Multiple locations: in Mid City on Jeff Davis, in the Garden District on St. Charles, and Uptown on Prytania.

Tarragon chicken salad at Gracious Bakery
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6. Chilled sweet corn broth with avocado and crabmeat at Lilette

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2553, 3637 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 895-1636
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Chilled soup screams summer. The chilled sweet corn broth with avocado and crabmeat been a summer mainstay on Lilette’s menu and was actually the inspiration for creating this map. Delicate, cool, but packing protein and good fats to actually satisfy summertime hunger without overwhelming the digestive system.

Chilled sweet corn broth at Lilette
Flickr/Robert Peyton

7. Salmon poke bowl at Poke Loa

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3341 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 309-9993
Visit Website

Poke — the Hawaiian craze that has swept the nation. Raw fish with fresh fruit and vegetables and tons of flavor from sauces, tobiko, and other options. Home-grown Poke Loa was the first to bring the concept to New Orleans, and it’s incredibly popular (several more poke spots followed it), probably because it’s perfect for hot weather eating.

Poke at Poke Loa
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8. Falafel platter at 1000 Figs

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3141 Ponce De Leon St #1
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 301-0848
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Mediterranean food is great for hot weather — hummus in and of itself can sustain a person for an entire summer. At 1000 Figs, take things to the next level with falafel that is actually light instead of dense, and satisfying without being overwhelming. It comes with hummus, beet and carrot slaw, and greens — all fresh and easy eating.

9. Garlic fried tofu bun at Magasin Kitchen

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611 O'Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
(504) 571-5677

Cold vermicelli noodles feel so good on an overheated palate, with fresh herbs and vegetables and the sweet umami of the dipping sauce. Magasin Kitchen offers a flavorful version with garlic fried tofu slices on top. The garlic tofu spring rolls are basically a handheld version of the bun, just something to keep in mind.

Garlic tofu vermicelli bowl at Magasin Kitchen
Yelp/Jen B.

10. Ceviche at Maïs Arepas

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1200 Carondelet St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-6247
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Ceviche is a traditional Latin American dish and food preparation, that “cooks” seafood using acid instead of heat. So heat has never come near this preparation, making it the ultimate cool menu item. Colombian eatery Maïs Arepas offers frequently changing variations of ceviche that are always bright and flavorful. The restaurant is also a gluten-free paradise with all of its dishes, if that’s how you roll.

11. Crab claws with pickled chiles at Pêche Seafood Grill

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800 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-1744
Visit Website

These cold crab claws are on Pêche’s raw bar menu — they’re cooked but served cold with pickled chilies that add a little heat. Spicy food in hot weather is a time honored tradition in Southeast Asia, and this dish provides those flavors as well. The sweet, fresh, briny, spice combination means that summertime dishes can still have a sophisticated depth of flavor.

12. Brie de Mieux and French ham on a baguette at St. James Cheese Company - Downtown

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641 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 304-1485
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For a summertime meal with a continental flair, get this simple and perfect sandwich. Just a baguette, butter, brie, and ham make for the Platonic ideal. Add a salad on the side for vitamins and ruffage, or add potato chips because they’re potato chips. Both St. James Cheese Company locations serve this sandwich.

13. Chilled melon & coconut soup w/heirloom tomatoes at Compère Lapin

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The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 599-2119
Visit Website

Compère Lapin unexpectedly combines melon and coconut at its lunch menu (there’s a different cold soup on for dinner). The combo brings to mind more pleasant summer spots with white beaches, blue skies, breezes, and sparkling seas. Chef Nina Compton’s experience in St. Lucia (and Miami) means that she knows her way around summertime cooking.

Compere Lapin

14. Peaches and ham at Emeril's New Orleans

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800 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 528-9393
Visit Website

Alabama peaches. Benton’s ham. Goat cheese, candied pecans, and arugula round it out. It’s on the salad menu at Emeril’s, but that’s using a very loose definition of the term. Really, any day that involves melt-in-your-mouth Benton’s ham is a good one, and peaches are one of the best (only?) advantages to summertime in the south.

1. Salatim at Saba

5757 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Salatim at Saba
Yelp/Arielle N.

Alon Shaya’s recently opened Israeli restaurant Saba has lots to love: pita cooked to order, insanely decadent hummus plates, and the salatim. What’s that, you ask? It’s the opportunity to try several small dishes that are huge in flavor and freshness — three for $21 or five for $35. Although the selection changes seasonally, mainstays like harissa-marinated olives, labneh, pickled vegetables, red grapes with pickled onions and pine nuts, and tabbouleh will always deliver. They’re all cold dips and dishes so they go down beautifully in the heat.

5757 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

2. The Good Bird sandwich at Good Bird

5031 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115
The Good Bird sandwich
Yelp/Veronica D.

Good Bird keeps things simple with its eponymous sandwich. Rotisserie chicken made at the restaurant, romaine, aioli, and a bit of salsa verde to keep things interesting. It’s fresh and tasty comfort food, easy to eat and digest in the heat. Note: Good Bird has two locations, one on Freret and one in the St. Roch Market.

5031 Freret St
New Orleans, LA 70115

3. Floral and herbal ice creams at Creole Creamery

4924 Prytania St, New Orleans, LA 70115

This is not a responsible recommendation for a meal (no judgement though), but as a snack Creole Creamery offers the perfect seasonal ice cream flavors for summer. Lavender honey, Magnolia flower, white tea and jasmine, Thai basil coconut, and la vie en Rosé are all light and refreshing. Not too sweet, and eating the essence of flowers and herbs is summertime in a bowl.

4924 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70115

4. Loaded guacamole at Del Fuego

4518 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Loaded guacamole at Del Fuego
FACEBOOK

There’s guacamole, and then there’s loaded guacamole from Del Fuego. Get any or all of the following: chicharrones, diced tomatoes, pickled onion, Cotija cheese, roasted poblano peppers, pumpkin seeds, bacon, pickled jalapeños, and/or pomegranate seeds. Different flavors, textures, and combinations satisfy any mood or appetite. Grab one of the city’s best margaritas at the restaurant to wash it down.

4518 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

5. Tarragon chicken salad sandwich at Gracious Bakery + Cafe

1000 S Jefferson Davis Pkwy #100, New Orleans, LA 70125
Tarragon chicken salad at Gracious Bakery
Facebook

The substantial chicken salad sandwich with pickled onions at Gracious Bakery won’t sit in the pit of your stomach and weigh you down when it takes everything you have to power through the afternoon with 100+ degree heat index temps. And somehow tarragon invokes both calmness and deliciousness. Multiple locations: in Mid City on Jeff Davis, in the Garden District on St. Charles, and Uptown on Prytania.

1000 S Jefferson Davis Pkwy #100
New Orleans, LA 70125

6. Chilled sweet corn broth with avocado and crabmeat at Lilette

2553, 3637 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Chilled sweet corn broth at Lilette
Flickr/Robert Peyton

Chilled soup screams summer. The chilled sweet corn broth with avocado and crabmeat been a summer mainstay on Lilette’s menu and was actually the inspiration for creating this map. Delicate, cool, but packing protein and good fats to actually satisfy summertime hunger without overwhelming the digestive system.

2553, 3637 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

7. Salmon poke bowl at Poke Loa

3341 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Poke at Poke Loa
FACEBOOK

Poke — the Hawaiian craze that has swept the nation. Raw fish with fresh fruit and vegetables and tons of flavor from sauces, tobiko, and other options. Home-grown Poke Loa was the first to bring the concept to New Orleans, and it’s incredibly popular (several more poke spots followed it), probably because it’s perfect for hot weather eating.

3341 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

8. Falafel platter at 1000 Figs

3141 Ponce De Leon St #1, New Orleans, LA 70119

Mediterranean food is great for hot weather — hummus in and of itself can sustain a person for an entire summer. At 1000 Figs, take things to the next level with falafel that is actually light instead of dense, and satisfying without being overwhelming. It comes with hummus, beet and carrot slaw, and greens — all fresh and easy eating.

3141 Ponce De Leon St #1
New Orleans, LA 70119

9. Garlic fried tofu bun at Magasin Kitchen

611 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113
Garlic tofu vermicelli bowl at Magasin Kitchen
Yelp/Jen B.

Cold vermicelli noodles feel so good on an overheated palate, with fresh herbs and vegetables and the sweet umami of the dipping sauce. Magasin Kitchen offers a flavorful version with garlic fried tofu slices on top. The garlic tofu spring rolls are basically a handheld version of the bun, just something to keep in mind.

611 O'Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113

10. Ceviche at Maïs Arepas

1200 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Ceviche is a traditional Latin American dish and food preparation, that “cooks” seafood using acid instead of heat. So heat has never come near this preparation, making it the ultimate cool menu item. Colombian eatery Maïs Arepas offers frequently changing variations of ceviche that are always bright and flavorful. The restaurant is also a gluten-free paradise with all of its dishes, if that’s how you roll.

1200 Carondelet St
New Orleans, LA 70130

11. Crab claws with pickled chiles at Pêche Seafood Grill

800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

These cold crab claws are on Pêche’s raw bar menu — they’re cooked but served cold with pickled chilies that add a little heat. Spicy food in hot weather is a time honored tradition in Southeast Asia, and this dish provides those flavors as well. The sweet, fresh, briny, spice combination means that summertime dishes can still have a sophisticated depth of flavor.

800 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

12. Brie de Mieux and French ham on a baguette at St. James Cheese Company - Downtown

641 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

For a summertime meal with a continental flair, get this simple and perfect sandwich. Just a baguette, butter, brie, and ham make for the Platonic ideal. Add a salad on the side for vitamins and ruffage, or add potato chips because they’re potato chips. Both St. James Cheese Company locations serve this sandwich.

641 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

13. Chilled melon & coconut soup w/heirloom tomatoes at Compère Lapin

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Compere Lapin

Compère Lapin unexpectedly combines melon and coconut at its lunch menu (there’s a different cold soup on for dinner). The combo brings to mind more pleasant summer spots with white beaches, blue skies, breezes, and sparkling seas. Chef Nina Compton’s experience in St. Lucia (and Miami) means that she knows her way around summertime cooking.

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, 535 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

14. Peaches and ham at Emeril's New Orleans

800 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Alabama peaches. Benton’s ham. Goat cheese, candied pecans, and arugula round it out. It’s on the salad menu at Emeril’s, but that’s using a very loose definition of the term. Really, any day that involves melt-in-your-mouth Benton’s ham is a good one, and peaches are one of the best (only?) advantages to summertime in the south.

800 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130

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