The land of po’ boy shops and seafood joints, New Orleans isn’t necessarily known for its greasy spoons. While there are lots of great breakfast and brunch joints, there are fewer spots that fit the classic image of diners as depicted in movies, TV shows, and the like. Still, one could argue that’s what makes the city’s diner-like establishments iconic — they are uniquely New Orleans, with Creole influences and personalities that have allowed them to endure through hell and literal high water. On this list of iconic greasy spoons, you’ll find the diviest of diners, beloved late-night destinations, and early-morning eateries.Read More
9 Iconic Greasy Spoons for New Orleans-Style Diner Fare
Uniquely New Orleans diners serving staples with a Creole flair
Russell's Marina Grill
A visit to Russell’s, Lakeview’s diner institution, isn’t complete without a warm hello to Al Williams (if he’s in) and one of his made-to-order bloody marys — he’s been a fixture here since 1986, a year after Russell Cuoco opened the restaurant. Try Williams’s favorite, the chicken and waffles, or one of the restaurant’s other staples, the Egg Saints #33 with a grilled biscuit, alligator sausage, grilled tomatoes, poached eggs, and homemade country gravy. Be sure to save room for a shake or the housemade pies, particularly the lemon ice box or apple, or go with a nectar soda with an ice cream floater, a sweet twist on the most classic of sno-ball flavors.
This brightly-painted, 24-hour Metairie diner has long been known for a range of affordable, solid breakfasts under $10 or so, like biscuits and sausage gravy for around $5. There are also burgers, sandwiches, and a few classic diner plates, like a Cajun-smothered pork chop, if you’re looking for a meal other than breakfast. Bring a sense of humor, and check the ever-changing sign out front.
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This Jefferson Parish favorite has a bunch of locations, all of which seem to have that proto-diner essence down pat despite opening in the ’90s. While none of them are currently 24/7, they remain an important part of late-night dining, particularly the location right by Ochsner. The blue plate specials include a country-fried steak and a catfish plate topped with Crawfish Julie sauce, two specialties that help define this mini-chain.
One of New Orleans’s last remaining 24-hour diners, this consummate French Quarter greasy spoon is strange and wonderful. With pink walls, red bar stools, and a retro feel, a nightly sea of people ranging from drunkards to drag queens gather for sassy, slow service and fried foods. Onion rings and hubcap burgers are the way to go.
If you’re looking for a diner with Creole flavor, Anita’s is the place. It’s a treasure in every sense, loved for so many things — savory, buttery grits topped with two slices of American cheese, calf liver and eggs, pork chops, and hot sausage po’ boys, to name a few. Expect a warm reception and friendly banter at the wraparound lunch counter at this enduring, decades-old fixture of Tulane Avenue.
Ted's Frostop Diner
S. Claiborne’s old-school greasy spoon opened in 1955, and today still retains kitschy icon status thanks in part to its huge root beer float-shaped sign. The menu features a slew of breakfast options, po’ boys, and lunch plate specials Monday through Friday, like red beans and rice on Monday, white beans with a choice of fried or grilled chicken, pork chop, or smoked sausage on Thursday, and crawfish etouffee with fried catfish on Friday. Still, the classic lunch order is a famous Lot-O Burger and a root beer float — Frostop brews its own root beer.
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The Camellia Grill
This iconic Uptown greasy spoon, which opened in 1946, is known for waits out the door and a slew of diner fare. That includes a huge breakfast menu with a focus on omelets, as well as grilled pecan pie, the orange Julius, and cheeseburgers. The inside of this legendary Carrollton Avenue diner has a counter with seating that winds through the restaurant.
This well-worn greasy dive on St. Charles Avenue is known for their Greek specialties, including the Greek omelet, and otherwise hot lunch and breakfasts at cheap prices. Expect reliably good breakfasts that don’t break the bank, served all day. Note: Please-U is closed Sundays.
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Slim Goodies Diner
Irish Channel hangover-helper Slim Goodies has been serving up skillet breakfasts and Slammers for 20 years on Magazine Street. The quirky, always-packed diner is known for its Slammer options, huge portions made with hashbrowns and various scrambles (eggs, chili, tofu, etc.).