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New Orleans Iconic Greasy Spoons & What To Order

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The land of po' boys shops and casual seafood joints, New Orleans, isn't necessarily known for its greasy spoons. Sure, we have lots of great breakfast and brunch joints, but most of them don't really qualify as diners. On this list of iconic greasy spoons, however, you'll find the diviest of diners, beloved late night and early morning eateries, the places that have, come both hell and high water, managed to stick it out long enough to become institutions. From The Grill Formerly Known as Camellia to Dot's Diner, here are New Orleans Most Iconic Greasy Spoons, and what to order when you're there.


· All Greasy Spoons Coverage [-ENOLA-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Camellia Grill

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While owner Hicham Khodr is in breach of a licensing contract, and might have to change the name, the diner at the historic location on Carrollton Avenue, with long-time waitstaff, grilled pecan pie, chili galore, and always a wait out the door, will always be known as the ultimate greasy spoon dating back in 1946, The Camellia Grill.

Clover Grill

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Open 24/7 on Bourbon Street, this consummate French Quarter greasy spoon is so strange and wonderful it seems almost out of a David Lynch film. With pink walls, red bar stools and a retro feel, a nightly sea of unusual people, from drunkards to drag queens, gather round for sassy, slow service and fried foods. Onion rings and hubcap burgers are the way to go. If you're super wasted, go with the chili fries instead of a nap at the table.

Betsy's Pancake House

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Specials abound at this no-frills Mid City institution, open for early morning breakfast and lunch, and geared toward regulars, not really tourists. This is where former mayor C Ray Nagin brought former president Bush in August 2009, but don’t hold that against the restaurant. A plate of eggs/bacon/grits/pancakes makes for a cheap meal, but don't overlook the myriad daily specials.

Please-U Restaurant

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This not so cleanly 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.

Slim Goodies Diner

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Ten years old and going strong, Magazine Street's quirky, always-slammed early morning to lunch time diner, is known for their Slammer options, a hangover-helper made with hashbrowns and scrambles of various sort (eggs, chili, tofu, what have you). There is also a potato latke/crawfish etouffee dish called the Jewish Coonass, not PC, but a fan favorite.

La Peniche Restaurant

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Greasy spoon meets wood panelling at the Marigny's 24 hour breakfast and fried foods mecca founded in 1981 and seemingly (perfectly) never updated, except for new table cloths. Not the cheapest on the list, but affordable still. The biscuits and gravy will only set you back $3.95, but most dishes you're aiming toward $10, give or take.

The Trolley Stop Cafe

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A gas station turned late night diner, The Trolley Stop is open 24 hours Thursday-Saturday on St. Charles Avenue, with breakfast all day, sandwiches, burgers, beer and wine, and usually some strange characters dining within. Try the daily specials, or dare we suggest Pigs in a Blanket.

Ted's Frostop

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S. Claiborne's old school greasy spoon opened in 1955, and today still retains its kitschy landmark status. The Root Beer sign that was blown down in Katrina, went frostop side-up again in 2011. The menu features a slew of breakfast options, and a burger and root beer are a sure bet for lunch.

Dots Diner

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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. The Kenner location is open 24 hours, meaning even is she's not ya mama, Dot can in fact make you "feel at home" any time of day. The blue plate specials include a country fried steak and a catfish plate, neither of which will set you back $10.

Tiffin Inn

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Way out on Vets, this old school diner fills the masses with the quintessential greasy spoon experience 24 hours a day (sleeves required on male patrons, FYI). With piped muzak, red vinyl booths, and a rather old-fartish vibe, the menu takes about a month to read, so it's best to just point to something on the pancake section and go with it. The place is cheap, the coffee is questionable, but the fact they don't let dudes in tank tops inside is priceless.

City Diner

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In addition to simply being a good option if you're hungry at 3 in the morning, City Diner is also notable for the pancake that, when you get it to go, barely fits inside a pizza box. Locations in Harahan, Metairie, and now in the CBD's Wyndham Garden Baronne Plaza.

Russell's Marina Grill

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Lakeview's diner institution, unlike a lot of greasy spoons on this list, seems mainly more catered to families and sober people. But don't let that fool you, the breakfast options are astounding from fried chicken and waffles to a slew of egg specialties. Try the Egg Saints #33 with a grilled biscuit, alligator sausage, grilled tomatoes, poached eggs, and homemade country gravy, and save room for the housemade pies.

Bud's Broiler

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More closely related to a diner than our city's modern day trendy burger joints, Bud's offers counter service, yes, but it is certain to be as surly and slow as all hell (the TV is always on) as the seediest of greasy spoons. The burgers, chili fries, and fruit pies are insanely delicious, but totally greasy, so don't try taking the food to go.

Morning Call

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The beignet/café au lait stand— which operated in the French Market for 100 years prior to a Metairie move in the 70s— is like the godfather of NOLA's greasy spoons. The newest location in City Park is open 24 hours with gumbo, alligator sausage, beignets, and servers that range from aloof to indifferent.

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The Camellia Grill

While owner Hicham Khodr is in breach of a licensing contract, and might have to change the name, the diner at the historic location on Carrollton Avenue, with long-time waitstaff, grilled pecan pie, chili galore, and always a wait out the door, will always be known as the ultimate greasy spoon dating back in 1946, The Camellia Grill.

Clover Grill

Open 24/7 on Bourbon Street, this consummate French Quarter greasy spoon is so strange and wonderful it seems almost out of a David Lynch film. With pink walls, red bar stools and a retro feel, a nightly sea of unusual people, from drunkards to drag queens, gather round for sassy, slow service and fried foods. Onion rings and hubcap burgers are the way to go. If you're super wasted, go with the chili fries instead of a nap at the table.

Betsy's Pancake House

Specials abound at this no-frills Mid City institution, open for early morning breakfast and lunch, and geared toward regulars, not really tourists. This is where former mayor C Ray Nagin brought former president Bush in August 2009, but don’t hold that against the restaurant. A plate of eggs/bacon/grits/pancakes makes for a cheap meal, but don't overlook the myriad daily specials.

Please-U Restaurant

This not so cleanly 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.

Slim Goodies Diner

Ten years old and going strong, Magazine Street's quirky, always-slammed early morning to lunch time diner, is known for their Slammer options, a hangover-helper made with hashbrowns and scrambles of various sort (eggs, chili, tofu, what have you). There is also a potato latke/crawfish etouffee dish called the Jewish Coonass, not PC, but a fan favorite.

La Peniche Restaurant

Greasy spoon meets wood panelling at the Marigny's 24 hour breakfast and fried foods mecca founded in 1981 and seemingly (perfectly) never updated, except for new table cloths. Not the cheapest on the list, but affordable still. The biscuits and gravy will only set you back $3.95, but most dishes you're aiming toward $10, give or take.

The Trolley Stop Cafe

A gas station turned late night diner, The Trolley Stop is open 24 hours Thursday-Saturday on St. Charles Avenue, with breakfast all day, sandwiches, burgers, beer and wine, and usually some strange characters dining within. Try the daily specials, or dare we suggest Pigs in a Blanket.

Ted's Frostop

S. Claiborne's old school greasy spoon opened in 1955, and today still retains its kitschy landmark status. The Root Beer sign that was blown down in Katrina, went frostop side-up again in 2011. The menu features a slew of breakfast options, and a burger and root beer are a sure bet for lunch.

Dots Diner

This Jefferson Parish favorite has a bunch of locations, all of which seem to have that proto-diner essence down pat. The Kenner location is open 24 hours, meaning even is she's not ya mama, Dot can in fact make you "feel at home" any time of day. The blue plate specials include a country fried steak and a catfish plate, neither of which will set you back $10.

Tiffin Inn

Way out on Vets, this old school diner fills the masses with the quintessential greasy spoon experience 24 hours a day (sleeves required on male patrons, FYI). With piped muzak, red vinyl booths, and a rather old-fartish vibe, the menu takes about a month to read, so it's best to just point to something on the pancake section and go with it. The place is cheap, the coffee is questionable, but the fact they don't let dudes in tank tops inside is priceless.

City Diner

In addition to simply being a good option if you're hungry at 3 in the morning, City Diner is also notable for the pancake that, when you get it to go, barely fits inside a pizza box. Locations in Harahan, Metairie, and now in the CBD's Wyndham Garden Baronne Plaza.

Russell's Marina Grill

Lakeview's diner institution, unlike a lot of greasy spoons on this list, seems mainly more catered to families and sober people. But don't let that fool you, the breakfast options are astounding from fried chicken and waffles to a slew of egg specialties. Try the Egg Saints #33 with a grilled biscuit, alligator sausage, grilled tomatoes, poached eggs, and homemade country gravy, and save room for the housemade pies.

Bud's Broiler

More closely related to a diner than our city's modern day trendy burger joints, Bud's offers counter service, yes, but it is certain to be as surly and slow as all hell (the TV is always on) as the seediest of greasy spoons. The burgers, chili fries, and fruit pies are insanely delicious, but totally greasy, so don't try taking the food to go.

Morning Call

The beignet/café au lait stand— which operated in the French Market for 100 years prior to a Metairie move in the 70s— is like the godfather of NOLA's greasy spoons. The newest location in City Park is open 24 hours with gumbo, alligator sausage, beignets, and servers that range from aloof to indifferent.

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