October in New Orleans is truly the best. The weather is gorgeous, there are tons of fun festivals, and spooky season is at its peak. Our calendars are packed with events like Saints games, NOLAxNOLA concerts, Tremé Fall Festival, and Halloween festivities like bar hopping down Frenchmen Street and the annual Krewe of Boo parade through the French Quarter, just to name a few. Looking for even more to do? Check out our list of 20 Things to Do This October.
With so much going on, it’s important to stay fueled up (read: well fed) to conquer those social calendars. And to start, we’re celebrating the second half of Hispanic Heritage Month by dining at a number of Hispanic- and Latin-owned restaurants throughout the city. First up, the tasting menu at Lengua Madre, which was not only recently named one of Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants in America, but Chef Ana Castro was also named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs. Other notable picks include Chef Melissa Araujo’s modern Honduran eatery Alma, located in the Bywater. Here, you can grab a cup of coffee and a casual breakfast, or swing by for dinner service, where you’ll find elevated dishes like tiger prawns with garlic, white wine and salsa negra, seafood paella, or a hanger steak served alongside spinach tortillas.
If you’re in the mood for Colombian food, Mais Arepas is a longtime favorite–and they’ve also got a fantastic drink menu to boot. Or if you’re craving Cuban, swing by Que Rico! on Magazine Street to try everything from traditional Cuban sandwiches and tostones to ham croquetas and Ropa Vieja.
If you’re looking to keep it spooky this October, there are a number of reportedly haunted restaurants in the city. Muriel’s is perhaps the most famous–they even have a dedicated séance room and a whole page of their website devoted to their haunting. Tableau, located just across Jackson Square, also has its fair share of ghost stories, especially since it shares space with the similarly haunted Le Petit Theatre. And just down the street, Napoleon House is said to have both helpful ghosts (an older lady who sweeps the second-floor balcony) and less helpful ones (a sailor who sits at the bar and drinks late into the night).
And finally, with the return of Fried Chicken Fest kicking off the month, we’re revisiting a few of our favorite spots for fried chicken around the city. You can’t really talk about fried chicken in New Orleans without talking about Willie Mae’s Scotch House. Often referred to as some of the best fried chicken in the country, this James Beard Award-winning Tremé restaurant is a must-do for any fried chicken aficionado. Likewise, Dooky Chase’s is another absolute classic. Or head over to Morrow’s to try out another local fave in a sleek space along St. Claude Avenue. See the rest of our top picks for fried chicken here.
Looking for even more foodie festival fun? Check out our guide to Oktoberfest Eats, or our favorite spots for barbecue in celebration of Crescent City Blues & BBQ Fest.