In the hierarchy of New Orleans meals, lunch and brunch are equally critical. A person needs energy to handle a full day of this vivacious city, and a plate full of fried chicken and red beans and rice can be that necessary fuel.
The tradition of enjoying a good mid-day meal can be traced back to early New Orleanians who lived to enjoy a bowl of gumbo and a glass of sweet tea on their sprawling Victorian front porches. Fast forward to today, and the experience is similar at fancy spots like Commander's Palace and Galatoire's.
If you don't mind a siesta after you eat, catch some of the best soul food in town at Li'l Dizzy's on leafy Esplanade Avenue, an easy walk or bike ride from the French Quarter. Fill a plate with steaming fried chicken and sides, and be prepared for an inevitable food coma.
Drinking is as important as eating during any New Orleans meal, and the local joints know this. Bars will be staffed as early as they open, ready to pour an old favorite or concoct something new. Finally, at least once, line up early for lunch at Galatoire's on a Friday, an esteemed tradition that draws hordes of locals to one of the loudest, most protracted afternoon parties in town.