When New Orleanians talk about ethnic food, the conversation always starts with Vietnamese Pho joints, because frankly, they are everywhere and serve delicious, cheap, and (here’s the kicker) perfect hangover food. Pho, being mostly broth, is great for replenishing the body and soul from a rough night out drinking cocktails. You could say that Vietnamese food is perfect for this town. But around these parts the Vietnamese aren’t the only ones offering exotic worldly cuisine. Other nations have infiltrated this legendary town and have taken hold in a very delicious way. Another less-talked-about advantage of eating at ethnic restaurants is that you stand a very good chance of being surrounded by mostly locals. When tourists come to New Orleans they all want Gumbo, po’boys, and crawfish. But this town is a much more dynamic and culinary-rich place than most people imagine. The next time you visit, give these places a try, and your vacation just might take a vacation of its own.
When I first moved to New Orleans Sukho Thai was one of the first restaurants I visited. Properly authentic and squeaky clean, I was instantly impressed. With a sizeable and well-executed menu, this fantastic Thai spot could easily serve you a new and exciting meal every day of an entire month.
Cleo Mediterranean Cuisine
Tarek Madkour, an Egyptian native, owns the place and is fantastic at making people feel at home. Madkour was trained in upscale hotels and does a great job of using what he learned to make the experience memorable. Go for lunch and make sure to get the Egyptian green tea; it’s divine.
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, this West African gem is home to some of the best African food in the city. The Sisay Singho, a mind-boggling dish made with baked chicken, plantains, and coconut rice is one of the must-haves. This is among my all-time favorite spots for an informal lunch with friends.
This properly authentic Indian spot is delicious to say the least, and an incredible value. Options include eating from the buffet or ordering a la carte. My recommendation is to hit the lunch buffet. Just watch out: Some dishes may pack quite a punch on the spice scale.
Pho Tau Bay
Just a short hop away on the West Bank, this legendary Pho joint is the best in the city. While the pho is obviously the dish to have, they also serve unbelievable Banh Mi, or Vietnamese style po’boys. Also make sure to finish your meal with the Vietnamese iced coffee; it’s fantastic.