New Orleans may not have a theater district, but we do have plenty of restaurants for you to try before going to a show or play at the Saenger New Orleans! There are plenty of restaurants near Saenger Theatre – but you don’t want to eat at any regular restaurant – you want to make going to the theater an experience.
This list is perfect for you if you are looking to grab a bite to eat or a cocktail.
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Should you eat before going to the Theatre?
While the Saenger Theatre has some light bites, snacks, and cocktails, you will want to eat before the show. We recommend eating at one of the delicious restaurants and making the whole evening and event. Just remember, you will not have anywhere to keep leftovers!
Where should you eat before going to The Saenger Theatre?
Theatre guests have many choices when dining before seeing a play or a show at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans. The French Quarter and Central Business District have some of the best restaurants within walking distance from the Saenger Theatre.
You may want to grab a bite to eat after the show or start the evening with a great happy hour. Before heading off to the Saenger Theatre, check out these fun places to grab a drink or two.
1. Peacock Room – 501 Tchoupitoulas St
The Peacock Room is a lovely place to grab a drink before or after the show.
It is a little away from the Saenger but has the perfect atmosphere for handcrafted cocktails, small bites, and live music. It is located inside Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, a super-friendly Central Business District hotel.
What to get: For tequila drinkers, the El Pavo Real is an excellent cocktail with Patron silver tequila, Ancho Reyes, Hibiscus, and pomegranate with a hint of ancho chili heat.
They also have a small list of zero-proof cocktails that can be enjoyed by those not participating in drinking.
2. Copper Vine – 1001 Poydras
Copper Vine is an adorable Wine Bar and Restaurant not too far from the Saenger Theatre.
Happy hour lasts until 6 pm when you can quickly get a few drinks and snacks before eating your main meal. Their outdoor patio is lovely to sit on when the weather is nice.
What to get: If you are going for happy hour, get a wine or beer flight to try all the different wines on tap and some local beers.
The Louisiana Crawfish Beignets, Brussel Sprouts, and black truffle fires are some of my favorite snacks and shareable at Copper Vine.
3. Jewel of the South – 1026 St Louis St
The Jewel of the South is a charming little restaurant with a beautiful courtyard.
You can try many delicious New Orleans Classics like the Brandy Crusta or a French 75.
What to order: Check out their seasonal cocktails. The Jewel of the South always creates a different spin on cocktails on their seasonal menu.
If the seasonal cocktails do not strike your fancy, a classic French 75 is always my go-to while sipping on cocktails.
French Quarter Dining
Check out these five different areas to dine in the French Quarter! Many of these restaurants are on the pricier side.
But if you only go to the Saenger Theatre once in a while – or you are in a treat yourself type of mood – they are the perfect compliment to the Theatre!
4. Tableau – 616 St Peter
Suppose you are looking for delicious Creole cooking while sitting in the heart of the French Quarter. Look no further than Tableau, right next to Jackson Square.
There is no dress code at Tableau, but you will feel comfortable if you decide to dress up for the show.
Tableau is next door to Le Petit Theatre and offers a three-course pre-theatre meal on nights Le Petit has a show.
What to order: You cannot go wrong with the Filet of Beef or Grilled Prime Ribeye. Both come to perfection with whipped potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and Bordelaise sauce.
For dessert – you cannot leave without getting the Creme Brulee. It is served on a large dinner plate with more delicious caramelized sugar.
5. Pelican Club – 312 Exchange Place
The Pelican Club is an adorable Creole restaurant that services a three-course dinner for $56 and up.
If you have a vegetarian in the group, they serve some of their dishes as a vegetarian option.
The Pelican Club validates parking for a discount at the Hotel Monteleone parking garage.
What to Order: If you are not worried about getting a little messy at dinner, get the New Orleans Style BBQ shrimp.
The BBQ shrimp comes in the cutest cast iron skillet with delicious garlic bread. If you are worried about making a mess, opt for the Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad as an appetizer.
The Bell & Evans Half Fried Chicken with iron skillet jalapeno, sweet onion & cheese cornbread is big enough to feed two people.
Since you can’t bring leftovers into the Theatre, you can quickly get this and save room for the Bourbon Pecan Pie.
6. Antoine’s – 713 St Louis St
If you haven’t eaten in the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, Antoine’s, you must grab a meal before the show!
Antoine’s opened in 1840 and has served famous New Orleans Dishes like Oysters Rockefeller and Baked Alaska.
What to Order: As soon as you sit down, order Baked Alaska. One time we went for my sister’s birthday, they RAN OUT, and we were so disappointed.
You need at least two people to order this dessert, but it is large enough for at least four!
The Souffle Potatoes are delicious for an appetizer, but since you are visiting the restaurant that Invented Oysters Rockefeller, you should order a few of those and Oysters.
Depending on how many appetizers and oysters you ordered, you may want to opt for a seafood gumbo salad and Antoine’s Salad so you can save room for Baked Alaska.
7. GW Fins – 808 Bienville Street
If you like farm-to-table restaurants, you will like GW Fins with its Sea-to-table concept. GW Fins uses only seasonal, fresh ingredients in all of its dishes.
The menu changes daily – GW Fins doesn’t even get the day’s catch until 4 pm – so you may have to go to the restaurant and have a bit of a surprise when looking at the menu.
If you want to eat delicious, fresh seafood in New Orleans, GW Fins will not disappoint.
What to Order: The Scalibut is a GW fins original with halibut, sea scallops, royal red shrimp risotto, Snow peas, and pea shoot butter.
But the one thing you need to save room for is the Salty Malty Ice Cream Pie. This Ice Cream pie has a Pretzel Crust and caramel whipped cream top that will make you want not to split the dessert.
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8. Galatoire’s – 209 Bourbon Street
Galatorie’s is an old New Orleans Classic restaurant that has been open since 1905. It was on Bourbon Street before Bourbon Street became Bourbon Street!
Galatoire’s typically offers a Pre-Theatre 3 Course special menu for dinner starting at 5 pm and ending 30 minutes before the show begins.
This Classic New Orleans restaurant brings an elevation to fine dining and French-Creole cuisine. Jackets are required for men to dine at Galatorie’s
What to Order: Depending if you order off of the Pre-Theatre menu, I will get the Fried Eggplant sticks as an appetizer, Iceberg Wedge salad, the 10-ounce filet mignon, and shareable sides of Cauliflower au Gratin, Creamed Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms.
Opt for the Sweet Potato Cheesecake if you still have room for dessert.
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Where to eat Across Canal Street
If fine dining eating in the French Quarter is not your vibe, you can easily cross canal street into the Central Business district to grab something to eat before the show.
Below are some of my favorite places to eat before heading out to see a show at the Saenger.
9. Sofia – 516 Julia
If you are looking for a relaxed dinner with family-style shareable, Sofia is a great place to stop before a show at the Saenger Theatre.
Nestled on Julia Street, Sofia offers patrons a seasonal menu that is constantly changing.
Everything about this Italian neighborhood eatery is approachable and is an excellent place for a small group to gather before a show.
What to Order: Sofia is a restaurant I frequent because I love the atmosphere. It is one of my favorite places to grab a bowl of pasta and an Aperol Spritz and finish the evening.
If you are eating family-style, you can order many items off the menu, but you must try the Meatballs, Alla Vodka pasta, and at least one pizza.
I always opt for a veggie pizza when dining out, but every slice I’ve tried has been delicious.
10. Compre Lapin – 535 Tchoupitoulas St
Compere Lapin, inside the boutique hotel Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery, is known for excellent food and unique cocktails and is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat if you want a mix of New Orleans and Caribbean dishes.
Compere Lapin prides itself on not making food for everyone but making good food for you. If awards are your thing, Nina Compton was Nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chefs in America in 2017 and won in 2018.
What to Order: the menu does change from time to time, but you must start the meal with Buttermilk Biscuits, Honey, and Bacon Butter, and you cannot go wrong with the Hot Fire Chicken. Compere Lapin is set up so you can easily order small bites and a three-course meal.
If you want to order a super cute drink, the Penny Bunny made with Absolut Elix, Chinola, Nicholas Fuillatte and Mole Bitters comes in an adorable Coppe Bunny Cup.
11. Seaworthy – 630 Carondelet
With Happy Hour every day from 4-6, you cannot go wrong with getting a meal and drinks at Seaworthy before heading to the Saenger Theatre.
Seaworthy, which is a part of the Ace Hotel, prides itself on serving wild-caught and sustainably harvested oysters from the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and West Coast.
Most of the fish and game are also locally sourced. Seaworthy is housed inside of a Creole Cottage dating back to 1832.
What to Order: If you are coming for Happy Hour, select oysters that are half off from 4-6.
Their seafood gumbo and little gem salad perfectly complement happy hour oysters – but I’ve had one of the best burgers in the city from Seaworthy.
12. Maypop – 611 O’Keefe Avenue
If you are looking for something unique to eat, Maypop is a delicious restaurant.
Maypop has a small dining area, and reservations are recommended but not required. If you are anything like me – make the reservation – you don’t want to be late for the Saenger!
Maypop has exotic Southeast Asain Flavors combined with Louisiana Flair. The executive chef can meld the different flavors and textures together to leave your mouth wanting more.
What to Order: Start your meal with a Bibb Lettuce salad – there is something about the coconut cucumber ranch and the cashew crisp that elevates this salad above all the rest.
For an entree, you can either go for Work Fried Egg Noodles with Jumbo Shirmp or the Cambodian Marinate Skirt Steak with Blue Cheese Butter.
13. Domenica – 123 Baronne St
One of the closest restaurants to the Saenger is Domenica! Located inside of The Roosevelt, Domenica is a New Orleans favorite and is the perfect location to grab a bite to eat with a group of friends before the Theatre.
The best thing about dining at Domenica is that you can valet your car at the Roosevelt Hotel, dine at Domenica, walk over to the show, grab an after-show cocktail and go home!
What to Order: Family style is popular at Domenica, and there are so many items that everyone loves regarding Ordering.
You must get the Roasted Cauliflower as an appetizer – it is a whole head of Cauliflower with sea salt and whipped feta.
The Squid Ink Tagliolini is another classic favorite. Finish off the meal with a Quattro Formaggi or Prosciutto Pizza, and your gorup will have happy stomachs.
One of the best tips to avoid sky-high ride-sharing prices is to grab a post-show cocktail. All these places are within easy walking distance, but please be mindful of your safety while walking around this area at night.
14. Sazerac Bar – 130 Roosevelt Way
If you took a ride share to the Saenger, the best thing you want to do is to cross Canal Street and grab yourself a nightcap at the Sazerac Bar.
The Sazerac is located inside Roosevelt New Orleans and is one of the best places to grab a drink while waiting for the surge prices to go down.
What to get: You must get a Sazerac at the Sazerac Bar! If Sazerac’s are not your favorite drink, a Southern Gentleman is my next favorite drink – a cocktail made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Blackberry Mint, and Lemon.
15. Bar Tonique – 820 N Rampart St
Bar Tonique is your friendly neighborhood cocktail bar at the edge of the French Quarter.
They are open until at least 2 am, so your Theatre night can turn into a late night if you want! Bar Tonique uses only the freshest ingredients at their bar, and they have a daily specialty cocktail.
Their menu ranges from punches, slings, and cocktails, but there is something for everyone on this menu.
Bar Tonique is also a great place to go before or after a show at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts.
What to get: The Mexican Firing Squad with your choice of house Mezcal is quite tasty. You cannot go wrong with this cocktail with house-made grenadine, ginger syrup, Lime Juice, and Angostura Bitters.
16. Carousel Bar – 214 Royal Street
Another New Orleans classic hotel bar is the Carousel Bar and Lounge. Get your camera out if you are lucky enough to grab a seat at this rotating bar inside of Hotel Monteleone.
One of my favorite things to do at the Carousel Bar is to take a time-lapse video of drinking and spinning at the Carousel Bar.
What to order: Two of my favorite drinks are here. I would choose either a Plantation Old Fashion – a dark rum old-fashioned – or Peychaud’s Aperitivo Spritz. Both are excellent nightcaps to the end of a beautiful evening!
Eating and Drinking At Restaurants Near Saenger Theatre
These restaurants and bar recommendations are just the beginning of all the delicious places you can go to grab a bite to eat or a cocktail before and after a show at the Saenger Theatre.
If you have season tickets to Broadway Across America – I suggest trying out a different place before each performance!
Even though many of these places are walkable, please make sure you are aware of your surroundings going to and from the Saenger Theatre.
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