Classic Eats is a series about old-school and beloved Southern dining establishments. Do you have suggestions? Leave them in the comments.
New Orleans has a number of old school restaurants from the city’s very early days. Generations of locals have dined there with their families and Antoine’s is one such eatery. The restaurant just celebrated its 175th birthday in 2015 and is the oldest continuously family owned restaurant in the United States. It started as home cooking, staffed by French and German migrants.
Little has changed over the years and the menu has been largely unaltered. It’s even become a popular spot with celebrities and dignitaries, hosting nearly every president as well as the Pope. The staff is so loyal that server jobs have been passed down from generation to generation. Our server was third generation Antoine’s staff.
Banquet rooms are named for Mardi Gras krewes, with their crowns and outfits in glass cases. The restaurant also has one of the most expensive wine cellars in the world, but much of it was lost during Hurricane Katrina. They were only closed from August to December that year.
Among the most popular dishes are the Oysters Rockefeller and the gombo creole. The pommes de terre souffles are also favorites, fried puffed potatoes, and the massive Baked Alaska, pictured above. While it’s typically a spot for special occasions, they also have a $20 lunch special that includes three courses and martinis for 25 cents.
If You Go
Antoine’s Restaurant is located at 713 Saint Louis Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. It’s open daily from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm with a break after lunch. It’s within walking distance of the French Quarter, where parking is hard to come by. The closest public transportation stop is at St. Louis and Decatur, two blocks away.