Top choice creole

in French Quarter

Friday lunchtime is the best time to visit this revered institution for its traditional Creole cuisine. That’s when local ladies in big hats and gloves and men wearing bowties (without irony) buy copious bottles of champagne, gossip to high hell and have eight-hour boozy lunches that, in their way, have been going on forever. Dress the part; jackets are a must for men.

Galatoire’s is a special place. Its interior has been frozen in time for over a century, and some families still run tabs here, a sure sign that your name rings out in the right New Orleanian social circles.

If you're looking to dine on a dime (er, make that a Jackson or two) then come for lunch, when they offer – like many fine spots in the Quarter – a very nice prix-fixe special from Tuesday to Thursday. Expect to dine on old-line masterpieces and mainstays: pompano meunière (seasoned white fish), liver with bacon and onions, and the signature chicken Clemenceau.

Be sure to wander around after you finish eating, as some of the back rooms here have a near-museum-like quality, offering a fascinating glimpse back into the past.