If there’s one place in America that’s calling our name, it’s New Orleans. The iconic city knows how to have a good time with speakeasy bars, jazzy tunes and mouth-watering, finger-licking fare.
Sounds like your idea of a good time? We thought so! But there’s no need to jet off to the U S of A to experience Southern America at its finest. Instead, head to the heart of Britomart and stumble upon the aptly named bar-slash-eatery, Orleans.
Tucked away on Roukai Lane, this hidden gem oozes intimate, laneway vibes. Outside, cobblestones and exposed brick are paired with pops of greenery and a cosy fireplace. Inside, dark wood, dim lighting and a well-stocked bar recreate that signature speakeasy ambiance.
Showcasing a trifecta of music, liquor and—of course—Southern American eats, Orleans doesn’t do things by halves. And trust us when we say: leave your diet at home. Cheat meals are about to reach a whole new level.
First things first, the creole menu is insane. From fried chicken waffles and smoky barbecue ribs to cheesy cornbread and deep-fried cheeseburgers (yes, it’s a thing), dining here is nothing short of indulgent. Dig into their signature po’boy sammies (there’s blackened fish or jerk-pulled pork), succulent pork belly and the all-important curly fries.
If you’re after a meal for two (or you’re really, really hungry), there are three mammoth headliner dishes to devour. Choose between an entire kilogram of ribs or a combination of duck and chicken wings. However, the real star of the show is the epic waffle tower—that’s right, a tower of waffles, fried chicken, pork belly, cheese and happiness!
Make it an all-American feast with a slice (or two) of pie for dessert. There’s pecan with cinnamon ice-cream, chocolate alongside candied orange peel and classic cherry with frangipane. Our pick? The coffee and bacon number with chocolate bacon, maple glaze and caramelised banana. Woah, damn!
If you need something to wash the epicness down, Orleans has your back. Their Bourbon Street cocktails and American-sourced wine will magically transport you to the streets of New Orleans. The azure colada mixes things up with the addition of blue curacao, while the St Louis Sour is a crowd fave with rhubarb, raspberry, lemon and egg white.
We can’t go past their signature big easy punch starring a jug of ginger wine, berries, apple, lemon and mint. It’s the perfect balance of fruity and refreshing! For something creamier, drink your way through the hardshakes (that’s right, milkshakes spiked with alcohol). The salted caramel creation with spiced rum is particularly dreamy.
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans-esque bar without music. You’ll find artists performing a selection of mellow blues, cool jazz and soul classics. Things get turned up a notch on the weekend with jazz sessions guaranteed to get you grooving. We’ll see you on the dancefloor!
Look no further to experience the magic of New Orleans. It can be found in the form of deep-fried cheeseburgers and over-the-top cocktails in the heart of Auckland.
Image credit: Lydia Arnold