Pastry chef Kelly Fields does complicated things with simple ingredients at her modern bakery and restaurant. It’s part of the restaurant group overseen by local star chef John Besh, and so it’s no surprise that it’s drawn nods from the James Beard Foundation, among others, for its delectable biscuits, cornbread, and more involved dishes like crawfish and grits. Located in the sleek, new district of mid-rise condos and apartment a couple blocks north of Lafayette Square, Willa Jean makes a great spot for lazy breakfast or brunch—reservations are all but essential on weekends. It’s local knowledge that it’s also open for dinner, and the quality remains high, with varied delicious dishes like braised lamb pasta and beer-can chicken, and it’s easier to get in.
By Wayne Curtis
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
John Besh is a hard-to-miss name in the New Orleans restaurant scene with a slew of hotspots around the city like Shaya, Domenica, and Borgne. Willa Jean is the latest from his restaurant group, located in the up-and-coming South Market District, a short drive from Windsor Court. Styled as a Southern bakery, the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with signature pastries and coffee. The space is bright and warm with an exposed brick wall and Edison lightbulbs that create a cheery, stylish atmosphere. Pick from a wide selection of breads, scones, and cookies, or try a more savory dish like pigs in a blanket with apricot mustard. Photo courtesy of Willa Jean/ Besh Restaurant Group.
By Grace Montgomery, AFAR Staff
Partake of Southern delights and coffee cocktails
Just a short distance from the Superdome and the museums and galleries in the Central Business District, this light filled space is casual and comfortable. Whether you need a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast or brunch, a few baked treats and coffee to go, or a multi-course meal from cocktails to dessert, this Southern food kitchen has it covered. The cocktail offerings include several creative coffee and tea-based concoctions, perfect for a pick me up. Pictured: the delicious corn and crab fritters with crab boil aioli and the warm cornbread, drenched in cane syrup. Enjoy!
By Sue Manuel, AFAR Local Expert
611 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
Sun - Sat 7am - 9pm