New Orleans Dining: Acme Oyster House

NOLA Nightlife
Photo: Olivia Christine

Update: This post was picked up by Canadian Traveller magazine: "50 Things to Do in New Orleans" in July 2015.

The Acme Oyster House came highly recommended as a must have dining experience during our time in New Orleans. Planted right in the French Quarter, it was an easy walk from our AirBnb rental.

We arrived at the restaurant around 7:30 pm and were greeted by a line spilling around the corner. Approaching the queue, we asked how long the wait was: 30 minutes. The hostess then walked outside and informed us all that it would be a 30-40 minute wait. I found it hard to believe we all had the same wait time.

Luckily,  my boyfriend Alex, paired with a bit of flirting, became a hostess favorite. We were called out of the line within 20 minutes, escorted through the loud, bustling room, and seated. The menus were opened quickly, revealing a straightforward array of seafood options, and within three minutes our waitress arrived. We immediately ordered one dozen raw oysters, one dozen chargrilled oysters, and oyster shooters to start.

Disappointed by the oyster shooters, made with vodka and an unimpressive house sauce - I gag as I recall them - we were glad to receive our oysters and begin the chow down. The raw oysters, although appetizing, were not my favorite. However, Alex and his best friend, Andrew, were enamored and quickly devoured them. While Andrew timed himself on how quickly he could make a dozen oysters disappear, Leo and I gazed at the acclaimed chargrilled oyster plate, which we'd never tried, being placed on the table.

With one bite, the heavens opened. And it was GOOD.

And on the seventh day He rested.


Acme Oyster House
Photo: Andrew Nguyen

The chargrilled oysters were phenomenal. Smothered in butter and Parmesan cheese - two of the best things on Earth - we scraped every last bit of each oyster with our forks and then proceeded to lick the shells just to make sure we left nothing behind. We ordered another round of one dozen chargrilled and raw oysters, each, and explored the rest of the menu.

As our hunger slowly satisfied, our gastronomic pleasure turned to gluttony and we continued ordering more food; we requested red beans with rice poopa (grilled smoked sausage) in a large French bread bowl, jambalaya (seasoned rice dish with smoked sausage and chicken), and a fried fish platter.

We consumed so much that we forgot to order our drinks. There was no need for alcohol, anyway. We were drunk in love with food. And full. Very full.

Acme Oyster House
Photo: Olivia Christine

By the time we cleared our oyster plates, poopa and jambalaya, the fried fish platter was making an entrance. I stared down at the dense display and pondered how the three large pieces of breaded filet and fries would fit into our stomachs. I distributed the portions and took the first bite. At that moment I realized I was biting into the best part of the night's meal. I looked up at the others, wondering if they'd tasted it yet. Silence. With eyes wide open and fish stuffed smirks on their faces, the countenance alone read, "Delightful." The swai fish fillet was light, moist, and flakey, breaded and fried for a smooth, buttery experience.

Our taste buds were in heaven but we could take no more. Engorged and blissful, we began to slouch and adjust the waistlines of our pants.

Check, please.

The bill came reasonably priced, with most items ranging from $10-20 each; Andrew kindly treated us to the meal. We left the restaurant in glee, impressed by our appetizing adventure.