Napoleon House

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

Cultural Diversity

Consider this idea for your next New Orleans trip: Stop in at an historic pub with a French connection and enjoy a British cocktail along with a sandwich invented a few blocks away. Have some Creole food on the side. Finish up with an Italian dessert. This could only happen at the Napoleon House, a French Quarter classic at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis.

Napoleon Did Not Sleep Here

New Orleans mayor Nicholas Girod took possession of the building that is now an National Historical Landmark in 1794. They say that he had hatched a plan to spirit the exiled Napoleon to the third floor of this home to live out the rest of his days. Napoleon’s death in 1821 rendered the plan moot. But the house has retained his name ever since.

To Drink

Many different cocktails claim a New Orleans pedigree. The Sazerac, the Hurricane, and that brunch favorite, the Brandy Milk Punch, all were invented here. The Napoleon House claims the Pimms Cup as its own. How this came to be, we have no idea; but everyone in town knows that if you want a Pimms Cup (invented not in New Orleans, but in England), you want to have it at the Napoleon House. Its cucumber garnish lets you know that it falls into the category of summertime refresher.

Iconoclastic Muffuletta

The Central Grocery, also in the Vieux Carré, claims to have invented the Italian cold cut and olive salad-stuffed round bread loaf known as the muffuletta. Purists decry a heated muffuletta as an abomination, but the rest of us love tearing into Napoleon House’s toasted muffuletta. Its olive salad is relatively mellow, speaking more of celery than of olives. Add to that the melted cheese and crunch of the toasted loaf and the sandwich fits into a category very different from that of a Central Grocery muff.

Poor Boy = Po Boy

The menu also includes a variety of “poor boys” (usually known around town as po-boys) as well as such local favorites as red beans and rice and gumbo. But much of the rest of the menu consists of things like salads and sandwiches of no particular provenance. The dessert menu features spumoni, cannoli, tortoni … like you’d find in a Little Italy cafe. Of course.

Directions & Hours

11am - 9pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

What To Eat

Italian Muffuletta

DISH
Jambalaya Portion with Any Sandwich

DISH
Pimms Cup

DISH

Napoleon House Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Napoleon House?

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