During Saints season, restaurants and bars around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome are packed. Sports bars are a great way for fans to get their foodie game on and not only during football season. Louisiana is called "The Sportsman's Paradise" with reason, and there are some great ways to kick off the feasting fun.
Nearby Happy's Irish Pub and Walk-On's (owned by the same folks) both offer a lively atmosphere and drink specials to go with fat burgers, fried pickles and gumbo. It may be a beer-and-a-shot kind of place, but the seafood po'boys, alligator sausage and beer buckets tend to soothe the sometimes rowdy crowd at Cajun Mike's, though the rough-and-tumble fun is what this ultimate Saints-fan joint is really all about.
A bit further afield are even more great spots for hungry—and thirsty—football fanatics. Ernst Café is known for its outdoor tables, fried food and a big old bar that packs in a crowd come game day. At Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar, the Bloody Mary's are legendary, as are the nachos. Capdeville's craft beer on tap, juicy burgers and a whole lot of "Who Dat" action make it a fun place to hang before or during the game as well.
Football legend Archie Manning's namesake restaurant, Manning's, is as loud, raucous and fun as a place gets, with recliners, a giant screen, an outdoor patio and food that centers on Southern style. With most of this season's Sunday games taking place at noon, Manning's brunch is stellar. The 8-ounce "Archie Burger" with bacon-onion jam and piemnto cheese fortifies and reinvigorates. Or load up on Who Dat fries topped with pulled beef, queso and brown gravy.
In the French Quarter, shouts of "Deuuuuce!" can sometimes be heard when beloved former Saint running back Deuce McAllister makes an appearance at his place, Ole Saint Kitchen & Tap. TVs are visible from every tap-room seat, and the restaurant offers ramped up regional fare, including fantastic cochon de lait fries, garlic-crusted wings and a deep and smoky chicken-and-andouille gumbo.
New Orleans is known for its "seasons"—crawfish, Mardi Gras, snowball and Saints. Game face on, dive in with the Who Dat Nation for dining, drinking and cheering that's nothing short of "sportacular."