Dry Dock Cafe :: New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The historic neighborhood of Algiers Point, a short ferry ride across the Mississippi from the boozy French Quarter, is the city’s second-oldest ward. The Dry Dock Cafe, immediately opposite the ferry terminal, occupies Algiers’ oldest continuously operating restaurant space, dating back to 1901. It also happens to be a fine place to grab some classic N’awlins cooking—at classic prices.

Owner Casey, a retired oil services businessman, bought the Dry Dock in 2013 with no restaurant experience—but several generations of NOLA in his blood. Asked if he’s changed the menu, he says emphatically, “Not. At. ALL!” then he confides in his soft, distinctly New Orleanian accent, “Look, it’s pretty hard to screw up seafood in New Orleans, right? So…most people come to NOLA for three or four days, and after a day and a half of the French Quarter, they’re looking for something else to do. For two bucks they take a ferry across the river to see New Orleans from the opposite side. They get off the ferry, see the Dry Dock, walk in, and immediately realize that everything is half the price of what it is on the other side of the river.” He laughs. “Now you’ve made friends for life—every time they come back, we’re their first stop!”