Tucked in one of the hidden corners of New Orleans, in the Carrollton neighborhood at the end of Oak Street, one of the most unique restaurants in the Crescent City has made its modest little home.
Jacques-Imo’s café is one of those places you have to visit to believe.
Starting with its motto, "Warm Beer, Lousy Food, Poor Service", Jacque-Imo’s sets its tone as a joyful, playful eatery.
Its fearless leader is Jacques Leonardi, a French-Italian man from upstate New York that has imbued his tight little space with the gaudy charm and flamboyant art that makes the dining experience here so unique.
Jacques can often be found wandering around his restaurant, joking with customers, playing around, or just all around encouraging the joyful vibe that is this restaurant’s signature.
The interior decoration is worth a visit alone.
When you don't have enough space on your walls...try your ceiling!
The entire place filled to the brim with art—paintings, pictures, and photographs.
Even beautiful murals can be found on the walls..for those that remember to look up.
To eat here, you'll probably need to wait. (Only parties of five or more can make reservations.)
Luckily, waiting for a table at Jacques-Imo’s is no boring slog. There will be plenty of others waiting around with you and the drinks are always generous and flowing. It's kind of like a party.
Once seated, diners are amazed by the impeccable service offered, as the team at Jacques-Imos really can’t be beat.
All the waiters here pool tips and work together, creating a carefully organized and thoroughly polished service that still maintains the jovial attitude of the restaurant overall.
Like any special restaurant, it’s the menu itself that keeps diners coming back again and again.
Starting with appetizers like Shrimp and Alligator Cheesecake—one of the most rich and delectable things I’ve ever eaten.
And the Deep Fried Roast Beef Po-Boy— which is, to my knowledge, not available anywhere else.
It can be tempting to not even order an entree.
But of course, the entrees are irresistible too, like Paneed Rabbit with shrimp and tasso pasta and country-fried venison.
Stuffed quail pictured here.
The seasonal Godzilla, pictured here, offers a deep-fried soft shell crab over fried green tomatoes that wows the crowds every single time.
So the next time you visit New Orleans, consider stopping by one of its most unique and creative restaurants.
You might even end up having your meal in the back of a pick-up truck. (Yes, they actually put a table in there sometimes!)