#32 In The Top 33 Seafood Eateries.
3 Fleur
EntreePrice-14
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Felix’s

French Quarter: 739 Iberville. 504-522-4440. Map.
Casual.
AE MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Among the memories carried around by lifetime Orleanians, the circumstances surrounding the eating of one’s first raw oyster loom vividly. For a long time, the population could be divided into those who had their first oyster at Felix’s, and those who did so across the street at the Acme. What with all the oysters bars in town now, this effect has transmogrified into a predictor of the oyster-eater’s age. If your first was from either Felix’s or the Acme, you are probably over fifty.

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WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
In recent years Felix’s has become a much more touristy place than it once was–but that’s true of most of the Quarter. Two things remain consistent during the forty years I’ve dined there: the oysters are always terrific, and the service is always marginal.

WHAT’S GOOD
Locals who haven’t dined in Felix’s in awhile may be surprised by how abbreviated the menu is. You once could come here and eat almost anything. Now it’s seafood, sandwiches, and a few appetizers and sides. But that’s forgivable, given the goodness of the specialties. They execute surprisingly good versions of the classic grilled and baked oyster dishes, which one doesn’t often find in such a casual place.

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BACKSTORY
If you’re a New Orleans old-timer, you pronounce the name “feh-LEEX.” And you know that the place has been around at least as long as you have (since 1935). For most of that time it was owned by the Rotonti family. The restaurant expanded greatly in the 1990s by taking over the space formerly that of Toney’s Spaghetti House. After Hurricane Katrina, Felix’s opened an Uptown branch on the corner of Prytania and Robert, but closed it after a couple of years. The French Quarter original was many months in returning to business, and when it did it reverted to its original Iberville Street space.

DINING ROOM
Two long rooms are side by side, with the neon-lit entrance on the left. The oyster bar is immediately inside, with what may be the most photographed neon advisory in the entire New Orleans restaurant community: “Oysters ‘R’ In Season.” Although it’s been renovated a few times, the place is well-worn. Everything about Felix’s–especially the food–is pure New Orleans.

Felix-Rock-Bienville

FULL ONLINE MENU

BEST DISHES
Oysters
Raw on the half shell
Char-grilled
Rockefeller
Bienville
Oysters du jour

Starters
Seafood gumbo
Turtle soup
Crawfish etouffee
Fried crab fingers
Fried crawfish tails
Shrimp cocktail or remoulade
Alligator, blackened or fried
Fried meat pies
Fried crawfish pies
Jambalaya
Lettuce wedge salad

Entrees
Fried shrimp, oyster, fish, soft-shell crab, or combination platters Catch of the day, grilled or blackened
Grilled or blackened shrimp
Seafood salad (baby greens, lump crabineat, boiled shrimp)

Poor boy sandwiches
Grilled shrimp
Shrimp and oyster, olive oil, lettuce, black olives, red onions
Hot roast beef
Fried shrimp, crawfish, fish, oyster, soft shell crab
Hot sausage

Desserts
Bread pudding, whiskey sauce
Creole pecan pie

FOR BEST RESULTS
The rest of the menu is okay, but oysters are what you come here for. Eat raw oysters at the bar, but ask for a table before you do if the place is busy. The tables in the other room are better for full meals than those in the bar.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The chaos in the bar and the method by which tables are requested needs much streamlining.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency
  • Service
  • Value +1
  • Attitude
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color +3

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open some holidays
  • Open till 11 p.m. FR SA
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Oyster bar
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • No reservations

4 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. bonnie on June 18, 2014

    service at this restaurant on Wednesday June 18 was excellent. THe food was great. There were 12 of us in our group. We were seated within 5 minutes of our arrival at the restaurant. Some of our group was from out of town. Felix made a great impression of New Orleans service, food, and hospitality.

  2. JOHNNY DOLLAR on February 20, 2015

    MY Dad’s place of choice was the old MESSINA’S. From the time I could remember early 60’s till 67 or 8. we would go on Sunday nights, dad would belly up to oyster bar with a Falstaff long neck. he would eat a dozen then come back to table with mom and I, get another Falstaff and we would order. For some reason I would always get a hamburger and fries….blah. and I ate raw oysters as a kid — go figure!

  3. LD on February 20, 2015

    Fee-leex’s was where my daddy would go to eat oysters when we “came to town,” from the River Parishes. I remember vividly standing with him at the oyster bar. I still go to felix’s today, preferring the authenticity over numerous other eateries.

  4. Bob Stedron on February 20, 2015

    When I lived in New Orleans prior to Katrina, I loved Casamento’s on Magazine. How does it compare with the 2 French Quarter stalwarts?

    TOMMENT: Casamento’s has always been one of the best oytser bars around, and their fried oysters are great, too. Fresh-cut fries! No credit cards?

    A full review of Casameno’s is here.

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