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“Pleasantly surprised”

Bennachin Restaurant
Ranked #350 of 1,964 Restaurants in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Neighborhood: French Quarter
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Nice little restaurant with a great menu. It was nice to be in a quiet restaurant vs the loud and noisy restaurants around town. All the folks were busy enjoying their food... talk seemed minimal. All items were reasonably priced and the food was delicious. The flavors were different and quite good. They will ask if you want your food spicy or mild. Plenty to take home for a second meal.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alwaystraveling2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    72
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    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
359 reviews
198 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“The best African food anywhere in the country”
Reviewed November 8, 2011

This is a tiny restaurant on Royal Street, (about a half block north of the LaLaurie Mansion), serves some of the best food of any kind I've ever eaten anywhere. I've had Ethiopian food, and, frankly, I did not care for it, but this food is from The Gambia and Cameroon, and it is entirely different.

They offer a variety of vegetarian entrees as well as food for meat eaters. I am sorry that they only offer "white" rice, but I guess that is in the recipe. We tend to stick to two, favorite entrees: 1) Jama Jama Ni Makondo - Sauteed spinach served with a roll and coconut rice, and 2) Kone Ni Makondo - Black-eyed pea and tomato stew also served with a roll, and coconut rice. I highly recommend both dishes, and I always make sure to make time to visit Bennachin whenever I am in New Orleans. It's good!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank ovolacto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Consistently Good French Quarter Standby”
Reviewed July 10, 2011

I should be honest in saying my girlfriend and I have visited this place fairly often over the years. When you find yourself in the quarter on a busy Friday or Saturday night, it is always good to know there is that one spot where you can go to avoid the hustle or the lines and still get some great food. Because of this, we've always had love for Bennachin.

A few things the traveler or first-timer should know- the place is small. I estimate it seats maybe 20-25 people tops. Therefore, occasionally it has a short wait, but we've only had that problem with bigger groups. Also, as of this review, they don't serve wine/liquor, but you can bring your own- run across the street to the corner of Royal and Gov. Nichols (it is literally 100 feet away) where you can get cold beer, liquor, or wine at the recently reopened grocery. If you are like me and enjoy a drink with your meal, make sure you bring some or pick some up. While they used to be cash only, now you are able to pay with cards.

The service is pretty standard. There is usually one -occasionally two- servers present who typically do the job. They are always nice, pleasant, and welcoming, and not the type that will be bugging you (for better or worse) throughout your meal. You will likely have to get their attention to ask for refills although this is not always the case.

The food is great. The blackeyed pea fritters are a favorite, and surprisingly, so is the chicken noodle soup (which is hot and spicy). Your entree portions will be very filling and the whole menu is very affordable. Most plates will run about $10-15. In a town lacking vegetarian options, this is also one of the few places where you'll find an portion of the menu dedicated to that type of fare.

One final note- we came here with a small group of friends on my birthday a few years ago. It also happened to coincide with Krewe du Vieux (which rolls down Royal). This is generally the first parade of carnival season; it marches the third Saturday before Fat Tuesday. Get to Benachinn early and grab the seats by the window so you can pop out and watch the parade when it shows up. We had an app, watched the parade, and came back to piping hot food. It was fantastic.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank autumnomous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“You mean I get this much food for this much money? +1 Bennachin!”
Reviewed May 17, 2011

I'm a vegetarian. I was excited to see more than 2 vegetarian options on the dinner menu. I mean, there was an entire section dedicated to vegetarian dishes! Plus, certain beef dishes could be made as vegetarian! And for vegans out there : vegetarian dishes are all vegan!

I ordered the Bennachin Jollof Rice -- Beef Jambalaya with Sautéed Spinach, sans Beef. They substituted it with carrots. (Not that original, and somehow carrots in my Jambalaya cost the same as beef. $15 vs. $13 for the regular veggie dishes.) The portion was enormous! It heaped over the plate. I have enough leftovers for an entire 2nd meal.

The chairs are flimsy. The table cloth has one of those plastic coverings like at my grandma's house. You get a real linen with your cutlery. To get to the bathroom, you have to walk through the kitchen, go outside in a courtyard. The bathroom is a "room" of its own from the courtyard.

Different groups come to Bennachin. There were tourists who were following recommendations and there were die-hards. The die-hards were REALLY excited to be there.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FABackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 6 Contributor
743 reviews
458 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 346 helpful votes
“One of the best in the FQ”
Reviewed April 8, 2011

People:
This place is 1 of the few well-priced, non-touristy places in the French Quarter.

The food has ALWAYS been good here over the years. I've been going here for a long time, and just went again today. It's still fantastic. The food is Gambian and Cameroonian and it is fantastic. The plantains are to die for, but so is the spinach, the Domoda (a peanut sauce laden dish with either beef or veggies over rice). The fried black eyed pea fritters are awesome, the red zinger drink...I could go on and on and on.

Plus the place itself is very charming. Small with brightly painted walls. While service is typically a bit slow, it is friendly. Where else will you get a giant plate-full of fresh homemade food in the FQ for less than $8 for ALL entrees for lunch? It is a bit of a hike to the 1200 block of Royal, but you will not be disappointed.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GlendaleCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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