Esplanade Avenue is one of the most beautiful, iconic streets in the city. It stretches from the downriver border of the French Quarter all the way up to City Park, and along the way it is decorated with brightly colored houses and huge live oak trees. All the way down the avenue, there are tons of places to stop to eat, but one of the most wonderful little spots is 1000 Figs, a quaint Mediterranean restaurant.
Located up by the Bayou St. John, 1000 Figs is tucked a half-block off of Esplanade. It is a small, modest space, with one small dining room and two tables on the sidewalk. Inside, the dining room is curated in a simplistic, minimalist type of way, with lots of natural light coming in from the open windows in the front and small shelves of books lining the wall. Each table has a silverware drawer where you choose what you need, one of the many charms that make 1000 Figs feel comfortable and homey.
The menu has undoubtedly some of the best Mediterranean cuisine that the city has to offer. Along with the baba ghanouj and hummus you’d typically find on a menu like this, there are also more unique dips, like the beet, pecan yogurt or the roasted carrot and walnut dip. All dips are served with homemade pita bread. The selection of salads on the menu are bursting with fresh ingredients and combinations, such as the red cabbage, kale and cucumber salad or the barley, wheat berries, feta and cranberry salad. These dishes are refreshing and light, which is necessary in a city where so much of the local cuisine is fried and served on bread.
Some of the best dishes at 1000 Figs are the small plates, which allow you to try multiple items during a meal. The Brussels sprouts have a big reputation and are sure to please every time. The larger plates available range from the falafel sandwich, which is a crowd favorite, to more traditional Mediterranean meats like lamb, to the shakshuka dish, which is a combination of poached eggs, tomato and yogurt.
1000 Figs recently started selling craft beer and wine, as well as their daily cocktail. For Sunday brunch they have a pop-up event hosted by The Lost Line which is always satisfying. No matter what day you visit, you are sure to enjoy fresh food in a calm, relaxed setting. And with every visit, you are helping the restaurant achieve its goal of planting 1000 fig trees in the greater New Orleans area.