Outside the ring, smack down your hunger with these 12 picks, all about a mile or so from the match and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Be sure to call ahead to make sure the VIP set hasn't booked up your favorite spot.
1. Backspace Bar*
(139 Chartres Street, 504-322-2245; http://backspacenola.com)
Off-duty bartenders and servers come to this pub for the chill vibe, and nearly round-the-clock booze and food. Tackle the Cuban, a full French loaf loaded with pulled pork, ham and Swiss, or the gravy-glazed roast beef, crowned with fried oysters on ciabatta. (Add the off-menu fried pickles.) Greet the dawn with house-made cookies the size of a WWE® title, chased with a cool glass of milk or $3 draft beer.
(601 Tchoupitoulas Street, 504-335-1740; http://barcadianeworleans.com)
Skeeball, air hockey and arcade games light up well into the night, with dozens of beers waiting for you on draft. Fuel your play with a bison patty melt (the bread's toasted in duck fat) or a fried peanut butter sandwich (customize it with grape jelly, bananas or local strawberry jam). Insider tip: Smack down that appetite with the off-menu "Ric Flair", an insane burger topped with pork belly preserves, fried cheese, praline bacon and an over-easy egg.
3. Cochon Butcher
(930 Tchoupitoulas Street, 504-588-7675; www.cochonbutcher.com)
This Southern-style shop and bar (now with triple the seating) showcases their house-cured meats in stuffed sandwiches like the Cochon Muffaletta (salami, capicola, mortadella, along with provolone and olive salad) and the Pig Mac (pork sausage patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese – you know the rest). Arena tailgaters can take out a whole pig, chicken jambalaya and savory sides (order ahead), and throw in ham-and-cheese stuffed pretzels for the ultimate street snack.
4. Doris Metropolitan
(620 Chartres Street, 504-267-3500; www.dorismetropolitan.com)
Glam locals (chefs, sommeliers, athletes) have been spotted at this sleek steakhouse, where premium cuts are dry-aged, so the sizzlers come out full-flavored and juicy (you won't need a steak knife). Steer toward the thick 34-ounce porterhouse, the melt-in-your-mouth shpondra (short ribs), and don't overlook the rich 10-ounce burger - Doris grinds the beef and bakes the bread in-house. Round out the meal with sexy sides and desserts, and top-shelf cocktails.
5. Emeril's New Orleans
(800 Tchoupitoulas Street, 504-528-9393; www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-new-orleans)
Champion eaters (pro athletes, hungry movie crews) make their way to Chef Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant for the belt-busting, 16-ounce pork chop (matched with caramelized sweet potatoes), an entire truffle-fried chicken or whole roasted fish. Check for daily specials with swagger, and follow it all with Emeril's sky-high banana cream pie.
6. Galatoire's 33 Bar
(215 Bourbon Street, 504-335-3932; www.galatoires33barandsteak.com)
This heavyweight serves up luxuries like Lobster Thermidor (Chef Michael Sichel folds the chopped lobster meat into a tarragon-cheese cream sauce, spooning it back into the split shell) and a pair of super-sized European quail (four ounces each), roasted and stuffed with boudin and foie gras. At the table, their ranch-sourced prime beef comes finished with brown butter-lemon sauce. Insider tip: Ask for your steak "bonne femme" to add caramelized onions and bacon.
7. Jäger Haus
(833 Conti Street, 504-525-9200)
When your belly's ready to rumble, head for this haus. Their Munich plate showcases four glorious pounds of schnitzel, sausages, meatloaf, pork chop, German potato salad and sauerkraut. There's also a hefty, half-pound burger topped with sauerkraut and bratwurst, and a meat-stacked Reuben (try it on potato pancakes instead of rye bread). Drink hearty, too, with their foursome flight of beer ($8), or take your draft in a 34-ounce mug ($13 - $15).
(333 St. Charles Avenue, 504-378-2840; www.lukeneworleans.com)
Chef John Besh's brasserie draws in warriors with manly plates of choucroute (bratwurst, fried pork belly, whole pork shank and a tangle of sauerkraut), a 10-ounce cheeseburger, and an extreme three-tier tower of seafood (including a lobster tail, crab legs, oysters and Gulf shrimp). This season, ask for specials featuring crawfish or soft-shell crabs. Have a morning date with WrestleMania® Axxess? No worries - weekend brunch here lasts until 4 p.m.
9. Red Gravy Café
(125 Camp Street, 504-561-8844; www.redgravycafe.com)
"I always make too much," says chef-owner Roseann Melisi Rostoker of her robust Southern Italian fare. Fans include the NBA's Charles Barkley, who recently stopped by (twice) for fried chicken and waffles. Other show-stealers are the Mark (a pair of 16-ounce meatballs, Parmesan-style, on French bread) and a 12-inch lasagna Bolognese. The pasta's all house-made and can come gluten-free. For big parties and at brunch (cannoli-cream stuffed pancakes!), reservations are a must.
10. Restaurant R'evolution
(777 Bienville Street, 504-553-2277; www.revolutionnola.com)
Dinners here can be as dramatic as any spectacle in the ring – a charcuterie board so hefty it has legs ("like a small picnic table," says the chef de cuisine, Chris Lusk); a literal staircase of caviar; and a 40-ounce rib-eye that's presented tableside before being portioned in the kitchen (top it with lobster or blue cheese). There's a 10,000-bottle wine cellar on premise, and the bar carries many styles of craft beer. The dining rooms are stunners as well.
(310 Chartres Street, 504-552-4095; www.sobounola.com)
Here, solo the family-style platters: flour tortillas with smoked cochon de lait, fried oysters and pickled vegetables, or four whole duck legs set over foie gras and cherry boudin. The show goes on with beautiful bar chef Abigail Gullo, who might sing while stirring you a Sazerac or loading your Trouble Tree (five shots for $5); find stone-cold beer at the table taps, with lines to local brews. In the courtyard, order from the full menu, and buckets of beer.
12. Yo Mama's Bar & Grill*
(727 St. Peter Street, 504-522-1125)
Well after midnight, tap out that hunger with these bully burgers. Top your eight ounces with winning combinations like sour cream and caviar, or chili and Cheddar. The main event is a burger slathered with peanut butter and crackled bacon, and the potato pairing comes baked and loaded (no fries here). The only other menu you'll need is the tequila list, which offers a wide range of shots.
*Notes late-night/all-night options