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The eight coolest restaurants in New Orleans

Here at Thrillist, we're constantly unearthing the best new places to eat and drink, so we know how overwhelming things can get. That's why we created The Thrillist Great Eight: eight spots that have got it going on more than a supporting character in an Angela Bassett flick. From surefire next-big-things to standbys that still pack 'em in, everything you need to plan your next night out is right here.

1) 5030 Freret St; 504.899.6883
Started as a UK doghouse founded by a NOLA native, Dat Dog's Freret St. location was the original US outpost (with another on Magazine St. and a third forthcoming on Frenchman), bunning 14 different tube steaks you won't mind knowing the ingredients of, from the fowl-tasting Turducken, to Bayou-sourced alligator sausage. The dizzying list of toppings all come gratis, so don’t forget to pile ‘em on till they touch the sky.
2) 845 N. Carrollton; 504.252.4999
If you've ever wondered what would happen if you plucked a good ole boy out of deep Cajun country, gave him a decade of fine dining experience and unleashed him in New Orleans to start his own restaurant, then you clearly have too much time on your hands -- but the result would be Toups Meatery. Chef Isaac Toups’ gleeful celebration of all things carnivorous promises sophisticated takes on Cajun staples like boudin and cracklins, as well as lamb’s neck, a dinosaur-sized pork chop, and a marrow bone that you can do shots of bourbon from (when you’re finished eating the delicious marrow, that is).
3) 307 Exchange Pl; 504.301.3347
Down an alley near the Monteleone, this hole in the wall serves the best hangover breakfast in town: Creole tomatoes topped with blow-torched Manchego, loaded with exotic salts, spices & sugars to honor NOLA's port-city heritage, and sided with spiced almonds, garlic aioli, roasted green onions, Romesco sauce, pomegranate molasses, and extra-extra virgin olive oil. Work on tomorrow's hangover with a sneakily intoxicating Walking Spanish: coconut water, fresh lime juice, ginger, Bols, Velvet Falernum, Flor de Cana rum, Cadamaro, and a sherry float.
4) 617 Piety St; 504.676.8482
On Bywater's Piety Street, NOLA's first NY-style slice shop was started by two LI guys who'd never made pizza before. Then again, you can accomplish anything when you're the only place pouring locally made, curiously red-colored Attelier Vie absinthe, and you're totally hopped up on absinthe cookies (which they also offer).
Scott Gold
5) 3200 Burgundy St; 504.267.0072
The farm couldn’t get any closer to the table than this Bywater newcomer (not without things getting super-awkward, that is), which is helmed by a chef and kitchen crew who focus on locally sourced ingredients, and aim to serve up white tablecloth-worthy meals without the white tablecloths. Look for upscale comfort dishes like roasted goat tacos, a lamb sausage sandwich with pimento cheese, and confit chicken with grits, greens and a slow poached egg, all at neighborhood-friendly prices.
6) 200 Julia St; 504.252.9480
The city's most hyper-modern American restaurant's manned by StarChefs-acclaimed August alum Phillip Lopez, dishing out deconstructed comforts like a “living terrarium of foie gras,” Cohiba-box-smoked scallops, and a Saturday morning cartoons-worthy bowl of housemade cocoa puffs and peppermint patties in milk.
7) 930 Tchoupitoulas St; 504.588.7675
Every night, the spillover crowds from Cochon pack this around-the-corner butcher shop and sandwich bar that dishes out a Central Grocery-shaming Muffuletta stacked with smoky, house-cured ham, hot pastrami, and spicy olive salad.
8) 601 Loyola Ave; 504-613-3860
Wash down brown-bag-baked fish with a conspicuously open bottle of the ex-Glatoire chef's prized island rum at Borgne, John Besh's Creole-meets-Canaries eatery occupying the Hyatt Regency's ground floor and furnished with ever-changing chalkboard murals of the rock star guests occupying the upstairs hotel rooms.
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1. Dat Dog 5030 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Getting its start as a UK doghouse founded by a NOLA native, Dat Dog's shed (one of multiple locations) has become one of the most popular eateries on Freret St. You'll find everything from a duck sausage dog served with blackberry sauce to alligator and crawfish dogs on the menu.

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2. Toups' Meatery 845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119

The Toups family has been in New Orleans for more than 300 years, so you can trust them to know their stuff when it comes to traditional Cajun and Creole fare, like their Confit Chicken Thighs and Drunken Shrimp.

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3. Green Goddess 307 Exchange Pl, New Orleans, LA 70130

The menu at this tiny French Quarter resto is as eclectic as its chef/co-owners Chris DeBarr and Paul Artigues, who create items like a pasta-less "ravioli" made with super-thin golden beets and barbecued peaches.

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4. Pizza Delicious 617 Piety St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Located on Bywater's Piety Street, NOLA's first NY-style slice shop was started by two LI guys who'd never made pizza before. The menu incorporates local produce from Alexandria, LA's Inglewood Farms and features daily special 'za like the Homemade Hot Italian Sausage pie with caramelized onions and peppers.

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5. Maurepas Foods 3200 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Maurepas plates fine American cuisine, whether it's soups, salads, sandwiches, hot plates or desserts. And if you care for an adult beverage, their house "Intoxicologist" can arrange it to your liking.

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6. Root 200 Julia St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Chef Phillip Lopez uses traditional culinary techniques to generate his modern American flavors, filling a menu with sections labeled "Socials", "Beginnings", "Principals", and "Endings" which all fall under the category of "delicious".

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7. Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Build your ultimate, meaty sandwich at this hybrid butcher shop, deli counter, and wine bar. Inspired by old-world meat markets, Cochon Butcher specializes in house-cured meats, terrines, and sausages. Oh, and don't forget that side order of pancetta mac-n-cheese!

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8. Borgne 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113

Named after a lake on the coast of Louisiana, Borgne serves up inspired seafood that does not disappoint. Stop by during happy hour (3-6pm) for half-price beer, wines by the glass, and bar food specials.

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