Sam Hanna
Kin/Ardent Studio
Sac-a-lait
Brown Butter/Dayne Womax
Ursa Major
Paladar 511
Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen
Bourrée at Boucherie/Jesus Brazon
The Big Cheezy
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1. Compère Lapin 535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Warehouse District)

Lead by Top Chef contestant Nina Compton, Compére Lapin is Caribbean-meets-Louisiana-Creole cuisine that is thoughtful and refined, but not fussy. Add a killer bar program (headed by NOLA barkeep Abigail Gullo from SoBou), and you've got yourself your next Friday night dinner reservation. Located in the Warehouse District, the space is a stunner, with exposed brick walls, wood finishes and a mosaic tile floor.

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2. Avo 5908 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

Chef Nick Lama is a NOLA native, third-generation Sicilian and grew up working in a seafood market his family owned. His authentic Italian and New Orleans background shines in inventive ways at his Uptown restaurant in both his pastas and entrees. The candle-lit courtyard provides a romantic and intimate atmosphere, and it holds their happy hour on Monday through Thursday. Don't forget to leave room for the decadent Italian desserts. Gelato, anyone?

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3. Kin 4600 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70125 (Mid City)

In the hands of NOLA native Chef Hieu Than (who trained in both New York under Tom Colicchio and in New Orleans under Sue Zemanick, so...pedigree) Kin brands itself as “New American,” although its menu, particularly its stellar ramen, makes it seem slightly more eclectic. There are options for everyone, from oxtail ramen to vegan versions, and there's an ever-changing list of small plates made with unique ingredients. Kin doesn't take reservations, so you may have to wait a bit: the space is no bigger than a phone booth.

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4. Sac-A-Lait 1051 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Warehouse District)

Sac-a-lait (which is an alternative name for a fish known as “crappie” -- good call) brings some intriguing Cajun flavors to the Warehouse District. The menu sports turtle boudin, frog leg gumbo with alligator sausage, fried backstrap of venison, duck chaudin, and other refined swamp fare.

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5. Brown Butter Southern Kitchen & Bar 231 North Carrollton Ave Suite C, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Brown Butter's take on Southern comfort foods, including the truffled egg salad sandwich and sweet potato chips, are sure to become your new go-to dishes.

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6. Ursa Major 611 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113

This astronomy-themed restaurant can be found in the Paramount and offers a global menu. It serves up everything from Moroccan Fish to Black Honey Glazed Beef. Dinner is great but the cocktail menu is also exceptional.

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7. Paladar 511 511 Marigny St, New Orleans, LA 70117

Paladar 511 isn't your average pizza joint. Located in Marigny, the restaurant serves slices for the adventurous and sophisticated with toppings including braised artichoke, roasted asparagus, and yogurt. The restaurant's warehouse-like decor nicely compliments its seasonal menu.

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8. Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen 748 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Reflecting the mixed heritage of part owner Seung Hong, this Warehouse District restaurant offers a fusion menu of classics like pho, springs, and kimchi stew, as well as southern specialties like shrimp and grits. As with the innovative food, the space is also trendy yet casually elevated with hanging lights, exposed brick walls, and stark black chairs both inside, and outside on the patio.

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9. Bourrée at Boucherie 1510 South Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

Wings and Daiquiris go together like cookies and milk. Really. That’s what inspired Bourree’s chef and business partner to open a restaurant that could play with the infinite flavor combinations of boozes and fruits and spices and sauces. The food is “rooted in Louisiana tradition but inspired by flavors from around the world” (bourreenola.com). Sides on the menu include fresh cut french fries, spicy boiled peanuts and meat pies.

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10. The Big Cheezy 422 S Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

New Orleans needed a dedicated grilled cheese restaurant and so came The Big Cheezy. Variations on the classic sandwich include fillings like mac & cheese, goat cheese with bacon, and alligator sausage. Because nothing goes with grilled cheese better than tomato soup, there's an option to order a cuppa on the side.