Where to Find the Best Seafood in New Orleans

From Viet-Cajun to oysters in every fantastic form.

When people think of New Orleans, three things tend to come to mind—booze, music, and food. This trifecta is the foundation of our culture and is woven into every thread of our daily lives. It is no mystery that our most popular dishes involve seafood; whether it is shucking and slurping on oysters during happy hour, or pinching crawfish tails surrounded by family and friends at the boil, seafood brings our people together. Unfortunately, because of its popularity, a lot of the “well known” spots in town tend to deliver sub-par experiences catered to the annual hordes of tourists that descend upon the French Quarter and its surrounding areas. So, before you go make the line at restaurants that are only known for having had an ill-tempered British chef—who knows diddly squat about our culture—publicly humiliate them on national television, consider these local gems that deliver tried and true experiences when it comes to our favorite cuisine.

The little sister of locally-loved neighborhood joint Marjie’s Grill has created a name for itself in the Oak street corridor in Uptown, where it continues to serve creative and refreshing family-style seafood-focused dishes in a casual environment that feels plucked out of a coastal city postcard. The second restaurant from chef Marcus Jacobs and Caitlin Carney has become a frequented spot after lent, with a bar program that is as equally breezy. The drinks are curated by the staff of Turning Tables, the local non-profit that provides education and resources, and works to bring equity for people of color in the bar and spirits business.

Available for Reservations

GW Fins

French Quarter

If you have money to spend, then treat yourself to one of New Orleans most recognized dining institutions. GW Fins prides itself on seasonal ingredients showcased in “elegant simplicity.” The catch is delivered daily by purveyors from local and international regions—which include a select handful of spearfishers on their roster. The menu is printed each afternoon according to the bounty of the day. Those delicate dishes are accompanied by equally noted tiples, so don’t sleep on their wine list, which has been awarded the prestigious “Wine Spectator Award of Excellence” every year since 2002.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating; call 504-581-3467 for parties of five or more.

Available for Reservations

Chemin à la mer

Central Business District

Speaking of breaking the bank, the splashy new Four Seasons Hotel has plenty of dining options to write home about, but the worthiest of them all—in our humble opinion—is Donald Links Group’s Chemin A La Mer. If you parles français you already know that it translates to “path to the sea,” which is not just a reference to their spectacular panoramic views of the Mississippi River, but the way the dishes celebrate the culture of this emblematic body of water. Even though it is considered an oyster bar and steakhouse, the selection of New Orleans’ favorite bivalve along dishes like the Pâtè Grand-Mére, are a few of the many items that give it a notch worthy of this list.

Available for Reservations


Central Warehouse District

Pêche celebrates the joy de vivre of eating seafood, in a rustic open space suited to its surroundings in the Central Warehouse District. At first glance the menu might not seem out of this world, but it’s the approach to simplicity that highlights the fresh flavors of the dishes. A bright chimichurri elevates the whole grilled fish prepared in the coal grill that frequently adorns the tables—a dish only bested by the seafood tower from the raw grill. Expect citrus-forward and aromatic cocktails, and international white wines that pair with the salinity of the feast you’re about to devour. Did somebody say Txakolina? The historic Basque white blended wine is finally making its triumphant way to our seafood menus and you can expect a couple of selections at Pêche. If all of the aforementioned didn’t do it for you, then perhaps having a James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” (2014) just might do the deed.

Available for Reservations

When you hear the words Vietnamese food, you wouldn’t think of New Orleans as a synonymous pair, but locals know that the history of Vietnamese culture in Southern Louisiana is very rich and expansive. In fact, Viet-Cajun cuisine is something very prominent in our city, but seldomly ever sought out by newcomers or out-of-towners. Let us introduce to you the best approach to this spicy, garlicky experience by means of this Uptown newcomer. And if you know anything about Mukbang culture and its gluttonous indulgence of rich dishes broadcasted through audio and video, you can have a clear picture of what dining here will be like. Forget utensils, select your sauce—from Mukbang special, garlic butter, or Flaming Cajun—grab a bib, then suck and pinch your way through steaming piles of huge blue crabs, fried shrimp, and juicy mussels, as well as the traditional pairing of corn cobs and potatoes (and, of course, crawfish when in season).
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating; order pickup and delivery online; or call 504- 345-2695 for catering and reservations.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

If you are looking for off-the-beaten path locals haunt, you’re going to have to travel a bit to find this diamond in the rough. Unlike the tried and true restaurants mentioned above, the story of Dee’s is a local’s heartwarming (and decadent) triumph. Demond “Dee” Matthews had a magic recipe for boiled and chargrilled seafood that had a community following before he opened his restaurant. He started his business by promoting the heady boils through his social media channels, which he would then sell on the weekends curbside at a relative’s barbershop. Matthews’ plans to open a brick-and-mortar that, unfortunately, folded due to the pandemic, but since the only way to enjoy food during those untold years was through pick-up and take-out, his business soared. You could usually tell the spot by the traffic jam that would accumulate behind the line of cars waiting for the steaming trays of Dungeness crab legs, lobster tails, and local shrimp to be picked up drive-through style. This story has a happy ending though, and even though you can still find him popping up near the old St Bernard location, Dee’s has found a new home in New Orleans East. And trust that it’s worth the drive.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating; order takeout and delivery via Uber Eats; or call 504-388-8368.

Local celebrity chef Edgar Caro—best known for his Latin fusion tapas spot on the prolific corridor of Magazine, Baru Bistro—found himself enlightened after a fishing trip with friends when he turned a recently caught snapper into one of the most delightful ceviches his company had had the pleasure of tasting. In 2013 he opened the doors to Basin Seafood and Spirits, seven blocks down the street from its already popular sister, where he has been serving lighter, modernized versions of Louisiana fare, sprinkled with the refreshing citrus-influenced Latin cuisine that has made Caro a recognized staple in our dining culture.

Available for Reservations

Charles “Peewee” Armstrong wanted to make a difference in his neighborhood of Central City, for it is places like his restaurant that shed the kind of positive light that rejuvenated a much needed area of town. And he did so by serving Creole-style seafood dishes made of stuffed crabs and catfish, combination platters, and his namesake crab cakes, fluffy mounds of creamy rich, flaky crab-meat served with his innovative sweet and spicy sauce. His staple New Orleans cooking became so popular, that in a matter of years he opened up a couple of new locations across town, bringing smiles and revelry wherever his food fosters community.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating; order pickup online; or call 504-354-9884 for catering or reservations.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

You’ll find the most genuine dining experience that is truly emblematic of our passion for breaking bread together, at Mosquito. Like its name indicates, Melissa Martin’s tribute to her upbringing began as a communal dining series in a double shotgun home, where strangers would sit together at farmhouse tables and enjoy a multi-course meal highlighting the best of the Bayou. The concept has evolved into a restaurant, but the idea behind home-cooked shared meals is still at the heart of the operation with two seating options of private (for large groups) or communal. Sustainability and preservation is at the forefront of the operation—you’ll find the prix-fixe menu printed on chalkboards adorning the two dining rooms. The menu changes weekly based on seasonal availability from Southern Louisina’s shrimpers, oyster fishermen, crabbers, and farmers that Martin knows on a personal basis. Her passion of shedding light into the preservation of the state’s marshlands was beautifully showcased in her debut book Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou, which includes personal essays dedicated to each ingredient and its role in Louisiana Cajun tradition.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or reserve via Tock.