10 New Orleans Restaurant Openings You Might Have Missed

From sleek hotel additions to food truck favorites.

Hotel Saint Vincent
Hotel Saint Vincent | Photo by Matt Harrington
Hotel Saint Vincent | Photo by Matt Harrington

The pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for New Orleans restaurants, shutting down the city just as we were about to host graduations and a busy festival season. But that era is (mostly) behind us, thankfully, and local restaurants are able to once again open their doors wide to fully-vaccinated visitors and indoor seating is again the norm. 

While some local institutions didn’t make it through the past year’s tragic ordeal, others have quickly launched plans for new ventures. A busy summer of rescheduled events and a return to business-as-usual has all of us feeling optimistic—and hungry. 

Make a reservation, dust off your evening wear, and hit up one of these New Orleans’ top culinary debuts, each primed and ready to win your heart and fill your plate.

Leo's Bakery & Deli
Leo's Bakery & Deli

Leo’s Bread

Bayou St. John
This longtime farmers’ market favorite survived the pandemic by offering at-home delivery of its famous bagels and breads. Now, however, there’s no more running around all over town—you can find Leo’s Bread in its brick-and-mortar location slinging breakfast and lunch five days a week. Stop by for bagels topped with smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, or avocado, and be sure to bring home a loaf of bread or a half-dozen strawberry jam croissants for the rest of your week (if they last that long).  
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

The Bower
The Bower

The Bower

Lower Garden District
Part of the same development and restaurant team as Birdy’s and Claret Wine Bar, The Bower partnered with Sugar Roots Farm, a non-profit regenerative endeavor that provides the kitchen with a steady stream of locally sourced ingredients. Dinner options include housemade pastas like shrimp rigatoni and entrees like a whole branzino dressed with local citrus. 
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Elizabeth Street Cafe
Elizabeth Street Cafe | Photo by Matt Harrington

Elizabeth Street Cafe 

Lower Garden District
The Austin, Texas-born Vietnamese cafe and French bakery makes its second home inside New Orleans’ swank Hotel Saint Vincent. The cafe’s menu includes a host of spring roll options (it’s all about the Spicy Chicken Crunch), banh mi sandwiches, and bún noodle bowls. Make sure to check out the cocktails and natural wine list, too. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo | Photo by Matt Harrington

San Lorenzo

Lower Garden District
Also found inside the Hotel Saint Vincent is San Lorenzo, which marries coastal Italian cuisine with New Orleans pizzazz. And if the kitchen serves up dishes as lush and eye-catching as its design-forward surrounds, the city could very well have a new favorite. Menu highlights include grilled oysters, beef carpaccio, summer truffle risotto, and flounder piccata.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Seafood Sally’s
Seafood Sally’s

Seafood Sally’s

Leonidas
From the folks behind Marjie’s Grill comes a new neighborhood seafood joint perched on bustling Oak Street. Serving oysters, beer battered onion rings, boiled shrimp and crawfish, fried seafood plates, and sandwiches served atop nostalgia-inducing Bunny Bread, Seafood Sally’s is shaping up to be approachable, comfortable—and, no doubt, delicious. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Bub’s Nola
Bub’s Nola

Bub’s NOLA

Mid-City
Soon after the pandemic shuttered restaurants across the city, Bub’s started slinging burgers out of a food truck parked at almost every brewery in town. It didn’t take long for Bub’s NOLA to get a pretty sizable following, and they recently landed in their own brick-and-mortar location as a result. Bite into a Bub’s burger, and you quickly see how this pop-up became a full-blown neighborhood standout in what was otherwise a disastrous year for the hospitality industry.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant
14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant

14 Parishes

Leonidas
Also new to Oak Street is 14 Parishes, a Jamaican outpost from Charles and Lauren Blake. Though the married couple started the restaurant with a location in Central City, they spent the last few years focusing their attention on their stand inside the Pythian. Don’t worry, they’ll keep that going—but they’re also stretching their legs inside an expanded space in Uptown, which means more coconut shrimp, jerk chicken, and meat pies for the grateful masses. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Peacock Room
Peacock Room | Photo by Cris Molina

The Peacock Room

Warehouse District
The newly opened Hotel Fontenot features its own take on a classic New Orleans bar, here led by supervisor Paula Echevarria. Expect classic cocktails like Sazeracs alongside newer concepts like the Right Place/Wrong Time, which the menu assures us is not an espresso martini. As for bites, look for crave-worthy shareables like blue crab pimento cheese Cheewee fries.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Mister Mao
Mister Mao | Photo courtesy of Paprika Studios

Mister Mao

Uptown
This late July addition comes from chef-owner Sophina Uong and her husband and partner, William Greenwell. The new restaurant promises “inauthentic” dishes from Laos, Cambodia, and other Asian Pacific islands whipped up with Southern flare. Keep an eye out for the interactive chef’s counter—it’s bound to be a date night hit. Keep an eye out for the interactive chef’s counter—it’s bound to be a date night hit. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy.

Commons Club
Commons Club | Photo courtesy of Virgin Hotels

Commons Club

Warehouse District
When Virgin Hotels opens its first New Orleans location this summer, it'll be complete with the Funny Library Coffee Shop on the first floor and a rooftop pool and bar. Its anchor restaurant, the Commons Club, accessed via the hotel’s Baronne Street entrance, is due to open later this summer under the guidance of local veteran chef Alex Harrell. Menu details are still scant, but the hotel promises unexpected ingredients and bold flavors. 
How to book: Stay tuned to the website for upcoming reservations.

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Chelsea Brasted is a contributor for Thrillist.