If you only do one thing in New Orleans this Summer, it should be these 15 things, and to do them you’re going to need some sustenance -- thankfully, the Crescent City's noble chefs have been beavering away over the last few weeks & months creating new restaurants for exactly that. Here are the 10 best...
PIZZA Domenica (address and info)
Alon Shaya’s second NOLA spot after the ever-popular Domenica in the Roosevelt Hotel, this one obviously focuses on the chef’s passion for pizzas. The house pies are some of the best in town, though Shaya has a gimlet eye for seasonal ingredients, which show up in the rotating list of specialty numbers and small plates -- including wood-fired octopus, fresh burrata, and pillowy-soft garlic knots with whipped fonduta for dipping -- which should have you coming back for more.
Del Fuego Taqueria (address and info)
The Mexican (or at least the California-style Mex) game has been upped one further with the opening of Del Fuego’s sweet new Magazine St taqueria. Expect a huge tequila list, excellent house-made tortillas, killer salsas, Mission-style burritos, and more. Don’t miss the duck enchiladas in a rich dark mole sauce. Seriously... don’t.
Square Root (address and info)
Lower Garden District
Finally open in the Lower Garden, Philip Lopez’s crazily ambitious modernist chef’s table spot is one for the adventurous. With only a handful of spots at the table and an egalitarian online reservation system (nice try bribing your way in, Mister Fancypants), getting a seat isn’t the easiest thing to come by, but early reports on the 8-15-course tasting menus say that the “food laboratory” is a dining experience NOLA has yet to see.
Toast (address and info)
Those who love the French fare at Tartine are in luck -- the owners recently opened another spot, Toast, a neighborhood bakery and breakfast bar with homemade breads, jams, custards, and curds. If you’re looking for great brioche toast (obviously) piled high with toppings or decadent crepes, look no further.
Treo (address and info)
Known initially as a cocktail den, Treo has gone forth with implementing their menu of small plates intended to complement offerings from the bar. With options including patatas bravas with garlic mayo, crawfish empanadas, wild mushroom ragu w/ a slow-poached egg, and Andalusian shrimp fritters, Treo is looking like a solid addition to the growing Tulane Ave corridor.
Carrollton Market (address and info)
Stylish, upscale dining takes over this spot in the Riverbend, specializing in refined takes on Gulf South cuisine. The andouille-stuffed chicken and pan-roasted red snapper look great, but “crispy fried pork tail tots”? Um, hell yes.
Oak Oven (address and info)
Don’t feel like driving all the way out to Harahan for dinner? That’s cool... all the more spectacular Italian cuisine for the rest of us. Serious farm-to-table fare awaits you here, with everything from wood-fired ciabatta with seasonal toppings and daily-made mozzarella, and, naturally, pizza. Of course there’s pizza.
Milkfish (address and info)
Cristina Quackenbush may have taken a couple of years to get her pop-up to find a permanent home, but luckily for the city, Milkfish is finally open and bringing Filipino fare to the masses. Sisig, pancit, tocino, and other Filipino favorites are represented well, with cold halo-halo to follow for dessert.
The Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel (address and info)
Sure, the Roosevelt already has a fancy cocktail bar (ever heard of the “Sazerac"?) as well as a terrific restaurant (hello, Domenica), but who says it shouldn’t have one more of each? The swanky, recently launched Fountain Lounge has modern flavors mixed with elegant drinks, in one seriously elegant package. If you’re looking to impress a date, it would be hard to do better.
Seed (address and info)
It’s gratifying to see Central City starting to grow, and adding to the renewal of a once-forgotten neighborhood is Seed, a new healthy spot on Prytania St. In case your blood is starting to resemble roast beef gravy from all the po-boys you’ve been downing, think of changing things up with Seed’s veggie-friendly fare. They also have a happy hour on weekdays between 3pm and 7pm, featuring $3 Abita and $5 “Southern fried nuggets”. What are in the nuggets? Certainly not chicken, but for only five bones, can you go wrong?
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1. PIZZA domenica4933 Magazine St, New Orleans
2. Del Fuego Taqueria4518 Magazine St, New Orleans
3. Square Root1800 Magazine St, New Orleans
4. Toast5433 Laurel St, New Orleans
5. Treo3835 Tulane Ave, New Orleans
6. Carrollton Market8132 Hampson St, New Orleans
7. Oak Oven6625 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan
8. Milkfish125 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans
9. Fountain Lounge130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans
10. Seed1330 Prytania St, New Orleans
The pizza at Domenica, Alan Shaya's spot in the Roosevelt Hotel, was so good that he decided to dedicate an entire restaurant to it. The Uptown pizzeria focuses on Neapolitan pizzas topped with seasonal ingredients and house-cured meats. The menu features speciality pies, like the ode-to-NOLA muffaletta pizza, plus a few salads and appetizers, like top-notch garlic knots and house-smoked chicken wings.
This Uptown Mexi-spot (run by Chef David Wright) doles out tasty tacos (obvi) and a host of other delicious options that are all made from scratch. And to wash it all down, they also feature a selection of more than 100 mezcals and tequilas.
Run by Executive Chef and Owner Phillip Lopez, Square Root is the sequel to the outstanding and innovative resto Root, and it centers on a modern kitchen design, where contemporary culinary techniques are the main attraction and an eclectic menu will keep surprising you as you try more and more of it.
This Uptown breakfast resto might have a bland name, but the menu is anything but, with upscale offerings like croque madam, sweet and savory crepes, specialty omelettes, and of course, toast (made with house-made brioche).
Brought to you by the owners of Finn McCool's, Treo brings inventive craft cocktails and small plates to Mid-City, a neighborhood that’s traditionally been more of a po-boy, beer-and-a-shot kind of place.
Located in Uptown NOLA, Carrollton Market is brought to you by Chef Jason Goodenough and it doles out modern Southern fare ranging from their Andouille-Stuffed Chicken Breast to “Chicken ‘n’ Dumplins”, which is made with house-made potato gnocchi, speck, crème fraiche, and tarragon.
Although it's a bit of hike from the city proper, this pint sized bistro in Harahan is worth the trek. Traditional Italian cooking informs the extensive menu of wood-fired pizzas, pasta, and seafood. What makes Oak Oven especially unique is the fact that it grows most of their own produce for its salads, pizza toppings, and pasta sauces.
After years of popping up around town, this resto now has a permanent Mid-City location, while still serving up modern riffs on Filipino classics. Its namesake, the Milkfish, is grilled then topped w/ coconut milk curry and a spicy kimchee-esque red cabbage slaw.
Located at the Roosevelt Hotel, the Fountain Lounge is an upscale bar and resto serving fine cocktails and small plates in an ornate space featuring rich wood floors and luxurious fabrics.
Even if you aren't one for vegetarian food, Seed will make you a believer in all things plant-based. Everything at this Lower Garden District restaurant is vegan, and the menu features creative dishes like Southern Fried Nuggets, which are made with deep-fried tofu and chickpea flour and served with your choice of dipping sauce. Seed also makes a strong case for spiralized noodles, especially when dressed in avocado pesto.