Food & Drink

The 10 best waterfront bars & restaurants in New Orleans

Published On 11/05/2014 Published On 11/05/2014
The Blue Crab
Morning Call
Parkway Bakery and Tavern
Mat & Naddie's
Steamboat Natchez
Palmettos on the Bayou
The Dry Dock Cafe
Flickr/Gary J. Wood
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1. The Blue Crab 7900 Lakeshore Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

On the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, this West End/Lakefront eatery offers fried, boiled, or grilled local seafood while you sit on the dock enjoying the day. It even has a place to tie up boats, if that’s your preferred mode of travel.

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2. Morning Call 56 Dreyfous Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124

As NOLA's self-dubbed "most famous coffee drinking place," Morning Call has been brewing its prized French drip coffee since 1870, which has a rich chicory taste that goes all too well with the cafe's sugar-dusted beignets. Morning Call tends to be cheaper and less tourist-packed than some of the city's other coffee shops (ahem, Cafe du Monde), which means you don't have to wait as long to get your hands on the signature pastries. A short line-up of local cuisine (jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish bread) is worth a taste, too.

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3. Parkway Bakery & Tavern 538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

No one does po’boys like Parkway, and it’s no surprise: the Mid-City spot has been open since 1911, and the po’boy has been a staple of the menu since 1929. Regardless of whether you’re a local, a passerby, or even President Obama (who makes a point to snag a golden fried shrimp po’boy here when business brings him to the Big Easy), you really can’t go wrong with any of these delicious bad boys, all of which are served on fresh, house-made bread. Pro tip: if you can’t handle the spice level, a booze-loving mint julep will help.

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4. Mat & Naddie's 937 Leonidas St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Right across the way from where the Mississippi bends (in the aptly named Riverbend neighborhood), Mat and Naddie's is a great spot for a low-key Uptown dinner. Their patio is perfect for blocking out the car and train traffic noise, gazing upon the levee, and listening to the freight boats honk their horns as they slowly travel the river.

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5. Palmettos On The Bayou 1901 Bayou Ln, Slidell, LA 70458

This fine food establishment on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain is built right on Bayou Bonfouca. Palmettos has an expansive back deck dining and bar area, so patrons can hear the frogs croaking in the quiet night. Bring bug spray though, or you will be sad.

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6. The Barley Oak 2101 Lakeshore Dr, Mandeville, LA 70448

One of the best beer bars in the state, the Barley Oak also serves a killer sausage platter, burgers, and a Reuben sandwich that's not to be missed.

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7. Middendorf's 30160 Hwy 51, Akers, LA 70421

This homey, bayou-inspired spot is a neighborhood staple and a piece of New Orleans history. Middendorf's has been open since 1935, beloved by locals to this day for it's fresh seafood and authentic Creole flavor. Shellfish reign supreme, whether in the form of spicy crawfish poppers, crispy softshell crab, and shrimp gumbo -- but the real standout is, without a doubt, their thin-cut fried catfish, gloriously crispy and plated over a hearty bed of French fries. It's worth the trek out to Akers, but be forewarned: this popular spot doesn't take reservations, so be prepared to wait a few for a table.

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8. The Dry Dock Cafe 133 Delaronde St, New Orleans, LA 70114

If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, hop on the Canal St ferry (fo' free!) and order the seafood gumbo or BBQ shrimp for lunch at Dry Dock in Algiers.

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9. Galvez Restaurant 914 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70116

This restaurant, perched above the French Market, has a stunning view of the Mississippi River, along with tapas that are influenced by the city’s Spanish, French, and Creole culinary history.