Food & Drink

What Your Favorite New Orleans Restaurant Says About You

Published On 08/25/2015 Published On 08/25/2015
Courtesy of Besh Restaurant Group
Buds Broiler
Scott Gold
Antoine's Restaurant
Sucre New Orleans/Tucker Keatley
Flickr/Robert
Flickr/Stephen Kennedy
Flickr/Megg
Pizza Delicious/Patrick Niddrie
bootysnola
Mandina's Restaurant
Flickr/Daniel Craig
Flickr/Robert
Square Root
Jimmy John's
Flickr/Robert
Horinoya Restaurant/Yuji Horimoto
Flickr/Ted Thompson
Sneaky Pickle
Flickr/Charles E. Martin
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1. Restaurant August 301 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Grab your nicest suit or cocktail dress and head to this Central Business District establishment for an elegant night out for fine dining. Chef Josh Besh gained national fame from his appearances on Food Network and Bravo, but this flagship restaurant put him on the culinary map in New Orleans. Try the famed gnocchi with blue crab and black truffles, but only after you pick the perfect glass or bottle from the restaurant's extensive wine list. If you want the most complete (and expensive) culinary experience, opt for the prix fixe degustation meal.

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2. Bud's Broiler 500 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Though Bud's has a number of locations around the New Orleans area, the shabby Mid-City joint is the only one that doles out the classic burgers, fries, and shakes that fans have come to adore 24/7. The burgers are a cut above what you're used to -- the meat is broiled on an open-flame charcoal grill -- and their prices are a cut below. Along with the standard fixings like lettuce, tomato, and pickle, be sure to top yours with Bud's original hickory smoke sauce. There are a handful of hot dogs and specialty sandwiches, too. Finish off your meal with something sweet, particularly Bud's fried hand pies that come in apple, peach, and cherry.

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3. R & O's 216 Metairie Hammond Hwy, Metairie, LA 70005

R & O's plates a variety of Creole/Cajun dishes, but they're best known for their po' boys and other tasty sammies.

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4. Antoine's Restaurant 713 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Opened in 1840, this elegant St. Louis Street spot is the oldest French-Creole fine dining restaurant in New Orleans. In its fifth generation of family ownership, Antoine’s Restaurant offers a menu nothing short of old-fashioned, with Oysters Rockefeller served with Antoine’s original Rockefeller sauce created in 1889, creamed spinach, potatoes au gratin, and gulf fish served grilled, fried, poached, and sautéed. The Baked Alaska is not to be missed, and while you’re awaiting its arrival, promenade around the 14 dining rooms, each decorated to the nines with rich oak paneling, gilded accents, and portraits of the centuries of illustrious figures who once dined in the very spot in which you’re currently stuffing your face with pound cake and flambéed egg white meringue.

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5. Chinese Kitchen 3327 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Mid City)

This Gert Town Chinese restaurant offers all the gargantuan portioned General Tso's, egg rolls, and mandarin chicken you could want. Pro Tip: Get your fix before 5pm to take advantage of lunch specials, which come with rice & egg rolls.

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6. Shaya 4213 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

This Uptown spot doles out "modern Israeli cuisine," and is run by the same man behind the ever-popular Domenica and PIZZA Domenica, and there's just as much fanfare. A massive, custom, wood-fire pita oven dominates the kitchen, which cooks up modern versions of Mediterranean fare like hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves, not to mention a pomegranate-lacquered, fall-off-the-bone lamb dish that will blow your mind.

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7. Juan's Flying Burrito 2018 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Magazine St)

Juan's Flying Burrito serves up Tex-Mex fare with a Creole twist, and there's plenty of Mexican and domestic beer available. If tequila's more your speed, have no fear: it's got more than 15 different varieties available, as well as a selection of top-shelf margaritas.

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8. Cochon Butcher 930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Cochon's generalist meat offshoot, Cochon Butcher, is a hybrid butcher shop, deli counter, and wine bar in the same warehouse building as its pork-centric sibling. There are house-cured meats, sausages, and terrines to take home, but you're really here for the sandwiches, precisely the Muffuletta, stacked with nearly an inch of pink-hued, salty meats (pastrami, mortadella, Genoa salami), creamy provolone, and olive salad. You can order it to-go, but if you're staying, make sure to pair with a side of pancetta mac & cheese.

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9. Pizza Delicious 617 Piety St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Located on Bywater's Piety Street, this New York-style slice shop was started by two Long Island guys who, surprisingly, had never made pizza before. The menu incorporates local produce and features daily pizza specials like an Italian sausage pie with caramelized onions and peppers.

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10. Booty's Street Food 800 Louisa St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Booty's serves up affordable street food from around the globe, concocts a variety of specialty cocktails, and brews Stumptown Coffee in a pleasant ambiance.

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11. Mandina's Restaurant 3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

This Canal St destination for Italian fare and creole seafood is renowned for its pink building as much as it is for its turtle soup and fried trout. The brick- and wood-accented space enforces a family-friendly atmosphere, and on any given night, you'll see tables packed with multiple generations of cajun lovers indulging on signature oversize portions of fried fish.

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12. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 429 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

This French-Quarter outpost of the family friendly chain has the standard fishing-boat decorations and Southern flavored, seafood heavy, menu.

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13. Toups' Meatery 845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Toups, this Mid-City spot serves a carnivore-centric menu with bold Cajun flavor. Large entrees like the grilled Georgia quail with farm-fresh seasonal vegetables and saba satiate and surprise; light bites range from addictive cracklins and deviled eggs with smoked trout roe. Minimalist metal chairs and refurbished wood surfaces give Toups a cabin-like feel that enhances the relaxed, convivial vibe.

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14. Square Root 1800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Garden District)

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.

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15. Clancy's 6100 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70118

This former po-boy joint plays host to a classed up crowd eager to dine on cajun favorites like gumbo, crab salad, and turtle soup, in a white tablecloth setting. The crowd can veer toward the ritzy, but rest assured that sticky favorites like lemon icebox pie and peppermint ice cream -- served year round -- will make a child out of everyone.

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16. Horinoya 920 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (Central Business District)

Traditional Japanese fare including sushi, sashimi, noodles, and tempura.

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17. Sneaky Pickle 4017 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Chef-Owner Ben Tabor opened this spot to provide people with healthy, affordable food that they could feel good about buying and eating. The menu is locally sourced, so it changes frequently but is always vegan & vegetarian friendly -- a rarity in NOLA.

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18. The Rum House 3128 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Garden District)

This spot serves tacos and island inspired grub with their almost too-ridiculously-long rum list. Happy Hour is called Island time, and features $2, $3, $4, & $5 drink specials from 3pm - 6:30pm weekdays.

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19. Commander's Palace 1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

This notable New Orleans spot offers refined Creole fare in a historic setting. The Garden District landmark has been around since 1893 and has since won six James Beard Foundation awards, in part due to its seamless execution of its "dirt to plate within 100 miles" policy, which strives for 90% of ingredients to come from within 100 miles of the back door. Come in for inspired (and environmentally-friendly!) offerings like cypress smoked Muscovy duck and shrimp and pork belly carbonara.