Here’s the situation: you are not, in fact, going to live forever. But the wonderful thing is, you’re alive right now, and that means you have time to spend your life living. And, in New Orleans, “living” is synonymous with “eating.” It would be impossible and imprudent to try and eat everything in the Big Easy before you shuffle off this mortal coil, but we’ve done you the favor of narrowing down that list to 48. Forty-eight wonderful, perfect, exemplary, iconic dishes that you need to experience in this life. And they are...
More Like This
The Company Burger
The Company BurgerAddress and Info
There are many hamburgers in New Orleans, from gourmet to ghetto (we’ll never get tired of a Bud’s burger with shredded cheddar, bacon, and hickory sauce), but when it comes to pure burger simplicity and execution, it’s impossible to beat this one. Also, they have tots.
Thin fried catfish
Middendorf’sAddress and Info
Its secret may have been poached by other local restaurants, but that doesn’t mean that the original still isn’t the best. And yes, it really is worth the 45-minute drive to swampy Pass Manchac to get it.
The Half and Half po-boy
Domilise'sAddress and Info
When it comes to seafood po-boys in NOLA, this is always a clear winner, owing to the fact that the family-run business batters and fries every shrimp, catfish, crawfish, or oyster to order. It results in a line, sure, but that line is worth waiting in. Always.
Beignets and cafe au lait
Cafe du MondeAddress and Info
A classic. We don’t care if it’s filled with gaudy tourists and their out-of-season Mardi Gras beads and socks with sandals. If you’ve never had this combination, you’ve never truly been to New Orleans.
The Creole Slammer
Slim Goodies DinerAddress and Info
Brunch is and has always been a big deal in NOLA, but breakfast is making a serious comeback. This plate of crispy hash browns smothered in crawfish étouffée and topped with eggs is perfect evidence of this phenomenon.
Willie Mae’s Scotch HouseAddress and Info
Because this fried chix is consistently dubbed the best in the 504, you need to hit Willie Mae Seaton’s legendary restaurant before you hit your grave.
Dooky Chase’sAddress and Info
The celebrated “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” Leah Chase is something of a torch-bearer when it comes to the indigenous food of New Orleans, and nothing shows that better than her spot-on seafood gumbo.
Fried frog legs and goose fat fries
The DelachaiseAddress and Info
Eating swamp animals is a heralded institution in south Louisiana, but so is elevating their lowly status to higher planes. We submit article of evidence No. 1, the amazingly spicy, crispy, falling-off-the-bone frog legs at The Delachaise on St. Charles Ave, particularly when paired with its devilish goose fat-fried frites.
The Elvis Roll
Kanno California Sushi BarAddress and Info
The name might have “Cali” in it, but Kanno takes advantage of Gulf seafood in its elaborate, soybean paper-wrapped rolls (which substitute snow crab for rice, so no cheap fillers here). This one is a combo of salmon, avocado, snow crab, and is topped with colossal lump crab meat.
A dozen charbroiled oysters
Drago’sAddress and Info
You can find charbroiled bivalves seemingly everywhere in NOLA these days, but it wasn’t always so. If you want the real deal, go to the source: Drago’s in Fat City, where they invented -- and perfected -- this beautifully simple and glorious dish.
A roast beef po-boy
R & O’sAddress and Info
There are roast beef po-boys, and then there are roast beef po-boys. This, friends, is the platonic ideal of that sandwich: long-simmered chopped (not sliced) beef in a dangerously dark gravy served on seeded Leidenheimer bread, preferably dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and plenty of “mynez.” You will never find its equal.
Pascal’s ManaleAddress and Info
Get ready for a multiple-napkin situation when you sit down at Manale’s, which claims to have the “original” New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp: gargantuan Gulf monsters swimming in a spicy, peppery butter sauce. Make sure there’s plenty of French bread for dipping. Also, Lipitor.
Oysters Mosca and spaghetti bordelaise
Mosca’sAddress and Info
Among all baked oyster preparations in the New Orleans area (including oysters Rockefeller, which was invented at Antoine’s), it’s difficult to beat one of the namesake dishes at Mosca’s, and it's well worth the drive out into the West Bank hinterlands to get it. Be forewarned, though, you’ll be sweating garlic for days (also worth it).
Soufflé potatoes (and a French 75)
Arnaud’sAddress and Info
There are many things to love about the traditional French Creole menu at Arnaud’s, but it’s difficult to get past the perfect, air-puffed, pillowy fried potatoes and a French 75 (or Brandy Crusta) at Arnaud’s. It is the perfect pairing of cocktail and bar snack, period, end of sentence, end of paragraph, end of book.
The Galatoire Goute
Galatoire'sAddress and Info
Most who have the famed Friday lunch at Galatoire’s know to trust their waiter when it comes to ordering. That said, you can never go wrong with this huge appetizer combination of some celebrated classics: shrimp remoulade, crabmeat maison, oysters en brochette, and shrimp (sometimes crawfish) maison. The best hits of a more than 100-year-old restaurant. You can’t go wrong.
TableauAddress and Info
Tableau exceeds in making the traditional Creole fare of similar Grande Dame French Quarter restaurants lighter and more interesting. But you can’t mess with the classics, and they know that over there. Hit Tableau for breakfast/brunch, and you’ll find this NOLA staple of poached eggs, creamed spinach, and hollandaise served over artichoke hearts.
Le Pig Mac
Cochon ButcherAddress and Info
All sandwiches are pretty much amazing at Donald Link’s casual butcher shop-cum-deli, but this burger stands out: “Two all PORK patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” Sing it with us. You know you want to.
Pita and sides
ShayaAddress and Info
Alon Shaya broke the mold in NOLA when he opened his dream restaurant, a modern Israeli stunner that won him a James Beard Award. Good reason for that, too: the house-baked pita is the best pita you’ve ever had in your life, especially when paired with the various house-made hummus options, ikra (crème fraîche and caviar), baba ghanouj, and more.
Le Grand Plateau De Fruits De Mer
LükeAddress and Info
This is definitely a grand gesture of a dish; a tower of chilled seafood you really need to experience before you snuff it, featuring a whole Maine lobster, 16 oysters, 12 shrimp, 10 clams, 16 mussels, giant crab legs and, for good measure, ceviche.
DomenicaAddress and Info
Sure, the house-cured meats, hand-made pastas, and amazing pizzas at Domenica are worth your attention. But there’s something so amazing and special about its whole head of cauliflower, cooked sous vide for tenderness and then roasted in its wood-fired oven and paired with a whipped feta sauce that will make you want to lick the bowl if it were socially appropriate.
Cream of Nectar Sno-Ball
Hansen’s Sno-BlizAddress and Info
Is it really worth waiting in that line? Yes. It’s really worth it. And phooey to you if you don’t at least add condensed milk on top. It’s a Sno-Ball, not a kale smoothie. Live a little!
Braised lamb neck
Toups’ MeateryAddress and Info
Carnivores have so much in which to delight in Isaac and Amanda Toups’ Mid-City meat-porium, including amazing boudin balls, cracklins, foie gras, and charcuterie with pickles for days. But really, you can’t pass up the giant, tender braised lamb neck served with a fennel and black-eyed pea salad.
Brennan’sAddress and Info
If you’ve never had this combination of bananas, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, rum, and vanilla ice cream set on fire in spectacular fashion right at your table, you’ve really never lived. So make that happen, stat.
La Petite GroceryAddress and Info
You may have seen Chef Justin Devillier on Top Chef, but don’t think that his media-friendly persona impacts the seriousness of his craft, as is evidenced in the masterful combination of a rich turtle meat bolognese (yes, turtle -- it’s a thing here) with perfectly al dente pasta and, for good measure, a soft-boiled, breaded, and lightly fried egg. Genius.
The crawfish sausage smothered in crawfish étouffée
Dat DogAddress and Info
Until the advent of Dat Dog, the most notable hot dog options in town were the Lucky Dog carts in the French Quarter. Thank goodness that’s changed. Many sausage options avail you at Dat Dog, but the crawfish version is not to be missed, especially when piled with a generous amount of crawfish étouffée. You will never find a dog like it anywhere else, guaranteed.
The House Bowl ramen
Noodle & PieAddress and Info
New Orleans has oodles of rice noodles, thanks to the abundance of Vietnamese restaurants, but less so when it comes to ramen. For a true Japanese ramen experience, Noodle & Pie has you covered with perfectly chewy noodles and rich bone broths. Also, pie!
Brigtsen’sAddress and Info
Chef Frank Brigtsen is something of a local culinary hero, and the restaurant that bears his name is proof as to why. His interpretation of Acadian/Cajun cuisine is absolutely wonderful, particularly when it comes to rabbit preparations, which change seasonally, but should definitely not be missed -- especially when pan-fried and served with Creole mustard, braised greens, and potatoes.
Casamento’sAddress and Info
Sure, there are tons of places to choose from in New Orleans when it comes to a dozen (or three) on the half shell, but really, Casamento’s is the place, and it has been since 1919. There will be a line. And you will wait in it. Don’t forget to tip Mike the shucker as you do, and he’ll give you a half dozen or so to start with while you await your table.
The Ménage à Foie
RootAddress and Info
The playful name of this dish -- a trio of foie gras preparations selected by the chef -- should give you an indication of how playful Chef Phillip Lopez’s ode to modernist cuisine really is. Past versions have included foie gras cotton candy with foie Pop Rocks, and a “living terrarium of foie gras.” Fatty duck liver has never been this much fun.
Chilled corn and avocado bisque
LiletteAddress and Info
This is a swanky Magazine St spot that’s high on class and perfect for a date, and there are many notable options on the menu. But you must, must, must try the cool and silky corn and avocado soup, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. It is the perfect summertime soup, perfectly executed.
Bone marrow and snails
MeauxbarAddress and Info
Chef Kristen Essig has been killing it with her her reinvention of the beloved Rampart St restaurant. You’ll want the French onion grilled cheese, but don’t forget to start with the snails and marrow, finished with a Herbsaint shot right out of the bone. An unforgettable experience.
Smoked, fried soft-shell crab
Clancy’sAddress and Info
Smoked seafood is excellent. Fried seafood is also excellent. Fried soft-shells, better still. But all three together? You can find this inimitable dish at Clancy’s, a longtime popular Uptown spot.
Whole grilled fish
Peche Seafood GrillAddress and Info
Whatever comes off of the live-fire hearth at the center of Chef Ryan Prewitt’s kitchen is going to be special, but the real stunner of them all is the whole fish, big enough for the table and heavily sauced so that you get a bite of saucy goodness with every bit of fish flesh.
Pizza DeliciousAddress and Info
The state of pizza in New Orleans used to be somewhat dismal, and if you were looking for a real NYC-style slice joint, you were out of luck. Fortunately for the Big Easy, we now have Pizza Delicious, which turns out authentic foldable slices and pies over in Bywater. Wash it down with a cold beer (or some Toulouse Red absinthe), and you’ll be golden.
Commander’s PalaceAddress and Info
This one is a layup, a gimme, a complete no-brainer, not to mention one of the hallmark recipes of both Creole cuisine and Commander’s. Make sure to spike yours with a little extra sherry from the carafe at the table for an extra dose of awesome.
Gulf fish amandine
Mandina’sAddress and Info
You’d better be packing a hungry attitude when you hit this quintessential Canal St Italian/Creole joint, because it is certainly not known for skimping on portions. The huge, pan-fried gulf fish smothered in a rich brown butter sauce with almonds is a classic, and few do it better.
Angelo Brocato’sAddress and Info
Angelo Brocato’s has been satisfying sweet toothed New Orleanians for 110 years now, and that looks like it’s not going to abate any time soon. Go for the cannoli (filled fresh to order), stay for the Italian ices, especially the lemon.
Saturday cochon de lait
MoPhoAddress and Info
Between the outstanding chicken wings and the crispy P&J oysters, it’s hard to pick a clear winner on Chef Michael Gulotta’s Mekong Delta-meets-Mississippi Delta fusion spot. However, Gulotta roasts an entire suckling pig (cochon de lait) on Saturdays, which he serves until portions run out. You really need to try this pork. Now.
Dong Phuong Oriental BakeryAddress and Info
Eastern New Orleans
There’s a very good reason that the overwhelming choice for Vietnamese-style rolls for most restaurants in New Orleans come from this humble NOLA East bakery. If you pay a visit in person, you’ll find that wonderful chewy, crackly-crusted bread, which you can have filled with traditional bánh mì elements (roasted pork, Chinese meatballs, BBQ chicken, etc.) for no more than $4.25.
PatoisAddress and Info
“Classic French cuisine with a local accent” is the MO at the charming Patois, and Chef Aaron Burgau pulls off the concept brilliantly. See, for instance, the roasted chicken stuffed with boudin, wrapped in crispy chicken skin, and served with Tasso-braised greens, roasted sweet potatoes, and chicken gravy. Mais ouis, we’ll take it!
Louisiana blue crab and linguini
AngelineAddress and Info
It was a bit of a shocker when Chef Alex Harrell left the lauded Vieux Carre eatery Sylvain to open up Angeline, but the results, thus far, are out of this world. His seafood pasta dish is is humble, yet complex, and fashioned with mint, serrano chiles, crab butter, and Florida bottarga.
A stick of Roman Candy from a horse-drawn cart
Roman Candy Co.
Is it the best taffy in the world? That depends on whether or not you spent your childhood in New Orleans. The company making this local treat turns 100 years old this year, and what better way to celebrate than working your way through a stick of hand-pulled chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry? Hardly dentist-approved, but you won’t really need those teeth after you croak anyway, right?
Ms. Linda Green
Everybody in NOLA knows that if you’re looking for yak-a-mein, you’re looking for Ms. Linda Green, the queen of this Chinese-style beef noodle soup, topped with a boiled egg and plenty of green onion. No, it doesn’t have yak in it, but it is filled with a spicy, salty broth that will overpower even the worst Ash Wednesday hangover.
Bacon jalapeño duck poppers
BorgneAddress and Info
The specialty at Chef Brian Landry’s spot has always been fresh Gulf seafood, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find some brilliant carnivorous delights there. Order whatever’s in season from the Gulf for your main, but you absolutely need to start a meal here with these fried balls of bacon, duck, and peppery goodness.
Napoleon HouseAddress and Info
The Central Grocery might have invented the muffaletta, and perhaps Donald Link perfected it at Cochon Butcher, but there’s nothing like the singular experience of enjoying one of these wonderful Italian sandwiches topped with plenty of olive salad at the house built for Napoleon Bonaparte. The mottled walls and classical music are a French Quarter institution, as is its signature Pimm’s Cup.
Tuna “Ice Cream Cones”
SoBouAddress and Info
You’ll find much to love at this modern Caribbean restaurant in the W Hotel “South of Bourbon,” but the adorable yellowfin tuna sashimi waffle cones, topped with pineapple ceviche and basil avocado ice cream, might very well be the best single-bite dishes in New Orleans.
Tan DinhAddress and Info
For many years, if you wanted the best Vietnamese in the Crescent City, you had to make the trek across the Mississippi River to the West Bank. These days, Viet options abound on the East Bank, but a trip to Gretna is worth it, especially for the brilliant, authentic flavors at Tan Dinh. A bowl of hot, spicy beef pho there will never fail to satisfy.
BayonaAddress and Info
Of all the notable chefs in New Orleans, it’s difficult to think of one more universally beloved than Susan Spicer, whose influence on the local dining scene could never be overstated. At her flagship restaurant, Bayona, you’ll find out exactly why she has accumulated so much loyalty and longevity. If you’ve never had sweetbreads before, this is your gateway -- gloriously pan-fried and served with with either a lemon caper or sherry mustard butter. And if you've had them before, well... you’ll likely not find any better than here.
Sign up here for our daily New Orleans email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Big Easy.
1. The Company Burger4600 Freret St, New Orleans
2. Middendorf's30160 Hwy 51, Akers
3. Domilise's Po-Boys5240 Annunciation St, New Orleans
4. Café Du Monde800 Decatur St, New Orleans
5. Slim Goodies Diner3322 Magazine St, New Orleans
6. Willie Mae's Scotch House2401 Saint Ann St, New Orleans
7. Dooky Chase's Restaurant2301 Orleans Ave, New Orleans
8. The Delachaise3442 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
9. Kanno California Sushi Bar3205 Edenborn Ave, Metairie
10. Drago's Seafood Restaurant3232 N Arnoult Rd, Metairie
11. R & O's216 Metairie Hammond Hwy, Metairie
12. Pascal's Manale Restaurant1838 Napoleon Ave, New Orleans
13. Mosca's Restaurant4137 Highway 90 W, Avondale
14. Arnaud's Restaurant813 Bienville St, New Orleans
15. Galatoire's209 Bourbon St, New Orleans
16. Tableau616 Saint Peter St, New Orleans
17. Cochon Butcher930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
18. Shaya4213 Magazine St, New Orleans
19. Lüke333 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans
20. Domenica123 Baronne St, New Orleans
21. Toups' Meatery845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans
22. Brennan's417 Royal St, New Orleans
23. Dat Dog5030 Freret St, New Orleans
24. Noodle & Pie741 State St, New Orleans
25. Brigtsen's Restaurant723 Dante St, New Orleans
26. Casamento's4330 Magazine St, New Orleans
27. Root200 Julia St, New Orleans
28. Lilette3637 Magazine St, New Orleans
29. Meauxbar942 N Rampart St, New Orleans
30. Clancy's6100 Annunciation St, New Orleans
31. Peche Seafood Grill800 Magazine St, New Orleans
32. Pizza Delicious617 Piety St, New Orleans
33. Mandina's Restaurant3800 Canal St, New Orleans
34. Angelo Brocato's214 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans
35. MoPho514 City Park Ave, New Orleans
36. Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans
37. Patois6078 Laurel St, New Orleans
38. Angeline1032 Chartres St, New Orleans
39. Borgne601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans
40. Napoleon House Bar & Cafe500 Chartres St, New Orleans
41. SoBou310 Chartres St, New Orleans
42. Tan Dinh1705 Lafayette St, Gretna
43. Bayona430 Dauphine St, New Orleans
44. La Petite Grocery4238 Magazine St, New Orleans
45. Commander's Palace1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans
46. Hansen's Sno-Bliz4801 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans
The Company Burger takes its burgers very seriously. Translation: the pickles and mayo are homemade, and the twin patties in the house burger weigh a grand total of 6.5oz. You'll leave feeling full and satisfied, after washing it all down with one of Company's American brews on tap, of course.
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.
Under the same family ownership for over 100 years, Domilise's is something of a New Orleans po-boy haven. Inside a boxy pale-yellow building and distinguished only by a hand-painted sign, Domilise's would be easy to miss if it weren't for the line that typically stretches out the door. The catfish and fried oyster po-boys are among the most popular items on the menu, but guests have the option to split their sandwiches half-and-half with other toppers like shrimp and roast beef. Half-shrimp and half-oyster on the same bun is the move, if you ask us.
Originally established in 1862, Café Du Monde is the place to go for a quintessential New Orleans pick-me-up in the form of a beignet and cafe au lait. The patio, marked by a striped green-and-white awning, is a landmark in itself and the perfect place for people-watching in the French Quarter. The café gets busy during peak lunch and dinner hours, but its 24-seven schedule allows for plenty of opportunities to stop by, whether it's for a late-night sugar fix or an early-morning breakfast. Take-out orders can be placed through a quick-serve window, just be sure to take extra napkins -- those sugar-coated beignets are messy.
There’s a line out the door of this Magazine Street eatery every morning, and it’s no surprise: locals and tourists alike recognize that Slim Goodies Diner is a breakfast haven. The neighborhood haunt (complete with plush red leather booths and polaroid photographs of regulars and famous folk tacked onto art-laden walls) marries bold Cajun flavor with breakfast staples, resulting in satisfying plates like the Creole slammer, a glorious stack of perfectly crisped hash browns dressed with crawfish étouffée, two eggs, and a biscuit, because you’re going to want to soak up every last spoonful. Many items can be made gluten-free or vegetarian too, so everyone can get their “swamp power” on regardless of dietary needs.
The fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House is the best in the United States. No joke: it was dubbed such by the Travel Channel and Food Network, and also won the James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” Tucked away the Treme neighborhood, the cozy spot features all the accoutrements of a beloved local haunt -- memorabilia mounted throughout, news clippings chronicling the success of the family-owned business (which has been open since 1957), homey environs -- and it’s worth noting that there’s always a line out the door, regardless of weather. It’s a walk-ins only spot, so be prepared to wait -- but the soul food here is so satisfying, and it’s entirely worth it.
The history of this cozy Treme spot is just as interesting as the authentic Creole flavors it serves up: perfectly crispy fried chicken, shrimp Clemenceau, and hearty, zesty seafood gumbo. Helmed by Chef Leah Chase -- known to locals and notable folk like President Obama and Beyoncé as the “Queen of Creole” -- the spot’s storied past covers its tenure as a po-boy and lottery shop in turned, as of 1941, beloved restaurant and community outpost for live music, local artwork, and civil rights. It’s the perfect option for a relaxed yet refined lunch during the week, and we suggest making a reservation -- it’s no secret that Dooky Chase’s is a Big Easy institution, and seating fills up fast.
Picture this: an intimate dinner on an outdoor patio, strings of glowing lights crisscrossing overhead, sipping on a selection from one of New Orleans’ most decorated wine lists, and snacking on decadent bites like goose-fat fried pommes frites, piquant with peanut satay (or, for those undeterred by fine swamp food, the spice-obsessed frog legs). It’s your average night at The Delachaise, a weekend haunt for wine lovers with Creole cravings and time to spare -- evenings at this cozy joint are relaxed affairs, and the “walk-ins only” policy means you’ll likely wait for a table (trust us: it's worth it).
Don't let the coziness of this Metairie spot fool you: Kanno California Sushi Bar may be small in size, but the menu boasts big flavors. Usual suspects like yellowtail scallion and Philadelphia rolls prove wholly satisfying, but signature rolls like "The Elvis" -- which substitutes snow crab meat instead of rice in a winning combination of salmon, avocado, and blue crab for the finish -- are the clear standouts and a nod to regional delicacies.
Home to locally renowned charbroiled oysters, this 400-seat restaurant offers an extensive seafood menu that includes classics like Drago's Original Charbroiled Oysters and Mama Ruth's Gumbo. Pro tip: Once you're done ravaging your herbed garlic butter-smothered oysters, wipe up every last oily drop with the restaurant's French bread.
R & O's plates a variety of Creole/Cajun dishes, but they're best known for their po' boys and other tasty sammies.
Look for the brightly glowing neon cursive on Napoleon Avenue, follow the tantalizing scent of Cajun spices, and voilà: you’ve arrived at Pascal’s Manale, a cozy Uptown joint where shellfish reign. Blending bold Creole flavors with Italian influences, the kitchen serves heavy-hitting favorites like frutta del mare drenched in homemade marinara sauce and the house specialty: Pascal’s Barbecue Shrimp, a local legend for its hefty portion and spice-obsessed butter sauce.
Despite being off the beaten path, this West Bank outpost has a solid flock of local regulars and “in the know” tourists. The family-style eatery serves Italian comfort food in an old school setting, with standout dishes ranging from hearty and garlic-obsessed spaghetti bordelaise and the signature Oysters Mosca (crispy baked oysters served in a succulent white wine and herb sauce).
Arnaud’s is a decades-old French Quarter staple that embodies the French Creole style in architecture, décor, and, of course, food. Inside the red building lined with innumerable French windows and mint green balconies is a dining room straight out of a Southern novel with potted palm fronds, mosaic tile floors, and opulent chandeliers. Come for dinner or for the jazz brunch, where a jazz trio will serenade you while you decide between gumbo and shrimp remoulade.
Established in 1905, Galatoire’s has remained a Bourbon Street bulwark of French Creole cuisine. The restaurant blends tradition with curiosity as it juxtaposes gumbo, shrimp remoulade, and oysters Rockefeller with deep-fried zucchini sticks, (which you’re meant to plunge into a mix of Tabasco sauce and powdered sugar) and duck crepes with homemade Boursin cheese, Port-cherry reduction, and pistachios. Galatoire’s keeps things elegant with its forest green walls, lace curtains, and mirrored walls, a glimpse into a past worthy of a Faulkner novel.
Tableau captures all the magic and pizazz of the French Quarter: bistro-style balcony seating overlooking Jackson Square, situated in a historic townhouse spanning 3 stories and decorated with gilded fleur-de-lis and crystal chandeliers for optimum class. Another outpost in Dickie Brennan’s Southern dining empire, the kitchen serves authentic French fare with bold Creole flair, resulting in standout dishes like creamy crawfish au gratin and craft beer-spiked barbecue shrimp and grits -- both of which can be paired with several selections from their curated wine list.
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.
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.
Although this may be a New Orleans restaurant at heart -- complete with white tablecloths and old world courses like crab and corn bisque and fried oyster salad -- they've certainly perfected the burger, which is made from chuck and brisket and comes on a buttered brioche bun. French, German, and Belgian brews are also available, including three that are custom-made in Louisiana.
Named after the Italian word for 'Sunday,' this spot in the CBD's Roosevelt Hotel is meant to evoke feelings of dinner at your nonna's casa. The menu takes simple, rustic fare to the next level. The thick crusted pies here are the show-stoppers, especially the Tutto Carne with bacon, salami, and sausage, all topped with a farm egg.
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.
Located in the French Quarter, Brennan's is without a doubt one of the most important eateries in New Orleans. Dubbed the “old pink lady” due to its fanciful pink and green decor, the iconic restaurant serves a menu boasting upscale Cajun classics with a modern twist. Indulge in dishes like turtle soup, redfish amandine, and slow-baked Gulf fish with butter-poached crab, oysters, and shrimp. Breakfast at Brennan's is taken just as seriously as dinner, and dishes like Eggs Cardinal (crispy lobster and shrimp boudin with Creole mustard hollandaise) are richer than any other breakfast in the area. Top off your meal here with an order of the infamous bananas Foster.
Founded as a UK doghouse by a NOLA native, Dat Dog's shed has since become one of the most popular eateries on Freret St. The pork-friendly menu here spans everything from a duck sausage dog served with blackberry sauce to alligator and crawfish dogs on the menu. Beer, wine, and cocktails await at the full bars both upstairs and downstairs, and the spacious floor plan, energized with a rainbow burst of paint spread over tables, walls, and lighting, establishes a casual, yet lively atmosphere.
Ramen and pie is the speciality at this Asian fusion restaurant. The move at Noodle & Pie is to start with a few small plates (okonomiyaki fries, deep-fried Brussels sprouts, Korean fried chicken) before moving on to a bowl of shoyu chicken ramen and finally, a slice of pie -- like the spicy Thai peanut butter cup with chocolate crust -- for dessert.
Run by James Beard Award-winning chef James Brigtsen, Brigtsen's is proof that old-school ambiance and adherence to a rotation of classic dishes can trump the trendy and constantly evolving. Regulars here dress for the occasion, sitting down to meals of oysters, soft-shell crabs, and pulled pork, all in a victorian cottage setting that evokes your wealthiest friend's summer lakeside retreat.
A New Orleans landmark since 1919, Casamento's is the grandaddy of all oyster bars, serving up fried oyster po' boys and equally delicious raw oysters, shucked right in front of you. The space is small and completely tiled, because the owners know oyster juice spillage is inevitable when you're marathon-slurping your meal.
Located in NOLA's Warehouse District, Root offers house-made charcuterie and sausages, signature southern dishes like Louisiana Pickled Shrimp, and Ménage à Foie -- a special daily preparation of foie gras three ways. Oh yeah, and they're open late-night, so you can have your Ménage à Foie followed by your ménage à trois.
This French bistro plays up the classic white tablecloth concept with a burnt rose color scheme and a mod dressing of the bar area. Diners generally dress up in suit jackets and blouses for the occasion, in time for the main event of gourmet meat, like veal scallopini and roasted muscovy duck breast.
This swanky wine bar/restaurant serves up wholesome European dishes like pork belly with crispy scallops, and steak tartare courtesy of renowned Chef Kristen Essig.
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.
At PSG, East Coast flavors meet Southern hospitality in the form of Cajun inspired charcoal grilled seafood delicacies, raw bar options, and oysters on the half. This Warehouse District space features a rustic, wood-lacquered dining room that's spacious and yet intimate; the perfect place to catch up with a group over a seafood tower "for the table."
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.
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.
This renowned ice cream shop is a Mid-City dessert institution, and has been scooping housemade gelato, fruity granitas, and its bestselling lemon ice for over a century. Though the storefront was totaled by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was restored to full capacity just a year later, having lost none of its devoted fan base. Today, the space draws regular lines with tourists and locals clamoring for its freshly piped cannoli and Italian cakes.
This Mid-City eatery is run by former chef from John Besh's August, and the quality is apparent. It combines the flavors of the Gulf with the flavors of Vietnam making for a fresh exploration into classic Vietnamese dishes. The drink program is just as eclectic as the eats, with house cocktails and spiked boba teas. The space feels modern and trendy for a strip mall spot, with a blue and orange color palette and wooden accents. On Saturdays, they roast a full pig, meaning you should probably cancel your other weekend plans.
This eastern New Orleans Vietnamese standby might not amount to much from the outside -- with a mixed brick exterior and fading eggshell awning greeting diners -- but the signature bahn-mis here have drawn accolades from the country over. In addition to functioning as a casual full-service restaurant, the venue comes with a bakery that turns over equally excellent pastries like coconut rolls, egg tarts, and strawberry shortcake.
At Patois, Chef Aaron Burgau plates traditional French fare with a local twist. You'll find boudin-stuffed Mississippi rabbit, sweet tea-brined short rib with Worcestershire sauce, and a changing roster of seasonal salads and soups on the menu. The space is airy and elegant with a Parisian bistro feel, and shows off an elegant bar area lit up like a vanity.
Chef Alex Harrell is behind this stately restaurant in the French Quarter, where he serves Southern plates inspired by Northern Mediterranean cooking. Combining Gulf Coast ingredients with French and Italian culinary techniques, he prepares elegant dishes that change with the seasons, such as Mississippi rabbit milanese, Gulf shrimp & country ham, and smoked lamb shoulder. The service exemplifies true Southern hospitality, so don't hesitate to ask the polished waitstaff for recommendations when it comes to the expertly curated wine and cocktail lists.
Named after a lake on the coast of Louisiana, Borgne serves up inspired seafood that does not disappoint. Stop by during happy hour (3-6pm) for half-price beer, wines by the glass, and bar food specials.
As if the beautifully aged, faded walls of this space weren't a giveaway, this family-owned creole spot is a classic New Orleans standby, offering the best muffaletta and Pimm's Cup in the city. Other remarkable dishes include gumbo and jambalaya, which you can enjoy in either the interior courtyard, or the historical bar room, whose Neapolitan portraits and gilded frames add to the classic dining experience.
Located inside the W Hotel, SoBou is a spirited restaurant south of Bourbon St (hence the name) feels like a modern-day Creole saloon. The restaurant and lounge is known for its hand-crafted cocktails, and serves creative spins on traditional bar snacks like crispy pork skin and spicy beer nuts, as well as some heartier dishes. SoBou also has a beer garden with beer taps in the tables and self-serve wine machines.
This uptown Vietnamese joint advertises a massive menu loaded with traditional favorites, as well as creative takes on classics, like the frog legs in garlic butter. Though the space is cafeteria-like in its spacious impersonableness, the garlic butter chicken wings and excellent pho will ensure you leave wholeheartedly comforted.
The flagship restaurant of Chef Susan Spicer is a French Quarter mainstay, drawing inspiration from various countries and flavor profiles to create a robust menu of high-end items like veal sweetbreads with lemon-caper, grilled escarole with golden beets, and fennel sausage-stuffed rabbit. Diners can pair their dinners with a white tablecloth setting, or opt for the popular outdoor courtyard, which eschews folded corners for casual metal tables and a breezy, leafy atmosphere.
Converted from a historic grocery store, this bistro and bar features plates crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier. The menu includes all-time hits like blue crab beignets, turtle Bolognese, and a gruyere cheeseburger. La Petite Grocery is true Louisiana, as evidenced by its 19th century Creole architecture and craft cocktails like the double rye whiskey Bee Hive.
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.
It wouldn't be summer in NOLA without a high chance of snow, and you -- and maybe your parents and grandparents -- have been finding it in one particular NOLA spot for the last 77 years. There might be plenty of places in the city to enjoy a sno-ball, that quintessential Crescent City shaved ice treat, but Hansen's is a classic for a reason: this place not only preserves the traditions of decades past -- including using the same patented ice-shaving device that sweet-toothed NOLA machinist Enerst Hansen developed in the 1930's -- it also caters to new millennium palates with high-quality, handmade syrups.