12 Best Restaurants in Mid-City and Bayou St. John, New Orleans

Angelo Brocato's

$ | Mid-City

Traditional Sicilian gelato, spumoni, cannoli, pastries, and candies are the attractions at this quaint little sweetshop, now over a century old. The crisp biscotti, traditional Sicilian desserts, and the lemon and strawberry ices haven't lost their status as local favorites. The shop closes at 10 pm weekdays, at 10:30 pm Friday and Saturday, and at 9 pm on Sunday. Plan to stand in line and chat with locals (and many smiling kids). On your way out, look for the brass plaque on the door that marks how high the water reached after the levees broke during Katrina in 2005.

214 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • City's best tiramisu
  • Authentic gelato
  • Local clientele and long lines
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Credit cards accepted

Blue Oak BBQ

$ | Mid-City
Originally a popular pop-up at music venue Chickie Wah Wah's, Blue Oak BBQ has finally got its own storefront, and with pitmasters Ronnie Evans and Philip Moseley at the helm, it consistently ranks as some of the best BBQ in the city. The beef brisket and pulled pork are both crowd favorites. Located just a few blocks away from City Park, Blue Oak is a perfect place to end a warm day in New Orleans, especially if you are hoping to catch a Saints game.
900 N Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA, USA
Known For
  • Excellent pulled pork sandwich
  • Sports-friendly neighborhood crowd
  • Location near City Park
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Café Degas

$$ | Mid-City

Dining at Café Degas is like being at a sidewalk café in Paris, even though the restaurant is completely covered: there's a tree growing through the center of the dining room, and the front windows overlook picturesque Esplanade Avenue. The fare here is a mixture of French-bistro cooking and what you might find at a countryside inn—homemade pâtés, onion soup, steamed mussels, steaks, and crème brûlée. Daily specials are always creative and ingenious, and an evening here is inevitably romantic. Every Wednesday and Thursday, diners can enjoy a happy hour, with pâté, cheese, and appetizer and drink specials from 3 to 6 pm.

3127 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • Romantic setting
  • Authentic French food
  • Great pâté and charcuterie
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues., Credit cards accepted

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Fair Grinds Coffeehouse

$ | Bayou St. John

Just off Esplanade Avenue, Fair Grinds Coffeehouse is the neighborhood spot for fair-trade coffee, tea, and snacks—including vegan treats. There's an upstairs balcony for alfresco dining, and live music at least twice a week.

Finn McCool's Irish Pub

$ | Mid-City

This convivial spot is more than just your average corner bar: it streams European soccer games (opening as early as 7 am to do so) and hosts a popular trivia night on Monday. The kitchen serves sophisticated pub food.

Liuzza's by the Track

$ | Mid-City

Fried-oyster po'boys drenched in garlic butter, bowls of sweet-corn-and-crawfish bisque, and grilled Reuben sandwiches with succulent corned beef are some of the reasons you might decide to tolerate the poor ventilation in this barroom near the racetrack and Jazz Fest grounds. The pièce de résistance here is a barbecue-shrimp po'boy, for which the shrimp are cooked in a bracing lemon-pepper butter with enough garlic to cure a cold. The Creole chicken and sausage gumbo with shrimp is always good too—thin on body, but heavy on spice (the shrimp is cooked to order and can be left out if you have dietary restrictions). The kitchen closes at 7 pm.

1518 N. Lopez St., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • One of the city's best barbecue-shrimp po'boys
  • Great people-watching
  • Early kitchen closing at 7 pm
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Reservations not accepted, Credit cards accepted


$$ | Mid-City

Also known as "the pink house," Mandina's has been a neighborhood favorite for locals since 1932. Although this Canal Street fixture has expanded over the years, nothing has diminished the full flavors of the shrimp rémoulade, the crawfish cakes, the turtle soup, or (on Monday) tender red beans with Italian sausage. Excellent étouffée, po'boys, fried seafood, and pastas are also on the menu. And if you're looking for the ideal bar and restaurant to spend a football Sunday in, complete with flat-screen TVs and the iciest beers in town, this is also your place.

Mayhew Bakery

$ | Bayou St. John
This bakery is the first brick-and-mortar venture for chef Kelly Mayhew, who previously sold his tasty baked goods at farmers' markets around the city. Previously the sous chef of Brennan's, Mayhew has become famous for his cranberry-orange scones, chocolate tarts, and sourdough bread. All of his most famous baked goods, plus coffee, are available at his storefront on Orleans Avenue.
3201 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA, USA
Known For
  • Freshly baked bread
  • Lemon cookies
  • Local clientele
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No dinner

Parkway Bakery & Tavern

$ | Mid-City

Former contractor Jay Nix resurrected more than just a dilapidated building when he reopened Parkway: he also brought back to life a dormant community spirit. You can find neighbors and regulars from other parts of the city sinking their teeth into Parkway's roast beef and grilled ham po'boys; some simply wander in for a hot dog and beer at the bar, and to take in the New Orleans nostalgia decorating the walls (President Barack Obama was just one of many famous guests). For dessert, choose from a selection of rum cake, bread pudding, and banana pudding—all made fresh daily. Since it's so close to the fairgrounds, Parkway really jumps during Jazz Fest. The famous fried oyster po'boy is available Monday and Wednesday only.

538 Hagan Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • Classic New Orleans local scene
  • Long lines
  • Roast beef and fried seafood po'boys (famous oyster po'boy on Monday and Wednesday only)
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues., Reservations not accepted, Credit cards accepted

Ralph's on the Park

$$$ | Mid-City

Seasoned restaurateur Ralph Brennan has matched this beautifully renovated historic building with a menu that features innovative twists on contemporary Creole standbys. The culinary staff excel with full-flavored seafood dishes like the Parmesan-fried oysters and a variety of fresh fish. Prix-fixe, multi-course menus available at lunch and dinner are a great way to indulge. For Sunday brunch, which even has a kids' menu, the cane-glazed shrimp with pickled peppers and the chicken and waffles with boudin balls will remind you that you're way down in Louisiana. The solid wine list is constantly changing. The bar, where you can order the full menu, looks out on the oaks of City Park and has become a virtual public clubhouse for nearby residents.

900 City Park Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • Scenic location overlooking City Park
  • Old-school service
  • Three-course lunches
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon., Reservations essential, Credit cards accepted

Toups' Meatery

$$ | Mid-City

As the restaurant's name might hint, on the menu here you'll find meat, meat, and more meat, from foie gras and charcuterie to a lamb neck with black-eyed-pea salad and tri-tip steak with Bordelaise sauce (even the grilled veggies come with a bacon vinaigrette). Chef Isaac Toups, a Top Chef contestant and crowd favorite, is hardly the only young American chef obsessed with animal flesh, but at this intimate spot with DIY elegance, he adds a Louisiana edge with items like boudin, cracklings, or sides of dirty rice. And not everything coming out of the kitchen is meat: they make their own pickles. A second location (Toup's South), with a more modern ambience but the same quality Louisiana cooking, has opened in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (1504 Oretha Castle Blvd., Central City).

845 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70119, USA
Known For
  • Fantastic charcuterie plates
  • Must-try bone marrow
  • Housemade pickles
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

Ye Olde College Inn

$$ | Mid-City

A stalwart neighborhood joint, the age-old College Inn now occupies a newer building after decades in an older, now-razed structure next door. The flat, greasy burgers are still popular, particularly when ordered with french fries and a cold Abita, but the diner fare has been joined by more sophisticated plates. Many of the vegetables come from the restaurant's two neighboring urban gardens. Despite all the updates, you can still get the veal cutlet that's been on the menu since 1933.

3000 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA, 70118, USA
Known For
  • Local produce from restaurant's own urban gardens
  • Family-friendly ambience
  • Veal cutlet that has been on the menu since the 1930s
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch, Credit cards accepted