New Orleans Restaurants

New Orleanians are obsessed with food. Over lunch they're likely talking about dinner. Ask where to get the best gumbo, and you'll spark a heated debate among city natives.

Everyone, no matter what neighborhood they're from or what they do for a living, wants a plate of red beans and rice on Monday, has a favorite spot for a roast beef po'boy, and holds strong opinions about the proper flavor for a shaved ice "sno-ball."

The menus of New Orleans's restaurants reflect the many cultures that have contributed to this always-simmering culinary gumbo pot over the last three centuries. It's easy to find French, African, Spanish, German, Italian, and Caribbean influences—and increasingly Asian and Latin American as well. The speckled trout amandine at Antoine's could have been on the menu when the French Creole institution opened in 1840. Across the Mississippi River on the West Bank, Tan Dinh serves fragrant bowls of pho that remind New Orleans's large Vietnamese population of the home they left in the 1970s. And at MiLa, husband-and-wife team Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing apply the cutting-edge culinary techniques they learned in New York City to the dishes they grew up eating in Mississippi and Louisiana.

For years New Orleans paid little attention to food trends from the East and West coasts. Recently, however, the city has taken more notice of the "latest things." In Orleans Parish you'll now find gastropubs, gourmet burgers, and numerous small-plate specialists. In a town where people track the crawfish season as closely as the pennant race, no one has to preach the virtues of eating seasonally. New Orleans is still one of the most exciting places to eat in America. There's no danger that will change.

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  • 1. Booty's Street Food

    $$ | Bywater | Spanish

    Booty’s, brainchild of owners Kevin Farrell and Nick Vivion, made its debut in the burgeoning Bywater neighborhood in 2012, serving craft cocktails...Read More

  • 2. Elizabeth's

    $ | Bywater | American

    Real food, done real good" is the motto at hipster-haven Elizabeth's, where the vinyl-print tablecloths look just like grandma's and breakfast...Read More

  • 3. Mariza

    $$ | Bywater | Italian

    New Orleanians need no further evidence of the Bywater's gentrification: behold Mariza, the second restaurant from chef Ian Schnoebelen and...Read More

  • 4. Maurepas Foods

    $ | Bywater | American

    This relative newcomer and self-proclaimed purveyor of "robust cuisine" already has the lived-in charm of a corner store with a hip edginess...Read More

  • 5. Praline Connection

    $ | Faubourg Marigny | American

    Down-home cooking in the southern Creole style is the forte of this very Southern restaurant just a few blocks from the French Quarter. The...Read More

  • 6. Sukho Thai

    $$ | Faubourg Marigny | Thai

    Certainly the most extensive Thai restaurant in the area, Sukho Thai fits snugly into its arty neighborhood with servers wearing all black and...Read More

  • 7. The Joint

    $ | Bywater | American

    You can't miss this bright, yellow-striped building, but it's the smell of the meat—pork shoulder, pork ribs, beef brisket, and chicken—cooking...Read More

  • 8. Three Muses

    $ | Faubourg Marigny | Eclectic

    The most eclectic mix of music, food, and people can be found on Frenchmen Street, and Three Muses captures everything that makes this vibrant...Read More

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