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 Compère Lapin, Chef Nina Compton brings expert French and Italian fine-dining traditions to the down-home flavors of her St. Lucia childhood, and of her new home in the Gulf South.

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. Gianna

    $$$ | Warehouse District | Italian

    An evening at this corner restaurant combines a sophisticated night out with nourishing, down-to-earth food. Chef Rebecca Wilcomb, the former...Read More

  • 2. Marcello's

    $$ | Warehouse District | Italian

    There are two very good reasons to visit Marcello's: comforting Sicilian-American dishes at a reasonable price, and the well-stocked wine store...Read More

  • 3. Cuve

    $$$ | Central Business District | American

    With a name that refers to a blend of wines, this restaurant divides its inspirations between France's Champagne region and south Louisiana...Read More

  • 4. A Mano

    $$ | Warehouse District | Italian

    Adolfo García, known for his Spanish and Latino cooking, shows at A Mano that he's equally adept with the flavors of Italy. In New Orleans,...Read More

  • 5. Eleven 79

    $$$ | Warehouse District | Italian

    If the Rat Pack boys were alive today, they'd ask for a corner table at this tiny, softly lighted Italian eatery, where garlic rules and red...Read More

  • 6. Rio Mar

    $$ | Warehouse District | Seafood

    The seafood-centric menu here explores the flavors of Spain and Latin America. For entrées, try the Serrano ham–wrapped tuna or the stew-like...Read More

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