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. Acme Oyster House

    $ | French Quarter | Seafood

    A rough-edge classic in every way, this no-frills eatery at the entrance to the French Quarter is a prime source for briny, chilled Gulf oysters...Read More

  • 2. Boucherie

    $ | Carrollton-Riverbend | American

    Nathanial Zimet's gutsy, down-home cooking, a unique blend of Louisiana and contemporary Southern styles, fits right in at its cozy location...Read More

  • 3. Café du Monde

    $ | French Quarter | Café

    No visit to New Orleans is complete without a chicory-laced café au lait paired with the addictive, sugar-dusted beignets at this venerable...Read More

  • 4. Cochon Butcher

    $ | Warehouse District | American

    Around the corner from its big brother Cochon, Butcher packs its own Cajun punch with an upscale sandwich menu that dials up the flavor on local...Read More

  • 5. Company Burger

    $ | Uptown | American

    At the Company Burger, you'll have it their way. The amazing signature burger comes with two fresh-ground patties, bread-and-butter pickles...Read More

  • 6. Dat Dog

    $ | Uptown | American

    No one can leave Dat Dog unhappy. The sprawling stand is painted in primary hues, as if the work had been outsourced to a talented kindergarten...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Sucré

    $ | Garden District | Café

    Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, make sure to stop in at Sucré, whether it be for a morning coffee and pastry, a late-night snack (the shop...Read More

  • 9. Ancora

    $ | Uptown | Italian

    Every dish on the short menu here shows an obsessive attention to detail. The starters prominently feature the sausages and other cured meats...Read More

  • 10. Angelo Brocato's

    $ | Mid-City | Café

    Traditional Sicilian gelato, spumoni, cannoli, pastries, and candies are the attractions at this quaint little sweetshop, now over a century...Read More

  • 11. Audubon Clubhouse Café

    $ | Uptown | Café

    Eat in an airy dining room overlooking Audubon Park golf course, or relax with a drink on the veranda. ...Read More

  • 12. Café du Monde

    $ | French Quarter

    Open around the clock for late-night treats Café du Monde has been serving up café au lait and beignets for more than a century. If the open...Read More

  • 13. Carmo

    $ | Warehouse District | Caribbean

    Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options abound at this self-proclaimed "tropical café," which playfully references the cuisines of Latin...Read More

  • 14. Casamento's

    $ | Uptown | Seafood

    Casamento's has been a haven for Uptown seafood lovers since 1919. Family members still wait tables and staff the immaculate kitchen in back...Read More

  • 15. Central Grocery

    $ | French Quarter | Deli

    This old-fashioned grocery store creates authentic muffulettas, a gastronomic gift from the city's Italian immigrants. Made by filling nearly...Read More

  • 16. Cleo's Mediterranean Cuisine & Grocery

    $ | CBD | Middle Eastern

    Good things really do come in small packages, like the outstanding falafel you can order at the back of this unpretentious, pocket-size Middle...Read More

  • 17. Croissant d'Or Patisserie

    $ | French Quarter | Café

    In a quiet corner of the French Quarter, you'll have to look for the quaint Croissant d'Or Patisserie. Once you've found it, you'll understand...Read More

  • 18. 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...Read More

  • 19. Finn McCool's Irish Pub

    $ | Mid-City | Café

    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...Read More

  • 20. Frankie & Johnny's

    $ | Uptown | Seafood

    If you're trying to find the quintessential New Orleans neighborhood restaurant, look no further. Team pennants, posters, and football jerseys...Read More

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