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. 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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Bellegarde Bakery

    $ | Carrollton-Riverbend | Bakery

    At Bellegarde Bakery, far from the popular tourist sites, Graison Gill and his team freshly mill all of their flour on-site, producing bread...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Mayhew Bakery

    $ | Bayou St. John | Bakery

    This bakery is the first brick-and-mortar venture for chef Kelly Mayhew, who previously sold his tasty baked goods at farmers' markets around...Read More

  • 7. Morning Call

    $ | Mid-City | American

    Once upon a time, there were two famous French Quarter places to get beignets: Café du Monde and Morning Call. Then in 1974, after being open...Read More

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