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. Arnaud's

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    This grande dame of classic Creole restaurants still sparkles. In the main dining room, ornate etched glass reflects light from charming old...Read More

  • 2. Emeril's Delmonico

    $$$ | Lower Garden District | American

    Chef Emeril Lagasse bought the century-old Delmonico restaurant in 1998 and converted it into a large, extravagant restaurant serving some of...Read More

  • 3. Galatoire's

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    With many of its recipes dating to 1905, Galatoire's epitomizes the old-style French Creole bistro. Fried oysters and bacon en brochette are...Read More

  • 4. Nola

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    Fans of Emeril Lagasse will want to grab a seat at the food bar overlooking the open kitchen at this French Quarter restaurant. Freewheeling...Read More

  • 5. Upperline

    $$$ | Uptown | American

    For more than 25 years, this gaily colored cottage filled with a museum's worth of regional art has defined New Orleans Creole bistro fare,...Read More

  • 6. Antoine's

    $$$$ | French Quarter | American

    Though some people believe Antoine's heyday passed before the turn of the 20th century, others wouldn't leave New Orleans without at least one...Read More

  • 7. Atchafalaya

    $$ | Uptown | American

    Even with reservations, expect to wait for weekend brunch at this Uptown institution, but your tastebuds will thank you later. Locals tend to...Read More

  • 8. Bourbon House

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    On one of the French Quarter's busiest corners is Dickie Brennan's biggest and flashiest restaurant yet (he also owns Palace Café and Dickie...Read More

  • 9. Brennan's

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    This luxuriously appointed restaurant, located in a gorgeous, salmon-pink, circa-1795 building, closed for a little over a year, then reopened...Read More

  • 10. Brigtsen's

    $$$ | Carrollton-Riverbend | American

    Chef Frank Brigtsen's fusion of Creole refinement and Acadian earthiness reflects his years as a Paul Prudhomme protégé, and his dishes here...Read More

  • 11. Broussard's

    $$$$ | French Quarter | American

    If local restaurants were judged solely by the beauty of their courtyards, Broussard's would certainly be a standout, but the food here is also...Read More

  • 12. Clancy's

    $$$ | Uptown | American

    Understatement characterizes the mood at locally beloved Clancy's, and the classy but neutral décor reflects this, though the scene can get...Read More

  • 13. Commander's Palace

    $$$ | Garden District | American

    No restaurant captures New Orleans's gastronomic heritage and celebratory spirit as well as this grande dame of New Orleans fine dining. Upstairs...Read More

  • 14. Gumbo Shop

    $ | French Quarter | American

    Even given a few modern touches—like the vegetarian gumbo offered daily—this place evokes a sense of old New Orleans. The menu is chock-full...Read More

  • 15. Hermes Bar

    $ | French Quarter | American

    The allure of Hermes Bar is that you'll have your pick of the classic dishes that made Antoine's (founded in 1840) famous, without committing...Read More

  • 16. Jacques-Imo's Cafe

    $$ | Carrollton-Riverbend | American

    Oak Street might look like any other sleepy urban thoroughfare by day, but once the sun sets, the half-block stretch containing Jacques-Imo...Read More

  • 17. Kingfish

    $$ | French Quarter | American

    Named after former Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long, who went by the nickname "Kingfish," this stylish French Quarter restaurant pays homage...Read More

  • 18. Liuzza's by the Track

    $ | Mid-City | American

    Fried-oyster po'boys drenched in garlic butter, bowls of sweet-corn-and-crawfish bisque, and grilled Reuben sandwiches with succulent corned...Read More

  • 19. Mandina's

    $ | Mid-City | American

    Although New Orleans has many nationally known restaurants, the locals still frequent their neighborhood favorites. Also known as "the pink...Read More

  • 20. 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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