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. Arnaud's

    $$$$ | French Quarter | American

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

  • 2. August

    $$$$ | CBD | Modern American

    If the Gilded Age is long past, someone forgot to tell the folks at August, where the main dining room shimmers with masses of chandelier prisms...Read More

  • 3. Bayona

    $$$ | French Quarter | Modern American

    New World" is the label Louisiana native Susan Spicer applies to her cooking style, the delicious hallmarks of which include goat cheese croutons...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Cochon

    $$$ | Warehouse District | Cajun

    Chef-owned restaurants are common in New Orleans, but this one builds on owner Donald Link's family heritage as he, working with co-owner Stephen...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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. The...Read More

  • 9. Company Burger

    $ | Uptown | American

    At the Company Burger, your order is simple: the amazing signature burger comes with two fresh-ground patties, bread-and-butter pickles, American...Read More

  • 10. Coquette

    $$$ | Uptown | American

    Every neighborhood needs a hangout, and the dwellers of the Garden District's elegant mansions tend to spend their time at this fabulous corner...Read More

  • 11. Dat Dog

    $ | Uptown | American

    At Dat Dog, the sprawling stand is painted in primary hues, as if the work had been outsourced to a talented kindergarten class, and the Hawaiian...Read More

  • 12. Domenica

    $$ | Central Business District | Italian

    This eatery wows diners with rustic Italian cooking, a rarity in New Orleans's culinary landscape. In the renovated Roosevelt Hotel—a 19th-century...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Emeril's Delmonico

    $$$$ | 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Gautreau's

    $$$ | Uptown | Modern American

    This vine-covered neighborhood bistro doesn't have a sign, but that hasn't stopped the national food media from finding it. Lauded chefs cook...Read More

  • 17. Gris-Gris

    $$$ | Garden District | American

    If you're looking for an opportunity to converse with a top New Orleans chef, then Gris-Gris is your best bet. The first level of this Magazine...Read More

  • 18. Herbsaint

    $$$ | Warehouse District | American

    Chef Donald Link (also of Cochon, Cochon Butcher, and Pêche Seafood Grill) turns out food that sparkles with robust flavors and top-grade ingredients...Read More

  • 19. 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

  • 20. N7

    $$ | Bywater | Spanish

    It might seem unlikely that a restaurant specializing in canned fish would be one of the most romantic places to dine in New Orleans, but N7...Read More

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