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. 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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Drago's

    $$$ | CBD | Italian

    Since 1969 the Cvitanovich family restaurant has been a fixture in Metairie, just a short drive from downtown New Orleans, so when it was revealed...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Irene's Cuisine

    $$ | French Quarter | Italian

    The walls here are festooned with enough snapshots, garlic braids, and crockery for at least two more restaurants, but it all just adds to the...Read More

  • 14. Johnny's Po-boys

    $ | French Quarter | Deli

    Strangely enough, good po'boys are hard to find in the French Quarter. Established in 1950, Johnny's compensates for that scarcity with a cornucopia...Read More

  • 15. Mahony's Po-Boy Shop

    $ | Uptown | Deli

    What happens when a fine-dining chef opens a po'boy joint? You get delicious local shrimp, hand-cut french fries, and nontraditional menu items...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Mr. B's Bistro

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    Those who wonder if there really is a New Orleans restaurant that can properly cater to both tourists and locals need look no farther than Mr...Read More

  • 19. Palace Café

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

    Occupying what used to be New Orleans's oldest music store, this Dickie Brennan stalwart is a convivial spot to try some of the more imaginative...Read More

  • 20. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

    $ | Mid-City | Café

    Former contractor Jay Nix resurrected more than just a dilapidated building when he reopened Parkway: he also brought back to life a dormant...Read More

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