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. August

    $$$$ | CBD | 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

  • 2. Bayona

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

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

  • 3. Gautreau's

    $$$ | Uptown | American

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

  • 4. Lilette

    $$$ | Uptown | American

    Proprietor-chef John Harris uses French and Italian culinary traditions as springboards for Lilette's inspired dishes. Look for Italian wedding...Read More

  • 5. Root

    $$$ | Warehouse District | American

    The joke used to be that New Orleans had a thousand restaurants with only one menu. But today you'll find a dizzying array of culinary creativity...Read More

  • 6. Rue 127

    $$ | Mid-City | American

    This diminutive bistro, set back from the street, can be hard to find amid the neighboring bars and casual eateries. Inside, the staff greet...Read More

  • 7. Stella!

    $$$$ | French Quarter | American

    Louisiana-born chef Scott Boswell has evolved into one of New Orleans's most innovative and daring culinarians, marrying wild creativity and...Read More

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