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. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 6. Audubon Clubhouse Café

    $ | Uptown | Café

    Eat in an airy dining room overlooking Audubon Park golf course, or relax with a drink on the veranda. ...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Café du Monde

    $ | French Quarter

    Open around the clock for late-night treats Café du Monde has been serving up café au lait and beignets for more than a century. If the open...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Finn McCool's Irish Pub

    $ | Mid-City | Café

    This convivial spot is more than just your average corner bar: it streams European soccer games (opening as early as 7 am to do so) and hosts...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Lucy's Retired Surfers Restaurant and Bar

    $ | Warehouse District

    This bar, courtyard, and dining room are a nice spot for a margarita, fresh seafood, or a Southwestern-style snack. The menu pays homage to...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Mother's

    $ | CBD | Café

    Tourists and locals line up for solid, if unspectacular, down-home eats at this island of blue-collar sincerity amid downtown's sea of glittery...Read More

  • 17. Napoleon House Bar and Café

    $ | French Quarter

    The house specialty Pimm's Cup can be enjoyed in the lush courtyard or in the cool interior, along with bites like pulled-duck po'boys. The...Read More

  • 18. Pirates Alley Cafe

    $$

    A favorite for tourists looking to drink absinthe, the tiny Pirates Alley Café is an ideal setting for a quick cocktail, espresso, or glass...Read More

  • 19. PJ's Coffee and Teas

    $ | CBD

    This local coffee chain serves pastries, snacks, and signature coffee. Flavors with New Orleans flair (like the king cake–flavored blend) are...Read More

  • 20. Praline Connection

    $ | Faubourg Marigny | American

    Down-home cooking in the southern Creole style is the forte of this very Southern restaurant just a few blocks from the French Quarter. The...Read More

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