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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Nola

    $$$ | French Quarter | American

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

  • 6. Shaya

    $$ | Uptown | Israeli

    You may think you’ve been transported to sexy Tel Aviv in this softly lighted but thoroughly modern dining room set on a hopping stretch of...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Ancora

    $ | Uptown | Italian

    Every dish on the short menu here shows an obsessive attention to detail. The main attraction are the pizzas, which follow Neapolitan rules...Read More

  • 9. Green Goddess

    $ | French Quarter | Eclectic

    At this cozy (read: small) restaurant in the heart of the French Quarter, diners are wowed by the inventive and globally inspired cuisine, though...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Lilette

    $$$ | Uptown | Modern American

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

  • 12. Maurepas Foods

    $ | Bywater | American

    This relative newcomer and self-proclaimed purveyor of "robust cuisine" already has the lived-in charm of a corner store with a hip edginess...Read More

  • 13. Pizza Delicious

    $ | Bywater | Pizza

    Hipsters, lifelong Bywater residents, and locals far across town all take great pride in "Pizza D" as one of the only (and best) places to get...Read More

  • 14. Purloo

    $$$ | American

    Inspired by cooking styles from New Orleans to North Carolina, Chef Ryan Hughes brings an ambitious menu of refined Southern cuisine to Purloo...Read More

  • 15. Root

    $$$ | Warehouse District | Modern 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

  • 16. Sukho Thai

    $$ | Faubourg Marigny | Thai

    Certainly the most extensive Thai restaurant in the area, Sukho Thai fits into its artsy neighborhood with servers wearing all black and a hip...Read More

  • 17. Three Muses

    $$ | Faubourg Marigny | Eclectic

    The most eclectic mix of music, food, and people can be found on Frenchmen Street, and Three Muses captures everything that makes this vibrant...Read More

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