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. Angelo Brocato's

    $ | Mid-City

    Traditional Sicilian gelato, spumoni, cannoli, pastries, and candies are the attractions at this quaint little sweetshop, now over a century old. The crisp biscotti, traditional...Read More

  • 2. Blue Oak BBQ

    $ | Mid-City | American

    Originally a popular pop-up at music venue Chickie Wah Wah's, Blue Oak BBQ has finally got its own storefront, and with pitmasters Ronnie Evans...Read More

  • 3. Café Degas

    $$ | Mid-City

    Dining at Café Degas is like being at a sidewalk café in Paris, even though the restaurant is completely covered: there's a tree growing through...Read More

  • 4. 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's an upstairs balcony for alfresco...Read More

  • 5. Finn McCool's Irish Pub

    $ | Mid-City

    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)...Read More

  • 6. Liuzza's by the Track

    $ | Mid-City

    Fried-oyster po'boys drenched in garlic butter, bowls of sweet-corn-and-crawfish bisque, and grilled Reuben sandwiches with succulent corned beef are some of the reasons you might...Read More

  • 7. Mandina's

    $$ | Mid-City

    Also known as "the pink house," Mandina's has been a neighborhood favorite for locals since 1932. Although this Canal Street fixture has expanded over the...Read More

  • 8. Mayhew Bakery

    $ | Bayou St. John | Bakery

    This bakery is the first brick-and-mortar venture for chef Kelly Mayhew, who previously sold his tasty baked goods at farmers' markets around...Read More

  • 9. Parkway Bakery & Tavern

    $ | Mid-City

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

  • 10. Ralph's on the Park

    $$$ | Mid-City

    Seasoned restaurateur Ralph Brennan has matched this beautifully renovated historic building with a menu that features innovative twists on contemporary Creole standbys. The culinary staff...Read More

  • 11. Toups' Meatery

    $$ | Mid-City

    As the restaurant's name might hint, on the menu here you'll find meat, meat, and more meat, from foie gras and charcuterie to a lamb...Read More

  • 12. Ye Olde College Inn

    $$ | Mid-City

    A stalwart neighborhood joint, the age-old College Inn now occupies a newer building after decades in an older, now-razed structure next door. The flat, greasy...Read More

  • 13. Morning Call

    $ | Mid-City

    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...Read More

  • 14. Rue 127

    $$ | Mid-City

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

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