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. Café du Monde

    $ | French Quarter

    No visit to New Orleans is complete without a chicory-laced café au lait paired with the addictive, sugar-dusted beignets at this venerable institution. The tables...Read More

  • 2. Cochon Butcher

    $ | Warehouse District

    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...Read More

  • 3. Company Burger

    $ | Uptown

    At the Company Burger, your order is simple: the amazing signature burger comes with two fresh-ground patties, bread-and-butter pickles, American cheese, and red onions on...Read More

  • 4. Dat Dog

    $ | Uptown

    At Dat Dog, the sprawling stand is painted in primary hues, as if the work had been outsourced to a talented kindergarten class, and the...Read More

  • 5. Elizabeth's

    $ | Bywater

    "Real food, done real good" is the motto at hipster-haven Elizabeth's, where the vinyl-print tablecloths look just like grandma's and breakfast really is the most...Read More

  • 6. Ancora

    $ | Uptown

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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Audubon Clubhouse Café

    $ | Uptown

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

  • 9. Bao & Noodle

    $ | Faubourg Marigny | Chinese

    Hand-pulled noodles and fluffy steamed bao are the specialties at this local favorite. Sichuan and Cantonese dishes pack the occasional punch...Read More

  • 10. Bellegarde Bakery

    $ | Carrollton-Riverbend | Bakery

    At Bellegarde Bakery, far from the popular tourist sites, Graison Gill and his team freshly mill all of their flour on-site, producing bread...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Bywater Bakery

    $ | Bywater | American

    This is everything you could want from a neighborhood coffee shop: delicious coffee, premium baked goods, and hearty sandwiches and comfort...Read More

  • 13. 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...Read More

  • 14. Capulet

    $ | Bywater | American

    This lofted space has great vegetarian options and hearty sandwiches that skew creative; think a BLT with kimchi and thick-slab bacon or smoked...Read More

  • 15. Carmo

    $ | Warehouse District

    Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options abound at this self-proclaimed "tropical café," which playfully references the cuisines of Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. Fresh,...Read More

  • 16. Casamento's

    $ | Uptown

    This eatery has been a haven for Uptown seafood lovers since 1919. Family members still wait tables and staff the immaculate kitchen in back, while...Read More

  • 17. Central Grocery

    $ | French Quarter

    This old-fashioned grocery store creates authentic muffulettas, a gastronomic gift from the city's Italian immigrants. Made by filling nearly 10-inch round loaves of seeded bread...Read More

  • 18. Cleo's Mediterranean Cuisine & Grocery

    $ | Central Business District

    Good things really do come in small packages, like the outstanding falafel you can order at the back of this unpretentious, pocket-size Middle Eastern convenience...Read More

  • 19. Congregation Coffee Roasters

    $ | Central Business District | American

    The house-roasted coffee here is delicious, but added takeaways are the cute alligator-themed mugs and memorabilia to take home (a "congregation...Read More

  • 20. Croissant d'Or Patisserie

    $ | French Quarter

    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 why...Read More

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