Favorite New Orleans Restaurants
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Uptown/Garden District

Lilette– Fantastic Nouvelle French cuisine. This James Beard finalist on Magazine Street is one of our “top five” favorite restaurants in the entire city. Lovely atmosphere for both indoor and outdoor dining. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday, and lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended

La Petite Grocery– Excellent, James Beard winner restaurant serving contemporary Creole/contemporary American cuisine. This beautiful, period-feeling eatery is open every night, but also a great option for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday brunch. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Shaya– This James Beard Award winning, gourmet Israeli restaurant is equal parts delicious and unique. The outdoor patio also provides a very nice space when weather permits. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Attire is casual to dressy casual. This is a popular spot, so reservations are recommended.

Gautreau’s– A true “locals’ spot,” this contemporary James Beard winning, Creole/French gem is hidden away on a predominantly residential street in Uptown. The chef is especially well known for his treatment of local seafood, injecting subtle Indian touches in his creative dishes. The menu at Gautreau’s is always wide-ranging, with surprising, yet delicious flavor combinations! Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Business casual attire. Reservations required.

Coquette– Yet another James Beard finalist in our neighborhood, Coquette serves superb contemporary Creole/American cuisine. The long bar dominates the downstairs space, so if you prefer a more elegant and quiet space in which to dine, request to be seated on the second floor. Open for dinner every night except Tuesday, lunch served Wednesday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended

Patois– This enchanting little restaurant serves some of the best French Creole food in town. Not only was it featured as the restaurant “Desautel’s” in the HBO series Treme, it is actually a real-life, James Beard finalist with an exceptional bar. Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, lunch is served on Friday and Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended

Atchafalaya– This fun and funky establishment serves gourmet Southern/Creole fusion cuisine, and we think they make the best shrimp and grits in town. The kitchen is small, so if you are dining in locals’ “prime time,” (8:00 to 8:30ish), the service can be a little slow. The food is definitely still worth the wait, and we don’t do anything fast around here anyway. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner all days except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. (Don’t miss the “do-it-yourself” Bloody Mary Bar during brunch!)

Commander’s Palace– Truly an institution in New Orleans, but still a perennial favorite for residents and visitors alike. You won’t find better service in town, and the elegance of the restaurant itself is also unmatched, but all that being said, you should dine here to get authentic, “Old School” Creole cuisine with contemporary flair. Winner of numerous James Beard awards, most recently in 2013, Commander’s is tough to beat for a special occasion. Open for dinner nightly, lunch served Monday through Friday, and jazz brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Dressy, jacket recommended for gentlemen. Reservations highly recommended.

Jacques-Imo’s– Outstanding, gourmet Cajun and Creole Soul food served up in a wild and often raucous setting. This is definitely an “only in New Orleans” kind of place, serving our favorite fried chicken in town, but don’t forget to try the alligator cheesecake! Dinner only, Wednesday through Saturday. Casual attire. Reservations for parties of five or more only, so expect a pretty long wait on Friday and Saturday nights.

Crepe Nanou– Bewitching and romantic French Creperie that is open late, and won’t break the bank. Dinner served nightly, brunch on Sunday. Fairly casual. Reservations recommended.

Brigtsen’s– James Beard Award winner located in a quaint Creole cottage. A real locals’ spot that serves fantastic contemporary Creole cuisine. Frank Brigtsen, his wife Marna, and her sisters staff the restaurant, and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. It also helps that food and ambiance are great! Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Clancy’s– You are truly “in the know” if you are familiar with this Uptown stalwart. A real “locals’ destination” serving exceptional contemporary Creole cuisine. To some the atmosphere is a little lacking, but Clancy’s has loads of character and great food too. Dinner Monday through Saturday and lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. Dressier attire, but not formal. Reservations recommended.

Bistro Daisy– Housed in a converted New Orleans “shotgun” cottage, this charming restaurant serves gourmet American cuisine and proves a “lighter” option for diners. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Dressy Casual. Reservations recommended.

Saffron NOLA– Upscale, hip Indian fusion restaurant that incorporates some Louisiana flourishes. James Beard-nominated, and very popular, but dining at the long bar is an option if you are unable to procure a table. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and lunch on Friday and Saturday. Dressy casual. Reservations highly recommended.

Saba– Meaning “Grandfather” in Hebrew, this is the new flagship for James Beard winning chef, Alon Shaya. The restaurant is bright and comfortable, and the menu is inventive. Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, lunch Wednesday through Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations definitely recommended, but dining at the bar is also a good option.

Costera– This Link Group’ tapas restaurant serves up the best Spanish food in town, with a clear emphasis on coastal cuisine.  It is hard to fight the urge not too order everything on the menu, as it is all delicious.  Modern, comfortable, and just a short walk from the inn.  Open for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesdays.  Dressy casual attire.  Reservations recommended.

Osteria Lupo– This boisterious, Italian sister-restaurant to Costera is the real, authentic, and delicious deal. There is not an arancini served in the city that can compare with Lupo’s version, while their perfectly al dente pastas are always on point, and the traditional, brick-oven pizzas are right up there with those served at Ancora and Pizza Dominica. The main dining area consists of one, high-ceilinged, wide-open, but tastefully decorated space, with a well-appointed bar and additional seating along one side, but be advised, this is a popular and lively spot, and both the dining room and the bar can get loud. Casual to dressy casual attire; open 4:00 to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM Friday through Sunday; reservations are recommended, but bar dining is a good walk-in option.

Jack Rose– Hip spot in the Ponchartrain hotel that serves excellent Contemporary Creole fare with great atmosphere. Dressy casual. Dinner Wednesday through Saturday and brunch served on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations recommended.

Mr. Mao– Quirky and fun, serving “global street food” and small plates. Hard to pigeon-hole this one, but suffice it to say that the food is very good and the atmosphere is warm and funky. Open Wednesdays through Mondays for dinner, plus brunch service on Sundays. Casual to dressy casual attire. Reservations recommended.

Coté Sud– Provincial French in Uptown’s Riverbend? Yes, you bet, and the food and atmosphere are both fantastic. The interior is warm, rustic, and cozy, making it feel as though it has been plucked out of a village in Provence and transported to NOLA. Open for dinner nightly, but be advised that they do not accept credit cards. Casual to dressy casual attire. This is a small restaurant, so reservations are always a very good idea.

Misa– Partially open or outdoor dining at this eclectic, modern Mediterranean eatery is really nice, and the food is top-notch. Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM, and brunch is served on the weekends. Attire is casual, but reservations are still not a bad idea, especially on good weather days.

Dakar NOLA— According to the James Beard Foundation, Dakar Nola is the very best new restaurant in the United States for the year of 2024! Senegalese, or, more aptly, “Senegambian” fusion fare served to showcase it’s integral connection to the New Orleans cuisine. Seven-course, seasonal tasting menus of the chef’s choice are served, so please expect meals to last between 2.5 and 3 hours. Please check their website, as this one won’t be for everyone, and folks with dietary restrictions may wish to consider other options. Although there is no strict dress code, the price fixe meals are typically priced at $150 per person or more. Only a 7:00 PM seating on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM seatings are offered on Fridays and Saturdays. Advance reservations are a must.

The Chloe– In the likewise named boutique hotel on St Charles, The Chloe features decidedly modern, American takes on classic Creole cuisine. A very attractive establishment, with lush and comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, and an excellent bar, serving lots of creative cocktail concoctions. Open every day for dinner, and offering lunch Mondays through Sundays, with brunches served on Saturdays and Sundays. Casual attire is just fine. Reservations are not typically a “must,” but are a good idea.

Beggars Banquet– A neighborhood spot with a great bar area that serves very tasty, modern American cuisine with local New Orleans panache. There are no airs put on at this one, and the impotance of serving fine food is always apparent. Dinner is served Wednesday through Sunday, with brunches on Saturdays and Sundays. Casual to dressy casual attire. Reservations recommended.

San Lorenzo– Located in the impeccably renovated St. Vincent Hotel, this bright and elegant restaurant serves top notch, traditional Italian food. Perhaps a bit pricey, but a great “special occasion” choice for those looking for a break from Creole or Cajun cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch and brunch daily. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

St. James Cheese Company, Pizza Dominica, High Hat, Sucré (gourmet sweets and gelatos), Theo’s Pizzeria, Sake Café, Baru, Mahoney’s Po’ Boys, Casamento’s (locals’ preferred oyster house, the “real” deal, closed in the off-season), Domilise’s Po’ Boys, Franky & Johnny’s (great for crawfish, when in season), Tartine, New York Pizza,  Hansen’s Sno-Bliz (James Beard Award winning snow balls! Open seasonally), Superior Seafood, Vincent’s, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey, Gris Gris, Turkey and the Wolf, Nomiya Ramen, Ancora, Piccola Gelateria, Joey K’s, Stein’s Deli, District Donuts, Martin Wine Cellar & Deli, Bourrée at Boucherie, Surrey’s, Luvi, Dat Dog, Company Burger, The Vintage, Bearcat Café, Zee’s Pizza, Avo Taco at Port Orleans, Pomelo, Saj, Union Ramen, Tal’s Hummus, The Daily Beet, Rum House, Molly’s Rise ‘n Shine, Ruby Slipper, Fat Boy Pantry, Hot Stuff, The Chicory House, Francolini’s, Baracuda, Uptown Coffee & Beignets, Wishing Town, Val’s Tacos, Pavo Real, Le’s Baguette.

Warehouse/Central Business District

August– Regarded by many (us included) to be the best restaurant in the city, every dish at this stunning, Contemporary French restaurant speaks “New Orleans.” After all, James Beard Award winning chef John Besh is a Louisiana boy, and August is the crown jewel of his various restaurants in town. Open nightly, lunch served on Fridays. Dressy. Reservations are a must (make these as early as possible).

Peche– Winner of two James Beard awards in 2014– including best new restaurant in the United States– Peche serves gourmet “Coastal” Louisiana cuisine, and specializes in whole fish presentations. A really attractive, yet informal space in which to dine. Nice big bar, if you don’t have a reservation. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Casual to dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Herbsaint– Really lovely Nouvelle French restaurant just off of the streetcar line. If possible, avoid being seated in the back dining room. As with many restaurants in New Orleans, Herbsaint is small and can get loud. Serving dinner Monday through Saturday, lunch Monday through Friday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Cochon– The warm, yet contemporary atmosphere of this double James Beard winner perfectly complements the modern Cajun cuisine that they serve. Lots of small plate options for those that want to try a little of everything. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. Casual. Reservations highly recommended.

La Boca– Argentinian steakhouse, and a true meat-lovers paradise. Open for dinner only, Monday through Saturday. Casual to dressy casual. Reservations typically recommended.

Emeril’s– Although we feel you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere, there is no denying that the Creole/Cajun fusion developed by Chef Lagasse and served here is hard to beat. Dinner served nightly, lunch Monday through Friday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Maypop— A real rising star, this upscale eatery serves Modern, Southeast Asian/American cuisine.  There is nothing else quite like it in the city, and for those seeking a nice change or pace, Maypop will prove a perfect choice.  Open for lunch and dinner every day.  Dressy casual.  Reservations recommended.

Compère Lapin— James Beard winning Caribbean Creole jewel in the CBD.  Strongly consider putting this one the “to do list,” even though it can get a little loud.  Open for dinner every night, lunch Monday through Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.  Casual to dressy casual.  Reservations recommended.

Meril— A solid, lively Emeril Lagasse restaurant.  There is something for everyone on this menu, which ranges from Cajun to Creole to Italian, and beyond.  The chef may be trying to do a bit too much here, but impressive and tasty for the most part.  Open for lunch and dinner daily.  Fairly casual.  Reservations recommended.

Willa Jean– A John Besh’ partner restaurant offering iconic southern cuisine. This food will definitely stick to your ribs, but the menu offers a number of small plates and lighter-fare options. Incorporated into this warm, 80-seat restaurant is a fine bakery and pastry/coffee shop. A great stop for anyone heading to, or from a Saints’ game. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner served daily. Casual to dressy casual. Reservations accepted.

Sofia– This one is just plain good. A small relaxed spot that is a modern and bright take on authentic Italian cuisine. Dinner is served Tuesdays through Sundays, plus brunch on the weekends. Dressy casual. Reservations are advisable.

Chemin a la Mer– Arguably Donald Link’s finest restaurant. Upscale French Creole with an emphasis on seafood in a truly elegant space in The Four Seasons Hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner service daily. Dressy. Reservations highly recommended.

Gianna– Rustic Italian food with Louisiana influences . The restaurant is lively and bustling, while the space itself is very pretty and comfortable. Open for dinner nightly and for lunch or brunch Friday through Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Couvant– Although they tout themselves as a “Taste of Marseilles,” we would not limit this fantastic French restaurant to just that. High quality French food served in a comfortable and attractive space. Breakfast and brunch are served daily, and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Dressy casual attire and reservations recommended.

Cochon Butcher, The Daily Beet (vegetarian), Company Burger, Johnny Sanchez, Carmo, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Tacos del Cartel, Pluck.


French Quarter

R’evolution– Our current favorite in the Quarter, renowned local chef, John Folse, serves up incomparable Creole fusion cuisine at R’evolution. Request to be seated in the central dining area with the open kitchen. Dinner served nightly, lunch Wednesday through Friday, and jazz brunch on Sundays. Business casual. Reservations highly recommended (usually well in advance).

Pelican Club– Handsome, contemporary Creole restaurant tucked away off of an historic, cobblestone street. The walls are adorned with the paintings of prominent New Orleans’ artists, and the separate, long bar is a great place to dine if you don’t have a table. Serving dinner nightly. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Sylvain– The atmosphere in this unbelievably inexpensive eatery will transport you back in time. The affordable contemporary American cuisine is outstanding, plus the bartenders are very creative. Dinner nightly, lunch Fridays and Saturdays, brunch on Sundays. Casual attire. Sylvain is very small, so reservations during prime-time on Friday and Saturday nights are a good idea.

Tableau– Sophisticated, French Creole cuisine with a twist. Located in the storied Le Petit Theatre, this restaurant serves as a living testament to the hey-day of New Orleans past. Dinner nightly and brunch on Sundays. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Mr. B’s Bistro– Serving the best New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp in town, this Creole fixture in the Quarter is always a great call for lunch, brunch or dinner. Mr. B’s will never let you down. Dinner nightly, lunch Monday through Saturday, and jazz brunch on Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Palace Café– A winsome relic of a bygone time, the Palace Café oozes New Orleans character. As with the atmosphere and décor, the French Creole food served here gives diners a taste of New Orleans’ rich past. Dinner nightly, lunch served Monday through Saturday, brunch on Sundays. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Kingfish– Offering the ambience and flavor that one would hope for in a French Quarter restaurant, the Kingfish serves lauded, contemporary Creole cuisine and creative cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Doris Metropolitan– This restaurant may feel as though it is better suited to the sophisticated streets of New York City, but boy are we glad that it is in New Orleans instead. Serving delicious, dry-aged beef cuts, along with unique and surprising dishes from exotic locales, Doris is not like any restaurant you have ever experienced. Dinner served nightly, lunch on Friday through Sunday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Galatoire’s– Our absolute favorite for “Old School” French Creole food in the Quarter. What’s not to like here? At Galatoire’s, the word “tradition” means everything. Just make sure you have an empty stomach and three hours to spare before dining here. Locals’ preferred dining takes place on the first floor. Serving lunch and dinner every day except Monday. Business casual at lunch, jacket required for gentlemen for dinner. Reservations now accepted (and recommended).

Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse– If there is such a thing as a New Orleans Steakhouse, Dickie Brennan’s is the epitome of it. This gorgeous restaurant serves traditional steaks, but does not skimp on New Orleans’ flair. Dinner nightly, lunch Monday through Friday. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Italian Barrel– Tiny, traditional Italian restaurant on the edge of the Quarter. The food here is truly exceptional, and when dining, you tend to forget that you are in New Orleans. Serving lunch and dinner 7-days a week. Casual attire, but no sleeveless shirts or “flip-flops.” Reservations a must for dinner.

Muriel’s– Fine Creole dining in a beautiful setting right on Jackson Square. Not only is Muriel’s a great old New Orleans restaurant, it is also haunted! So whatever you do, don’t sit at the table set nightly for the resident spirit. Dinner nightly, lunch Monday through Saturday, jazz brunch on Sundays. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

G.W. Fins– An attractive, large restaurant, serving seafood-focused, contemporary American food. Fins proves a nice change of pace from heavier counterparts, and it is one of the only places in town calling itself a “Seafood” restaurant that you can trust. Open for dinner nightly. Dressy casual. Reservations recommended.

Brennan’s— After a number of jumps and starts, this elegant restaurant has finally regained its footing as one of the best.  Especially well known for breakfasts and brunches, but also great for an opulent, Classic Creole dinner.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.  Dressy casual (more formal for dinner).  Reservations highly recommended.

Jewel of the South– Winner of the James Beard award for the best restaurant bar in the US for the year 2024, Jewel of the South also offers extremely good food. A sophisticated, small menu, dedicated to great flavors that are perfectly complimented by their cocktails and fine wines. Although the dining area is small, it proves a warm space, and is located in an historic French Quarter cottage. The pretty courtyard is also perfect for outdoor dining or just cocktails. Dinner is served every evening, except on Tuesdays, while lunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mamou– Vibrantly decorated French Brasserie located at the top end of the Quarter. Although they serve fine French cuisine, this is not a pretentious or stuffy establishment. The atmosphere is relaxed, fresh and comfortable. Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. This one books up fast, so advance reservations are typically a must. Dressy casual attire.

Justine– Sister restaurant to James Beard winning La Petite Grocery, this place is happening. A perfect, lush scene for partygoers that also want to partake of great, modern Creole cuisine. Dressy casual attire. Dinner served nightly Fridays through Sundays. Reservations recommended.

Cane & Table, Coop’s Place (really just a bar that serves good Cajun food), Central Grocery (home of the Muffaletta sandwich), Stanley!, El Gato Negro (fresh Mexican food), Port of Call, Café du Monde, Café Amelie, Napoleon House, Killer Po’ Boys, Effervescence, Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

Mid-City, Central City, Marigny & Bywater

Ralph’s on the Park– Perhaps one of the most romantic and magical places to dine in the city, Ralph’s serves exquisite French Creole food with quiet aplomb. The large bar is also a great option for informal dining in a beautiful setting. Located just across the street from the Pizatti Gate of City Park, Ralph’s offers picture-perfect views of its surroundings (and sunsets) for diners and bar-goers alike. Dinner nightly, lunch Tuesday through Friday, and brunch on Sunday. Dressy, but no jacket required. Reservations recommended.

Rosedale– Whereas Susan Spicer’s Bayona in the Quarter now seems somewhat of a faded rose, the City Park area Rosedale shines. James Beard Award winning chef Spicer creates homey, often comfort fare, with the ever-present influence and flavor of New Orleans on the plate. The restaurant itself is a cozy and warm neighborhood/locals’ joint, and on pleasant weather days, the outdoor seating is lovely. Dinner served Wednesday through Sunday, lunch on Friday, and brunch on Sunday. Casual attire. This is a pretty small restaurant, so reservations are recommended.

Bacchanal– Despite the self-described “Mediterranean Minimalist” cuisine served here, this restaurant is definitely one of those “only in New Orleans” places. It has a fiercely loyal, local clientele, but will prove a truly unique and memorable experience for visitors as well. This is one the only places around that offers live music at night, but also serves great food. Walk through their excellent wine shop, grab a bottle, seek out a table in the lovely outdoor courtyard, then settle in for the evening. Casual. Open nightly, seven days a week. Be advised that they have a “21 and over only” policy and that seating is “first come, first served,” as they do not accept reservations.

Gabrielle— The beloved Gabrielle is back and better than ever!  This is our current favorite Contemporary Creole restaurant in the city.  What it lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for ten-fold with its food.  Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only.  Dressy casual.  Reservations recommended.

Zasu– Lovely, intimate restaurant, serving imaginative and delicious modern American cuisine with an emphasis on fish/seafood dishes. The James Beard winning executive chef/owner, Sue Zemanick, never disappoints! Dinner served Monday through Saturday. Dressy casual. Reservations are typically a must, as this a small and popular spot.

N7– A Bywater must, this casual French restaurant boasts a great menu of classics, but with Japanese flair! The outdoor dining space is outstanding, and the small vineyard European wine list is exceptional, but be advised, no one under the age of 18 is allowed access the dining compound. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday, and brunch as well on Fridays and Saturdays. Dressy casual attire. Reservations are highly recommended.

Café Degas– For many return visitors, and for locals alike, this unpretentious French eatery is a must visit. They serve great food in a casual, yet romantic setting. One of the best restaurants in Mid City, Café Degas is located on an especially lovely stretch of Esplanade Avenue. Closed on Mondays, otherwise dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday, lunch Wednesday through Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended. Dressy casual attire.

Toups’ Meatery– The name speaks volumes, as Toups definitely does not beat around the bush, to the carnivores’ delight. You will never walk away hungry from this one. Warm atmosphere, friendly staff, and hearty, modern Cajun and some Creole fare. dinner served nightly, lunch Monday through Thursday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Casual attire is fine, but reservations are a good idea.

Saint Germain– Another Bywater French restaurant with a very nice wine bar, but this one only offers a chef’s choice, constantly changing tasting menu of 10 seasonal courses! As such, they do not accommodate diners that have dairy, gluten, vegan, or fin fish allergies. If that isn’t you, then this one is a fantastic special occasion experience. Serving dinner only from Wednesday through Saturday. Surprisingly casual, but no children allowed. Reservations are required.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern (po’ boys), Crabby Jack’s (excellent roast duck & cochon du’ lait po-boys), Katie’s, The Ruby Slipper, Liuzza’s by the Track, The Joint (BBQ), Elizabeth’s, Bacchanal (especially unique, locals’ spot), Angelo Brocato’s (Italian gelateria with the best, house-made cannoli in the in the South), Satsuma (two locations), Dooky Chase, Bywater American Bistro, Bao & Noodle, St. Roch Market (local food court), Morning Call near City Park (beignets), 1000 Figs, Lola’s, Central City Barbecue, Blue Oak, Paladar 511, Pizza Delicious, Sneaky Pickle, Good Eden, Mopho, Smoke & Honey, Porgy’s Seafood, Morrow’s.