New Orleans is famous for many things, but one of the things that often gets overlooked is their amazing restaurants.
With such a vibrant city, you can be sure that there’s plenty of places that you could sit and dine – but where should you visit?
Indeed, due to such large numbers of restaurants, you can get a little overwhelmed by the amount of choice. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work and we’ve listed 14 of the most amazing restaurants that you should visit (see also: 12 Amazing Waterfront Restaurants To Visit In St Pete And The Surrounding Area)in New Orleans.
So, if you’re looking for a fantastic dining experience – then read on and learn much more!
1. Barrow’s Catfish
As we mentioned earlier, New Orleans is famous for many things, and when it comes to their food and general cuisine – things like creole and catfish are top of the menu.
So, when we’re looking at things like that – Barrow’s Catfish gives you an authentic and amazing choice.
Its signature catfish dishes are where this restaurant gets its name, after transforming from its original name dating back to 1942 – Barrow’s Shady Inn.
You can find this amazing restaurant on Earhart Boulevard, and even to this day, it is run by members of the Barrow family and retains the same charm, ideals and identity that their ancestors held so dear.
There’s a whole host of dishes you need to try here, but certainly you should be sure to chow down on seafood meals and platters – finishing off with one of their super tasty desserts!
2. Brigtsen’s Restaurant
This uniquely styled restaurant is set within a 19th century building, which is sort of a small cottage – but don’t let this fool you, its small stature holds big surprises.
In fact, this restaurant is one of the most popular among local residents and this has been the case as far back as the 1980s – and this is pretty easy to see why.
Their choice of traditional, authentic Louisiana styled dishes are a hit! They serve things like barbecued shrimp, rabbit gumbo, seafood platters, catfish des allemand and the list goes on and on.
Once you’ve filled up on some of the best Louisiana food, you should then finish up on some classic New Orleans desserts. Take your pick of one of the chef’s favorites such as pecan pie, lemon creme brulee or chocolate bread pudding. Yum!
You may not be surprised based on the name, but this gorgeous restaurant can be found in the French Quarter of New Orleans, close by to Jackson Square.
Along with this restaurant’s fantastic cuisine, you’ll find something a little more unique that they’re known for – cocktails.
Yes, this particular restaurant likes to let people know that they are a party style restaurant. They like to live loudly and have fun – and this is likely why they are named after the first opera that was held in New Orleans, which was known for being a little unruly!
The restaurant brings in a fitting blend of both 18th century and contemporary settings, along with offering some menu favorites like wagyu beef, the Sylvain burger and champagne fries.
If you want to go at a time that is super fun – then try to head here for Happy Hour and you will be able to take part in plenty of drink specials and get rowdy!
4. Commander’s Palace
Located in the Garden District, Commander’s Palace has been a popular restaurant in New Orleans as far back as the late 19th century.
It’s part of the Brennan Food group and it has firmly established its place in local dining within its famous 19th century mansion.
As you can probably imagine based on this information, this is the type of restaurant you would go to for a more “up market” dining experience. Indeed, fine dining is the order of the day here and its menu (devised by top, famous chefs) reflects this firmly.
So, what’s on the menu we hear you ask – well, you could choose from such dining specials like turtle soup, shrimp remoulade, creole gumbo, miso gulf fish and a selection of authentic, Southern style desserts.
Or, you might want to finish your meal on a high by choosing a tray of a selection of cheeses – or maybe even candied fruit. This restaurant really needs to be seen to be believed.
This restaurant is much more contemporary in terms of its setting than some of the other choices on our list, and this allows it to come to life – especially at night time.
On top of this, it allows for an amalgamation between traditional Cajun cuisine and modern stances on it.
The one thing that you can be sure of when you come to this restaurant though is that the food is absolutely sourced fresh, such as the pork and the seafood.
Once these key ingredients have been sourced, they’re prepared in the Cajun way – spiced to perfection.
While there are some menu favorites here, a lot of the choices are subject to change and often switch. However, the best way to discover what’s new is by asking the waiter. In the past, fried gator and ribeye steak have been available!
Despite being a small restaurant, this quaint build has so much to offer – and this has been shown through some of their awards – especially the ones awarded to the chef specifically.
She has won multiple awards including best new chef in Food and Wine Magazine, and even been an executive chef in the past. Luckily, her talents continue and she is joined by a very highly rated kitchen team.
Again, despite being a small place – the restaurant packs a punch with its cuisine. You can dine on amazing dishes like ora king salmon, grilled baby octopus and fried shrimp. All topped off with the most indulgent chocolate dessert!
As you might have noticed already, most of these restaurants offer traditional and authentic Southern cuisine, and of course this makes plenty of sense. However, this next choice to our list offers its customers something different.
New Orleans is of course a large place, so it also makes sense to have some variety. Luvi’s founder and chef offers diners the chance to enjoy locally sourced ingredients but cooked in an Asian style.
Things like crawfish wontons and spicy dan noodles will pop on your palate and help you to enjoy (see also: Things To Do In Burlington, Vermont – 22 Things You’ll Enjoy)a really amazing, unique dining experience.
Finish your food and then turn your attention to the varied drinks list including sake and whiskey!
8. La Petite Grocery
Don’t let the name of this place fool you, it is definitely a restaurant! It actually gets its name from its location, which was originally a grocers and throughout the years, it has happily served the community for things ranging from coffee to flowers.
Since 2004 though, it has continued to serve the local population with some gorgeous meals that place a modern take on traditional New Orleans cuisine. Just take a look at the turtle bolognese for a perfect indicator of this.
As a result of its amazing success, the Eater’s List placed it firmly in the top 38 restaurants in the United States. Of course, this is a huge feat to achieve and it’s well deserved.
On the menu, you will find some amazing favorites too including crispy belly pork and gulf shrimp!
9. Cafe Degas
Of course, New Orleans has a lot of French influence, some of which we have already seen in this list – but Cafe Degas is a significantly authentic French cafe and you can find this glorious eatery down Esplanade Avenue.
It’s one of the most popular spots around New Orleans and provides a place for tourists and locals alike to blow off some steam and chill out with a coffee and a snack.
It might surprise you to know that this restaurant has earned many awards throughout its life, including French Restaurant Of The Year and it is even placed in Trip Advisor’s Hall Of Fame!
With a French focus, you can enjoy locally sourced ingredients with the French twist including things like crawfish ravioli or duck crepe.
10. Saffron Nola
This particular restaurant has seen possibly the most amazing evolution since its inception as a small, family run restaurant that only ever opened on the weekends.
Nowadays, the West Bank restaurant is open all week and offers some amazingly tasting meals.
It has a unique style with a merging of Indian and Southern cuisine – things like Bombay shrimp and curried seafood gumbo and even Khyber lamb chops!
This type of cuisine choice is not only unique, but it’s also highly popular and the entire menu is like this – including the desserts such as mango sorbet.
Indeed, this restaurant is a really good choice if you’re looking for something different in New Orleans!
Speaking of a merging of food styles, Fritai which is located down Basin Street is a mixture of both Southern, traditional cuisine and Haitian cuisine.
Now, for fans of this type of food – the amalgamation of the two is significant and has a crazily good taste.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurant has won plenty of awards too – and as a result, it continues to stick to its guns and stays with its roots.
You will find some amazing favorites on the menu in its style, including creole chicken and crab mac n’ cheese.
Trust us when we say that this mixture is something that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else, and once again – if you are a person who likes to enjoy something a little different on a menu – then this is the restaurant for you.
12. Parkway Bakery And Tavern
If you’re looking for something extremely local and traditional, and you want to involve yourself more with the community – then you will want to move away from larger venues in tourist destinations.
Instead, you will want to head somewhere like here, the Parkway Bakery and Tavern. While you likely won’t find celebrities or huge gimmicks here, what you will find is glorious, authentic cuisine with the best customer service in all of New Orleans.
We recommend choosing the fried gulf oysters or the gator smoked sausages. They not only taste great, but you even get the authentic aroma of what Louisiana food should smell and feel like!
13. Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
Created and opened by the very famous Leah Chase, this restaurant not only likes to boast some of the tastiest meals in New Orleans, but it also very frequently has some five star guests arrive to have a taste of them too!
Huge celebrity names including Beyonce and Barack Obama have dined here in the past, and trust us when we say that the list of huge names does not end there!
So, if you’re looking for traditional creole meals like creole gumbo or stuffed crab poboy, but you also want to catch a glimpse of some of your favorite stars, then this is the right restaurant choice for you!
Oh and don’t forget to wash down some of these amazing meals with a great selection of local beers and wines!
The final addition on our list is perhaps the most unique that you could think of. The chef has put together a menu of infusions that include Asian cuisine, Southern cuisine and Italian cuisine. Indeed, you will find some very surprising menu items here.
Cambodian skirt steak for example is one such dish that infuses the two styles and gives you an end result of one of the most amazing tastes, but also a pleasant smile to your face for choosing it.
The thing is, not everywhere in New Orleans will offer specifically local, authentic dishes. Indeed, as we have seen, some will offer infusions to put their twist on things.
Maypop does this arguably better than anybody else in New Orleans. So, if you’re looking for somewhere that offers a variety with huge taste to boot, then you have to take this place as part of your itinerary!
Things To Remember
There will be things you should bear in mind when you are traveling around New Orleans looking for restaurants. Here’s just some of the points that are worth noting.
New Orleans can come alive and get really busy, especially during Mardi Gras. Be aware of the time you are heading to New Orleans if you want to guarantee that you’re going to get a table!
On top of this, you will want to pay attention to some restaurant’s deals, as they may offer things like Happy Hour or other discount offers depending on the time you are dining.
It can certainly be very warm in this part of the country – so be sure you dress appropriately for both the restaurant and the weather!
And that’s our list of the top 14 restaurants you should visit if you’re going to New Orleans. We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for your trip!
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