The author, Meg, holding a pita bread inside Shaya, one of the best restaurants in New Orleans

53 Best New Orleans Restaurants in 2023 (By a Local)

I’ve lived in Louisiana for eight years now, and New Orleans restaurants still blow my mind. There are so many amazing, world-famous chefs in New Orleans as well as a worldly diversity of cuisines. How do you narrow down all the options?

In this article, I’ll walk you through my top choices for restaurants in New Orleans. After all, enjoying good food is one of the top things to do in New Orleans. I’ll also give you insider secrets about places you might otherwise not know about.

Bon appetite!

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53 Best Restaurants in New Orleans

Cafe du Monde

🍽️ Dessert | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 587-0833

People dining and chilling outside Cafe du Monde
The quieter Cafe du Monde outpost at City Park

Cafe du Monde is more of an experience than a snack. It’s the most famous cafe to serve beignets (powdered doughnut-like treats). A traditional pairing is a plate of beignets and a cafe au lait coffee to wash it down. Just be prepared to leave wearing a gown of powdered sugar. But you can’t claim to have a full New Orleans experience without getting messy from beignets.

The primary location of Cafe du Monde is across the street from Jackson Square in the French Quarter, which is one of the most popular areas in New Orleans. A secondary, quieter, and lesser-known location is nestled in City Park. Cafe du Monde can be accessed from the French Quarter by the Canal Street streetcar line.

Juan’s Flying Burrito

🍽️ Mexican | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 301-3222

View of the dining area inside the Juan’s Flying Burrito

When friends come into town and ask where to eat in the French Quarter, I usually recommend Juan’s Flying Burrito. It’s just a short trek into the Central Business District. They offer a creative spattering of burritos, nachos, and tacos. I’ve had fantastic experiences with their daily specials and margaritas.

Although Juan’s might not knock your socks off, it’s always been very reliable, fast, and tasty. Plus, they don’t overcharge for their food like many other French Quarter tourist traps. 


🍽️ Fine Dining, French | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 581-4422

Closeup view of the baked oysters with butter and herbs
Oysters Rockefeller

Antoine’s is arguably the most famous restaurant in all of New Orleans for its “haute Creole” cuisine. Located in the French Quarter, Antoine’s was founded by a French immigrant in the 1840s and has represented the city’s dining scene for nearly two centuries. Antoine’s is known as the New Orleans restaurant that invented Oysters Rockefeller. 

Each of the dining rooms at Antoine’s has its own theme. For example, the Rex Mardi-Gras room and the Mystery Room, which was a speakeasy during Prohibition. Several U.S. presidents and even a Pope have visited Antoine’s.


🍽️ Creole, Fine Dining | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 525-2021

Galatoire’s logo at the restaurant's glass window
(photo: Elliott Cowand Jr / Shutterstock)

Galatoire’s is another fine dining establishment in the New Orleans French Quarter founded by a French immigrant. The founder actually worked at Antoine’s before establishing his own New Orleans restaurant in 1905. Since the restaurant’s founding, a dress code of jackets, ties, and formalwear has been enforced. This is to ensure that Galatoire’s maintains its formal, old-world charm. 

Antoine’s and Galatoire’s are similar New Orleans institutions. The menu at Galatoire’s is a little more limited and traditional than that of Antoine’s. Instead of many smaller dining rooms, Galatoire’s has a large dining room with an energetic ambiance and occasional live music. Galatoire’s is located right on Bourbon Street.


🍽️ French, Fine Dining | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 218-8533

View of the hanging outdoor signage of Justine
(photo: Scott Colesby / Shutterstock)

Justine is another fine dining, French-inspired New Orleans restaurant that’s sure to offer you a memorable meal. Like Antoine’s and Galatoire’s, Justine is in the New Orleans French Quarter. Unlike the prior two restaurants, Justine is modern and only opened in 2017. Despite its relative youth, Justine is one of the best restaurants for New Orleans cuisine and has already won a James Beard Award.

When I visited, I enjoyed the extensive wine list and the chicken confit. However, everyone at my table enjoyed what they ordered. You just can’t go wrong with Justine’s take on Contemporary French cuisine.

Commander’s Palace

🍽️ Creole | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 899-8221

View of the turquoise blue french inspired exterior of Commander’s Palace
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Commander’s Palace gives Antoine’s some major competition in terms of the most famous restaurant in New Orleans. This Garden District icon and true New Orleans institution is one of the best restaurants around.

Founded in 1880, Commander’s Palace is famous for its Bloody Marys, its blue and white striped exterior canopy, and its Cajun and Creole cuisine. Some lauded dishes include turtle soup, shrimp and grits, and gumbo. Like Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace requires guests to abide by a business casual dress code.


🍽️ Fine Dining | $$$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 523-5433

Closeup look of a turquoise blue plate with rice topped with crawfish étouffée
Arnaud’s is known for its seafood

Since its founding in 1918, Arnaud’s has been a lauded member of the New Orleans French restaurant scene. It’s mere steps away from Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and offers fine Creole cuisine and lives Dixieland jazz. A famous jazz brunch is held on Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, but you’ll need reservations.

If dining at Arnaud’s is outside the scope of your trip, you can always visit one of their two bars. There’s the Richelieu Bar or the French 75 bar, named for their signature cocktail.


🍽️ Contemporary Louisianian | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 891-9626

Exterior view of the unique structure of Atchafalaya
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

While it’s lesser known than some of the other fine dining establishments in New Orleans, I know plenty of locals who would choose Atchafalaya if they could only eat from one restaurant for the rest of their lives. It’s innovative, relaxed, and sophisticated. Atchafalaya serves a stunning Sunday brunch with offerings like duck hash and Tuscan eggs.


🍽️ Israeli | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 891-4213

The author, Meg, holding a pita bread with other dishes on the table at Shaya Restaurant
Me breaking my first piece of Shaya bread to enjoy with lamb ragout hummus, ikra, baba ganoush, and moussaka

If I could only recommend five places to eat in New Orleans, Shaya would make the list. It’s a mind-blowing Israeli and Middle Eastern restaurant that has won the prestigious James Beard Award. Shaya is known for its top-tier food and is popular amongst locals. So, be sure to make a reservation. 

The bread at Shaya (made in-house) is so good that you’ve got to try it to understand. Therefore, I recommend consuming copious amounts of pita bread with a variety of shareable dips. 

The hummus is incredible and comes in numerous varieties. I recently ordered the lamb ragout hummus, which blew me away. I also loved the mushroom hummus and the ikra, a whipped cream cheese dip.

Dooky Chase

🍽️ Southern | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 821-0600

Exterior view of the Dooky Chase Restaurant near the traffic light located in the corner of the street
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

You can’t talk about restaurants in New Orleans without mentioning Dooky Chase, and you can’t mention the chefs of the city without dropping the late Leah Chase’s name. This historic and famous Treme establishment has been visited by Barack Obama and George Bush. Chef Leah Chase even inspired the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog.

Leah was an inspirational community figure. Dooky Chase played a major role in Civil Rights history, holding meetings for figures as famous as Martin Luther King Jr. The restaurant is known for its Creole dishes like red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, and gumbo.

Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29

🍽️ Polynesian | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 609-3811

Closeup view of the grilled pork belly with mango salsa in the background
Sticky ribs

Beachbum Berry’s is a fun, tiki-themed Polynesian joint just off Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. If the idea of Galatoire’s dress code stresses you out and you’d rather chill out on island time, come here to sample mixologist, Jeff Berry’s, famous tropical concoctions. As a famous mixologist, Berry has been called the “Indiana Jones of tiki drinks.”

The food at Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 lives up to the hype of a New Orleans restaurant. Guests love the sticky ribs, the pork belly lo mein, and the Asian-inspired chicken and waffles.


🍽️ Fine Dining | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 525-9711

View of the French modern style entrance of Brennan's Restaurant
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

The Brennan family has been a stalwart in the New Orleans hospitality scene for decades. Owen Brennan founded “Brennan’s” in 1946, which is famous for its turtle soup, bananas foster, and Creole cuisine. The decor at Brennan’s is elegant and memorable with many ornate chandeliers. A more casual dining area called the Roost Bar offers cocktails and small plates.

Cafe Reconcile

🍽️ Southern | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 568-1157

View of the hanging outdoor signage of Cafe Reconcile

Cafe Reconcile is unique among New Orleans restaurants. Its mission is to provide culinary training to youth from underserved communities while still providing patrons with a delicious dining experience. This non-profit is only open during the day on weekdays (11 am – 2:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday). Cafe Reconcile serves southern staples like fried catfish and collard greens.

Verti Marte

🍽️ Deli | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 525-4767

Exterior view of the Verti Marte Restaurant seen from across the street
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Verti Marte is a French Quarter hole-in-the-wall restaurant you’ll only hear about from insiders. Verti Marte serves quick, delicious, and affordable sandwiches and po boys on Royal Street (one block off Bourbon Street). They are open 24/7. Verti Marte is also locally famous for its amazing muffulettas (locally-popular olive tapenade sandwiches) and great roast beef.

Don’t be put off by the casual appearance: many locals claim Verti Marte has the best sandwiches in New Orleans.

Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits

🍽️ Wine Bar | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 948-9111

Inside look of the Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits

Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits (locally referred to as just “the Bacchanal”) is a Bywater establishment serving worldly wines, interesting cocktails, and small plates. They have a large outdoor courtyard with frequent live music and a rustic and artsy indoor bar area. 

At the friendly bartender’s suggestion, I tried an orange wine from Georgia (the country), which was delicious. I also enjoyed the patatas bravas and charcuterie offered. The Bacchanal is sure to impress adults looking for a classy night out that won’t break the bank.

The Country Club

🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 945-0742

The author, Meg, posing outside The Country Club

The Country Club is a tucked-away restaurant in the Bywater neighborhood, also famous for its saltwater pool which you can access with a day pass. The Country Club is notoriously LGBTQ+ friendly and has a drag brunch every Saturday and Sunday. However, all are welcome at the Country Club, and the diversity of the patrons is a major draw for many.

Brunch options include local dishes like crabmeat beignets, fried chicken and waffles, and boudin bullets.

Bratz Y’All

🍽️ German | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 945-0742

A plate with pork schnitzel
Pork schnitzel (photo: cheungjoproduction / Shutterstock)

Bratz Y’All is a fantastic little beer garden and German restaurant in the Bywater neighborhood. It has predominantly open-air seating, with limited indoor seating (without AC). The schnitzel is phenomenal, and portions are generous enough to share, or save for leftovers. I particularly love the sauerkraut (not something I ever thought I’d say), which is milder than most and heavy on the caraway seeds. 


🍽️ New American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 526-3745

Luxurious interior of Meril Restaurant

Meril is one of Emeril Lagasse’s more casual outposts, named after his daughter. Meril serves locally-sourced New American food that draws from a wide range of culinary influences For example, Mediterranean, southern Creole cuisine, and Asian traditions. Both shareable small plates and large plates are available here.

If it’s your birthday, you can get cotton candy and a sparkler, and visitors rave about this experience. Locals find the food consistently delicious and more affordable than Emeril’s down the street.


🍽️ Seafood | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 522-1744

View of the completely filled Peche Restaurant

My boyfriend Casey and I got takeout from Peche during a Pandemic staycation, and we still talk about it years later. It was that good. We chose a random smattering of items off the menu, and it all blew our socks off. Peche’s interior ambiance is spacious, lively, laid-back, and rustic. 

The menu here changes frequently to reflect what’s in season. Peche specializes in seafood dishes and oysters, but the steak and veggies are also phenomenal. The restaurant has even won the prestigious James Beard Award for its food.

Bearcat Cafe

🍽️ Brunch | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 766-7399

Closeup view of a plate with Grit Cakes, shrimps and scallops
The scallops and grits are popular here

Bearcat offers my favorite brunch in the whole city (and that’s saying a lot for a foodie destination like New Orleans). They have two locations: one in Uptown and one in the Central Business District. 

Bearcat has sides to its menu: Good Cat (healthier options) and Bad Cat (indulgent options). My personal favorite dish is the Vegan Ranchero with an egg added.

Bearcat prides itself in catering to all dietary needs, and patrons who are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free will have no problem ordering here. Bearcat also serves a variety of homemade juices and specialty coffee drinks. There is often a significant wait to get in on weekends, so if you have some flexibility, consider coming early or trying Bearcat on a weekday.


🍽️ Cajun | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 588-2123

View of the wooden interior of Cochon Restaurant

Cochon is my go-to restaurant when friends and coworkers visit the town. That’s because it provides just the right mix of local flair, fine dining, and enough simple cuts of fish and meat to please picky eaters. It’s also won a James Beard Award, so I know I’m showing off one of the best restaurants New Orleans has to offer.

Cochon is famous for pork (it’s their namesake). So, you can’t go wrong with cochon de lait, a Cajun variety of pulled pork that translates to “suckling pig.” People I’ve dined with have also thoroughly enjoyed Cochon’s catfish and short rib dishes. 

Cochon Butcher

🍽️ American | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 588-7675

View of the industrial and quirky interior of Cochon Butcher

If you want the quality of Cochon but more quickly and cheaply, check out its outpost next door, Cochon Butcher. Cochon Butcher is a sandwich shop that incorporates home-cured meats. For a local dish, try the muffuletta sandwich or something with andouille sausage. But you can’t go wrong with any choice on the menu or the extensive craft beer offerings.

Cochon Butcher features a laid-back counter service. It’s right down the street from the Morial Convention Center and the World War II Museum.

St. James Cheese Company

🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 304-1485

View of the wide variety of cheese displayed at St. James Cheese Company
The cheese counter at St. James Cheese Factory in the Warehouse District

The St. James Cheese Factory is another mouth-watering sandwich shop. Whereas Cochon Butcher goes above and beyond with their home-cured meats, the impressive delicacy at St. James is the cheese. The last time I went, I ordered the Gruyere sandwich with bacon, and it was superb (the toast was perfectly crunchy, the cheese gooey).

It wasn’t crowded when I visited during the week, and the Warehouse District restaurant had a coffee-shop vibe. And since they also have a cheese counter, St. James Cheese Factory would be a great place to pick up hotel room hors d’oeuvres if you’re staying nearby.


🍽️ Seafood | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 930-3071

View of the industrial interior of Seaworthy
The amazing nautical vibe at Seaworthy

Seaworthy specializes in seafood, oysters, and cocktails. Of all the restaurants in New Orleans, Seaworthy has my favorite decor and ambiance. It feels like stepping into an old lighthouse keeper’s cottage, or an elegant tavern in Nova Scotia. 

For a phenomenal deal, visit Seaworthy during happy hour (4 pm – 6 pm, Monday – Friday). Oysters are half off, chargrilled oysters are $2, and drinks are discounted. You can’t go wrong with a steal like that at a first-class restaurant.

Josephine Estelle

🍽️ Italian | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 930-3070

Fancy interior view of Josephine Estelle
The open art deco dining room of Josephine Estelle

Josephine Estelle is the restaurant inside the Warehouse District’s stunning Ace Hotel. It serves up Italian fare with a southern flair, using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. They make their own pasta and serve woodfired pizza. 

In addition to their lovely Italian dinners, Josephine Estelle is another great brunch option in the city. Their brunch menu is robust and interesting, with southern offerings like biscuits and gravy and Italian offerings like a breakfast pizza.

The Lovage

🍽️ Coffee Shop | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 930-3064

Interior view of the The Lovage Unique with a unique light at the counter

The Lovage, the coffee shop in the Ace Hotel, is one of my favorite spots to camp out and get some work done in New Orleans. This is because the coffee shop connects to the lobby and reading room of the Ace, making the hotel’s first floor your oyster. 

The Lovage serves interesting lattes and a number of pastries. They always have a gluten-free pastry available, but sometimes later in the day, they’ve sold out of it. The lobby of the Ace is swanky and retro with beautiful art and lots of leather couches. 


🍽️ Contemporary Louisianian | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 528-9393

View of the Emeril’s Restaurant signage on a red brick wall

You can’t talk about restaurants in New Orleans without talking about Emeril Lagasse. Emeril is a celebrity chef who’s had his hand in several New Orleans restaurants. For example, he took his turn as head chef at the famous Commander’s Palace. Emeril’s is his flagship restaurant in New Orleans and has won more awards than you can count.

Emeril’s draws heavily on the influence of classic New Orleans cuisine. Some popular dishes include gumbo and roasted duck. The dining room is elegant, making it one of the more sophisticated restaurants in New Orleans. You can order small plates in the bar area for a more laid-back experience.

Ugly Dog Saloon and BBQ

🍽️ BBQ | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 399-0816

People dining inside Ugly Dog Saloon and BBQ

The Ugly Dog Saloon is a casual BBQ joint with slow-cooked BBQ dishes in the Warehouse District. It has the feel of an unpretentious sports bar and it has a large outdoor patio area. All the sides are homemade. One interesting feature of Ugly Dog’s menu is a hotdog topped with pulled pork, bacon, and coleslaw. The Ugly Dog Saloon is accessible from both the Arts District and the World War II Museum.

The American Sector

🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 569-8459

Exterior view of the National WWII Museum seen from across the street
The American Sector is inside the National WWII Museum (photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

The American Sector is a themed eatery inside the National World War II Museum. It is one of the most unique restaurants in New Orleans. The food might not beat out other nearby options like Cochon or Meril’s. However, the ambiance is a super fun experience for kids, history fans, or anyone looking to visit the National World War II Museum with a themed lunch.


🍽️ French| $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 524-4114

Closeup view of gumbo in a bowl

I’ve told my friends that I think the Warehouse District contains the highest density of outstanding restaurants in New Orleans. Herbsaint just further proves my point. It’s an upscale French and American restaurant that’s won numerous awards. It’s famous for its gumbo and other modern takes on Southern classics. The dining room is described as intimate, cool, and trendy. 


🍽️ Dessert | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 569-8459

View of the art deco interior of Drip Restaurant

I recently stumbled on Drip while wandering around New Orleans, and it blew my mind. First of all, the cozy interior has incredible decor. Second of all, the indulgences on the menu range from specialty affogatos (espresso and ice cream), to creative cocktails.

Compere Lapin

🍽️ Caribbean | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 599-2119

Exterior and signage view of the Compere Lapin
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

As if you needed another James Beard winner to consider, I’m here to introduce Chef Nina Compton’s Compere Lapin. Compere Lapin is another astounding restaurant in New Orleans by a Top Chef contestant. 

Compere Lapin serves up a fusion of Caribbean and Louisianian cuisine, with dishes ranging from seafood to curried goat. The dining room is chic and modern with cool art decorating the walls. Guests rave about how knowledgeable and friendly the staff is.

Johnny Sanchez

🍽️ Mexican | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 304-6615

Closeup view of the street corn topped with cheese and herbs and a bowl of paella in the background
Street corn

Johnny Sanchez is the brainchild of famous chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. The result is stunning modern Mexican food. My personal favorite items on the menu include the albondigas taco, the cauliflower taco, the crispy Brussels sprouts, and the street corn. The tacos are available during happy hour (3 pm – 6 pm, Monday – Friday) for just $4!

The dining room is vibrant and spacious, and I’ve never had trouble getting seated at Johnny Sanchez.

Toup’s Meatery

🍽️ Cajun | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 252-4999

A wooden board with variety of meat variety and vegetable
The Meatery Board at Toups Meatery

Toup’s Meatery will go down in my memory as the place my friends convinced me to try a chicken heart. However, there’s a wide range of options, and they’re not all so adventurous. But, as the name suggests, Toup’s Meatery’s offerings are generally focused on meat. The chef, Isaac Toups, is known for his appearance on Top Chef.

The in-house charcuterie is amazing. For a great take on a local stalwart, try the boudin balls. 

Neyow’s Creole Cafe

🍽️ Creole | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 827-5474

The author's friends with their chargrilled oysters at Neyow’s Creole Cafe
My friends Jeff and Lauren are pleased with our chargrilled oysters

Neyow’s Creole Cafe offers a wide range of delicious Creole dishes. Neyow’s is a popular neighborhood restaurant amongst locals, but it’s also a great place for visitors to taste the local cuisine. The ambiance is cozy and festive, with Mardi Gras beads and other touches of Louisiana spirit.

We tried the chargrilled oysters, which were excellent, as well as a few sides. The carrot souffle was particularly phenomenal. Be sure to check out the locally famous chargrilling station next to the bar, where you can see the chargrilling magic in action. Neyow’s gets pretty crowded around dinner time, so be sure to make a reservation.

Blue Oak Barbeque

🍽️ BBQ | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 822-2583

The author, Meg, posing beside the neon signage of Blue Oak BBQ
Me in front of Blue Oak

Blue Oak Barbecue is another meat-centric eatery right across the street from Toup’s. Blue Oak Barbecue is a local favorite and is often packed with locals. However, the dining area is pretty huge and can accommodate many guests, especially outside. You can either stand in line and order at the counter or sit down and use their QR code.

Happy hour at Blue Oak (3 pm – 6 pm, Monday – Friday) is a great deal. I ordered the mini BBQ nachos for $6. It was a decently large serving (especially for “mini” nachos) and truly delicious.


🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 304-6615

View of the people at the bar counter in side the Vessel Restaurant

Vessel is a beautiful restaurant and bar located in a historic church in Mid-City New Orleans. It’s a little off the beaten path, but dining amongst the cathedral ceilings and stained glass windows is a memorable experience. 

Vessel offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t have time during your visit to devote a whole meal to Vessel, I recommend swinging by their impressive bar for a drink and a chance to soak up the ambiance. I also recommend the creme brulee. 

Midway Pizza

🍽️ Pizza | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 322-2815

View of the hanging outdoor signage of Midway Pizza
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Although Pizza Domenica may have won more awards, I think Midway Pizza has more creative and locally-inspired offerings. At Midway, Chicago deep dish pizza meets New Orleans’ inventive food culture to produce some mouth-watering options.

Their pizzas incorporate creative local ingredients like chopped pecans, pickled red onion, tomato basil relish, and Gulf shrimp.

The High Hat Cafe

🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 754-1336

Exterior view of the High Hat Cafe on the corner of the street
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

The High Hat serves relatively tame but reliable Southern classics (think catfish, pimiento cheese, fried chicken) and slow-cooked roasts. I’ve never had a bad meal at High Hat and it seems few others have, either. As far as restaurants in New Orleans go, High Hat is super reliable for home-cooked comfort food. It might even taste like your grandma cooked it, only better (no offense to your grandma).

The dining room is fairly cozy, so make sure you book a reservation before heading over. High Hat also offers brunch and happy hour (3 pm – 6 pm, Monday – Friday).


🍽️ Cocktail Bar, Charcuterie | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 302-2357

A bartender preparing a cocktail on the glass
Cure is known for their creative cocktails

Cure is an upscale craft cocktail bar in Uptown New Orleans that has won a James Beard Award for being among the best restaurants in New Orleans. Housed in an old firehouse, Cure’s eclectic menu and comfortable outdoor courtyard are sure to impress. The interior is stylish and dimly lit, inspired by the ambiance of a speakeasy.

When I visited Cure, it was hard to pick between the many creative cocktail options. They incorporate novel ingredients like lime oil, Jamaican molasses, or cardamom bitters. We really enjoyed our cheese and meat charcuterie. We asked the waitress to give us her favorite items instead of choosing from the extensive offerings. We were not disappointed! Sadly, Cure does not offer a happy hour.


🍽️ Italian-Creole | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 488-6582

View of the hanging signage of Katie’s outside the restaurant
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Katie’s is a Creole favorite amongst Mid-City locals. It gets packed at dinnertime, so be sure to reserve a table ahead of time. They offer casual local and Italian favorites like pizza and po-boys. They’re also known for their seafood and brunch. Guests love the fried shrimp and fried seafood platter, which is big enough to share between two people. The chargrilled oysters and fried green tomatoes are also excellent!

Wakin’ Bakin’

🍽️ Breakfast | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 252-0343

The author's dog watching the plate with Sourdough King Sandwich
Milo waiting for his bite of the Sourdough King sandwich at Wakin’ Bakin’

Wakin’ Bakin’ is an unpretentious breakfast joint in Mid-City New Orleans. At my waiter’s recommendation, I got the Sourdough King sandwich, and it was so good that I ate the whole thing! The restaurant had such a friendly atmosphere. When I visited, a stranger invited me to share a picnic table with him since and we had a fantastic conversation.

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

🍽️ Southern | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 822-9503

Exterior view of the Willie Mae's Restaurant with a parked bicycle in the "One Way" Post
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Willie Mae’s Scotch House cooks the definitive New Orleans fried chicken. According to the James Beard Awards, it may even be the best fried chicken in America.

The restaurant also has a very important history in New Orleans. It originally opened in the Treme (a historic black neighborhood in the city) in 1957 as a bar, restaurant, and beauty shop. It has stayed in the founder’s family and is now owned and run by Willie Mae’s granddaughter.  

The Bakery Bar

🍽️ American, Dessert | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 210-8519

Closeup view of the Doberge cake
Doberge cake

In addition to the Lovage in the Ace Hotel, the Bakery Bar is my other favorite place to camp out and work. During the day, the bakery bar is like an erudite pub where you can chill out, read, and play board games. Lovage’s nooks are perfect for settling in and enjoying a creative cocktail and a piece of Doberge cake.

The Bakery Bar also offers food, including breakfast foods like breakfast tacos. 

Dat Dog

🍽️ Specialty Hot Dogs | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 324-2226

View of the people dining at the colorful outdoor seating area of Dat Dog

When my old grad school friends come back to town to visit, their request is always the same: a trip to Dat Dog. Dat Dog is the king of all hotdog places. They serve ridiculously unique and regional takes on hot dogs. You can customize as you please, pulling ridiculous maneuvers like topping an alligator sausage with crawfish etouffee. 

Dat Dog is quick, casual, and sure to please almost anyone. There are veggie dogs, an option to substitute lettuce for a bun, weird sausages, and normal sausages. There are literally dozens of different toppings. Whatever you order, you’ll leave in a better mood than when you came.

Banh Mi Boys

🍽️ Vietnamese | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 324-2226

Closeup view of the Banh Mi sandwich
Banh Mi sandwich

Due to the high number of Vietnamese immigrants to South Louisiana, New Orleans is a surprisingly hot destination for great Vietnamese food. One example that made this list is Banh Mi Boys on Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans. The food is an imaginative blend of Cajun and Asian cuisines and draws from both Louisianian and Vietnamese traditions.

Some examples of this fusion include the garlic butter shrimp banh mi or the grilled pork banh mi po boy. And since it’s on Magazine Street, you can finish out your night with a short stroll to District for beignets or Sucre for macarons. 

The Rum House

🍽️ Tacos | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 354-8502

People dining and chilling at the bar counter of The Rum House

The Rum House is a unique taco joint with a tropical vibe, featuring a wide variety of interesting taco offerings. You can get tacos paired with unique delicacies like plantains or coconut mango rice. They also have a staggering selection of rums. Guests are sure to get in the vacation mood with The Rum House’s Caribbean and Latin American music.

Taco Tuesday at the Rum House features $3 tacos and $5 Margaritas. How can you go wrong with that little slice of tropical paradise?


🍽️ New American | $$$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 265-0421

A bottle of Housemade Sotol with a wine cellar in the background
Housemade sotol we enjoyed in our cocktails at Coquette

Coquette offers a wide variety of contemporary southern dishes with both regional and global influences. Its extremely small dining room means that you’ll have to plan ahead to taste the magic. 

One of the coolest selling points of Coquette is their 5-course blind-tasting dinner option for adventurous foodies. For $85, your entire table can put yourselves in the hands of famous chefs Michael Stoltzfus and Kristen Essig and get served a luxurious, surprise meal.

Haydel’s Bake Shop

🍽️ Bakery | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 891-3377

View of the signage of Haydel’s Bake Shop outside

Haydel’s Bake Shop, as the name implies, has sold baked goods in New Orleans since the 1950s. They are locally famous for their King Cakes. This is a cake eaten exclusively during Mardi Gras season, which is a fun time to visit New Orleans.

If you visit the state between Three Kings Day (January 6th) and Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday), you definitely have to sample some King Cake.

Haydel’s is possibly the best place in the city to get your own King Cake. There will be a small plastic baby hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is on the hook for providing the next communal King Cake.

District Donuts

🍽️ Dessert, American | $ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 570-6945

View of the interior and the people inside the District Donuts

A friend recently introduced me to District Donuts on Magazine Street in Uptown and holy cow! I can’t recommend District Donuts enough if you’re looking to try beignets (the classic New Orleans pastry dessert).

Although Cafe du Monde serves up the grandfather of all beignets, District Donuts serves grandpa’s hip grandchildren. Not all establishments serve stuffed or flavored beignets. But here, we were able to order a “flight” of flavors: matcha, raspberry, eclair, and s’mores. The offerings change daily.

In addition, District serves coffee, snacks, and cocktails. Their menu has an impressive lineup of Prohibition-era cocktails that allow you to travel back in time. These drinks pair great with the classy, retro ambiance that feels like something out of The Great Gatsby.


🍽️ Dessert | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 571-5323

View of the people checking out the sweets display at the Sucre

Sucre is a locally-famous sweets shop with a French influence. My friends (pictured above) were ecstatic to hit up Sucre right after Easter since they’d given up sweets for Lent. But anyone and everyone will feel like a kid in a candy shop after stepping into Sucre. They are famous for their macarons, champagne cupcakes, and art-like decorative cakes. They also serve gelato, coffee, and a limited menu of savory items like sandwiches.

Pizza Domenica

🍽️ Italian | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 301-4978

Exterior view of the Pizza Domenica located in the corner of the street
(photo: William A Morgan / Shutterstock)

Pizza Domenica isn’t your ordinary pizza place: it’s won a James Beard award, for one. Second, the Neapolitan-style pizzas are cooked in a custom-built wood-fired oven that you won’t find elsewhere. 

Although Pizza Domenica might not be the most uniquely New Orleans restaurant, it’s an extremely solid place to eat in New Orleans if you just want good pizza. And since New Orleans is known as a foodie destination, good pizza in New Orleans tends to be really good. 

Cafe Abyssinia

🍽️ Ethiopian | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 (504) 894-6238

Red and black exterior view of the Cafe Abyssinia

Cafe Abyssinia is an unassuming red cottage set away from Magazine Street. You might not notice it if you didn’t know it was there, which is why I’m letting you in on this insider secret. It serves up phenomenal Ethiopian food.

Cafe Abyssinia is best-enjoyed family-style, with guests seated around a small table and sharing entrees served on a large Ethiopian flatbread called injera. Injera is a spongy, fermented bread that is generally gluten-free (it’s made from teff flour), and it’s delicious to eat the variety of stews and saucy entrees by scooping it up with the flatbread. 

FAQs About New Orleans Restaurants

What are the top restaurants in New Orleans?

The top fine dining restaurants in New Orleans are Antoine’s, Commander’s Palace, Galatoire’s, Atchafalaya, and Arnaud’s. Slightly less formal award-winning restaurants include Shaya, Dooky Chase, Compere Lapin, Cochon, and Peche

What are some good places to eat in New Orleans on a budget?

The top places to eat in New Orleans on a budget are Dat Dog, Verti Marte, Cochon Butcher, St. James Cheese Factory, and Juan’s Flying Burrito.

Where is good to eat in the French Quarter?

Top-rated restaurants in the French Quarter include Antoine’s, Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s, and Justine.


I hope I’ve helped you narrow down where you’ll eat while visiting New Orleans! In short, there’s no shortage of where to eat in New Orleans. It’s a vibrant foodie city with both centuries-old establishments and trendy modern eateries.

Looking for more things to do in New Orleans? Be sure to check out my guide to the best day trips from New Orleans!

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