Good food, along with good music, is what New Orleans is most known for. There are almost 1500 restaurants in greater New Orleans. With so many options, how do you know which restaurants are the best ones to go to?
It is easy to find the many fine restaurants with NOLA flavor that are located downtown and in the French Quarter, but how can you find the places where the locals eat? That is always a challenge when traveling. 411 NOLA has taken on that challenge for you and created a guide to “locals-only” restaurants that serve New Orleans-style cuisine. The guide, which is a work in progress and will be continuously updated, features sandwich shops, dessert shops, coffee houses, cafes, and diners in addition to restaurants. Now, when you come to New Orleans, you won’t have to ask where the locals go because you will already know. Listings are organized by neighborhood.
To make your dining experiences as good as possible, make sure to call ahead of time to get up-to-date info about hours, accepted payment methods, and any special events that might be taking place. If you want even more information about New Orleans restaurants and cuisine including restaurant reviews, recipes, and more, then click here.
Algiers Point, located across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, is the city’s second-oldest neighborhood. The quiet community has the feeling of an Old World village that happens to have a lot of soul. It also happens to have some quaint restaurants that serve meals you won’t soon forget.
The Dry Dock Café is an institution in Algiers Point. Its menu has something for everyone—alligator sausage, Cajun fries, shrimp scampi, burgers, salads, gumbo, po-boys, and more than you can imagine. 133 Delaronde St., 504-361-8240
Tout de Suite, a homey cafe and coffee shop, serves hearty breakfasts and lunches as well as some darn good coffee. The place is so inviting and welcoming that you can’t help but feel like a local when you are there. 347 Verret St., 504-362-2264
There are so many good restaurants in the French Quarter, and they are all good in their own ways. Famous dining establishments like Antoine’s, Brennan’s, Galatoire’s, and Café du Monde get a lot of press, but 411 NOLA has the inside scoop on some places that you may not think to visit.
Coop’s Place is a small restaurant with big flavor. Fried seafood is its specialty, but it also serves beef, chicken, and pasta dishes in addition to NOLA culinary staples such as red beans, greens, coleslaw, and jambalaya, all at prices that won’t break the bank. While this is a fun place that the whole family could love, due to the presence of video poker machines, those under age 21 are not allowed in the restaurant. Before you go, check out the scene at Coop’s Place on its webcam! 1109 Decatur St., 504-525-9053
Croissant D’Or Patisserie is a bit of France in the heart of the French Quarter. Featuring superior coffee and espresso drinks, homemade French-style pastries, a quaint atmosphere, indoor and patio seating and low prices (especially on coffee, croissants, and muffins), this hidden gem is worth finding. It is a great place for a light breakfast or lunch and is open every day (except Tuesday) from 6:30 a. m. to 3:00 p. m. 617 Ursulines Ave., 504-524-4663.
Muriel’s Jackson Square, home of fine Creole dining, is not hard for travelers to find, but there are a few secrets that this thoroughly New Orleans restaurant has that are little known. One is the restaurant’s great value. At Muriel’s, for the same price you might pay at less refined eateries, you will get outstanding cuisine, historic décor, attentive service, and a quiet elegance. Muriel’s is also a great place to stop in for dessert for treats like the homemade sorbet sampler, pecan pie, and pain perdu bread pudding. For lite bites, cruise into the Courtyard Bar where you can savor dishes like shrimp and goat cheese crepes, seafood gumbo, and a spinach salad (all less than $10 each!). Live jazz brunches are served á la carte, so you can enjoy the flavor of good food and the sound of New Orleans music for a fraction of what you might pay elsewhere. One more good reason to recommend Muriel’s is its gluten-free menu, something not easily found in a city known for its culinary indulgence. 801 Charters St. on Jackson Square., 504-568-9795
The Terrace Café is (located inside Le Richelieu Hotel), is a lovely place to have breakfast in the Quarter. The menu is simple—oatmeal, eggs, pancakes, coffee, tea, juice—but the atmosphere is trés magnifique! The outdoor feel to the café makes you think that you are enjoying your morning meal in the quaint home of a stylish Parisian. 1234 Chartres St., 504-529-2492
McKenzie’s Chicken in a Box is a take-out joint that sells check and seafood. 58 and years old and counting, McKenzie’s is a tried and true place to get local flavor on a budget. 3839 Frenchmen St., 504-943-8908.
Zimmer’s Seafood has been a neighborhood institution for 30 years. It is best known for its shrimp po-boy. Even folks who don’t like shrimp like the shrimp po-boy at Zimmer’s. The potato salad and marinated crab salad also get great reviews. With plates under $10 each, you can’t go wrong. 4915 St. Anthony St., 504-282-7150
This upper-middle class neighborhood is home to a wide variety of eateries, a good number of which are worth the trip to find them.
Chicken Sue’s is a local gem for two reasons—its great food and friendly workers. Great prices, huge portions, and Naturally N’Awlins flavor make this hole-in-the wall seafood and soul food restaurant popular for lunch and dinner. If you go there, try the eggplant fries. You won’t be disappointed. 203 W. Harrison Ave., 504-371-5546.
Creole Creamery is the New Orleans answer to chain ice cream shops. Known for its gourmet flavors (cucumber sorbet , Black and Gold Crunch, Lavender Honey Ice Cream), for its sundaes and frozen treats both classic and creative, and for its homemade goodness, Creole Creamery is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that you will only find in New Orleans. 6260 Vicksburg St., 504-482-2924
Harrison Cove, a restaurant attached to Lakeview Grocery, is an indoor and outdoor gathering spot for good food, live music, and great drink specials. Seafood Fridays and Waffle Brunch Sundays are popular there. Free wi-fi is available as well. 801 Harrison Ave., 504-293-1201
Lakeview Deli and Catering will wow you with its po-boys. The crab cake po-boy is made of local, lump crab meat that is seasoned, patty formed, and golden fried and then placed between two fresh slices of French bread. Delicious! Daily specials include red beans and rice on Mondays, stuffed bell peppers on Tuesdays, and fried catfish on Fridays. The deli is a perfect place to enjoy a casual lunch like a local. While you are there, get caught up on your emails. The deli offers free wi-fi access to its customers. 872 Harrison Ave., 504-304-8501.
Robert’s Fresh Market is a local grocery store that also sells regional bakery favorites like petit fours and king cakes as well as sandwiches and hot lunches that rival most anything you’d find in a restaurant. Grab a muffaletta or indulge in Louisiana specialties like corn meal- crusted catfish with jalapeno tartar sauce and Cajun potato salad. 135 Robert E. Lee Blvd. 504-282-3428.
Marigny and Bywater
Just a hop, skip, and second line away from the French Quarter are the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods where you will find interesting restaurants that reflect the diversity of New Orleans cuisine.
A former plantation, Feelings Cafe is an intimate, upscale, time-honored dining establishment that features an outdoor patio as well as a piano bar. The menu is rich in seafood dishes but also features chicken, beef, and salads. For dessert, get the peanut butter pie. It to die for! 2600 Chartres St., 504-945-2222
The casual La Peniche restaurant serves breakfast all day but also offers staple New Orleans dishes like oyster po-boys. This neighborhood hang out has the appeal of your favorite diner with NOLA flavor. 1940 Dauphine St., 504-943-1460
The jazz club Sweet Lorraine’s serves authentic Creole food such as blackened catfish. Go there for dinner and late-night dining and Sunday brunch (with live music!). 1931 St. Claude Ave., 504-945-9654.
Elizabeth’s is a popular out-of-the way eatery with the motto “Real Food. Real Good.” With menu items like praline bacon, beer bbq shrimp, and gumbo, you can’t go wrong. Dinner is served Tuesday – Saturday, and brunch is served on the weekends. 1601 Gallier St., 504-944-9272
Jack Dempsey’s, a restaurant that looks unassuming but is actually upscale, is the place for seafood, steaks, and lobster. A popular menu item, the J.D. platter, has it all: gumbo, fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, redfish, crab balls and crawfish pies. What more could you ask for? 738 Poland Ave., 504-943-9914
Things are smokin’ at The Joint, a casual bbq house that serves locally made sausage, pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, and more. Sides include mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad, and fries (to name a few). Diners are given an array of bbq sauces at the table to choose from, so each meal is unique. When the weather is nice, sit outside in the backyard while you grub down. 801 Poland Ave., 504-949-3232
Hop on the Canal street car line and head to Mid-City where you will find a good mix of “dives”, fine dining, legendary eateries, and family-friendly restaurants.
Over 75 years old, Crescent City Steak House is the first place where prime beef was served in New Orleans and is the origin of the New Orleans-style of cooking steaks which involves sizzling them in butter. The food is outstanding, and the atmosphere is vintage, classy, and a bit romantic (especially the private booths). If you like good steak and New Orleans culture, then this is the place for you. Reservations are recommended. 1001 N. Broad St., 504-821-3271
Katie’s Restaurant & Bar took a hit during hurricane Katrina, but now it is back and is better than ever. This family-friendly establishment serves Italian and New Orleans fare like po-boys, fried catfish, and lasagna in addition to a variety of salads, burgers, and pasta dishes. The white chocolate bread pudding is Kate’s signature dessert. Don’t leave the restaurant without eating it. Lunch and dinner are served every day but Monday. Sunday brunch takes place from 9:00 a. m. to 3:00 p. m. weekly and offers you your choice of bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or Sangria. 3701 Iberville St., 504-488-6582
Mandina’s Restaurant is a legendary Creole/Italian restaurant in the heart of Mid-City whose history stretches all the way back to 1898 when Sebastian Mandina came over from Palermo, Sicily to open a grocery store. Salads, steaks, chicken, pasta and seafood are all on the menu. Mandina’s is known for its French bread, po-boys, homemade turtle soup au sherry, and bread pudding, but everything is good at this New Orleans institution. Child-sized plates are available. Go there for lunch and dinner seven days a week. 3800 Canal St., 504-482-9179
Parkway Bakery and Tavern, unlike its name suggests, is not a place that serves cupcakes with beer. While good brew is always on tap, this casual restaurant that sits along Bayou St. John is known for its wide range of classic po-boys and sandwiches. It has been featured on both the Food Network and on “Food Wars” on the Travel Channel. Come here for unpretentious good grub and an authentic local vibe. Parkway Bakery and Tavern is open every day from 11:00 a. m. to 10:00 p. m. except Tuesdays when it is closed. 538 Hagan Ave., 504-482-3047
Owned by the famous Brennan Restaurant Group, Ralph’s on the Park offers fine dining just steps from majestic City Park. Globally-inspired Creole-American cooking is the specialty at Ralph’s. Boudin balls, turtle soup, bbq Gulf shrimp, scallops wrapped in bacon—everything at Ralph’s is divine. Despite its sophisticated décor and cuisine, Ralph’s offers a special brunch menu just for kids in addition to the one it has for adults. You can’t go wrong with the food or the service at Ralph’s on the Park. Both are simply first-rate. Reservations are recommended. Lunch is served Wednesday to Friday, and dinner is served daily. Brunch is served on Sundays only. 900 City Park Ave., 504-488-1000
With a name like Ye Olde College Inn, this restaurant, (a NOLA institution since 1933) doesn’t sound very New Orleans, but it is. This restaurant and bar is famous for its seafood po-boys, burgers, and veal dishes. Also good at the “Inn” are the Fried Green Tomato Remoulade Napoleon, Creole Caprese Salad, and bread pudding. Reservations are accepted but not required. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday. 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 504-866-3683.
There are a lot of restaurants in the Riverbend area (where Carrollton and St. Charles Ave. meet) that represent cuisines from all over the word, but in that same area you can find restaurants that serve delicious local dishes.
The draw of Dante’s Kitchen is that it uses local, farm-fresh vegetables in its dishes. The restaurant creates seasonal menus that reflect a contemporary take on Creole comfort food. With five intimate dining rooms and a lush tropical patio across from the Mississippi River, it is the perfect place to enjoy foods such as jumbo lump crab meat, redfish on the half shell, and a plate of homemade pickles. 736 Dante St., 504-861-3121
Jacques-Imo’s Café is well-known for its delicious and spirited dishes. Ever had shrimp and alligator cheesecake served with Creole mustard cream sauce? It’s also known for being a lively place. Eating dinner there is like being at a party at someone’s home in the French Quarter. 8324 Oak St., 504-861-0886
Treme and Esplanade Ridge
Some of the best eating in the city can be found in these two neighborhoods downriver from Canal St.
Café Degas serves French food that is Louisiana-fresh. Locals love this place for its fine dining and quaint atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday, and brunch (Sundays only), this little treasure features daily specials like mirliton and crab claw bisque and cheese plates along with perennial favorites like French onion soup and Parmesan-crusted veal. Always available are fresh, seasonal vegetables, and hush puppies, a Southern favorite. Reservations are recommended, especially for large groups. 3127 Esplanade Ave., 504-945-5635
Café Treme, a new coffee house, is quickly becoming a local favorite. Its sleek but welcoming atmosphere combined with its low prices, free wi-fi, and diverse menu—coffee and espresso drinks, sweets, pastries, lunch items, fruit, ice cream and snowballs—make this the place to be. Located just a few blocks from the French Quarter, it is easy to find. Both locals and visitors will love this café. 1501 St. Phillip St., 504-264-1132.
The CoCo Hut is a little-known Caribbean dive that serves dishes like jerk chicken and fried plantains along with seafood selections like tilapia, red snapper and yellowfin tuna. The “dining room” is super tiny, but the flavor at the CoCo hut is larger than life. Go there to taste the tropical flavors of New Orleans cuisine. 2515 Bayou Road, 504-945-8788
Lil Dizzy’s Café is owned and operated by Wayne Baquet of the Baquet family, one of the premier Creole restaurateur families in the Big Easy. Go there for authentic New Orleans food like trout baquet, grits, file gumbo, homemade sausage, fried chicken, seafood, and more. The lunch buffet with the best soul food you may ever eat is ever popular as are the restaurant’s breakfasts and brunches. 1500 Esplanade Ave., 504-569-8997
The menu at Lizzua’s By the Track is not extensive (gumbo, salads, seafood platters and p0-boys), but that is ok; the food you find here is “good eatin’” and Naturally N’awlins all the way. This neighborhood joint is a favorite of locals, of horse race enthusiasts and workers, and during Jazz Fest, it’s everyone’s favorite because it opens for drinks before the festival gates open. Go there for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. 1518 N. Lopez St., 504-218-7888
The cuisine at Two Sisters Restaurant represents the heart and soul of New Orleans fare: red beans and rice, fried catfish, chitlins, ribs, peas, potato salad, bread pudding. Eating here is like eating the best grub at a church potluck. The food here is the real deal. Breakfast and lunch are served Monday – Saturday. Cash only. 223 N. Derbigny St., 504-524-0056
Much has been said about Willie Mae’s Scotch House, a one-time “chicken shack” that was ruled by an octogenarian whose secret-recipe fried chicken was honored as an “American classic” by the James Beard Association. The building was renovated after hurricane Katrina by teams of dedicated volunteers, and the restaurant is now a revered institution run by Mae’s great-granddaughter. What’s on the menu? Nothing. Daily specials are recited to you. Think soul food: red beans and rice, corn bread, fries, greens, and of course, fried chicken. No matter what you order you can be sure that the food will be savory and delicious. Go there for lunch; the Scotch House is not open for dinner. 2401 St. Ann St., 504-822-9503
Uptown is so named because it is the section of the city that is upriver from Canal St. It includes many sub-neighborhoods of New Orleans including Uptown, Central City, the Garden District, the Irish Channel, and the Broadmoor. A plethora of dining options exist in this expansive part of town. Some of the famous and fine dining establishments in Uptown are Commander’s Palace, Upperline Restaurant, Pascal’s Manale, Gautreau’s. Lesser-known and less expensive eateries in the area are listed below.
The Blue Plate Café serves up breakfast and lunch just a few blocks from the Warehouse/Arts District. Get your grits, pancakes, eggs, here in the mornings (Monday – Saturday) and grab a sandwich here in the afternoons (Monday – Friday only). 1330 Prytania St., 504-309-9500
Café Freret is known for its muffaletta, an Italian-style sandwich loaded with meat and green olive salad. It is also known for making its own doggie treats. You and Fido can go here to get a bite to eat and relax indoors or outdoors together. 7329 Freret St., 504-861-7890
Café Reconcile is a nonprofit restaurant located in historic Central City in the Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. corridor. It is the primary training ground for students seeking to acquire skills in the food service industry. Featuring soul-filled local dishes (click here for the café’s menu) and some of the city’s lowest prices (under $10 a plate), Café Reconcile is a destination lunch spot for a wide cross-section of New Orleanians as well as visitors from all across the country. The café is open weekdays only from 11:00 a. m. to 2:30 p. m. 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 504-568-1157
Casamento’s, a family-run seafood and Italian restaurant, has garnered praise from reviewers across the nation. Everyone agrees that this almost century-old restaurant has the best oysters in town. Fried, on the half shell, raw, in stews—oysters are king at Casamento’s. Celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman, and Tommy Lee Jones have gone there for a bite to eat. Even Guy Fieri from the Food Channel has shown up there. You should too. Casamento’s is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week except Monday. 4330 Magazine St., 504-895-9761
Creole Creamery is the New Orleans answer to chain ice cream shops. Known for its gourmet flavors (cucumber sorbet , Black and Gold Crunch, Lavender Honey Ice Cream), for its sundaes and frozen treats both classic and creative, and for its homemade goodness, Creole Creamery is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that you will only find in New Orleans. 4924 Prytania St., 504-894-8680
Cure is a refined place to enjoy artisan cocktails and tapas. At home in a renovated firehouse, Cure is a cozy and sophisticated place to indulge your inner foodie. 4905 Freret St., 504-302-2357
Domilise’s Po-Boys was recently features on the Travel Channel’s show called “Food Wars” which has this to say about this hole-in-the-wall eatery “This New Orleans institution has been serving delicious po-boy sandwiches since it opened back in the early 1900s.” Try the roast beef po-boy covered in homemade gravy and Creole mustard for a twist, or go for a fried oyster “sammich.” Whatever you eat, you’re gonna love it at Domilise’s. 5240 Annunciation St., 504-899-9126
Franky and Johnny’s epitomizes the New Orleans neighborhood cuisine and culture. In addition to the hot and spicy, award-winning boiled crawfish, the menu offers New Orleans originals such as roast beef po-boy, the Italian muffuletta, and homemade bread pudding. you can’t go wrong at this time-honored NOLA eatery. 321 Arabella St., 504-899-9146
Go to Joey K’s Restaurant and Bar for a taste of New Orleans. A traditional New Orleans meal might include oysters, shrimp, catfish or roast beef served on a crunchy French bread loaf, plus a side of huge tasty onion rings or fried artichoke hearts. That’s kind of good grub you find at Joey K’s. 3001 Magazine St., 504-891-0997
La Crêpe Nanou is a romantic neighborhood bistro that has served locals for over 20 years. The menu features traditional French fare: crêpes, cheese fondue, pâté, salads, fresh fish, grilled and roasted meats, and delicious dessert crêpes. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for dinner only. 1410 Robert St., 504-899-2670
Mahony’s is an award-winning po-boy shop that serves both classic po-boys (fried catfish) as well as some originals (fried green tomatoes & remoulade sauce). No matter what you eat there, you’ll be satisfied. 3454 Magazine St., 504899-3374
St. Charles Tavern is on the street car line but is often overlooked by visitors. This unassuming diner is open 24 hours a day and serves classic New Orleans dishes like red beans and rice, po-boys, and more. You can also hop in for a bite of breakfast. Low prices, convenient location, and good food make this eatery a sure bet. 1433 St. Charles Ave., 504-523-9823
Warehouse / CBD
As is the case with the French Quarter, there are many famously-good restaurants in the Warehouse and Central Business Districts of New Orleans: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Domenica, Drago’s, Herbsaint, Cochon, Emeril’s, and the casual Mother’s Restaurant come to mind. There are also some not-so-famous eateries in these neighborhoods that will wow you nonetheless. 411 NOLA lists them for you.
Bon Ton Café serves Cajun dishes like crawfish bisque, bayou jambalaya, and features fresh Gulf seafood in its family recipes. Housed in a historical 1840s Natchez building, the restaurant is both cozy and stylish with checkered red and white tablecloths, wrought-iron chandeliers, and soft-brick walls. Reservations are highly recommended. Bon Ton is open Monday – Friday for lunch and dinner but is closed on the weekends. 401 Magazine St., 504-524-8836
Fredrick’s on the Avenue sounds like a fancy fine dining establishment, but in reality it is a grocery store and deli with mouth-watering po-boys and Creole dishes like jambalaya. You can also grab a breakfast sandwich or a hearty egg dish in the morning. Here you can eat like a local at local prices. 312 St. Charles Ave., 504-587-7133
La Boulangerie is a French-inspired café serving coffee, breakfast, and lunch. It is quaint, has reasonable prices and tasty food. 625 St. Charles Ave., 504-569-1925
Situated off of the Roosevelt Hotel’s impressive lobby is Teddy’s Café is an exclusive coffee and sweets shop committed to the time-honored, coffee-making tradition of New Orleans. Coffee, espresso drinks, cappuccinos, tea, hot chocolate, and frozen drinks are all on the menu. So are a number of delectable pastries including beignets served with lavender honey. The luxurious and stylish décor along with the tasty menu offerings (and very reasonable prices) make Teddy’s a place you should visit at least once. 123 Baronne St., 504-648-1200
Tommy’s Cuisine has a deceptively “boy-next-door” kind of name. Tommy’s Cuisine is actually an upscale restaurant serving classic Creole Italian food. With an in-house wine bar and menu items such as Oysters Rockefeller, shrimp remoulade, soft-shell crab, and bread pudding, Tommy’s is a real find. 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-581-1103