My, oh my, crawfish pie. New Orleans is a city that beats to its own mighty drum. This list of best places to eat in New Orleans celebrates that get down music. Did I just hear a ‘who dat?
N’awlins is a land of lagniappe, and you will find it first and foremost in the food. Poboys, rum, oysters, beignets, crawfish, the Sazerac, chicory coffee, pralines, creole cream cheese, chochon de lait…
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Last Updated: December 2, 2021
49 Best Places to Eat in New Orleans Food Bucket List
New Orleans was in my backyard growing up and I had the chance to live there as a young adult working at my first bread baking job. Every time I go back for visits, the city, she seeps into my veins a little more each time feeling like an echo that reverberates in my body long after I come back to Asheville. We also got a little help from our friend Kelly Fields of the famed Willa Jean Bakery to bring you a list of the best places to eat in New Orleans. It includes both new and legendary spots to fill you up.
Note: In the light of everything going on right now, be sure to call the restaurants to see if they are open or have limited hours. If any of the restaurants are closed permanently, let us know in the comments below so we can update the list.
(Bywater, Beer/Wine Bars, $$) Eat Crispy Pork Shoulder and Patatas Bravas in the perfect backyard with live music and an entire room of choice wine by the bottle or classic cocktails.
(Bywater, BBQ/Southern, $) Delicious BBQ.
(Bywater, Chinese, $$) It’s a hard to find hole-in-the-wall, but it’s worth the effort. A mix of Chinese and Creole that’s addictive! Try the smashed cucumbers with tahini, the General’s chicken, and Bywater eggplant.
Central Business District
(CBD, Italian/Pizza, $$) Inside the Roosevelt Hotel, the pies here are thin, blistered, and full of flavor. My favorites? The clam and prosciutto pies. For your veggies, order the roasted cauliflower with whipped feta.
(CBD, French/German/Cajun/Creole, $$) Open wide as you can for the burger here, piled with Benton’s bacon, caramelized onions, and Emmenthaler cheese.
(French Quarter, New American/Mediterranean, $$$) Grilled Shrimp and Smoked Duck PB&J sandwich. Also, sweetbreads that will change your life or at least my brothers.
(French Quarter, Donuts/Coffee/Tea, $) A cornerstone of the Quarter, cafe’ au lait, beignets and excellent people watching not to be missed.
(French Quarter, Cocktail Bars, $$) Beautiful bar and interior, cocktails.
(French Quarter, Grocery/Sandwiches, $) Muffuletta as big as your head, make sure you eat it at the bar. Temporary closed – will reopen 12/19.
(French Quarter, New American/Steakhouses, $$) Amazing steaks.
(French Quarter, Sandwiches, $$) A small storefront with a big appetite. The shrimp bahn mi with a cold beer alongside it hit the spot.
(French Quarter + Multiple Locations, Desserts/Chocolatiers, $$) On Eater’s Essential French Quarter Dining Guide. Known for its seafood tower.
(French Quarter, American (New)/ Gastropubs, $$) Chilled shrimp salad that was PERFECT! Unfortunately, our bartender/waitress woke up that morning and served us with an attitude enough to ruin our experience.
(Garden District, Seafood, $$) There are raw oysters and an oyster loaf amidst gleaming white floor to ceiling white tile. Make sure you walk thru the kitchen on your way to the bathroom; the ladies cooking are not to be missed.
(Garden District, Seafood Market, $$) The place for boiled crawfish and Abita Beer. What else do you need? Just take ‘em home and pour those babies out on a picnic table and roll up your sleeves or just take your shirt off!
(Garden District, Cajun/Creole/American, $$$) I have memories of the turtle soup from when I was a kid, finished tableside with sherry. For lunch, .25 cent martini’s (limit 3). Who dat?
(Garden District, New American, $$) Try the fried chicken and duck.
(Garden District, Bars/Southern, $) Step up to the takeout window and order a roast beef Po’ Boy made to drip down to your elbows.
(Garden District, Deli/Sandwiches, $$) Walk in, stand in line, and order a Rachel. You will be handed an overstuffed sandwich and a bad attitude, but you will somehow walk out smiling and loving life.
(Garden District/Touro, New American, $) Wine plus tapas. Yes please.
(Marigny, Pizza/New American, $) Pizza, sautéed artichokes, best crudo we had in town, along with some of the friendliest service in the city.
(Marigny, New American/Salad/Seafood, $$) It was built in 1838 as an open-air market, but you can still camp out here for hours and choose from a dozen different purveyors of food and libation. Don’t miss the simple and addictive avocado toast, and wash it down with a Mr. Pickle’s Old Fashioned.
(Marigny (Treme) + Multiple Locations, Southern/Comfort Food, $$) Think you’ve already tried the best fried chicken of your life? Think again.
(Mid-City/Various, Seafood/Seafood Markets, $$) Cochon de Lait Po’ Boy.
(Mid-City, Vietnamese/Asian Fusion/Cocktails, $$) Som Tam salad and crispy chicken wings.
(Riverbend, Cajun/Creole/Southern, $$) Broiled Gulf Fish
(Riverbend, American (Traditional)/Burger, $) Get the cheeseburger late-night.
(New American, Cafe, $$) Don’t sleep on their bread pudding!
(Riverbend, Cajun/Creole, $$) Snag the 2 top in the back of the run-down truck parked on the curb covered in street art and order the Eggplant Jacques-Imo.
(Uptown, Latin American/Small Plates, $$) Ceviche and Pescado Frito (whole fried fish), this spot is like walking into a house party on the weekends.
(Uptown, Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt, $) Try a big ole scoop of creole cream cheese ice cream and salty smoky chocolate almond.
(Uptown, BBQ, Southern, $$) Try the wagyu hanger steak.
(Uptown, Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt/Shaved Ice, $) New Orleans’ and world famous snowballs. My favorite? The tart satsuma. If you visit and it’s hot out, expect a line!
(Uptown, French/Creperie/Seafood, $$) Adorable from first sight, the building looks like an old train depot, feels like Paris inside. The mussels and frites, whole fish, and avocado vinaigrette are stand-outs.
(Uptown, French, $$$) Hanger steak was on point, Manhattan and Old Fashioned were perfect, and our waitress/bartender was friendly and genuinely answered our questions.
(Uptown, Seafood/Brunch/French, $$$) Try the fried rabbit on a biscuit.
(Uptown, Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/Desserts, $$) Spectacular outdoor patio, baba ganoush, falafel, and wood-fired pita. Go spend a perfect afternoon here.
(Uptown + Multiple Locations, Breakfast/Brunch, $$) Classic BLT and huevos rancheros. If you want a stiff drink to go with your eats, you can BYOB here and have the best of both.
(Warehouse District, French, $$$) Banana brown butter tart with fleur de sel caramel.
(Warehouse District, Seafood, $$$$) Smoked tuna dip, raw oysters, and skirt steak. Eat at one of the 2 bars and you will not be disappointed.
(Warehouse District, Cocktail Bars/Seafood, $$) – For happy hour, oysters on the half and a glass of rose’.
(Warehouse District, Bakery/American (New)/Breakfast/Brunch, $$) Biscuits with strawberry jam, charcuterie plate with homemade crackers and pickles, avocado toast.
Map of Best Places to Eat in New Orleans
Best Places to Stay
See something that makes you hungry? Any others you would add for the best places to eat in New Orleans?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust