12 gorgeous New Orleans restaurants that will blow you away

Photo credit: Chemin à la Mer
A wall of windows gives every table a view of the Mississippi River’s famous hairpin turn at Chemin à la Mer in New Orleans.

In New Orleans, restaurateurs know that setting the stage for an unforgettable meal is as important as the meal itself. These gorgeous spots are mini-worlds of their own and make memories that last way beyond lunch or dinner.

A filigreed bar turns heads at an Italian hotspot. Gilded cages and crushed velvet accents add allure to a Creole hotel lounge. At a next-gen steakhouse, sparkling chandeliers and AI-assisted artscapes fuel an unconventional atmosphere.

But creating charming spaces isn’t always about being fancy or over-the-top. These restaurants define beauty on their own terms and each offers a unique spin on style. Read on for a guide to the 12 most beautiful restaurants in New Orleans.

Chemin à la Mer (Central Business District)

Chemin à la Mer’s interiors take cues from the Mississippi River. | Credit: Chemin à la Mer

French for “pathway to the sea,” this Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans restaurant boasts front-row seats to the Mississippi’s famous hairpin turn. Its interiors were inspired by the river’s natural landscape, which explains the stunning wildlife portraits. A wall of windows gives every table a river view—an ideal backdrop for gussied-up Louisiana classics by James Beard Award winner Donald Link, including seafood gumbo and pan-seared Gulf shrimp.

Peacock Room at The Hotel Fontenot (Warehouse District)

The Peacock Room is one of the sultriest restaurants in New Orleans. | Credit: Peacock Room

There’s no sultrier New Orleans spot than the Peacock Room, a bar and restaurant at the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot. Its drop-dead sexy decor includes crushed velvet and a collection of gilded cages and feathered birds. It’s a mesmerizing setting for chef Sam Peery’s Cajun-inspired food like shrimp and pimento cheese grits and rock candy-braised short ribs. Reserve a table under the gaze of a snow-white peacock, even better on a Thursday night when there’s live jazz.

Atchafalaya Restaurant (Garden District)

Atchafalaya is housed in a charming Creole cottage. | Credit: Atchafalaya Restaurant

Light streams through the windows at Atchafalaya, drenching the charming Creole cottage in a golden glow. Its various dining rooms are practically art galleries, decked with portraits and landscapes from local artist James Michalopoulos. Expect excellent locally accented dishes by chef Chris Lynch such as gumbo du jour, crispy oyster salad, and Gulf fish of the day.

Justine (French Quarter)

Justine is a thoughtful tribute to Paris and New Orleans, as hinted by an accent wall that displays maps of both cities. | Credit: Justine

Justine is just as inspired by its French Quarter backdrop as it is by French brasseries, serving both escargot and shrimp and grits. The jewel box of a restaurant from La Petite Grocery owner Justin Devillier is done up in neon and pink tiles and smoked-glass mirrors. Treasures from French salvage yards fill the dining area, including a stunning 20-foot zinc bar. A back wall with a mural depicting maps of Paris and New Orleans confirms that Justine’s proudly—and seamlessly—embraces two worlds. 

Tana (Metairie)

Tana exudes comfortable elegance with velvet furnishings and rustic beams on the ceiling. | Credit: Tana

Chef Michael Gulotta’s Sicilian roots, Ligurian training, and New Orleans homebase come together at this chic Metairie newcomer. Here, savory zeppole is topped with Cajun caviar and clams vongole is spiked with hot sausage. The 5,000-square-foot space is dressed to impress with tufted velvet booths and chairs in unusual colors, like avocado and cobalt. From the glow of its filigreed bar to the rustic beams overhead, Tana stands for comfortable elegance. 

The Gloriette (Covington)

The Gloriette is known for floral Impressionism pastel paintings on the walls. | Credit: The Gloriette

The Gloriette, an airy garden-themed restaurant at The Southern Hotel, expertly blends flavors from France and Louisiana on its menu, serving rib-eye steak frites and red fish with crab-boil potatoes. As you revel in the Southern-accented flavors, also take a minute to admire your dreamy surroundings, which include Monet-style pastels on the walls and a view of heritage oaks outside. 

Gaia Steakhouse (Lower Garden District)

Gaia Steakhouse’s non-traditional interiors include AI-assisted artscapes and bare polished wood tables. | Credit: Gaia Steakhouse

Unlike most steakhouses, Gaia ditches the white-tablecloth approach. Instead, its charcoal-grilled Wagyu beef and black truffle fries are served on bare polished wood tables—just one way the restaurant side steps tradition. Other non-conventional touches include AI-assisted artscapes and a central column wrapped in tree bark and moss. Sparkling chandeliers and Turkish rugs round out the ultra-modern setting. 

The Bower (Lower Garden District)

The Bower balances industrial-chic interiors with lots of greenery and foliage. | Credit: The Bower

The word “bower” conjures a leafy country lane—a welcoming respite from city life.  That’s exactly the vibe at this farmers’ market-inspired restaurant set in an industrial space teeming with greenery, foliage, and atmospheric lighting. Louisiana native chef Marcus Woodham dishes up creative small plates, housemade pastas, and heritage meats, making this lush Magazine Street charmer a breath of fresh air in a city known for fried food and heavy sauces.

Yo Nashi (Central Business District)

The bright blue and orange interiors at Yo Nashi are decked with golden accents that resemble pebbles, shells, and more. | Credit: Yo Nashi

Just four blocks from the edge of the French Quarter, Yo Nashi (Japanese for “pear”) impresses with an exquisite omakase lineup from chef Mackenzie “Mack” Broquet. The restaurant’s vibrant setting is full of bright shades of blue and orange and gilded accents that resemble pebbles, shells, twigs, and—of course—pears on a branch. Outside, the fruit appears on a sign made using the shou sugi ban technique, the Japanese method of charring wood with fire. 

Maypop (Central Business District)

Maypop’s walls are splashed with a mural of its namesake flower. | Credit: Maypop

Maypop is the second restaurant from chef Michael Gulotta and known for a one-of-a-kind fusion menu that mixes Southeast Asian influences with Italian and Southern flavors in dishes like crawfish tom kha with scallion malfatti dumplings. A hanging garden livens up the modern dining room, which also displays a mural of the restaurant’s namesake flowers and a custom-made accordion-like map—depending on which angle you gaze at it from, it looks like the Mississippi river or the Mekong delta.  

Chandelier Bar (Central Business District)

Fifteen thousand crystal pendants make up the arresting focal point at Chandelier Bar. | Credit: Chandelier Bar

Walk into the Four Seasons New Orleans lobby, and you’ll stop in your tracks to take in a chandelier made with 15,000 cascading crystal pendants. Chandelier Bar’s dazzling focal point defines the opulent vibe here. The circular marble bar is a space meant for celebrations, the finest Champagne, and signature cocktails like a martini served in a coupe that’s crafted from the same crystal as the stunning chandelier, presented on a silver tray—now that’s fancy.

Copper Vine (Central Business District)

Copper Vine is a handsome wine tavern in what used to be an iconic Creole restaurant and pairs the building’s original details with contemporary flourishes. The centerpiece is a restored 24-foot bar, complete with copper taps for wine. Dig into Southern dishes like Gulf fish crudo and Cajun deviled eggs as you sip on a glass from the deep wine selection. Whether you’re perched on a leatherette stool at the bar or by a window overlooking the patio, you can’t go wrong at this relaxed gastropub. 

Beth D’Addono is a food and travel writer based in New Orleans. She’s covered the hospitality, creativity, and quirkiness that is NOLA’s dining scene for USA Today and AAA Traveler, and her latest book is 100 Things to Do in New Orleans Before You Die.

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