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The 16 Greatest Restaurants in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city revered for its food scene, from the humblest mom and pop cafes to the hautest of white tablecloth establishments. Restaurants are woven into the fabric of daily life in the Crescent City, beloved as traditional places to mark family milestones and come together to celebrate everything from Valentine’s Day to Mardi Gras.

Because of the centuries-old cultural gumbo that is New Orleans, the city’s gastronomy is an inimitable mix of Creole, French, Spanish, Italian, and African influences that combine in a distinctive way. It’s hard to imagine New Orleans without its iconic po-boys or muffaletta sandwiches—or the hallowed halls where oysters Rockefeller were first created in 1889. Whether you live in New Orleans or get there as often as you can, a meal at these restaurants offers a taste of what it means to call it yours.

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Beth D'Addono
16 Restaurants
Updated April 14, 2022
Restaurants:Commander's Palace, Arnaud's, Antoine's
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Creole
Neighborhoods:Garden District, French Quarter
A photo of Commander's Palace restaurant

Commander's Palace

$$$$
Creole
Garden District
4.1
9 reviews

A bastion of Brennan family tradition, Commander’s Palace is an icon that delivers its own over-the-top experience. The very sight of the green and white awning is enough to get the stomach rumbling. Luminaries Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme started here, and the Brennan family has maintained a tradition of culinary excellence since 1969. The restaurant’s first female executive chef, Meg Bickford, keeps the menu relevant and the emphasis squarely on local products, seafood, and game. Commander’s weekend jazz brunch is spendy but epic, with choices such as turtle soup, shrimp and grits, and the best bread pudding souffle in town.


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A photo of Arnaud's restaurant

Arnaud's

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.7
6108 reviews

Founded in 1918 by French wine salesman Arnaud Cazenave, this restaurant has long occupied a beloved spot in the city’s culinary lexicon. Taking up nearly a full city block just off of Bourbon Street on Bienville in the Quarter, Arnaud’s is striking without a hint of flashiness. The tiled main dining room is justifiably legendary, with its glowing chandeliers, flickering candles, and tall leaded-glass windows. The French 75 Bar, which earned a 2017 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program, is the perfect place to meet before dinner.


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A photo of Antoine's restaurant

Antoine's

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.5
8465 reviews

A New Orleans culinary stalwart since 1840, the shadow that Antoine’s casts in the Crescent City can’t be overestimated. As the oldest continuously operating restaurant in America, Antoine’s is still run by its founding family. Antoine Alciatore, the restaurant’s namesake, is considered the father of Creole cooking, and his restaurant was where oysters Rockefeller first sizzled. At the restaurant or at its Hermes bar, don’t miss the salty crunch of its trademark souffle potatoes.


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A photo of The Bower restaurant

The Bower

$$$$
Contemporary American
Lower Garden District
4.7
435 reviews

Louisiana-born chef Marcus Woodham—a force who helped open other standouts such as chef John Besh’s Luke—is the powerhouse behind this sprightly newcomer in the Lower Garden District. With its menu of brilliant small plates, housemade charcuterie, and pastas, the Bower spotlights produce from Sugar Roots farm in Algiers. Must-orders include tuna tartare, given a Mediterranean spin with capers, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and sumac, along with local seafood and heritage meats—always fresh and in season.


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A photo of La Petite Grocery restaurant

La Petite Grocery

$$$$
French
Garden District
4.8
4857 reviews

Named for the first resident of this beautifully restored Uptown building—The Central Tea, Coffee and Butter Depot—which opened in the late 1800s, La Petite Grocery is an emblem of fine French cuisine on Magazine Street. In 2004, chef Justin Devillier, the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South, and his wife Mia Devillier transformed the space into one of the most romantic dining experiences in town. The blue crab beignets, a sweet and tender delight, are renowned citywide.


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A photo of Vyoones Restaurant (Yvonnes) restaurant

Vyoones Restaurant (Yvonnes)

$$$$
Contemporary French
Warehouse District
4.4
498 reviews

Vyoone’s (pronounced vee-ahn’s) is a hidden gem with its charming courtyard, representing a labor of love from owner Vyoone Segue Lewis, a fourth-generation New Orleanian with Afro Creole and French roots. The restaurant dishes up local seafood with a distinct French accent, resulting in intricately composed dishes such as soft shell crabs over corn maque-choux topped with crawfish cream sauce and bouillabaisse over homemade linguine.


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A photo of Toups Meatery restaurant

Toups Meatery

$$$$
Cajun
Mid-City / City Park
4.6
1937 reviews

Toups Meatery is a carnivore’s dream, the love child of James Beard Award-nominated chef Isaac Toups and his wife Amanda Toups. A Cajun chef schooled in French cuisine, Toups hails from Rayne, Louisiana, best known for its annual frog festival. A butcher extraordinaire with modern sensibilities, Toups is famous for his prolific meat boards, complete with house-made cracklins, all curated and cured at the restaurant.


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A photo of GW Fins restaurant

GW Fins

$$$$
Seafood
French Quarter
4.9
16416 reviews

GW Fins, a handsome French Quarter restaurant on Bienville, sets a high bar for sustainable and fresh seafood. Chef Michael Nelson works directly with local fisherman harvesting from the bays, inlets, and bayous that feed into the mighty Mississippi River. His daily changing menu might feature triple tail, cobia, black fin, barracuda, and tuna. And his techniques for utilizing the entire fish—fins, skin, ribs, and collars—deliver remarkable flavors without a bit of waste.


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A photo of Emeril's Restaurant restaurant

Emeril's Restaurant

$$$$
Contemporary American
Warehouse District
4.6
9947 reviews

To the rest of the world, Emeril Lagasse is a celebrity chef, cookbook author, and creator of a line of specialty seasonings. But to New Orleanians, he’s chef Emeril—the guy who wowed at Commander’s then followed up with his flagship, Emeril’s restaurant, in the Warehouse district in 1990, long before the neighborhood became fashionable. When he finally reopened in September 2021 after the long pandemic shut down, his world-famous barbecue shrimp—a spicy peppery simmer of Gulf shrimp in Worcestershire, butter, wine, and hot sauce—never tasted better.


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A photo of Tony Mandina's Restaurant restaurant

Tony Mandina's Restaurant

$$$$
Italian
Gretna
4.9
411 reviews

If it’s Old World Sicilian cuisine you crave, head across the Crescent City Connection Bridge to the West Bank, just 15 minutes from Canal Street. This homespun restaurant brings recipes from the family tree that date back to the 1700s in the city of Salaparuta. Try the understandably famous meatballs, any of the veal dishes, tuna melanzane, or braciolone—you can’t go wrong.


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A photo of Cure restaurant

Cure

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Uptown
4.8
236 reviews

When Neal Bodenheimer opened Cure in 2009, it was a game changer in more ways than one. Not only did the 2018 James Beard Award-winning cocktail program literally raise the bar in a city credited for creating the cocktail, but the cool lounge was also an early adapter on Freret Street—then a rough stretch of road. Now thriving with tons of restaurants and a happening music venue, Freret owes its new look to Cure, which remains a beacon of the perfectly concocted drink and artfully arranged nibbles to match, from pate and olives to meatballs and carbonara.


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A photo of MoPho restaurant

MoPho

$$$$
Southeast Asian
Mid-City / City Park
4.7
373 reviews

Michael Gulotta’s marriage bextween Vietnamese and Louisiana cuisine is playful and brilliant—take his “traditional” Monday red beans and rice, for example. Gulotta turns the dish on its head by cooking red beans with XO sauce, then pairs the legumes with crispy sticky rice cakes and cured pork belly. As one of the most innovative chefs in town, Gulotta’s hangover pho, po-mi sandwiches—po’boy and banh mi hybrids—and vermicelli and rice bowls have earned him legions of happy regulars.


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A photo of Zasu restaurant

Zasu

$$$$
American
Mid-City / City Park
4.9
691 reviews

James Beard Award-winning chef Sue Zemanick shines in this jewel box restaurant with its menu of Mediterranean-meets-Slovak specialties—a nod to the chef’s family roots. The wild mushroom and potato pierogies are divine, as is the ora king salmon with caramelized sauerkraut and dill spaetzle. To all that, add the exceptionally warm and comforting service, and it’s no surprise why Zasu is a Crescent City standby.


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A photo of Crescent City Steak House restaurant

Crescent City Steak House

$$$$
Steakhouse
Mid-City / City Park
4.7
1196 reviews

New Orleanians love their beef. Although this is the city that birthed Ruth’s Chris Steak House in 1965, for many locals, the gold standard is the bacon-wrapped filet at Crescent City Steaks. Founded by Croatian immigrant John Vojkovich in 1934, the family-owned restaurant was the first to serve slabs of prime-aged beef in New Orleans. But beyond the fair prices, comfortable setting, and stellar steakhouse fare, Crescent City oozes a particular brand of hospitality that is the calling card of a true New Orleans institution.


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A photo of Miss River restaurant

Miss River

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
Central Business District
4.6
602 reviews

Set in the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, Miss River is James Beard Award-nominated chef Alon Shaya’s love letter to Louisiana, a spirited take on the beloved local dishes of his adopted city. His wife Emily’s award-winning red beans and rice is a side, fried chicken is presented whole to the table, then carved at a food stage in the center of the restaurant, and Gulf red snapper is presented encrusted in salt. There’s a seafood grand plateau and caviar service, among other swanky touches. Forget the budget—this is an experience to indulge.


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A photo of Brennan's restaurant

Brennan's

$$$$
Creole
French Quarter
4.6
9109 reviews

This dapper fine-dining spot, a 2022 James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Restaurant, fuels New Orleans’s culinary bragging rights. Led by Ralph Brennan, a local restaurateur whose a portfolio includes the more casual Red Fish Grill and the historic Napoleon House, Brennan’s is a grande dame in the French Quarter. Open since 1946 and steeped in history, the dishes here range from seafood gumbo to eggs Hussarde, a meatier spin on eggs Benedict featuring coffee-cured Canadian bacon and tip their hats to Creole cooking traditions; the knowledgable servers are full of historical trivia, if you’re curious. Enjoy it all against an enchanting backdrop, a cluster of decadent dining rooms that border a charming fountain-clad courtyard. And save room for dessert: Brennan’s is the birthplace of bananas foster (fittingly, the Brennan family is known for bringing bananas to the South)—one of the restaurant’s most-ordered dishes.


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