10Best New Orleans lunch spots for a midday feast

In the hierarchy of New Orleans meals, lunch and brunch are equally critical. A person needs energy to handle a full day of this vivacious city, and a plate full of fried chicken and red beans and rice can be that necessary fuel. 

The tradition of enjoying a good mid-day meal can be traced back to early New Orleanians who lived to  enjoy a bowl of gumbo and a glass of sweet tea  on their sprawling Victorian front porches. Fast forward to today, and the experience is similar at fancy spots like Commander's Palace and Galatoire's. 

If you don't mind a siesta after you eat, catch some of the best soul food in town at Li'l Dizzy's on leafy Esplanade Avenue, an easy walk or bike ride from the French Quarter.  Fill a plate with steaming fried chicken and sides, and be prepared for an inevitable food coma. 

Drinking is as important as eating during any New Orleans meal, and the local joints know this. Bars will be staffed as early as they open, ready to pour an old favorite or concoct something new. Finally, at least once, line up early for lunch at Galatoire's on a Friday, an esteemed tradition that draws hordes of locals to one of the loudest, most protracted afternoon parties in town.

In a city that's po'boy proud, Liuzza's at the Track stands out from the crowd, thanks to the house specialty, a buttery, Worcestershire-fueled gi-normous portion of gulf shrimp slathered between a hot and crusty roll. It's called barbecue...  Read More

Compère Lapin
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Compere Lapin (pronounced kom-pare la-pan) means "brother rabbit," a reference to a mischievous rabbit featured in the Caribbean folk tales chef Nina Compton read as a kid. Drawing on the story's themes of exploration and play, Compton designed...  Read More

Cochon chef co-owner Stephen Stryjewski, winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundations "Best Chef South" award, pays homage to the old style Cajun Boucherie at this must-eat Warehouse District restaurant. Order a moonshine-based cocktail and dig in...  Read More

Located in the fab Loews Hotel, the Brennan family-run Cafe Adelaide is named for colorful Ti Adelaide Martin, co-owner of big sister restaurant Commander's Palace. You'll be happy starting with the bacon and cornmeal crusted fried oysters, and...  Read More

French Quarter
Green Goddess
Photo courtesy of Jennifer

There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options at this funky little spot powered by creative chef Paul Artigues. Expect a wait, as reservations aren't an option for one of the coveted 14 seats that literally spill out onto the alley in nice...  Read More

Arana Taqueria Y Cantina
Photo courtesy of Katie Sikora Photography

Arana Taqueria y Cantina, home to local chef Richard Papier, is a popular Magazine Street specializing in flavorfuil Mexican cuisine. The name, which means spider in Spanish, is a nod to the chef's longtime nickname. Look for slow braised pork,...  Read More

Casa Borrega
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Located in a green, historical renovation of an 1891 Greek Revival home on Oretha Castle Haley, the quickly changing arts corridor in Central City, Casa Borrega is a fantastic little taco bar. Besides a great selection of margaritas, the menu...  Read More

St. James Cheese Company is a gourmet artisan cheese shop that also happens to do a very good lunch/light dinner. Located on Prytania in the Garden District and in the Warehouse district at 641 Tchoupitoulas close to the convention center, St....  Read More

Fogo de Chao
Photo courtesy of Fogo de Chao New Orleans

Swords, handsome cowboys who can cook, endless amounts of fresh salads and perfectly cooked meat – have you died and gone to heaven? No, welcome to the earthbound reality of Fogo de Chao (say fo-go dèe shoun), the new-to-New Orleans...  Read More

New Orleanians are not only loyal to this traditional bastion of Creole dining, they're loyal to their waiter, and if they're old enough, to their waiter's son. Generations come and go, but Galatoire's, with its classic seafood-centric menu...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth