Even if you're an avowed carnivore, you can't help but fall in love with the delectable goodness of New Orleans gulf seafood. Be it fried or broiled, swabbed with sauce or grilled over an open wood fire, the seafood we get in these parts is some of the best around. Fueled by commercial fishing enterprises large and small that troll the gulf for the top catch, area restaurants deliver seasonal fish, shrimp, oysters and soft shell crab in all manner of creative ways. Shrimp etouffee, soft shell crab po-boys, oysters raw and broiled and jambalaya are just a few of the local favorite dishes, made, not just in restaurants, but at home, shared over a crowded dining room table or enjoyed out back, picnic style.
The restaurants on this list cross all boundaries, starting with neighborhood po-boy joints where oysters are flash fried to savory perfection and stuffed into soft French rolls, best enjoyed "dressed". Then there are the white tablecloth Creole palaces, places where trout and red fish swim in seas of buttery sauces piquant with lemon. And places where the chefs prefer to let the flavor of the fish swim to the surface, choosing to offer local catch simply grilled and fragrant with wood smoke.