Best Restaurants in New Orleans Offer Something for Everyone

It's the rare visitor who doesn't come to New Orleans to eat.   In this town, people are passionate about the details of a great meal, whether it's the hue of the roux, the size of the Gulf shrimp or the dark crawfish goodness emanating from a perfect etoufee. Here, chefs were rock stars way before The Food Network put locals like Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse on the national map.  Mecca for foodies, New Orleans is a bubbling feast of traditional Creole French fare and creative chefs using Gulf seafood and local ingredients in classic and innovative ways. Crackling with an effusive gumbo of culinary history and cocktail culture, New Orleans is arguably the best place to eat in America.

So, where to start? There are some seminal bites you can’t live without. Beignets and chicory-laced café au lait at Café DuMonde. Trout Amandine at Galatoire’s, the epitome of a Creole Palace, staffed by waiters who have tended the same families for generations. And of course oysters, best enjoyed from a seat at the scarred marble oyster bar at Acme Oyster House, where you can watch the pros in action and the fried oyster po'boys, dressed (with the works) are just about perfect. In a town where getting a bad meal is an anomaly, these 10 fantastic restaurants should be on everybody's bucket list.

French Quarter


Bananas Foster is a must eat dessert and the best place to get it is where it was first flamed, the redone Brennan's. A theatrical presentation of caramelized banana fragrant with cinnamon and plenty of rum, it's a treat that never goes out of...  Read More

Commander's Palace
Photo courtesy of Commander's Palace


The turquoise and white awning is the first sign of good taste at this flagship of the Brennan family, housed in a gorgeous Victorian mansion in the Garden District since 1880. Sporting a post-Katrina redo that combines whimsy with elegance,...  Read More



Generations come and go, but Galatoire's on Bourbon Street, with its classic menu of trout meuniere, shrimp remoulade and stuffed eggplant, will never change. Now taking reservations - a plus if you're planning your dining spots ahead of time -...  Read More



A native of Southern Louisiana, chef John Besh creates extraordinary Creole-influenced French cuisine in an atmospheric 19th century French building aglow with chandeliers, French doors and sexy red leather seating. THe winner of just about...  Read More

French Quarter
Irene's Cuisine
Photo courtesy of Lindsay Glatz


Located on the quieter end of the French Quarter, this family/locally owned Creole Italian is a real gem. Follow your nose - you can smell the garlic a half-block away - for an inevitable seat in the piano bar for well-shaken cocktails while you...  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

Emeril's Delmonico
Photo courtesy of Emeril's Delmonico


Emeril created quite a splash when he took over this longstanding institution, poured millions into a sophisticated renovation and transformed a tired space into one of the city's swankiest eateries. Portions are mammoth - try the 20-ounce...  Read More



Swine is fine at Cochon, where chef Stephen Stryjewski (partnered here with chef Donald Link) pays homage to the old style Cajun Boucherie with the hand crafting of boudin, andouille, smoked bacon, and head cheese. Working with locally sourced...  Read More



The giant fish hanging in Donald Link's new industrial-chic Warehouse District eatery says it all. This place is all about local and line-caught seafood, most of it cooked on an epic wood fire grill. Chef/partner Ryan Prewitt (last of HerbSaint)...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Marianna Massey


Who would have thunk it? The hottest table in New Orleans isn't at one of the storied Creole palaces, traditional havens of buttery trout amandine and oysters served every which way. Instead, the toughest reservation to snag " hint hint make...  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