Best Seafood in New Orleans

10Best New Orleans restaurants for best Gulf seafood

Even if you're an avowed carnivore, you can't help but fall in love with the delectable goodness of New Orleans gulf seafood. Whether 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 redfish 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.


French Quarter
Mr. B's Bistro
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Mr. B's is a New Orleans seafood hot spot located on the celebrated food corner of Royal and Iberville in the French Quarter. So well thought of they were able to publish their own cookbook, Mr. B's has served signature dishes like gumbo ya ya and barbecue shrimp plates to New Orleans customers for decades. This bistro's atmosphere is a mix of casual and chic, and Food & Wine magazine pronounced it the best for business lunch. Whether you are here for business or pleasure, Mr. B's and excellent staff are ready to impress. Sunday brunch is an especially festive occasion.

Recommended for Seafood because: A prime French Quarter location and a slightly older crowd make this a great spot for date night.

Beth's expert tip: Get discounted valet parking at Solari's Garage, 721 Iberville, $3 for up to three hours - a great deal!

Read more about Mr. B's Bistro →

Grand Isle Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Denny Culbert

Grand Isle is the strip of land off mainland Louisiana known for its amazing fishing. Grand Isle Restaurant, with its menu of fresh local seafood and vintage photos channeling the same gulf goodness as its namesake. Situated on busy Fulton Street, Grand Isle spotlights the talent of chef Ryan Haigler, a South Carolina native who's come light years from his Waffle House beginnings. With a resume that includes working with Sean Brock in Charleston, Tom Colicchio in New York and Emeril in New Orleans, Haigler lassos a lot of flavor in gulf specialties like smoked fried oysters with garlic aioli and a version of grilled oysters with Havarti and tasso that is completely off the hook. The smoked drum chowder with roasted corn is another treat, and you can't miss with anything seafood. But Haigler handled the butcher program for Delmonico for two years, so don't overlook steak specials or the winning combo of confit pork cheek and baby clams served with crunchy popcorn rice pilaf. This is a relaxed yet surprisingly sophisticated option just steps from Canal Street and the Convention Center.

Recommended for Seafood because: Fresh seafood and Creole specialties in a central location bring locally sourced freshness to the CBD.

Beth's expert tip: Grand Isle is a great spot for pre or post game nibbles.

Read more about Grand Isle Restaurant →

Station 6
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Fish is literally the big picture at this Bucktown charmer, from husband and wife chef team Alison Vega Knoll and Drew Knoll. Huge family photos of fishing escapades adorn the restaurant's walls, with another collage of fish stories on one side of the menu. It's a friendly sort of place, with warm and informed service in a setting that feels familiar to anybody who's ever dropped a hook in nearby Lake Pontchartrain. Outfitted with burnished wooden tables, leather banquettes and a fetching oyster bar, Station 6 also has an inviting covered front porch, all of it casual and family friendly. Sample creative dishes like sizzling garlic shrimp, char-grilled oyster pasta, pearls of yellowfin tuna served with a side of jicama slaw and a dusting of spicy Cajun caviar. Meat lovers will appreciate an excellent grilled pork chop with bbq gravy and an aptly named sloppy Drew made with braised beef, provolone, onion jam and tangy horseradish sauce.

Recommended for Seafood because: Station 6 is a family-owned local gem specializing in top-of-the-catch seafood.

Beth's expert tip: The dining room can get loud when it's full, so opt for outside seating to quiet things down.

Read more about Station 6 →

French Quarter

This Ralph Brennan restaurant, run by his daughter Kathryn, can handle crowds of visitors, but don't let that fool you. THe quality of both cuisine and service sets a high bar, with seafood always in the spotlight. serves seafood specialties in a casual setting. Raw and char-grilled oysters are the way to start, then move onto the wood-grilled redfish served with crawfish, tasso ham and roasted mushrooms bathed in a sprightly lemon butter sauce. Specials are yum - like the current two course, one pound of Dungeness crab special for $53, served Wednesday through Sunday evenings. The restaurant can handle a group of 250 people for full-service dining and up to 500 for cocktail galas.

Recommended for Seafood because: This casual Bourbon Street spot dishes fresh seafood in a family-friendly setting.

Beth's expert tip: Located in the first block of Bourbon Street,Red Fish Grill features three private dining areas perfect for meetings and receptions.

Read more about Red Fish Grill →

French Quarter

Chef Michael Nelson at GW Fin's creates a daily menu driven by one thing, and one thing along - the most pristine and susatainable seafood he can find. The French Quarter restaurant impresses with quality and variety, including fish caught in waters around the world as well as right here in the Gulf. You might feast on chicken cracklin-crusted local drum, John Dory from New Zealand with crabmeat and the house special, the Scalibut –" halibut, sea scallops, Royal Red shrimp risotto, snow peas, pea shoot butter, a spectacular combo. The philosophy is simple at this upscale establishment: let the seafood's natural flavors shine. The wine list shimmers with crisp whites guaranteed to enhance your catch of the day.

Recommended for Seafood because: The seafood gumbo here is one of the best in town.

Beth's expert tip: GW Fins provides free 3-hour parking for its guests, a plus in this busy section of the Quarter

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The Bourbon House is an authentic New Orleans seafood restaurant, with its dining room windows looking out onto the riotous Bourbon Street. Inside, the atmosphere is classy and quieter, with the menu including only in-season Gulf of Mexico offerings. The wait staff is over-the-top attentive and caring, able to guide you through the various oyster options and small batch/single barrel bourbon choices. The Bourbon House is home to the New Orleans Bourbon Society which is a club dedicated to the appreciation of fine bourbons. If you're into seafood with or without shell and enjoy darker libations, this is your spot.

Recommended for Seafood because: The Bourbon House is ideally located for the business traveler based on Canal Street.

Beth's expert tip: The place is classy, but that doesn't mean you can't go to town on a dozen oysters and three fingers of bourbon.

Read more about Bourbon House Seafood & Oyster Bar →

The Franklin
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Polished elegance isn't a bellwether of most restaurants in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods in New Orleans. Which is why the Franklin really stands out in the crowd. Intimate and inviting, this restaurant lives in New Orleans but would be at home in any big city. Executive Chef Dane Harris prepares seasonally inspired dishes that might include beef tartare with pho garnishes and crispy rainbow trout with citrus salsa verde, from amenu that is both modern and French-inspired. Don't miss the stupendous burger with farmhouse cheddar and frites. The steamed PEI mussels with Nduja are stellar. Then there's the elevated cocktail program, which includes martinis as they were meant to be sipped. The former corner store is filled with natural light and spectacular art from the owner's private collection.

Recommended for Seafood because: Fresh seafood makes for a super date night in a sophisticated setting.

Beth's expert tip: Happy hour with special nibbles runs from 5 to 7 pm, seven days a week.

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Le Chat Noir Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

Chef Seth Temple is onstage, front and center, at Le Chat Noir, the former cabaret theater at 715 St. Charles Ave. Temple's artful food commands the spotlight, the star of the show that went curtains up in early December 2021. Temple drives a veg-forward menu with big flavors and farm-fresh ingredients. Take what he does with hakurei turnips, for example. A sauté of the small, crunchy vegetable, greens attached, in a miso-fueled umami sauce studded with candied Meyerquats and fronds of bronze fennel is hauntingly simple. Then there's the daily fresh fish served with an oniony soubise, mushroom and capers. And that crab fat agnolotti is to die for. Sommelier Kevin Wardell, who moved to New Orleans from Healdsburg, California, curates an affordable wine list with small, boutique producers and lesser-known grape varietals.

Recommended for Seafood because: Less is more is the motto here, with fresh seafood and locally farmed ingredients allowed to shine.

Beth's expert tip: The raw oysters program is hinged on sustainable farmed bi-valves that don't require dredging.

Read more about Le Chat Noir Restaurant →

The giant fish hanging in Donald Link's 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 coal-fired grill. James Beard Award-winning chef/partner Ryan Prewitt delivers intriguing dishes like baked drum with mushroom broth, shrimp with purple rice pilaf and one of the best grilled whole redfish you'll ever eat, a beauty that might be treated to a lemony, herbaceous salsa verde. Steak lovers will swoon over the 22 ounce Brasstown rib eye for two, out of North Carolina. Reserve early and often, Peche accepts reservations by phone and online.

Recommended for Seafood because: Partners Donald Link, Stephen Stryjewski and chef Ryan Prewitt serve only the best seafood, most of it local.

Beth's expert tip: Whole gulf fish head to tail - try the red fish if it's featured - is the chef's specialty here.

Read more about Peche Seafood Grill →

French Quarter
Acme Oyster House
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono

This oyster palace in the upper French Quarter, a mainstay of briny bivalves since 1910, is a favorite seafood eatery for both visitors and locals. Acme regularly shucks more than three million oysters per year, best appreciated from a seat at the scarred marble oyster bar. Slurp down as many as you are able, but save room for an order or two of the chargrilled oysters, smoky and hot off the fire. An expanded dining area keeps the line moving outside, but you can usually expect to wait for the chance to tuck into specialties like oyster Rockefeller soup, jambalaya and fried softshell crab.

Recommended for Seafood because: The place is legendary, a go-to spot in the Quarter since 1910.

Beth's expert tip: Can't decide between oyster and shrimp on your po-boy? Order a peacemaker, half of each.

Read more about Acme Oyster House →


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