Best Restaurants in New Orleans
20 of the Best Restaurants in New Orleans
New Orleans is a food-lovers paradise. Cajun, Creole, and fine French traditions merge with fresh seafood ingredients and good old-fashioned, southern soul food to create one of the richest cuisines in the world.
There are too many incredible restaurants to possibly fit into one article, and it would take more than one lifetime to try them all.
But with that said, here are our picks for the best restaurants in New Orleans.
Best Fine Dining Restaurants in New Orleans
We’ll start off our list with some of the most famous New Orleans restaurants.
If you open to the dining section of any travel guide to New Orleans, you’re sure to find an entry for Brennan’s. The restaurant has been in operation since 1947, and it remains immensely popular for throwing one of the best Sunday brunches in the city.
Brennan’s famous brunch features upscale versions of classic breakfast dishes. Menu items include Brioche French Toast, Eggs Hussard, Duck Confit Hash, and Short Rib Blintzes. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner and has earned a host of awards for its carefully curated wine selection. Reservations recommended.
Located in the Garden District, Commander’s Palace has remained one of the most exclusive fine dining restaurants in New Orleans since 1893. With its exquisite gourmet cuisine and rich old-world decor, Commander’s Palace makes the ideal location for celebrating extra special occasions like wedding anniversaries or milestone birthdays. Reservations and dinner jackets are recommended.
If you’re looking for traditional New Orleans-style fine dining, head straight to Antoine’s in the French Quarter. Founded in 1840, Antoine’s remains one of the most famous New Orleans restaurants and continues to dazzle visitors’ tastebuds with French-Creole classics.
You can start your dinner with a wildly tasty appetizer like Escargot Bourguignon or Antoine’s famous Oysters Rockafeller and move on to superbly rendered entrées like Fish Amandine or Chicken Rochambeau. Finish off the evening with one of Antoine’s legendary Baked Alaskas or Café Brulot Diabolique, washed down with a top-shelf Sazerac, and you’ll have a meal fit or a King (or Queen).
Best Breakfast in New Orleans
New Orleans’ most famous diner, the Camellia Grill, serves breakfast all day in addition to its top-notch diner fare. The restaurant was established way back in 1946 and remained one of the city’s go-to spots for late-night dining until the pandemic forced the owners to limit operating hours.
Eating at the Camellia Grill is like taking a trip back in time. After visitors ride the Saint Charles Streetcar to the restaurant’s Uptown location, bowtied waiters greet them with infectious smiles, exemplifying southern hospitality. The time capsule atmosphere is only eclipsed by the delicious menu, which includes breakfast staples, grilled burgers, po-boys, homestyle desserts, and local favorites like gumbo and fried catfish.
Located behind Tulane University, Crêpes à la Cart brings a new spin to the French classic. You’ll find a hearty selection of savory crêpes like Chicken Florentine, Salmon Benedict, and the Greek gyro crêpe with creamy tzatziki sauce.
If your sweet tooth is calling you, try the Crêpe Suzette, Berries and Baily’s, or Bananas Foster ice cream crêpe. You may also enjoy one of the breakfast crêpes before heading out to the shops on Magazine Street. Feeling creative? You can customize your crêpe by mixing and matching fillings and toppings.
The Ruby Slipper hit the scene in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The restaurant soon became a local favorite, serving up comforting homestyle eggs benedict, flaky southern biscuits, and crispy fried chicken and gravy.
The Ruby Slipper Café has become so popular that the franchise has expanded with several locations in New Orleans as well as Florida and Alabama. If you want to start the morning off right, try pairing brunch with one of the restaurant’s expertly mixed morning cocktails.
Located near the shops on Magazine Street, Another Broken Egg delivers some of the freshest southern-inspired dishes in the city, including phenomenal chicken and waffles, buttery shrimp and grits, and plenty of gluten-free options.
The getaway atmosphere of the café makes it the perfect place to have a casual midday meal with family and friends, especially if you’re in town on a short visit. The chain restaurant has a second location on Harrison Avenue and several others scattered around the South.
Unique Dining Experiences in New Orleans
Part of what makes New Orleans such an incredible city is the food culture and little hidden gems like Willa Jean. This upscale eatery serves up southern classics with a twist. Willa Jean’s staff bakes bread daily, and the menu changes according to the availability of seasonal produce.
Head Chef Kelly Fields named the restaurant after her beloved grandmother. Fields has a unique take on low-country cuisine, exemplified in her BBQ Shrimp Toast, Cornbread and Fried Chicken Sandwich, and famous Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The restaurant strives to uplift the city’s Central Business District with a stylish atmosphere and nostalgic sensibility. Willa Jean offers comforting cuisine infused with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and delivers a modern, ever-evolving menu steeped in Southern hospitality.
For Middle Eastern food at its finest, head straight to Lebanon’s Cafe. This restaurant is a personal favorite, offering some of the best Mediterranean dishes in New Orleans. You’ll find Lebanon’s Café in the Uptown area, just up the road from other local favorites like Camellia Grill and Sno-la.
New Orleanians keep coming back to Lebanon’s cafe for the freshly made pita bread, succulent lamb, and mouth-watering gyros. Plus, the restaurant serves some of the best hummus around. If you’ve been looking for a meal that’s a bit different from traditional New Orleans cuisine, try Lebanon’s Cafe.
Since its grand opening in 2018, Morrow’s has adhered to the motto “Where great food and dope vibes collide.” Morrow’s may be the new kid on the block, but the restaurant has earned national acclaim and has become one of the best restaurants in New Orleans with its perfect mix of local classics and Korean cuisine. Diners delight in mouth-watering charbroiled oysters, Korean barbeque, handcrafted cocktails, and a host of other fabulous dishes. Morrow’s makes the perfect spot for date night or enjoying happy hour with a background of soulful R&B music.
New Orleans’ Best Sandwich Shops
New Orleanians love to talk about food, and you’ll never hear a discussion involving po-boys without someone mentioning Parkway. The restaurant has been serving up some of the most delicious sandwiches in the city since 1911, and most “born and bred” locals rank the establishment among the best restaurants in New Orleans.
Parkway has a sandwich for everyone, from seafood classics like Gulf shrimp and fried oysters to hearty po-boys with roast beef or Italian meatballs. The restaurant even offers heart-healthy oven-roasted turkey sandwiches and vegetarian Italian Caprese po-boys.
Sides include fried pickles, Zapp’s potato chips, spicy chili, and perfectly seasoned jambalaya.
While many local musicians complained about having one of their favorite busking corners turned into a restaurant, most of them can’t resist wolfing down one of Dat Dog’s delectable creations on occasion.
Handpainted in local artist Simon Hardeveld’s unmistakable style, the Dat Dog building is a wonder to behold. The sandwiches, which include a stunning array of hot dogs, sausages, and toppings, are sure to cure even the most stubborn case of the munchies. Add fried chicken, burgers, French fries, and all sorts of deep-fried goodies, and you’ll have enough fuel to boogie the night away at all of Frenchman Street’s legendary music venues.
Located on Esplanade Avenue in the French Quarter, Port of Call has been dishing up deliciously juicy hamburgers since the 1960s. Locals have voted Port of Call’s expertly grilled, half-pound burgers the best in the city on more than a few occasions. The restaurant also offers succulent filet mignon and ribeye steaks cooked to order. Pair your meal with a frothy beer or one of Port of Call’s exquisite cocktails, and you’ll feel like you’ve truly landed in the Big Easy.
Best Restaurants for Traditional New Orleans Cuisine
Fire Food and Spirits sits slightly off the beaten path in the harbor neighborhood of Seabrook. However, the cuisine is well worth the journey. Locals love the restaurant for generously portioned and impeccably seasoned seafood dishes like Crawfish Alfredo, Stuffed Oysters, and Shrimp on a Bun. The banquet-sized dining area makes Fire Food and Spirits perfect for big gatherings with family and friends.
Nestled right in the heart of the French Quarter, Mr. B’s serves upscale versions of classic New Orleans dishes like seafood gumbo, bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits, and red beans and rice.
Culinary veteran Cindy Brennan manages the restaurant and ensures that both the food and customer service meet her famous restauranteur family’s rigorous standards. As a result, Mr. B’s has graced the pages of a host of top-tier food magazines, including prestigious publications like Food and Wine and Bon Appetit.
Nola’s Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants
We haven’t forgotten about you plant-based warriors, and neither has New Orleans! As more and more people adopt vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, restaurants like Max Well have risen to meet the challenge by providing delicious dishes that satisfy the appetites of both discerning vegans and dedicated carnivores.
Located on Magazine Street, Max Well takes the farm-to-table concept to new heights with innovative organic salads, lentil-based protein dishes, seasonal soups, fresh-pressed juices, and delectable desserts.
Vegetarian, but not quite vegan? Carmo in the Warehouse District is the perfect place for you. Carmo’s extensive menu mixes flavors from the Caribbean, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. The tropical café and bar serves impeccable renditions of Japanese Sashimi, Creole Fish, Puerto Rican Trifongo, Burmese Tea Leaf Salad, Peruvian White Beans, and many more exciting dishes inspired by international culinary traditions. A trip to Carmo offers more than a fantastic meal. It’s a cultural experience and a journey around the world through food.
Best Desserts in New Orleans
If you’re like me and have an insane sweet tooth, you’ll love Boucherie. Every day, people flock to the restaurant for fine southern cuisine and delicious smoked barbecue. But one dish on Boucherie’s menu is an absolute knockout—the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.
Boucherie’s modern take on traditional bread pudding combines perfectly crispy edges with a soft pillowy center. Add Boucherie’s signature sauce and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream for a dessert worth writing home about.
No trip to Nola can be complete without cooling off with an authentic New Orleans snowball. Situated in Uptown, not far from Boucherie, Sno-la isn’t just serving up your typical ice and syrup dessert. Their specialty is a snowball with a cheesecake center...yes, you heard me, cheesecake!
The restaurant’s signature snowball perfectly combines rich, cheesy flavors with refreshing shaved ice. Sno-la’s wide selection of toppings includes blue raspberry, cake batter, and more decadent flavors like Bananas Foster and Chantilly Cake.
If you’re like me and you enjoy starting and ending the day with something sweet, District Donuts is the place for you. The bakery has been serving up 100% homemade donuts since 2013 and has become one of the most famous New Orleans restaurants for donut lovers.
You can always opt for a standard glazed, chocolate, or cinnamon-sugar donut. But if you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous (and why shouldn’t you...this is New Orleans, right?), try one of the more unique flavors like lemon blueberry, salted caramel, or brown butter drop. Keep in mind that a new rotation of donuts hits the shelves each week, and your latest favorite might not be available on your next visit.