Great New Orleans Restaurants for Visitors to the City
By Kevin Lacassin
Some of my favorite “New Orleans style” restaurants in New Orleans, listed in no particular order. They are all great for first time visitors and exemplify the local cuisine and culture. Updated January 2010.
Each restaurant is followed by the neighborhood where it is located. I have added addresses, phone numbers and websites when possible. Price guide:
$ - Cheap / Dive
$$ - Casual Dress and price
$$$ - Dress Nice and bring your MasterCard
$$$$ – More expensive, dressy
FQ = French Quarter
CBD = Central Business District
Galatoire’s, FQ, $$$$- Pricey and dressy, but the food is remarkably down to earth; my favorite restaurant in New Orleans. It’s over 100 years old and in my opinion one of the best restaurants to find classic Creole cuisine. Jackets are required for men for dinner and for lunch on Sundays. The soft shell crab is always outstanding or you can’t go wrong with a piece of broiled fish topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. The menu reads like a phone book, but your best bet is to just take the advice of your waiter. You absolutely must get the crabmeat and/or shrimp maison as an appetizer. Best thing on the planet. Better yet, get them both on a appetizer combo with the oysters en brochette!
ACME Oyster House, FQ, $$ – Good for casual seafood. Fantastic seafood po’ boys and some damn good raw and grilled oysters.
724 Iberville Street. (near corner of Bourbon) – 504.522.5973 www.acmeoyster.com
Redfish Grill – FQ, $$ – I’ve only had appetizers and drinks here but the crab cake was one of the best I have ever had. Also a great oyster bar. The atmosphere is cool and casual. All of the seafood is fresh and well prepared. They make a good bloody mary and they have Abita beer on tap.
115 Bourbon St. (near Canal St.) – 504. 598.1200 – www.redfishgrill.com
Restaurant August – CBD , $$$$ – Chef John Besh’s restaurant in the French Quarter. New age Creole cuisine with French influence. Excellent food and top notch service. No need to say more, just look at the menu. Expect to go there and leisurely enjoy a long meal, with great wine. Also expect to spend a small fortune, but trust me, it is a meal you’ll remember for a lifetime.
301 Tchoupitoulas Street; (504) 299-9777. www.restaurantaugust.com
Bon-Ton Café - CBD, $$ – One of the better places for authentic Cajun food in the city. Only open on weekdays for lunch and dinner.
Cochon – CBD, $$$ – A modern twist on traditional Cajun food by Donald Link. You’d best go here only with the adventurous diners but the food is outstanding. Finish up your meal with house made moonshine.
930 Tchoupitoulas St.; (504) 588-2123; www.cochonrestaurant.com
Luke – CBD/FQ, $$$ – A fantastic French bistro with a Creole/Cajnu twist from John Besh. Technically located in a hotel, you can get a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. Outstanding fries!
333 St. Charles Ave. (504) 378-2840; http://www.lukeneworleans.com/
Commander’s Palace - Garden District, $$$$ – Great food and excellent service. Fun place to hit for weekend brunch. On weekdays for lunch, they even feature 25 cent martinis and decent priced lunches. Very dressy.
1403 Washington Avenue (near Prytania); (504) 899-8221; www.commanderspalace.com
Upperline – Uptown, $$$ – The pioneer of the new age of New Orleans food. Though the menu was modern at one time, it hasn’t changed much in the past decade and some of the dishes are classics. They popularized the fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade and it’s still one of my favorite appetizers. I also really enjoy the roast duck and the braised lamb shank.
1413 Upperline St (near Prytania); (504) 891-9822 www.upperline.com
Dick and Jenny’s, Uptown, $$$ – Upscale casual, great food. They don’t take reservations so the wait can be up to an hour. It’s worth the wait. Check out the menu on their website, it speaks for itself. Everything is good!
4501 Tchoupitoulas Street (near Napoleon Ave); (504) 894-9880 www.dickandjennys.com
One – Riverbend, $$$ – Upscale and new age New Orleans food. Small menu, all of it is good. Make reservations and sit at their “food bar,” which overlooks the kitchen. Most of the entrees are priced nice and the food is excellent.
8132 Hampson Street; (504) 301-9061 www.one-sl.com
Brigtsen’s – Riverbend, $$$ – www.brigtsens.com
Port of Call, Fauburg Marigny, $$ – Great burgers in a dive atmosphere, on Esplanade Avenue. Very casual and unique; burgers are served with a baked potato and are huge. Bring your appetite. While once very cheap, the prices have begun to creep up a bit as their popularity has risen. www.portofcallneworleans.com
Domilise’s – Uptown, $ – The quintessential po’ boy shop of New Orleans! The Manning family (Peyton, Eli, Archie, etc.) grew up eating here. It’s on a street corner and tough to find, but full of character.
Parasol’s – Uptown, $ – A dive bar and po’ boy shop which boasts the best roast beef po’boy in the city. It probably is. You’ll have to ignore the divey atmosphere (and the bullet holes in the door) and go for the food. Order your food in the upstairs area and get your drinks and booze in the bar area.
Mandina’s, Mid City, $$ – Old school New Orleans casual food and an institution. Po’Boy’s are fantastic. The rest of the food, while good, is home-style. Stick with the fried seafood and turtle soup. www.mandinas.com
Liuzza’s By The Track, Mid City, $$ – Similar to Mandina’s. VERY casual, great po’ boys and other casual New Orleans classics. www.nola.com/sites/liuzzas/
Morning Call – Metairie, $ – One of the original beignet shops, which re-located to Metairie (the suburbs) many years ago. Maybe in the 1950’s? Not much has changed about the place and it is quite charming. It’s my favorite place to stop after flying in and before heading uptown.
Café Du Monde – FQ, $ – World famous beignets, which are fried donuts covered with powdered sugar. If you haven’t heard of this place, you may have spent your life in a cave. Though it is touristy, it’s a must-do for any visit to New Orleans.
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