New Orleans is known as a destination in large part due to its restaurants, boasting a steady flow of exciting new options in the best of times. Though the pandemic interrupted the plans of many, the city still saw dozens of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and bakeries open in 2020. Now, halfway through Fall 2021, the pace of local restaurant openings is nearly back to normal, and there are a number of particularly interesting spots expected to open in the next few months.
From fresh cuisines to pandemic-born businesses and big-deal hotel restaurants, here is Eater’s ongoing roundup of restaurant openings New Orleans diners need to know right now. This list will continue to be updated, so if there’s an opening in we’ve missed, please let us know.
For the hottest new restaurants in New Orleans this month, see here.
The lovely Bésame is from chef Nanyo Dominguez, who has been cooking in New Orleans since 2015 — Dominguez helped open Johnny Sanchez in the CBD alongside chef Aaron Sanchez before moving to Uptown’s Tito’s Ceviche and Pisco and finally opening Espiritu Mezcaleria at the end of 2018. Now on his own for the first time, he’s serving ceviche in the styles of Mexico City, Oaxaca, Peru, and the Dominican Republic; Argentinian and Mexican-style empanadas; Colombian and Venezuelan-style arepas; and bigger plates like seafood paella; pan-seared fish with coconut milk and guajillo; and churrasco with chimichurri. It opened in October at 110 S. Rampart St. with a bar featuring South American wines and Latin American spirits, mezcal, raicilla, rums from the Caribbean, and piscos and brandies from South America.
Local chef Eric Cook followed up his hit debut restaurant Gris-Gris with Saint John, opening his second restaurant in the former Maximo’s space in the French Quarter on October 6 (1117 Decatur St.). Dishes like slow braised smothered turkey necks, chicken and shrimp maque choux, courtbouillon, and pork belly cassoulet are inspired by 18th century Creole cuisine, traditional Sunday dinners, and of the influences that helped create New Orleans cuisine: Italian, French, Spanish, African, German, Caribbean. Saint John serves lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday along with weekend brunch upstairs and downstairs, where there’s balcony seating available.
This French Quarter bar is the latest from LeBlanc + Smith, the popular restaurant group that counts Sylvain, Barrel Proof, and the Chloe among its current destinations. Formerly Longway Tavern, the group revamped the concept and interior, shifting the focus to wine and cocktails and creating a more moody, loungey vibe. The new food and bar programs are backed by serious talent — Mississippi native Josh Williams, who’s cooked at Brennan’s, August, Compère Lapin, and most recently the Chloe; and Tommy Linville as beverage director, who comes from D.C. after leading the popular Founding Farmers bar.
Bud’s has made its grand return to City Park, after years of uncertainty and an opening delayed by the pandemic. Located on the corner of City Park Avenue and Canal in a building connected to the new location of beignet destination Morning Call, the 2,000 square-foot restaurant is the first Bud’s located in New Orleans proper in since 2018. Eventually the plan is to be open 24/7 and sell beer and wine, but for now it’s open Thursday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Commons Club New Orleans
This downtown restaurant can be found in the new Virgin Hotel New Orleans, which tapped Alex Harrell for the food program, a well-known local chef who’s led the kitchen at Sylvain, Angeline, and most recently, at the Elysian Bar. The menu of contemporary Southern-American cuisine includes highlights like smoked potato croquettes with trout roe, a steamed corn flan topped with pickled watermelon rind and blue crab, and sourdough cavatelli.
The creative empanada vendor continues to grow, now with a second location on Magazine Street. Jimena Urrutia and Marcelo García started out with a food stall in St. Roch Market, followed by their Freret Street location, which will still be the bakery’s headquarters. As of August 1, Empanola is open at 3109 Magazine Street Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
New Orleans could always use more spots for ramen, so welcome Hangout, a new shop at at 1340 S. Carrollton Ave. from couple Iwan Santoso and Nisanart “Nisa” Chutipanyaboot, (who met while working at Thai Mint restaurant). The all-day menu is wide-ranging, with Indonesian, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese specialties rounding out offerings of ramen, noodle dishes, banh mi, bao, lettuce wraps, and even sushi rolls.
Thalia, the short-lived restaurant that sits at the corner of Constance and Thalia Streets in the LGD, is now Lengua Madre — a modern Mexican restaurant, with food from Ana Castro, former chef at Thalia and former sous chef at Coquette. It’s still under the ownership of Coquette owner and chef Michael Stoltzfus, who along with former partner Kristen Essig, developed Thalia, but it’s a major departure, food-wise. Castro will start out with a five-course prix fixe ($70) that will change seasonally; with plans to eventually add an all-day menu.
August 2021 brought the debut of the Four Seasons New Orleans along with Miss River, Alon Shaya’s restaurant in the hotel. Miss River intends to offer the kind of special occasion, luxurious dining experience you might expect from a Four Seasons property, serving modern Louisiana fare like clay pot dirty rice topped with seared duck breast and duck egg yolk; a Louisiana oyster patty with puff pastry and caramelized mushrooms; salt-crusted red whole red snapper; and whole buttermilk fried chicken.
Up & Adam Eatz
Open in late August, this Mid City brunch spot and coffee shop boasts a talented longtime New Orleans chef in Maurice Daniels. Daniels serves a menu of refined Louisiana classics like fried catfish and grits, loaded omelettes, and chicken biscuits alongside a range of coffee, espresso drinks, and morning cocktails — there’s also a coffee window for to-go cups of joe.
Yu Yan opened in Fat City at the end of July, taking over the former location of the well-loved Korea House. Excitingly, it focuses on Mandarin cuisine, with some Cantonese-style dishes, serving bao, spicy soups, soy beef short ribs, and a specialty called dragon eye meatballs — pork and beef meatballs wrapped around whole boiled egg. It’s open at 3547 18th Street in Metairie, Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The new restaurant in the hip and serene Catahoula Hotel, Del Sur, is manned by Byron Bradley and David Hargrove, who serve a concise and tasty menu of Afro-Latin cuisine. Dishes include a bright shrimp ceviche served with plaintains, and pimientos rellenos, a stuffed poblano pepper with quinoa, vegetables, and queso that marries traditions of Louisiana food and Latin-Caribbean flavors. A lovely duck entree is another highlight, as well as the Suspiro De Limeno dessert, with Peruvian caramel meringue, passionfruit gelee, and a pecan Florentine. There are piscos to sip on as well as a menu of refreshing drinks combining Caribbean, Latin, and African flavors, and options to imbibe in the downstairs bar, secluded courtyard, or on the rooftop.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
The Hotel Saint Vincent, from Zach Kupperman and Jayson Seidman, opened at the end of June with two restaurant concepts from Austin hospitality veterans Larry McGuire and Liz Lambert of MML Hospitality. The hotel has a replica of popular Austin restaurant Elizabeth Street Cafe, serving French-Vietnamese pastries for breakfast and Vietnamese specialties for lunch and early dinner, like ginger-chili oil dumplings, banh mi, and chicken laap. There are also cocktails and natural wine, coffee and tea, and desserts including strawberry guava jam or lychee raspberry jam beignets, a dark chocolate pot de creme with miso caramel, daily macarons, and a Nutella eclair.
Slidell seafood destination Jazzy Pete’s has expanded to New Orleans, opening in the former DTB restaurant space on Oak Street Uptown. DTB has sat empty since closing last August, which came nearly one year after the death of founding chef and co-owner Carl Schaubhut. Jazzy Pete’s is from Peter Nguyen, who’s run the original in Slidell for 16 years, serving all things Louisiana: cochon de lait po’ boys, BBQ shrimp, gumbo, and shrimp remoulade.
Mister Mao officially opened at the end of July, bringing a bustling, funky destination for inventive global fare and expert cocktails to Tchoupitoulas Street (in the former home of Dick & Jenny’s). Owners Sophina Uong and William Greenwell serve tropical-inspired cuisine in four sections from the menu, as well as rotating small plates served via dim sum-style roving carts. The back bar offers a different atmosphere for drinks, perfect for a pregame before Tipitina’s across the street. Menu highlights include the pani puri, escargot Wellingtons, and octopus aguachile, and all of the desserts by pastry chef Sarah Cotton are standouts.
San Lorenzo is the Hotel Saint Vincent’s primary, all-day restaurant, bringing together coastal Italian and New Orleans flavors with a focus on seafood — the dinner menu includes a raw bar with oysters from the Northeast and Pacific Northwest as well as the Gulf Coast; seafood tartar, carpaccio, and crudo; fresh pasta dishes that center around seafood or vegetables (squid ink chitara, lobster spaghetti arribiata, and shrimp scampi risotto); and steak, pork chop, snapper, and swordfish on the grill. It’s attached to the Paradise Lounge, the hotel’s lobby bar, which serves cocktails, small bites, and the full San Lorenzo menu.
Zhang Bistro is a brand new family-run restaurant in the Quarter (1141 Decatur Street) blending Chinese and Thai, serving a full menu of specialties of both cuisines that are commonly found on U.S. menus. The grand opening is Friday, June 9, and the family will be celebrating all weekend by offering 10 percent off all drinks during opening weekend. The lo mein, dumplings, peking duck, and shrimp with broccoli are all highlights, as is the mango sticky rice.
Anna’s takes over the two-story space formerly home to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a locals favorite for pool downstairs and creative small plates upstairs. Wisely, the new owners have kept the same idea, and brought in two vets of the New Orleans food and drink world: Anna Giordano (Jewel of the South, Bar Tonique, and Longway Tavern, among others) serves as bar director, and chef Chris Hamm (Coquette, Cavan, Sylvain) leads the kitchen. The menu is similarly tapas-like and keeps Mimi’s popular Feed Me special (surprise from the chef), with small plates of crispy octopus, anchovies and toast, and papas bravas, as well as a few entrees and desserts. The cocktail menu is a bit more extensive, and very enticing. Open seven days a week for pool, drinks, and food, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Anna’s, 2601 Royal St.
Born out of the pandemic, Bub’s is a pop-up-turned-restaurant that opened in Mid City on June 8. Aaron Amadio, Tristan Moreau, Peter Prevot, Josh Richard and Ron Richard started their smash burger pop-up in June 2020, naming it in honor of a nickname coined by their friend Rand Owens, the owner of Mid City Pizza and Banks Street Bar who died in March 2020 at the age of 33. Cheese fries, sides, and a chicken sandwich round out the offerings at Bub’s, open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Bub’s NOLA, 4413 Banks St.
Paulie Gee’s is a fabled Brooklyn pizzeria that’s expanded outside of New York with multiple locations, including Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago. New Orleans native Aubrey Stallard partnered with the New York Paulie Giannone to open the Crescent City slice shop in the short-lived Warehouse District home of Italian import Bonci pizza. Specializing in neo-Neapolitan thin-crust pies, Paulie Gee’s serves 20-inch round pies and rectangular, Sicilian-style pizza, also served by the slice, beginning at 11 a.m. daily.
Paulie Gee’s Crescent City Slice Shop, 726 Julia St.
Debuting during what seems like New Orleans’s summer of hotel openings, Peacock Room is the restaurant in the new Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, located in the CBD on Tchoupitoulas. Food is from Chris Lusk, a longtime New Orleans chef who has cooked at Restaurant R’evolution, Cafe Adelaide, and the Caribbean Room, and includes dishes like fruits de mer pho made with cashew hoisin, grouper, shrimp ramen, and crab boulettes; chicken and eggplant fricasse with tomato and toasted farro; and black lentil vadouvan curry. The cocktail program is also a standout, curated with hard-to-come-by spirits and cocktails like the Primp and Preen, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus and blue curaçao; a Ruby Bridges made with gin, Cynar, citrus, strawberry, and basil; and the Sackcloth and Ashes, with Toki Japanese whisky and Amaro Montenegro (and mysteriously, “umami”). Helpfully, each specialty cocktail includes a few adjectives to help anticipate the flavors of the drink.
Peacock Room, 501 Tchoupitoulas St.
Excellent news, cheesesteak fans: Yinzer’s Amazing Cheesesteaks, once a pop-up, just opened a restaurant on Delachaise Street. The duo of self-proclaimed cheesesteak enthusiasts serve steak, chicken, or veggie cheeseteaks, with all the necessary topping and cheese choices, as well as a buffalo chicken version and a cheesesteak salad, all for dine-in, takeout, and delivery at certain times. Cash only for the time being, Yinzer’s is currently open Thursday through Monday from 5 to 10 p.m.
Yinzer’s Amazing Cheesesteaks, 1514 Delachaise St.
Pythian Market food stall and former Central City restaurant 14 Parishes just opened a second outpost for Jamaican specialties on Oak Street, taking over the former location of pizza chain Mellow Mushroom. From husband and wife team Charles and Lauren Blake, 14 Parishes spent two years on Clio Street before closing in 2018. The new restaurant is two stories, with bars on both levels; the upstairs loungey area can be rented out for private events, and the bar on the ground floor is focused on rum cocktails. The opening menu, which will expand in the weeks to come, includes salmon sliders, a smoked herring board, and traditional Jamaican patties to start; jerk chicken and ribs, a whole red snapper prepared two ways, and curry chicken. Opening hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with takeout, brunch, and lunch to come.
Charly Pierre brings Haitian spaghetti, akra, and a clairin-centric cocktail menu to New Orleans’s Treme neighborhood with Fritai, his St. Roch Market food stall-turned-restaurant. In addition to the fritai sandwich it became known for (pulled pork between two fried plantains with avocado, mango sauce, and pikliz), the menu at the new restaurant offers a griot plate of braised and fried pork, avocado, pikliz, and colè rice; whole roasted fish; and espageti, or traditional Haitian spaghetti sauteed with smoked herring, epis paste, andouille sausage, and a soft-boiled egg. There are also bars on both levels, with the loungey upstairs serving a menu of clairin-based, complex cocktails as well as classics and setups, a New Orleans-style pairing of a pint of liquor and mixers. Open Wednesday through Monday from 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Mondays.
Fritai, 1535 Basin St.
After selling her beloved bread and bagels at farmers markets, pop-ups, and for home delivery throughout the pandemic, local baker Kate Heller has opened her much-anticipated bakery, Leo’s Bread, as first reported by NOLA.com. Heller has had a longtime presence in New Orleans’s bread scene, launching Leo’s Bread in 2014 by selling loaves outside of Pagoda Cafe, becoming a supplier for restaurants before opening Echo’s Pizza alongside the couple behind 1000 Figs at the end of January 2018. When Echo’s closed in summer 2019, Heller embarked on plans for her own bakery. Leo’s Bread, at 2438 Bell Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Peychaud’s is the newest spot from the Cure Co. team — whose portfolio includes acclaimed Freret Street cocktail bar Cure, the French Quarter’s Cane & Table, and the newer Vals, also on Freret Street. It opened Thursday, May 6, inside the Hotel Maison de Ville at 727 Toulouse Street, serving a menu of all drinks — there’s no plan to add food here, so far. After learning that Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the inventor of Peychaud’s bitters, once lived in the building that now houses the hotel, owner Neil Bodenheimer sought permission to use the name for the bar. It focuses on a concise menu of classic New Orleans cocktails, like the Sazerac, Vieux Carre, and Ramos gin fizz. Peychaud’s is open Thursday through Sunday until 10 p.m., for now.
The hotly-anticipated second restaurant from Caitlin Carney and Marcus Jacobs of Marjie’s Grill, Seafood Sally’s, opened this week with a menu of oysters, boiled, fried, blackened, and broiled seafood, hot fried chicken sandwiches, and all-you-can-eat crab feasts. Chef Joshua Blue leads the kitchen at the Oak Street space most recently home to La Casita, which now boasts a raw bar, semi-private back room, and outdoor seating. With neighborhood in mind, Seafood Sally’s plans to serve up seafood boils and other communal feasts down the line. Opening hours are 4 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Beside the Point
A new spot for the coveted breakfast taco has landed across the river in Algiers, right next to Algiers Point, hence the name. Michael Patrick Welch, a local writer and musician in addition to being a chef and restaurant proprietor, opened the casual breakfast and lunch cafe earlier this month, per Gambit. The changing menu features breakfast tacos and quiche for the first meal of the day, with soups, ceviches, and sandwiches (including a Cuban) for lunch, available 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Sunday nights for Dinner by DJ’s.
Beside the Point, 3211 General Meyer Ave.
Golden Gate Bistro
There’s a great new Colombian restaurant open in Gert Town, as first reported by Ian McNulty in the Advocate earlier this month. Golden Gate Bistro is from Bleidys Lobelo and Angelica Rivera, two women from Colombia whose husbands are also in business together in New Orleans — the restaurant is on the ground floor of their families’ construction business, adding to an overall familial feel at the vibrant restaurant. A menu of arepas, empanadas, bandeja paisa (a platter of various meats and plantain preparations), and fresh juices is served for lunch and dinner, Wednesday through Friday.
Golden Gate Bistro, 4334 Earhart Blvd.
Pluck Wine Bar
Pluck is a new wine bar in the Warehouse District that, notably, serves food from the former chef at Mimi’s in the Marigny, a now-closed dive bar loved for its excellent late-night tapas menu. Heathcliffe Hailey is now cooking at Pluck, opened by sommelier Skye LaTorre. For wine, Pluck serves 20 varieties by the glass, with tons more bottles available, including trendy orange and natural wines. For food, Hailey serves Spanish-inspired pintxo-like snacks and charcuterie, as well as small plates like fried frog legs, roasted quail, and shrimp pastis. Pluck is open Tuesday/Wednesday from noon to 10 p.m. and until midnight Thursday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).
Pluck, 722 Girod St.
After several years operating a stall in St. Roch Market and a few months serving out of Marigny restaurant Silk Road, Rafik Abohattab opened Torshi in the former Mona’s Cafe on Frenchmen Street the first weekend in April. Abohattab, who lived in Cairo before moving to the U.S. 15 years ago, serves the freshest imaginable mezze dips, gyro, falafel, and shawarma, as well as experimenting with Egyptian street food from time to time. Torshi’s kitchen and market is open daily for lunch and dinner (noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday).
Torshi, 504 Frenchmen St.
Yakuza House has landed in Metairie, specializing in sandos, hand rolls, and donburi bowls in an adorable and tiny building on Vets Boulevard, one that feels perfect for the intimate nature of the food. Hand rolls are made fresh at the six-seat sushi bar and delivered to customers immediately, along with nigiri and crudo, and on the non-raw side, Japanese sandos with fried chicken cutlet or egg salad and donburi rice bowls. Dishes and proteins will rotate, as chef Huy Pham wants to keep the small menu fresh for customers. Despite being (gasp) out in Metairie, this place is going to be a hot ticket for months to come.
Yakuza House, 1325 Veterans Blvd.
Aroma Indian Cuisine
Open since the end of February, Aroma is a new counter-service restaurant situated on S. Claiborne Avenue about a half mile from the Superdome. Chef Kalaimani Antony, who helped open the Indian restaurant Turmeric on New Orleans’s West Bank in 2019, brings a wide-ranging menu of Indian specialties including excellent malai tikka, vindaloo, butter chicken, and curries, as well as two kinds of fried cauliflower appetizers, a bunch of naan varieties, and a refreshing number of vegan and vegetarian friendly options. While there are tables inside this is a takeout and delivery joint — Aroma is on most of the third party delivery apps.
Aroma, 401 S. Claiborne Ave.
Baldwin & Co.
New Orleans native D.J. Johnson bought the pink building that used to be Gene’s Po-boys when owners decided to close in 2019, to the relief of many who feared out-of-town developers taking over the iconic space at the corner of Elysian Fields and St. Claude Avenue. He first opened the ultra-classy New Orleans Art Bar in early February 2019, the first phase of his vision for the corner. Baldwin & Co., a bookstore and coffee shop named after activist and literary icon James Baldwin, arrived late last month, serving a menu of specialty drinks named after some of Baldwin’s works. The bookstore and coffee shop shares a lovely outside space with the Art Bar, conducive for an easy switch from caffeine to libations.
Baldwin & Co., 1030 Elysian Fields Ave.
The Big Squeezy
There are more “healthy” food destinations in New Orleans than one might expect, but the latest to open has a beloved local name behind it — Saints running back Alvin Kamara. Kamara is co-owner of the brand, which started with locations in Baton Rouge, Hammond, and Mandeville, but the downtown New Orleans shop, opened in mid March, is fully owned by Kamara. The Big Squeezy serves fresh juices and smoothies, acai bowls, and other “grab and geaux” snacks, as well as offering juice “cleanses.”
The Big Squeezy, 303 St. Charles Ave.
The latest spot from the folks who opened the Bower and Claret Wine and Cocktail Bar, both part of the new Framework development on Magazine Street, is a breakfast and lunch spot called Birdy’s Behind the Bower. As the name suggests, it’s situated behind the Bower in the former LGD location of Satsuma, serving a menu of hearty brunch items like a fried chicken biscuit, huevos rancheros, and smoked salmon toast, as well as sweet plates, pastries, salads and sandwiches, juices, and cocktails. Currently open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Birdy’s Behind the Bower, 1320 Magazine St.
Taking over the former Namese, Hieux Boil is from the same owners, to the delight of Namese’s many loyal fans. The restaurant is decidedly different, however, more closely resembling owner Hieu Doan’s Magazine Street restaurant Boil Seafood House. It follows the same concept, focusing on Viet-Cajun style boiled crawfish, shrimp, mussels, clams, crab legs, and lobster, as well as fried seafood platters and po’ boys. There’s also a menu of chargrilled items, a raw bar, and seafood buckets for sharing, like a $110 feast that includes a lobster and a pound each of snow crab legs, shrimp, clams, and mussels. Hieux Boil serves lunch and dinner daily.
Hieux Boil, 4077 Tulane Ave.
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